Top ten cars at the Detroit Auto Show

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Date Posted: January 12, 2012
By Zack Spencer

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit featured some great new products, here is a list of the top ten vehicles.

 2013 Mercedes SL
 Mini Roadster
 2013 Toyota Prius C
 E-Bugster concept
 2013 Subaru BRZ
 2013 Hyundai Genesis
 2013 Dodge Dart
 Acura NSX concept
 Lexus LF-LC concept
 2013 Ford Fusion

Most promising family car

Ford has had a hit on their hands ever since they introduced the Fusion in 2006. The ''One Ford' approach of building several cars off one platform has worked with Fiesta and Focus and now the 2013 Fusion gets the same treatment. Built on the same platform as the European Mondeo, this Fusion has an almost Jaguar/Aston Martin look to it. Powered by two available turbocharged Ecoboost engines or the option of a hybrid and even a plug-in hybrid, the Fusion promises to be fuel efficient and stylish. Look for the new Fusion later this year.

Best looking car of the show

After years of building cars that are very well made but don't excite visually, Lexus is getting their act together with a whole new design architecture that is encapsulated in this LF-LC concept car. The front grille is the new signature for Lexus and will arrive on the upcoming GS sedan this spring. This concept looks production ready and symbolized what a Lexus hybrid sport coupe could look like. The bold new grille and exciting curves were the talk of the show. If the LF-LC is put into production it will feature a front engine, rear wheel drive hybrid system.

Twenty plus years in the making

Auto enthusiasts will remember the excitement surrounding the introduction of the Acura NSX in the early 90s. The Japanese supercar was a big hit initially but the car received few updates and was eventually dropped in 2005. To help resurrect the Acura image, the NSX concept is the showcase for Acura's exterior design moving forward. Acura hopes to build the NSX in Ohio and will hopefully have it ready in the next three years. This new NSX will feature an all-wheel drive configuration with the rear wheels receiving power from a V6 gasoline engine and the front wheels from two electric motors. Acura calls this a Sport Hybrid Super Handling All Wheel Drive.

Bold car with a dodgy name

The name Dodge Dart might have a fond spot for some who remember the powerful models offered in the late 60s but to many the Dart also symbolizes the econo-boxes of the 1970s. For 2013 the Dart is back and built on an Alfa Romeo platform and will feature three new engines, including the same turbocharged 4-cylinder found in the Fiat Abarth. This is the return to the compact segment for Chrysler after many years without having a compact in the family. Starting at under $16,000 US, the Dart will be a sporty looking value-car in a good-sized package.

Value Sports Car

Hyundai has built a reputation in the business as a value brand but recently it is also getting credit for the high level of built quality and even performance. The 2013 Genesis coupe is a perfect example of Hyundai's relentless pursuit of market domination. The 2.0L turbo charged model now receives the same 274hp version found in the Sonata and the V6 model gets a huge jump in power to 348hp. In addition to the updated styling this new Genesis is the first car in the Hyundai family to receive their in-house 8-speed automatic.

Generation Y's sports car

Baby boomers lived through some pretty great times with plenty of sports cars and coupes; even Gen-X crowd enjoyed some fun, inexpensive cars like the CR-X. For a new generation there is the all-new Scion FR-S coupe built in conjunction with Subaru. The lightweight body and 200hp Subaru engine will drive the rear wheels helping to produce a well balanced car with excellent power to weight ratio. Subaru will also sell this car under the name BRZ. No price has been announced but expect it to be attainable for many drivers.

Plug-in Bug

The E-Bugster is a combination of E for electric, plus Bug and Roadster, making this a two-seater, convertible electric car. Shown only with the roof up, this concept is an exciting glimpse into the future as VW adds electrification to their family of vehicles. If produced, the E-Bugster would come with an 85kW electric motor and be powered by a Lithium-Ion battery back capable of providing 160km of range.

Most Fuel Efficient car

The 2013 Prius C is the latest addition to the Prius family which includes the regular Prius, the bigger wagon model called V and now C for ''city''. Smaller and lighter than the original, this new Prius uses the last generation hybrid system with just under 100hp. This will prove to be a more nimble, and thrifty car. Toyota claims that the Prius C will be the most fuel-efficient non-plugin on the road. Plus it is the cheapest hybrid on the market, stating under $21,000.

Another twist on Mini

One would think that Mini would be stuck for designs after they introduced the ''new'' Mini over ten years ago. Not the case, as the brand has evolved into a wagon called Clubman, a crossover called Countryman, plus a Coupe and now a 2013 Roadster. Fitted with a manual fabric roof and no back seats, the Mini Roadster is powered by a 121hp 1.6L engine or the turbocharged S model with 181hp.

Classic elegance

The Mercedes Benz SL Roaster has been in production since the 1952 and in that time it has only been updated with an all-new model six times. This new 2013 SL is built with aluminum and in doing so has shed weight, yet the car is slightly longer. Under the hood is an all-new direct injection engine, turbocharged V8 with 429hp, matched to a 7-speed automatic. The SL is an elegant yet powerful reminder of just how well Mercedes makes cars.

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