Dozens of new vehicles were introduced at the 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit this week, and there wasn’t a dud in the bunch.
From the small and stylish Buick Encore crossover to the 53 mpg Toyota Prius C hybrid and Bentley Continental V8, pretty much every car and concept unveiled had at least had a modicum of merit to it. But that doesn’t mean a few didn’t rise above the rest.
Here are our picks for coolest cars at the show. (Click the names for a full story of each one.)
Sure, it looks like a lot of supercar concepts before it, but the new NSX is headed for production…in America. It uses an all-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain that promises performance and fuel efficiency, very 21st century. And if that’s not good enough for you, Tony Stark will be driving it in the upcoming “Avengers” movie. Even if it’s a product placement by Acura, that’s still pretty cool.
The 2013 Ford Fusion gets an all-new look that some people have called Aston Martin-esque, and it should help maintain the midsizer’s position high on the sales charts when it hits the road next year. But what makes it cool is the availability of a plug-in hybrid version that Ford says will get the equivalent of 100 mpg while operating in all-electric mode.
One is a mini muscle car with rear-wheel drive and a hybrid powertrain, while the other is a front-drive “affordable exotic” featuring Italian-inspired design. Chevy is working the social media scene to connect with potential customers and find out exactly which one they like best. If it builds it, Chevy says it’ll be priced under $20,000.
If you can’t go far, you might as well look good in the neighborhood. VW’s E-Bugster is a chop top two-seater with electric drive and a range of 100 miles. Did we mention it’s called the E-Bugster?
OK, it’s only got 30 hp and a top speed of 8 mph, but you’re forgetting: it’s a lawn tractor! The Craftsman CTX also has electronic fuel injection, power steering, traction control, cruise control and a cupholder. Only in America, and thank goodness for that.