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This annual column is usually headed by "10 best new cars on display". But my 10 essential vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show this year are not necessarily the best. However, they are the most important.

Some of our favorite performance brands – Porsche, Jaguar, Mazda – skipped the paloooza of Detroit this year. But there is a lot of metal from around the world, including the first Chinese brand that enters the US market. UU

Large trucks dominate, and the Detroit Three bring their latest tools.

But do not miss the little details. … Three versions of Hyundai's three-door Veloster. Do that four: the Veloster will also be presented who will be co-starring in the next "Antman and the Wasp". The fastest car in the world is here: the Koenigsegg Agera with 277 horsepower. And the Subaru Ascent for seven passengers with 19 cup holders.

Chevy Silverado

GM's best-selling pickup counteracts Ford's aluminum-clad aluminum F-150, adhering to the basics: steel bed, intimidating grille, V- 8 of small block. And then everything else changed. With smart tools, the box grows 7 inches wide for the best in the segment, while offering the first automatic tailgate in the segment. Other ingenious details include door-mounted mirrors for better visibility, and aluminum doors / bonnet / tailgate, part of a 450-pound diet. Oh yes, and there will be a diesel.

Ram 1500

Ram continues to innovate, even when, like Chevy, he refused to follow the aluminum cable of the F-150 bed. Instead, the 1500 addresses federal mpg mandates with a slightly hybrid strategy: matching a 48-volt battery with its V-6 and V-8 mills for better fuel economy and torque, as well as a smoother start in the traffic lights. The interior also surprises with an available 12-inch vertical touch screen that looks something out of fancy-mobile. With a more aerodynamic fascia (adios cross-hair grille), the Ram is the spectator of the segment.

Ford Ranger

F-150 Junior is back in the mid-size segment with the typical high-tech Ford: trail control similar to a raptor and a 10-speed transmission. However, there is no aluminum bed. Made with Ford lining, the Ranger has a steel bumper mounted on the exclusive frame of its class. Fans of the city, tired of taking fire hydrants with their huge F-150s, will look hard at this truck.

Audi A7

The all-new second-generation A7 made its North American debut in Detroit. Quietly. There was no press conference or introduction of the rock band. But the other cars know he's here. The Buick Regal and the Kia Stinger slavishly imitate their magnificent sportback form. The new design is too rounded for my taste, I like the sharp lines of the first generation, but the interior is a work of art as Audi pushes the envelope with its Virtual Cockpit instrument screen.

Jeep Wrangler

A class G completely covered in mud, mountain and brand new is hard to miss at the Mercedes stand, as is its $ 120,000 label. For a third of the price, Wrangler offers even more off-road capability with removable stabilizer bars and removable top. The Rubicon Trail-conquering icon debuted in Los Angeles; Detroit is seen for the first time this week.

Infiniti Q Inspiration

This magnificent concept points to the future of the sedan design for the luxury brand Nissan (well, maybe not the cabinet style doors) with its long curves and tail light full width. But while Infiniti used the program to announce an electrified future, the Q houses a different type of innovation: a variable compression gas turbo.

Acura RDX

It's another SUV, yes. But it is also Acura's claim that its sports environment is back. The manifestation of the interior and exterior design concepts of Acura NSX and Precision, the RDX is sculpted, agile (the return of the Acura Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system) and turbocharged. It is also a bargain with standard features such as a panoramic sunroof and adaptive cruise control.

GAC Trumpchi GS8

The Chinese company's first entry as a three-row SUV looks more problematic than its name Trumpchi (which will change for the US market to something less politically polarizing). The large SUV is gas powered with a well-designed interior, but its smooth design will be difficult to sell against three-tier icons like the Honda Pilot and Chevy Traverse.

Lamborghini Urus [19659010] In my two decades covering the Detroit Show, the manufacturer of supercars has never made an introduction to Detroit, until now. The 650-horse Urus was introduced (but will not appear in Cobo, unfortunately) during the days of the media at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit to rock music and the video of the Super Ute destroying the desert trails. There are no tracking days for this all-wheel-drive monster. No scissor doors either.

IndyCar racer

From pickups to Chinese ute … to intros of racing cars. This show had it all. While most production performance cars try to make as much downforce as possible (see the winged brute of the Corvette ZR1 on the Chevy screen), the IndyCar driver in 2018 earns less. Why? Because they weighed 6,000 pounds of downforce, the open wheel runners were getting hard to overcome with their turbulent trails. With a 20 percent reduction in the wing, wheel-to-wheel racing at the Detroit Grand Prix should be a delight.

Henry Payne is a critic of The Detroit News. Find it at or Twitter @HenryEPayne. See "Car Radio with Henry Payne" from noon to 1 p.m. Saturdays at 910 AM Superstation.

Detroit auto show

Location: Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit

Public days: 9 am to 10 pm From Saturday until January 27; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. January 28

Tickets: $ 14; ages 7-12 and 65 and older, $ 7. To purchase tickets online or for more information, visit

Parking: Joe Louis Arena Garage, 900 W. Jefferson; Millennium Garage, 432 W. Congress; Ford Underground Garage, 30 E. Jefferson

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