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2019 NAIAS: Fast is the new slow

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2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (Image courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

2019 marks the final winter edition of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit before it moves to June in 2020, and rather than focusing on winter ready vehicles, the news bucks the truck trend and makes room for something smaller – and a lot faster.

Half of the press conferences at this year’s North American International Auto Show showcased sports cars or sportier versions of existing vehicles.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the hottest reveals at this year’s show:


2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Ford wowed crowds with the reveal of its souped-up Mustang, the GT500, which will be the automaker’s most-powerful street legal vehicle.

The 2020 GT500 will come equipped with a 5.2-liter V-8 engine that delivers more than 700 horsepower. Ford states that the 0-to-60-mph time will be in the mid 3-second range and the quarter-mile spring will be accomplished in less than 11 seconds.

Outside of the performance features, the GT500 will add lux-level amenities such as a 12-inch full-color LCD instrument cluster, an available 12-speaker B&O Play premium audio system, an 8-inch Sync 3 touch screen and available Recaro seats.


2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N Line

The big news from Hyundai is an N Line trim level, and the first vehicle getting the sport treatment is the Elantra GT.

The Elantra GT N Line will replace the GT Sport trim and is a harbinger for more N Line products on the horizon.

This vehicle will start at $24,185 and has various N Line specific features including a leather-wrapped perforated steering wheel, sport leather seats, sporty metal accents and red stitching.

The N Line will come equipped with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 201 horsepower and a standard 6-speed manual transmission. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission will be available.

The Elantra GT N Line is on sale now.


2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition

The RC in general gets an update for 2020, but the real noteworthy news is the limited-production RC F Track Edition.

This model will be equipped with the same normally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers 472 horsepower as the regular RC F. But with a lower curb weight, the RC F Track Edition is capable of doing the 0-to-60-mph sprint in 3.96 seconds.

Other equipment that differentiates the Track Edition from the standard RC F includes a carbon fiber roof, Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors, 19-inch BBS forged alloy wheels, red leather interior, Alcantara seat accents and red carbon trim accents.

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but it will start production in the second quarter of 2019.


2019 Subaru WRX STI S209

Some exciting news announced by Subaru at the show is the first S-line performance vehicle sold in the U.S.

The 2019 WRX STI S209 will have a limited run of 200 vehicles and is exclusive to the U.S.-market. Equipped with a 2.5-liter Boxer engine, the STI S209 will deliver an estimated 341 horsepower. It will only be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission.

The S209 draws inspiration from the WRX STI Nurburgring Challenge racecar. It will sport wide fenders, front canards and a rear wing.

The vehicle will also have a performance-focused chassis with flexible strut tower bar and draw stiffeners, exclusive 19 x 9-inch forged BBS wheels with bespoke Dunlop tires and Brembo brakes with high-friction pads.

The S209 will go on sale in late 2019.


2020 Toyota Supra

The much-anticipated Toyota Supra finally makes its official debut in Detroit. Built in collaboration with BMW, this two-seater is the first new Supra in the U.S. in 21 years.

The design was inspired by Calty’s FT-1 Concept. It comes equipped with a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that delivers 335 horsepower.

Intended to be an everyday sports car and sometime track car, the Supra has a 50:50 weight balance, and Toyota expects a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.1 seconds. Top track speed will be 155 mph.

Enthusiasts take note, however, the Supra will not come with a manual transmission. It will only be available with an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

The 2020 Supra will go on sale this summer.


The Bottom Line:

While the truck market may be H-O-T, there’s still a market for enthusiast fast boys.

From the super sexy GT500 to Toyota’s newest sports car, there are some pretty cool cars entering the market for the 2019 and 2020 model years.