Ford and Cadil­lac SUVs, Toy­ota sports car star at auto show

Santa Fe New Mexican - - THE WEATHER -

DE­TROIT — SUVs and a big pickup 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.

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 showed off its XT6, a smaller-than-a-truck, three-row fam­ily hauler at an event Sun­day night. Toy­ota brings back the high­per­for­mance Supra on Mon­day. 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.

Here are the big un­veils com­ing up, which opens to the pub­lic Jan. 19-27:

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. The six- to sev­en­pas­sen­ger XT6 has premium lux­ury ma­te­ri­als to set it apart, but it’s go­ing against lux­ury ver­sions of the Chevro­let Tra­verse, GMC Aca­dia and Buick En­clave, as well as en­tries from BMW, Audi and other au­tomak­ers.

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

The Ex­plorer, last re­worked for the 2011 model year, gets a topto-bot­tom up­date that in­cludes a switch from front- to rear­wheel-drive, as well as up­dated en­gines and trans­mis­sions, some nice stan­dard safety fea­tures and even high-per­for­mance and gas­e­lec­tric hy­brid ver­sions.

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 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.

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.

ROBERT KE­RIAN/CADIL­LAC VIA AP

The first-ever 2020 Cadil­lac XT6. Cadil­lac showed off the model Sun­day.

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