Ford pulled off a huge surprise at this past week’s 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit by presenting the original Highland Green 1968 Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in front of the cameras during filming of the hit movie “Bullitt.” Long thought to be lost, the car is in a fully original state and is still driveable. It was shown alongside a modern Bullitt Mustang unveiled to celebrate the movie’s 50th anniversary this year.
Ford also used the Detroit show for the return of the Ranger nameplate. The mid-size pickup isn’t exactly brand new, though. It’s an update of the global Ranger that’s been on sale since the start of the decade. It goes on sale later this year to do battle with the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.
There were pickups galore in Detroit. One of the big reveals was the next-generation Ram 1500. This is one of the most important vehicles for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and so far we’re very impressed with what we’ve seen. There are also rumors that a Hellcat-powered version might be on the way.
Chevy used the show to unveil its next-generation Silverado 1500. It was also very impressive. It seems Chevy engineers managed to shed around 450 pounds from the truck’s curb weight, despite the size, strength and features increasing on the previous year.
What about concept cars? Infiniti stunned audiences with its Q Inspiration, a mid-size sedan with coupe-like proportions and one of the best interiors we’ve seen in a long time. Sadly, the concept doesn’t preview a new flagship for the upmarket Japanese brand, but we’re told its design elements will feature on future models.
Chinese automaker GAC also surprised with a concept, in this case an electric compact SUV that we’re told will likely spawn a production model. GAC also had many production models on its stand, including the GS8 mid-size SUV due to go on sale in the United States in 2019.
For fans of luxury, Mercedes-AMG introduced the first models from its new 53 series: the CLS53 and E53 Coupe and Cabriolet. Each of them come with a powertrain delivering V-8 power coupled with the fuel consumption of a 6-cylinder.
But a vehicle even more popular than the AMGs sitting on Mercedes’ stand was a new G-Class. No, not just a new model year but a completely new from the ground up G-Wagen. It’s too early to hear if the G-Class’ signature door “clunk” is still part of the package, but we’ll know soon enough.
Hyundai had a new Veloster on show in Detroit, including a new performance range-topper from the N division. Yes, a Veloster N is set to go on sale in the U.S., and it will come packing 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4.
Acura rolled out a new RDX. The vehicle is officially a prototype but is pretty much what we’ll be seeing in showrooms later this year. Finally, it looks like Acura is getting serious about challenging the German brands in the luxury race. The small SUV looks good for most angles, and there’s tech too like the 10-speed auto and Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive.
There was much, much more in Detroit. As always, you’ll find our complete coverage on the show over at our dedicated hub.