This year marks the end of a Detroit tradition: seeing the best new cars the automotive world has to offer in the first month of the year, as the show moves its schedule to the middle of the year beginning in 2020 in an attempt to inject some much-needed change into the annual event. It even feels like a fitting end, with just a handful of vehicles debuting on the show, along with the glaring absence of many European marques. Still, the Detroit Auto Show played host to some sweet new rides this year and these are our favorite of the lot.
2020 Toyota GR Supra
After years upon years of rumors, teasing, and speculation, the revamped Supra is finally here. And it’s every bit the two-seat sports car enthusiasts have long been waiting for, with its long distinctive hood, elaborate bodywork, and dramatic flared rear spoiler immediately making a statement. Under the hood, it’s powered by a 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline-six that’s been sourced from BMW. We know, there’s a lot of rumbling among purists about that, but it sure doesn’t make it any less of a badass car. That engine, which is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, puts out 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque, giving it enough power to go from standstill to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while hitting electronically-limited top speeds of 155 mph. It hits dealers in the summer, priced starting at $50,920.
Subaru WRX STI S209
Yes, the STI as a platform is getting old in the tooth, but the fact that Subaru can still build hardcore performance cars like the WRX STI S209 on top of it means it remains as relevant in the modern automotive landscape. With very little hype behind it, the S209 was a pleasant surprise to everyone in the show floor, with its combination of aggressive styling and legitimate performance enhancements that offer a refreshing break from the many “special editions” that bear little more than cosmetic enhancements. It’s fitted with an overhauled engine that pushes output to the limit at 341 horsepower, along with modifications to help handle all that power, including an all-new suspension, bespoke Dunlop tires, and upgraded Brembo brakes. If the idea of wide fenders, canards, and huge rings in a track performer appeals to you, make sure to sign up for one early, as only 200 of the cars will be going to North America, although no pricing has been announced yet.
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The first model of the sixth-generation Mustang to house a supercharged V8 under the hood, the GT500 is now the most powerful street-legal Ford, putting out over 700 horsepower, clearing 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, and hitting top speeds of 185 mph, all while getting a lot of the performance tech from the GT supercar and the Mustang GT4 race car. Visually, its extreme, with a grille opening that’s nearly twice the size on the GT350, a rear wing taken from the GT4, and wider front fenders that wrap around the similarly larger side vents. Basically, it’s as aggressively-styled as any car that packs horsepower north of 700 totally deserves.
2019 RAM Heavy Duty
Big work requires big trucks and that’s exactly the kind of job the RAM Heavy Duty is built to execute. Powered by an all-new 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel that puts out 400 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque, the darn thing has a maximum towing capacity of 35,100 pounds, ensuring you can drag nearly anything you want behind this thing, regardless of whatever road or trail you’re driving on. When properly equipped, the bed can handle up to 7,680 pounds of cargo, too, so you can use this thing to transport a ridiculous amount of goods. It ups the ante on the tech department, too, with 360-degree and cargo cameras, back-up sensors, and a new tire-pressure monitoring system that can keep an eye not just on your truck, but on your trailer, too. Suffice to say, it’s a truck that deserves every bit of its Heavy Duty moniker.
The production-spec version of Kia’s flagship SUV got its official unveiling at the show, touting its roomy three-row interior and powerful off-road capabilities. Powered by a 3.8-liter V6 putting out 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, the vehicle can tow up to 5,000 pounds, while the all-wheel drive and self-leveling rear suspension should help it ride smoothly over the most uncomfortable trails. There’s also an optional snow mode if you plan to take it adventuring during winter. All in all, it’s a nice-looking beast of a ride that’s easily the biggest vehicle in the Korean automaker’s lineup.