This year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit was a mix of announcements and reveals ranging from jaw-dropping to just meh. The overarching theme: connectivity and varying degrees of autonomous driving. With the dust barely settled from CES, Detroit felt more like a reminder that autonomous driving is destined to become ubiquitous in the near future, rather than the reveal-heavy shows we love and expect. That said, Volvo did bring the heat to the autonomous driving discussion (see below). This year, the standout booths were those that showcased exciting design and promising performance among the sea of new and developing tech.
2020 Ford Bronco and 2019 Ranger Announcement
Nissan V-Motion 2.0 Concept
When it comes to bringing designs to the road, Nissan usually stays pretty faithful to concepts — so the V-Motion 2.0 might actually be a glimpse at the future Maxima.
2018 Lexus LS 500
Lexus finally updated its flagship luxury sedan, endowing it with the same radical design language the rest of its lineup has had for quite some time.
2018 Mercedes GLA45
Fact: Compact SUVs and crossovers are boring. Mercedes is clearly trying to remedy this with the new AMG GLA45, rumored to be getting a bump from 375 horsepower to more than 400 horsepower.
2018 Mercedes E-Class Coupe
The E-Class sedan and wagon were bound to be joined by a sportier coupe sooner or later. But the Coupe’s pièce de résistance is the semi-autonomous Drive Pilot system, which uses cameras and radar to control the steering and brakes at speeds up to 130 mph (you know, for the Autobahn).
2017 Mercedes AMG GT C and Roadster
The GT C Coupe and Roadster are meant to fill the gap between the GT S and GT R. With a few hand-me-down parts from the GT R — and 550 horsepower — it’s definitely the porridge that’s “just right.”
2018 Toyota Camry
Volvo XC90 Drive Me
Volvo took a huge step towards the future with the Drive Me program. One-hundred families in Sweden were selected to be guinea pigs for its autonomous car technology. Volvo says it’s looking to learn and develop the self-driving tech in real-world driving situations.
2018 Kia Stinger
Kia is another manufacturer looking to ditch its boring, rental-car reputation. In contrast with Toyota and the Camry, Kia gave its new sport sedan rear-wheel-drive and a kickass name. High hopes for this one.
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Concept
The I.D. Buzz concept was VW’s outlet for using the industry buzzwords “autonomy,” “connectivity” and “sustainability.” The crowd’s initial reaction to the the all-electric throwback seemed to be a resounding “make this, please.”
2017 BMW 5-Series
We’ve known about the new Fiver for a while, but this is the first time it’s been seen in the metal.
Audi Q8 Concept
Audi’s 16.5-foot all-electric Q8 SUV definitely had an imposing presence at NAIAS. Audi also says it is fairly close to being production-ready.
2018 Subaru WRX and STi
Subaru may have only given the WRX a facelift for 2018 and tweaked the suspension a little bit, but really it’s just good to see that the WRX and STi are still around.