Exciting SUV Debuts Planned for 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Published December 28, 2016 by Elizabeth Jeneault

It’s one of the largest annual auto shows in North America and it helps kick off the new year in a big way. The North American International Auto Show will be held in Detroit, Michigan from Jan. 8 through Jan. 22. Detroit has hosted an auto show for over a century, although its focus was strictly regional for the first several decades. In 1987, a group of auto dealers set out to make the event international in scope. That’s exactly what it has become. Last year’s event, for example, featured 61 vehicle introductions, many of which were worldwide debuts. More than 5,000 journalists from 60 different countries attend each year. This year’s event will feature a number of exciting SUV debuts. Let’s take a look at some of the announced and rumored unveilings for the 2017 show.

Audi Q8 Concept SUV

Audi recently released teaser images of its Q8 SUV concept which will debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Reports suggest the vehicle will sit above the company’s current flagship SUV, the Q7. Unfortunately, the teaser photos don’t give us too much look at. What they do reveal, however, is the vehicle’s coupe styling. While some have been known to criticize that type of styling on an SUV because it can result in a less spacious vehicle, Audi says the Q8 does not lack space.

“With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige,” said Marc Lichte, head of design for Audi. “What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.”

The vehicle is expected to compete with the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne. Reports suggest a production version of the concept vehicle will hit the market sometime in 2018.

We’ll learn more about the exciting Q8 concept during the NAIAS Audi press conference on Jan. 9.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse

General Motor’s Chevrolet brand will reveal a redesigned version of its Traverse SUV on Jan. 9.  It’s the first time the vehicle has received a major overhaul since it was introduced in 2009. The all-new Traverse will be able to seat up to eight passengers and the company says it’s expected to offer the most third-row legroom and cargo space in the mid-size SUV segment. It will have a bolder and more refined design, including available exclusive D-Optic headlights that the company says provide a natural daylight effect with a seamless light quality. The new Traverse will also offer new technologies. It’s expected to weigh less as part of an effort to improve fuel economy. The next-generation Traverse will also come with all-new trim levels.

The 2018 Traverse will be Chevrolet’s latest SUV offering joining the 2017 Bolt EV and Trax, the 2018 Equinox that was revealed in September, and the full-size Tahoe and Suburban.

“Nobody in the industry offers a broader, fresher lineup of SUVs and crossovers than Chevrolet,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and brand chief of Global Chevrolet.

While Chevrolet says it will complete the transformation of its crossover and SUV lineup with the introduction of the next-generation Traverse, reports suggest there are plans to add another vehicle to the range. Chevy is rumored to slot a new crossover between the compact Equinox and the mid-size Traverse, possibly in 2018.

The next-generation Traverse will debut Jan. 9.

2018 GMC Terrain

Though details are sparse, reports suggest General Motors will also introduce a redesigned GMC Terrain at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. MLive.com, which is based in Michigan, reports the 2018 Terrain will debut a 6 p.m. on Jan. 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

"GMC invites you to join us Sunday, January 8, 2017 as we boldly introduce the next chapter of brand design through the eyes of a new product," MLive.com reports an e-mail sent about the event reads. "This evening will celebrate the GMC brand and highlight the precisely-crafted details that will make this new vehicle stand-out in the marketplace."

While we don’t have many details, photos of a camouflaged next-generation Terrain popped up on the internet in May of 2016. Those photos showed a Terrain with a more steeply raked windshield and lower roofline. It will be exciting to see what the 2018 Terrain looks like once the wraps are taken off.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

MotorAuthority.com reports Volkswagen will present a three-row, seven-seat version of its second-generation Tiguan SUV at the annual auto show. The site states the vehicle will be called the Tiguan Allspace. The rumored presentation of the lengthened version of the Tiguan comes in the wake of VW beginning production on its all-new new, Atlas SUV. It’s being produced at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The full-size Atlas, which is larger than the current Tiguan and Touareg, is VW’s way of trying to make its mark in the SUV segment.

VW could certainly use all the help it could get in North America. Sales have significantly dropped in the wake of its crushing diesel emissions scandal. Because Americans love SUVs, it makes sense for VW to be looking to the SUV market as a way to rise from the ashes.

Our Take

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is definitely something to pay attention to. It helps set the tone for the year. And while there seems to be plenty of exciting SUV unveilings to look forward to, there are also several other things to watch out for. Kia, for example, plans to unveil its fastest-accelerating vehicle to date at the auto show. The company says the vehicle is able to go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 5.1 seconds. Toyota will also introduce its completely redesigned 2018 Camry at the auto show. For coverage of the event, make sure to return to SUVs.com.

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