The coolest things I saw at the Detroit auto show

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Matthew DeBord/BI

  • The 2018 Detroit auto show held media preview days this week.
  • I walked the show floor, checked out a bunch of cool cars, and also stumbled across a few other interesting things.
  • Mercedes-Benz made the show all about its new G-Class.

I just got back from the media preview for the 2018 Detroit auto show.

You might have heard that it was all about pickup trucks. Well, yeah, it kinda was. Ford debuted its new Ranger, Chevy rolled out the new Silverado, and Ram pulled the cover off a revamped 1500.

But there was plenty of other cool stuff to look at. Read on!


Mercedes really turned the Detroit auto show into a G-Class-palooza. The company rolled out a new version of what is effectively a no-nonsense, military spec expedition vehicle. Here’s an older model trapped in a huge block of amber! Well, amberized plastic anyway.

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The new G-Class likes to get dirty!

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That is one filthy Merc tri-star!

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Here’s a throwback: a 1983 rally-racing machine!

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Also, not one …

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… but two models of the G. And there were actually more. Benz REALLY loves this thing.

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Race car time! Here’s the 2017 Indy 500-winning Honda car. Takuma Sato was the driver, the first Asian to win at the Brickyard.

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And another IndyCar racer.

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That’s the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport F1 car of four-time champ Lewis Hamilton.

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And this is Lexus’ entry in the IMSA sports car series. Last year was Lexus’ first year at the track, running an RC F in the GT3 class. I saw it do its thing at Lime Rock in Connecticut.

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Not a true race car, but the Subaru WRX can be taken to the track. Here’s it’s on a mock-up bobsled run.

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Back-to-back cars from Acura: one races in the out-there prototype class, while the other is in GT3 and it is based on the Acura NSX …

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… also in the house! It was Business Insider’s 2016 Car of the Year.

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And of course here’s the roadgoing version of the Ford GT, which as a racer won Le Mans in 2016. It’s a Heritage Edition GT, bearing the racing livery from Ford’s 1967 win, when a red-and-white GT40 driven by A.J. Foyt and the late Dan Gurney took victory.

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Always some vintage wheels in Detroit.

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Camaro! SS!

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A nice 1963 Corvette, updated.

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A slick old pickup to celebrate 100 years of Chevy trucks.

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But to be honest, the coolest old car at the show was that 1968 Mustang on the right, the granddad of the new version on the left.

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It’s one of two original ‘Stangs from the Steve McQueen movie “Bullitt!”

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Here’s a modern speed demon: the new 755-horsepower ZR1.

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GMC brought this amazing snow-car pickup concept. It’s the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain, a concept that GMC actually rolled out in 2017.

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Here’s the resurrected Karma. It was originally designed by Henrik Fisker, but he’s no longer involved with the company. The car is the Revero.

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A zany Toyota concept car.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne held a press conference for an hour in which he quoted the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent,” sometimes rendered as “About that which one cannot speak, one should pass over in silence,” the final proposition of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, published in 1922. (I like the “pass over” translation.)

I bought a copy in the 1980s. And I knew where Marchionne was headed: he was being asked about the future of electric and self-driving cars.


Speaking of Marchionne, also CEO of Ferrari — Ferrari wasn’t at Detroit, but that doesn’t mean a few prancing horses weren’t on hand.

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It’s a wrap! Thanks Detroit — see you again next year!

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