Terminator, a fast Hyundai and karaoke: Detroit motor show
CADILLAC in-car karaoke, Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing a cowboy hat doing shots on stage and a couple of shiny new monster utes. Detroit once again put on a show this week when under the world's automotive spotlight.
While the North American International Auto Show lacked some serious firepower with the star supercar powers absent - there was no factory representation from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche - there were some interesting concepts and reveals.
Schwarzenegger added a touch of Hollywood, joining Mercedes-Benz for the launch of its square-edged G-Class.
South Korean carmakers Kia and Hyundai led the way with mainstream offerings coming to Australia this year, including the Cerato sedan and the Veloster small car.
There were a range of three- and four-D virtual experiences, while Cadillac took things to a new level with it's own version of in-car karaoke.
Here's the highlights of this week's show.
What would an American car show be without a truck launch?
Locals were excited to see the return of the Ranger, which due to go into Michigan production for the first time since 2011.
The new model revealed looks the same as the Ranger currently on sale in Australia, but has a new grille, front bumper and tailgate along with an opening rear window and a tow hitch that's tucked under the rear bumper.
Technology changes include automatic emergency braking and blind zone warning (with large sensors in the corner of the tail-lights) to be added to the current Ranger's radar cruise control and lane keeping assistance.
Convenience items include a sensor key with push button start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Engines in Australia are yet to be confirmed but given buyer preference for diesel it's likely the new Ranger will power on with the old 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesels.
Expect the new Ranger to arrive in Australia mid-year.
Schwarzenegger downed shots of schnapps on stage with Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche and was gushing in his praise of the G-Class.
"The same thing happened here with the G-Wagen. It can go from snow to mud effortlessly. It can go from the freeway to off-road effortlessly...this SUV can do anything and everything and this is why I love this car," Schwarzenegger.
This new version is 121mm wider and 53mm longer, though the proportions have been cleverly balanced to emulate the iconic model, fondly referred to as the G-Wagen.
Even the sheet metal panels have been replaced by aluminium, attached to a new ladder-frame chassis and suspension co-developed with AMG to finally give the boxy SUV on-road manners to rival its off-road prowess.
The use of high-strength steels and alloy panels has trimmed weight by 170kg compared to the old car. Ground clearance is now 241mm (up 6mm), wading depth is 700mm (up 100mm), the breakover angle is 26 degrees (up 1 degree) and the G-Class can traverse slopes up to 35 degrees (up 6 degrees).
Mercedes-Benz Australia will bring in a diesel-powered version before the end of the year, priced close to the current model's $165,000.
The AMG G63 is expected to arrive in Australia in the second quarter of this year, priced close to the outgoing model's $235,000 tag. AMG variants account for 60 per cent of G-Class sales Down Under.
Hunkered with sportier intentions, Kia will bring a new Cerato sedan to Australia by June.
Wholesale changes to the skin see a longer bonnet and short boot lid, with the headlight shape and styling coming from the Stinger, along with a larger cabin.
It will run the same powertrain as found in the current model, a four-cylinder petrol with either a six-speed manual or automatic, with four specification grades.
The big question remains whether Kia Australia will be able to maintain its $19,990 drive-away price which has been pivotal to the car's success. The sticking point is autonomous emergency braking - which was absent in the base model Stinger that led to a three-star crash rating.
"We believe $19,990 is important, so is AEB. If we can get both, that would be fantastic. I'm not sure if we can do that," Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith said.
That could mean the price rises $500 to $20,490 drive-away.
The hatch version is expected to arrive before the end of 2018.
Celebrating its 29th birthday, Infiniti was trumpeting its VC-Turbo engine technology which is said to offer performance similar to a V6 or a diesel yet with four-cylinder fuel consumption.
Claimed to be a world first, the VC-Turbo changes its compression ratio that continuously raises or lowers the pistons' reach to transform compression ratio.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder will generate 200kW/380Nm and its forecast to debut in the upcoming QX50 SUV, which will reach Australia by the end of the fourth quarter this year.
Compact dimensions of the new engine when on show "Q Inspiration Concept" vehicle. Said to signify the future design direction of Infiniti and to showcase additional cabin space which can be used courtesy of the engine's compact size, the Inspiration features minimalist design with clean lines, four chairs and a floating console which runs down the middle of the car.
Each passenger has their own touch-screen, while the dash uses kabazakura timber combined with liberal use of white leather across the seats and cabin.
Using a pillarless rear-hinged back door, it helps create a captivating curvy look front and back.
Looking almost production ready, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless crossover concept could soon become a reality.
Apart from the hulking 22-inch wheels and the absence of side mirrors, the 5m-long crossover appeared poised to quickly be added to the Lexus range where it would sit alongside the LX off-roader atop SUV family.
There was no definitive drivetrain announced, it "could be powered by fuel cells, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, petrol or even all-electric", a statement quickly followed by a commitment from Lexus which promise to have either a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option on its entire range by 2025.
Styled by Calty Design Research in California, which also did the LC coupe, the LF-1 has full automation functional and is said to inspired by molten metal in the formation of a traditional Japanese sword. Watch those sharp edges.
Lexus Australia's new chief Scott Thompson was impressed with the concept and will wait for production confirmation as to whether it will ultimately make it Down Under.
Second-generation Veloster are due to arrive in Australian showrooms in the second half of this year.
Priced between $30,000 and $40,000 they will be powered by either a smaller, 1.6-litre turbo or regular 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a choice of automatic or manual transmissions.
As before, the sleek compact coupe has one door on the driver's side and two doors on the passenger's side to make it easier for passengers to get in and out. It is the only car on sale with this asymmetric door design.
Yet most of the hype on the Hyundai stand at the Detroit Auto Show was over the Veloster N.
Hyundai Australia is hopeful of getting the Veloster N, but it's not yet confirmed for right-hand drive. It's powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre power and a six-speed manual transmission powering the front wheels through a limited slip differential that provides extra traction in tight corners.
Former BMW M performance guru Albert Biermann convinced Hyundai to make structural changes to the regular Veloster - such as a wider track, room for better cooling, and extra body strengthening - to benefit the performance edition.
Soon you may be able to start your car with fingerprint-recognition technology.
Nissan says the chunky Xmotion concept "a design exploration for a potentially groundbreaking compact SUV, building on the company's long history of cutting-edge crossovers and SUVs".
The Xmotion (pronounced cross motion) uses a three-row layout with the seats separated by a wooden centre console inspired by traditional Japanese crafts that extends the length of the prototype.
The "4+2" layout has the third row seats reserved for children or pets with a retractable rooftop box to carry cargo when all seats are in use.
Inside there are seven screens in the cockpit - five across the front of the car, one in the centre console and another on the Xmotion's roof. The displays can be controlled by gesture, voice or eye movement.
There was another Hollywood touch, with Lexus showing the LC500 that will be featured in the upcoming Black Panther blockbuster.
The Marvel Studios film will launch in cinemas from February 15.
For the movie, the LC wears an exterior reinforced with a layer of Wakandan Vibranium (a mythological ore with mysterious properties), make the vehicle almost entirely bulletproof. It's also armed with a process a self-sustaining fueling component as well as a "vibranium-powered" arc reactor that enhances this LC's driving dynamics and technological prowess.
The movie synopsis tells us that T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
He'll be in the lap of luxury in the LC.
Wraps came off the hulking fifth-generation Ram 1500 ute.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia is yet to confirm whether it will bring the truck to Australia, but if it declines expect it to be imported and converted to right-hand drive by independent such as American Special Vehicles, a joint venture between Walkinshaw Automotive and Ateco Automotive.
American Special Vehicles already converts the Ram 2500 and 3500. If it does take the 1500, they will most like wait until a diesel is available rather than taking the 227kW/365Nm 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 and 294kW/556Nm 5.7-litre Hemi V8 which went on show at Detroit.
Another new offering unveiled set to be imported by American Special Vehicles was the Chevrolet Silverado.
Lighter and featuring a optional power tailgate with remote opening and closing functions, the big pick-up went on show with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine partnered to a 10-speed automatic.