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Updated: 2018 Detroit Auto Show Preview

Updated: 2018 Detroit Auto Show Preview

Updated: 1/8/2018

The heart of auto show season is nigh upon us! In just a couple weeks the 2018 North American International Auto Show will commence in Detroit, which is shaping up to be a banner year for new vehicle reveals.

This year’s show lineup appears to draw a strong correlation with market realities, which means this is a truck show. Unquestionably the headliners this year are all going to be trucks with the reveal of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and all-new Ford Ranger. These three alone are likely to steal most of the press coverage.

Nonetheless, those three aren’t the only star-studded reveals. There’s several new crossovers headed for the show and even some big-name sedan redesigns. See all of the details below!

2019 Acura RDX Prototype 

Type: Production vehicle (though technically a prototype)
Reveal Time: Monday, January 15th
Production: Mid-2018

Acura will be showing off an all-new version of one of its best-sellers, the RDX crossover. New from the ground up, this RDX will provide us a glimpse of Acura’s future as it is the first new model to come out since the brand’s former designer the helm as general manager. As noted from Acura’s teaser (above), expect a fairly dramatic design change outside and an interior influenced by the Precision Cockpit Concept shown last year at the LA Auto Show.

2019 BMW X2

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Monday, January 15th
Production: Early 2018

We already know what the BMW X2 will look like since it is already on-sale in Europe. Nonetheless, BMW will show off the U.S. version in Detroit. Like in Europe, the X2 is playing the same role as its other even-numbered siblings in the BMW SAV lineup. This means the X2 is the sportier, less useful version of the X1.

That said, the X2 is ushering in a new era of BMW design with revised kidney-shaped grille openings to center its unique shooting brake design. Powering this new ute will be BMW’s well-known 2.0-liter turbo four.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Saturday, January 13th
Production: Late 2018

Chevrolet surprised us all recently by showing the 2019 Silverado Trail Boss in Texas. Despite knowing what this truck will look like, we know virtually nothing else about it. This will change in Detroit, where Chevy will reveal its all-new half-ton. Expect mass reduction, new engines and a host of new trim levels as part of this remodel.

At this time the Silverado’s GMC Sierra cousin is not expected to be revealed alongside it in Detroit.

2019 Ford Ranger 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Sunday, January 14th
Production: November 2018

During last year’s Detroit show Ford confirmed plans to bring back the Ranger and Bronco. Here we are a year later and the company is expected to finally show their hand when it comes to the returned Ranger nameplate. This new midsize pickup is expected to offer a design unique from that of the global Ranger, while power will likely come from EcoBoost four-cylinder and V-6’s, while a diesel is also a possibility.

2019 Honda Insight Prototype

Type: Production vehicle (though technically a prototype)
Reveal Time: ??
Production: Mid-2018

If this name is giving you deja vu, well it should be. Honda is bringing back the Insight name in 2018 and slapping it on a new sedan that will be positioned between the Civic and Accord. As one would expect with the Insight name, this model will be a hybrid-only offering leveraging Honda’s two-mode hybrid system. Honda has also hinted that this Insight will be positioned as a premium sedan offering, which is a bit of a head-scratcher.

Unlike the first Insight, this one isn’t too bad to look at either.

2019 Hyundai Veloster 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Monday, January 15th
Production: Mid-2018

It seems the Hyundai Veloster sort of lost steam in recent years after great fanfare after its launch. Nonetheless, Hyundai isn’t done with the quirky little car just yet. An all-new Veloster will bow in Detroit sporting the same three-door layout as today’s Veloster. This means there will be two doors on the passenger side and one on the driver’s side, with a hatchback. The similar layout means a similar design theme, albeit one that looks more mature in the above show that was released by Hyundai in Korea.

Expect the new Veloster to borrow powertrains from the Elantra GT, which would mean Hyundai’s 201 horsepower 1.6-liter turbo four.

Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept 

Type: Concept
Reveal Time: Monday, January 15th
Production: Never

This Infiniti concept vehicle is one of the mysteries remaining for Detroit. The luxury automaker has said very little about it, though it is expected to be electrified in some capacity. Infiniti has only said that the concept is previewing the next-generation of Infiniti vehicles and its future design language.

2019 Jeep Cherokee 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Tuesday, January 16th
Production: Mid-2018

Since relaunching in 2014, the Jeep Cherokee has always been the Jeep that doesn’t look like a Jeep. FCA is hoping to change that by refreshing its midsize crossover for 2019 with a fresh, more Jeep-like face. Jeep has already revealed this minor makeover ahead of the show, but additional details remain, such as any powertrain changes.

Kia Concept

Type: Concept
Reveal Time: Tuesday, January 16th
Production: 2020+

There are rumblings that Kia will showcase a new concept vehicle in Detroit this year. Specifics are unclear at this time, but the concept could be a preview of the next-generation Kia Forte.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept 

Type: Concept
Reveal Time: Monday, January 15th
Production: 2020+

This probably comes as no surprise, but the Lexus LF-1 Limitless is a crossover concept. Lexus has already confirmed it is going to preview what a Lexus “flagship crossover” would be like “without limits.” Reading between the lines here, we can safely assume this concept is going to foreshadow an upcoming big crossover. With Audi coming out with the Q8 and BMW launching the X7, Lexus joining the luxury land yacht scene just makes sense.

Mercedes-AMG CLS53 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Sunday, January 14th
Production: Late 2018

Mercedes-Benz showed us the all-new CLS Class last month in Los Angeles, but they’re not done just yet. The boys at AMG have gotten their hands on the new CLS and are going to show us the goods in Detroit. Assuming things work out as-expected, we will see the Mercedes-AMG CLS53 bow. The first in what is expected to be a new 53-series of AMG cars, this one will be the first AMG hybrid. Power is expected to come from Mercedes’ inline-six paired with an electrical motor.

The CLS53 is expected to be the bookend of the CLS lineup. The CLS63 will indirectly be replaced by the upcoming AMG GT sedan.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 

 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Sunday, January 14th
Production: Late 2018

It’s hard to redesign an icon, but Mercedes-Benz will be showing off their all-new G Class. If spy shots are any indicator, the updated G-Wagon will look, well, a lot like today’s version. The new one will be slightly larger and sports an all-new interior (much needed, might we add) that Mercedes has already revealed (pictured above).

2019 Ram 1500 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Monday, January 15th
Production: January 2018

Chevrolet isn’t stealing all of the new half-ton news in Detroit this year. Ram is expected to reveal the all-new 2019 Ram 1500. Based on leaked photos of the new truck, we can be assured of a fairly dramatic design change on the outside, while spy shots suggest an evolutionary interior change. This is also expected to be the first Ram to offer a direct-injected V-6 and updated HEMI engines. Rumors suggest a hybrid option is in the cards as well.

More recent spy shots have shown some fairly innovative features, including a new two-piece tailgate design.

2019 Toyota Avalon 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Monday, January 15th
Production: Mid-2018

Large sedans seem so yesterday in today’s market, but Toyota is going to give the segment another stab with an all-new Avalon. The company has already issued the above teaser shot, showing a much more dramatic design than we’re used to seeing on Toyota’s old people sedan. It goes without saying, Toyota’s dynamic new design strategy found on the new Camry will migrate to the larger Avalon; as is a stretched version of Toyota’s new TGNA platform.

Expect to see Toyota’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder with just above 200 horsepower serving as the base engine in this car. Given Toyota kept a V-6 option in the Camry, it’s a safe bet a V-6 will find its way into this Avalon as well.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta 

Type: Production vehicle
Reveal Time: Sunday, January 14th
Production: Late 2018

Much like Toyota, Volkswagen will be revealing a new version of one of its stalwart sedans in Detroit. The all-new Jetta is built atop VW’s MQB platform, which underpins everything from the Golf to the Atlas these days. The new roots will enable a few new engine options, while the big story is a more existing exterior design that’s borrowing a lot of cues from the Arteon sedan.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. carnut
    I await with bated breath the reveal of the Ford Ranger and maybe the new Insight.
    germeezy1
    The long yet steep decline of the once storied NAIAS continues, and quite frankly none of the debuts merit a return from me to Cobo Hall.
    Andrew_L
    NY might be better this year than NAIAS
    0fxxk0
    #notexcited #pass #notwhatitusedtobe
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