At the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ally teamed up with Danny Koker, star of History Channel’s Counting Cars, to give an inside look at the coolest cars at the show. Using 360 video, Danny gives a tour of the vehicle and talks about some of the cool features and tech. Here are a few of our favorite vehicles, starting with an infamous car from a classic Hollywood car movie.
1968 “Bullitt” Ford Mustang Fastback
The 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback is one of the most iconic cars in the world. The example on display at the Ford booth was not just any ’68 Mustang; it is the car that Steve McQueen drove through the streets of San Francisco in one of the greatest car chases in Hollywood history. Like a kid on Christmas, you can hear the emotion in Danny’s voice as he settles into the driver’s seat of a car he has seen hundreds of times on a screen. Preserved in its original state from the film, this car exudes character and personality. It may not have perfect paint, an immaculate interior or spotless chrome, but instead it has years of history and patina that can never be replicated.
As Danny mentions in the video, the Mustang has a 390 cubic inch V8 engine with 325 horsepower connected to a four-speed manual transmission. While it would not be considered powerful by today’s sports car standards, it does not have to drag around the weight of modern comfort and safety features. At the auto show, Ford revealed a 2018 Bullitt Edition Mustang that shares the same dark green paint and subtle styling as the ’68 Mustang. According to Danny, the new pony car is very cool, but it can’t match the history and soul of the original, 1968 Bullitt Mustang.
As Danny mentions in the video, the Mustang has a 390 cubic inch V8 engine with 325 horsepower connected to a four-speed manual transmission. While it would not be considered powerful by today’s sports car standards, it does not have to drag around the weight of modern comfort and safety features.
At the auto show, Ford revealed a 2018 Bullitt Edition Mustang that shares the same dark green paint and subtle styling as the ’68 Mustang. According to Danny, the new pony car is very cool, but it can’t match the history and soul of the original, 1968 “Bullitt” Mustang.
Mercedes-Benz G 550
Along with the Range Rover and Jeep Wrangler, the G-Class is one of the most iconic off-road vehicles in the world, with accolades including carrying Pope John Paul II during a visit to Germany and a win at the legendary Dakar rally. Also known as the G-Wagen, this ultra-luxury vehicle is as capable as it is comfortable. Danny mentions in the video when he introduces the vehicle that it is hard to think of the G 550 as a truck with all of the beautiful leatherwork and luxury equipment inside.
While its shape and style look familiar, the technology and performance of the new G-Wagen is all new. One of the coolest new features in the truck is the MBUX system, a voice-activated, AI-powered assistant that is similar to Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. Like other voice assistants, it can control vehicle functions or make phone calls. What differentiates MBUX from other voice assistants is its ability to respond to requests that feel outside of preset voice commands. For example, if you wanted to change the temperature in your home using an Amazon Echo, you would say “Alexa, set the temperature to 70 degrees,” using MBUX, you could just say “Hey Mercedes, I’m too cold” and the system responds by raising the temperature. While it seems small, this is a large step towards a more natural user experience with voice-activated technology.
Technology is not the only focus for the G-Wagen. Fans will be happy to know that the new G 550 is still powerful and extremely capable on and off-road. On-road, the snarling twin-turbo V8 engine, generates 415 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds of torque and will lay down an impressive 5.8 seconds from zero to 60. Off-road, the G55 uses an updated steering system, new suspension and three locking differentials to allow the truck to climb over difficult terrain.
The Ranger is back! Since 2011, customers have been hounding Ford to bring the mid-sized Ranger pickup back to the United States, and now it is here. With its smaller size, the Ranger is more maneuverable and better suited for getting around tight job sites, driving technical off-road trails or parking at a local coffee shop.
Despite its smaller size, this truck does not skimp on functionality, performance or interior room, something Danny was quick to point out in the video tour. For years, the Ranger’s balance between size and capability made it a favorite with buyers, especially those who work or live in cities like New York and Los Angeles where big trucks can be a headache.
For off-road enthusiasts, the new Ranger features some neat off-road technology like a terrain select system that improves driving performance on specific surfaces and can be changed on the fly. Terrain-specific driving modes are available on other vehicles, but most require the vehicle to be stopped before changing modes. The Ranger also features a Trail Control system, which is like cruise control for off-road driving. The system will keep the truck at a constant speed, allowing the driver to focus on steering and positioning the vehicle while on an off-road trail. This can be particularly useful when driving up or down a steep hill.
While it may not be the flashiest or most expensive vehicle at the show, it is probably one of the most important vehicles making its debut.
BMW M760i xDrive
BMW may not come to mind when you think of muscle cars, but the newest wave of super sedans from Europe shows that big cars with big power are still alive and well. Under the hood is a 6.6 liter, twin-turbo V12 engine that cranks out a monstrous 601 horsepower and 590 foot-pounds of torque. For comparison, that is more power than the 2018 Camaro SS, 2018 Nissan GT-R or Ferrari 458 Speciale. While it may be more refined than classic American muscle cars, this German sedan has that rebel spirit lurking under all the aluminum, leather and carbon fiber.
Big power is just one of the highlights of this car. As Danny points out in the video, the M760i is loaded with technology, including gesture controls. Inside the car, the wave of a hand can change the stereo volume, select a new track or move to the next radio station, eliminating the need to hunt for a button or navigate a touch screen while on the road.
The technology in the BMW does not stop at the front seats. Like any luxury sedan worth its salt, being in the back seat is almost as good as the driver’s seat. With two large LCD screens for entertainment, lots of legroom and a touch screen in the rear armrest to control all of the vehicle’s features, including the massaging rear seats, it is like flying first class.
If you would like to check out more of our 360-video tours from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, head over to our Facebook page, and let us know what your favorite car was at the show in the comments.