Detroit Motor Show 2019: preview

The 2019 Detroit Motor Show, also known as the North American International Auto Show, is approaching fast; here’s what you can expect…

The 2019 North American International Auto Show will open its doors on 14 January, providing a stage on which the car industry’s great and good can parade their latest production models, technology and concept cars. 

Named interchangeably as either the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) or the Detroit Motor Show, the event has been hosted by Detroit every year since 1987. Many of the models shown this year are geared towards the American market, but there are a handful of inclusions which will make their way to the UK and/or have relevance to future UK models.

• Detroit Motor Show 2018: key cars

Read on below for our preview of what to expect at this year’s Detroit Motor Show, with the key cars from each manufacturer ordered alphabetically…

Ford

It’s likely that Ford will release a new Shelby GT500 at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. In November 2018, the American company released an image of the new GT500’s engine bay, which features a large supercharger. It’s stamped with a plaque dated January 14 2019, which happens to be the first press day of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. 

Little information is known about the new Shelby GT500. However, we’re expecting this newest model to have more than 700bhp, to compete with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat’s 707bhp and Chevrolet Corvette ZR1’s 755bhp. More teaser images and specifications will probably follow as the show draws nearer, so we’ll update you with the latest information when it becomes available. 

Infiniti

Infiniti will reveal its new all-electric SUV concept, called the QX Inspiration, to the general public for the first time in Detroit. It previews the company’s upcoming Jaguar I-Pace rival, and heralds Infiniti’s electric car offensive which will see either hybrid or all-electric variants offered for the Japanese company’s entire range by 2021.

The concept follows the design style of the Infiniti Q Inspiration saloon, with slim LED headlights, a blanked off grille, a spacious “hand crafted” interior and a wrap around windscreen. No official release date for the production model has been announced, but we expect it to hit showrooms by the end of 2020.

Lexus

In December 2018, Lexus teased us with a picture of a fixed carbon fibre rear wing, belonging to the Japanese firm’s hardcore rival to the BMW M4. Called the RC F Track Edition, the company promised that this car would make its debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. 

Lexus’s image was anything but enlightening; an issue which was soon remedied by our spy photographers who caught an RC F Track Edition mule during testing. The mule draws heavy influence from the company’s GT3 racecar, featuring a reshaped front bumper and splitter, a new rear bumper and diffuser and deeper side-skirts, along with that fixed rear wing.

We expect Lexus’s hardcore RC F to be powered by the company’s 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, producing in excess of 470bhp. It will likely send its power through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels. 

Subaru

Following in the wake of the previous generation WRX STi S208, Subaru has confirmed it will release the new WRX STi S209 at the 2019 North American Auto Show. The Japanese company teased the new model’s front grille in late December 2018.

Little is known about the new WRX STi S209 as yet, but we expect it will feature four wheel drive, a lairy bodykit and a turbocharged flat-four engine with around 300bhp. Like previous “S” models, we also expect this to be a limited-edition car, with a production run of around 500 examples. We’ll update you with more information when it becomes available.

Toyota

We’ve known about it unofficially for some time now, but Toyota has finally confirmed that it will officially reveal the new Supra at the 2019 North American International Auto Show. Its recently leaked press photos reveal that the performance coupe will remain faithful to the FT-1 concept design brief when it goes on sale in the first half of this year.

Powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine, the new Toyota Supra is expected to produce around 300bhp and 470Nm of torque, which should be enough for a 0-62mph sprint of around five seconds. A 50:50 weight distribution, capable chassis and powerful brakes also promise good handling, as our recent drive of a Supra prototype revealed.

Which car do you think will be the star at this year’s 2019 Detroit Motor Show? Let us know your thoughs below…

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