2016 Detroit auto show:: what to expect

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As we march into a new year, talk has already turned to the first major motor show on the calendar: the 2016 Detroit auto show, officially known as the North American International Auto Show.

Opened in 1899, the Detroit auto show lays claim to being the second oldest event of its kind, with only the one year-older Paris motor show outdoing it. (The New York auto show followed in 1900.)

In 2016, organisers for the Detroit auto show expect around 800,000 visitors, including some 5000 members of the global press.

The show also claims it will host more global reveals than any other auto show in North America, pre-emptively sticking it to the New York (March) and Los Angeles (November) events.

In all, more than 40 worldwide and North American debuts are scheduled for the Detroit event.

Interestingly, a number of brands have revealed they won’t be in attendance: Tesla, Mini, Jaguar and Land Rover.

In each case, the brands have said that the show’s timing does not line up with any planned unveilings. Tesla’s absence is nothing unusual, though, with the electric vehicle company absent from more than a few major shows each year. Its interest in the Detroit show would be diminished further by laws that require auto sales in Michigan to be carried out through franchised dealerships. Tesla sells direct to the public.

Event organisers aren’t fazed by the missing marques, however, with NAIAS executive director Rod Alberts telling the Detroit Free Press this week that the show has “way more demand than we have space. It’ll be used”.

What can we expect to see at the show? See our current list below, and stay tuned for further updates as we near the event’s January 11 opening day.

BMW M2 – new baby M hero to make its North American debut

Chevrolet Bolt – Australian-designed EV to make production appearance, although it will debut earlier at CES

Fisker Force 1 – former Aston Martin design to unveil latest creation

Infiniti Q50 – upgraded with powerful new turbo engine, will debut in Detroit

Infiniti Q60 – recently spied BMW 4 Series rival bound for Detroit debut

Kia Niro – although not confirmed, new small SUV could appear in Detroit

Lexus LC – reports suggest production version of LF-LC concept will debut in Detroit

Maserati Levante – a Detroit debut for new premium SUV has been reported

Mercedes-Benz E-Class – we’ve seen much already, but its official unveiling will occur next month

Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet – motor show premiere for already revealed super cab

Mercedes-Benz SLC – facelifted SLC revealed this week will make premiere in Detroit

Toyota C-HR – production version of Toyota’s compact SUV could appear in Detroit, but might go to Geneva instead

Volvo S90 – all-new premium sedan to make motor show premiere in Detroit