Fresh metal in Motor City

With the party poppers now popped and the champagne bottles now empty, it’s time to get serious about 2017, and in this industry, that means ramping up for auto show season. First out the gates is the Detroit Auto Show, one of the oldest, best attended, and all-around most important auto shows of the year. Also called the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Detroit is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the ties it holds with prominent makes like FCA, Ford, and GM. Simply put, this town is the stomping ground for America’s auto behemoths, and NAIAS is where they’ll battle it out for your auto-oriented attention.

Held annually every January, the Detroit Auto Show saw more than 800,000 attendees file through last year, while over 5,000 journalists from 60 different countries were on hand to witness the 61 vehicle reveals that took place. Standouts from 2016 include the GMC Acadia, Buick Avista Concept, Lexus LC 500, Genesis G90, and Acura Precision Concept.

This year shaped up to be another solid showing, with some very nice four-wheeled machinery on display in the Detroit booths. And while the majority of the debuts are SUV’s, there are still more than 750 cars in attendance, enticing industry pros and enthusiasts alike to brave the cold Michigan winter weather and catch a glimpse of the latest.

As such, we’ve got all the info you need to know if you’re thinking about attending, not to mention a complete breakdown of all the major vehicle debuts, so read on and get ready.

Updated 1/11/2017: That’s a wrap for the 2017 Detroit Auto Show! We’ve updated this guide with all the latest info on all the big debuts, so check it out!

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

What, Where, And When

Things To Do

As is the trend at major auto shows these days, the 2017 Detroit event offers attendees lots of opportunities to interact with the very latest in all things mobility. That means you should show up expecting stuff like customized content experiences, video games, simulations, virtual reality booths, and the like.

What’s more, Twitter is once again getting in on the action this year, and is on the scene capturing brief interview videos with some of the top auto execs in attendance. It’s called #TweetsFromTheTop, and it includes insights into new debuts, technology, and more. Find more information by clicking here.

All told, this is an exciting time in the car world, with constant innovation and rapid evolution, and big shows like Detroit are the perfect place to see the bleeding edge of the industry. Of course, if you’re interested in buying a new car in the near future, it’s also a great opportunity to compare the latest models before they hit dealerships. Finally, rest assured that whatever your favorite automotive flavor may be, whether it’s supercars, muscle cars, trucks, hybrids, crossovers, or luxury cars, Detroit has something to pique your interest (not to mention hoards of fellow car lovers to share in the excitement).

But what if you’re looking for something to do outside the show? Detroit is currently undergoing a major revival, and prides itself on a long cultural history that non-car fanatics can still appreciate. Just a few examples would include the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Motown Museum, plus there are tons of great restaurants and shopping opportunities located near the convention center.

Speaking of restaurants, the official NAIAS website offers a breakdown of a few local picks here. You’ll also find a few places to hit when the sun sets under the “Nightlife” tab.

One warning though – Michigan in January is known for being cold. Really cold. The official auto show website is predicting highs of 33 degrees Fahrenheit, and lows of 19 degrees Fahrenheit. Check it out here. Long story short, bring layers if you plan on doing some exploring.

The Venue And Transportation

This year, the Detroit Auto Show once again takes place at the recently renovated Cobo Center. Situated downtown and perched above the Detroit River, the Cobo Center is located roughly 30 minutes northeast of the Detroit Metropolitan airport. This massive 2.4 million square foot complex offers one of the largest continuous exhibit floors in North America, with 723,000 square feet of exhibit space to pack in all the shiny machinery.

2017 Detroit Auto Show – Visitor's Guide
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More information on the show location, as well as detailed directions to it, can be found here.

To help you find your way around the enormous auto show floor, click this link to check out a PDF of all the booths, broken down by make and exhibitor.

If printing out a hard copy of the map seems a bit archaic, then you can carry around a digital copy by downloading the official show app onto your iOS or Android device. The app also includes info on debuts, events, and auto-related products, plus the show schedule, parking, and more. Check it out by clicking here.

If you’re looking to fly to Detroit for the show, the NAIAS officials are offering discounted tickets through Delta. Check it out here.

Options for ground transportation to the venue include rail (a.k.a. the Detroit People Mover), rental cars from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, shuttle and limo services, and busses. If you are interested in driving yourself to the show, there is also copious parking available. Additionally, the NAIAS is offering assistance with booking a hotel. Find more information on transportation and hotels by clicking here.

Show Schedule And Tickets

The 2017 Detroit Auto Show gets underway on January 7th with The Gallery. Billed as an “ultra-luxury automotive event,” The Gallery is essentially a top-shelf party experience where fine food and drinks are served amidst a collection of high-end automobiles. Providing the eats this year will be none other than Wolfgang Puck, while the metal on display will include more the $7 million worth of Aston Martins, Bentleys, BMWs, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Porsches, Rolls Royces, and more. The Gallery will also host a variety of silent auctions, plus “unique luxury experiences and products from the worlds of culinary, fashion, sports, design, and hospitality.” Proceeds will be donated to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Find more information by clicking here. Tickets are $500 per person.

Following The Gallery will be the Automobili-D expo, which seeks to highlight the latest in automotive and mobility technology through a series of keynote speeches, presentations, and displays. Areas of focus will include autonomous driving, connected car tech, e-mobility, mobility services, and urban mobility. Automobili-D will commence January 8th and will run parallel to the auto show until January 12th. You can find more information by clicking here. If you want to experience the Automobili-D expo but will be unable to be there in person, the NAIAS will live stream the events as they happen. Check it out here.

On Monday, January 9th, the journalists will descend for the two-day Press Preview. This is when all the big reveals will take place, and TopSpeed will be on the scene bringing you the latest as it happens. You can check out the full press conference schedule here to get an idea what’ll see a sheet pull and when.

Date Hour Maker Debuts
9 January 7:30-7:55 am EST Chevrolet Traverse
9 January 8:00-8:25 am EST Audi Q8 E-tron
9 January 8:30-8:55 am EST Lexus LS
9 January 9:05-9:30 am EST Ford Shelby GT500, Mustang, F-150
9 January 9:45-10:10 am EST Mercedes-Benz GLA
9 January 10:15-10:40 am EST Volkswagen I.D., Tiguan Allspace
9 January 10:50-11:15 am EST BMW Group X2, 5 Series
9 January 11:30-11:55 am Nissan Qashqai
9 January 12:00-12:25 pm EST Honda Odyssey
9 January 12:30-12:55 pm EST Toyota Camry
9 January 1:00-1:25 pm EST Volvo
9 January 1:30-1:55 pm EST Kia GT
9 January 2:00-2:25 pm EST Infiniti QX50

Once the journalists have done their thing, there’ll be an Industry Preview between January 11th and 12th for all those interested in networking and professional development opportunities. Tickets cost $110 per person.

On Friday, January 13th, there will be a black-tie charity preview event, with live music, gourmet food, and a bar all on tap to complement the fresh metal. Tickets are $400 per person, with $390 of that total being tax deductible.

Finally, on Saturday, January 14th, the gates swing wide for the public. The show will be open between 9 AM and 10 PM, with early access for handicapped individuals at 8 AM. The gates will close at 7 PM on the last day of the show, January 22nd. Tickets cost $13 per adult, $7 for seniors aged 65 and older, and $7 for children aged between 7 and 12 years old. Children 6 and under are admitted free with a parent or guardian. Group rates and eTickets are available. You can also purchase tickets at the door.

You can find more information and purchase tickets online by clicking here.

Crossovers, SUVs, Trucks, And Minivans

Volkswagen Atlas R-Line

2017 Volkswagen Atlas R-Line High Resolution Exterior
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As a follow-up to the release of the large-and-in-charge Atlas SUV at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, VW is ushering in a new special edition called the R-Line. Slated as an upgrade for the SE and SEL trim levels, the Atlas R-Line gets a few bits and pieces intended to add to the model’s sporting panache, with new wheels, badging, and bumpers on the exterior, plus new driver’s controls in the cabin. Look for it after the Atlas hits dealerships in the Spring.

Read the full review here.

Ram 1500 Rebel Black Edition

2017 Ram 1500 Rebel Black Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Building on the success of the standard Ram 1500 Rebel, we have the new Rebel Black Edition. Making this one stand out are new wheels, a new brush guard, and a re-trimmed interior, all of which arrives with the appropriately dark-themed cues. Add to it the standard Rebel goodies, such as 33-inch off-roader tires, an air suspension system, and an optional Hemi V-8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, and this especially special edition should impress, whether you’re on the pavement, or off it.

Read the full review here.

GAC Trumpchi GS7

Everything else you buy is made in China – why not add your SUV to the list as well? That’s the logic behind this debut, which arrives in Detroit courtesy of Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group Company, or GAC for short. GAC is big in Asia, and now, it’s setting to launch stateside, starting with this – the mid-size GS7 SUV. This five-seater looks like it might have a shot, with fresh styling and a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Will U.S. buyers respond? Well, considering how much we love SUVs and crossovers, I think there’s definitely a good chance we will.

Read the full review here.

Honda Odyssey

Honda Teases 2018 Odyssey Ahead of Detroit Auto Show Debut Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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As more and more folks opt into SUVs for their people moving and cargo hauling needs, the minivan market continues to shrink, leaving only the core offerings. One example is the Honda Odyssey, a staple of the segment since the ‘90s, which now gets its a fifth-gen iteration for the 2018 model year. Updates include a sleeker exterior, LED lighting, a new dash packed with infotainment goodies, and the same 3.5-liter V-6 as the Honda Ridgeline. Output improves by 32 horsepower. A suite of standard driver assist technology is included as well.

Read the full review here.

Chevrolet Traverse

Chevy Says All-New Traverse Coming to Detroit Auto Show
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Now heading into its ninth year in production, the full-size Traverse crossover gets its second generation for the 2018 model year. Covered in sharper styling that takes inspiration from the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, the Traverse is built on GM’s recently released C1XX platform. Powerplant options include a new 2.0-liter turbo, as well as the old 3.6-liter V-6 from the outgoing model. LEDs are used for lighting, while inside is a 4G LTE hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, new displays, and lots of USB ports.

Read the full review here.

GMC Terrain

First introduced for the 2010 model year, the Terrain gets a complete rework for the 2018 model year. Underpinning the model is the D2XX platform, the same architecture used with the new Chevrolet Equinox. Inside is two-row seating, plus an available 8-inch infotainment screen and standard 4G LTE hotspot. The engine lineup offers three options, including a base model 1.5-liter turbo four-banger, a 2.0-liter turbo four-banger, and a top-trim 1.6-liter turbodiesel. Both FWD and AWD is available, while features like automatic braking, lane keep assist, and blind-spot monitor keep it safe.

Read the full review here.

Mercedes-Benz GLA

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA Exterior
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First rolling off the production line in 2013, the GLA gets a minor refresh heading into its next model year. Outside you’ll find a few tweaks here and there, such as larger intakes and aero changes, while inside is a new infotainment screen. Most of it is a carryover though, including the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder under the hood. Power is set at 208 ponies for the GLA250, and 375 ponies for the AMG variant. However, if you’re looking to add extra visual flair, the GLA is now offered with the AMG Performance Studio Package.

Read the full review here.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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The second-generation Tiguan is now headed to the U.S., and although it’s called the Allspace in Europe, it’s simply called the Tiguan on these shores. Updates include a wheelbase that’s now extended almost 11 inches over the old model, which provided enough room for VW to add a third row to the cabin. That opens up the possibility for up to eight passengers. Standard outfit includes a 2.0-liter TSI engine and FWD, while AWD is available. Additional engine packages are expected at an as of yet undisclosed date.

Read the full review here.

Ford F-150

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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One of America’s most beloved pickup trucks just got updated in Detroit. New for 2018, the F-150 gets a revamped exterior, both in front and in back, while the engine options now include a host of revisions, including a base model 3.3-liter V-6, a 2.7-liter V-6, and a 5.0-liter V-8. Also making its introduction is the Blue Oval’s new 10-speed automatic gearbox, plus the inclusion of new safety features like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

Read the full review here.

Nissan Rogue Sport

In a bid to offer us ‘Mericans yet another high-riding utility vehicle, Nissan is shipping over one of the Europeans’ favorite crossovers, the Qashqai, and branding it the Rogue Sport. Essentially a smaller Rogue, the Rogue Sport slots in above the Juke in the Nissan SUV pecking order. Making it go is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to an Xtronic CVT, while the smaller exterior dimensions will supposedly assist in how it handles. However, in the rear, there’ll still be nearly 23 cubic feet of cargo room.

Read the full review here.

Audi SQ5

Framed as a practical-but-fun compact crossover, the second-gen SQ5 dropped cover in Detroit with a selection of new and improved features, several of which were added in order to help it go faster and make it more engaging to drive. Included was a little extra power (only five ponies’ worth) and a decent helping of torque (23 pound-feet), both of which come courtesy of the new turbocharged 3.0-liter TFSI V-6 engine. Meanwhile, keeping it planted is a new air suspension system, which offers a slew of different driving modes to suit your tastes.

Read the full review here.

Sports Cars

Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe

Merc, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to add a hard top to the newly debuted AMG GT C Roadster, and the result is this fine example of German engineering you see here. It’s solid slab speed, with gorgeous cab-back proportions, a chiseled interior layout, and lots of dirty bark from the exhaust. Making that noise is 550 horsepower from a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, which is enough muscle to propel this thing to 60 mph in around three and a half seconds. Top speed is just a light breeze away from 200 mph.

Read the full review here.

Sedans, Hatchbacks, And Luxury Cars

BMW 6 Series Convertible

Currently enjoying its third generation, the <6 Series> is definitely overdue for a fourth-gen changeover. However, before that happens, the Bavarians are adding a few new goodies to the current model to keep the powerful luxury GT car feeling fresh. Showcasing the new extras in Detroit was this 6 Series Convertible, finished in a stunning shade of Sonic Speed Blue. The 2018 6 Series will also be offered with the M Sport Package, which includes aggressive 20-inch wheels and optional carbon fiber trim.

Read the full review here.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes gave us official details back in December, so this one shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Now enjoying its fifth generation, the Mercedes E-Class gets this handsome-looking two-door coupe iteration, taking cues from the existing C-Class and S-Class, while adding an eye-catching silhouette. Inside is more or less the same gear as the four-door iteration, including a 12.3-inch display and oodles of high-end materials. Behind the three-pointed badge is a 3.0-liter V-6, which produces 329 horsepower and is connected to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. This new model is also longer than the outgoing model.

Read the full review here.

Subaru WRX

2018 Subaru WRX High Resolution Exterior
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Coming off a generational change a few years ago, the WRX is back with a new refresh to keep buyers returning for more of that rally-bred goodness. Sporting four-doors, AWD, and a turbo flat-four engine, all the basics are as they should be. To this tried-and-true recipe, the 2018 model adds a few alterations to the front end, including Steering Responsive headlights, plus there’s a quieter cabin outfitted with a larger touchscreen. Under the hood scoop is the same 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque as last year’s model, but revised steering helps with handling.

Read the full review here.

Subaru WRX STI

2018 Subaru WRX STI Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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No Subaru lineup would be complete without the WRX’s bigger, protein powder chugging brother – the STI. This range-topping badass gets more upgrades than the regular WRX, with an update for the DCCD AWD system, better performing brakes, and for the first time ever, 19-inch wheels. Inside are optional Recaro bucket seats. Making it go is the same 2.5-liter turbo flat-four engine, producing 305 horsepower at peak performance.

Read the full review here.

Audi A5 Convertible

First revealed back in November of last year, the new A5 cabriolet appeared in Detroit as one of the last additions to the next-gen A5 lineup. Equipped with characteristically solid exterior styling, the Audi gets minor updates like a flatter Singleframe grille in the nose, and a flatter rear window in back. LED lighting heads the list of updates, plus the interior is now outfitted with microphones in the seatbelts as standard. Making it go is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, all of which hits the ground through standard quattro AWD.

Read the full review here.

Audi S5 Convertible

Joining the updated A5 is the hotter, faster variant, a.k.a., the S5, a.k.a., the one you should care about. The S5 is basically the same car as the A5, but it does differ in one very important way. Under the hood is a tuned 3.0-liter V-6, which is turbocharged to produce 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, blessing this soft-top with a 0-to-60 mph time of roughly 5 seconds flat. The suspension was also updated, with a new five-link set-up in back replace the outgoing trapezoidal-link.

Read the full review here.

Kia Stinger

2018 Kia Stinger Exterior Spyshots
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Taking cues from the Kia GT Concept that debuted in 2011, the South Korean brand is bringing the fight to the Germans with this new hot-to-trot sports sedan. It’s called the Stinger (thank you Kia for the non-serial-number name!), and underneath that head-turning exterior you’ll find a 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant laying down 365 horsepower. Routed through the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox, the Stinger has enough punch to hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Get it with either RWD or AWD. Sounds like a winning combo to me.

Read the full review here.

Lexus LS

2018 Lexus LS 500
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Say hello to Lexus’ next-generation full-size flagship luxury sedan. As the torchbearer for the Japanese brand’s premium top-shelf efforts, the new LS gets reshaped styling on the outside, while the interior is loaded with the best materials and most advanced technology out there. More importantly, the old V-8 was swapped out in favor of a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6, upping output by 29 horsepower and 75 pound-feet of torque, while simultaneously cutting back on fuel consumption. Throw in next-gen chassis control and a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, and you’re looking a real bruiser of a four-door.

Read the full review here.

Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry Exterior Spyshots
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It’s almost impossible not to see this compact four-door on the road. Toyota sells a lot of ‘em, and the nameplate is frequently found heading the list of top-selling passenger cars in North America. But that popularity isn’t set in stone, which means it needs a generational changeover to stay relevant. Outside, the ever-popular sedan gets a striking new style, plus there’s an upgraded dash with revamped screens and controls for the inside. The engines are also new, and include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 3.5-liter V-6, and a hybrid powerplant with an electrified 2.5-liter ICE and CVT. Look for it in dealers this summer… and pretty much everywhere else after that.

Read the full review here.

BMW 5 Series

2017 BMW 5 Series High Resolution Exterior
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BMW already revealed the new 5 Series at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, but it’s bringing it to Detroit to reveal a whole host of updated powertrains. These include the 456-horsepower M550i xDrive, as well as the uber-efficient 530e plug-in hybrid. The new engine options coincide with other updates, such as a lighter chassis, more spacious interior, and the latest driver assist tech.

Read the full review here.

North American Debuts

Volvo V90

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior
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First dropping cover at the Geneva Motor Show last year, the V90 wagon arrives in Detroit to strut its stuff in America. As the Swedish brand’s flagship wagon offering, the V90 gets the same stylish exterior curves as its four-door sedan sibling, the S90, plus that characteristically wagon-esque extended roofline and large rear hatch in back. Inside is more S90 goodness, with luxurious touches like wood trim and other high-end materials. Engine options include a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and FWD, plus a twin-charged 2.0-liter with 302 horsepower and AWD. High-tech safety options are also on the table.

Read the full review here.

Concept Cars

Rinspeed Oasis

2017 Rinspeed Oasis Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Rinspeed has a reputation for producing some rather… let’s say eccentric concept vehicles, and this latest offering adds to that standing. At its core, the Oasis is a self-driving automobile, but unlike the plethora of autonomous vehicles we’ve seen in recent months, this particular offering is unique. For starters, the whole thing is more like a mobile room than a car, with lots of space to stretch out and be entertained while your robotic chauffeur maneuvers you to your destination. There’s even a little garden right behind the windshield. Then there’s the advanced connectivity features, plus the high-spec all-electric powertrain, and well… you get the idea.

Read the full review here.

Audi Q8

2017 Audi Q8 E-tron Concept Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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With all the other crossovers showing in Detroit, it couldn’t hurt to throw in one more, right? That’s Audi’s thinking, anyway, as the Four Rings arrived in Michigan with this slick-looking concept. As a preview for the brand’s forthcoming hybrid flagship SUV, the Q8 boasts evolved Audi styling, a simple but luxurious cabin, and upwards of 442 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, not to mention an estimated fuel economy of over 100 MPGe.

Read the full review here.

Infiniti QX50

2017 Infiniti QX50 Concept Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Not to be left behind, Infiniti is also jumping on the concept SUV bandwagon, bringing along an update to theQX Sport Inspiration first introduced last year. Outside is handsome styling with sharp, edgy angles and plenty of concept gloss, while the interior is decked out in quilted leather. However, the most interesting aspect is under the hood, where Infiniti planted its new variable compression turbo engine, which is bound for a production model sometime in the near future.

Read the full review here.


2016 BMW X2 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Did someone say SUV? BMW dropped the X2 Concept in Paris this past October, but will bring it to Detroit to once again show it off for a North American audience. Destined to bridge the gap between the X1 and X3, the X2 looks like a very attractive piece of design on the outside – hopefully it’ll translate into the production model as well. We’re thinking a 2.0-liter four-cylinder for motivation.

Read the full review here.

Volkswagen I.D. Van

2017 Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Volkswagen cares about EVs, and the environment – you can be sure of that. To prove it, the German automaker brought this new all-electric minivan concept to Detroit. Dubbed the I.D., it pays homage to VW’s van-filled past, while simultaneously looking to the future with 270 miles per charge and autonomous technology. Best yet – this thing actually previews a forthcoming production model.

Read the full review here.

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