Detroit hosted a slew of new technologies and vehicles during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Held along the shores of the Detroit River looking across at Canada’s Windsor riverfront, is the annual automotive gathering in the heart of Downtown Detroit and the Big Three’s backyard. From off-road to ultimate luxury, there were plenty of nifty things to see around the halls of Cobo Center.

While there’s plenty of interesting news from the show, here’s our top picks for new news in the automotive industry.

 

New and Improved 2019 Hyundai Veloster

We are excited to see the Hyundai Veloster get a bit of a power boost across the board. The 2019 Hyundai Veloster has been redesigned, inside and out, to create a more aggressive8look for the 2+1 door hatchback.

The new Veloster Turbo model will get a 1.6-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine creating 201 hp and 195 lb.ft. of torque. They’ve even given turbo models a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission – which should be fun to paddle around. Hyundai took it one step further, though by offering an all-new N trim that bumps that to “up to” 275 hp.

Veloster N models will have an extra driving move, N Custom, and more performance tuning that the Turbo model, such as N Corner-Carving LSD, active differential tuning, improved steering feel and throttle response, and engine speed rev-matching.

The top of the line Veloster N will be offered in four colors: Ultra Black, Chalk White, Racing Red and Performance Blue, an exclusive to the trim.

We look forward to testing one of these bad boys out in a few years. The Veloster is a competent and fun, pint-sized hatch with unique styling, and we definitely want to test out the new dynamics.

 

Ford Revives the Ranger

The much beloved small pickup truck is back and it looks better than ever. While it looks a bit larger than its predecessor, it’s also taller for better off-road-ability. The FX4 package improves upon the base models’ capabilities by including all-terrain tires, frame-mounted skid plates, and short overhangs – great for approach and departure angles.

All Rangers are equipped with Ford’s twin-scroll turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford has also given the 2WD and 4WD Rangers Dana AdvanTEK independent front and solid rear axles.

“Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing. “The all-new Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends.”

Whether or not the new Ranger will siphon off former F-150 owners has yet to be seen, but both occupy the mid-size pickup truck segment.

 

All-New G-Class, same SUV

Long has the G-Class been the go-to off-roading machine for those discerning few with copious amounts of money. And the new G-Class increases the performance that MB drivers have come to expect from the opulent SUV.

They haven’t meddled with the classic good looks of the G-Class, which is good. We like that. The changes are subtle, such as better approach and departure angles, increased ground clearance, a deeper fording depth and more.

Though, it will do better off-road with a longer and wider body; 2.1- and 4.8-inches, respectively. That extra length also means that the interior legroom and shoulder room increases, too. Rear legroom alone is increasing by 5.9-inches over the previous models.

The Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet comes with an electric fabric top, portal axles, and a V12 engine – but America isn’t getting it because we aren’t that discerning… We will be getting an AMG variant pumping out 469 hp, though, which is nice.

 

Winning the show – Bullitt style

We’re sure everyone has heard by now, but in case you haven’t – the Bullitt car has returned. Both a modern homage and the actual car from Bullitt were unveiled at the 2018 NAIAS to the adoration of fans and journalists alike.

The new tribute Ford Mustang Bullitt edition has the 475 hp, 5.0-liter V8 engine. It comes in Dark Highland Green as a tribute to the original movie car (or Shadow Black). While the exterior is reminiscent of the older model, the interior is all modern – including BLIS, cross traffic alerts, a MagneRide suspension, and more.

“When making a Bullitt, there are certain things it absolutely must have,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer. “It has to have the right attitude, it has to be unique in some way from a Mustang GT, and more than anything, it has to be bad ass.”

Also premiering at the Ford booth was the original bad ass, a 1968 Mustang GT used in Bullitt. After traveling around the proverbial block a few times, one of the original Bullitt Mustang jump cars found its way to Baja, California. The owning family – the Kiernans, Robert (father) and then Sean (son) – worked with Ford to reveal the two Bullitt vehicles at NAIAS.

The original vehicle is one of the many vehicles used during Bullitt’s 10-minute, epic chase scene through San Francisco.

Photos courtesy of individual manufacturers, and Newspress USA for in-show Bullitt photos. 

 

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Deanna Isaacs is a syndicated automotive columnist who graduated from the University of Washington's Communication department. She enjoys sports cars, two-seaters and long drives where she can annoy the husband.

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