NAIAS 2018: Off Road, Overland & Go Fast Adventuremobile

The North American International Auto Show 2018

First off, Detroit is awesome! I’ve been through the city a handful of times, both by plane and 4-wheeled vehicle, but never really stopped to check it out. While I was buried in press conferences and editorial deadlines on this trip, I did get a glimpse of this truly intriguing city. I will be back!

This year’s NAIAS was jam packed with big vehicle launches, most of which will make the overland and off road communities happy. I spent a few days going from press conference to press conference watching each manufacturer tout their new automotive marvels. The 2019 vehicles that are going to turn a a lot of heads are the Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel, RAM Rebel, Ford Ranger FX4, Mercedes G-550 and Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

You can read a ton of info about the full gambit of new overland adventure vehicles on offer at the show in this writeup I did for Expedition Portal: 2018 North American International Auto Show.

While the new G-Wagon is a truly impressive update of the iconic off road beast, the Ranger is a solid little truck and the Rebel is going to fly off dealer lots, the all-new Silverado 1500 showed the most promise as a viable new adventuremobile platform. Check out my full rundown of this new GM full-size truck over at Gear Junkie: Meet Chevy’s New Adventure Truck: Silverado Grows ‘Wings’.

While I was probably most excited to see what Ford was going to offer in the new Ranger, it was also the most disapointing. Don’t get me wrong, it is going to be a solid little truck and make a lot of people happy, but it isn’t what it could be. Read all about what I’m talking about in this in-depth piece I wrote for Gear Junkie: Am I the Only One Disappointed With the 2019 Ford Ranger?

Besides all the fun off-road vehicles at the show, it was also pretty awesome to check out all the go fast cars. The new Corvette ZL1 is an absolute monster! I’d LOVE to get behind the wheel of this beast on a race track. The new Bullitt Mustang is a truly iconic, classy and driver oriented sports car. From the classic deep green paint, the que-ball shifter and clean badgeless exterior, this new car is going to make a lot of driving and Mustang enthusiast really happy.

While there was a full fleet of super cars to drool on, like the Chiron, GT3, i8 Roadster, NSX, Huracan, R8, GT-R and so many others, I’m not sure there is anything that can top the car on display in the Michelin booth. The Koenigsegg Agera RS that set 5 world records late last year, on the special Michelin tires it set all the records with. 284 MPH on a public road is insane!!!

There were also a few concept cars on display around the show, most of which are are just design exercises. A version of the impressive new Infinity Q-Inspiration and the Lexus LF-1 Limitless should both make it into production in the next few years, all be it with a LOT less features than the lofty goals of these concepts. The Infinity Prototype 9 was probably the most visually stunning concept on the show floor, while the Toyota FT4X Concept had to be one of the ugliest, even if it was in my favorite color and more off road capable than the others.

While I’d love to get behind the wheel any and all of these vehicles, I’m looking forward to driving the latest round of new American pickups soon. Options and competition are good, and I’m stoked to see more diesel and proper off road capability in the light-duty truck market.

This CTS-V reminds me of AMAZING times on the track in this car. Check out my story on the experience HERE.

Detroit has some seriously good food. This Brisket Mac & Cheese, brown sugar coated sweet potato fries and local craft beer at Redsmoke BBQ was on point!

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