Detroit Auto Show

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

“Sensual Purity” Redesign Means The G’s Spirit Is Still Baked In

For the first time since its introduction 40 years ago, Mercedes has given the G-Class a complete makeover. But unlike other “makeovers” that plaster a new body onto an existing chassis, Mercedes went in the opposite direction.

The all-new 2019 G-Class retains its iconic looks while receiving a new, longer frame; independent front suspension; and an interior befitting the Mercedes S-Class sedan. And yet despite its modernization, the G stays true to its off-road roots. It comes with a full-time 4WD system, three locking differentials, skid plates, and proper ground clearance. Among the updates is a new G-Mode that further improves the SUV’s go-anywhere capability with electronic aids.

But let’s be honest – 99 percent of G-Class owners will never trek over anything more challenging than wet grass or a snowy road. That’s why Mercedes injected high levels of luxury into the new model. The wheelbase is two inches longer and 4.7 inches wider for a more planted on-road feel and more interior room. The G will undoubtedly be a smash hit around the world, even with its starting price of €107,040 in Germany – roughly $130,900 U.S. dollars.

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2019 Hyundai Veloster N

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

The company’s second N model is coming to the U.S.!

Introduced in 2011, the Hyundai Veloster replaced the Tiburon (known as the Coupe in other markets) in the United States. Essentially a hybrid between a hatchback and a coupe, the Veloster is available in a three-door configuration only and uses small-displacement four-cylinder engines exclusively. Offered in base and Turbo trim, the Veloster gained an N version with its second-generation redesign. The higher-performance variant crafted by the still-new N division will be the first beefed-up Hyundai to cross the pond to the U.S.

Previewed by a series of concept cars with mid-engined configurations, the high-performance Veloster debuted alongside the standard hatchback at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Both boast sportier styling, new technology, and improved engines, but the N model also sports a number of aggressive aerodynamic updates, exclusive features inside the cabin, and turbocharged engine powerful enough to give the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST a run for their money.

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Infiniti, BMW Take Home EyesOn Design Awards in Detroit

Infiniti, BMW Take Home EyesOn Design Awards in Detroit

It was a thin field, but all winners were worthy of their awards

The Detroit Auto Show was popping this week with enough debuts and concept car unveilings to make for an action-packed week. Two cars, in particular, were honored with EyesOn Design awards, one for being the best concept in the show, and another for being the best production vehicle. The Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept and the BMW X2 SUV took home top honors in the two categories, respectively.

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2019 Toyota Avalon

2019 Toyota Avalon

Upscale touches, extra equipment, and a new everthing help the next-gen Avalon feel even classier

First introduced in 1994, the Toyota Avalon is the Japanese brand’s full-size sedan offering, seeing sales in North America, Puerto Rico, and the Middle East. Since its debut at the Chicago Auto Show back in the ’90s, a total of four generations have come and gone, and now, there’s a brand-new fifth-gen heading for the dealer lots. First making the scene at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Avalon is framed as “attainable premium,” or “mid-premium,” and Toyota hopes it’ll entice customers with an upscale, comfortable four-door package that won’t break the bank. Truth be told, the sedan bodystyle (especially full-size sedans) can be a hard sell these days, as consumers usually fulfill their seating-for-five requirements with some kind of high-riding SUV or crossover. Despite this, Toyota is confident the 2019 Avalon will be an exception to the rule thanks to its extensive list of upgrades, which include a variety of luxurious touches and technology enhancements that almost lend it a feeling of “Germaness” on the surface. Dig deeper, though, and you’ll find the Avalon stays true to its Japanese roots, with unique charactersitics throughout, as well as a hybrid option for those looking for extra dollars saved at the pump.

The new Avalon will go on sale later this spring, but until then, read on for the details.

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Digital License Plates are About to Become a Thing

Digital License Plates are About to Become a Thing

California will see 100,000 of these digital license plates on the road this year

If you need more proof that the auto industry is shifting into a world dominated by digital technology, you need to be introduced to Reviver Auto. The California-based company is in attendance at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show to unveil its new product, the RPlate Pro. In so many words, the RPlate Pro is a digital license plate because apparently, regular license plates are so 2017.

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2019 Ford Ranger

2019 Ford Ranger

The Return of the Ranger after a seven-year hiatus

Well, it’s back. The Ford Ranger mid-size pickup has returned to the U.S. and in glorious fashion. The pickup made its debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit right beside the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado. While it’s not the F-150, the 2019 Ranger will put Ford back in the mid-size pickup fight against the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, and most importantly, the venerable Toyota Tacoma.

The addition of the Ranger positions Ford as having the widest-spread pickup lineup in the world. Entries include the new Ranger, the half-ton F-150, the heavy-duty Super Duty lineup, and the commercial medium-duty segment with the F-650 and F-750 cab chassis.

Of course, the Ranger will have its work cut out; the Toyota Tacoma has long been the leader in mid-size trucks and the General Motors twins aren’t too far behind. Let’s see how the 2019 Ranger stacks up.

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2019 Ram 1500

2019 Ram 1500

Ram brings a solid fight to GM and Ford

The 2019 Ram 1500 is completely new from the tow hooks to the hitch and wears a new design that departs from the iconic crosshair grille of the last 25 years. It rides on an all-new frame that’s lighter and stronger, boasts a new interior that’s far more user-friendly and luxurious, and has a new mild hybrid system on both its 3.6-liter V-6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.

The truck moves into its fifth generation for 2019 and doubles down on every major selling point in a bid to win market share from Ford and General Motors. Weight has been reduced by 225 pounds, the frame is built from 98 percent high-strength steel for increased payload and towing, and the segment’s first-ever deployable front air dam will work in conjunction with the mild hybrid systems to improve fuel economy. Ram will continue offering its popular 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, too, but with more power and torque.

The Ram Rebel returns, as well, but with more off-road equipment and twice the attitude. The other familiar trims include the Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited.

While pricing hasn’t been announced, the 2019 Ram 1500 will arrive in showrooms by the end of Q1 of 2018. That means we don’t have long to wait.

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The 2019 Chevy Silverado Offers an all-new 3.0-liter Duramax; Revised 5.3- and 6.2-Liter Engines

The 2019 Chevy Silverado Offers an all-new 3.0-liter Duramax; Revised 5.3- and 6.2-Liter Engines

Improved efficiency awaits future owners

The Chevrolet Silverado never actually left us, but the debut of the all-new 2019 model feels like a second coming for the Bowtie’s massively popular half-ton pickup. It has a dramatic new look, a lighter packaging, and a staggering number — eight in total — of trim options that’ll make your heads spin in excitement. Best of all, though, is the fact that Chevy is also diversifying the Silverado’s engine lineup, including an all-new Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel engine that will compliment revised versions of Chevy’s 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 engines.

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Sporty design, premium features, and new technology

The latest-generation Volkswagen Jetta was launched in 2010 and production for North America began the same year in Puebla, Mexico. Larger than its predecessor, the sixth-gen Jetta was relegated from the premium segment into the same market as the highly popular Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. In order to keep costs down, Volkswagen removed the leather seats option and the multi-link suspension from the American model. Come 2018, and the German firm launched brand-new model that aims to move the Jetta closer to the premium market again.

Unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with the company’s recent corporate design, seen on the larger Passat and the Arteon sedans, the new Jetta is a significant departure from its predecessor in just about any department. Fresh and sleek on the outside, the four-door pack more technology than ever and Volkswagen claims that it’s loaded with premium features. It also rides on a new platform, switching to the flexible, all-popular MQB after two generations on PQ35 underpinnings. Let’s find out more about these changes in the review below.

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2018 Detroit Auto Show – Worst In Show

2018 Detroit Auto Show – Worst In Show

The debuts that left us out in the cold

Overall, we’d argue that the 2018 Detroit Auto Show was a success, bringing us a well-rounded package of debuts that catered to just about every automotive taste out there. We saw slick hot hatchbacks like the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N, ground-pounding trucks like the 2019 Ram 1500, and tire-shredding muscle machines like the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt, not to mention a few attractive concepts as well. You can read our full list of Best In Show entries here, but as you might expect, not all the debuts were winners this year. Some, in fact, were just awful. As such, we’ve compiled the worst offenders right here for your collective shaming and derision, highlighting back markers such as a poorly executed design study, one of the biggest grilles we’ve ever seen, a haughty European snub, and a few other less-than-exciting reveals.

Granted, a few of these gripes aren’t even about the cars themselves, but rather, the way in which the model was presented. Nit picking? Maybe. Or maybe we’re right on target. Tell us which is which in the comments section below, and don’t forget to post your picks for the worst from Detroit!

Continue reading to learn more about our picks for Worst In Show from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

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Hyundai Veloster N Isn't Interested in Nurburgring Titles

Hyundai Veloster N Isn’t Interested in Nurburgring Titles

Fun and engaging take priority over unbridled speed

The Hyundai Veloster N was a surprise attendee at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. A lot of people weren’t expecting to see it but were thankful anyway when they did. As the second model to get the N performance treatment, the Veloster N is a lot of things. It’s fast, engaging, and a lot of fun to drive. One thing it isn’t, though, is record-breaking. It’s not breaking any lap records at the Nurburgring because it wasn’t developed to do so. That strategy was intentional because, in Hyundai’s eyes, Nurburgring lap records are "a waste of time."

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2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Just in time for the Bullitt’s 50th anniversary in 2018

Arguably one of the most iconic Mustang of all time, the Bullitt returns into showrooms five decades after the original car helped make the best chase seen in movie history. It was 1968 when Steve McQueen drove a Mustang GT390 Fastback like there was no tomorrow on the streets of San Francisco in the "Bullitt" movie, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in October 2018. To mark the event, Ford prepared a new iteration of the Mustang Bullitt for the first time since 2009. The car was unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show alongside the original version, and it’s the most menacing Bullitt ever made.

Set to go on sale in the summer of 2018, the new Mustang Bullitt walks in the footsteps of its predecessors. It’s based on the Mustang GT, it features a host of unique features inside and out, and it has a subtle appearance. But under the skin, the Bullitt packs a bit more oomph than the GT and delivers better performance. If Steve McQueen was still around, I’m sure he would’ve taken one home and maybe even use it for a sequel to the iconic movie. But unfortunately Steve is no more, so we’ll have to settle for the cool, Bullitt-inspired commercial Ford made for the car. Check it out below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Mustang Bullitt.

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