Best of #NAIAS in a Nutshell: Best Cars of Year, RAM 1500, Hyundai, Acura, Lexus, Toyota, MB & VW

At the Detroit Auto show there were many devbuts today including the North American Cars of the Year, new RADAR, RAM 150, Hyundai Veloster, INFINITI, Nissan, Kia Forte, Volkswagen Jetta, Lexus LS, Toyota Avalon and Mercedes-Benz G-Class. A distilled list of news appears below

North American Vehicles of the Year

The Honda Accord, Volvo XC60 and the Lincoln Navigator were crowned as the winners of the 2018 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) awards today at the North American International Auto Show.


Magna unveiled its ICON RADAR at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Teh ICON RADAR incorporates advanced technology used by the U.S. military to provide precise detection, extensive range and high resiliency. Magna has been collaborating with Uhnder, a technology start-up currently in stealth mode, in engineering and product development to help bring this technology to market in 2019. ICON RADAR helps close the gap between level 3 and level 5 to reach full reliable autonomous driving.

With a range of more than 300 meters, Magna’s ICON RADAR continuously scans the environment in four dimensions (distance, height, depth and speed). Magna claims that the advanced radar technology can detect and track almost 100 times more objects than competitive systems and individually classifies them. It is able to detect and communicate to the vehicle a rich topography of static objects such as guard rails, road debris and speed bumps, as well as a large number of tracked moving objects such as vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and pets.

Magna’s ICON RADAR continuously scans its full environment 50 times faster than the time it takes a human to blink an eye, which helps a vehicle make instantaneous decisions in response to complex surroundings.

RAM 1500 Scene Steelers?

An interactive steel display is featured in the Ram exhibit at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The exhibit was designed by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), in collaboration with Ram. The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 features extensive use of high-strength steel in the cab and frame.

MOBi-ONE Electric Autonomous

Airspace Experience Technologies, LLC (AirSpaceX), a subsidiary of Detroit Aircraft Corp. (DAC), today revealed a sub-scale model of its autonomous, electric VTOL aircraft, “MOBi-ONE,” at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. MOBi-ONE is designed to autonomously takeoff like a helicopter, fly like a plane, and transport passengers or cargo between urban centers, suburbs, and airports within 60 miles. MOBi-ONE will fly at a top speed of 250 MPH leveraging existing Electric Vehicle (EV) architecture and autonomous technologies.

The news release states “MOBi-ONE will offer clean, quiet, and connected on-demand air mobility to the mass traveling public at an affordable price.”

Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai unveiled its high performance Veloster N model for the N model leverages the outstanding, new-for-2019 Veloster platform, showcasing an even higher level of performance appealing to the most discerning of automotive enthusiasts.

Hyundai also unveiled its all-new Veloster and Veloster Turbo models at the North American International Auto Show. The fresh design was a collaborative effort of Hyundai designers from Seoul, South Korea and the U.S. design center in Irvine, California. The new Veloster features a comprehensive exterior and interior redesign, powertrain enhancements, and a bevy of new and improved infotainment and connectivity features. The 2019 Veloster begins production in March 2018 in Ulsan, Korea, with U.S. market availability in the second quarter of 2018.

The Veloster merges the design appeal of a sport coupe with the versatility of an additional passenger side rear door in an asymmetrical two-plus-one configuration for easier rear-seat access

Movie goers can see of the all-new Hyundai Veloster as it will play a significant role in Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp”.


INFINITI introduced a new reservation program for the all-new 2019 INFINITI QX50 that gives customers the opportunity to reserve the vehicle during the pre-launch phase and potentially receive upgraded luxury gifts as reservations increase.

The QX50 reservation program offers multiple tiers of luxury rewards offered as more reservations are made. The more people who reserve, the greater the luxury gifts everyone will receive, rewarding interested customers for encouraging friends and family to consider the 2019 INFINITI QX50.

The first tier of the 2019 INFINITI QX50 reservation program has already been unlocked when reservations exceeded 4,000, the second tier of rewards will be unlocked at 8,000 reservations, and the third tier starts at 12,000 reservations. With options to suit everyone’s tastes, the luxury gift packages come in three themes: Tech, Audio and Home.

Nissan Xmotion Concept

Nissan revealed the Xmotion concept, a design exploration for a potentially groundbreaking compact SUV, building on the company’s long history of cutting-edge crossovers and SUVs.

The six-passenger, three-row Nissan Xmotion (pronounced “cross motion”) concept fuses Japanese culture and traditional craftsmanship with American-style utility and new-generation Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology.

Signaling the future of Nissan design, the Xmotion concept’s stunning exterior features a powerful dynamic presence with understated sculptural beauty, including unique U-shaped highlights and a bold evolution of Nissan’s signature V-motion grille.

The visual simplicity of the Xmotion concept exterior is contrasted by the rugged, metal-crafted wheels and all-terrain tire design. Like the rest of vehicle, the mechanical tool-inspired wheels and all-terrain tires coexist as one piece, with the tire tread physically laminated over the 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Additional exterior features include a retractable “rooftop box” and a unique tail light design inspired by Japanese woodwork.

With its long wheelbase, with wheels and tires pushed out to the extremes of the corners, the Xmotion concept allows for the creation of a fresh, “4+2” passenger layout. Featuring three rows of side-by-side individual seats, it’s designed to provide a perfect space for a young couple, another couple and two children or pets in the third row.

Inside, the Xmotion concept’s crafted interior design symbolizes a Japanese landscape, honoring Nissan’s roots while incorporating advanced graphic user interfaces and autonomous driving technologies.

New Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the all-new 2019 Jetta. The Jetta is one of the world’s most successful sedans, with more than 17 million models sold worldwide since it was introduced in 1979: more than 3.2 million of those vehicles have been sold in the United States. Now based off the award-winning MQB platform, the 2019 Jetta offers bolder design, more interior space than the outgoing model and new technology. Despite all the additional premium features and technology, the all-new 2019 Jetta pricing starts at $18,545, less than the outgoing base model.

The Jetta is based on Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture. Compared with the current car, the new Jetta grows outside in every direction. It offers a longer wheelbase—105.7 inches compared to 104.4 inches—with shorter overhangs, and is longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model. The increased exterior proportions add up to more interior space than the previous car as well.

New Kia Forte

Kia Motors America (KMA) hosted the global debut of the all-new 2019 Forte which enters its third generation with a more sophisticated design and desirable features that transforms one of Kia’s best-selling vehicles into something more than a compact car meant for getting people from one point to another. Thanks to a number of improvements, Forte now offers drivers a higher level of comfort, fuel efficiency and advanced driver assistance technologies that are aimed to make the journey – whether a short commute or long haul – a more rewarding and decidedly upscale experience.

Acura RDX

The 2019 Acura RDX Prototype made its world debut today at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, providing a first look at the bold new design, advanced technology and luxury features of the luxury, five-passenger SUV, launching later this year. An established, perennial top-seller, the RDX has recorded five consecutive years of record sales and seven straight years of year-over-year sales growth.

Next Generation Sirus XM

SiriusXM and FCA US LLC announced at SiriusXM’s next generation of in-car audio entertainment – delivering a personalized listening experience on the RAM 1500.

New Ram 1500

All-new 2019 Ram 1500 debuted with most efficient frame in the segment – 100 pounds lighter with 98 percent high-strength steel. 2019 Ram 1500 delivers significant gains in fuel efficiency with eTorque mild hybrid system on second generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engines – widest use of mild hybrid technology in the segment. All-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers innovative, state-of-the-art technology with award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system and class-exclusive, 12-inch reconfigurable touchscreen display featuring split-screen capability for dual-application operation.

Lexus LS

Lexus announced the new Lexus LS. The basis for the new Lexus LS is an all-new premium rear-wheel drive platform (GA–L) first realized for the 2018 LC 500. It gives the LS the ability to offer a more dynamic experience on the road without compromising its exceptional level of comfort.

With a starting manufacturer suggested retail price of $75,000*, the LS 500 arrives with a base price that is $3,820 less than its current long wheelbase predecessor despite offering more power, comfort and safety than ever before. The new hybrid LS 500h has a base price of $79,510*, which undercuts its competition by thousands of dollars while still offering exceptional comfort and performance, along with the convenience of over 600 miles of range on a single tank.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept

Now, the Lexus LF‑1 Limitless concept introduces a new genre of luxury vehicle: the flagship crossover. Combining high performance with unrestrained luxury, the Lexus LF‑1 Limitless is a showcase of technology, innovation and the latest evolution of design at Lexus.

Like its name, the possibilities for powertrains are limitless. The LF-1 concept could be powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or even all-electric. By around 2025, every Lexus model around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model, or have an electrified option.

Toyota Avalon

Underpinned by a Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, and powered by a fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 or Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) powertrain, the 2019 Toyota Avalon embodies consumers’ overarching desire for high-caliber, design-centric, technologically-savvy modes of attainable, premium transportation.

New Merecedes-Benz G-Class

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class presents itself in top form. Whether on or off the road and whatever the operating conditions, the off-road vehicle impresses with its performance, cutting-edge assistance systems, outstanding handling, and safety. At the same time, the new suspension, the DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes, the “G-Mode” and the three 100-percent differential locks enhance not only ride comfort but also agility – on any surface. The new G-Class premiered at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.

The new G-Class is standard equipped with a host of new features such as LED headlamps, advanced driver assistance systems, a high-quality interior with leather seats and a new suspension. Additionally, options such as the Exclusive Interior Plus with diamond-stitched leather provide even more customization.

Chevy 4-D VR

For the first time, Chevrolet will offer auto show attendees a behind-the-scenes look at vehicle testing through a 4-D virtual reality experience at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 20.

“Chevrolet is committed to delivering high-quality, durable vehicles able to withstand some of the harshest weather conditions and most unique driving situations people encounter today,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and head of Global Chevrolet. “With this new Chevrolet Virtual Dynamics Lab experience, we are offering consumers the opportunity to be immersed in our rigorous testing processes and to better understand the capability built into our lineup of vehicles.”

Auto show guests are invited to visit the Chevrolet display to experience the Virtual Dynamics Lab, a curated 4-D experience that offers a virtual 360-degree, front seat passenger ride through a variety of courses including gravel roads, extreme temperature labs and rock climbs that you would find at GM’s testing facilities.

Testing at a glance:

  • The all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado will accumulate 7 million miles of testing and validation before we deliver the first truck.
  • GM’s Milford Proving Ground (MPG) test facility comprises 4,000 acres of surfaces that equate to 137 miles of 2 lane road, the distance from Detroit to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Vehicles are tested in chambers capable of simulating extreme environmental conditions, including temperatures from -40 degrees to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, altitudes from -700 to 12,500 feet., humidity from 10 to 90 percent and wind speeds from 0 to 100 mph.

The Chevrolet Virtual Dynamics Lab 4-D experience will be open during normal hours on public show days, January 20 to 8, 2018. For those under the age of 18, the minimum required height is 48 inches, or 4 feet.

New Chevy Sliverado

Chevrolet introduced the next-generation Silverado today, exactly 100 years after the brand delivered its first trucks to customers in January 1918. The all-new Silverado sets the course for the next century of Chevy Trucks with the most functional bed of any full-size truck, weighs up to 450 pounds less for increased perform

Samsung SDI Batteries

Samsung SDI is showing brand new fast-charging, high-capacity battery material as well as cutting-edge battery products for electric vehicles.

Samsung SDI is capable of unparalleled product competitiveness with a lineup of various battery cells for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) which come in 37, 50, 60 and 94 ampere hour capacities. The lineup is highlighted by battery cells with energy densities high enough to propel EVs as far as 600 kilometers after just a 20-minute charge. Also Exhibited will be modules and packs utilizing these innovative battery cells demonstrating Samsung SDI’s capabilities as total solution provider. In addition SDI will highlight the recently introduced battery technology of “graphene balls,” a unique material that enables a 45 percent increase in capacity and five times faster charging speed. SDI will also be showing their latest effort with “solid-state batteries,” a technology which has improved both the capacity and safety of SDI’s batteries. The development of “graphene balls” by a team of researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute and Technology was covered in the November 2017 edition of the science journal Nature Communications.

Multi-Functional Module Battery Packs of Samsung SDI allow users to adjust the number of modules to capacities they need and thus to diversify driving distances capabilities. These packs are expected to catch the eyes of automakers that want to make vehicles with different ranges by using a single pack as the foundation for an entire vehicle platform.


HELLA is displaying its latest technologies that not only enable higher levels of autonomous driving, but also allow OEMs and drivers the freedom to create more customized vehicles. The company will showcase its multifunctional SHAKE (Structural Health and Knock Emission) sensor and innovations in car body lighting design as well as other autonomous vehicle advancements that allow visitors to “Experience Tomorrow” via its AutoMobili-D demo vehicle and booth.

For the first year, the company will have a demo vehicle at AutoMobili-D equipped with many of its latest autonomous driving solutions, including enhanced sensor, camera and lighting technologies, which are crucial components of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and help OEMs create safer and more intelligent vehicles. Along with its demo vehicle, HELLA will host a booth at AutoMobili-D that features the company’s technology investment group, HELLA Ventures, and many of their partnerships focused on the development of advanced technologies. Its presence at AutoMobili-D will highlight the company’s leadership in advancing critical industry trends like autonomous driving, connectivity & digitalization, efficiency & electrification, individualization, and creating new partnerships.