In Depth

Detroit motor show 2018: all the big announcements

Movie-inspired sports cars and hi-tech concepts take centre stage

The North American International Auto Show, which runs until 28 January, is a key event in the global car calendar. Every year, some of the world’s top carmakers gather at the show to announce their new cars and concepts. 

The event, popularly known as the Detroit motor show, is one of the most important platforms for US car manufacturers to showcase their new products. It’s also become more popular with European firms in recent years – and this year’s show is no exception. 

Here are all the biggest car launches: 

Ford Mustang Bullitt 
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 14:Molly McQueen, the granddaughter of actor Steve McQueen, introduces the 2018 Ford Mustang Bullitt makes its debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show J


2018 Getty Images

One of the most iconic movie cars ever made has been given a modern twist in Detroit, with Ford’s unveiling of a special edition Mustang inspired by the version driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 film Bullitt. 

The sports car has been given the same Highland Green paintwork as its movie counterpart, The Daily Telegraph says, as well as 19ins black wheels and red brake callipers. The cabin is equipped with special Recaro seats with green stitching. 

Ford plans to launch the Bullitt in the UK later this year. Prices are expected to be lower than the Mustang GT350’s £32,000 price tag, says the paper.

Ford Mach 1

Ford are planning an $11bn investment push towards electric car development, the company announced at the motor show. 

Part of the carmaker’s roadmap to a cleaner fleet includes the revival of the Mach 1 name, which has been associated with performance versions of the firm’s Mustang sports car since the late 1960s. 

However, according to Top Gear, the new Mach 1 will be an electric SUV that blends the performance of a Mustang with the practicality of the company's Explorer 4x4. Little else is known about the new car, but it is expected to hit roads in 2020. 

Hyundai Veloster N

Hyundai’s N performance division has released its second production car - based on the company’s new Veloster hatchback. 

The Veloster N is powered by the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine as last year’s critically acclaimed i30N hot hatch, says Autocar. It’s 271bhp power output and 260lb-ft of torque is sent to the front axle, which comes with a limited-slip differential to improve traction.

Sadly, the Veloster N will only be available in the US, the magazine says.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless

Toyota’s luxury arm Lexus took the wraps off an electric SUV concept at the motor show - a development that suggest the company may have a production car in the works. 

Called the LF-1 Limitless, the concept features a high-tech interior packed with “triangular screens” and touch pads that control the car’s infotainment settings, The Verge says. There are also touchscreens for passengers in the back, and “what looks like a heart rate monitor behind the steering wheel”.

The LF-1 Limitless is just a prototype at this stage, but according to the website, it’s a “legitimate stab at what a near-future car could look like”.

Mercedes-AMG 53

Mercedes’ performance brand AMG added another trim level to its saloon line-up in Detroit.

The new models, badged 53, swap the company’s existing 3.0-litre V6 engines for more efficient turbocharged inline six-cylinder motors, says CNet. The AMG 53 trim will debut with the E-Class saloon and CLS, each boasting power outputs of 429bhp and quad tailpipes. 

Prices have yet to be announced, says Auto Express, but orders are expected to open “later this year”.

Mercedes G-Class
Mercedes G-Class 2018

An all-new version of Mercedes’s “longest-standing model” has just been revealed. The new car – a second-generation G-Class – is making its debut at the motor show, Auto Express reports. 

The new SUV retains much of the old car’s boxy proportions, but the cabin has been completely revamped. Buyers can spec a digital dashboard consisting of two 12.3ins displays, the magazine says, while the wheelbase has been extended to improve rear leg room. 

You can read more about the new Mercedes G-Class here

Infinity Q Inspiration concept
Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the Q Inspiration Concept features clear and concise lines with dynamic and confident proportions. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI’s n

INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept


Visitors to the show have been given a glimpse pf Infiniti’s Q Inspiration concept. The car previews the company’s design language, which is expected to feature on its upcoming saloon cars.

While the majority of concept cars aren’t fitted with working powertrains, Auto Express says the Q Inspiration has a four-cylinder turbocharged engine and several autonomous safety systems. This allows the concept to “independently drive on the motorway and negotiate junctions.”

The Q Inspiration isn’t expected to reach production, but certain design elements could appear on the company’s saloon cars in future. 

Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen’s new Jetta saloon is making its first appearance in Detroit, Autocar reports. The car’s sharp styling is inspired by the company’s Passat and it has a new eight-speed automatic gearbox. 

The interior has also been revamped. The German car giant has fitted a touchscreen above the car’s centre console and a digital dashboard behind its steering wheel, the magazine adds. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connections are also available. 

This version, however, will only be available to buyers in the US after its predecessor’s poor sales in the UK.


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