"sad." "it sometimes looked like a regional auto show." "i came in with low expectations and it was still disappointing." these were just some of the laments from 's team of automotive journalists covering the 2019 north american international auto show in detroit.
the best any of us could manage was to say that just a single big debut from one of the european automakers that flaked on detroit this year aside, it might've seemed like a reasonably well-rounded exhibit — or that if you don't compare it to the standard of high excitement and prestige set by the detroit auto show itself, it really wasn't so bad. but no one could seem to muster up a defense of detroit that came without a caveat.
the water-main break in downtown detroit the day before the media preview officially kicked off — resulting in a widespread boil order and don't-drink-the-water warnings at cobo center, where the show is held — in retrospect seems like an omen warning journos what fate had in store for the final motor city motor show in its current conventional format before it morphs into a reimagined, reconfigured and rebooted incarnation 17 months from now in june 2020.
none of this, of course, is the show's fault. the trend of automakers finding nontraditional venues for debuting their new models, the aforementioned european-automaker exodus from naias this year, and the relative dearth of model debuts with major sex appeal all converged to form a perfect winter storm in detroit (which, ironically, has had pretty decent weather this year ... for detroit). but brighter days are ahead when naias 2.0 blossoms — and we're all rooting for it to be great and successful. we have every faith that the motor city will rise again.
all that said, of course, car shoppers and auto enthusiasts alike will still have ample incentive to buy the ticket and take the ride to the detroit auto show when it opens to the public on saturday. with suvs taking over the market in recent years and sedans ostensibly under siege, it should come as no surprise that trucklike family haulers are the big ticket this year in detroit. models you can't miss on the suv front include the 2020 cadillac xt6, the 2020 ford explorer (along with its st and hybrid variants) and the 2020 kia telluride.
another dominating area of interest is high performance, with big bows by the 2020 ford mustang shelby gt500 (the first gt500 in five years), the 2020 toyota supra (gearing back up after a two-decade-plus stall-out) and the 2020 lexus rc f and rc f track edition all enrapturing enthusiasts. throw in a couple of sedans — namely the 2020 volkswagen passat and the 2019 lincoln continental 80th anniversary coach door edition — along with a handful of forward-looking concepts from the likes of infiniti, lexus, nissan and toyota, and it'll be well worth your 14 bucks to get in when the weekend rolls around.
until then, here's everything you might've missed of 's comprehensive coverage of the 2019 north american international auto show:
lincoln continental coach door edition: some folks call 'em suicide doors
2020 ford explorer: back to the future
2019 detroit auto show: what to expect
lexus has us dreaming of summer with lc convertible concept
2020 cadillac xt6: 3-row caddy crossover de-escalates from escalade
2020 lexus rc f and rc f track edition: performance pumped
2020 ford mustang shelby gt500: the blue oval has a cure for the redeye
2020 toyota supra: second coming of supra answers enthusiasts' prayers
the cadillac of evs: brand's first luxury electric suv announced
the 2020 ford explorer is now rear-wheel drive; should it be?
2020 toyota supra will be pricey but not supra-expensive
2020 volkswagen passat: a modern dinosaur gets updated
nissan ims concept wraps exotic tech in shapely sedan
2020 kia telluride: a family ski lodge on four wheels
2020 ford mustang shelby gt500: no manual, no 10-speed, no problem
2020 ford explorer st and hybrid: go fast or go far
2020 volkswagen passat: limited updated preserve lasting strengths
2020 ford explorer st video: the fastest suv under $60k?
infiniti qx inspiration concept portends brand's first electric suv
2020 toyota supra: it better drive well
ram 1500, genesis g70, hyundai kona win influential industry awards
2020 cadillac xt6 video: bridging the suv gap
2019 subaru sti s209: a small-batch rocket
2020 volkswagen passat video: low-key updates are hit-or-miss
2020 kia telluride: let me tell u about one big ride
redesigned 2020 ford explorer finds increased price
2019 detroit auto show: best in show
2020 hyundai palisade video: 4 things to like on the inside
hyundai kicks off sportier n line models with 2019 elantra gt
2020 ford mustang shelby gt500: the ultimate mustang arrives
2019 ram 3500: bigger, badder and now luxurious
2019 ram 2500, power wagon: more power, new tech
2019 ram 2500 power wagon boasts subtle significant upgrades
what we saw on day 1 at the detroit auto show
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