Get Excited For Detroit 2016: Sports Cars

The sports cars came in two-by-two, hurrah! Hurrah!

The Detroit Auto Show has historically been a pretty generous one when it comes to performance car reveals. Even with the Geneva Motor Show opening its doors a couple of months later, there always seems to be a load of exotic metal making world debuts in the convention halls of the Cobo Center. 2015 in particular was an especially bold year for sporty models: we had the production-ready Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and Acura NSX to ogle at along with the Mini John Cooper Works, Lexus GS-F and the surprise show star: the 2017 Ford GT.

In comparison, 2016 seems quite limited. Though a few seriously quick cars will be making world debuts at Detroit in January (more on them in a future preview piece), we only have two ‘regular’ sports car reveals confirmed so far. And calling them ‘reveals’ is really stretching the definition of that word to the limit, as we’ve known about them for quite some time now. Still, it gives us a good enough reason to revisit this pair of perky sports cars, with arguably the most highly anticipated one being the new BMW M2. The unofficial successor to the blindingly brilliant yet clunkily named 1 Series M Coupe, the BMW M2 has all the initial makings of a truly great sports car.

365 turbocharged horsepower from a 3.0-liter straight six, a manual gearbox as standard, chassis bits borrowed from the beefier M3, a ‘Smokey Burnout’ mode... what’s not to like?

As awesome as the BMW M2 is, though, we can’t dedicate an entire article to it. We’ve already done that on many occasions and it’s also not the only German sports car set for a Detroit debut – Mercedes-Benz will be showing off the SLC there for the very first time, too. It’s not an entirely new car (most of the components can be traced back to the current SLK), but the Mercedes-Benz SLC does bring a few noteworthy additions to the highly popular folding hard-top roadster. A new, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is being added to the range (with more than enough torque to compensate for the measly 154 hp output), as is an optional nine-speed automatic gearbox and the appropriately sporty Dynamic Handling Package.

Granted, such pace isn’t enough to keep up with the mildly brawnier Beemer, but the SLC AMG does sit at the top of the pretty sparse premium drop-top sports car market – the only other folding hardtop sports car it competes against is the ageing BMW Z4.

In attention grabbing terms, the BMW M2 has the Detroit Auto Show licked so far. But don’t be surprised to see loads of SLCs on the roads by 2016’s end.

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