2018 Detroit Auto Show: Trucks & SUVs

© Rod HatfieldTop Sellers
Trucks continue to be top-selling vehicles across America, and debuts of the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit add fuel to the fire for full-size truck buyers. And with the U.S. return of a new Ranger pickup, Ford reenters the midsize truck segment. On the SUV side, Lamborghini joins other high-performance automakers by offering a sport-utility vehicle, while concepts from Lexus and Nissan look to the future of SUV design. Take a few moments and check all the truck and SUV highlights from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

© Rod Hatfield2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado features bold styling, more configurations, multiple engine choices and a variety of trim levels. Even with a longer wheelbase, more passenger room and additional cargo volume, the 2019 Silverado weighs in 450 pounds lighter than the current model thanks to mixed materials and mass reduction expertise. Silverado will be available with six different engine / transmission combinations, including two new V8s — a 5.3-liter and a 6.2-liter — which offer Dynamic Fuel Management that deactivates cylinders when not needed. A new 3.0-liter diesel Duramax engine will also be available.

© Rod Hatfield2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Silverado’s new design incorporates a big grille with sleek, narrow headlights and LED accent lights below. Elements such as the front bumper tucking behind the quarter panels and a rear spoiler on the cab with a small spoiler on the tailgate all facilitate smoother airflow. The truck’s interior is completely updated with more space as well as redesigned control buttons and knobs. Silverado will continue to offer high-tech features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless phone charging and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity. Eight trims are offered, including a new Trailboss version designed for off-roading, so it has a 2-inch suspension lift, big off-road tires and a complete off-road package.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ford Ranger
In Detroit Ford celebrated the return of the Ranger as its reentry into the U.S. midsize pickup segment. The 2019 Ranger features a high-strength steel frame, a 2.3 -liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Even though Ranger is already sold in other markets around the world, the 2019 model in Detroit has been engineered specifically for the North American market, with production scheduled to begin in late 2018 and sales beginning in early 2019. The 2019 Ranger will be offered in SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations and XL, XLT and Lariat trims with available Chrome, Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ford Ranger
The exterior design features a high beltline, a raked grille, a dual-dome hood, the Ranger name stamped in the tailgate, and short overhangs for off-road clearance. Inside, the 2019 Ford Ranger offers seating for up to five, a center stack with an 8-inch touchscreen for the available SYNC3 system and dual LCD screens in the instrument cluster to display vehicle, navigation and audio information. The available FX4 Off-Road Package adds protective skidplates, upgraded tires, off-road-tuned shocks, off-road suspension, a Terrain Management System and Trail Control to help navigate challenging off-road conditions.

© Rod Hatfield2019 Ram 1500
The Ram 1500 is all-new for 2019 from its exterior styling and redone interior down to the chassis and powertrain choices. The 2019 Ram offers more capability, better fuel economy and an impressively innovative interior. The new design is more aggressive with a forward-leaning grille (offered in six different styles) and a raised aluminum hood with engine badges on the sides. Fog lights get pushed to the outer corners and three different headlights are offered: halogen, full LED and full LED with an Adaptive Front Lighting System. Up front is an air dam that automatically lowers at 35 mph to improve airflow, active grille shutters and an optional air suspension that lowers the truck at highway speeds.

© Rod Hatfield2019 Ram 1500
The new Ram will be available in either Quad Cab or Crew Cab configuration with interior options from vinyl to premium leather. The Ram will initially be available with either a 305-horsepower 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 or a 395-horsepower 5.87-liter HEMI V8 powertrain, and both will be equipped with the eTorque mild hybrid system, which adds up to 90 lb-ft of torque for the V6 and 130 lb-ft for the HEMI. This system combines a belt-driven motor generator unit with a 48-volt battery for seamless start / stop function, a short-duration torque boost to the driveline and brake energy regeneration. Both engines are teamed with an electronic TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAcura RDX Prototype
Acura debuted the 2019 RDX in Detroit as a prototype, although the 2019 Acura RDX is scheduled to launch in mid-2018. The design incorporates new Acura design language revealed with the Acura Precision Concept, adapting the low, wide, sleek look to a 5-occupant SUV with a wider track and longer wheelbase than its predecessor. The interior features a floating console, new design power sport seats, a sport steering wheel and premium materials including Napa leather, brushed aluminum and open-pore ash wood.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAcura RDX Prototype
The RDX Prototype has a lighter yet stiffer body structure as well as a new chassis. Power comes from a new 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection engine combined with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower and torque ratings have not been released, but Acura said the new engine produces 40 percent more low-end torque than the outgoing model. All-wheel-drive versions will receive the next generation of Acura Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive with a new rear differential and more rear-wheel torque. An available new Adaptive Damper System is tied into an Integrated Dynamics System with four drive modes: Sport, Sport +, Comfort and Snow.

© Rod HatfieldBMW X2
BMW debuted an all-new X2 crossover as the newest addition to its growing lineup of X model crossovers. Although it shares the same wheelbase as the X1, the X2 is the smallest of the BMW models at 3.2 inches shorter and 2.8 inches lower than the X1. The X2 has a distinct style with a bold kidney grille, high beltline, standard LED headlights, black lower body trim and BMW Roundel emblems on the C-pillars. It also has short overhangs, a coupelike roofline and slim window graphics for a dynamic look.

© Rod HatfieldBMW X2
The X2 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, combined with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. BMW xDrive is a compact, low weight, efficient all-wheel-drive system that distributes torque between the front and rear axles as needed according to driving conditions. Dynamic Driving Control allows the driver to choose between Comfort, Eco Pro and Sport modes. Alpine White is the standard color for X2, with seven optional metallic colors including Milano Blue Metallic, Sunset Orange Metallic and a new Galvanic Gold metallic shown in Detroit.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ford Edge ST
Previous ST variants have been offered for Focus and Fiesta, but the rollout of the 2019 Edge ST is the Ford Performance team’s first application of the ST treatment to an SUV. Powered by a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine producing 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, the Edge ST also features an 8-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive with selectable traction control, ST-tuned suspension and an available performance brake package. A new Sport mode offers more aggressive throttle response, revised shift mapping that will hold gears longer, and a more resonant exhaust note.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ford Edge ST
The 2019 Edge ST receives exterior updates for a bolder look, including a wide mesh grille, revised front fascia, a new rear styling, side skirts, dual exhaust outlets and standard 20-inch wheels, with 21-inchers optional. Inside, the Edge ST is outfitted with contoured ST sport seats, steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters, ST badging on the steering wheel, ST logos on the seatbacks and Ford Performance scuff plates.

© Rod Hatfield2019 Jeep Cherokee
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee gets a refreshed design for the first time since returning to the Jeep lineup as a 2014 model, bringing the styling in line with other Jeep models. Exterior changes include a more vertical 7-slot grille, a new fascia, a revised grille / headlight treatment and a lightweight aluminum hood. A turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is added, producing 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Also available is a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 that produces 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque, as well as a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 four cylinder that produces 180 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. A new 9-speed automatic transmission is standard with all three engines.

© Rod Hatfield2019 Jeep Cherokee
Inside, the new Jeep Cherokee receives subtle changes to lines and contours, with more premium materials improving quality and comfort. Interior trim includes Piano Black and Satin Chrome accents, soft-touch materials accentuate the door panels, and lighter colors on lower panels match seat colors. The standard Uconnect touchscreen increases to 7 inches and the optional Uconnect screen is 8.4-inches with Off-Road packages. The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is offered in five trim levels: Latitude Base, Latitude Plus, Trailhawk, Limited and Overland. The Cherokee Trailhawk adds options and equipment to make it the most off-road-capable version, while the Limited and Overland add features for more luxury and refinement.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLamborghini Urus
Yes, even Lamborghini has deviated from sports cars to join the SUV scrum by creating the all-new Urus, although to be fair the Italian automaker also produced the angular LM002 in the 1980s, powered by the same V12 engine as the mid-engine Countach. The LM002 may be the spiritual predecessor to the Urus, but the vehicles couldn’t be more different. Where the LM002 could be best described as a brute, the Urus is streamlined with sleek lines that give props to the Huracan and Aventador. The front end is unique to Urus; however, the taillights and quad exhaust also fit with the look of the brand’s two supercars.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLamborghini Urus
Expected to perform on par with sports cars, the Urus draws power from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 650 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque as low as 2250 rpm. The leap to 100 km/h (62 mph) happens in a supercar-like 3.6 seconds. It takes a mere 12.8 seconds to reach 124 mph, and Lamborghini claims the Urus has a top speed of almost 190 mph. Power gets delivered to tarmac or dirt via a custom 4-wheel drive system with active torque vectoring as well as 4-wheel steering. Adaptive air suspension and active roll stabilization work in concert with carbon ceramic brakes to deliver superior on-road handling. Inside the Urus is pure luxury with individual power buckets at all four seating positions.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceLexus LF-1 Limitless Concept
The LF-1 Limitless Concept is intended to introduce a new type of vehicle for the Lexus brand: a flagship luxury crossover. Combining high performance with elegance, the LF-1 Limitless Concept could be motivated by a range of powertrains including fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline or battery-electric. Developed at CALTY Design Research in California, the Limitless design is said to combine the organic shapes of molten metal with the sharp edges of a traditional Japanese sword.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceLexus LF-1 Limitless Concept
“This is our vision for a new kind of flagship vehicle that embraces crossover capability without giving up the performance and luxury delivered by today’s top sedans,” said Kevin Hunter, president of CALTY Design Research. With a low roofline and raised ride height, the LF-1 Limitless profile falls somewhere between a sports car and a wagon. Like all Lexus models, the spindle grille is an important element with a three-dimensional design and new colors developed by CALTY. Even though the LF-1 Limitless is clearly a concept vehicle, Lexus has a reputation for bringing production cars to market that remain true to previous concepts, so don’t be surprised to see this vehicle in production form in the next couple years.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz G-Class
Mercedes-Benz debuted the next generation of the iconic G-Class off-road vehicle in Detroit, staying loyal to the original style, which has remained largely unchanged since the 1979 model. Classic design elements include signature door handles, exposed door hinges and fender-mounted signal lights. The revised interior also carries over classic features such as a grab handle in front of the front-seat passenger and traditional round dials for the standard dashboard. The new interior has leather seats, 3-zone climate control, a steering wheel with new touch-control buttons, a 12.3-inch COMAND display, a Burmeister surround-sound system and acoustic-laminated glass. Interior options include a widescreen cockpit with an additional 12.3-inch digital instrument screen, ventilated seats with rapid-heating as well as a heated steering wheel.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz G-Class
The new G-Class will go on sale in the U.S. market in late 2018 as the G550, powered by a high-performance 4.0-liter biturbo engine producing 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque from 2500 to 4750 rpm. This same engine as the current model will be combined with a new 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a low range for off-road use. Standard equipment includes three 100 percent differential locks for the center, front and rear differentials and DYNAMIC SELECT with five driving modes, now including G-mode for off-road use. The suspension is revised to improve both on and off-road performance. Electromechanical power steering is standard with 19-inch wheels, and an Adaptive Damping System is optional.

© Rod HatfieldNissan Xmotion Concept
Nissan revealed the Xmotion concept in Detroit — a 6-passenger, 3-row compact SUV said to combine Japanese culture and traditional craftsmanship with American-style utility and next-generation Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology. The exterior design of Xmotion (pronounced cross motion) begins with a large version of Nissan’s signature V-Motion grille flanked by unique U-shaped headlights. Overall the surface shapes are simple, topped by a retractable rooftop box and rounded out with taillights inspired by Japanese woodwork. Aggressive off-road tires are laminated over rugged 21-inch aluminum alloy wheels, creating a single unit.

© Rod HatfieldNissan Xmotion Concept
The Xmotion interior design symbolizes a Japanese landscape, with an aesthetic that suggests the floor is a river and the center console a wooden bridge, created using Japanese wood techniques used to build religious temples and shrines. The instrument panel is also wood — a modern version of traditional kigumi wood joinery techniques. The interior features seven digital screens, with three main displays for the dash, plus an additional display on each end, as well as a display in the center console and a digital room mirror in the roof above the console. “In the Xmotion concept, we explored the more rugged and powerful side of Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

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