Family-toting minivans and SUVs will share the limelight with a new luxury sedan and svelte sports car from Germany as the annual North American International Auto Show opens next week in Detroit.
"Mainstream brands are expected to focus on people-moving products, while premium luxury brands will see more sedan introductions with a healthy dose of performance," said senior analyst Stephanie Brinley of IHS Automotive.
The most important premium sedan is the redesigned Mercedes-Benz E-Class. And the dose of performance comes with the Porsche 911 Turbo (above), whose zero-to-60 mph time has been clocked in breathtaking 2.8 seconds.
Chrysler, which invented the minivan, will be showing the latest redesigned version of its Town & Country. Buick will introduce its new Envision SUV, made in China and planned as an import into the U.S. market.
That new Mercedes embodies one of the major automotive trends of our time: It's equipped with a load of self-driving technology. The new E-class is the first standard production model to be licensed in Nevada for autonomous driving tests, Mercedes says.
The all-electric Chevrolet Bolt illustrates another major trend. Pressure from more stringent federal and state rules on pollution and gas mileage are pushing the market toward more electric vehicles. A McKinsey & Co. report released this week projected that under some circumstances, half of new cars sold in 2030 could be electrified.
Read on for a closer look at these five trend-setting vehicles.