Car Industry

Mid-engine Corvette, Bronco and Germans: Things we missed in Detroit

Plenty of rumors pointed to unveilings that were supposed to happen in the Motor City but never did.

Detroit Auto Show

This is the last year the Detroit Auto Show will be held in the winter, and it was supposed to be a blowout. Some hotly anticipated cars were expected to make their debut in Detroit, and while some did, there were some notable exceptions. Let's take a look.

Ford Bronco

Two years after it was first teased, a number of rumors pointed to a 2019 Detroit Auto Show debut for Ford's burly Bronco revival. Alas, it never came, which leaves us wanting for the body-on-frame SUV with no discernible end in sight.

At first, a leaked photo from a dealer meeting in November was believed to give us our first hint at the Bronco. However, it turns out that picture more likely teased the smaller "Baby Bronco" that's expected to launch after the Bronco.

However, we won't have to wait for too much longer. Ford said that it intends to unveil the Bronco within the next 24 months, one of five vehicles showing up in that time frame. In the meantime, perhaps a brand new first-generation Bronco might interest you?

The mid-engine Corvette

The vehicle that Car and Driver has been anticipating for decades is nearly upon us, as a bevy of spy shots have more or less proven the existence of the mid-engine Corvette, even if Chevrolet still won't admit it exists.

After just about every rumor pointed to a Detroit debut, a late-breaking report in December claimed Chevy had to push the debut back. According to the report, gremlins required a complete reengineering of the electrical system. Credit where it's due to Chevrolet for not just half-assing a fix and doing it right.

Now, it's believed that the mid-engine Corvette will reveal itself to the public around the New York Auto Show. Whether it comes to New York in April or debuts at a separate, offsite event around that time is still up in the air, but rest assured, it's almost here. Almost.

We don't have any contracts with spy photographers, but we do have a fine artist's rendering of the mid engine Corvette from Roadshow Managing Editor Steven J. Ewing. Please direct all criticism to him.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Audi, BMW and Mercedes

Stepping foot into Cobo Center this year felt weird, because of three notable exceptions. Audi, BMW and Mercedes all chose to skip the Detroit show for a variety of reasons including money and product cadence. Other automakers have stepped in to fill the gaps, but it still feels like a very empty show.

It's not hard to understand why automakers skip shows. Their stages are incredibly complex, and they can cost in excess of $10 million to put together. Some can be used again at other shows, but it's still a massive upfront expense. There's also the matter of cadence -- some automakers won't have anything to show off to the media or the public that they haven't already seen, which is another common reason to skip a show.

There's also the matter of sharing the spotlight. Multiple big cars debut at each auto show, forcing automakers to attempt to grab a sliver of attention from a crowd faced with a lot of distractions. Hosting an offsite event at a separate date allows the entire news cycle to focus on that car, cutting through the noise.

Mercedes-Benz usually has a banger of a stage, but this year, Volkswagen occupied the spot with a bit less fanfare.

Mercedes-Benz

Cadillac EV Concept

While it did make its digital debut in Detroit, Cadillac's unexpected EV crossover concept never made it to the show. Heck, it hasn't even made an in-person apperance yet -- it was only teased via an image on a display.

Nevertheless, it's one of the coolest concepts to make its way to the Motor City. It previews Cadillac's shift to a premier EV brand within GM's hierarchy. We don't know a whole lot about it yet, but we do know that it will ride atop a new electric vehicle platform that can accommodate front-, rear- or all-wheel drive.

Cadillac did have an actual debut in Detroit, the XT6 three-row SUV, but it didn't have the wildly styled nature of the concept that we only hope will show up as an actual vehicle soon.

cadillac-ev-001

Well hello.

Cadillac

Detroit Auto Show: Check out all the latest reveals.

Concept cars: Dig concepts? Check 'em all out here.