Five quick takes:The 2020 Toyota Supra: I like it. I've been psyched about this car since rumors of its return surfaced back in the Carter administration. I kid. But that has been a long, drawn-out tease. It was worth it. Others disagree. The car looks a good deal like the FT-1 concept from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Those flared nostrils up front will be quite a sight on the road. And the 3.0-liter inline six borrowed from BMW as part of their sports-car alliance will be solid.
Two concerns: No manual transmission and a starting price of $49,990. Toyota is positioning the Supra upmarket, like a Z4 competitor. That makes some sense since they share a good deal of DNA, but considering this will be cross-shopped with pony cars that offer more performance for less money, I wonder how much of a compelling proposition this will be once the admittedly long list of Supra enthusiasts is exhausted.
The 2019 Ford Explorer: Rear-wheel drive. Wow. We saw this coming, since its sibling, the Lincoln Aviator, is RWD, but smart move. This robust platform borrows ideas from the Ford Mustang, which should bring a better driving dynamic to the Explorer than we've seen in years. The design changes are evolutionary — it looks like an Explorer — yet significant enough that you can see the differences from the previous model. Lots of different flavors, too, including hybrid, ST and ST Track Pack.
The Nissan IMs concept: Autoblog used to be owned by AOL, so the Instant Messenger contributed at least partially to my paycheck. I digress. The IMs concept is a funky looking sedan with a lot going on. Vaguely Tesla-esq. It's an autonomous, connected EV with augmented reality and a wildly futuristic interior. I find it interesting that Nissan calls this an elevated sports sedan, which could be PR strangeness or signal a segment where automakers head. If nothing else, the IMs is better ink for Nissan than the Carlos Ghosn situation, which is taking new and almost unbelievable turns every day.
The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: Carroll Shelby would "love this one," as Ford president of global markets Jim Farley said at the reveal. I was impressed with the wider front fenders, 20-inch carbon-fiber wheels and adjustable carbon-fiber wing. In real life, this car has a presence that pictures don't convey. And it looks pretty good in pictures.
The 2020 Kia Telluride: A sleeper reveal of the show. I wasn't expecting this much design attitude or a healthy does of all-terrain capability. The headlights pop and the taillights look like something off an expensive Volvo, both good things. The name is good, too. Kia Telluride. Rolls off the tongue.
Notes:The Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck lineup by the numbers: 1,000 lb-ft of torque churned out by the high-output 6.7-liter Cummins inline six. The top payload for the new Ram line is 7,680 pounds, and the top tow rating is 35,100 pounds.
Press car I can't wait for: The Lexus RC F Track Edition. As car scribes, we get to drive cool stuff. Some of it we wouldn't necessarily buy, but just want to enjoy for its merits while indulging in a break from reality. I wouldn't buy one of these, but I'd love to track one, as the name says. Here's why: It gets a 472-hp naturally aspirated V8 and carbon fiber for the hood, roof and ginormous real wing. Sounds fun.
Quotes:Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford: "We're not built on bailouts or hype."
Toyota driver and ex-Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso on the Supra: "It's totally lit."