This year’s Detroit Auto Show offered plenty of torque, chrome, and horsepower. This is in spite of the lack of some big name appearances from Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Jaguar, and BMW. When it's winter time in Michigan, then it’s time for the Detroit Auto Show. Sadly, this spectacle is about to come to an end as the event moves from January to June. The current era is on its death bed because the show has been facing stiff competition from the splashy Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. Let's face it; we'd all rather be in Vegas in January than Michigan. So what does this mean? Well, it means that NAIAS is rebranding into a festival that will be held in the summer.
We're a little sad to leave behind the icy mid-January streets behind. They normally tell a wonderful tale about the American auto industry, and where it's going. The best thing about this year’s event is that the manufacturers refused to go gently; we saw some of the most mouth-watering sports cars like Ford's Mustang Shelby GT500 and Toyota's new Supra. WWE’s Undertaker is the master of dramatic entrances, but I bet he would have been proud to see how the Mustang made its entry. We saw something being lowered from the ceiling, and alas, there it was… the Shelby GT500 Mustang. The event also provided a platform for several debuts from Ford, Ram, and Cadillac. Below are some of the highlights of this year’s magnificent event.
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The 2020 Toyota Supra is back with a vengeance after it disappeared for 20 years. This vehicle dominated the 1980s and 1990s with its expressive styling, gobs of power and perfect handling. This two-seater sports car has Japanese and German parents; Toyota has borrowed BMW’s engines, transmissions, and chassis. The juice comes from BMW's B58 300 hp turbocharged inline-six engine that makes it stronger than an elephant; it is rumored that Toyota will also offer a four-cylinder on a later date. It only needs less than five seconds to do zero-to-60-mph thanks to its eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Offered only as a coupe, this vehicle will be priced from $49,990. On paper, the new Toyota Supra looks like a worthy competitor of rivals like the Porsche Cayman and Audi TT. The Supra’s exterior is based on the FT-1 Concept; it features a sleek roofline, Double-Bubble Roof, numerous color options, an aggressive front end, a sporty diffuser, muscular profile and lots of fake vents. The new Supra will be available for purchase in the summer.
Petrolheads in the U.S. went bananas when the WRX made its debut in the early 2000s. This performance vehicle was warmly received as it ended a hiatus of 10 years in the recent Detroit Auto Show. Subaru fans will notice that it has overarching styling cues just like the current STI. It has a three-box profile, distinctive 19-inch BBS wheels, double-decker infotainment screens, numerous badges throughout the cabin, unchanged trunk space and rear seat, rubber-studded aluminum pedals and new silver upholstery. The STI S209 is inspired by a Nürburgring racer. In general, the Subaru WRX STI S209 can be described as a rally-bred, turbocharged vehicle that offers the good life.
This vehicle will have a supercharged V-8 engine for the first time in six generations! Its tech features are heavily influenced by the Mustang GT4 and the GT. Although it doesn’t come with a manual gearbox and the final specs are yet to be released, the manufacturer has promised that it will outmuscle the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the aggressive Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The 700 + horsepower engine means that the new GT500 is the most powerful Ford that can be driven in the streets.
Besides the massive Escalade, the XT6 is Cadillac’s first three-row SUV. It lessens the gap between the Escalade and the XT5. It can be described as a fancier rebodied edition of the GMC Acadia Denali; this is because it borrows the Chevrolet Traverse platform. This SUV will be competing in a saturated segment that boasts of big boys like class leader Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, the popular Acura MDX, Audi Q7, the new Lincoln Aviator and the BMW X5.
The Mahindra Marazzo was another surprise package that managed to grab the headlines. This multi-purpose vehicle will not be sold in the U.S., but it will be available in India. Even with its inaccessibility, we were still impressed by this vehicle. It comes with a body-on-frame construction that is complemented by a front-wheel-drive setup and a transversely-mounted engine. This makes the MPV more spacious and abuse-friendly. Although it is a safe car, its 121 hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel engine isn’t as fast as many Americans would love it to be. All in all, it offers enough goodies to make it a good car.
This one can simply be described as a head-turner. It looks like an aircraft that can only be driven by aliens. Yes, our first impression was that it belongs in a Sci-Fi movie. This Chinese concept was designed in the U.S. and is a futuristic crossover/van concept that comes with a purely electric powertrain. We think that it will use a powertrain that is similar to last year’s Enverge concept, meaning that a single charge will deliver up to 370 miles. The manufacturer has promised to increase its presence in the U.S. within the next ten years.
The Ram Power Wagon is an experienced veteran that has been around for more than seven decades, it is known for being a gigantic, badass, burly pick-up truck that is always ready for off-road adventure. When compared to its predecessors, the 2019 version is more tech-heavy and luxury-laden; however, it still maintains its original off-road strengths. Its stylistic cues are inspired by the Ram 1500. It has a taller nose, bigger grille, reshaped LED taillights, 17-Inch aluminum wheels, and a new fascia.
This vehicle can bring down the Great Wall of China with only its heavy roar. These guys always bring over-the-top power and this year was no different, the new vehicle boasts of having the world’s first OEM Crate engine that delivers a shocking 1,000 horsepower. Before you start enjoying this vehicle, you will have to buy some parts separately, like power control module, the wiring harness and alternator. It uses a 7.0-liter V8 engine that offers 15 pounds of boost thanks to its 3.0-liter supercharger. This is the perfect vehicle for you if you’re looking for a fast and incredibly loud companion. This thing has a Hellephant engine that will speed off and stop with the aid of its 6-piston Bremo bakes. The pricing is yet to be revealed.
This is likely to be Volkswagen’s last Passat. It is a legendary vehicle that will go down in history as one of the most successful and longest-running sedans. The new Volkswagen Passat will age gracefully because it has been restyled; it looks more sporty and aggressive. It comes with a redesigned front grille as well as standard taillights and LED headlights. Unfortunately, it only offers one powertrain with a 174 hp four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine that delivers 207 pound-feet of torque. It has a very welcoming cabin that boasts of numerous feel-good factors and interior options, in fact, the 2020 update offers a new cockpit, more tech features, and an overall premium feel. All in all, it is a wonderful package, but we would prefer something like a crossover.
The XT6 isn’t the only SUV that made a debut at this year’s Detroit Auto Show because the Ford Explorer was also present. The Explorer stole the show with its unpredictable style; it has more seats, more power, better looks and boasts of having a rear-wheel-drive platform. On the other hand, the Cadillac came with a predictable style and platform, this might not be a bad thing, but we knew that the manufacturer would take this route. The Explorer is the more popular vehicle because it brands itself as a superior, cheaper and more fun alternative.
Kia wants to be a major competitor in the U.S. market, and that’s why they have decided to capitalize on the consumers’ obsession with SUVs. Kia claims that this eight-seater is the largest vehicle it has ever created. This SUV is as rugged as they come, it is driven by a 3.8-liter V6 engine that churns out 291 horsepower, and in addition to this, it tows up to 2267kg. The Kia Telluride is the ultimate vehicle for the U.S. market because it has been designed and produced chiefly for the US market. Kia has yet to announce the prices.
Nissan has just launched an Infiniti concept which will go down in history as the company’s first electric vehicle. This mid-sized SUV will eventually go into production; it launches a new platform and design language. It focuses on improving electric range, and that’s why it is styled to offer optimized aerodynamics. We’re glad that more and more manufacturers are moving towards an electric future.