The North American International Auto Show is pretty amazing. You may know it as the Detroit Auto Show and this year the trend is trucks, trucks and more trucks.
SUVs and Trucks are up in every category and manufacturers are feeling it. The new Ford Ranger is finally here and it’s turning heads at the show. Ford decided to get back into the mid-size pickup space and is not taking any chances on this one. The new Ranger is an affordable, rugged and maneuverable midsize pickup that’s loaded with tech features such as standard automatic emergency braking to avoid collisions and an available terrain management system where you can switch between snow, mud and sand mode, giving the adventure-minded driver more control over their off-road experience.
In the same category, RAM redesigned their 1500 pickup and it now has a dual 12” touch screen in the console. It looks pretty slick and it now comes with e-Torque assist, a new system that will save up to 10% in gas which is always welcome.
Mustang brought back the Bullitt, the iconic green Mustang from the movie starring Steve McQueen. The original Bullitt car was lost and was recently found after 40 years right here in Detroit. The new Bullitt has a 5.0-Liter V8 engine that produces 475 horsepower and a top speed of 163 MPH. It’s available in the classic dark highland green exterior paint with subtle chrome accents. You can even get it with Recaro black leather seats and unique green accent stitching.
Kia evolved the new Forte with design cues inspired by the Stinger which is expected to deliver an estimated combined 35 MPG. They were able to achieve this by using their first in-house designed Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The new Forte is loaded with advanced driver assistance technologies and comes with a standard 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Line-X brought their version of the Ford Raptor which makes it a super raptor. Why? Line-X is a special coating that’s applied professionally like paint but that makes things almost indestructible, you can spray an egg or a lightbulb and throw them from a 10-story building and nothing happens to them. Line-X is commonly used on pickup truck beds and it lasts longer than the truck does. This is the coating that’s used inside the walls of the Pentagon to resist blasts, no joke. Imagine what happens when you apply this super durable coating on a car exterior? You guessed it, it makes it super tough and resistant to all kinds of wear and tear.
Lexus showed off their new concept crossover SUV called LF-1 Limitless designed in California. It looks super cool and signals the future design of Lexus. It could be powered by a fuel cell, plug-in hybrid or even an electric powertrain. According to Lexus, by 2025, every Lexus will either be fully electrified or have an electrified option.
Nissan brought their Xmotion (pronounced cross-motion) concept showcasing what the future of their connected and autonomous crossovers will look like. It’s packed with Nissan’s intelligent mobility technologies such as ProPilot Assist and ProPilot Park. The displays and infotainment system in the vehicle can be gesture or eye movement-controlled, giving it that futuristic edge. The exterior looks tough but refined, with tail lights and symbols in the interior inspired by Japanese woodwork.
Overall, a great show. It’s good to see that manufacturers have it together and that there is a lot more tech that’s seeping into the new models. Technology is definitely a differentiator for them and even though everything in the tech world changes rapidly, I’m starting to see some future proofing and smaller adoption cycles for the newer technologies. In the end, consumers are the ones that enjoy and benefit from all these bells and whistles.