The year will bring the first electric superchargers, which are powered by 48-volt electric systems. Audi plans to debut the performance-boosting device in several of its SUVs, while Mercedes-Benz plans to launch 48-volt systems to power hybrid models.
Expect GM and Honda to reveal more of their plans for fuel cell vehicles in 2017.
The GM-Honda fuel cell partnership will have the next-generation fuel cell powertrain ready for production in the 2020 model year with costs that rival an internal combustion engine.
Doubtless, 2017 will be a record year for sales of hydrogen-powered fuel cell-powered vehicles. California's network of 30 hydrogen fuel filling stations is up and running, and three automakers -- Hyundai, Toyota and Honda -- all have vehicles for sale or lease.
Chevrolet's effort to woo VW's abandoned diesel buyers gets under way in the first quarter when the all new 1.6-liter "whisper diesel" becomes optional in the Cruze compact sedan and hatchback. A passenger car with a diesel offering already bucks one trend. The Cruze's availability of a six-speed manual gearbox with that engine bucks another. That same 1.6-liter diesel is also scheduled for the redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Equinox that goes on sale in the summer.