Detroit Auto Show round-up: day one

Detroit Auto Show round-up: day one

Published on January 10, 2012


One of the most talked about cars of the show was the Acura NSX concept. Acura is Honda's North American luxury/sports division and so it got to show off the new car on its stand. Fear not, it'll be sold as the Honda NSX when it eventually reaches the showroom - by 2014 we reckon. Looks like it'll have about 400hp from its hybrid powertrain and four-wheel drive. The Acura RDX SUV and ILX saloon also on the stand were all but ignored.

Click here to read full Acura NSX concept article.


Given the company's recent new product onslaught it was a little surprising that the only all-new exhibit on Audi's stand was the Q3 Vail concept, though there are loads of US market debuts. The Vail is a winter sports themed Q3, powered by a promising 314hp five-cylinder engine.

Click here to read the full Audi Q3 Vail concept article


Big news on the Bentley stand in Detroit was the arrival of a new twin-turbo V8 engine to the Continental GT and GTC line-ups. It's an advanced unit boasting 500hp and 600Nm of torque, cylinder deactivation technology and a 800-kilometre cruising range. Just don't call it the 'cheap' version.

Click here for the full Bentley Continental V8 article


Detroit was, we think, the first outing for the new BMW 3 Series, but seeing as we've already driven it, it didn't grab our attention. The news that a BMW M5 with a manual gearbox would be sold did though, mainly because it won't be offered over here. Eh?

Click here for our First Drive in the 2012 BMW 3 Series


Your compact executive saloon isn't worthy of the tag if you don't compare it to the BMW 3 Series, which is exactly what Cadillac is doing with its new ATS, despite the distinctly Mercedes-like styling. The Caddie features rear-wheel drive and will probably be made in right-hand drive.


We knew that Chevrolet would unveil the Aveo RS baby hot hatch, but it surprised us with a weirdly named concept coupé double act. The Tru 140S and Code 130R were apparently conceived with Generation Y in mind. They're interesting if nothing else.

Click here for the full Chevrolet Code 130R concept article

Click here for the full Chevrolet Tru 140S concept article


The idea of taking a car like the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, throwing away its good Italian looks and re-skinning it with something sporty and American might sound odd, but it works in this instance. That's how the Dodge Dart came along and it really does look good. Will be sold with MultiAir engines too, though probably not in Ireland.

Click here for the full Dodge Dart article


We knew something Evos-inspired was coming to Detroit, but we didn't quite expect a production ready saloon (the Fusion) that clearly previews an all-new Mondeo. Don't expect Energi (electric) and Hybrid versions of the Mondeo, but it should look this good when it arrives in 2013.

Click here for the full Ford Mondeo article


As predicted, Hyundai launched its new Veloster Turbo in Detroit. A modest update to the already quite eye-catching styling differentiates it from the lesser model, as does a 200hp engine. We're hoping for some suspension revisions too.

Click here for the full Hyundai Veloster Turbo article (with video)


For us, the battle of the Japanese hybrid supercar concepts was won by the Lexus LF-FC. Where the Honda NSX looks almost production ready (and dare we say it, a little tame), the Lexus is wonderfully OTT. Still, it looks like it'll influence a new production car down the line. Mini Lexus LFA anyone? Just don't expect a screaming V10 under the bonnet.

Click here for the full Lexus LF-LC concept article


To mark its 60th anniversary, the new Mercedes-Benz SL was launched in Detroit, though arguably the restored 1952 example stole the show. Alongside them the worthy (but let's face it, dull) pair of E-Class hybrids melted into the background.

Click here for the full Mercedes-Benz SL article


We've known about the MINI Roadster for so long that its actual world debut was a bit of an anti-climax in Detroit. Still, we're looking forward to driving it. Just not in Detroit in winter. Brrr.

Click here for the full MINI Roadster article


There's one word that describes Porsche's new 911 Cabriolet: 'predictable'. We also predict that it'll be brilliant as ever. It took its first bow in Detroit.

Click here for the full Porsche 911 Cabriolet article


It's a real sign of the times when a tiny (and we mean really tiny) electric pick-up truck grabs a few headlines in the motoring heartland of America. This is the funky little Smart for-us concept. Not quite sure what it means to the company's future product line, but who cares, right?

Click here for the full Smart for-us concept article


The Swedish company previewed its new XC60 Plug-in Hybrid in Detroit. It mates a petrol engine with an electric motor and battery that you can charge by plugging it in, giving it great on-paper economy. It is unlikely to be sold in right-hand drive markets however.

Click here for the full Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid concept article


Two cars starred on the VW stand, neither of which we're going to be given the chance to buy. The Jetta Hybrid is for pro-petrol countries while our hopes for a Beetle coupé based on the cool E-Bugster electric concept were quickly dashed by Volkswagen.

Click here for the full Volkswagen E-Bugster concept article

Click here for the full Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid article