2018 North American International Auto Show Wrap-Up
200-Plus Photos From the Big Show in Detroit!
We couldn’t have asked for more from the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This second show of the season brought us exactly what we were missing in Los Angeles. The three majors of the pickup segment—Ford, Ram, and Chevrolet—all introduced new models. Along with the three pickups, there was also a variety of new and refreshed SUVs.
First to make news was Chevrolet with the company’s new 2019 Silverado 1500. As the first completely new Silverado in nearly a decade, we were excited to see what the General could come up with. A new chassis made of high-strength steel, a body with aluminum panels, and all sorts of trick aerodynamic features adorn the exterior, while updated interiors and powertrains live under the hood. Chevy is doing a slow rollout, so we’ll have to report back on specifics as they make them available. One thing we do know, it’ll be available with six powertrains—one of which will be a 3.0L Duramax I-6 diesel.
Next up to the table was Ford. The company announced the highly anticipated return of Ranger to the North American market. Based on the skeleton of its global “T6” Ranger, the U.S.-spec pickup has been updated with steel bumpers front and rear, a 10-speed automatic transmission, and a 2.3L I-4 EcoBoost engine. Specs are scant on the Ranger as well, but we expect to see it enter production late in 2018, and when more detail flows from the Blue Oval, we’re sure its stats will be impressive.
Last, but certainly not least, of the pickup introductions came courtesy of Ram. The company’s iconic 1/2-ton 1500 pickup has been redone from the ground up for the first time since ’09. A new high-strength steel frame provides the backbone on which a steel cab sits. Taking a different approach than its competitors, Ram saved aluminum for only the hood and tailgate. With this new pickup Ram claims best-in-class V-8 towing of 12,700 pounds and best-in-class payload of 2,300. LED lighting is found throughout the vehicle, and a host of trick wizardry makes it one of the most aerodynamic pickups ever. The 5.7L Hemi V-8 and 3.6L Pentastar V-6 make a return, now with an eTorque mild-hybrid system standard on the six and available on the eight. EcoDiesel fans will have to wait, though, as the oil-burner will be a late-availability option.
SUV manufacturers got in on the action as well, as Mercedes introduced the first-ever completely redesigned G-Class in the vehicle’s storied history—while exterior styling remained constant on the 2019 model, Benz changed just about everything under the skin. Nissan showed off the wildly futuristic Xmotion (pronounced cross-motion) concept, which we could easily see alluding to a future Pathfinder or Rogue. Acura brought the 2019 RDX Prototype to the show, and BMW showed off its new X2 crossover.
At the other end of the size spectrum, Kia announced it would build a production version of its fullsize Telluride concept SUV (itself a Detroit reveal from 2016) , expected within the next year or so. Finishing off the wild week was the refreshed 2019 Jeep Cherokee, now with more engine options and improved styling.
As the preview days wind down it’s clear that the excitement created at the 2018 North American International Auto Show will stick with us all well into our next adventure. It’s been a long time since we’ve been inundated with this level of new pickup news, and will likely be years until it happens again. Savor this moment—we sure are.