2019 North American International Auto Show

2019 North American International Auto Show

Story and photos by Dan Heyman

Now that the 2019 Detroit Auto Show media days have wrapped, we take some time to sit back and reflect on the stars of the show, from new reveals, to concepts, to the latest versions of some automotive legends. As is often the case, the Detroit Show didn’t disappoint in terms of automotive eye candy.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

If the fire-breathing GT350 model wasn’t powerful enough for you, or the slick Bullitt not steeped in legend enough for you, then perhaps this will do the trick. Packing 700-plus hp – more than any Ford production model before it, including the latest GT – the GT500 has the motor to make everything save the Dodge Demon squirm. With its race car engineering, however, even Demon owners will have to think twice before hitting the track against the latest Shelby.

2020 Ford Explorer ST

The Shelby wasn’t the only fast Ford that made its debut here; the Blue Oval also brought along the all new, 400 hp, Explorer ST, the latest model to get those two letters made oh-so famous by the likes of the Focus or Fiesta. Do Explorer buyers really need something like an ST? Ford seems to think so.

Toyota Supra

Arguably the most hotly anticipated launch at this year’s NAIAS, the Toyota Supra – the production version of the Toyota Supra – had crowds surrounding it throughout media day, and likely will during public days, too. Packing a 335 hp turbo inlie-6 co-developed with BMW – stars of the inline-6 engine – trick dampers and an 8-speed automatic, the Supra has arrived to the 21st Century a proper sports car.

2020 Cadillac XT6

After its XT4 little sibling, the XT6 is the next model to arrive under Cadillac’s new Y trim product hierarchy, meaning an effort to release two distinct lines of a new model. In the case of the XT6, we have the “Premium Luxury” model and the “Sport” model. Each version gets distinct interior pieces and chassis tuning, though there are shared bits such as four drive modes, 3.6L V6 motor and front- or AWD, though we’re not 100 per cent on the former coming to Canada at this juncture. We get FWD XT4 and XT5 models, though, so you never know.

Lexus LC Convertible Concept

While Lexus – and the media – made a pretty big hubbub prior to the show when they released a few choice photos of the LC, that doesn’t change how spectacular it is to take in in person. Perfectly proportioned – not always easy when you turn a coupe into a drop top — with a powerful stance and tantalizing details both inside and out, this is a concept that you get a pretty distinct feeling they’re going to build.

Lexus RC F Track Edition

If the LC is too “grand touring” for you and you prefer something a little racier – and confirmed for production — the RC F Track Edition will probably do the trick. There’s a 472 hp V8, but that’s only part of the story. Like Ford did with the GT500, Lexus turned to its race team for some expertise in developing the Track, leading to stuff like carbon fibre aero bits, ultralight wheels and ceramic brake rotors.

Ram Heavy Duty

The curb weight of the base Ram 1500 is about 4,900 poundsWhy am mentioning this? Because thank to its 7,600 lb. payload capacity, you could load an entire 1500 onto the 2020 Ram 3500, and have room to spare. It can also tow up to 35,000 lbs., and they even brought along a Simon & Simon-esque Power Wagon version.

Kia Telluride

With room enough for up to seven passengers, 3.8L V6 power and muscular styling, the Telluride is sure to take the full-size Kia SUV baton dropped by the Borrego all those years ago, and take it home to the finish line.

VW Passat

While its underpinnings don’t change all that much from last year – that car’s 2.0L TSI inline-4 turbo is your only choice – the skin has changed quite drastically to better align with the latest Jetta. It’s also got a lower roofline, new wheels, new headlights and – get this – quad tailpipes.

Nissan IMs Concept

It should come as no surprise that this latest Nissan concept runs an EV powertrain – first of all, it’s a Nissan and that’s kind of what Nissan’s all about these days – and second of all: just look at it. Ultra futuristic lines, moon-boot wheels and suicide doors. Perhaps more surprising are the power figures, which total a claimed 480 hp and – wait for it – 590 lb-ft of torque. Add innovative 2 + 1 + 2 seating and a holographic – at least it looks as such – gauge cluster, and Nissan’s got a concept to be proud of.

Nissan Formula E car

Not new, necessarily, but the new Formula E car still cuts an aggressive, fighter jet-like profile especially now that it has a semi-closed cockpit. And again, it’s a Nissan, and Nissan knows how to “do” EVs.

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