2023 Detroit Auto Show recap | Autoblog Podcast #798

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor John Snyder and Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. The team attended the 2023 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, and have some thoughts about the reveals. They discuss the 2024 Ford F-150 (including the Raptor models), 2024 Jeep Gladiator, 2024 GMC Acadia and 2025 Cadillac CT5. Ford held a Mustang-focused event, and we talk about the Mustang Mach-E Rally and Mustang GTD. Finally, the hosts opine about the general vibe of the Detroit Auto Show, and whit it means for auto shows in general.

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Video Transcript

GREG MIGLIORE: Welcome back to "The Autoblog Podcast." I'm Greg Migliore. We have an awesome show for you this week. It's the Detroit Auto Show. There's several-- I almost hesitate to say big reveals, but they're interesting. They're important. They're significant, let's put it that way. So we're going to break that down as well as the feeling from the show floor.


And with that, I will bring in senior editor for all things electric, John Snyder and road test editor Zack Palmer. How are you guys doing?

- Can't complain. Great fall weather, had a successful show yesterday. And yeah, looking forward to whatever comes this weekend in terms of-- we might get some big news over the weekend. We'll see.


- Yeah. I'm doing great too over here, off a couple late nights with Ford, actually. You already mentioned the F-150. I know that we got to see Darius Rucker together this week.

GREG MIGLIORE: That was fun.

- That was fun. So yeah, a lot of Detroit stuff happening.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. Yeah, it was-- yeah it's a busy week, let's put it that way. So all right, things we're going to break down, the F-150, the Mach-e Rally. There was some sort of Mustang news, even though it wasn't really a reveal, per se.

There's the 2024 Jeep Gladiator, 2024 GMC Acadia, and a new Cadillac CT5. So that's kind of the rundown. And again, we'll talk about what it was like to be at the Auto Show this year in Detroit.

So the F-150 is a big deal, obviously. One of the slides they like to show whenever they're doing a presentation is just how valuable the F-150 is by itself. It produces more-- I forget if it's money or value or whatnot than things like Starbucks. If it were its own company, it's more valuable than most actual large companies, including many on the S&P 500. So it's a big deal for Ford.

This is like, I would say, a midcycle refresh would be a way to put it. They tweaked some of the powertrain lineups. There's some interior stuff. But it's obviously not an all new vehicle, just to be clear here.

Big deal here is kind of the tailgate, the bed, which is interesting, and a few other things. Zack, you were living and breathing this thing. What else do people need to know?

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, I mean, you really hit on the big one there, which is that Pro Access Tailgate option, which was-- we sort of termed it, funnily on the site, we called it the tailgate gained a tailgate, which is sort of true.

If you're familiar with the Ridgeline or you're familiar with the RAM's multifunction barn door tailgate, this is similar but different. So you can swing it out. The whole thing doesn't swing out, though. It's segmented into three parts. And just the middle part swings out, while the other two stay there.

That lets you get really close to the bed, where they have added a new storage compartment and some new slots in the wheel hubs for some 2-by-4s to this little bed. So that'll be an option on pretty much every F-150 trim.

I think it's neat. I think it'll be good for some people's use cases, maybe not worth it for others. But it is cool now that Ford has a trick tailgate to go along with everybody else's interesting, weird tailgates that we have out there.

And you also mentioned on the powertrain front. There's no more 3.3 liter V6. So that was just the base, naturally aspirated one. I'm fine with that. The new 2.7 liter EcoBoost is the base engine. And for the V8 aficionados out there, the 5 liter is sticking around. So you don't have to worry about the V8 noises going away.

And perhaps even more importantly, they're making the PowerBoost the same price as the 3.5 liter EcoBoost upgrade. So now if that was a big hindrance-- it was a big, $2,200 option before. Now you can get it for $290, just like you can the 3.5 EcoBoost, so another big one.

And I think the last, last couple of big things, you can get a HUD. And you can get the 12-inch digital instrument cluster. That cluster is standard now. There is no analog one. So that's the long and short of it for F-150. Definitely a better truck now, I think. And a successful midcycle refresh as far as I'm concerned.

GREG MIGLIORE: I think that sums it up pretty well. What did you think of it, John?

JOHN SNYDER: I'm a little curious about that tailgate. Yeah, just that chunk in the middle of the tailgate swings out. I don't know why they didn't do the whole thing to open from the side like the Ridgeline. I don't know if any of you heard any answers from Ford on that. But I'm curious as to how useful this would actually be.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, so Ford's argument there is that, because where it opens from, where the hinge is, and how the detents are placed, you can use it with the trailer hooked up. And the other ones, if you open them very far from where they're at, they will swing directly into your hitch setup and all.

JOHN SNYDER: That makes sense, yeah.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, this one is set to swing out to 37 degrees to the first detent. And there's a bit of a stop there. You can feel it. You can certainly swing past it if you're overly aggressive with your swing. But you can swing it out to there. And then you can get to the bed and not worry about slamming it into the hitch and all and damaging your very expensive tailgate.

So that was their reasoning there. Now, I still think-- I mean, sure, that swings out like that. But maybe they should have allowed you to swing out the small little left portion as well, just to give you a wider opening because it is a fairly narrow spot to throw things through.

I mean, it's not big like the Ridgeline's fully open or the RAM's can also fully open. So you're just out of luck if you have something huge that you want to put in right there.

JOHN SNYDER: That makes some sense. I kind of buy their argument. But also I mean, the Ridgeline doesn't, and they don't worry about it. So I could definitely see it the other way.

It's funny. The F-150 is so many things to so many people. But I mean, they didn't have the trick tailgate, not like with GMC and Chevy and others. Even Honda, there's some complexity there. And what does RAM call theirs? I'm forgetting what that thing is.

ZACK PALMER: The RAM multifunction tailgate. Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: Great name, all right. So yeah, I think they kind of had to join in here. You know what I mean? I don't know if buyers necessarily demanded it. But I think you kind of got to offer it.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah. And it looks like-- I mean, there's already pricing out there. It's being slotted in there as part of a package. It's a $1,290 package that you get a few other things with. It's not like an individual option.

So you've got to want to spend $1,300 to get it. I think we need to actually use it in the real world to figure out if it is worth $1,300. But it's not going to be cheap. I think the RAM's is actually a lot cheaper than that. It's somewhere between $500 and $1,000. So they're overcutting on the price a little.

GREG MIGLIORE: Is the bed divider part of this tailgate, or is that a separate kind of thing if you--

ZACK PALMER: No, no, that's just the new bed in the F-150.


ZACK PALMER: Yeah, they just throw the new slots in there. And the storage boxes are the same way in the side, which are actually kind of neat. You can throw jumper cables or a first aid kit or any number of things back there that are relatively small that you don't want to slide around. And you can also stay weatherproofed. So that's a nice little thing.

GREG MIGLIORE: I kind of like that more than I like the tailgate. I think that's more interesting and more-- if I were to be a truck owner, that'd be something I would be looking for.

JOHN SNYDER: It's as though they took some cues from the Maverick, which has some of the same sort of cutouts and spots for 2-by-4s you can build your own sort of accessories to fit in the back of it, which is really neat. There's a lot of DIY opportunities there.

ZACK PALMER: Most certainly. And before we get off F-150, I feel like I should mention the Raptor too.


GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, yeah. And the Tremor?

ZACK PALMER: And the Tremor. The offroad trucks, they revealed them the same time as they revealed the rest of the F-150s, which is kind of cool. And they confirmed that the Raptor R is coming back. And they snuck in, at the little reveal event, that it's going to have probably more horsepower than the TRX. So that's going to be more horsepower than it had last year, which is interesting.

But I think I'm mostly just excited that this supercharged V8 super off-road truck is sticking around. It's not some one-year or two-year thing.


JOHN SNYDER: And there's new decals too.

ZACK PALMER: New decals!

GREG MIGLIORE: There you go, yeah.

ZACK PALMER: New decals and new shocks. We'll see if we can sense the difference in the shocks. But Ford says that it's better for off-roading. You might be able to land with more control from jumps. I don't know how much we jump trucks in our day-to-day life.

JOHN SNYDER: Right. Well, we probably get to do it more than--

ZACK PALMER: That's true.

JOHN SNYDER: --the average person. But usually sanctioned.

GREG MIGLIORE: Your landing's always going to be bumpy. And the question is just how much less bumpy do you want it to be, I guess.

So let's stay with trucks, Jeep Gladiator. This is a significant refresh. It's basically what they did to the Wrangler, they then did to the Gladiator, fairly subtle in many ways but significant, I think.

A little news nugget is that the 4-by-E version will be coming by 2025. They kind of tucked that in there with just kind of like paraphrasing their electrification plans, that they're going to have the full lineup of Jeeps electrified in some form-- because 4-by-E is plug-in hybrid, but it's also electric-- by 2025. So that includes the Gladiator, which I think makes a lot of people excited.

And then the Gladiator soldiers on. I think they-- what we're going to see, I think, in this segment with the Wrangler, the Bronco, you throw the Gladiator in there a little bit-- we know there's going to be a new 4-Runner. All of these off-roady-type , vehicles they have to stay fresh in ways that maybe six, seven, eight years ago, they didn't have to. Yeah, I think-- you guys have thoughts?

JOHN SNYDER: Well, it sure seems like Jeep is trying to push closer and closer into the premium territory. Just like with the '24 Wrangler, this looks more comfortable, some better interior design that covers up some of the roughness that I find so charming in them already.

But if someone doesn't want something super bare bones where you can see you know the sheet metal through from the inside of the car and things like that, you've got more material covered, improved tech, just more comfortable and upscale. But you can still you get your basic Gladiator without all the stuff inside.

But yeah, it just seems like they're trying to appeal to the bigger wallets. And it makes total sense.

GREG MIGLIORE: The grill is different. Can you tell?

ZACK PALMER: Honestly, I went up and looked at it at the show. And I was like, man, I honestly wouldn't have known if you hadn't have told me that it was a different grill.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's reshaped a little bit. Honestly, I was looking at them because I was trying to get some pictures for social. And I'm like, is that the '24? It's got to be the '24. They wouldn't have the '23 out here. But then I was doing a double take. But if you look closely, you can see it. But just to be clear, Jeep fans, it's not the grill. It's more like the outline of the overall plate, I guess, of the grill. So yeah--

ZACK PALMER: It's a very subtle thing. I mean, what's less subtle is that new infotainment system.


ZACK PALMER: I think that all three of us have spent time in the '24 Wrangler with that new big Uconnect system. And I don't know about y'all, but I loved it.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, it's good.

ZACK PALMER: It felt like a massive upgrade.

JOHN SNYDER: For sure, yeah.

ZACK PALMER: I think that it'll pretty much be the same in the Gladiator. And I know that he's not on the podcast right now, but Byron Hurd has threatened on multiple occasions that he will buy a Gladiator if they make a 4-by-E.


ZACK PALMER: It sounds like-- I don't know. Next time he's on the podcast, you're going to have to make him somehow promise to that threat, Greg, because he's pretty much guaranteed it at this point.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I mean, honestly, as you look at some of the Jeep electric plans, like the all electric Wagoneer-- they kind of spelled out some of those details. They've been hanging out there for months, frankly. They just, every now and then, when you go back and look at the Jeep plans, like what I did when I was trying to write my news story on this, you're like, oh, hey, that sounds cool.

And of course, the Recon is on the way. So it could be a good time if you're into electric Jeeps. And that infotainment system too, to your point, Zack, is-- it's solid. And it's easy to read. It's easy to use.

I like that, when I drove the Wrangler, you can look at the front cam as well, which is more like an off-road application. But it's super helpful, just even in a parking lot, where you're like, oh, I didn't mean to clip that parking lot barrier. It's very helpful.

JOHN SNYDER: Definitely. I mean, yeah, having the camera is one thing. Having a good screen to see is even more important, especially off-road when you're trying to put your tire between two big rocks or you a blind crest and stuff. It's really helpful to be able to see the trail and make heads or tails of it.

I mean, that really changed offroading for me when you started getting these cameras in your vehicles that allowed you to see basically underneath you, which is pretty amazing.

ZACK PALMER: It's really great when you're going over the top of a very steep hill, and you don't know what's on the other side. It changes the game.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, you don't know which way the trail bends unless you can-- yeah, you usually have to have your buddy hang out the window and look to tell you.

ZACK PALMER: To the right, to the right, yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, there's always that moment where your stomach kind of starts to move up. And your throat catches. And you're like, is it going to go up. And then you see-- you come down. And you can see over the hood again because there's always that moment where all you can see is the hood.


GREG MIGLIORE: And you're like, well, which way? What's going to happen next? So you really need a spotter in some of these situations.


GREG MIGLIORE: Cool, so that's the Gladiator. New Mojave, but it basically carries over with the same treatments that it got before. But also, it gets all the normal updates that the rest of the Gladiator lineup gets. Yeah, I'm excited to drive this one.

I think I just drove the new-- I drove the Wrangler 4-by-E recently. I'll talk about that in a future podcast. But some of the updates made a bit of a difference. So I assume that's probably going to be my thoughts for the new Gladiator as well.

So let's see. We've got a couple things to get to here. So let's move on to the Acadia. This is obviously GMC's long-running midsize SUV. They made it even larger. It's sort of in line with the Traverse updates, which makes sense because they're siblings. They're platform-mates.

It looks a lot more like the rest of the GMC lineup now. If you looked at the Terrain or even the larger Yukon-- and this is not that much smaller than a Yukon now. It's a big SUV or crossover, I guess nominally.

But if you look at the grill, there's a lot of-- the grill and the headlights, there's a lot of family resemblance at this point. So I mean, it's--

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, which I think it really needed.


JOHN SNYDER: And that's something that I feel like GM has struggled with a lot is just not differentiating between the brands enough visually. So I was glad to see it get some more-- borrow some looks from some of the trucks and other things.


ZACK PALMER: Yeah, I don't know if you guys crawled into this thing at the Auto Show. But the new interior rocks. It is really, really good.

JOHN SNYDER: It's really nice.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, I was at the Chevy Traverse reveal a couple of months ago. And I thought, oh, this is a really nice interior and all that, looks like a huge upgrade from the previous Traverse that was, honestly, pretty sad before it.

But the GMC interior, I think, really actually speaks to that premiumness of what GMC is kind of aiming for as a brand, to be above and beyond a Chevy. And they really haven't been succeeding at that in some of their smaller models, I feel. But this really, really hits the nail on the head where I think they need to be.

It looks a whole lot like the Sierra EV interior with that waterfall screen with the big volume knob in the middle, the big toggle buttons below that. I just think it looks really, really nice.

I mean, and it's that way on all the trims too. The AT4, You can go all the way up to the Denali. And they all look classy. They have their own little unique touches. So this was honestly a little bit of a surprise to me in how much I liked this thing.

JOHN SNYDER: There's more attention to detail and just better materials now. You look around, and you see there's things that are laser-etched. There's really nice wood trim and really nice textile patterns in the upholstery.

Yeah, it seems like a lot better of a place to spend time than before, for sure.

ZACK PALMER: And one funny touch that Joel mentioned to me when we were staring at it at the show is that the AT4 has the orange marker lights on the fenders that the Yukon and Sierra and Sierra Heavy Duties get.


But they've thrown them on an Acadia. I mean, that plus the all-terrains and the skid plate, it's sort of a faithful recreation. It goes above and beyond what I think most of these rugged-ized crossovers try to do appearance-wise to look tough. So yeah.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, they didn't just take you know a Chevy and add chrome.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, yeah. It's interesting because we talk about-- and we'll talk about this with our next one too, how these aren't super-significant refreshes, as in they're more like midcycle refreshes.

The Acadia is a significant redesign, dare I say. The wheelbase is different than the outgoing model. The interior is different. The design is dramatically different.

If you look at this, the best thing I can say about this is it reminds me a bit of like a GMC Terrain Denali, much larger. And I think the Terrain is actually a pretty good-looking little crossover. I think it's all right.

But then you get the Acadia in the middle of the GMC crossover-SUV lineup, and it was just this kind of long, barge-like vehicle that did kind of look like a gussied up Chevy in some ways, even though, interestingly, the Traverse and the Acadia did go on kind of divergent paths too because GM did sort of try to differentiate them with different lengths and different sizes for perhaps different, I guess, use cases for--

I don't know. It seems like you would-- the buyers, the potential buyers would be cross-shopping these vehicles. So I don't know how much you need to differentiate them maybe. I don't know. But all that's to say, it looks a lot better. It looks different. It's a significant upgrade.

Cool, I mean, I think that's the Acadia. I think, yeah, I think it's--

I caught part of the press conference. Yeah, I mean, it's-- I thought they could have even maybe played it up a little more, I guess, is what I'm trying to say here. It's actually like a redesign, whereas Ford had Darius Rucker there to show off a glorified refresh. This is, they did more to it, if you will.

That being said, F-150, Acadia, it's a big difference in where they sit in the company and what people care about.

JOHN SNYDER: But yeah, it definitely didn't make as big of a splash at the show as it could have or as the other vehicles did.

ZACK PALMER: No. I don't know. Maybe that speaks to auto shows a little in general, in that they don't want to be caught in the wake of somebody else. I don't know if that's one of the reasons that we see fewer reveals. But it definitely did seem to blend in the background when it probably shouldn't have because--

I don't know how you guys did your Editor's Pick scores. But I gave this one way, way more than I thought I was going to.




GREG MIGLIORE: All right, if you're listening to this, it's probably Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, et cetera. Our Editor's Picks will have been published at noon, noon-ish, I'll put it that way, somewhere in there. Come back, and we will have all of our breakdown of how we rank the reveals.

Another reveal, transition, is the Cadillac CT5. This is a lot of fun to drive. I think Cadillacs have been pretty good-looking the last few years. John, you actually did do the backgrounder for this. So why don't you kind of lead off here?

JOHN SNYDER: Well, I mean, there's really not a lot different. But the things that are different are executed well. Up front, there's a bigger, wider grill, more aggressive front fascia. They did some improvements to those vertical signature lightings, made them a little more prominent.

The stacked LED headlights are redesigned. They've got a lot more detail in the lighting. If you get up close to the car and look at it, you see a lot more detail. Hard to make it out from the photos.

But yeah, it-- that's basically all that happened up front.


JOHN SNYDER: And then in the back-- well, basically that's all that happened on the outside. They didn't really do much. They tweaked the lighting in the rear just a little bit, not really in design though, just more in performance.

Inside, it gets that big 33-inch touchscreen. So it's like some of the-- like in the Escalade, the right side is touchscreen. Behind the steering wheel is not. And then to the left of the steering wheel, you get some more touch functions. So basically, everything that isn't covered by the wheel has some touch capability.

The screen is really nice-looking. The resolution is fantastic, 9K resolution.



GREG MIGLIORE: OK. That's better than my TV by far.




So yeah, that's really the centerpiece of it. It runs on Google built-in, so Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Play. They've added a little bit of functionality to some of the safety systems, like improved lane keep assist and roadside recognition, Super Cruise.

I haven't had a chance to drive it yet but they said the Super Cruise does a better job transitioning between hands-on and hands-off driving. That was not always super-seamless in the past. So they said that they improved that transition. We'll have to wait and see on that one until we drive it.

Same engines as before, 2 liter turbo making 237 horsepower, twin turbo 3 liter V6 making 335 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive optional, all-wheel drive based on that rear wheel drive, so it's more of a rear bias.

And yeah, it's got the Tour, Sport, Snow, Ice modes, customizable My Mode. But really, that's all that's different. There's just really not much. They just gave it a little nip and a tuck up front and just made it look a little sportier.

And the sport model-- they haven't broken down the trim levels yet, if they're going to change them or not. But there is going to be a sport trim still. And that one has an even more aggressive look to it. It's got this really nice black mesh grill. And yeah, it looks good.

But yeah, pretty much the same CT5 you know, just a little more tech-friendly and with that beautiful screen, oh, and two new colors. There's Deep Space Metallic, which is sort of a dark gray, and the Typhoon Metallic, which is almost like a sort of darkish seafoam green. And I really like the Deep Space. It's a nice finish.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, and I know that they haven't revealed the V or the Blackwing yet. But they are coming, from what I'm hearing still.

JOHN SNYDER: They are coming, yes.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah. And they will be refreshed. And I presume they'll get this same epic screen.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah. I mean, I imagine they would.


ZACK PALMER: Yeah. I know, that's the one that I'm really looking forward to is that Blackwing and just more years of that supercharged V8 being around.


ZACK PALMER: Manual transmission-- yeah, keep on refreshing it. And keep on-- that thing was crazy-fast, crazy-loud when we drove it a couple of years ago. So yeah, more Blackwings, thank you.


GREG MIGLIORE: It's a lot of work to drive too, that thing. It's a lot of work to drive that supercharged V8.

ZACK PALMER: Oh, yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: A lot of fun.

JOHN SNYDER: But yeah, I just think it says a lot to the quality that the CT5 already has that they didn't-- and the design that they didn't really have to do much to change it. They just made it better to use on the inside, basically.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, I didn't really have many complaints with the CT5. I drove just a regular one around when they originally came out. It had the V6. And that thing rocked to drive. I mean, it's better to drive than a regular 3 Series. I mean, pick any of the Germans, honestly. It's more fun to drive than those.

So I mean, the screens, I think, were really just the one thing that it was sort of lacking and lagging behind. But this looks like it could-- there's no reason not to buy it now unless you're just somebody that goes, oh, Germany or bust.


ZACK PALMER: So yeah, I'm certainly excited about it.

GREG MIGLIORE: I like the-- the headlights, in some ways, seem slightly retro. And by retro, I mean like mid-2000s, 2010s. I had to really look closely here, to John's point. But you can see the LEDs are a little longer. It gives it kind of a little more of a lower stance, which I think looks good.

It reminds me of some of the like the CTSs from 10 years ago. I think it's a good look. It's a little more stand out, flamboyant, a little more out there than the last CT5, if you will. But I kind of like it. It's a little bit more of a design flourish.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, and like I said, it definitely takes on more character as you get closer to it and can give the lights a good, detailed look. But yes, it does-- the whole front fascia and the lighting altogether do create sort of an optical illusion of it being lowered and more aggressive in its stance, which is just fine with me. I think it looks good.


ZACK PALMER: Yeah. If I were taking one home, I'd be very tempted to do it in that Typhoon color that you mentioned because it looks like-- the photos that we have of it online are of that color. And it is a sweet, sweet shade of green-blue. So yes.


GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I like it. I like it. All right, well, let's have some fun here, talk about Mustangs. Zack, you went to-- you did some hard work here. You stayed till 7 o'clock at the Auto Show, when Ford did kind of just a Mustang corral, stable, whatever you want to call it, just kind of a walkthrough of basically all the Mustangs they have.

You got to see the GTD in person. And this was sort of the auto show debut of the Rally, which we saw-- the Mach E Rally car, I should say, which we saw-- it debuted about a week ago. And this is its auto show party, if you will.

So yeah, all the Mustangs in one place. That's kind of cool. And I saw the Rally car. I thought it looked sweet. I was hanging out at the Ford stand earlier in the day. They did a nice job of creating something that's kind of fun.

It's torquier. It has the off-road bits, if you will. So it's ready for rallying. I think this is actually a really good use of Mach E when you're trying to turn up the wick and get a little more performance out of it because it's not going to be, hey, let's take the regular Mustang and stick it in-- pick your racing series.

This is a crossover that says Mustang. So why not go rallying? I like it.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, I like it too. It gets me excited. I would love to take this out you on some sandy trails up in Northern Michigan, some of the flatter ones. I used to hit some of those with my WRX and get a lot of speed going. And it was really exciting.

Having a Mach E that would fits that mould a little bit, has that bent to it sounds like a lot of fun. I'm sure it's going to be more expensive than I like. But I would love a more entry-level Mach E that has some of that capability to it but without all the-- I don't need all the extra power and whatnot.

But this is a great start. I hope to see more interesting iterations of the Mach E for different uses.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, this one sort of caught me by surprise when they initially revealed it. I was like, whoa. I wasn't expecting a rally version of the Mach E. I don't really ever expect a rally version of any Mustang. But hey, I guess it's all-wheel drive, and you can just pump up the power. So that's pretty rally-like.

And then I saw it in person at the show. And I think it's officially my new favorite Mach-E variant, having looked at it. Those white rally wheels are so, so cool to look at. And they paired them with these Michelin CrossClimate tires that almost give this appearance of rally tires, the knobbiness to them. It's really neat.

And then the giant wing on the back too-- I'm sure that does no help to range or to efficiency whatsoever. But it looks rad. And that's kind of all that matters. So yeah, this thing is easily my favorite Mach E variant of them all at this point. It just looks the coolest.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's cool. This kind of feels like Jim Farley was like, let's make the Mach E our rally car and then was like, full stop, go figure it out, do it. I want you guys to do this. So I don't know.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, those wheels--

GREG MIGLIORE: Wheels are awesome.

JOHN SNYDER: --are amazing. So cool.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, if you're going to the show, I definitely recommend, just go look at these things because they'll surprise you in how aggressive they look in person.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right, sounds good. And then you did get to see the GTD up close. That was kind of cool. It's got an aero system that is obviously very good for a car that's $300 grand. But this has got to be the first time anybody has seen it up close in a minute. I guess it was at Pebble Beach.

I don't think Joel Stocksdale, our news guy, actually got over to see it, although maybe he saw it for a minute on the lawn or something. Sometimes they do it that way. But you got to see the thing. So what did you think?

ZACK PALMER: I did. I'm genuinely blown away by this car.


ZACK PALMER: This was honestly one of the biggest-- this might be the biggest surprise reveal of the year that we've had that Ford is making this, obviously with Multimatic. But it is such a cool vehicle.

I mean, it obviously looks kind of like a Mustang. But it is also entirely its own thing at the same time. Every single body panel is made out of carbon fiber. You wouldn't really know it, though, looking at it because it's all painted this really beautiful Shelby blue.

The wings are absolutely nutty, the size of the diffuser, the splitters, the DRS system on it. It's all very spacey. But at the same time, it's integrated quite cleanly. When you look at it in person, it's not this like-- I don't know-- track special crazy mobile.

It looks like you could drive it down the road. And it wouldn't be entirely out of place. So at that event, they had Jim Farley there. They had Larry Holtz, who's the Chief Technical Officer for Multimatic, who did a lot of the engineering work on this thing.

They chatted a bit about the development of it. Jim Farley said three times over and over, this car should have never happened. There's no reason why this thing should have happened. It makes no sense at all, but here it is. We're so happy it's here, blah, blah, blah.

And I mean, I think that that just speaks to how incredulous a project like this is from Ford. I mean, they obviously blew us all away with the Ford GT. And now they've kind of done it again with the GTD.

So looking at it in person, absolutely worth the $300,000-plus price point that they're going to throw on it. They said it's going to be over 800. Farley was like, and you know we're going to have way, way more than that by the time it's officially announced.

So yeah, this is a very, very special vehicle. I'm just glad that I got to see it. There's not going to be many of them out there. And Ford said it's going to be on the show floor.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's cool.

ZACK PALMER: You should be able to go down there and see it. It's definitely a special chance to see a special car.

GREG MIGLIORE: That makes me want to go down for the public days too. I think my son would probably want to check that out too.



JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, this was one of the things I really would have liked to have seen on the show floor. So I know Wally wants to go to the show. So we might head down for the public days and check this out.

ZACK PALMER: Maybe worth the ticket just to go see the car, honestly.


GREG MIGLIORE: I think that was a good transition to just the general feel of the show. The Detroit Auto Show, I think, has been the subject of a lot of navel gazing, obsession. What is it? What will it be? What did it used to be?

And I think we've been through such a time of transition. 2019 was the last Detroit Auto Show, North American International Auto Show, if you will, right before the pandemic, actually. It was-- well, no, it wasn't. It was January '19.

But I mean, there were fewer reveals. But we were still in that mindset that it's a big deal car show. But it felt like it was already starting to be diminished. 2020, you get the pandemic. 2021 was this kind of outdoor thing at the M1 concourse, which that was divisive.

It rained that day. I think some people thought, hey, this should be the start of something. Other people were like, what the hell is this? So that was kind of divisive.

And then last year, it was like, hey, bring it back to the Convention Center downtown. There's some inside stuff. There's some outside stuff. I thought this year-- and I really want to hear what you guys think. They're starting to figure it out.

I think press days were still a little quiet. But I also think that's not going to be a point of emphasis 100% anymore. I think auto shows are really changing. And in Detroit's case, it was always so much of a press show. And us being in the press, that we almost couldn't think of it any other way.

But the fact of the matter is, before 1989, when it became the North American International Auto Show and got that OICA designation, which is like being in the elite club of international auto shows, it was a regional auto show put on by a dealer group. And as I was walking the floor, I thought this year, I was like, OK, they have four-ish interesting enough reveals that it's worth your time to show up.

I think there's opportunity to do it better. Toyota was there with what was, I think, a factory stand. I think you've got to get Toyota to do a press conference. And if you can do that, suddenly you've probably got a leg up on New York and LA and Chicago. So that would be my prescription there.

But I thought the floor was much better considered. You had a nice use of test tracks. You had the EV sort of thing, where you could line up and test drive almost any EV on sale today. That was cool. And it looked cool. It didn't just look like some carnival ride.

They had lights. They had it set up. The cars were there. It was pretty cool. There was 11 Teslas inside and out that you can test or, I think, ride in, actually. And those actually were-- fun fact, those were from Tesla. I talked to the director of the show beforehand. And they were actually corporate Teslas. I guess there's really no other way to do it, frankly, because there's no real dealers.

But Tesla, they reached out to them. And Tesla was like, sure. How many do you want? So I think that shows that the show does still have some ability to flex, if you will.

So I thought it felt more like a show where it was OK from a press standpoint, maybe still some work to do if they want to make that a priority. But I think if, as a consumer, you walk into the show, I don't think you're going to be disappointed.

I think the stands were better than last year, frankly. I thought Jeep's stand still looked legit. I thought Chevy's stand and Ford's stand still looked legit. You talk about the things you can see from the Mach E Rally car to the GTD. Stellantis did a nice job of dusting off the Daytona concept and the Airflow concept.

So there was more stuff. When you're walking around and you're not in the industry, you're going to be like, oh, this is cool. What is this? Oh, this is cool, OK. And you care less about some of the press stuff.

The fact that Mercedes doesn't have a skating rink with a two-level bar and espresso stands, it means nothing to you. You might like to see some Mercedes. I didn't really see any. Maybe they're there too, and I just missed them. But they did do a good job of cobbling together a luxury stand--

There's the SP1 Monza Ferrari. It felt like a considered show that you could go and be like, that was fun, I liked it, whereas last year, it felt like there was a huge food court. There was some random vintage cars. It just felt very Frankensteined together. This time, it felt much more natural, organic.

And I would take my kid to it and not even be walking around with my snarky journalist hat on being like, ugh, this isn't how it used to be when I was a pup. I think I could go to it and enjoy it. So that's my two cents.

JOHN SNYDER: 100%, man. Before I was a car writer, I wanted to go to the show. I didn't really care. I mean, it was neat to see the concept cars and stuff. I just wanted to go and get up close with all the different cars, get to sit in cars that maybe I'd consider buying, and you just not having big, huge, splashy press reveals where there's a G-wagon in a giant block of resin or a Jeep driving through a pane of glass or having waterfalls indoors and whatnot. I think that's fine.

People just want to see the cars. And some of the concepts were cool. I was glad to see, like you said, the Airflow and the Daytona out there, ones that we've already seen before. But if you've missed it before, you're going to be excited when you see it on the show floor.

It felt very walkable. You could sort of see across the show floor. I think the ridealongs from-- the EV one and then the Ford and Jeep and RAM ones with the simulated off-road courses, which were-- looked actually kind of hardcore, some of it. That's a great thing for a consumer, to actually get to sit in the car and get its capabilities explained to you and feel what it's like, the possibilities of what you could do with it.

I think that's a wonderful selling tool, and just fun. And yeah, the EV track-- throughout the whole show, just from the back of the hall, you just heard tires squealing over and over and over from you doing launches on this acceleration part of the track and then holding speed through the corners back there.

And then they had a bunch of charging information there, a bunch of ambassadors for how to live with an electric car. It's a wonderful resource for consumers who want to know about these cars and want to get their hands on them and see them and see what they might want to buy in the future.

This definitely felt more like the 2003 public show than the 2017 press days or something, which is totally fine.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I agree with that. I think that last sentence you said makes-- that was my feeling too. Zack, what did you think?

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, I mean, I think that auto shows more and more are becoming for the actual public than for media because we all walk around, just like you said, with our journalist hat on.

Oh, it's 11:00 AM, well, I guess there's nothing else to see here at this point. There's no more reveals or whatever. And it's like, OK, sure. But I mean, most people that do go to the Auto Show, they go there just to see a car.

I mean, when I went when I was young, I'd see XYZ car. And it would have been revealed five years ago or whatever. And it's just they haven't refreshed it. But it's just sitting there on the floor, but I just want to go sit in it. And that's that's, I think, a lot of what makes an auto show good for people that actually go buy a ticket for the public days.

Would it be great if more automakers were actually there to support that? Yeah. I mean, it's basically the big three. And there's some other, smaller booths from Honda, Toyota, VW. But that's about it from an OEM support at this point.

I remember going to the show-- I mean, you could see every single Porsche there. You could see-- you could go sit in every single Porsche. And I mean, and Maybach, Mercedes, BMW, Rolls-- I mean, to me, that was a lot of the appeal of going as a kid and as a teenager, seeing that those brands were still there and they had all their newest things. And it wasn't just a regional dealer thing, which is kind of what it is now.

So from that aspect, yeah, I'm still disappointed. And that probably won't ever change.

And I guess one other thing. I feel like a lot of the point moving it to the summer and fall was to do some outside activities.

GREG MIGLIORE: I noticed--

ZACK PALMER: There weren't really any outside activities at all for this. And that was the selling point for changing it from winter. I don't know if maybe the test track and those test drives, they were supposed to be outside. They moved them inside, maybe to fill up some floor space or something like that.


ZACK PALMER: Or what-- but I certainly would have loved to see more action outside than what we got, as is. So I mean, there's-- I still think that there's plenty of reason to go down there. But just don't expect it to be like the Detroit Auto Show from 15 years ago or something like that, where you got to see every single OEM show up with all of their new things.

GREG MIGLIORE: 15 years ago was the--


ZACK PALMER: Go ahead.

GREG MIGLIORE: I was going to say, 15 years ago was the 2008 auto show, when a lot of automakers were dropping out. So it is a little bit like the 2008 auto show, yeah.

ZACK PALMER: Oh, man. Yeah, I guess that's where it started to go downhill, around that time.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I think-- yeah I think that's a really interesting observation too. Last year, there was that giant duck outside. And it seemed like there was some stuff going-- yeah, where was the duck, man?

ZACK PALMER: Where was the duck this year? Come on, guys.


GREG MIGLIORE: So you guys tell me if I'm crazy. But I actually kind of like the idea. To your point, Zack, you're right. They were like, we're going to do it in mid-September. The weather's going to be great. It's going to be this outdoor fair, bazaar. You're going to stroll. You're going to eat. It's going to take over half of downtown. It's going to be this great moment in your life.

This was basically Huntington Place. But I thought it was OK because I thought, again, they really did that EV track well inside. And I also think it's kind of a pain to go back outside and get into whatever car you want to ride in.

So I don't know. You're right. This isn't what they said they were going to do. But I think it's OK. And maybe they will, during public days, have some outside stuff that they didn't have for the press days. I don't know.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, there's supposed to be part of-- I think maybe Ford and even Tesla might have something outside on part of the Detroit GP course.

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, that's cool.


GREG MIGLIORE: That would be very cool, actually. So I'm going to go look. I'm going to show you guys how old I am. This is an "Autoweek" byline from 2008, written by yours truly, talking about Mitsubishi pulling out of the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, which was five companies. They followed Rolls-Royce, Land Rover, Ferrari-- once upon a time, Ferrari had a stand, as well as Suzuki.

And now, if you remember what November 2008 was like, it was not great, Bob, for the car business. That was the TARP fall, if you will. And yeah, and then obviously 2009 was the bailout.

And the show did come back, though, from a press perspective. From 2010 right through, that was a big deal show, right through into like '18, '19. I even remember when they did the Cadillac concept, that ELR thing that they rolled out with-- I think Bob Lutz rolled it out.

And it was very clear they were using the show and its big stage to try to show off to the government, hey, we can make electric cars here at GM, that kind of thing. So even in the down times, it still had such a big stage. But we'll see.

It'll be interesting. I'd like to get to the Chicago Auto Show, see how that focuses, what their focus is. I've thought LA and New York have done a good job, in the last couple of years, of carving out, building on that regional identity because they never really were international shows like Detroit was.

So in some ways, the fact that they didn't have to have this kind of fall from grace, I think that almost helped them, if that makes sense. They weren't the king of the hill. So the fact that car companies weren't making big deals out of them where they were like, OK, yeah, we only have three reveals. Well, we used to only have eight, so it's not that big a deal.

So that's a longwinded way of saying, I'll be interested to see what the upcoming shows look like. And I like auto shows. They're are a lot of fun.

JOHN SNYDER: They are.

ZACK PALMER: Same. I want nothing more than for the Detroit show to be a crazy, crazy palooza everything again. It would make me so happy.

GREG MIGLIORE: I was able to get some charcuterie from the Lincoln stand, which-- time stopped there. They had their gold drapes and their shiny Lincoln crest. And they had a lovely charcuterie stand with a coffee setup in there, some Great Lakes coffee. I had a nitro cold brew.

So I walked in there. And it was 2012. So I don't know. I wish a few of the other companies had done that from a press standpoint. But so it goes. Any final thoughts on Detroit, guys?

JOHN SNYDER: Man, I just love the location too. I love, when you want to get away from the sights and sounds of the show floor and have a little peace and quiet, you can go look at the river and see-- there was like a-- some sort of crazy sailboat, like a junk boat almost out there yesterday. And then you'll see freighters coming up and down.

And it's just-- Detroit's pretty cool, man. [LAUGHS]


ZACK PALMER: It's beautiful now with the Riverwalk. They have such an amazing area around there that can just-- yeah, you can throw a massive party there if you can, as the Detroit Auto Show.

GREG MIGLIORE: OK, sounds good. When you guys got home last night, varying degrees of lateness, did you have a cold beverage? We haven't done any drink recommendations in a while. But I had a glass of-- what did I have? I had some sort of spritzer for a minute and then-- because I was outdoors.

And then I had like of those High Noons, I think. And then I had a glass of white wine, Chateau Chantal, I think. It's from up north, like Grand Traverse winery.

JOHN SNYDER: I stayed there.


GREG MIGLIORE: I didn't even know. The bottle was mostly gone. It was in the fridge. I'm like, this looks good. So I had some of that to take the edge off after a long day.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, Chateau Chantal is great. They have a B&B attached to the winery. And Kat and I stayed there for our anniversary several years ago. It was wonderful.

GREG MIGLIORE: That sounds fun. I may add that to the list of upcoming family getaways or-- yeah-- so yeah, what did you guys have to take the edge off, if you did? Maybe you went straight to bed, or you got busy with family stuff.

ZACK PALMER: I had one of those new Hazy Two Hearteds.

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, I've been meaning to try those.

ZACK PALMER: Yeah, it's pretty good, honestly. I might like it more than just a regular Two Hearted, which I do like. I've never loved just a regular Two Hearted. But I tried the hazy, and it's definitely a good upgrade slash slight difference-maker on the original formula. So can recommend.

GREG MIGLIORE: OK, I like a hazy IPA. Last I had a Two Hearted, to me, a Two Hearted is a time and place kind of thing. It's not like an every down, if you will. But I had one during the Lions game last Thursday, which they beat the Chiefs. Hey! And it was good way to--


GREG MIGLIORE: Exactly, good way to take the edge off. How about yourself, John? You get the final word here as far as drinks.

JOHN SNYDER: I didn't have an opportunity last night. I got home. I drove up to our cottage after the show. And so I rolled in pretty late and just crashed.

But my wife has-- her sister, for her birthday or something, got her a subscription to this cocktail of the month club. It's from Portland Syrups, I think, is what it's called.

And so it comes with you some sort of flavored syrup and some bitters and some-- a garnish. And it's a different cocktail every month. And they're really good.

One was sort of a hard root beer. You add your liquor of choice to it. But one was a hard root beer. Some of them are really refreshing, fruity cocktails, really neat, really delicious drinks. Some of them were spicy and smoky. But yeah, that's-- every once in a while when that box shows up each month, we're always excited to see what's in there because, yeah, some of them are really good.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right, sounds good. All right, so those are our recommendations for unwinding from a long auto show day. If you check it out this weekend or in the coming week, you come home and-- or maybe you enjoy one of the many great new restaurants and bars open in downtown. So that's always a good option too.

If you enjoy the show, please give us five stars on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you get your podcasts. We need some Spend My Money. So please send them to us. That's If you have any questions, you want to get into the mailbag, same address. We'd love to hear from you.

John, Zack, it's been good hanging out with you, everybody else, and you too as well. Be safe out there. And we'll see you next week.