It’s time for the first big auto show of 2018 and its the one in the USA – the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)- in motor city itself, Detroit. While there were just a couple which we found interesting enough for a deeper story, it would be unfair to completely ignore the other fun and noteworthy appearances. Here’s the Auto Loons pick from the 2018 NAIAS:
1) New Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The bigun of the Mercedes-Benz lineup, even taking into consideration the new X-Class, is the original G-Wagon, and it finally gets a long-awaited refresh. As you can tell, Merc has been paying attention to their customers and has chosen not to give the new G much of a cosmetic makeover but streamline the design, focusing purely on updating its inside from the build to the onboard technology. It’s bigger yet lighter than the outgoing version and will be launched with the G500 which gets the standard 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 tuned to produce 416bhp.
On the inside, the cabin refresh makes it roomier with a neater dash and central console much like the latest S-Class, including some of the auto-pilot tech which makes it a lot safer too. The dash has been updated yes, but retains enough of the iconic G elements with real metals bits where possible and a grab handle facing the front passenger. There’ll also be plenty of room for bespoke versions, so maybe an updated 6×6 G-Wagon or even a four-by-four squared is likely. All-new but with everything good from the old, that’s the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
2) 2019 Ford Mustang BULLITT
There are show-stoppers and then there are heart-stoppers. The latter is what Ford had in store for car lovers when they unveiled an all-new limited edition Ford Mustang Bullitt. Built 50 years after the legendary Steve McQueen roared up his own gorgeous Highland Green American muscle car to start one of the most iconic car chases of all time, this special edition Mustang is a damn good tribute.
The coolest part though would be the fact that they had the original McQueen Mustang GT fastback on display as well, with bucketfuls of character in all its rusty edges and faded colours, but its presence still undiminished.
3) Hyundai Veloster N
After the European launch of the much awaited i30 N, Hyundai has brought their hot hatch tech to America with the Veloster N. Both cars share many oily bits, especially the 2.0-litre turbo unit tuned to produce 271bhp, as well as the N colours, N body kit and the N button. The Veloster had a better chassis than the i30 to begin with, so it would be interesting to see which one is better in a head-to-head.
The Veloster N is based on the all-new second-gen Veloster that debuted alongside it, with the normal variations with less power and a more comfortable setup for a family car. You can also check this car out in-game if you choose to play Forza Motorsport 7.
4) 2018 Jeep Cherokee
Jeep is on a roll right now with their model lineup refresh, starting with the all-new Compass which has already made waves in the Indian market, and now they have the new Cherokee. Gone is the toothy expression, replaced by a new front grille section with larger headlamps that make it look a bit more conventional. Two engine options will be available in the US — new 2.0-litre four-cylinder making 270bhp and the old 3.2-litre V6 for more towing capability.
While some may find it a bit disappointing to have the Cherokee look a lot less distinguishable from the crowded, mid-size SUV range, we prefer the new look. What do you think?
5) Mercedes-Benz CLS 53 AMG
Mercedes had a double whammy for the 2018 NAIAS. While one stayed as true as possible to the previous generation, the other marks a new era for Merc-AMG models. Introducing a new number to the AMG series with the latest niche Mercedes – the CLS 53 AMG. Oh, and it has a straight-six.
6) Infiniti Q Inspiration concept
Nissan’s luxury car brand, Infiniti has made some interesting and exciting sedans over time, and at Detroit’s NAIAS, they showed their vision for the future of sedans – the Q Inspiration Concept. It’s one of the prettier concepts of late but its highlight is what’s Infiniti has in mind to put underneath the hood,
A VC Turbo — a variable-geometry four-cylinder petrol that “combines the power of a larger V6 gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of a diesel” — that is small enough for the Q Inspiration to free up space on the inside, even with all-wheel drive. A pretty thing this.
7) BMW i8 Roadster
Unveiled last year, the convertible version of the BMW i8 which is already a modern icon, the i8 Roadster was also in attendance at the 2018 NAIAS though it made its American debut at the LA Auto Show. It ain’t a new one but it sure was a pretty one with all its carbon fibre, improved electric motor with its 1.5-litre petrol engine and a slightly bigger price tag than the coupe.
These were our picks from the 2018 NAIAS, the BULLITT Mustang being our favourite. Let us know in the comments if you agree or what was your favourite car from the show.