In a rush? Here are the star cars from Detroit
Catch up on all the latest from the 2018 NAIAS in one hit
2018 Ford Mustang Bullitt
Happy new year, ladies and gentlemen: this is the brand new, limited edition Ford Mustang Bullitt, and if it hasn’t immediately topped your ‘must-buy-for-2018’ list, you may need to check your vitals.
A surprise reveal ahead of this year’s Detroit Motor Show, the new Bullitt is a special edition that marks 50 years since Steve McQueen fired up his gorgeous, Highland Green ‘Stang and decided to lay down one of the best movie chases the world has ever seen across San Francisco in 1968’s Bullitt...Advertisement - Page continues below
Nissan Xmotion concept SUV
We’re promised autonomous tech and lots of connectivity as befits any self-respecting future SUV, but no information has yet been provided. This is, by and large, a styling and thematic exercise: Japanese culture and craftsmanship, American utility.
The US gets a second-generation car, a whole seven years after the original, a sign it must have been doing something right. The body shape is largely identical – yep, the doors remain – but there’s been a tidy up of the styling, with new lights, grilles and bumpers that give it a fresh but still familiar look.Advertisement - Page continues below
Announcement of the 2019 Shelby Mustang GT500
Last seen a few years ago, Ford will revive the classic moniker for what it promises is the most powerful street-legal production Ford model in history. Yep, even more power than a Ford GT...
Hyundai Veloster N
It shares its 271bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine and other assorted oily bits with the Hyundai i30 N, which has just gone on sale in Europe. In short, then, the Veloster N is America’s Hyundai hot hatch.
Lexus LF-1 Limitless
Lexus has invoked the spirit of the Japanese sword – ‘molten katana’ – to infuse the LF-1’s lines with a sort of liquid-metal-meets-samurai-sword effect. Its proportions – 5m length, 2m width, 1.6m height – have been masked somewhat by a low stance, and tight arches and overhangs. There’s a continuous stroke running from front to back, many creases and Lexus’s now trademark spindle/Predator grille.
Infiniti Q Inspiration concept
This, says Infiniti, is what saloon cars will look like in a future of advanced powertrains. Well, ones with Infiniti badges, at least.
It’s called the Q Inspiration Concept, and it uses a very clever little turbo engine that not only gives big power for small emissions, but completely changes the architecture of the car it powers.Advertisement - Page continues below
Mercedes CLS 53 AMG
The introduction of another AMG product is also the dawn of a new AMG number. The current range includes 43s, 45s and 63s… and now the 53.
This is the CLS 53 AMG, and it has a new engine and some interesting tech. The base engine is – as you’d expect – a twin-turbo petrol. It’s a 3.0-litre straight-six, however, something you’d normally expect in a BMW.
This is the new Volkswagen Jetta, freshly unveiled at the 2018 Detroit motor show. Before you get too attached to it, it won’t be coming to the UK.
Is that a great shame? It all depends on how much you like the looks. Previous Jettas have been little more than a Golf saloon – and probably a bit dumpier than their hatchback base – but this one is a little more svelte. It’s probably not as ‘coupe-like’ as VW would like you to believe, but it’s smart enough.Advertisement - Page continues below
It feels like Mercedes has been taking a long time about launching its new G-Class. Yet now it’s finally here, it feels like we’ve been sent the pictures of the old one by mistake.
But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised it looks so similar: despite being close to its 40th birthday, sales have improved year after year of late. The G’s more successful than ever.
America demands smaller trucks? Really? Well, Ford certainly thinks so, because it’s just about to start building the all-new ‘mid-size’ Ranger in Michigan to process demand for smaller, more fuel efficient pick ups in the US.
It’s not quite the same as the one we recognise in Europe, though: where domestic Rangers are diesel-only - with a six-speed auto/manual ‘box - new American Rangers are equipped with a 2.3-litre four-pot EcoBoost turbo and ten-speed auto. Which is basically a re-tuned Focus RS motor. Ford reckons it gives the outputs of a V6 with the efficiency of a four - and that ten-speed will no doubt help.
Ford Edge ST
Step forward, the brand-new Ford Edge ST. That’s right. ST. The hot badge the Brits most closely associate with the Fiesta and Focus has been applied to a big, heavy, unremarkable SUV. It’s been unveiled by Ford US ahead of its Detroit motor show debut, and we have some details.
It is the first Ford SUV to have been tuned by Ford Performance, who are of course the same people who designed and built the GT supercar. It gets a 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 335bhp and 380lb ft of torque.
Steve McQueen’s original Ford Mustang
The story behind the ‘hero’ car that McQueen actually drove was similarly fascinating. In January 1968, Warner Bros purchased a pair of Mustangs for use in the film – vin numbers 8R02S125558 (aka ’558) and 8R02S125559 (aka ’559).
Mustang ‘558 was used for all of the heavy lifting – the jump shots you witnessed on screen – while ‘559 was the car actually driven by McQueen...
Announcement of the Ford Mach 1 all electric performance SUV
Ford went a little Back to the Future at the Detroit motor show: a nod to its past with the reveal of the limited-edition Ford Mustang Bullitt, built to honour the original 1968 halo ‘Stang and that amazing car chase.
Then, to the future: the company has announced a brand new all-electric performance SUV that promises to bring some excitement into the world of electricity and movement. It will be called Mach 1.
Larger headlights, a redrawn front grille section and fresh wheel designs have been drafted in to give the Cherokee a less imposing, toothy expression. It looks more conventional, certainly, but it’s also a lot less likely to stand out in a crowded class of mid-sized SUVs. The lesser of two evils, we suppose.
Behind the facial reconstruction , the Cherokee’s got a new 270bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, while our American cousins can still opt for a 3.2-litre V6 that develops less torque and only one more horsepower, but can tow 4,500lbs – that’s over two tonnes, Europe.
GMC Sierra All Mountain
We’re rather partial to the notion of a car – a wheeled vehicle designed for road usage – being fitted with tank tracks for use on snow. It’s a recipe that’s been used to strong effect by Nissan with the Juke Snow concept that we drove on a not-very-frozen lake, and by the master of mechanical mayhem himself Ken Block in one of his earlier video stunts.
And now, digest the fact that GMC has utterly demolished these piffling offerings with the magnificent Sierra All Mountain Concept. The result of a union between a luxury SUV, a snowmobile, a tank and a quantity of terrible American light beer, we presume.
Mercedes-Benz 280 GE rally car
It is a 280 GE rally car, built specifically to take on the inordinately terrifying Paris-Dakar rally. It featured an optimised body featuring much aluminium to make it lighter than the standard G.
The engine too had been fettled, that 2.8-litre straight six petrol here pumping out 230bhp, up from the standard car’s 150-odd horses.
BMW i8 Roadster
The Roadster is very similar to the Coupe, using the same carbon-reinforced plastic core, whose rigid structure has maximised the size of the roof opening and negated the need for lots of extra strengthening. So the Roadster weighs just 60kg more than standard, at 1,595kg, while it retains the bold dihedral doors, albeit frameless versions.