Report from Detroit – Highlights from the 2019 North American International Auto Show

By Paul Riegler on 16 January 2019
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DETROIT—The North American International Auto Show remains one of the most important auto shows of the automotive industry. This will be the last year that it kicks off the international car show calendar: in 2020, the show will reboot and move to June, leaving the Cobo Center and adding outdoor events that run along the city’s waterfront in addition to a show floor, something unimaginable in Detroit in the wintertime.

This year’s show, however, is still held at the Cobo Center and starts with two press days on January 14 and 15. Two industry preview days and a charity day follow, and the show opens its gates to the public on Saturday January 19. Visitors will have the opportunity to get a first hands-on on all new cars and technologies until January 27.

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

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 crossover will replace the venerable automaker’s CT6 sedan and be positioned just below the Escalade. Its boxy design combines a profile reminiscent of the current XT5 and some design elements from the CT6. It will be powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that develops 310 horsepower than features cylinder deactivation to save fuel.

Ford’s 2020 Shelby GT500 is based on the current generation Mustang but features aggressive changes to the hood and rear fascia for improved downforce and extra cooling for the supercharged version of the GT350’s 5.2-liter V8 that will develop over 700 horsepower.

The 2020 Ford Explorer, which made its debut last week, made its first public appearance at the show and has been redesigned from the bottom up, despite its resemblance to its predecessor. It comes standard with a 2.3-liter turbocharged 300-horsepower engine with the option of a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain that can take the Explorer over 500 miles (800 kilometers) between fill-ups.

The Infiniti QX Inspiration is an electric crossover that borrows some design cues from last year’s Q Inspiration. While not a production vehicle, “it represents Infiniti’s plans for high-performance electrified vehicles,” the automaker said.

Finally, the Toyota Supra returns to North America after a 20-year absence with a stunning design. Its chassis, the 3.0-liter turbo inline six, and the eight-speed automatic are sourced from BMW but enhanced by the Japanese automaker. It develops 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque with zero-to-60 mph (zero-to-96 km/h) acceleration in the 4.1-second range.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)