Report from Detroit – Highlights from the 2018 North American International Auto Show

By Christian Stampfer on 17 January 2018
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DETROIT—The North American International Auto Show remains one of the most important auto shows of the automotive industry. Year by year, it kicks off the international car show calendar and is followed by major events in Europe and Asia. The show is held at the Cobo Center in Detroit and starts with two press days on January 15 and 16. After two industry preview days and a charity day, the show opens its gates to the public on Saturday January 20. Visitors will have the opportunity to get a first hands-on on all new cars and technologies until January 28.

Here’s a look at key announcements and premieres this year.


One year ago, BMW presented the BMW Concept X2 in Detroit. At this year’s show, the production version of the BMW X2 is celebrating its world premiere. Although BMW is trying to promote the X2 as a car with its own character, it shares its technical basis with its smaller brother, the X1. However, from an exterior point of view, the X2 is quite different to the rest of the BMW’s product range. The most striking difference is the newly designed BMW kidney. It bears an upturned trapezoidal form and leads to the question of whether we will see future BMW models with the same or a similar styling of the kidney grille. Another remarkable design feature is the BMW roundel placed on both C-pillars. This design element is known from BMWs classical coupes and BMW seems to be eager to embrace the spirit of the past towards the all-new X2. At start, the BMW X2 will be available as the X2 xDrive28i model with 228 horsepower and will arrive in US showrooms in early March 2018.


Up to now, the BMW i8 hasn’t been a hero in terms of sales numbers for BMW. The futuristic and innovative i8 has to be seen as a connector from today’s mobility to the future. And since driving into the future might be more fun in a roadster than in a coupe, the BMW i8 Roadster First Edition came to Detroit. Aside from the drop top, everything else stays the same for the plug-in hybrid sports car. It still provides a combined power output of 374 horsepower, generated by its electric motor and a three-cylinder petrol engine.


Das Auto is back. Although the past was troublesome for Volkswagen, the Germans were able to defend their number one position of being the biggest car manufacturer in the world in 2017. In order to secure this achievement, Volkswagen brings the all-new 2019 Jetta to Detroit. The new Jetta is based on the company’s MQB platform, which is also used for the latest generation of the Audi A3 and the Volkswagen Golf. It boasts a sporty yet elegant exterior design with sharp lines and a fast-sloping roof line. Customers of the new Jetta will find themselves in a driver-oriented cockpit with an 8-inch touchscreen. Starting at only $18,545, the standard model of the Jetta will come with a 1.4-liter TSI engine and a six-speed manual transmission. An eight-speed automatic transmission and numerous safety features will be available as an option. Volkswagen’s new warranty policy, the so-called ‘The People First Warranty,” covers 6 years or 72,000 miles (whichever comes first) and is available for all Jetta models.

Click here to continue to Page 2Ford, Audi, and Mercedes

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