The Best Reveals and Legendary Classics of NAIAS 2018

With media day two of the 2018 North American International Auto Show just wrapping up, we take a look at some of the stars of the show. There was a little bit of everything this year, including much-anticipated new releases, racers, off-road legends and one very legendary movie tie-in. Buckle up.

Twin Bullitts

Ford went all-out at this year’s show when it came to the fanfare surrounding its latest special edition Mustang. The car itself is impressive, from its estimated 475 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, to its cue-ball shifter, Highland Green Paint and so forth. That’s cool, to be sure.

The fact that they brought along one of the original movie cars and are allowing patrons to “star” in their own rendition of the movie’s famous chase scene, however, is the icing on the cake.

1963 Superperformance Grand Sport Corvette

While it’s a fiberglass recreation as opposed to an original, this homage to the classic C2 Corvette is totally deserving of the name. The 720 hp LT4 supercharged V8, the retro paint job, huge fender flares and original-style leather interior should make for a car that even original Corvette purists would love.

2018 Indycar

Oh, the production car launches are all well and good, but the arrival of the next-generation Indycar on the floor surrounded by Camrys and Malibus is a properly refreshing sight. New for the ’18 Verizon IndyCar season, the latest racer eschews the weird aero and quasi closed-wheel look of the old car for a much more streamlined and classic look. It looks fast, It looks sexy, and it looks like a proper open-wheel racer should.

2018 Ford GT 67 Heritage Edition

We’ve seen this before, but darned if it still isn’t one of the coolest inhabitants of the NAIAS floor, even though it’s surrounded by newer performance vehicles from its own brand. The red and white paintjob recalls the Le Mans-winning 1967 GT40 Mk. IV, while interior details including matte carbon fibre door sills, red seat belts and anodized gray paddle shifters make this an even more special version of an already very special car.

Mercedes-Benz 280 GE Rally Car

Yes, yes. We’re all aware the actual, all-new production G-Class was also launched at the show, but much like the Bullitt, it was the supporting cast on the Mercedes stand that stood out for me. Namely, it was this rally-prepped Geländewagen that stood out for me, what with its classic Texaco/Havoline livery, Hella spotlights and the fact that it was raced by Jacky Ickx (and some other guy) to a second-place finish at the 1982 Paris-Dakar Rally.

Infiniti Q Inspiration

Along with the Lexus LF-1 concept, the latest look at the future of Infiniti design was top-trumps among concept cars at this year’s show. The doors are of the suicide variety, the interior is covered in real wood and the coral trim on the wheels actually matches the piping on the seats inside. Gorgeous and techy, just the way we like our concepts.

2018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

While the ZR-1 is making all the noise – both literally and figuratively – when it comes to Corvette these days, one should not forget the 460 hp Grand Sport. Especially when its finished in an oh-so-scrumptious shade of red, with black wheels to match the various black trim pieces and spoiler.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept

Ever wonder what the gorgeous LC would look like in SUV form? Well, this concept offers a hint. Big, 22-inch rolling stock, clean profile view thanks to hidden rear door handles and massive side creases all point to what a flagship Lexus SUV could look like going forward. Inside, a 4D navigation system and all-new infotainment interface point to a new direction in in-car tech for Toyota’s luxury brand.

2019 Ford Ranger

There’s just something about the return of a classic nameplate that gets the fizz going. Especially when it was so loved in the first place and while the Ranger has been serving in other markets since it left North America, it’s nice to see it make its way back. Pickup trucks may still be used primarily as utility vehicles, but they’re moving towards “lifestyle’’ status more and more every day. With four-cylinder EcoBoost power and Edge-like front end styling, the latest Ranger ticks all the right boxes.

Original Jetta

While it’s not from the first year of the Jetta, it is an ’82 model meaning it’s part of the car’s first generation. VW brought it along with the all-new 2019 Jetta to showcase how far the model has come up to this point. VW calls it progress and in many ways; it is, but I’ll take those classic lines, chrome wheel covers, and spindly stick shift any day of the week.

From first introductions to fond memories, here's Detroit in a nutshell. 1/16/2018 1:00:00 PM