Detroit Motor Show 2013: Top 10

15 Jan, 2013 8:46pm Jack Rix

Our news editor, Jack Rix, rounds up his 10 favourite cars from Detroit

1. Mercedes CLA

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The cynical among you might call the new CLA just an A-Class with a boot, but it's far cleverer than that. Mercedes has created yet another niche other manufacturers didn't see coming, and we fully expect them to reap the rewards, attracting a flood of new customers to the brand. It looked fantastic in the flesh, too - all smooth curves and taut muscle.

2. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

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The Corvette's relevance is limited for buyers in the UK, but in Detroit a new version of the all-American supercar is big news. And Chevrolet milked the limelight by bringing back the evocative 'Stingray' name from the Sixties. With carbon-fibre body panels, an aluminium chassis and a jaw-dropping design, this new 'Vette is thoroughly modern. But some things never change - there's still an 444bhp 6.2-litre V8 under the hood.

3. Honda Urban SUV Concept

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Jumping on the small SUV bandwagon is nothing new. In fact, we've been spoilt for choice recently with models like the Peugeot 2008, Renault Captur and Ford EcoSport. But Honda's offering looked particularly promising. The Urban SUV Concept will be based on the Jazz and goes on sale in Japan this year (although we'll have to wait until 2015 in the UK). Honda has a history of staying faithful to a concept's design. Here's to hoping.

4. Lexus IS

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The prize for the most pleasant surprise goes to the new Lexus IS - a stunning piece of design that will give the straight-laced Germans something to think about. Lexus has been threatening to build something this beautiful for a while now, with concepts like the gorgeous LF-LC. The new IS delivers on that promise, with its pinched front grille and blade-like LED running lights making the front end entirely unique. We can't wait to see the even-sportier three-door version that's been promised for some time in 2014.

5. Ford Atlas Concept

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Ford sold 645,000 F-Series pick-up trucks in 2012 - that equates to more than a car a minute - and it's been America's best-selling car for 31 years. So when Ford reveals its vision of what the F-Series will be in the future, the world sits up and listens. Defying its heritage, the Atlas Concept even has on eye of fuel efficiency, with a stop-start EcoBoost engine and active aerodynamics. These features could filter down to the Ranger pick-up in the UK.

6. Nissan Resonance Concept

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Nissan has some serious pedigree in the crossover market, with success stories like the Qashqai and Juke. So a new SUV concept is exciting stuff, especially when it's executed as well as the Resonance concept. Roughly the size of a Murano (a car we don't get in the UK anymore), the concept car showcases design cues for every future crossover, including the new Qashqai, due in 2014. Take note of the boomerang headlights and cutaway C-Pillar - you'll be seeing a lot more of them in the coming years.

7. Hyundai HCD-14 Concept

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Hyundai is enjoying record sales of its two premium models, the Genesis and Equus, in America. So to celebrate stealing market share from the established premium brands, this concept shows what the Koreans are really capable of. The bold design, with it's bluff front end (looking rather similar to the Aston Martin Lagonda concept, don't you think) could have some significance for the UK, too. The next-generation Genesis Coupe, a car the HCD-14 will influence, could be coming to British showrooms.

8. Infiniti Q50

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Infiniti's still struggling to make an impact in Europe, but this is the car that it hopes will turn the tide. The first model to use the new 'Q' and 'QX' naming strategy, it was shown with 323bhp 3.7-litre petrol V6 and 355bhp 3.5-litre petrol V6-electric hybrid powertrains in Detroit, but will get more efficient four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines for Europe. As for the design, it's a definite improvement, but could have been so much better.

9. Audi RS7

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If you like the sound of the Corvette's performance, but can't stand the superhero styling, then the RS7 could be right up your street. Using the same 552bhp 4.0-litre V8 as the new RS6 Avant, but costing around £7,000 more at £84,000, the RS7 can cover 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and hit 189mph flat out (if you pay to have the limiter removed). The Mercedes CLS 63 is one of our favourite AMG models, and we can't wait to see the sparks fly when these two titans go head to head.

10. BMW 4 Series Concept

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We met the new 4 Series Concept at an event prior to the Detroit show, but this was the car's first public airing. What's significant about this new model is that in changing its name from the 3 Series Coupe to the 4 Series Coupe, BMW has taken the opportunity to separate it from the 3 Series - and that means a more dramatic design. The dimensions have been stretched, with a track that’s 45mm wider at the front and 80mm at the rear, while the roofline is 16mm lower, too.

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