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Updated: 2017 Detroit Auto Show Preview

Updated: 2017 Detroit Auto Show Preview

Updated: Saturday (January 7th)

Next month marks the pinnacle of the annual auto show circuit, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The first auto show of the new year is, unfortunately, shaping up to be fairly predictable and tame as the industry continues to cool off from its post-recession sales boom.

Much like last month’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Detroit is going to be filled with a lot of new crossovers and a few concepts that serve as predictable indicators for future production models. Despite the crossover craze, there are a few headlining sedans bowing this year, such as the 2018 Toyota Camry and all-new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe.

Below is a list of the debuts that have been confirmed or are at least speculated (speculation is noted in each) for next month’s NAIAS.

Audi Q8 Concept 

Audi Q8 Concept

Thus far Audi has avoided the whole, strange “coupe-SUV” craze that has bombarded German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but temptation is apparently taking over. Audi is going to reveal a concept variant of its upcoming Q8 flagship SUV. It’s expected to be the largest SUV in the Audi portfolio and sport a slightly modified version of the brand’s design theme, of which the concept version will preview at NAIAS.

2018 BMW 5-Series 

2018 BMW 5 Series

Audi may be showing an SUV, but the other two German brands are not. BMW will officially reveal the 7th generation 5-Series sedan at the show, but at this point who cares? Nearly all of the car’s details have already been announced. This 5-Series plans to lead the midsize luxury sedan pack with a weight reduction, more technology and a design that brings the car into the same spectrum as the most recent 3 and 7-Series.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse 


The current Chevrolet Traverse has been on the market since late 2008, so suffice to say it is past due for a replacement. Chevrolet recently previewed the new Traverse with the above teaser image, which will ride on a longer version of the 2017 GMC Acadia’s Chi platform. Chevy is already promising a best-in-class third row seat, while the teaser confirms a more dynamic design than the rather mundane predecessor. In fact, it looks like it’s borrowing styling cues from the 2018 Equinox.

2018 Ford F-150/Mustang

Chalk this one up as speculation, but rumor has it the 2018 Ford Mustang and 2018 Ford F-150 will bow during NAIAS. What we do know is that both are slated for mid-cycle enhancements for the 2018 model year. We also know that Ford has a press conference slated for the show, and they almost always put on quite a show in their hometown.

In the case of the Mustang, it’s slated to gain exterior styling similar to that of the current Shelby GT350 as well as the company’s new 10-speed automatic. Insiders claim the 2018 F-150 will also have some minor styling updates and potentially some new powertrains, including a diesel option.

Another alternative for Ford is the 2018 Expedition, which could also bow in Detroit.

2018 GMC Terrain

2018 GMC Terrain

GM will round out its crossover debuts at NAIAS with the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain. This is one of the few instances in which nothing has been released in advance of the reveal, but the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox undoubtedly previews much of the mechanicals under the new Terrain. Riding on GM’s D2XX platform, the Terrain will shrink in size a bit from the current one and likely feature an all-turbocharged engine lineup, including a 1.6-liter diesel.

2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Honda Odyssey Teaser Sketch

Honda has already announced the 2018 Odyssey’s Detroit reveal via the above teaser sketch. All-new for 2018, the Odyssey will sport a new design, new features and what Honda is calling innovative powertrains. Considering how good the new Chrysler Pacifica is, it’s safe to say this Odyssey better be really good.

Infiniti QX50 Concept

Infiniti QX50 Concept

Infiniti has now confirmed the company will reveal what it is referring to as the QX50 Concept. This SUV is supposed to be packed with technology, including Pro Pilot. Pro Pilot is Infiniti’s variant of autonomous driving technology. This concept is also expected to preview the design theme of Inifiniti’s next QX50, which is long overdue for an update.

Kia GT Sport Sedan

Kia GT Teaser

Kia has been teasing us its upcoming GT sports sedan for awhile now. Based on the Genesis G80 and G90 platform, this rear-wheel-drive sedan is going to be Kia’s flagship. As we can tell from the above teaser, the design is certainly shaping up to be stunning with a sportback-like greenhouse. Power will come from a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 on the high-end.

2018 Lexus LS


Joining BMW, Lexus too will be showing a new sedan at NAIAS. The all-new 2018 LS sedan will bow, which was recently teased. The new LS will ride on Toyota’s global GA-L luxury architecture that already underpins the LC500. Under the new design is expected to be Lexus’ 5.0-liter V-8 with 471 horsepower, while a hybrid version is also expected.

Lexus is also expected to reveal at least two concepts that preview future models.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe 


After leaking out, Mercedes-Benz decided to just fully reveal the 2018 E-Class Coupe ahead of its scheduled NAIAS debut. Longer than the outgoing model, the new coupe shares much of its design cues with the C and S-Class Coupes, which is certainly not a bad thing.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA

A few days ago Mercedes-Benz released the above teaser shot of the 2018 GLA crossover. While the design is clearly updated and more in line with MB’s more recent models, mechanical changes are expected to be minimal with this refresh.

Nissan Rogue Select

Reports are suggesting that Nissan will reveal a new compact crossover slated for the U.S. market called Rogue Select. The Rogue Select is expected to be the U.S. version of the Nissan Qashqai, which is a popular model offered in most global markets. In the U.S. the Rogue Select will compete with the likes of the Honda HR-V, Ford EcoSport and Chevrolet Trax.

2018 Nissan Frontier 

Nissan is finally going to show us a new Frontier midsize pickup. The current Frontier has been on the market nearly unchanged since 2005, so suffice to say it is certainly time for a new one. Details have been scarce about the Frontier thus far, but it is rumored to launch a new V-6 engine.

2018 Subaru WRX/STI


Subaru has already announced its showing for this year’s show, the refreshed 2018 WRX and STI. Although not the comprehensive redesign found on the 2017 Impreza, the two sporty models both feature design updates and a host of mechanical updates. Details are found here.

2018 Toyota Camry


One of the headliners from NAIAS will be the 2018 Toyota Camry. The redesigned midsize sedan will be built on a new platform, meaning it’s all-new from the ground up. Coming along with the new stuff is a more exciting design than what we’re used to from Camry – at least that’s what Toyota is promising.


All three of Volvo’s 60-series products, the S60, V60 and XC60 are due for a redesign. Take your pick as to which one will be revealed at the brand’s scheduled NAIAS press conference.



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. NoStopN
    I've seen "hints" that there might be more from Fomoco


    would like to see the F-150 & a new-Expedition version share at least one front-end

    At least this news will give us something to look forward to. Hopefully all of the juicy details won't leak before the embargo lifts.
    Its about time we got the new Frontier. Its already been sold elsewhere for two years.
    We expected the new Frontier & Terrain. But for Ford to make a cosmetic change to the Mustang & F150 is the surprise to me. Ford already spilled the beans on the 10-speed F150.

    I've seen "hints" that there might be more from Fomoco


    would like to see the F-150 & a new-Expedition version share at least one front-end
    We expected the new Frontier & Terrain. But for Ford to make a cosmetic change to the Mustang & F150 is the surprise to me. Ford already spilled the beans on the 10-speed F150.
    Looks to be like a decent lineup surprised that it's already time for a MCR for the F150 but with the 10 speed that makes sense.
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