2016 NAIAS Highlights: The 4-Door Turn

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The four-door sedan always become a consideration when someone wants to buy a new car. In USA, sedan dominates top 10 best-selling car (even though the number one, two, and three are the full-size trucks). But I expect the sedan segment will keep growing up this year. And at 2016 NAIAS, some carmakers introduced its latest line-up and concept car for sedan segment.

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Honda’s luxury brand, Acura, revealed its latest concept car named Precision. Like many other concept cars, Acura Precision Concept previews a new design direction for the brand in the near future. The exterior design is dramatic and sharp featuring sculpted lines in some exterior sides. At the front, Acura’s designers decide to replace the old grille that has got so many critics from journalists with a hexagonal grille which features a big Acura logo in the center. Acura keeps Jewel Constellation LED headlights that makes the concept car looked luxury.

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From the side, now I realize that Precision is a 4-door coupe like Mercedes CLS-Class. Meanwhile at the rear, Acura presents an elegant and simple design features C-shaped LED taillights. Step inside and the Acura’s digital human-machine interface (HMI) will scan you, selecting personalized features that include the performance settings, maps, audio and other functions. This is also where the ultra-wide, thin and curved center display is located, along with the head-up display, floating center meter, race-inspired steering wheel and the IDS (Integrated Dynamics System) controls.

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The competition in the mid-size sedan segment is so hard. Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are still dominate this segment. The Ford Fusion is likely can’t beat the Japanese. But Ford never give up. At this year’s NAIAS, the American carmaker revealed the refreshment of Fusion to the public. It’s just a facelift, so there’s no big improvements.

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The changes at the exterior, such as, redesigned headlights which now features LED Daytime Running Lights, the grille now has honeycomb motive, and the fog lights that now rectangle. And for the rear, the 2017 Fusion now looked more elegant and luxurious thanks to redesigned LED taillights and a chromed-line that flows from right to the left. Meanwhile, the rear spoiler added a sporty look to the mid-size sedan. Under the hood, Ford offers a gasoline engine EcoBoost 2.0 liter delivers 240 hp, a diesel powertrain Duratorq 2.0 liter turbo diesel produces 210 hp, and for the top-range Ford is ready to offer V6 2.7 Liter EcoBoost producing 325 hp. 2017 Ford Fusion will go on sale in the summer with starting price $22,995 and for Sport trim is priced $34,350.

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The flagship Lincoln Continental unveiled at 2016 Detroit Auto Show. It’s based-on the concept version that made its debut at 2015 New York Auto Show. Interestingly, Lincoln decides to stick to the concept version and resulting the production-spec has a similar design. But it doesn’t look like a Jaguar sedan or even a Bentley Continental anymore which is a good thing. Front, Lincoln’s designers added some bold lines in the air dam and redesigned the front bumper. Chrome grille, the LED headlights, and L-shaped DRLs are unchanged.

From side, there’s nothing change. The Ford’s luxury brand keeps the sleek line design, ‘Continental’ lettering in A-pillar, and even E-Latch unique door handles (you just touch it when open the door). And at the rear, the LED taillights now slightly bigger, Lincoln modified the rear bumper, and now there are dual-exhaust instead of quad-exhaust like the concept version. In the interior, Continental brings 30-way adjustable front seats, reclining, massaging and climate-controlled rear seats, a Revel audio system, active noise cancellation, and the second generation of 360 Camera that will help driver in parking-business.

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Under the hood, there’s a V6 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged producing 400 hp. The AWD full-size sedan will go on sale in the late summer 2016.

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Dubbed as ‘The most intelligent luxury sedan’, 2017 Mercedes E-Class finally breaks cover at 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Built on MRA platform, unfortunately the latest executive sedan comes up with similar exterior design latest C-Class and S-Class. Something that I didn’t expect for this car. Compare to its previous model, the latest model has 66 mm longer wheelbase (2,939 mm), and 43 mm longer (4,922 mm).

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The E-Class features steel-spring suspension, the E-Class will offer two DIRECT CONTROL suspension systems with selective damping (Sport or Comfort) and the AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension. Meanwhile in the interior, there are 12.3-inch display screen in the center cockpit, Touch Control which means touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel, and LED ambient lightning which has 64 color options.

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The new technologies that is put to the latest A6 and 5-Series rival are Remote Parking Pilot that enables you move in and out the car from garage or parking space remotely using a smartphone app. And then there’s a Car-to-X communication system that enables mobile phone-supported exchange of information with other vehicles further ahead on the road. The last technology that you have to know is Drive Pilot system (it’s an optional). It’s a semi-autonomous driving system that will follow traffic up to 210 km/h. The steering assist is now stronger and the semi-autonomous features will work on roads with unclear lane markings up to 128 km/h. If you hold down your turn-signal stalk for two seconds, it’ll also change lanes for you.

How about the engine? In Europe, there will be gasoline E200 4-cylinder 2.0 liter turbo producing 181 hp. For the diesels, there are E220d 2.0 liter 4-cylinder 192 hp, E350d 3.0 liter 6-cylinder 255 hp. And Mercedes offers plug-in hybrid E350e with total output 275 hp. But for Canada and US market, there is a single engine that will be offered, gasoline-powered E300 2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbocharged producing 241 hp. All the engine will be mated to 9G-TRONIC, 9-speed automatic transmission. 2017 Mercedes E-Class will go on sale in the summer 2016.

Text: Andhika Pradityo

Photos: Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, NAIAS

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