Autocar's team name their star cars from the Detroit show floor, and there's plenty of new metal to choose from
Darren Moss
13 January 2016

There was plenty of great new metal to be seen at the Detroit motor show: a brand new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, new hydrogen technology from Audi and our first chance to see production models such as the BMW M2 in the metal.

With so many new cars on display, picking the best of the best is a hard job. Nevertheless, here are Autocar's star cars from the Detroit motor show 2016.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class – Steve Cropley

I love the depth of thinking that has gone into giving it complex new capabilities, yet making them intuitive to the driver via cleverly rethought dash and steering wheel controls. The interior quality is once again exemplary. How do they do it all for the money?

BMW M2 – Greg Kable

It may lack autonomous driving and hybrid powertrain technology, but the BMW M2 promises something far more important: a pure and undiluted driving experience in the tradition of the German car maker’s very first M car, the original M3. The compact coupe looks the goods in the metal, and it’s not lacking for firepower. Bring it on…

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The E-class more than lives up to traditional Mercedes values

The E-Class is a refined and relaxing return to old Mercedes qualities

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Ford GT – Mark Tisshaw

The only thing different about the GT this year versus its debut last year was the new white paint. Seeing it again, I’d forgotten just how stunning it is. It will make production later this year, priced from around $400,000, although there’s no word yet on how many there’ll be. I’ve started saving.

Lexus LC 500 – Mike Duff

Lexus has been teasing us with coupe concepts for years, but despite its show bling looks, this is a production car, powered by the RC F’s rev-happy 5.0-litre V8. It looks stunning, and I can’t wait to drive it.

Volvo S90 – Jim Holder

The Mercedes E-Class stole the headlines, but the Volvo S90 deserves the plaudits. Volvo is on a roll at the moment, and the leap from S80 to new S90 is huge. Sure, it won't sell in any great numbers, but the S90 looks like a highly credible, high-end alternative choice for anyone who dares to step away from the German mainstream.

Buick Avista – Matt Burt

This or a BMW M4? You know, on looks alone the Buick Avista might just have the edge. Shame the American 2+2 coupe is a concept and that Buick doesn’t have a European presence. One of these with Vauxhall’s Griffin on its nose would be cool, though, perhaps with a Calibra badge too. I’m dreaming, of course… but that's what concepts are for, right?

Audi h-tron quattro - Darren Moss

So the h-tron quattro may look almost identical to the e-tron quattro concept of last year, but the tech it's carrying is nothing short of incredible. A refuelling time of just four minutes yields a creditable range of over 350 miles, as well as a 0-62mph time of 7.0sec - impressive for a car of this size. I suspect (and hope) that a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain will feature in Audi's upcoming Q6 line-up. 

Acura Precision - Jimi Beckwith

You'd be forgiven for mistaking Acura's Detroit show offering for a coupé. The sharp-edged Precision is actually a four-door saloon, and is a definite sign of Honda getting its mojo back. That said, we won’t get our hopes up about the Precision gracing a showroom – UK or otherwise – any time soon.

VLF Automotive Force 1 - Sam Sheehan

In my opinion, Henrik Fisker - one of the world's best car designers - has dropped the ball a bit with the Force 1. But it's not my star car because of its cluttered design; no, the Force 1 is my choice because it's raw. With an atmospheric V10, manual six-speed gearbox and lots of mechanical grip, thanks to its Viper underpinnings, it’s got all the right ingredients to be an epic driver's car.

Join the debate


13 January 2016
I would take an S90 over a new E class. Much better looking and more inviting, I think. The Fisker Viper is hideous and ridiculous.

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