Top 10 Cars of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

As has become the tradition, there was no shortage of big debuts at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

Ranging from concepts so bold they border on absurdity to production cars that kept enthusiasts clicking, this is’s list of the top 10 cars unveiled during the North American International Auto Show.

The Acura NSX concept car kicks things off, but remember before you blow your stack that Honda’s luxury brand did actually show something new about the car.

While the shell stayed mostly same, there’s actually an interior to look at inside the Japanese supercar that the brand says will focus on simplicity, good outward visibility and style to enhance the driving experience. And it’s based on that interior alone ( see it here) that the NSX makes out list.

Buy or sell the PR jargon as you like, but there’s no getting around the fact that Acura is at least one step closer to building the NSX.

Sticking to theoretical cars, Volkswagen’s CrossBlue concept is next on the list. It’s a plug-in diesel hybrid that makes 305 hp between the electric motors powering both the front and rear wheels and the on-board oil-burning engine. The combined forces are also good for an impressive 516 lb-ft of torque pushed through a six-speed DSG transmission.

Joining the small SUV craze, Honda brought the Fit Urban SUV concept to the Detroit Auto Show this year to preview a crossover built on the Fit platform.

For the most part, the concept doesn’t actually seem so far from what a production version could look like apart from touches like the LED-laden headlights and door handles.

Those lights don’t look terribly far from the “Jewel Eye” headlights Acura is featuring on the NSX concept, MDX prototype and RLX flagship production car. If for no other reason, the fact that such-styled headlights are something Acura is touting so proudly means it’s unlikely for Honda.

Previewing where it hopes to take the next Corolla, Toyota’s Furia concept features a lower, longer and wider stance than the current compact sedan.

While features like the carbon fiber accents and 19-inch wheels haven’t got a chance at reaching the production model, the wider stance is part of what’s shaping up to be Toyota’s plan to build a sportier compact sedan. Toyota says the average age of its Corolla buyers is dropping and its sport trim currently accounts for the most sales.

A Chevrolet Volt dressed in Cadillac garb finally debuted with more power than its Chevrolet older brother. In this case, the car makes 207 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. the ELR also offers 300 miles of range, helped by the same 1.4-liter gas engine as the Volt.

Of course, the car is loaded with Cadillac niceties like the CUE infotainment system along with leather wood and carbon fiber in the cabin.

Finally, the ELR gets tighter steering and suspension to deliver a sportier driving feel to separate it further from the Chevrolet product.

Powering to 60 mph in less than 3.9 seconds, the 2014 Audi RS7 has a ridiculous 553 lb-ft torque rating at 1750 rpm. The body is styled with an almost excessive number of carbon fiber pieces, but in this case it works to further the car’s aggressive look.

It’s the same story with the cabin where surfaces finished in carbon fiber almost feel more common any other material.

Audi’s 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 makes plenty of power, but the brand also says it expects the car to average 24 mpg thanks in no small part to cylinder deactivation. Gas saving properties garnered by the ability to use half that engine will be helped further by the car’s especially tall eighth gear in its automatic transmission.

Infiniti unveiled the future of its formerly-named G37 sport sedan which will be called the Q50 starting with the 2014 model year. The car will be sold with both a 3.7-liter V6 drivetrain and a hybrid setup borrowed from the M35h.

The hybrid will offer 354 hp, which isn’t as much as the currently-available M35h, but only by a few ponies. That’s especially impressive when you consider that the M35h was also named the world’s fastest hybrid in 2012.

Arguably the most radically-styled production car to reach the Detroit Show floor this year, the 2014 Lexus IS takes the maker’s signature “spindle” grille and spins it into an eccentric yet athletic-looking package.

Just like today’s car, the redesigned sport sedan will come as an IS 250 and IS 350 with a 2.5- and 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine respectively.

Sorry stick-shifters, but it looks like Lexus decided to ditch the six-speed this time around – probably because it wasn’t a strong seller.

Previewing the future of Hyundai’s luxury sedans – the Genesis and Equus – the Korean automaker unveiled the HCD-14 Genesis concept. Power figures weren’t discussed, but it sources wheel spin from the same 5.0-liter Tau V8 as the Genesis R-Spec sedan, which boasts 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque.

But that’s hardly the highlight of this concept. Who can look past its styling – a twisted marriage of aggression and modern design. Aside from what’s showing on the surface, the car also features suicide doors.

You probably could have guess it from the start, but how could anything other than the Corvette Stingray top this show’s list?

Apart from practically taking the show over before it started by packing a massive venue, this is the fastest base Corvette ever. Powered by an all-new 6.2-liter LT1 V8, the Stingray has 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. Not only that, but Chevrolet says the car has a better power-to-weight ratio than both the Audi R8 and Porsche 911.

Finally, a seven-speed manual transmission promises rev-matched downshifts while a premium interior could stand to finally offer Corvette owners seats that doesn’t suck.

CLICK HERE: to Watch AutoGuide’s 2014 Corvette First Look Video

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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