There are plenty of eye-catching vehicles at the Detroit auto show this year, and an increasing focus on diesel. There's a diesel/electric hybrid SUV concept, a beloved American luxury off-roader that will soon have a diesel option, and a full-size van with a diesel option. Also at this year's show, Lincoln is showing a new luxury crossover, Honda has a crossover concept, and another company is showing high-performance electric full-size trucks. Want to learn more? Read on.

A Little History
Since 1907, the Detroit Auto Show has been held every year, except 1943-1952 due to the war. Among the largest auto shows in North America, it was first held at Beller’s Beer Garden at Riverside Park. However, since 1961, its venue has been Cobo Center, where it can occupy up to 1 million square feet of floor space. In 1989, the show was renamed North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). As can be expected, the auto show’s pre-eminence relates to its location near the headquarters of the Big Three American automakers -- Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.


2014 Audi SQ5

Unlike the SQ5 TDI, the SQ5 at the Detroit auto show is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine producing 349 hp between 6000 and 6500 rpm. We’ve seen versions of this engine in other Audis like the A5, A6, A7, A8, and Q7. The U.S.-spec SQ5′s torque has been upped to 347 lb-ft between 4000 and 4500 rpm; the 2013 Q5 3.0T we tested had 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. While Audi claims the SQ5 will accelerate from 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds, we’re guessing that’s conservative considering we tested the Q5 3.0T completing the sprint in 5.5 seconds...(Read More)

2014 Audi SQ5 Coming to 2013 Detroit Auto Show
The Four Ring Compact Ute Gains S Badge, 77 Horsepower


2014 Chevrolet Silverado

Though the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 did not get any love during Monday morning’s Chevrolet press conference -- which was spent entirely on the 2014 Corvette Stingray -- there’s still much to learn about the next-generation full-size pickup. The Silverado, as well as its GMC sibling, the Sierra, are parked right across the aisle from the line of Stingrays and are just as new this year. The Detroit auto show is the first public venue for both vehicles...(Read More)

2014 Chevrolet Silverado First Look
Leap Year: GM's New Half-Tons Aim To Surpass the Competition


Ford Atlas Concept

We've just gotten our First Look at the next-generation 2015 Ford F-150 via the Ford Atlas Concept. Ford calls the Atlas a concept, but the high-strength steel-framed truck could move to production with just minor changes. The truck's grille is just a further evolution of the current F-150's, its stacked LED headlights (which bear a passing resemblance to the current Super Duty) look like they'd take minimal work to be DOT-legal, and its matching LED taillights look ready to go as-is. We'd hesitate to say that the Atlas Concept is the 2015 F-150, but it's safe to say that the Atlas is closer to production than not...(Read More)

Ford Atlas Concept First Look
Blue Oval Highjacks the Truck Spotlight


2014 GMC Sierra

Although the Chevrolet Silverado is far and away the volume leader in General Motors' truck stable, the GMC Sierra serves an important supplemental role in providing additional sales for customers that might not otherwise set foot in a Chevrolet showroom, as well as for those looking for something a little different from the mainstream. Prior to their public unveiling in December, GM promised more differentiation between the two models for 2014. Now that we've seen them, we can say that statement is true, to an extent. But the 2014 Sierra is still clearly related to its predecessor, as well as its bowtie brother...(Read More)

2014 GMC Sierra: Charting the Changes
GMC Promised More Differentiation from Silverado - Did It Succeed?


Honda Urban SUV Concept

The Nissan Juke better watch its back, because Honda pulled the sheets of a the Urban SUV concept at the 2013 Detroit auto show today, previewing an all-new small SUV that’s set to hit the Japanese market before it arrives in the U.S. in 2014...(Read More)

2013 Detroit: Honda Urban SUV Concept
Sharply Styled Honda Urban SUV Concept Previews Juke Fighter


2014 Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass, originally expected to appeal more to women, was refreshed two years ago (doubling its global sales), but the soft-ute gets another significant improvement this year with the addition of the six-speed automatic transmission. The CVT, still offered as an option, delivered good fuel economy in its day, but was unpopular. Thanks to savvy gearing and friction-reduction measures, the new six-speed is expected to exceed the CVT’s 22/28 mpg city/highway rating by 15 percent, netting 30 mpg highway in front-drive models...(Read More)

2014 Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass First Look
2014 Jeep Patriot, Compass Get New Six-Speed Automatic


2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The big news is the updated fuel economy. Thanks to the addition of an eight-speed automatic as standard equipment, the Grand Cherokee's 3.6-liter V-6's fuel economy gets a bump to 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, an improvement of 1 mpg in the city for the 4x2 models, and a 2 mpg highway improvement for all models. The 5.7-liter V-8-powered model gets a 1 mpg bump in both city and highway fuel economy to 15 mpg city for 4x2 models and 14 mpg for 4x4 models, with highway fuel economy going up to 21 mpg combined. Fuel economy isn't the only thing that improves. Maximum towing capacity on the V-6 model goes up to 6200 pounds, while the bad-boy SRT model goes from an unremarkable 5000 pounds to 7200...(Read More)

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee First Look
The Diesel Finally Arrives


2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT8 isn't left out of the fun either, with an eight-speed automatic of its own and a new launch control system. SRT head Ralph Gilles introduced the updated Grand Cherokee SRT (the SRT8 moniker is no more). Gilles played up the new smoother-shifting eight-speed transmission, 'right-now' launch control, and unique front and rear fascias, with what Gilles calls "Black Death Headlamps." We're listening...(Read More)

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee First Look
The Diesel Finally Arrives



2014 Jeep Patriot

Naturally, the 2014 Patriot gets the same functional upgrades. In addition to the new six-speed automatic and old CVT, a five-speed manual transmission remains available. Both Jeeps are powered by 2.0- and 2.4-liter I-4s with power figures unchanged at 158 and 172 hp...(Read More)

2014 Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass First Look
2014 Jeep Patriot, Compass Get New Six-Speed Automatic


Lincoln MKC Concept

Lincoln is seeking some mojo to kick the brand into high gear. With a 2012 sales total of just 82,150 vehicles, Ford’s luxury brand trails all of its rivals by a considerable amount. Mercedes-Benz sold 274,134 vehicles in 2012, BMW sold 281,460 vehicles not including Mini, Lexus moved 244,166 units, and cross-town rival Cadillac sold 149,782 vehicles. The Blue Oval itself may be doing fine, but it's clear its luxury division needs help to avoid being relegated to Dearborn's historical archives. The latest effort is the MKC Concept, an Escape-based compact crossover packing plenty of luxury into a compact package...(Read More)

2013 Detroit: Lincoln MKC Concept First Look
Lincoln's Escape from the Sales Doldrums


Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

Volkswagen has long had its loyal core of fans that have supported the brand in the U.S. through thick and thin, but the automaker realizes if it's going to be a top-tier player in the U.S. market, it needs a fully fleshed-out product lineup that meets its rivals' model-for-model. One glaring omission in the brand's lineup has been a three-row SUV. Sure, for strict utilitarian people-moving duty, there's been the Routan and for those looking for a more luxurious, upscale SUV experience, there's been the plush, capable Touareg, but those looking for a mainstream, midsize model along the lines of the Toyota Highlander or Ford Explorer are unable to find a suitable offering in a Volkswagen dealer's lot. That may be changing following the unveiling of the very production-ready-looking CrossBlue Concept at the 2013 Detroit Show...(Read More)

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept First Look
Finally Filling the Hole in VW's SUV Lineup


2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

he R-Line package is offered on both front and all-wheel-drive models, and consists of 19-inch 'Mallory' alloy wheels, R-Line grille badge, sport-tuned suspension, body-colored side skirts with chrome trim, wheelarch extensions, an R-Line rear spoiler, LED license plate lighting, and bi-xenon HID headlights standard with LED driving lights. On the inside, the Tiguan R-Line gets metallic-finish dashboard and door trim, a flat-bottom R-Line steering wheel with paddle shifters, stainless steel R-Line scuff plates, and a black headliner. Continuing VW's collaboration with Fender, the Tiguan R-Line has a 10-channel 400-wat system with eight speakers and a rear subwoofer...(Read More)

2014 Volkswagen Touareg, Tiguan R-Line First Look
VW's SUVs Get Sporty Styling Treatment for the U.S.


2014 Volkswagen Touareg R-Line

The larger Touareg R-Line is applied to the Lux trim level, and is available with either the 3.6-liter VR6 or 3.0-liter TDI V-6 turbodiesel. On the outside, the Touareg R-Line gets fender badges, 20-inch alloy wheels, a unique front fascia, side skirts, LED taillights, and oval-shaped rear exhaust tips. The interior features high-gloss black and brushed aluminum trim, R-Line scuff plates, aluminum sport pedals, and an R-Line steering wheel...(Read More)

2014 Volkswagen Touareg, Tiguan R-Line First Look
VW's SUVs Get Sporty Styling Treatment for the U.S.

2014 Acura MDX Prototype

Despite its age, the Acura MDX continues to be the luxury brand's most valuable player, ruling the sales chart year after year. With so much riding on the seven-passenger SUV (especially with the Infiniti JX gunning for it) Acura must keep the MDX feeling fresh. The 2014 Acura MDX Prototype debuting at the 2013 Detroit auto show demonstrates how the automaker plans to keep the third-gen MDX as successful as the first two generations...(Read More)

2014 Acura MDX Prototype First Look
Front-Runner


Chevrolet Orlando

The Orlando is another model that our Northern neighbors get, and has proven to be quite popular in the Canadian market. With an overall length shorter than an Equinox, but with seating for up to seven passengers, the Orlando hits the sweet spot of practicality and size for many. There was some speculation earlier on that the Orlando would replace the retro-wagon HHR in the U.S. Chevy lineup, but that plan never materialized. Like the Trax, the Orlando is available with a six-speed manual for those shifty Canucks. This is one practical, efficient model we hope GM might have a change-of-heart with, offering an interesting alternative to the Mazda


Chevrolet Trax

If the Chevrolet Trax looks vaguely familiar to you, that's because you're looking at the bowtie-brand's version of the Buick Encore. And while "world" models usually mean outside of North America, our friends to the North can actually buy this model. That's right, the Trax is sold in Canada. Like the Encore, the Trax is offered with the 1.4-liter, 138-hp EcoTec turbocharged four-cylinder. But unlike the U.S.-spec Encore, the Canadian-spec Trax is available with either a six-speed automatic or manual. However, the slushbox is mandatory with the available all-wheel-drive.


Dodge Blacktop Package

On the Durango, Journey, and Grand Caravan, the Blacktop Package brings unique Gloss Black accents to the wheels, grille and grille surround, as well as darkened headlight bezels, and a few unique interior touches.

The $595 Grand Caravan Blacktop -- available in five colors and based on the SXT model -- includes 17-inch wheels with black accents and fog lights, with a black headliner and silver stitching on the black cloth seats, door panel trim, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The $295 Durango Blacktop -- offered on the new Rallye trim, and R/T V-8 models -- adds 20-inch Gloss Black wheels (with gloss black center caps) and the matching black grille with a choice of five colors.

Go for the $995 Journey Blacktop (based on the SXT model) and you can start with a five- or seven-passenger model and go for I-4 or V-6 power. Available in seven colors and in black leather or cloth seats, the Journey Blacktop adds black 19-inch wheels, the 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen, and Gloss Black on the side mirrors, headlights, and lower front fascias.

The Dodge Durango Blacktop should arrive in dealerships soon while the Grand Caravan Blacktop and Journey Blacktop roll into dealers starting in the second quarter of 2013. All three Dodge Blacktop vehicles debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Dodge Durango, Journey, Grand Caravan Get Blacktop Treatment
Aggressive Styling Package Expanded to SUVs, Minivan


Jeep Wrangler Dragon Concept

It seems showcasing one's international product offerings was the theme of this year's Detroit show, as evidenced by Chevrolet's display of the not-for-U.S. Chevrolet Trax and Orlando. Chrysler got in on the game as well by showing the Jeep Wrangler Dragon Edition. First shown at the Beijing Auto Show last April, the Wrangler Dragon is mechanically the same as the Wrangler Rubicon, but features unique graphics, upholstery and trim exclusive to the Chinese market. Officially still a "concept," the Dragon could be put into production fairly easily. Despite sensationalistic and inaccurate news reports about "Sending Jeep production to China," Chrysler has vowed to keep Wrangler production in Toledo, Ohio, although other Jeep models, such as the Compass and other models, could be manufactured in China for local and regional sale...(Read More)

Unleash the Dragon: Jeep Wrangler Dragon Concept Debuts in Beijing
Special Edition Wrangler for China Captures Symbol's Power over Nature


2013 Ram 3500 HD

The 2013 Ram 3500's towing capacity even comes within a few hundred pounds of the next closest competitor's Gross Combined Vehicle Weight rating of 30,500. The GCWR of the 2013 Ram 3500 is 37,600 lb...(Read More)

2013 Ram 3500 Offers Class-Leading 30,000-lb Maximum Towing Capacity
New Rated Capacity Tops Next-Closest Competitor by Nearly 7000 lb


2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

The 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S has made its debut in Detroit, bringing with it more power and an even heftier price tag compared to the standard model. Starting at $146,975, the Turbo S will deliver 550 hp and a manufacturer-estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds when it goes on sale this spring...(Read More)

2013 Detroit: 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
Boasts 550 hp, is Even Pricier


Nissan Resonance Concept Hybrid

While the Resonance likely previews the next-generation Murano, we had to wonder about the seven-passenger Armada's future. Palmer wasn't willing to discuss the Armada's future (or lack thereof), but said there's no reason why styling cues from the Resonance wouldn't carry over to the larger SUV as well. The all-wheel-drive hybrid Resonance concept is our first glimpse at Nissan's next-generation Murano crossover...(Read More)

2013 Detroit: Futuristic Nissan Resonance Concept Hybrid
Previews Next Murano


VIA X-Truck

VIA Motors introduced three new vehicles that use the company's E-REV powertrain: a pickup called the X-Truck (based on the Silverado), an SUV called the Presidential (based on the Suburban), and an Express-based van. The Presidential is the most luxury-biased of the trio...(Read More)

2013 Detroit: VIA X-Truck First Look
This Truck has 402 hp and 4WD--and it's Electric


2014 Ford Transit Connect

First seen at the L.A. Show in November, the Transit Connect Wagon made an encore appearance in Detroit. The 2014 model marks a major shift in marketing strategy for the Transit Connect, with a much greater emphasis on the general consumer market with the new seven-passenger Wagon model. With a new six-speed automatic transmission and optional EcoBoost power, the new TC promises to be a much more efficient, refined, and fun-to-drive successor to its capable, but dated predecessor. But don't fret, caterers and handymen (and women), a sheetmetal-sided commercial version will still be offered, with propane and natural gas upfit kits available, too...(Read More)

2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon First Look
A Transit for the People - Seven of Them


2014 Ford Transit

We've seen the photos, and have been given a lot of the specifications of the new full-size Transit, but this is the first time we've seen it in the flesh. Not everyone is a fan of the tall, narrow look, but as we detailed in our By the Numbers feature of fullsize van capacity, the Transit dwarfs the Econoline in overall cargo capacity and utility. All three of the available engines, a 3.7-liter naturally-aspirated V-6, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, and the 3.2-liter Power Stroke I-5 diesel, all promise to deliver substantially-improved fuel economy over the Econoline, while still delivering sprightly performance, for a van. We're eagerly looking forward to getting an up-close look and drive of Ford's new fullsizer...(Read More)

2014 Ford Transit First Look
Details Emerge: Three Engine, Roof Height, and Length Choices


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