What to Expect at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

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The first major auto show of 2018 is just around the corner.

The 2018 Detroit Auto Show, also known as the North American International Auto Show, will open its doors to the media on January 14. Automakers worldwide have already begun teasing their debuts and concept cars, but like previous years, expect some surprises to bow.

2018 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

For now, here’s a preview of what has been confirmed and what we’re hoping to see at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in less than two weeks.


Acura has confirmed the 2019 RDX Prototype will make an appearance in Detroit, releasing the above teaser image for its popular SUV. Set to preview the third-generation Acura RDX, don’t expect this prototype to steer very far away from the production model. The new RDX is designed and developed for the first time in America and represents the most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade. The bigger news is the new RDX is the first in a new generation of Acura products inspired by “Precision Crafted Performance” and signals the beginning of a new era for Acura.


The big debut over at Audi’s booth will be for the all-new A7 Sportback. The latest version of its stylish fastback four-door was first shown in October during a special event, but its arrival in Detroit will mark its first appearance at a publically accessible auto show. After seeing the new A8 in LA, we can’t wait to get up close and personal with the closely related A7.


BMW will celebrate two world premieres at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the updated i8 Coupe and the all-new BMW X2. Don’t expect very many surprises with the updated BMW i8 Coupe as we saw most of it when the new i8 Roadster debuted late last year. But it will be our first opportunity to get a look at the X2 crossover that the German automaker revealed online last year.


Many of you are probably hoping General Motors is bringing the C8 mid-engine Corvette to Detroit, but we have serious doubts. Instead, the General’s staple brand will show off its new Silverado following the truck’s surprise debut at the Texas State Fair. We’re endlessly curious how it will look in person.


All signs point to Ford unveiling its new Ranger pickup in Detroit, which might become the home of several new truck debuts. Don’t be surprised if Ford brings a couple sports cars to the show as well, possibly a Bullitt Mustang or the recently leaked GT500.


Honda isn’t being very secretive with its Detroit debut, showing off the return of the Insight nameplate well in advance. The new Insight features the Japanese automaker’s two-motor hybrid system, along with more mainstream styling for wider appeal. Like Acura, Honda is calling the car a “prototype” but don’t expect the production model to be very different. The new five-passenger, 2019 Honda Insight will be positioned above the Civic.


Hyundai has already released several teasers for the upcoming Veloster hatchback, and it has even been caught on camera completely undisguised, so expect to see it at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The Veloster is expected to be the first “N” performance car for the North American market, since the i30 N won’t be making it to the U.S. or Canada.


Infiniti recently released an image of the Q Inspiration Concept, which represents the next step in Infiniti design. Featuring clear and concise lines, the concept “eschews classical sedan forms with its elongated silhouette,” said Infiniti. More importantly, it previews Infiniti’s new design language that will influence future vehicles.


Jeep has already released a few photos of the 2019 Cherokee, sporting a new and more premium design. The American automaker is also promising to deliver more fuel-efficient powertrain options with the new SUV, but we won’t get full details until it officially debuts at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.


Detroit will probably see the North American and auto show debut of the Urus SUV. Lamborghini’s first SUV for 25 years debuted in Italy in December, but we’ll get our first good look at it in Detroit. Perhaps we’ll even see it in a different color than the yellow and grey colors it was shown in late last year.


Lexus is shifting gears now that the RC and LC models cover the luxury coupe segment. Late last year it unveiled the three-row RX crossover, and now the LF-1 Limitless Concept will preview a future flagship crossover for the brand. Created by the CALTY design studio in Southern California, the LF-1 Limitless Concept promises to redefine the boundaries of luxury.


The major debut from Mercedes-Benz will be a redesigned G-Class models after spending decades without any significant changes. As you can tell by recent spy photos, don’t expect the iconic G-Class to change significantly on the outside. Instead, major changes will take place inside the cabin, along with new powertrain options, and some weight loss. There’s also the rumor that Mercedes-AMG will roll out a new 53 series of models, sporting a hybrid powertrain with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and electric motor. The prime candidate? The new CLS.


One of the more highly anticipated debuts for Detroit is the 2019 Ram 1500 that has surfaced numerous times in recent months while testing. The next-generation Ram pickup won’t follow in the footsteps of its competitors, retaining a steel body. There will naturally be some major changes for the truck, and we’ll get all the details in less than two weeks.


Toyota decided to get adventurous when it came time to redesign its popular Camry, giving it arguably the most aggressive styling the sedan has ever seen. And now it appears the full-size Avalon is getting a similar treatment. So far, Toyota has released the above teaser image for the new Avalon, sporting a bold design while riding on what is expected to be a stretched version of the automaker’s new global architecture. The bad news? Don’t expect the Supra to debut in Detroit.


There’s a redesigned Volkswagen Jetta on the way, and if the production model resembles the sketches released by the automaker, expect to see a sleeker design for a more mature and upscale appearance. Not surprisingly, Volkswagen hasn’t shared very many details on its new Jetta, simply confirming it will debut in Detroit.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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3 of 8 comments
  • Frank Yoster Frank Yoster on Jan 10, 2018

    Im just soo curious about the Ram1500

  • Kaffekup Kaffekup on Jan 10, 2018

    Concepts, by and large, are a waste of time. They look awesome, and then the real thing looks like last year's model with tweaks. Or the Ford EXP / Mercury LN7. Look them up for a definition of "average". I always maintain that it doesn't cost any more to design an attractive car than a plain one.