Hyundai HCD-14 This luxury Hyundai has all the trappings of a concept car — dramatic styling, forward-looking technology, wide-opening suicide doors, a sleek interior, oversize wheels. The grille is too prominent and the beltline a bit too high for my tastes, but I’d be happy to see some of the styling elements, especially the Audi A7-like profile, carry over to a production car.
Chevrolet Corvette The Corvette, the quintessential American sports car, was the talk of the auto show. We’ve been speculating about the C7 Corvette for several years, and now that it’s here in the flesh (or should that be in the metal?), it doesn’t disappoint. We’ve heard Corvette traditionalists complain about the styling–of the rear end in particular–but in my opinion this new Corvette looks great, and the interior has taken a huge step up. It should also be great fun to drive, with a muscular 450-hp V-8 providing the power to move its relatively svelte 3300 pounds.
Audi RS7 Speaking of Audi, I would be remiss not to include the RS7 in this list. The A7 is a truly excellent luxury car, and turning it into a stealth bomber with a 500-plus hp twin-turbo V-8 will surely prove to be a winning strategy for Audi.
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra I rate GM’s pickups losers not because there’s anything particularly terrible about their styling, features, or capabilities, but because they got completely overshadowed by the Ram 1500, which was announced as the North American Truck of the Year on the first day of the show, and by the unexpected appearance of the Ford Atlas Concept, which previews the next Ford F-series. A few of my colleagues confessed to walking past the stand on which GM’s trucks were displayed several times before recognizing them for what they were. Hopefully for GM, which relies heavily on its big-selling pickups and their high profit margins, this is not a bad omen.
BMW 320i It seems like a more affordable 3-series would be a no-brainer for BMW. The 320i starts at $33,445, undercutting the 328i by about $4000, which seems like a decent deal until you find out that you’re losing 60 hp and not seeing any gain in fuel economy. Still, the 320i has the prestige of the BMW badge, so that might just be enough to move it through dealer lots.