Seven of 2019 Detroit motor show's most interesting new cars – in pictures
It's the US versus the Far East at the North American International Auto Show
When the latest Volkswagen Passat is one of the headline reveals at a motor show, as it is at this year's current North American International Auto Show, you know that the trend of major carmakers moving away from such automotive carnivals is continuing hard.
Thankfully, there were a few other debuts of note at the Detroit show, which runs until January 27, that enjoyed rather more heart-rate-raising lines and statistics, pitching the US car industry against the Far East, with little of note arriving from Europe or anywhere else in between.
The main launch that has everybody hot under the collar is Toyota's much-delayed, long-awaited new Supra, which had already inadvertently been dropped by an errant stork en route to the delivery room a couple of weeks ago. Until we get behind the wheel, we're sticking with our initial assessment that it resembles a slightly steroidal Toyota 86, but the resurrected 3.0-litre sports car is nothing if not a grower.
Toyota's luxury-based sibling Lexus arguably trumped its workaday companion with the LC 500 Convertible, however, taking the top off the coupe with surprisingly palatable results that probably even exceed the distinctive-looking original.
It somehow snuck out slightly under the radar, but Jeep has big news, folks: it's back in the pick-up market. The Gladiator does outwardly seem as if somebody's truck ran into the back of a Wrangler, but given the incredible capabilities of that vehicle, that isn't entirely a bad thing.
Less likely to be seen destroying dunes for sport, the latest monster SUV about to instead take the kids to school is Kia's somewhat strangely titled Telluride, which also has competition from Cadillac's new three-row model, the XT6. The former is a mean-looking machine that is more or less a cousin of fellow Korean company Hyundai's Palisade; the latter follows the XT4 crossover with much of the same design language.
Ford represented for the US, meanwhile, with the carbon-rim-embellished new Mustang Shelby GT500 giving 700 reasons – that's its horsepower figure – to buy American.
And while this month's Consumer Electronics Show stole most of the shine when it comes to brain-boggling, tech-stuffed new motoring ideas, Infiniti did weigh in with its QX Inspiration electric concept car. Said model managed a pretty impressive trick of concurrently giving off the vibe of a curvy, future-facing eye-grabber and, thanks to squinty headlamps and pearly-white paint, one of those blind hairless moles emerging into the daylight for the first time. Which could almost be a metaphor for the overall impact of the Detroit show.
Updated: January 17, 2019 04:22 PM