Auto enthusiasts only mourn the ending of the holidays for a few moments, because as fall turns to winter, more candy appears in the form of flashy new concepts and redesigned production models during the auto show season. Some are pure fantasy like the Infinity Q while others, like the latest Ford Mustang Bullitt edition, will soon fill showrooms — as will efficient hybrids and compacts. Here are five you’ll want to devour:
Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept
Who says a flagship luxury car must be a car? Presented as a future flagship luxury crossover for Lexus, the LF-1 could theoretically be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, gas-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle. In fact, by 2025, every Lexus will be electrified. The vehicle was designed at Toyota’s CALTY studio in California, which explains the fashion-forward style. Organic shapes buttress sharp creases over 22-inch wheels and a swoopy interior with leather, wood and copper undertones. Tiny cameras on the body project rearview images on either side of the instrument binnacle. It’s still a concept, but not difficult to imagine in Lexus showrooms.
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
Fifty years after Steve McQueen drove a Highland Green Mustang in the movie “Bullitt,” dispatching with a Dodge Charger along the way, Ford delivers a sequel. Clean styling goes without a spoiler, but dresses out with black five-spoke alloys, mesh grille and green metallic paint. Interiors wear all-digital LCD instruments and RECARO black leather seats with green stitching. Ready for power slides, it’s stoked with a 475-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine that kicks the car to 163 mph. Beyond the reimagined Mustang Bullitt, Ford located and brought the original movie car to the Detroit auto show. It’s a little worse for its faded fame, but looked stellar sitting next to its progeny.
Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept
Infiniti’s future Q-ship adopts new design language with gracefully curved body panels, fastback roofline, LED headlamps and body color grille that appears as one form from the side. Enter the minimalist interior through pillarless center opening doors to enjoy floating infotainment screens, birch wood trim and door pockets lined with a material created by weaving silk threads with paper shreds. Beneath the hood is the world’s first turbocharged variable compression ratio engine that balances performance and efficiency. Next-generation ProPILOT allows end-to-end autonomous driving. The Q gives a strong hint at Infinitis to come.
2019 Honda Insight
For over two decades, Honda’s Insight hybrid has rolled through Toyota Prius shadows. First, a little two-seat sleekster and more recently a high-decked Prius clone. For the next act, Honda replaces high-deck styling with more athletic attire, including LED headlamps, which echoes the latest Civic and Accord. As a Prius-fighter, the car employs a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and lithium-ion batteries to exceed 50mpg. An upscale interior houses Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to enhance infotainment. Safety is covered by adaptive cruise and full suite of crash mitigation systems. It’s an altogether more alluring ride. Sales begin early this year.
2019 VW Jetta
Not all shimmering high-style auto show stars need to be expensive or fantasy concepts. Check the Volkswagen stand, where boring is traded for edgy as the popular Jetta embraces coupe-like exterior design with enough ridges and creases to please a tailor. One of the brand’s strong points, upscale interiors are driver-focused and available with VW’s Digital Cockpit flatscreen instrumentation. Get it with 400w Beats audio, panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise and 147-horsepower turbo-four with six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s no word about possible hybrid or diesel variants.
Prices start at $18,545