Detroit motor show 2019 preview

New Toyota Supra among the cars set to be unveiled at North American International Auto Show

The Detroit motor show – officially known as the North American International Auto Show – has long marked the start of the automotive year. 

As with several other major motor shows, Detroit has lost some of its lustre in recent years, with a number of car firms choosing to display at other events such as CES. Most of the big European companies, and a number of US marques, are staying away in 2019, but while the number of cars due to be launched might be down, they include some significant and interesting new metal.

Here’s what we know will be on show in Detroit when the show’s media days kick off on Monday 14 January. Check back here regularly for more updates.

Toyota Supra

The star attraction in Detroit is set to be Toyota’s reborn two-seater Supra sports car, which Autocar has already driven in prototype form. Developed alongside the latest BMW Z4, the fifth-generation Supra – and the first since 2002 – will be powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six engine, with around 340bhp and 350lb ft.

Pictures of the car have already leaked, but Detroit will provide the first chance to see the Porsche Boxster rival up close, and to gain the first official details of its powertrain and tech specs.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

With a supercharged 5.2-litre V8 engine producing around 700bhp, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is set to be the most powerful road-legal series production machine the firm has ever offered.

The new car has been co-engineered by tuning firm Shelby, and revives the high-performance version of the muscle car that Ford had stopped selling in 2015.

Subaru WRX STI S209

The Japanese firm’s Subaru Tecnica International performance division has confirmed that it will unveil a WRX STI S209 in Detroit, although aside from a teaser shot of the front end, it has given few details about the limited-run model.

The previous WRC STI S208 was launched in 2017, with the turbocharged 2.0-litre flat-four engine in the 450 examples tuned to produce 324bhp, up 28bhp from the standard model. There was also STI equipment including a faster steering rack and adjustable Bilstein damping.

Infiniti electric SUV

The Infiniti brand was launched at the Detroit show in 1989, and it will celebrate its 30th anniversary by unveiling a concept for its first electric machine. 

The SUV, understood to be similar in size to the BMW X1, has been previewed with a darkened image, and will also introduce a new design language for the firm.

Parent company Nissan is also understood to be readying an electric concept machine for the show.

Lexus RC F Track Edition

The Japanese firm is also celebrating its 30th anniversary at Detroit, where it will unveil the performance-focused RC F Track Edition.

While details of the BMW M4 CS rival are scarce, a teaser image shows a large carbonfibre rear wing, which has also been seen on spy shots of the car at the Nürburgring. The car is understood to have gone on a substantial weight-saving programme since the RC F GT was launched in 2016.

Kia Telluride

Kia will finally unveil the production version of the Telluride, its new large SUV that can seat up to seven passengers and was first shown in concept form at the Detroit show in 2016.

Preview material from Kia suggests the firm is embracing the ‘big, bold and boxy’ styling of the SUV, which is unlikely to be offered for sale in Europe.

Cadillac XT6

The GM brand will launch a new large SUV called the XT6, which is expected to go on sale in the US in 2020. The new car, based on the Chevrolet Traverse, is part of a major model assault by Cadillac, which will include five new or redesigned models by the end of next year.

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Source: Autocar Online

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