Highlights from the Detroit Auto Show

Automakers take on Detroit

Gary Cameron | Reuters

The North American Auto Show returned to Detroit this week for an early preview of what the automotive industry has to offer in 2016 and beyond.

While the public won't gain access until Jan. 16, reports of the head-spinning (not to mention fuel-efficient) vehicles have already been pouring in.

Automakers spoke optimistically about the slew of new models coming to market, as they look to lap last year's record U.S. sales performance of 17.47 million vehicles, according to Autodata.

But with so many new models coming to market, some analysts voiced concern that brands could be forced to push incentives onto consumers in order to fuel sales.

"The big concern is that ... if they raise incentives, that the sales keep going but profit starts to drop," AlixPartners' Mark Wakefield told CNBC.

To see some of the most impressive models revealed so far, click ahead.

— By Josh Weiss, special to, with contributions from Phil LeBeau
Posted 12 Jan. 2016

Audi h-tron Quattro concept

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Running on hydrogen power, this concept car combines state-of-the-art fuel-cell technology that delivers up to 110 kilowatts, and a battery that provides a temporary boost of up to 100 kilowatts.

According to Audi, its hydrogen tanks can be refueled in just four minutes to give the car enough juice for more than 370 miles.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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Mercedes introduced the 10th generation of its E-class sedan, following four years of development. It's also the most futuristic vehicle on the list.

The E-Class includes "drive pilot" technology, the closest thing to a self-driving car. This system allows the driver to relax as it detects traffic to maintain a steady distance from the car ahead. It also provides steering assistance and lane-switching radar.

The U.S. version of the car will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 241 horsepower and 273 pound feet of torque.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

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Forget everything you know about minivans. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid incorporates dozens of features never before seen in this type of vehicle, including better fuel efficiency (it gets up to 80 mpg) on a combination of gas and electric power sources.

It also comes with its own entertainment system and vacuum, so no more worrying about those messy family road trips. The revived Pacifica replaces the brand's Town & Country minivan.

Ford GT

Carlos Osorio | AP

The new Ford GT looks like one of those Hot Wheels you had as a kid. Sleek and modern, the supercar benefits from a lightweight windshield made from Gorilla Glass, which is typically used for smartphone screens. This feature helps boost the car's acceleration and improves its braking and fuel efficiency.

The GT, which features a new twin-turbocharged Ford EcoBoost V-6 engine producing more than 600 horsepower, was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the race cars sweeping the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Buick Avista concept coupe

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

The Buick Avista concept coupe snagged headlines for its sleek design — not to mention its 400-horsepower twin turbo charged V-6 engine.

The vehicle is meant to channel an "elegant simplicity," and features body lines that stretch from the front to the rear.

VW Tiguan GTE Active concept

Mark Blinch | Reuters

This off-road SUV concept features a plug-in hybrid system, derived from a 148-horsepower gasoline engine and two electric motors. It's based on Volkswagen's redeveloped second-generation Tiguan.

Lexus LC 500

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Four years after debuting the concept that inspired it, Lexus revealed the all-new LC 500 luxury coupe, which is both sexy and expensive.

The vehicle will hit the market in 2017 and is expected to sell for roughly $100,000.


Mark Blinch | Reuters

BMW's 100th birthday celebration is just around the corner, and the company is entering its big year with another beautiful toy-looking sport coupe, the M2.

Featuring a new 3-litre, six-cylinder inline engine, the vehicle was inspired by models from BMW's history in motor racing.

Chevrolet Bolt

Geoff Robins | AFP | Getty Images

Perhaps the most environment-friendly car on this list, Chevy's new vehicle is all electric all the time, getting 200 miles for each charge, according to the company's website. Priced at a reasonable $30,000, the aptly named Bolt will be available later this year.

Porsche 911 Turbo S

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Porsche's 911 Turbo S looks like a VW Beatle that went on a diet. That, coupled with its top track speed of 205 mph, makes it a look like a blur on the road, stretching into another dimension.