Greg M: Welcome to the Autoblog Podcast, and the North American International Auto Show. We’re coming to you live from the very last winter auto show here in Detroit, I’m Greg Migliore. This is also gonna be our show recap. Joining me today, we’re gonna have a cast of editors including Senior Editor Alex Kierstein, and the other Seattle-ite, Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski. Welcome, guys.
Jeremy K: Hey, everybody.
Greg M: All right, so we’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about. It was maybe not the busiest Detroit Auto Show we’ve ever seen, that’s for sure, but there was still some pretty cool stuff. We’ve got our editor’s picks coming up a little bit later, then we’re gonna bring in Joel Stocksdale and John Snyder. Big podcast for you, we’re gonna have fun talking cars.
Greg M: Supra, let’s just start right there. Big reveal, people are really fired up about it. A little bit of a polarizing reveal as well, what do you guys think?
Jeremy K: Supra, judging from the traffic that we get on the website, the biggest deal, the biggest announcement here at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. And polarizing is a really good way to put it. We’ve had a lot of conversations among editors, on the good and bad. And if you read through the posts that we’ve had, and there have been a dozen of them, you’ll see that a lot of our commentators are very sharply divided on the Supra. Just looking at specs, it sounds really cool. We’re automotive journalists, we’re fans of cars, of course we’re gonna love sport coups. Especially ones with 335 horse power, 365 pound-feet of torque, from a turbo-charged inline-six engine. No one’s gonna be mad about that.
Jeremy K: Rear-wheel drive platform, everybody’s happy about that. Automatic transmission only, that’s a sticking point, especially when you look at the history of something like a Toyota Supra. It’s a sports car, no manual transmission. Also, most of the engineering work is done by BMW. And when you think about a Toyota Supra, what do you think about? It’s the pinnacle of Japanese engineering.
Alex K: Yeah, we were talking about that earlier. The last generation Supra, the A80 MK4 was a technological tour de force. It was really Toyota saying, “We can do this, here’s the ultimate sports’ car we can build.” I think for the Toyota purists, for the people that grew up idolizing the A80 Supra, it’s a bit of an interesting move for it to be an outsourced platform mechanical. But the truth is, it’s gonna come down to how it drives, the proof’s in the pudding.
Jeremy K: Totally. There’s a lot of commentary too, on whether the fact that a lot of the engineering of this car was done by BMW, is that a good thing or is that a bad thing? Historically, BMW’s engineering is stellar. We think of how many great driving vehicles BMW’s put out over the years, but more recent history, especially since they switched from hydraulic power steering to electric power steering, a lot of driving enthusiasts have seen BMW take a step back. What’s the Supra gonna be like, how much input did Toyota have over the driving dynamics of that car? It’s yet to be seen. I think that’s what’s gonna make or break the vehicle.
Alex K: And remember, we drove the prototype, one of our contributors I think drove it in Spain, so you can find that review on Autoblog. And the initial impressions were positive, not a finished product, but Toyota did the calibration work. At a certain point, BMW and Toyota stopped talking, and it was all the calibration from that point on is Toyota. I think it’s promising, and really what the final product drives like, especially on track. Because it was apparently a little tail-happy, and a bit of a handful, in a good way.
Jeremy K: That would be really … And the numbers look good, zero-to-60 4.1 seconds, top speed’s electronically limited to 155. It will go, unrestricted I’m sure it’d go significantly faster than that. One of the engineers in a previous story said 180 wouldn’t be a problem, if they de-restricted it. So I think the numbers are gonna be there, but exactly what you said. What’s it gonna be like on the track, is it gonna be playful, is it gonna be fun? What kind of attitude is that vehicle gonna have, and that’s what we have to see.
Greg M: I think that’s a really good take, and I think to go back to the partnership with Toyota and BMW, I think this is just the way world is gonna work from here on out. Even companies like Toyota, and BMW, which are doing well right now, I think to achieve the proper scale, they’re gonna want to share development costs, and then go their separate ways at certain points to make a product in an area that I think is gonna become increasingly niche for them, and for almost every other auto maker. I’m a little surprised that it’s the Supra and the Z4, is the area they decided to work together on. I could have seen more of the BRZ, and then the 86 that Toyota and Subaru did, that to me seems like just a little bit of a less sacred cow to do this on. I don’t know. I was a little surprised that it’s the Supra and the Z4.
Greg M: But I’m optimistic, I guess I’m not a dyed in the wool Supra guy. I know you guys have strong feelings about it, I liked it, it was definitely a car I really dreamt about growing up. I think we’re all that generation where the Supra really meant something. But I’m taking more of a neutral approach to it, I went over, looked at it at the stand today, and for me, the design I think is awesome. Love that part.
Alex K: It doesn’t look like a BMW from the outside, it’s really distinctive, I feel like it’s really a Japanese styling. I think you’re right in that point.
Jeremy K: This isn’t a perfect comparison, but imagine if Chevrolet and Honda decided that they were gonna get together and work on a vehicle. Could you imagine how Corvette fans would feel if Honda and Acura did all of the engineering work on the next Corvette? This isn’t a perfect …
Greg M: That’s a great analogy though, I think you’re onto something.
Jeremy K: There would be an uproar, and I think you’re seeing a little bit of that in the commentary now that this vehicle’s been released.
Alex K: I want to say, the other thing you have to think about critically, and we have to think about when we’re analyzing where the Supra is gonna sit in the sports’ car niche, I think there’s a lot of really, this isn’t really a knock against the Supra, but there’s a lot of really compelling hardware at that price point. Even sticking within the BMW family, for a few-thousand dollars more, you have the M2, which is a phenomenal car for the money. It’s a car that I would, I’m not really a BMW guy, I’d pay my own money to own that car, and it’s not cheap either. A superb driving vehicle, with 405 horsepower, now that they’ve revised it a little bit. That’s where I worry about the Supra, if you look at the competitive set, it’s a really …
Alex K: You’ve got Corvette in there, you’ve got RS3 in there, you’ve got a lot of interesting things.
Jeremy K: GT350.
Alex K: GT350. And I have, it’s another I’d have trouble, but I’d have trouble kicking a GT350 out of bed, for either a Z4 or a Supra. It’s a tough competition, and I don’t know that … I wonder if it’s special enough to succeed. I’m not trying to handicap it right out the gate, but it’s gonna be a tough sell for the Supra.
Jeremy K: I think we’re all really interested to get behind the wheel, and put some miles on the thing. And then I think a lot of these early answers, or excuse me, early questions will be answered. Looking forward to that.
Greg M: I think that’s a great take on the Supra. You mentioned the 350, how about the GT500? Another huge reveal here in Detroit, the specs sound great. Over 700 horsepower, blindingly fast zero-to-60 time. It looks exactly like you’d expect the latest Shelby GT500 to look like. Thumbs up or thumbs down?
Alex K: Judging by the readership, judging by you guys, very interested in GT500, which makes sense. It’s the ultimate Mustang, it’s a Shelby, it’s gonna be a Hellcat fighter in some sense. But it will probably be a lot more nimble than any of the Hellcat variance. It’s a 2.65 liter supercharger, air-to-water inner cooled. We don’t have all of the exact numbers yet, Ford metes out the specs as it gets closer to actually being revealed. We know it will make more than 700 horsepower. We were talking about this, we think that strategy is them hedging a little bit, in case Dodge turns the wick up a little bit on the Hellcat, to try to steal some of the GT500’s thunder. So they’re keeping the final spec a little bit close to the vest, until closer to launch time.
Alex K: Looking at it in person on the show floor, it’s super aggressive, super aggressive. There’s a lot of carbon fiber, there’s a lot of aero. What stood out to you, Jeremy?
Jeremy K: I looked at it in pictures before I saw the vehicle actually in person. Looking at it in pictures, it looks ridiculously aggressive. In person, I was actually pleasantly surprised, it doesn’t look boy-racer, it looks much more mature than I was expecting. I really like it, just externally, giving it the walk-around, the visual look. The carbon fiber wheels look amazing, and they’re like a steamroller in back, how much rubber there is on this thing.
Alex K: It’s nuts.
Jeremy K: To your point that you were talking about, how Ford, you don’t want to say sandbagging with power, this is not the first time they’ve done that. I was researching the older GT500, the last time it came out, I think it debuted in 2012 as the 2013 model, the previous version of the GT500. When they first announced it, they said it was gonna have at least 650 horsepower, and I don’t know, they said 600 pound-feet of torque. They didn’t give a final figure at first. Once the SAE rated numbers came out, it was 662 horsepower, and 631 pound-feet of torque. This feels very similar.
Jeremy K: They’re giving a minimum number, it’s gonna have at least 700 horsepower. I wouldn’t be surprised if when it came out it was 720, 725, 730. I think it’s probably gonna come in higher than the Hellcat, which is what, 707?
Alex K: 707.
Jeremy K: It’s probably not gonna hit Redeye, that’s what, 797-something, just shy of 800. I think if they, I would guess, if they thought they’re were gonna be up there, they might be throwing that 800 figure around. But since they’re staying 700, I’m anxious to find out. I really want to see where they fall on that final power figure.
Alex K: Every once in a while, I just take a step back, and I think these are street-able cars, from the factory, with a warranty, running on pump-gas, making … The limitation isn’t really how much power the engine itself can physically put out, the limitations are, what can the transmission handle, how do they get rid of all the heat, can the rear-end take it? Don’t you ever take a step back and just say, “It’s wild how many 600-plus horsepower cars.” They’re not, we’re not talking about the highest level of Ferrari and Lamborghini, we’re talking, it’s a Mustang. It’s like a golden-age of horsepower.
Greg M: Did they say anything about the weight of the Mustang?
Alex K: I didn’t catch a weight figure, I would assume we’re getting that a little later on.
Jeremy K: And that’s I think ultimately what is going to make or break the GT500. We’re talking about the Supra a lot, about how it’s gonna drive. If you’ve ever driven the last GT500, which granted, wasn’t the newest platform for the Mustang, with electronic controls, traction control, all those things, cars are getting … It’s not just all about power, it’s about putting the power down rubber to the road. How easy will it be to drive that Mustang fast? The last one, you got on the throttle just a little bit too much, and that thing squirreled down the road like crazy.
Alex K: It was wild.
Greg M: That was a wild car, yeah. I definitely remember, vividly driving that car through the fairly vacant streets of Downtown Detroit after a Tiger’s game. And it was just like this crazy, literally like a bat out of hell. I remember accelerating into this on-ramp, and it sounded amazing, yeah.
Alex K: I remember getting real sideways on dry pavement with that thing, it was a little squirrel-y. So hopefully they addressed the rear traction issues a little bit.
Jeremy K: And this is no-manual transmission as well.
Alex K: That’s really interesting, it’s the dual-clutch, related to the dual-clutch in the Ford GT, so it’s a 7-speed dual-clutch by Tremec. An interesting choice, but I’m sure there’s no manual in Ford’s stable that could handle that kind of power. And also, the DCT, and I’ve driven the Ford GT, you’ve driven the Ford GT, that’s a great transmission. You’re talking this much horsepower, honestly, you should be paying attention to what’s going on. Having the shift peddles up by the wheel, is probably a sensible precaution.
Greg M: At that point, you’re driving something that truly is as capable as race cars were, not even that long ago. To your point, the GT, that transmission is excellent, I have no concerns in the GT500 not having a manual. It just seems like, the Supra, I’m a little skeptical about that approach. But this car, all the horsepower, I think it’s gonna be fine. That’s the Shelby, I think we’re gonna talk more about that a little bit during the awards’ segment of the show. But one more for you guys, the Subaru WRX STI S209, that’s a mouthful. I think it looked great, what I loved was the older heritage models that were acting like bridesmaids at either side of it, until the reveal. Very cool car. If you’re an enthusiast, you’re gonna really like this. But it’s also expensive.
Alex K: Yes, super expensive. I’m a Subaru fanatic, in my personal life.
Greg M: Which one do you own?
Alex K: I’ve got an ’07 WRX. But a lot of this, I see this car as being almost like fan service, that phrase is thrown around, something that you do for the really hardcore folks. Just like the Type RA before it. But the cool thing about the S-line of vehicles, the power’s increased, 341 horsepower, compared to 310 in the regular STI. It’s still the 2.5 liter boxer engine, it’s an older engine, but it’s making good power now. 290 pound-feet of torque. But the really cool thing is, Japan, the Japanese market has had these very special S-line models for a while, they’re ultra-limited-addition skunkworks vehicles. We’ve never had anything like that.
Alex K: In the Subaru world, the UK has gotten some cool special editions with higher horsepower, tuned by Prodrive and stuff. Japan’s had the S-line, we’ve just had the STI for a while. And that’s great, no knock against the STI, but this is a special thing, and it’s only for us. The rest of the world doesn’t get the S209. I think more than the specs, more than the handling bonus, the track width increase, the limited edition nature of it, just 200 will be sold. It’s that it is only for the US, and I think that’s neat. That’s like, it took us so long to get the STI, and the WRX, compared to the rest of the world, it’s neat to have at this later date something special just for us. I think that’s really cool.
Greg M: I’m fired up about it very much, it seems like the ultimate press car for me, which is a weird thing to say. But it’s something I would love to drive, don’t necessarily need to own.
Jeremy K: This is one for the purists, not to go back to Supra, it is probably the biggest debut at the show. The Supra, in name, this is one for the purists. But then you tell the purists the details, and they’re like, “Hmm, I’m not so sure about that.”
Greg M: The purists are not feeling so great.
Jeremy K: The Subaru, the S209, exact opposite. This is the car for the purist. They’re like, “We know we’ve got a bunch of fans in the United States, we’re throwing you a bone. This is exactly what you want, here it is.”
Alex K: I really like that analogy, because you explain the Supra to a general sports’ car enthusiast, and they really get it, it’s great spec. You explain this to a general sports’ car enthusiast, and unless they really know their Subaru’s, it seems like just a really weird special edition. I think it’s a really cool thing to do for US fans. It’s also probably good that they’re limiting it to just 200 units, because it’s super expensive. This will sell out, if they try to make more than that, I don’t know. If you really look at what you get, compared to the cost, I don’t know that it’s worth it. But for the ultimate Subaru fan, it is. And that’s who it’s for.
Alex K: In this day and age when we’ve got so many crossovers and we’re pivoting away from sports’ cars, we’re losing manual transmissions, it’s nice to see something really hardcore for the people that really get it. I think, much credit to Subaru.
Jeremy K: What is the power, 341?
Alex K: 341 horsepower.
Jeremy K: These are gonna be 341 really usable horsepower, all wheel drive, manual transmission. The car, of all the enthusiast-oriented cars here in Detroit, it’s the one that excites me most. I could see spending my own money on this, so I’m very excited about it.
Greg M: I think it also speaks to the strength of the Subaru brand right now, that they can say, “Hey, we’re doing well in crossovers, we’re doing well in different segments, but we’re still gonna play this card for our really hardcore base of fans who want this and will pay the money.” And I guarantee they’ll sell it out.
Alex K: It’s probably sold out as we speak.
Greg M: It probably is sold out. Coming up next, we’re gonna bring Senior Editor for all things Green, John Snyder, and Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale onto the set to talk about some of the crossovers, and the concept cars here at the Detroit show.
Greg M: Welcome John and Joel, pretty good show so far. Let’s talk about some concepts and crossovers.
John S: Sure.
Greg M: The Nissan IMS, a wild name, you guys might not know Autoblog used to be owned by AOL, so the IM, I don’t know, come on, it’s good. You like this though, John, you gave this a lot of points.
John S: It was my favorite car of the show. Of course, it’s electric, I love that. But it’s sexy too, and it’s a sedan, which I like. So it’s this cool funky chunky matte almost-black sedan, it looks gorgeous, it’s got this really sweeping glass roof that tapers within inches of the very rear end of the car. It’s got a flat battery pack underneath the floor. 115 kilowatt hours, which is good for 380 miles, which is pretty impressive. I’m hoping this is previewing the next generation of Nissan’s battery tech, because that sound pretty promising. Dual motor, one up front, one in back, that’s good for 483 horsepower, and 590 pound-feet of torque.
Greg M: That’s pretty quick, that would be fun to drive.
John S: They didn’t give a zero-to-60 spec, but it’s gonna be quick. I don’t know how heavy it is, but that’s a lot of shove, that’s a lot of twist from the wheels.
Greg M: It’s interesting that it’s an elevated sedan, is what they’re calling it too. I don’t even know what to call that segment, that’s wild.
John S: It looks, from its profile it looks like a sedan, but you get close to it and you realize, it is a little higher off the ground. Part of that’s due to the giant wheels, they’re 22-inches. The fact that it’s got that battery under the floor, and no drivetrain going down the middle of the car means that it can open it up. It doesn’t have a B-pillar, so the doors open, the rear doors open rear-ward, so it’s like this giant lounge inside. It’s pretty high tech, the front, the dash is all screens, and there’s this futuristic wheel. It looks like a cool place to spend time.
John S: And then the back, it’s technically three seats, but the two outboard seat-backs fold down and make the center seat its own king throne. They call it a Premiere Seat. It actually looks really cool too.
Greg M: I liked this car when I saw it in the press photos, when the embargo was up, that was pretty cool. I liked it a little bit less when I saw it actually in real life, the shape didn’t do it for me as much. But what is intriguing is how, as you see the development and new tactics for green cars, is how the battery, they’re getting the drivetrain underneath the floor, as opposed to … You might remember the old Chevy Volt, the first gen, just that T-shaped battery pack going through the middle. So I think they’re getting much craftier, granted this is a concept, but this is becoming more common. I think that’s a good thing.
John S: It’s good for driving dynamics too, having that low center of gravity. I’ve noticed even in our Pacific Hybrid that we have, cornering it goes a little flatter than other minivans, that’s a weird thing to say, but it’s true. It’s cool.
Greg M: John’s one of the dads here at Autoblog, if you’re in a minivan, you’ve got to have some fun in it.
John S: I’m driving that thing as much as possible, I love that thing. The same thing holds here, it is a little bit higher off the ground, but that dense battery pack right at the bottom is gonna keep that center of gravity low, help with the handling.
Greg M: Cool. What’d you think, Joel?
Joel S: It’s a sharp looking sedan, crossover thingy.
Greg M: Elevated crossover sedan.
Joel S: I hope it’s more a lifted-sedan than it is a truncated-crossover, because we already covered how I feel about those coup-like crossovers last week.
Greg M: Listen to the last podcast, Joel is not a fan of blurring the lines.
Joel S: Actually, it’s funny, it’s a bit like a futuristic version of the Subaru Outback sport utility sedan, and the Volvo S60 Cross Country. The interior has neat features too, it’s got these crazy intersecting cross-members for the dashboard and stuff. It’s a neat car.
John S: A lot of weird structure and geometry to it. In the inside, and on the outside too, there’s some graphics on the roof. It’s pretty neat.
Greg M: It was a very good concept, if you’re gonna do a concept car and that’s your big thing at the show, do it crazy, do it well. I do think they did both those things. Again, it’s not exactly my flavor of brandy at the moment, but it’s cool.
John S: It’s mine. It’s got me excited about the future, if this is where the thinking lies, at least for Nissan, moving forward, making EVs more exciting, I’m all for this. This does it for me, it gets me excited.
Greg M: Speaking of electrics, the Ford Explorer is now a hybrid, which is a little bit surprising. Joel, you were covering this last week, you did a bunch of stories on it. The Explorer was another huge reveal here at the Detroit show, not just the regular one, but now there’s an ST Explorer, with almost unbelievably, a Track Pack. And of course, the hybrid version. Take us through that.
Joel S: I guess we’ll kick off with the hybrid, it’s very similar to the Lincoln Aviator hybrid. It has the same 10-speed automatic transmission, with an electric motor slapped on the end of it. And it has the battery in the same location, the battery sits on the passenger side, underneath the passengers. Basically, it’s there because it doesn’t take up any extra space inside the cab for cargo or people. It’s just convenient to have it there. Unlike the Aviator, it uses a naturally aspirated 3.3 liter V6, as opposed to the Aviator’s twin turbocharged 3 liter V6. Instead of 450 horsepower, and 600 pound-feet of torque, it has just 318 horsepower. Still though, that’s a little bit more power than the base turbocharged 4-cylinder version.
Greg M: I think it’s intriguing how they’re really, just the proliferation of the Explorer lineup, I think this is wise for Ford to try to stretch it out, maybe attract some different buyers. I think they’re also giving the base Explorer buyer, the family, with the Golden Retriever and a few kids, that’s gonna need this. Yeah, right. I only have the one kid, podcast listeners, but definitely one large dog. I digress. But this is, by adding the hybrid to the ST option, you can go down that path and think, “I need the Explorer, I don’t know if I really want it. But hey, wait a minute, the ST, that sounds fun.” You’re willing to spend the money, so I think that’s a smart play.
Greg M: The Aviator on which it’s based, frankly, that I think is gorgeous. I think from a design standpoint, I think obviously it’s a luxury car, but I think they really went for it with the Lincoln. With the Explorer design, a little bit more meh on that one. It looks exactly like an Explorer, it looks almost exactly like the current Explorer, but that’s okay. It’s an important vehicle for Ford, super critical. What do you think, Joel? You think they did what they had to do?
Joel S: Yeah. It’s got the mechanical that I think is gonna make it interesting and unique in this segment. If you want a rear-drive three-row anything at a reasonable price, your only real option has been Dodge Durango. Now you’ve got a competitor, and it’s a more modern competitor, it’s one that has a hybrid option. They played it safe in areas that I think mattered to consumers, because like I said, Explorer is one of their best-selling vehicles period, and you don’t want to mess with that too much. If it’s working, don’t screw it up.
Greg M: I think you’re spot-on there, I think that was a wise play for them to just keep it simple as far as the design, add some different wrinkles. The rear-wheel drive platform though, I’m excited about that.
John S: It’s interesting. I just passed by the ST earlier, and wow, that thing really stands out. It’s more of an eyeful than I expected seeing it too, it looks really sporty, and the wheels look gigantic. I think they’re 21-inches maybe?
Joel S: It comes standard with 20-inch wheels, and their 21-inch one is optional.
John S: They look absolutely massive.
Greg M: Front to back, I think the Ford stand is probably the strongest here at the show. They had several important reveals, they really went for it, which I think is good in their hometown show. But hey, let’s move on from the Explorer to another SUV, the KIA Telluride. I don’t know, some people like this, some people don’t. I really like the design. I love those almost floating, the headlights just pop, I think that’s cool. The design is vaguely Explorer-esque, which is fine too actually. But what do you guys think?
John S: Go ahead, Joel.
Joel S: For the most part, I like it. I like that it’s a little bit more squared-off than a lot of modern crossovers, I like the taillights, I like the upside-down L-shape that’s going on.
Greg M: I totally see an S90 there, call me crazy, I see a little bit of Volvo in that.
Joel S: I’ve heard a number of people talk about, that it reminds them of a Volvo, especially the XC90, which makes sense. They’re both this square shouldered broad-looking crossover. I’ll admit, I’m slightly disappointed with the way it looks, just because I really liked the concept a couple years ago, it looked even more rugged and squared-off. And I liked that it actually had smaller headlights, and slightly narrower grill. I feel like the ones on this one are a little bit too vertical, and it has a slightly more anonymous-looking front end. Overall though, I like the way it looks, I like the interior. It looks similar to the K900, which has a nice interior too.
John S: I was a little unsure of it, looking at it from photos. But walking by it, walking by the stand, I was taken by the looks of it. Some of the colors that they have are really nice, too. But when I actually sat in one, I was actually really impressed with the interior. Sure, this was I think probably one of the fully-loaded versions of it, it still costs a lot. But I was really impressed with the fit and finish, the materials, the feeling of the switchgear and everything. It was just really nice attention to detail on the inside, and it’s super roomy. There’s a lot of space in there, even in the third row. I think for people who can get over the idea that Kia was once a budget brand, they’re gonna be impressed by this when they sit in it. It’s very nice.
Greg M: I agree with you, and frankly, you’re right. The Kia brand still has a little bit of a-ways to go for different kinds of adoption, if you will, but if you took some of the crazier design elements off this thing, and slapped Ford badges on it, you could have told me this was the new Explorer, and I probably would have believed you. Because it really is just like a big crossover, straight out of central casting. And I think that’s exactly what Kia needs right now, too.
Joel S: I think it would have actually even made a bigger splash here, if it weren’t for Explorer. I think it actually looks better than Explorer, too. It’s just that Explorer has those mechanical upgrades that make it really interesting to an enthusiast.
Greg M: Also, Explorer has such a long history, especially in Michigan, in this town, but also just in general. Ford Explorer, everybody knows what that is. It was the ubiquitous ’90s SUV, that lives on today. Whereas Kia Telluride, I had to do some mental checks in the weeks running up to the show. Like, “We know this is gonna be there, what is this thing again? Oh, right, okay.” I will say this, Telluride, that’s a pretty good name.
John S: Yeah, it is. It’s a good place.
Greg M: It’s a good place too, you’re right.
Joel S: I feel like Hyundai and Kia usually come up with pretty solid names, like Stinger and Telluride. Actually, a lot of the Hyundai SUVs, like Santa Fe, Veracruz, lots of good names.
Greg M: I almost would have thought Dodge would have tried to get Telluride, the Dodge Telluride, it seems like … Anyways. That’s the name game. Speaking of good places, let’s talk about the winners. Autoblog’s Editor’s Picks, if you’re listening to this on the podcast, or if you’re watching this as a video, these are the already up on the site. They went up Tuesday afternoon, so let’s go through them. It was a pretty fairly tight voting actually, so we’ll just go through these.
Greg M: In 5th place, with 34 points, was the Subaru WRX STI S209, which we talked about earlier. Then right ahead of it in 4th place was the Ford Explorer, with 35 points. A bit of a sleeper car here. This just got a lot of votes from a lot of different people, this was the Lexus LC Convertible concept, they’re calling it a concept. But they’re gonna build this car, we know that, with 41 points. Then here’s where we get some separation, I think you guys know what’s coming next. In 2nd place was the Supra, with 48 points. And the Shelby GT500 is your 2019 Autoblog Editor’s Picks winner here at the Detroit Auto Show, with 56 points.
Greg M: No surprise there I think with the top two, I could have seen it going Shelby number two, and Supra number one. But I think it’s a great overall result, Shelby GT500, best in show.
John S: Yeah, I think it’s deserving. I would have liked to see something else win.
Greg M: Our Green editor probably isn’t thrilled to see a car with over 700 horsepower win, but you drove the demon last year, you drove the Hellcat.
John S: I do enjoy these cars. But I think even more surprising was that the Supra, which was pretty divisive, came in 2nd. I thought it would have been maybe 3rd, 4th on our list, just because of the way everyone’s been arguing about it over the table, over the past couple days. The fact that it made 2nd, there must be something there that speaks to everyone at least a little bit on some level.
Greg M: I can tell, as the only one who sees all the votes, people were divided on it, but almost everybody in some form gave it some votes. Not everybody, but it got a lot of votes across the board. Joel, what do you think?
Joel S: I’m surprised, because I am definitely on the side that didn’t think it was all that great. I still feel that it’s overpriced and under-powered, and the lack of a manual drives me crazy.
John S: Fair enough.
Joel S: I will say, if that thing drives like a Porsche Cayman or something, I could cut it some slack. Because the Cayman is also really expensive, you don’t get a lot of power, so it doesn’t seem like a great value. But I do love the Cayman and the Boxster, they just drive phenomenally. If the Supra is more than the sum of its parts, great, but at the moment, I am skeptical. I will say, I do love the way the Supra looks, I think it’s really sharp.
Greg M: I think even the fiercest critics like how the Supra looks. Jeremy and Alex, they had definitely more of a critical element to their thoughts on it, but they liked how it looked too. I was a little surprised actually, to see the LC Convertible concept sneak in, 41 points, strong showing in 3rd place. That was another one that we barely talked about it, but as far as the voting broke down, all the editors liked it.
John S: It was fetching, I was surprised walking by it, I was drawn to it a lot more than I expected. I’m not a huge fan of convertibles in general, don’t hit me, but it was just very approachable. It takes a great car and just opens it up to the world, and it looks the way a convertible should. There’s something about, it doesn’t look like something with the roof lopped off, it looks like it was purpose built to be a convertible.
Greg M: I think it looks really good, I think the coup is definitely aesthetically a little purer, I like the way the lines just fade back. For me, that’s the car. But will I love driving this thing? Oh, absolutely. But definitely a sleeper car of the show, Explorer ticked it there in 4th place, 35 points. I was a little surprised on that one, because I thought people might just be like, “Well, it’s a new explorer. Okay.” But I think it was good to see it get a lot of votes though, because it’s a very important vehicle for Ford. I like to see that recognized in our Editor’s Picks awards, because you can’t just vote for crazy concepts, because a lot of these we’ll never see or hear from again. I think it’s worthy of the top five.
Greg M: And the STI, the S209, I saw that coming a mile away, from Canada over there. I knew enough of the really hardcore Subaru sect of Autoblog was gonna go for it, and they did, the voted for it. And I voted for it a little bit too, I think it’s … To me, there’s always a car like that at the auto shows like this, especially when we vote for the winners, that maybe probably doesn’t deserve to win, but you like to vote for it. Because it’s so much fun, and it just speaks to that inner enthusiast in all of us. I like that one too, I’m okay with that being on the list.
John S: I’m okay with that, too.
Joel S: Yeah. For me, what made that stand out, is that it’s not just another STI with a bunch of suspension modifications and things. It’s got a real increase of power, it’s an extra 40 horsepower over a regular one. That’s not nothing. That’s nice to see, because the STI’s been stuck at 300 horsepower for ages. It uses the engine that’s basically been around since 2004, so it’s nice to see that actually increase.
Greg M: They’re definitely, the different ways we describe things, that engine is going from legendary to almost historic status or something. But I guess we’d be remiss without at least discussing the winner, the Shelby GT500. I think that’s definitely a worthy winner, another one that got votes across the board. People were excited about it to different levels, but I think all the editors, all the staffers, understood just how significant this car is for Ford, and for the Mustang lineup. Definitely a worthy winner, I think.
John S: It’s the car that, when I leave the show and walk by someone on the street that sees them coming from here, they stop me and ask me about that. I get home, and relatives are asking me about it. That’s the car that everyone wants to hear about.
Greg M: That along with the Supra, the two cars that I will remember the most from the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. All right, that’s it, here at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. It’s the last one that’s gonna be in the winter, so no more icecaps floating from here to Canada, across the river over there. John, Joel, thanks for being with me.
John S: Thanks for having us.
Greg M: It was a great show, lots of fun. Alex and Jeremy, you guys are already long gone, but thanks for being with me as well. Fun recap, we’re gonna do this in some of the shows coming up the rest of the year. For those of you listening, thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Autoblog Podcast. Please rate us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Send us goats, we love to spend your money. Be safe out there, we’ll see you next time.