2018 Detroit motor show – live blog, gallery and latest news

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

The motoring press returns to the US for Detroit, just weeks after the Los Angeles motor show. Here’s up-to-the-minute news and action, live from Detroit

The Detroit motor show has begun, and as usual, we have teams in the UK and in Detroit covering all the most important news as it happens. 

There are breaking news stories coming thick and fast, so keep an eye on our main news page for the latest news, and keep an eye out for latest live blog updates for up-to-the-minute updates on everything happening in Motor City.

2018 Detroit motor show: live blog


Steve’s getting some important insight into Ford’s domestic market strategy: “Ford says US Ranger will made in Michigan (for 2019 model year) in response to recovery in demand for ‘smaller’ pick-ups (US Ranger sales used to hit 300,000 in the 1990s). Lots of equipment includes impressive FX4 4wd drive package, but model structure designed to hold prices back from still-dominant F150.”


“The launch of Mercedes-AMG’s new hybrid 53 range should not be overlooked. This is a brand famous for cars with rumbling V8 exhaust notes and brutal handling – that it’s now turning its hand to efficiency-boosted powertrains suggests a change of tune, one that you’d have to think will have to lead to a full EV model in the not too distant future…” says Sam Sheehan. 


Lexus’ LF-1 Limitless concept is dividing opinion in the office, having just been revealed. The flexibility of its platform for ‘limitless’ powertrain options is promising. The typically (for Lexus) out-there styling is raising a few eyebrows, though. 


Racking up those steps, Steve heads over to the Ford/Lincoln stand, where a car formerly described by Mark Tisshaw in its concept form as ‘simply one of the nastiest, most vulgar looking cars I’ve ever seen’ sits, in production guise has caught Steve’s eye: “Just ran into David Woodhouse, head of Lincoln design and head of all Ford Group global design. Huge job – more than a dozen studious across the world. Was looking at new (recent) Expedition-based Lincoln Navigator (huge, plush and amazing – motto “Quiet Luxury”). Let it never be forgotten that David Woodhouse started his career by winning a design competition in Autocar when he was a starving student. Now, clearly, doing great things.”


Part of Detroit’s illustrious automotive heritage stand sentry at the entry, notices Steve: “A couple of old snotters in the foyer remind us of old Detroit – a Chrysler 300C and Plymouth Fury, to be precise.”


Back at the show, Rachel’s checking out the G-Wagen close up: “Mercedes has an obligatory muddy G-Class on its stand to showcase how capable it is as off roader. The new model now has a 10cm improved wading depth too, at 70cm.”




“The G-Class reveal was in a spectacular location, the old Michigan Theatre, which was faded yet magical. Particularly poignant because it was also on this site that Henry Ford built his first ever car. Now that’s some impressive history.”


Last night’s G-Class unveiling took a surreal turn, says Rachel, “When Arnold Schwarznegger turned up and started talking about how he’d got more muscular as the G-Class had got more muscular… he also gave Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche a cowboy hat.”


So what else has been happening? Well, there’s a new Ford Mustang Bullitt, announcement of an EV SUV performance car from Ford too, the facelifted Edge and Edge ST, while over at Mercedes, the G-Class (one of Detroit’s most hotly anticipated show cars) was revealed, along with the Mercedes-AMG 53 range, Volkswagen unveiled the new, not-for-the-UK Jetta, and Infiniti whipped the covers off the Q Inspiration concept. Quite a busy show already. 


At the other end of the automotive scale, there’s the Honda Insight. Rachel’s impressed: “The new Honda Insight looks much more appealing than the old. However, it’s not due to come to UK, unfortunately.”


The Mercedes-Benz G-Class was revealed last night, ahead of the show-floor mayhem. Rachel was there to witness it all: “At the G-Class launch, Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche told the audience how the G-Class was close to his heart because it was the first car he’d worked on in R&D back in the eighties. Showing a picture from the time of him with the car, he joked: “Only one of us still looks like we did back then.””


Rachel’s exploring already – “The Volkswagen Jetta has already been revealed here but it’s still under wraps at the show.”


And we’re off – Steve’s had a peek at local newspaper headlines too: “Detroit Free Press sees this year’s show as a mix of “truck wars” and lots of progress on driverless and autonomy. Obviously there’s more, but that’s their take. Their intro imagines Henry Ford (Ford founder), Alfred P Sloan (GM founder) and the Dodge Bros (in effect, the FCA founders) walking into this year’s show and seeing a gigantic division – between cars directly related to what they invented, and autonomous cars they never dreamed of…”

12:58pm UK time (06:58am Detroit time)

Welcome to the Autocar live blog for the 2018 Detroit Motor Show. Our team in Detroit is made up of News Editor Rachel Burgess and Editor-In-Chief, Steve Cropley. Back over in our Twickenham headquarters are Editor Mark Tisshaw and Senior Staff Writer Sam Sheehan taking care of the news, Editorial Assistant Sam Jenkins doing all things social media, and Staff Writer Jimi Beckwith taking on the role of master of ceremonies for the Live Blog. The action is just about to kick off in Detroit, so stay tuned. 

Detroit motor show 2018: the cars

Acura RDX prototype

Honda‘s US brand is showing an SUV prototype that represents the brand’s next-generation RDX. It takes inspiration from the striking Precision Concept and its futuristic cabin.


BMW’s new small SUV gets its first official outing at the Detroit motor show, despite being revealed ahead of the Los Angeles motor show. The SUV, targeted at young people, is penned to go on sale in the UK in spring. 

Ford Edge facelift

Ford’s largest SUV on sale in Europe – but far from the largest SUV it makes – has been given a refresh, and an ST version for the US market. It shows us exactly what the facelifted Edge will look like, in about a year’s time. 

Ford Mustang Bullitt

Ford has revealed the latest iteration of its Mustang Bullitt; the 475bhp and a 420lb ft of special edition paying tribute to the famed film car on its 50th anniversary. Green paint, iconic wheels, Bullit badge, 8-ball gearshift, and 475bhp.

GAC saloon and EV

Chinese brand GAC is determined to get a foothold on the European and American markets, and is displaying a renewed assault on the US market in Detroit, with a saloon and an electric concept, details of which haven’t yet been revealed. 

Honda Insight

The Insight is back – well, for the US market anyway. It’s also far more conventional than the distinctly Prius-flavoured predecessor, being a traditional saloon shape. Honda promises that it won’t be saddled with the compromises traditionally associated with hybrids, either.

Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai’s sporty coupé is being shown in its second generation, although we won’t be getting it in the UK. It’ll also be the second model to get an N variant after the i30N.

Infiniti Q Inspiration concept

Infiniti will continue its efforts with its variable compression ratio with the concept demonstrator of its future design language, named Q Inspiration. 

Jeep Cherokee

Jeep has brought its facelifted Cherokee to the Detroit motor show, where the car is being shown in public for the first time. It’s another with a far more conventional look, ditching the split headlights from the current-generation car for simple, single units. 

Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept

Lexus has shown a glimpse of its Detroit-bound concept and described it as a “luxury flagship”. The image gives little away, except a light-bar tail-light cluster, a split spoiler and coupé-like roofline. It could preview an SUV-coupé akin to the BMW X6

Mercedes-AMG 53 range

AMG’s first hybrids will be the 53 range, made up initially of the CLS 53 and the E53 Coupé and Cabriolet models. Each gets 429bhp from a 3.0-litre straight-six engine coupled to a 50kW electric motor. 

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes is bringing its venerable off-roader in its newest form to Detroit as the first outing since its renewal. We have a pretty good idea of what it’ll be like already, because it’s not set to change much from the old one. 

Toyota Avalon

Toyota is revealing its next-generation Avalon, which is the brand’s flagship saloon model in America. It’s said the car will get a new design that, at this stage, is only previewed by a preview picture of a headlight.

Volkswagen Jetta

The Jetta probably won’t come to these shores – Volkswagen just trimmed it from its UK line-up – but in the US it’s a strong seller, so the brand is displaying the new one at Detroit

Source: Autocar Online

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