The Washington Auto Show is always an interesting one. Not quite on the same level as bigger shows in Detroit, Los Angeles, or New York, the DC auto show isn’t often where one finds the hottest new cars coming to market. There is a heavy government and industry focus, given the location. Large groups of regulatory officials come through during the media preview to participate in presentations and muse about manufacturers’ efforts in the United States.

This year’s show, though, featured several upcoming models that had us excited in various ways. Here’s a quick preview of what you’ll see at the show.

2020 Ford Mustang Mach-E

I shared some thoughts on the Mach-E when it was first announced. Finally, I was able to see it in the flesh! On display was the hottest Mustang Mach-E currently available for pre-order, the GT trim. In person, the Mustang Mach-E presents a bit smaller than photos may have you believe – vaguely Ford Edge sized, I think. The sloping roofline is a visual trick above all, as engineers wanted to make sure rear passengers were comfortable.

We were able to get a peek inside the Mach-E as well (only looking, no sitting or touching) and it presents a great first impression. I was a fan of the layout – minimalist but not overly so like a Tesla Model 3. There’s sufficient cargo space and the front trunk features a drain so you can use it as a cooler, or hose it out after carrying something dirty.

Styling and attaching the Mustang name to the Mach-E have both been controversial. I continue to feel that the name is a brilliant marketing move and found the styling to be pleasing in person.

2020 Ford SuperDuty 7.3L “Godzilla” Gas Engine

Ford also had their revised 2020 SuperDuty trucks on display, some of which featured the new 7.3L gasoline engine. Replacing the tried-and-true 6.2L V8, the new 7.3L offers 430 horsepower and 475 ft-lb of torque, which Ford claims is best-in-class. It’s paired to the corporate 10-speed automatic, which has been beefed up for SuperDuty use.

Although long-time Ford fans will identify “7.3” with the legendary PowerStroke turbodiesel engine, this new 7.3 will surely be a hit. We’re eager to get our hands on one for a towing test.

2020 Ford Explorer ST

One more from the Ford booth, the new Explorer ST takes the regular three-row crossover and kicks it up a notch or two. The Explorer ST makes 400 horsepower and rides on unique ST suspension, braking components, and tires. Front seats are nicely bolstered and appear more supportive than those in a non-ST Explorer.

Even with all of the go-fast goodies added, the Explorer ST can tow 5,600 lbs. We’re hoping to explore that claim ourselves shortly.

2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette

The mid-engine C8 Corvette is finally here, after what seem like decades of rumors! Chevrolet had a hardtop convertible Stingray on display and we were able to poke around a bit. The display car had a two-tone, blue and black interior that showed very well. Most buyers will undoubtedly choose a full-black interior, but we commend GM for offering something new and fun, alongside a few other interior colors and a great palette of paint choices.

2020 Land Rover Defender

I am an unabashed Land Rover fan, and was delighted to see the 2020 Defender on the show floor. The new Defender certainly looks the part, both inside and out. The interior is purposeful and appears durable at first glance. Optional third-row seating is very nearly useless unless indented solely for small kids. It sounds like we’ll get some seat time in the Defender as soon as it hits press fleets.

The 2020 Washington Auto Show is held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Click here to buy tickets. The show runs until February 2.

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