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2018-01-15 09:18

Image: AP

Detroit— It's the year of the pickup truck at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford unveil new trucks in a fast-growing and highly competitive U.S. auto market.

Fiat Chrysler will roll out a redesigned Ram truck, while GM's Chevrolet brand is showing off the new Silverado. It's the first time in at least 29 years that show organizers can remember two Detroit automakers unveiling new full-size trucks at the same Detroit event. Also, Ford is re-entering the small pickup market with a new version of the Ranger.

It's all happening in a US auto market that's shrinking but still expected to remain at healthy levels. Last year sales fell 2% to 17.2 million, still near record highs. Analysts expect sales to be just under 17 million in 2018.

Here are some of the vehicles being unveiled at the show, which opens to the public on Friday:

Ford edge

Ford is introducing a high-performance version of its midsize Edge SUV this summer. The Edge ST is the first Ford SUV to be specially tuned by Ford's performance team. It has a 2.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine that puts out 249kW — nearly as much as the base model of the Porsche Cayenne. That's paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission; drivers can also manually shift using the wheel-mounted paddle shifters. All-wheel-drive comes standard, and there's a specially tuned sport suspension.

Image: AP

The Edge ST also has special design cues, including a wide mesh grille, 21-inch wheels and "performance blue" paint. The regular Edge also gets an update this summer, with a more efficient 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 186kW and new safety features, including "evasive steering assist," which uses cameras and radar to detect slower-moving vehicles and helps the driver steer around them. Pricing on the Edge and Edge ST hasn't yet been released.

Ford Mustang built

Image: AP

Ford is making a special edition Mustang to commemorate the 50th anniversary of "Bullitt," whose unforgettable car chase scene helped turn the sports car into an icon.

The 2019 Mustang Bullitt — due out this summer — will have an upgraded 5.0-liter V8 engine that puts out 354 kW. It has a top speed of 262 km/h and a manual transmission with a white cue-ball shift knob. It's available in dark highland green, the color "Bullitt" made famous. It's also offered in black.

This is the first Mustang Bullitt Ford has produced since 2008.

Molly McQueen — granddaughter of "Bullitt" star Steve McQueen — introduced the 2019 Mustang Bullitt on Sunday at the Detroit auto show. She said McQueen had his pick of cars for the film, but chose a Mustang GT fastback because it was affordable so audiences could imagine driving it themselves.

Ford didn't say how much the special edition Bullitt will cost.

Image: AP

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