The Stars of the 2011 Detroit Motor Show

One of the largest and most important motor shows of the year, the 2011 edition of the North American International Auto Show [NAIAS], kicks off next week in Detroit. Even though many automakers are still keeping their cards under the table, Autonews published a list of new production models and concept studies that are expected to make their world premiere at Detroit's Cobo Center. The list includes a variety of vehicles ranging from GM's Chevrolet Sonic subcompact to Volkswagen's NMS sedan which will replace the Passat in the U.S. market. More details on the cars that are scheduled to debut in Detroit after the break.


At the center of Audi’s booth we’ll find the 2012 A6, which adopts styling cues from the A7 and A8 models. Considered to be a crucial car for the German maker’s U.S. strategy, the luxury sedan will be offered at launch with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, but, according to AN, Audi is also considering the introduction of a six-cylinder diesel in the States. The A6 will go on sale in the second half of 2011.


This year’s NAIAS will see the world premiere of the 2012 BMW 650i Convertible. Powered by a 400 hp 4.4-liter force inducted V8, the open top model, much to the delight of purists, will be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as well as an eight-speed automatic.

Other highlights of the BMW stand will include the face-lifted 1-Series Coupe and Convertible and the brand new 335-horsepower 1-Series M Coupe. All the aforementioned models will go on sale in the spring.


Buick is expected to present the Verano compact sedan, which is based on the China-market Excelle GT, with both variants borrowing their underpinnings from the Opel Astra.


The Chinese maker is said to unwrap the S6DM plug-in hybrid SUV Concept, an eco-friendly variant of the S6.


Chevrolet will bring to Detroit the 2012 Sonic that replaces the Aveo subcompact. It will eventually be offered in both hatchback and sedan versions.


The most important Chrysler model in Motor City will be the 2011 Chrysler 300, which features softer and more elegant lines than its predecessor, a revamped interior and two engine choices: the 290 hp 3.6-liter V6 and a 5.7-liter V8 Hemi. Sales will start in the first quarter of 2011.


Marking Ford’s return to the U.S. minivan market, the Focus-based 2012 C-Max features sliding rear doors and a new, 1.6-liter Ecoboost direct injected/turbocharged powerplant. According to AN, Ford also could reveal further information about alternative powertrain vehicles derived from the C-Max platform.

As previously reported, we can also expect to see a production-ready concept version for a common replacement for the European Kuga and the U.S.-market Escape crossovers.


The star of this year’s GMC line-up will be the Sierra All-Terrain HD Concept. Powered by GM’s 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8, which is capable of 397 hp and 1,037 Nm (765 lb-ft) of torque, the pick-up promises to be a trusty “workhorse”. The styling could preview the next generation of the Sierra which is expected to launch in 2014. The next Sierra will be one of the first trucks to shed weight in order to comply with new fuel economy standards.


The Japanese automaker will try to create as much hype as it can around a design study previewing the upcoming ninth-generation 2012 Civic, scheduled to hit North American showrooms in March.


The crowds attending the Detroit Motor Show will get to see the production version of the Hyundai Veloster coupe, designed to compete with the Honda CR-Z. Powered by a 140 hp 1.6-liter gasoline engine with direct injection, the sporty Hyundai is expected to return up to 40 US mpg. According to Hyundai North America CEO John Krafcik, the Veloster will be released in 2011 as a 2012 model.

The Curb crossover concept, said to preview a new design language for the company, will be another highlight of the Korean maker’s stand.


Jeep recently unveiled the 2011MY Compass crossover, a more upscale model featuring a Grand Cherokee-style nose-job and a $19,295 MSRP or almost $4,000 more than the 2010MY. Only time will tell if customers will find the improvements worthy of the heftier price tag, but until then they can see the updated version at NAIAS.


Aside from a teaser rendering, Kia hasn’t released much information about the KV7 crossover concept, but the bold lines and gullwing rear doors look neat.


Mercedes is expected to launch several new or refreshed models this year, but one of the most important vehicle is the face-lifted 2012 C-Class, which will bow in Detroit. Changes include exterior and interior revisions, while U.S.-spec cars will see the return of a four-cylinder engine in the form of a turbocharged 201 hp 1.8-liter unit, alongside a new, 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Sales are expected to start in July.


Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its U.S. re-launch, MINI will present the Paceman coupe crossover concept. The design study teases an upcoming series model, which will strive to translate the X6’s success into a smaller niche.


Porsche has recently confirmed that it will premiere a brand new model at the 2011 Detroit Motor Show, but it hasn’t released any information. The Detroit car could be anything from a 911 successor to the Cajun small SUV, but we’re secretly rooting for the production version of the 918 hybrid supercar pictured here.


Toyota’s 2011 Detroit line-up will be all about extending its Prius line-up. The list of new models includes the Prius Plug-in, a compact minivan, which, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings, will be dubbed Prius V, and a Prius-branded concept car.


The 2011 North American International Auto Show will mark the world premiere of the much-anticipated Volkswagen NMS (New Mid-sized Sedan) that will be built at the German maker’s new U.S. factory in Chattanooga, Tennesse. It will go on sale in the second half of the year.

By Csaba Daradics

Source [Sub. Req]: Autonews