Automotive

In photos: Trucks and SUVs give the 2018 Detroit auto show some serious brawn

In photos: Trucks and SUVs giv...
Celebrating the introduction of the all-new G-Class and the timelessness of Mercedes' rugged 4x4, the sculpture uses 44.4 tonnes of synthetic resin
Celebrating the introduction of the all-new G-Class and the timelessness of Mercedes' rugged 4x4, the sculpture uses 44.4 tonnes of synthetic resin
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Nissan explores the future of SUVs with the Xmotion concept
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Nissan explores the future of SUVs with the Xmotion concept
Nissan's Xmotion concept rides on metal-crafted wheels and all-terrain tires
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Nissan's Xmotion concept rides on metal-crafted wheels and all-terrain tires
Nissan says the Xmotion explores the rugged and more powerful side of Intelligent Mobility
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Nissan says the Xmotion explores the rugged and more powerful side of Intelligent Mobility
Nissan Xmotion concept
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Nissan Xmotion concept
Nissan Xmotion concept
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Nissan Xmotion concept
Inside the Xmotion
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Inside the Xmotion
The Xmotion features a wood center console made with Japanese woodcrafting techniques
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The Xmotion features a wood center console made with Japanese woodcrafting techniques
A concept that "fuses Japanese culture and traditional craftsmanship with American-style utility and new-generation Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology."
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A concept that "fuses Japanese culture and traditional craftsmanship with American-style utility and new-generation Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology."
Another strange SUV concept: Toyota's FT-4X
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Another strange SUV concept: Toyota's FT-4X
Toyota initially debuted the FT-4X at last year's New York Auto Show
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Toyota initially debuted the FT-4X at last year's New York Auto Show
The Toyota FT-4X: a "modern 4x4 toolbox" for urban adventurers 
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The Toyota FT-4X: a "modern 4x4 toolbox" for urban adventurers 
Toyota shows the FT-4X concept
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Toyota shows the FT-4X concept
Lexus GX 460
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Lexus GX 460
Lexus GX 460
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Lexus GX 460
The new Subaru Ascent makes the trip north from LA
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The new Subaru Ascent makes the trip north from LA
Inside the Subaru Ascent
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Inside the Subaru Ascent
Subaru Ascent
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Subaru Ascent
Infiniti QX80
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Infiniti QX80
A not-so-new Mercedes G-Class appears next to the all-new G-Class
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A not-so-new Mercedes G-Class appears next to the all-new G-Class
A not-so-new Mercedes G-Class appears next to the all-new G-Class
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A not-so-new Mercedes G-Class appears next to the all-new G-Class
A not-so-new Mercedes G-Class appears next to the all-new G-Class
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A not-so-new Mercedes G-Class appears next to the all-new G-Class
Mercedes premieres the all-new G-Class
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Mercedes premieres the all-new G-Class
The new LED headlights stand as one of the few styling changes on the new G-Class
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The new LED headlights stand as one of the few styling changes on the new G-Class
2013 G 500 Cabriolet Final Edition 200
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2013 G 500 Cabriolet Final Edition 200
Along with the new G-Class, Mercedes is showing a few notable past Gs
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Along with the new G-Class, Mercedes is showing a few notable past Gs
1983 Mercedes-Benz 280 GE Rally Car
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1983 Mercedes-Benz 280 GE Rally Car
Popping the hatch on the new Acura RDX Prototype
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Popping the hatch on the new Acura RDX Prototype
Acura RDX Prototype
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GAC Motor shows its entire vehicle line-up, which includes the seven-seat GS8
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GAC Motor shows its entire vehicle line-up, which includes the seven-seat GS8
A look inside the GAC GS8
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A look inside the GAC GS8
GAC Motors GS4
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GAC Motors GS4
China's GAC Motor plans to enter the US market in late 2019
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China's GAC Motor plans to enter the US market in late 2019
The new Jeep Wrangler makes the trip from Los Angeles
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The new Jeep Wrangler makes the trip from Los Angeles
The Jeep Wrangler gets a little accessory love
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The Jeep Wrangler gets a little accessory love
A smaller breed of SUV, the Fiat 500X
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A smaller breed of SUV, the Fiat 500X
The new 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
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The new 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
Inside the new Ram 1500
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Inside the new Ram 1500
Ram 1500 Limited
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Ram 1500 Limited
The new Ram 1500, shown here in Limited trim, rides on a heavier-duty high-strength steel frame for extra brawn
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The new Ram 1500, shown here in Limited trim, rides on a heavier-duty high-strength steel frame for extra brawn
Ram says the 1500's new frame is 100 lb (45 kg) lighter than the outgoing frame while gaining durability, rigidity and handling thanks to its 98 percent high-strength steel construction
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Ram says the 1500's new frame is 100 lb (45 kg) lighter than the outgoing frame while gaining durability, rigidity and handling thanks to its 98 percent high-strength steel construction
2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
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2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
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2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
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2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Mopar-kitted Jeep Wrangler
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Mopar-kitted Jeep Wrangler
The 707-hp Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk looking good in red
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The 707-hp Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk looking good in red
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
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Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
2018 Ford F-150 Lariat Supercrew by Airdesign
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2018 Ford F-150 Lariat Supercrew by Airdesign
2018 Ford Expedition "Baja-Forged Adventurer" by LGE-CTS Motorsports
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2018 Ford Expedition "Baja-Forged Adventurer" by LGE-CTS Motorsports
The Ford Ecosport gets extra rugged with the Ecosport SES 4WD Concept by LGE-CTS Motorsports
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The Ford Ecosport gets extra rugged with the Ecosport SES 4WD Concept by LGE-CTS Motorsports
GMC showed the Sierra All Mountain concept in LA, but it still comes across as a wild, unexpected surprise in Detroit
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GMC showed the Sierra All Mountain concept in LA, but it still comes across as a wild, unexpected surprise in Detroit
Vail Resorts might have picked the wrong year to launch a wild tracked truck concept, as a low snow year has Vail itself at 72 inches of snow for the year and a thin 30-in base, as of Friday afternoon, Jan 19
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Vail Resorts might have picked the wrong year to launch a wild tracked truck concept, as a low snow year has Vail itself at 72 inches of snow for the year and a thin 30-in base, as of Friday afternoon, Jan 19
Ford goes smaller with the new Ranger pickup
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Ford goes smaller with the new Ranger pickup
A peek at the new Ford Ranger's bed
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A peek at the new Ford Ranger's bed
Ford powers up the Edge with the new 335-hp Edge ST
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Ford powers up the Edge with the new 335-hp Edge ST
The first SUV to get the Ford Performance treatment, the Ford Edge ST has a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, ST-tuned suspension, standard AWD, and quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission
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The first SUV to get the Ford Performance treatment, the Ford Edge ST has a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, ST-tuned suspension, standard AWD, and quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission
Ford trucks at NAIAS 2018
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Ford trucks at NAIAS 2018
Ford trucks at NAIAS 2018
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Ford trucks at NAIAS 2018
The new Ford Ranger, view from above
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The new Ford Ranger, view from above
Chevy's Colorado ZR2 looking rugged and surefooted
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Chevy's Colorado ZR2 looking rugged and surefooted
Welcome to the 2018 North American International Auto Show - Mercedes-Benz shows a 1979 G-Class encased in a block of amber resin just outside the entrance of Cobo Hall
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Welcome to the 2018 North American International Auto Show - Mercedes-Benz shows a 1979 G-Class encased in a block of amber resin just outside the entrance of Cobo Hall
Celebrating the introduction of the all-new G-Class and the timelessness of Mercedes' rugged 4x4, the sculpture uses 44.4 tonnes of synthetic resin
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Celebrating the introduction of the all-new G-Class and the timelessness of Mercedes' rugged 4x4, the sculpture uses 44.4 tonnes of synthetic resin
The Lincoln Navigator earned itself a North American Truck of the Year Award while in Detroit
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The Lincoln Navigator earned itself a North American Truck of the Year Award while in Detroit
Infiniti recently announced 2019 QX50 pricing, which starts at US$36,550 before $995 destination and handling fee
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Infiniti recently announced 2019 QX50 pricing, which starts at US$36,550 before $995 destination and handling fee
Infiniti's QX50 will go on sale in the US in Spring 2018
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Infiniti's QX50 will go on sale in the US in Spring 2018
The QX-50 is powered by Infiniti's first production-ready Variable Compression Turbo engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder
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The QX-50 is powered by Infiniti's first production-ready Variable Compression Turbo engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder
GAC Motor GS7
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GAC Motor GS7
GAC Motor GS3
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GAC Motor GS3
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Jeep debuts the new 2019 Cherokee
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Jeep debuts the new 2019 Cherokee
The refreshed Cherokee features a new 270-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo option
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The refreshed Cherokee features a new 270-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo option
Premiere of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee
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Premiere of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee
Jeep has dropped the Cherokee's angry slit headlamps and sharply creased grille in favor of a more traditional face
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Jeep has dropped the Cherokee's angry slit headlamps and sharply creased grille in favor of a more traditional face
Moparized Jeep Wrangler
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Moparized Jeep Wrangler
GMC Acadia
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GMC Acadia
GMC Acadia
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GMC Acadia
GMC Terrain
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GMC Terrain
Toyota Tundra ready for some fun
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Toyota Tundra ready for some fun
Nissan Titan XD
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Nissan Titan XD
Nissan Titan XD
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Nissan Titan XD
The new Chevy Silverado LTZ
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The new Chevy Silverado LTZ
Plenty of cup holder space in the new Chevy Silverado! 
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Plenty of cup holder space in the new Chevy Silverado! 
Chevy gives the new-gen 2019 Silverado its official public debut after a preview at a Chevy Truck centennial celebration in December
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Chevy gives the new-gen 2019 Silverado its official public debut after a preview at a Chevy Truck centennial celebration in December
Line-X in the hallway of NAIAS 2018
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Line-X in the hallway of NAIAS 2018
We grab a daylight pic of the resined-over 1979 Mercedes-Benz 280 GE 
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We grab a daylight pic of the resined-over 1979 Mercedes-Benz 280 GE 
Mercedes-Benz has definitely created a unique welcome to this year's show
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Mercedes-Benz has definitely created a unique welcome to this year's show
GM shows its autonomous hydrogen fuel cell SURUS concept in Detroit 
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GM shows its autonomous hydrogen fuel cell SURUS concept in Detroit 
The GM SURUS is a platform that could carry a variety of vehicle bodies for work in areas of disaster relief and global conflict 
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The GM SURUS is a platform that could carry a variety of vehicle bodies for work in areas of disaster relief and global conflict 
Einride shows its semi-autonomous electric cargo truck
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Einride shows its semi-autonomous electric cargo truck
We were quite impressed by the sheer size of the Einride T-pod
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We were quite impressed by the sheer size of the Einride T-pod
The Lexus LF-1 Limitless "flagship luxury crossover" is one of the more eye-catching concepts in Detroit
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The Lexus LF-1 Limitless "flagship luxury crossover" is one of the more eye-catching concepts in Detroit
The LF-1 Limitless concept is designed to accommodate all types of powertrain, from a standard gas engine, to all-electric power, to hybrid, to fuel cell
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The LF-1 Limitless concept is designed to accommodate all types of powertrain, from a standard gas engine, to all-electric power, to hybrid, to fuel cell
Lexus shows no sign of easing up on its massive spindle grille design
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Lexus shows no sign of easing up on its massive spindle grille design
The LF-1 Limitless previews a future in which every Lexus model will be available with an electrified powertrain, a future that will start sometime around 2025, according to Toyota's luxury arm
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The LF-1 Limitless previews a future in which every Lexus model will be available with an electrified powertrain, a future that will start sometime around 2025, according to Toyota's luxury arm
A peek inside the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept
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A peek inside the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept
The new G-Class looking good in black
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The new G-Class looking good in black
Mercedes shows the all-new G-Class
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Mercedes shows the all-new G-Class
A look at the digitized interior of the new Mercedes G-Class
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A look at the digitized interior of the new Mercedes G-Class
The 2019 Ford Ranger features a high-strength steel frame, 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed auto transmission
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The 2019 Ford Ranger features a high-strength steel frame, 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed auto transmission
Inside the new Ford Ranger
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Inside the new Ford Ranger
Ford discontinued the North American-market Ranger mid-size pickup back in 2011, but is bringing it back for the 2019 model year
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Ford discontinued the North American-market Ranger mid-size pickup back in 2011, but is bringing it back for the 2019 model year
Ford F-150 Raptor 
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Ford F-150 Raptor 
The Ford Ranger, view from above
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The Ford Ranger, view from above
The new Ford Ranger
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The new Ford Ranger
Chevy Colorado ZR2
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Chevy Colorado ZR2
All up in the grille of the new Chevy Silverado High Country
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All up in the grille of the new Chevy Silverado High Country
2019 Chevy Silverado LT Trailboss
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2019 Chevy Silverado LT Trailboss
Chevy Silverado LT Trailboss
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Chevy Silverado LT Trailboss
The Bentley Bentayga makes an appearance amongst the exotic machines outside the media room
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The Bentley Bentayga makes an appearance amongst the exotic machines outside the media room
Celebrating the introduction of the all-new G-Class and the timelessness of Mercedes' rugged 4x4, the sculpture uses 44.4 tonnes of synthetic resin
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Celebrating the introduction of the all-new G-Class and the timelessness of Mercedes' rugged 4x4, the sculpture uses 44.4 tonnes of synthetic resin

As much as it is a great car show, the 2018 North American International Auto Show might just be more of a truck and 4x4 show. In a country where pickup trucks rule, it's no small story when each of the Big 3 shows an all-new pickup truck, especially when one of those pickups has been entirely absent from the market for the better part of a decade. Not to be outdone, each of Japan's Big 3 is wowing attendees with a wild concept SUV or two. And before you even get through the front door, you're hit in the eyes by an orange hunk of resin with a classic Mercedes G-Wagen trapped inside. Trucks and SUVs are definitely a big highlight, if not the big highlight.

Detroit's Big Three go all in on new pickups

With all of the US Big 3 based in the Detroit area, the automotive world is forced to trudge up to the icy tundra of Michigan each January to open the auto show season. Those automakers usually reward the hardy folks that make the trek with a wild concept or major production car debut or two - say a Buick Avista concept or a Ford GT.

Fiat-Chrysler, Ford and General Motors have kept rather quiet on the car and concept front this year, though. Instead, all three are putting focus on all-new pickup trucks. Ram has debuted the 2019 1500; Chevy is casting the spotlight on the new Silverado; and Ford celebrates its return to the midsize pickup segment with the Ranger. We already looked at the new 1500, and we'll have an in-depth look at the Ford Ranger next week, so we'll use this space for an overview of the Chevy Silverado, which was previewed at Chevy Trucks' Centennial celebration last month before its big public debut in Detroit this week.

All up in the grille of the new Chevy Silverado High Country
All up in the grille of the new Chevy Silverado High Country

As with other modern pickup trucks, the story of the new Silverado is one of more advanced materials, lighter weight, improved performance and new technologies. Chevy says the truck weighs up to 450 lb (204 kg) less than the outgoing Silverado thanks to the precise use of mixed materials and advanced construction techniques. The weight savings come despite the model's larger size. Chevy has also spent a lot of time optimizing the bed of the new Silverado, offering more cargo space, more tie-downs, and a higher-strength steel floor. Available equipment like the power tailgate and 120-volt power outlet should make the bed even more attractive to buyers.

Chevy has increased interior space for added passenger comfort and improved storage. It also teases new safety and convenience features to be announced closer to launch.

2019 Chevy Silverado LT Trailboss
2019 Chevy Silverado LT Trailboss

There's no shortage of variety in the new Silverado line-up, which will include eight trims and six engine/transmission combinations, from the all-new Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel to a big, ol' 6.2-liter V8, each paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It's probably just our love of dirty, rock-scaling pickups, or perhaps the bright red paint it's wearing in Detroit, but we find the new LT Trailboss a particular draw. It features a 2-in factory suspension lift and Z71 off-road package with rear differential lock, skid plates, off-road tires and more.

2019 Silverado deliveries will start in US Fall 2018.

Japan's Big 3 focus on SUVs of the future

While the US Big 3 are busy showing the important pickup products of today, Japan's Big 3 are looking into the future with concept and prototype utility vehicles. Nissan is showing the odd but interesting Xmotion, and Acura (Honda) the closer-to-reality RDX Prototype. The concept we find most intriguing, though, is Lexus' LF-1 Limitless, a flagship crossover designed to accept virtually any powertrain the folks at Toyota can come up with (hence the "limitless"). Lexus says it could be motivated by gas, fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric power, foreshadowing a time when the luxury maker will offer electrified powertrains on all its models.

Lexus shows no sign of easing up on its massive spindle grille design
Lexus shows no sign of easing up on its massive spindle grille design

Styling-wise, the LF-1 is driven by a futuristic design concept Lexus calls "molten katana." Unfortunately that includes an even more massive version of the gaping spindle grille currently featured in Lexus' production line, but it also includes smooth surfaces meant to look like poured-on liquid metal contrasted by sharp edges that could have been sliced with a katana. It's a contrast that's sure to catch your attention, whether on an auto show floor or on the highway of the future, especially finished as it is in metallic champagne-tinted paint.

Mercedes-Benz puts some force behind the G

If there's one vehicle that stands as synonymous with the 2018 North American auto show, it's the all-new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. In fact, you don't even have to go inside the show to see the G-Class, as Mercedes has encased an original 1979 model in a 44.4-tonne block of orange synthetic resin and dropped it right outside the show's entrance for all to see. Inside the show, Mercedes has interspersed all-new 2019 G-Classes among notable Gs of the past, including the absolutely filthy one below.

A not-so-new Mercedes G-Class appears next to the all-new G-Class
A not-so-new Mercedes G-Class appears next to the all-new G-Class

It's not surprising Mercedes is making a big deal of the new G-Class - despite being introduced damn-near 40 years ago in 1979 and being produced some 300,000 times over, the G-Class had but a single generation up until this week's debut of the second-gen model. Not that the new G-Class breaks any molds - it has a touch of extra size, but the boxy, brutish styling remains virtually unchanged, save for a more modern face with LED headlamps. Updates of note include the replacement of the solid front axle with an independent front suspension, increased ground clearance and improved fording capabilities. Mercedes promises the new double-wishbone front suspension provides the same off-road capability with better on-road performance. Power comes from a 416-hp 4.0-liter V8 biturbo.

Mercedes shows the all-new G-Class
Mercedes shows the all-new G-Class

Inside, owners can count on a roomier, more comfortable interior and a digital experience led by the dual 12.3-in displays of the available Widescreen Cockpit.

We'll have to wait for confirmation of how much the G-Class will cost when it goes on sale in the US in late 2018, but we do know it'll start at €107,040.50 (approx. US$131,000) when it hits the German market this June.

For more trucks and SUVs, jump to our gallery and see all the grumbling, mud-splashing, diesel-guzzling action from the Detroit show.

4 comments
VincentWolf
What a joke most Americans are still wrapped up with their flammable polluting noisy gas and diesel cars. Get a life and think of your kids future and your grand kids and dump the gas.
NoelFrothingham
Vince, don't blame the consumers for the manufacturers inability to provide alternate-fueled vehicles at a price line more buyers can afford.
yawood
I just knew there'd be a comment like that from Vincent. What are the alternatives? Certainly not electric - maybe one day but for now they aren't even close to providing the same range, speed of refuel etc. Hydrogen is close but lacks the refuelling infrastructure. One day...
Lardo
A power tailgate. Really? And how much will THAT add to the base sticker price? Have we become so dang lazy that we can't do ANYTHING manually anymore? And here's what really pisses me off. I'm not even allowed to make the choice anymore. The auto companies FORCE me to buy "extras" that I don't want. Want proof? Try to buy a new car today WITHOUT air conditioning and power windows. I bitc.... re, complained about it (air conditioning) the last time I bought a new car. the salesman had the gaul to tell me, "Hey, you don't have to use it." So I said, "But your still gonna make me pay for it, aren't you?" He had to search the entire southeastern part of the state, and it took him 3 weeks, but he finally found me the model I wanted without air. Trouble is, that was nearly 20 years ago. Those days are long gone.