List: Our Five Favorite Detroit Show Debuts

By Winding Road Staff

January 12, 2010


AUDI E-TRON "DETROIT SHOWCAR" ---- Yes, Audi’s e-tron concept strategy is starting to get a little bit confusing. After showing one R8-based e-tron concept in Frankfurt, the Germans brought another slinky, smaller version (this one roughly as big as a TT) to Cobo. We might not get it, but we do love it. Jaw-dropping looks, the potential for driveshaft shattering gobs of torque from its two electric motors, and, perhaps coolest of all, the madness of rear-wheel drive. Sorry Quattro fans.


CHEVROLET AVEO RS SHOW CAR ---- Despite that “Show Car” tag on the end of its formal name, this half-pint, maximum power Aveo is likely to be pretty close to the final product that we can probably expect from Chevy in about a year. Of course, we’re not particularly worried about the final instantiation of the Aveo RS’s powertrain—GM has never really had a problem building potent motors, and we expect good things from the turbocharged 1.4-liter—it’s the translation of that show car interior that has us concerned. Here’s hoping Chevy keeps the cabin as crisp as those handsome exterior lines.


CADILLAC CTS-V COUPE ---- Yes, we were eagerly awaiting the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. Before seeing the car, we drooled in anticipation of its 556 angry, angry horses. We already were in love with the curves and angles of the CTS Coupe. We could practically smell the V-badged version coming, and today, it finally arrived (hard) on our home turf. To a thunderous introduction video depicting all varieties of natural disasters, with clips of the CTS-V smoking its tires spliced in, the CTS-V Coupe rolled onto stage. It was the one moment during the NAIAS where the hair stood up on the back of our neck.


FORD FOCUS ---- The booming C-segment will have a tough time competing with the all-new Ford Focus. It is one of the sexiest designs we've seen from the Ford Motor Company, and with all of the technology and quality features that the Focus will be built with, we have no doubt that you'll be hearing about this little car winning an award or two. What's more, the new Focus is a global car -- Europe and America finally get the same Focus, and we couldn't be happier. We no longer have to lust over the overseas offerings -- America gets to play with a great small car, too.


VOLKSWAGEN NEW CONCEPT COUPE ---- Its explicit name may be a bit pedestrian, but there’s nothing terribly plain about this stunning coupe concept from Volkswagen. Said to foreshadow the next generation Jetta, the NCC has got exterior styling that is both mature and elegant, with a fine interior to match. The multiplicity of white leathers combined with high-shine metal accents may be just a touch over the top (we’re pretty sure that kind of pimp livery won’t make the production Jetta), but it is a concept car, after all. Shine on, VW.


A lot of shiny new metal debuted at this year's Detroit Auto Show. And while we've spent a lot of time fawning over a lot of the concepts and production cars that were unveiled, only a few really stand out in our minds as the best cars of the show.

Here now, we present to you our five favorite debuts from this year's North American International Auto Show.