Ford, Cadil­lac SUVs to star at auto show

Volk­swa­gen shows it has no plans to bow out of mid­size sedan mar­ket.

Dayton Daily News - - BUSINESS -

SUVs and a big pickup DETROIT — truck will get top billing at Detroit’s auto show this year, but there are some sur­prise sports cars and elec­tric ve­hi­cles on the agenda.

Me­dia days for the show be­gin Mon­day, although there are a cou­ple of un­veils set for be­fore the show starts

The most pop­u­lar ve­hi­cle of the bunch is the Ford Ex­plorer, re­vealed ahead of the show Wednes­day night at Ford Field, the home of the Na­tional Foot­ball League’s Detroit Lions.

Cadil­lac will show off its XT6, a smaller-than-a-truck, three-row fam­ily hauler at an event Sun­day night. Toy­ota brings back the high-per­for­mance Supra on Mon­day.

The sports car de­vel­oped a cult fol­low­ing when it was on the mar­ket from 1978 to 2002. Nis­san and its In­finiti lux­ury brand plan to show two con­cept elec­tric ve­hi­cles on Mon­day as well.

This year’s North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show will take place in Jan­uary for the fi­nal time. In 2020, it switches to June to es­cape the cold weather and show off more prod­ucts out­side, in­clud­ing au­tonomous ve­hi­cles.

Here are the big un­veils com­ing up for the show, which opens to the pub­lic from Satur­day through Jan. 27:

CADIL­LAC XT6

The mar­ket­ing folks at Gen­eral Mo­tors’ Cadil­lac brand are hop­ing the new XT6 big SUV will carve out a niche in the crowded mar­ket for util­i­ties with three rows of seats but aren’t so huge they’re con­sid­ered trucks. The six- to seven-pas­sen­ger XT6 has a chis­eled Caddy look and unique premium lux­ury ma­te­ri­als to set it apart, but it’s go­ing against well-ap­pointed lux­ury ver­sions of the Chevro­let Tra­verse, GMC Aca­dia and Buick En­clave, as well as en­tries from BMW, Audi and other au­tomak­ers. It’s also got the same en­gine as the other brands, a 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 310 horse­power, and a nine-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The XT6 has a suite of stan­dard safety fea­tures in­clud­ing au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing, blind spot de­tec­tion and rear cross traf­fic alert. It goes on sale in the sum­mer as a 2020 model in the U.S. Price and gas mileage weren’t an­nounced.

FORD EX­PLORER

Ford’s ag­ing Ex­plorer big SUV is get­ting a ma­jor re­vamp as it faces grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion for fam­ily haulers with three rows of seats. The com­pany un­veiled the new ver­sion last week at Ford Field, and will dis­play it again at the auto show. The Ex­plorer, last re­worked for 2011, gets a top-to-bot­tom up­date that in­cludes a switch from front- to rear-wheel-drive, as well as up­dated en­gines and trans­mis­sions, some nice stan­dard safety fea­tures and even high-per­for­mance and gas-elec­tric hy­brid ver­sions. The SUV’s ap­pear­ance doesn’t change much, but the roof line does slope more from front to back. Ford also added more in­te­rior space and sec­ond-row seats that tip and slide for­ward with the touch of a but­ton. The base en­gine is an up­dated tur­bocharged 2.3-liter four-cylin­der with 300 horse­power. There’s also a 365 horse­power 3-liter tur­bocharged V6. The base price will rise $400 from the cur­rent $32,365 ex­clud­ing ship­ping. Fuel econ­omy wasn’t an­nounced. The Chicago-built Ex­plorer goes on sale in the sum­mer.

VOLK­SWA­GEN PASSAT

Rather than ex­it­ing the sink­ing U.S. mid­size sedan busi­ness like two of its Detroit com­peti­tors, Volk­swa­gen is stay­ing in by up­dat­ing the Passat for 2020. But it’s not spend­ing huge dol­lars de­vel­op­ing a new chas­sis or re­plac­ing en­gines and trans­mis­sions. VW did give the car new sheet metal (ex­cept for the roof ) to make it look sportier and tweaked the ex­ist­ing 174-horse­power 2-Liter tur­bocharged en­gine. It also re­vamped the elec­tri­cal sys­tem to han­dle more ad­vanced driver as­sist fea­tures such as now-stan­dard au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing and blind spot de­tec­tion. Passat U.S. sales were down 32 per­cent last year but could get a boost be­cause Fiat Chrysler got out of the mid­size car mar­ket and Ford will exit soon. The new Passat ar­rives in deal­er­ships in mid- to late-sum­mer. Price wasn’t an­nounced, but VW is try­ing to keep it close to the cur­rent base of $25,295 ex­clud­ing ship­ping.

CON­TRIB­UTED BY ROBERT KE­RIAN / CADIL­LAC

Cadil­lac will show off its 2020 XT6, a smaller-than-a-truck, three-row fam­ily hauler, at the up­com­ing Detroit Auto Show in a bid to carve out space in a crowded mar­ket.

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