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Lexus LF-LC concept (Carlos Osorio/AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Lexus LF-LC concept (Carlos Osorio/AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Best in show

Listed: Best in show from Detroit Add to ...


Honda's luxury brand is, at least according to company officials, on the rebound and nothing says that more than the NSX concept, a high-performance hybrid. Honda/Acura officials say they hope to have this one on the road in less than three years. It’s low, sleep and fast and sexy, powered by a V-6 gasoline engine mated to a lithium ion battery pack, and the car will have all-wheel-drive. The ILX, meanwhile, may be derived from the global Honda Civic platform, but the Acura looks like something much more than a gussied-up Civic. And then there is the redesigned 2013 RDX compact crossover. It will be powered by a V-6, rather than the jumpy turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the current car. The ILX and RDX go on sale this spring.


The Q3 Vail concept is a downsized Q5 built on an A3 platform. Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America, said the Q3 “would work” in North America, though Audi executives decline to say exactly when this crossover might hit showrooms in Canada and the United States. We know this: In Europe, the Q3 goes on sale later this year.


The 2013 Encore, a smaller crossover, will fit in nicely below the full-sized Enclave. For the record, the Encore will be Buick's fifth new or redesigned model in the past five years. Three years ago, many, including me, were calling for GM to kill the Buick brand in North America. We might have been wrong to do so. Buick just might have a future as a legitimate Lexus-fighter.


We love the sporty RS version of the Sonic subcompact. The 2013 RS is a hatchback with its own front fascia and grille, shorter gear ratios on the six-speed manual and a 1.4-litre turbo engine, and standard disc brakes all around. The Sonic RS goes on sale later in 2012.


Yes, the Accord will be redesigned as a 2013 model, hitting showrooms in mid-2012. The tease here in Detroit is an Accord Coupe. Keep in mind that Honda's concept cars are usually quite similar to the final production model.


The turbocharged four-cylinder Veloster is a fast version of Hyundai’s three-door compact. At least as important is the restyled 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with its new four-cylinder engine and a re-engineered 3.8-litre V-6.


The talk is that the LF-LC coupe concept brought tears of joy to the eyes of Lexus dealers when the company showed it earlier in a private unveiling. This concept suggests the future of Lexus styling and was crafted at the auto maker's Calty design studio in Newport Beach, Calif. It is a hybrid, too, with a 2+2 layout.


The new 2013 SL roadster is longer and lighter than the outgoing model, thanks to an all-aluminum body and other technological innovations. The SL550 will be powered by a new 4.6-litre direct-injection V-8. Mercedes also showed two E-class hybrids.


BMW’s so-called “youth” brand keeps growing its model lineup to include a roadster. This soft-top two-seater goes on sale in February or March, powered by variants of Mini's 1.6-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine.


The next-generation Pathfinder is a car-based utility with better fuel economy and a passenger-friendly ride.


Convertible versions of the 911 Carrera and Carrera S will go on sale this spring and now we know what they’ll look like. Very nice.


Smart, the small-car brand of Mercedes-Benz, rolled out a two-seat electric pickup concept called the For-Us. Amusing, but utterly impractical.


Toyota will soon be selling production versions of the 2012 Prius C hatchback, which we saw at the Tokyo Motor Show. In Japan, the Prius C was called the Aqua at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Here, the Prius C will be a low-$20,000s hybrid.


Jetta Hybrid? Oh, yes, and it’s a 2013 model due to go on sale later in 2012.

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