Detroit auto show offers big reveals behind the scenes, in hopes of spurring 2018 sales

Detroit auto show offers big reveals behind the scenes, in hopes of spurring 2018 sales.

The North American International Auto Show includes a lot of Hollywood hype, smoke and sideview mirrors. What the general public doesn’t usually see are the grand reveals to the global media.

The Acura RDX SUV is taking on the 2018 BMW X2, which was swarmed with paparazzi at the reveal event, more like a movie star than a German car.

“The X2 is a sportier version of the X1,” said Thomas Plucinski with BMW. “It’s a little bit lower, a little bit shorter.”

And a little more expensive. The X2 is new though and BMW is betting the compact design will have mass appeal.

“It’s an entry level car for some people, it’s a return to a smaller car for others, it appeals to virtually anyone,” Plucinski said.

The automakers hope virtually anyone can find a car that they just have to have.

There’s the sensible North American car of the year – the Honda Accord. The flashier afla romeo giulia, motor trends car of the year, and the cars of many dreams. The all new corvette zr1 with a chevron-patterened carbon fiber halo hood, and 50th anniversary re-boot of the iconic ford mustang bullitt with a top speed of 163 miles an hour.

Every year at the auto show are some obscenely priced vehicles, such as the 400K Rolls Royce Dawn convertible, a nice looking car. It’s tucked away in a quiet corner of Cobo, kind of like the high roller room. There’s a Ferrari there, Acuras, Porsche, Maserati, Aston-Martin, another rolls Royce. Over $5 million in vehicles in this room alone, and that doesn’t count the Bugatti, with a sticker price of $3 million.

While most of us won’t get the green light to buy a car that expensive, the Cadillac CT6 will flash a green light on the wheel when what GM calls supercruise is engaged.

“We have our exclusive driver attention system, which makes sure that you are watching the road,” said Donny Nordlicht with Cadillac. “And we communicate to you by using a light bar on the steering wheel.”

Green means the car is driving itself. Blue means the driver has taken control to change lanes or adjust the speed.

“And then if it needs you to take control for whatever reason, it will flash red,” Nordlicht said.

It also will slow down if the car in front slows down.

But a slowdown in auto sales in 2017, for the first time in eight years, means this year’s auto show is more important than most, as automakers around the world hope that the big reveals will translate into big revenue in the coming year.

Follow Andy Dominanni on Twitter and on Facebook.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off