The 2019 Detroit Auto Show will certainly be one for the books. It's the last time Detroit will host its North American International Auto Show in January; starting next year, the event moves to June. And while this year's show will be smaller than previous years in terms of automaker presence, those who are coming are certainly bringing the heat.
From things like the 2020 Explorer SUV, to electrified concepts, to the OMG-it's-finally-here Toyota Supra, we'll have a lot to talk about in Detroit next week. In addition, we'll be announcing our 2019 Shift Awards, highlighting our editors' picks for vehicle, disruptor, safety tech, cabin tech and driveline tech of the year. Here's a look at what to expect.
Cadillac will bring the new XT6 crossover to the Detroit Auto Show. Slotting between the five-passenger XT5 and full-size, body-on-frame Escalade, the XT6 will offer three rows of seats, allowing Cadillac to finally compete with vehicles like the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60 and Lexus RX L.
We brought you the lowdown on the 2020 Explorer earlier this week -- it's a huge improvement over the model it replaces, despite looking mostly the same. Ford moved the Explorer over to the rear-wheel-drive platform that will also underpin the upcoming Lincoln Aviator, stretching the SUV's wheelbase by 6.3 inches in the process. That means the Explorer will be a lot more spacious than before.
At launch, a 2.3-liter turbocharged I4 engine will be standard, with a 365-horsepower, 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 available as an option. All models come standard with an 8-inch, Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, though a portrait-oriented, 10.1-inch screen will also be available.
In addition to the regular 2020 Explorer, Ford will also show the Police Interceptor variant, as well as the Explorer Hybrid and high-performance Explorer ST.
Of course, that's not all. Ford will show the Shelby GT500 at the Detroit Auto Show -- the most powerful version of the current Mustang range. Rumor has it the GT500 will offer around 700 horsepower. Hot diggity damn.
Chinese automaker GAC is no stranger to the Detroit Auto Show, having had a presence there on and off since 2013. This year, the company is back, and it's showing the new Entranze concept, something the company calls "a hyper-modern family vehicle" with the groundwork for autonomous driving.
GAC will also bring its GM6 minivan and GS5 SUV, neither of which have been shown in the US. And while the company does not yet sell cars in the US, it's preparing to open a new research and development center outside of Detroit, to join its other two US-based facilities in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.
We can't officially confirm what Hyundai has in the works for the Detroit Auto Show, but we've been told to expect some news related to the company's N performance division. Perhaps Hyundai will show an N Line model -- the name that'll be assigned to sporty cars that don't get the full-on N treatment (think BMW M Sport vs. BMW M). In any case, stay tuned for Hyundai's full announcement in just a couple of days.
Infiniti's Detroit debut is the QX Inspiration, an EV crossover concept that the company says previews the design language for its future electrified offerings. Infiniti will offer electrification options across its entire portfolio beginning in 2021.
The QX Inspiration is more of a high-riding hatchback than actual crossover, and it's not necessarily meant to signal an actual production car. We don't have any details on what sort of EV powertrain lies underneath, but we're hoping to learn all that and more at the Detroit show next week.
Even though we first saw the production-spec Kia Telluride at New York Fashion Week in September, we still don't know too much about the brand's full-size SUV. That'll change at the Detroit show, where Kia is planning to reveal all the details about its new big boy.
Since the Telluride shares its architecture with the Hyundai Palisade, we can probably expect a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 underhood, producing something like 290 horsepower. The Telluride will face some fierce competition when it hits the market, from the likes of the 2020 Ford Explorer, to segment staples like the Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander.
Though Lexus is calling its LC Convertible a concept, we're pretty sure this one will enter production. When the company revealed its new droptop earlier this week, it said, "Open top concept suggests future direction of LC flagship," which is a pretty serious nod to production intent.
No official details have been confirmed, but we'd expect the production LC Convertible to use the same powertrains as the coupe. That means a 5.0-liter V8 with 471 horsepower, as well as a hybrid option.
Lexus will also show the refreshed RC F coupe in Detroit, complete with a new Track Edition package.
Lincoln doesn't have an official press conference on the Detroit Auto Show schedule, but that doesn't mean there won't be something new on display. Look for Ford's luxury brand to show the Continental Coach Door Edition that debuted in December.
The Coach Door Edition is a stretched version of the Continental sedan, with a large pair of suicide doors -- reminiscent of the 1961 Continental. Lincoln is only planning to build 80 of these cars initially, priced above $100,000.
Nissan is planning to show some sort of EV concept. It's unclear if the Nissan debut will preview a brand-new model, or just sort of showcase a future styling or powertrain direction. Either way, a new concept car debut is always something to look forward to. Check out Nissan's brief teaser video for more.
Also, if you missed its debut at CES 2019, Nissan will show the new, long-range Leaf E+. Thanks to its larger, more powerful battery, Nissan says the E+ can travel up to 226 miles on a single charge -- a nice increase over the 150-mile range of the current Leaf.
Following the successful launch of the 1500 half-ton pickup in 2018, Ram will show the new Heavy Duty variants at the Detroit Auto Show. Expect to see 2500 and 3500 HD versions take the stage, with single- and dual-rear-wheel setups, and according to the teaser image above, some huge headlights. Big engines -- both gas and diesel -- will likely be found underhood, with immense power and towing capacity. There'll be a wealth of luxury and tech inside the trucks, too, including all the goodies that debuted on the 2019 Ram 1500.
The Subaru WRX STI will spawn an S209 special-edition model in Detroit, with bulgy fender flares, a huge wing and lots of performance upgrades. We don't have any details just yet, but expect an upgraded suspension, as well as tweaked aerodynamics and larger brakes.
The biggest question we still have is, what's under the hood? The older, not-for-US S208 special edition was powered by a 2.0-liter turbo H4 engine, but the US-market STI uses a 2.5-liter H4. We just hope it offers more power than the 310 horsepower found in the current STI Type RA.
Supra. It's the Supra. We're seeing the Supra. In fact, we've already seen the Supra. We've driven the Supra. We've heard so much about the Supra we're almost freaking sick of the Supra.
So yes, Toyota will finally, officially spill the beans about the hotly anticipated Supra, the rear-wheel-drive coupe that shares its underpinnings with the BMW Z4. We know to expect turbocharged inline-6 power, and based on our prototype drive and our test of the BMW Z4 M40i, we know it'll be pretty entertaining -- though maybe a little softer than the Supra faithful might expect.
We are so very ready for this endless tease to be over.
The 2020 Passat sedan will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, and we're not expecting it to be radically different from its predecessor. We drove a prototype of the new Passat late last year, and though our time with that car was brief, we found the new four-door to largely stay the course.
All Passats will be powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged I4 engine, with 174 horsepower and a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. A sporty-looking R-Line model will roll on 19-inch wheels, and all models will get LED head- and taillights. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system will be found inside, but we won't see Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit gauge cluster. Womp womp.
In business news, Volkswagen is expected to announce an alliance with the Ford Motor Company at the Detroit show, possibly sharing electrification and autonomous driving development efforts.
The 2019 Detroit Auto Show media days kick off on Monday, Jan. 14, and the show officially opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 19.
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Detroit Auto Show 2019
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