2019 Detroit Auto Show: Ford Explorer, Shelby GT500, Toyota Supra and more

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show will certainly be one for the books. It’s the last time Detroit will host its North American International Auto Show in January; starting next year, the event moves to June. And while this year’s show will be smaller than previous years in terms of automaker presence, those who are coming are certainly bringing the heat.

From things like the 2020 Explorer SUV, to electrified concepts, to the OMG-it’s-finally-here Toyota Supra, we’ll have a lot to talk about in Detroit next week. In addition, we’ll be announcing our 2019 Shift Awards, highlighting our editors’ picks for vehicle, disruptor, safety tech, cabin tech and driveline tech of the year. Here’s a look at what to expect.


Cadillac gets a new crossover at this year’s Detroit Auto Show: the XT6. It’s a three-row, luxury SUV designed to compete with the Acura MDXInfiniti QX60 and Lexus RX L, with a 310-horsepower V6, a 9-speed automatic transmission and optional all-wheel drive.

The XT6 looks pretty sharp, with its slim headlights and long, vertical taillamps. There’s a huge amount of onboard tech, too, including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, night vision, a rear-view camera mirror and a head-up display. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system comes on an 8-inch touchscreen, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot standard.

Look for the 2020 XT6 to arrive in Cadillac dealers in late spring or early summer, with pricing likely to start in the high-$40,000 range.

Cadillac also used the Detroit Auto Show to tease a new, electric crossover concept. General Motors has said that Cadillac will be its “lead electric vehicle brand,” and this concept is apparently the shape of things to come.


We brought you the lowdown on the 2020 Explorer earlier this week — it’s a huge improvement over the model it replaces, despite looking mostly the same. Ford moved the Explorer over to the rear-wheel-drive platform that will also underpin the upcoming Lincoln Aviator, stretching the SUV’s wheelbase by 6.3 inches in the process. That means the Explorer will be a lot more spacious than before.

At launch, a 2.3-liter turbocharged I4 engine will be standard, with a 365-horsepower, 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 available as an option. All models come standard with an 8-inch, Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, though a portrait-oriented, 10.1-inch screen will also be available.

In addition to the regular 2020 Explorer, Ford will also show the Police Interceptor variant, as well as the Explorer Hybrid and high-performance Explorer ST. The Explorer ST ups the 3.0-liter V6’s performance to 400 horsepower, while the Explorer Hybrid aims for 500 miles of range on each tank of fuel.

And then, of course, there’s the Shelby GT500. The big news is that it’s an incredibly powerful Mustang — like, 700-horsepower powerful, all thanks to a supercharged, 5.2-liter V8. With its seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission (that’s right, no manual), expect mid-3-second 0-60 sprints. With its magnetic ride suspension, the Shelby ought to be no slouch in the corners, as well.

In addition to the Entranze concept, Chinese automaker GAC will bring its GM6 minivan and GS5 SUV to the Detroit show.



Chinese automaker GAC is no stranger to the Detroit Auto Show, having had a presence there on and off since 2013. This year, the company is back, and it’s showing the new Entranze concept, something the company calls “a hyper-modern family vehicle” with the groundwork for autonomous driving.

GAC will also bring its GM6 minivan and GS5 SUV, neither of which have been shown in the US. And while the company does not yet sell cars in the US, it’s preparing to open a new research and development center outside of Detroit, to join its other two US-based facilities in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.

Whatever Hyundai brings to Detroit, we bet it’ll have an N badge.



We can’t officially confirm what Hyundai has in the works for the Detroit Auto Show, but we’ve been told to expect some news related to the company’s N performance division. Perhaps Hyundai will show an N Line model — the name that’ll be assigned to sporty cars that don’t get the full-on N treatment (think BMW M Sport vs. BMW M). In any case, stay tuned for Hyundai’s full announcement in just a couple of days.

The QX Inspiration concept will preview the design of Infiniti’s future EVs.



Infiniti’s Detroit debut is the QX Inspiration, an EV crossover concept that the company says previews the design language for its future electrified offerings. Infiniti will offer electrification options across its entire portfolio beginning in 2021.

The QX Inspiration is more of a high-riding hatchback than actual crossover, and it’s not necessarily meant to signal an actual production car. We don’t have any details on what sort of EV powertrain lies underneath, but we’re hoping to learn all that and more at the Detroit show next week.

The production Telluride won’t have all this… stuff… on it.



Even though we first saw the production-spec Kia Telluride at New York Fashion Week in September, we still don’t know too much about the brand’s full-size SUV. That’ll change at the Detroit show, where Kia is planning to reveal all the details about its new big boy.

Since the Telluride shares its architecture with the Hyundai Palisade, we can probably expect a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 underhood, producing something like 290 horsepower. The Telluride will face some fierce competition when it hits the market, from the likes of the 2020 Ford Explorer, to segment staples like the Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander.

The LC Convertible looks awesome, and those 22-inch wheels are dope.



Though Lexus is calling its LC Convertible a concept, we’re pretty sure this one will enter production. When the company revealed its new droptop earlier this week, it said, “Open top concept suggests future direction of LC flagship,” which is a pretty serious nod to production intent.

No official details have been confirmed, but we’d expect the production LC Convertible to use the same powertrains as the coupe. That means a 5.0-liter V8 with 471 horsepower, as well as a hybrid option.

Lexus is also bringing the refreshed RC F coupe to Detroit, complete with a new Track Edition package.


Lincoln doesn’t have an official press conference on the Detroit Auto Show schedule, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be something new on display. Look for Ford’s luxury brand to show the Continental Coach Door Edition that debuted in December.

The Coach Door Edition is a stretched version of the Continental sedan, with a large pair of suicide doors — reminiscent of the 1961 Continental. Lincoln is only planning to build 80 of these cars initially, priced above $100,000.


Nissan’s Detroit debut is the IMs concept, a weird, kinda-sedan, kinda-SUV thing, with an electric powertrain. The IMs is also capable of Level 4 autonomous driving.

The concept is said to be powered by a 115-kilowatt-hour battery, good for 483 horsepower, 590 pound-feet of torque and 380 miles of range. The IMs is about two inches shorter than a Nissan Maxima sedan, yet rides on a longer wheelbase, and has an adaptive air suspension.

The IMs doesn’t have any sort of immediate production-intent future — instead, the company will bring its IMx electric SUV concept to the road in some form. Still, the IMs looks to be something special.

Back to reality, Nissan brought the new Leaf E+ to Detroit, with its more powerful battery and 226-mile range. The Leaf E+ first debuted at CES, but is making its official auto show debut in Detroit.


This current generation of heavy-duty trucks have some polarizing faces, but Ram came to the Detroit Auto Show to prove that it can make a big ol’ truck that’s both capable and somewhat easy on the eyes.

The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty is modeled after the latest Ram 1500, and it looks pretty handsome. But the most important part of this truck isn’t visible from the outside — its new 6.7-liter Cummins diesel I6 puts out a mind-bending 1,000 pound-feet of torque, more than any other heavy-duty pickup. That enables it to carry nearly 8,000 pounds in the bed and tow up to 35,100 pounds.

It’s not capable from a truck-stuff perspective alone. The Ram HD also packs a bunch of tech, including an available 12-inch portrait infotainment screen that can display multiple apps at once. It can also be equipped with safety tech that includes a surround-view camera system, automatic emergency braking and a second camera that monitors the payload in the bed.

Scooby-dooby-doo, I see you.



The Subaru WRX STI will spawn an S209 special-edition model in Detroit, with bulgy fender flares, a huge wing and lots of performance upgrades. We don’t have any details just yet, but expect an upgraded suspension, as well as tweaked aerodynamics and larger brakes.

The biggest question we still have is, what’s under the hood? The older, not-for-US S208 special edition was powered by a 2.0-liter turbo H4 engine, but the US-market STI uses a 2.5-liter H4. We just hope it offers more power than the 310 horsepower found in the current STI Type RA.


We finally — finally! — have the official information about the 2020 Toyota Supra, the internet’s worst-kept secret.

Power comes from a BMW-sourced, 3.0-liter, turbocharged I6 engine, with 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels, and the car is estimated to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds.

The Supra looks… like the images we’ve already seen. Which is to say, it’s not exactly pretty. Fake vents are everywhere, and the rear three-quarter view is a little bulgy for our tastes.

Look for the 2020 Supra to hit Toyota dealers this summer, priced from $50,920, including $930 for destination. The first 1,500 units built for the US will be Launch Edition cars, priced at $56,180.


The 2020 Passat sedan isn’t all that different from its predecessor. We drove a prototype of the new Passat late last year, and though our time with that car was brief, we found the new four-door to largely stay the course.

All Passats will be powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged I4 engine, with 174 horsepower and a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. A sporty-looking R-Line model will roll on 19-inch wheels, and all models will get LED head- and taillights. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system will be found inside, but we won’t see Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit gauge cluster. Womp womp.

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show media days kick off on Monday, Jan. 14, and the show officially opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Click here to follow all of Roadshow’s 2019 Detroit Auto Show coverage.

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