The North American International Show, or Detroit Motor Show to us and you, is the first major car convention of the year. Yes, we saw new cars at CES, but Las Vegas introduced more technologies than actual cars.
The Detroit Motor Show is very much a car show though, with several new cars unveiled for the years ahead. A lot of them are targeted at the American market, but it's not to say we won't see them on European shores in the future. With hybrid, electric and autonomous technologies slowly becoming the norm, the Show this year has a heavy focus on working towards a more sustainable planet.
Of course, we're not completely done with combustion engines just yet, so there are still plenty of cars to whet your appetite for rumbling engines. We've rounded up some of the most important launches from the show, covering concepts and actual production models that will be on the roads within the next few years.
BMW took the wraps off the all-new 2019 i8 Coupé in Detroit. The German car giant has only just recently introduced the convertible version of the i8, but it's already looking forward by showing off the latest version of the iconic electric Coupé. The new model hasn't changed too much, but it will come with an extra 12hp, taking the total to 374hp and bringing the 0-60mph time down to 4.2-seconds. BMW also says it can travel up to 18 miles on electric power alone.
Forget all of its environmental credentials for a moment though. Just look at it. Simply gorgeous.
BMW also unveiled the X2, the latest addition to its X-family of SUVs. It will naturally sit in between the X1 and X3 and is meant to be the X1's more stylish older brother. There will be three trim levels available and engine power will range between 187bhp and 228bhp.
Without doubt one of the coolest cars on the show floor was the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Special Edition. Designed and built in homage to the classic Steve McQueen film Bullitt, which was released 50 years ago, the new car can go 8mph faster than the regular Mustang GT, maxing out at 163mph. The Dark Highland Green paint job reflects that of the 1968 Mustang GT used in the film's classic car chase sequence and inside the gear stick is topped with a white snooker ball.
Lexus unveiled the LF-1 "Limitless" concept vehicle in Detroit, which gives us a glimpse into the luxury car manufacturer's future. Lexus defines the LF-1 as a flagship crossover vehicle, combining the ultimate in high performance, luxury and technology. It has been designed to work with various drivetrains, including fuel cell electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric or battery electric. Lexus added that every vehicle it offers will either be fully electric, or have an electrified option by 2025.
The front of the LF-1 is dominated by a spindle grille that houses several LEDs, but the car as a whole would certainly have a big presence on the road. It's marginally longer and wider than a Porsche Cayenne, but sits much lower to the ground, which Lexus says indicates its performance intentions.
Naturally, it features autonomous driving tech, in this case a Chauffeur mode that takes over all aspects of driving, including lights and indicators, as well as the usual lane-assist and cruise control. The inside is just as bonkers, with each of the four seats getting its own multimedia screen which can display journey information, while the passengers in the back can choose their own infotainment and climate settings.
Mercedes unveiled new AMG cars in Detroit with completely new 53-series engines. The engines will make up new CLS 53, E53 and E53 Cabriolet models, which are expected to be available to order in the UK from Autumn this year. The interesting aspect of the new engines is that they're sort of hybrid.
We say sort of, because they have a 48v electrical system which allows extra boosts of power to be delivered as and when required, rather than power the car when cruising for example, to save on fuel. The electrical boosts provide an extra 16kW of power, which equates to 21hp and 184lb ft of torque. 0-60mph times are around 4.4-seconds for all three models and all have a limited top speed of 155mph.
Mercedes also unveiled a new version of the rather intimidating G-Class, which despite the familiar looks, has been completely redesigned underneath from the ground up.