There’s something new for everyone, from penny-pinched first-time buyers to those for whom, as they say, price is no object, and all in between at the 2014 North American Auto Show in Detroit this week. Here is where the spotlights will shine brightest.
Brawny but light: Ford takes a radical step, swapping out steel for aluminum in the body of the bedrock F150 pickup to improve gas mileage. Will it still be tough enough for the toughest customers, builders and farmers?
Italianate-Chrysler: Newly under full ownership of Fiat, Chrysler puts Euro-sleek lines on its midsize 200, taking aim at the more stately competition that the previous Sebring-rooted 200 could not keep up with.
Corvette gets more muscle: GM has added horsepower and torque under the hood and an even more aggressive profile in the Corvette high performance Z06.
Jazzed-up Honda Fit: The mini-soccer Mom hatchback gets more energetic lines in a sweeping upgrade that also promises more space, a smoother ride and better mileage.
Rally beast: Subaru has remade the WRX, which does not mean it is any less homely – just more powerful, more agile, and likely to remain the favorite of rally drivers worldwide.
Audi’s mini-crossover concept: This could be the coming 2016 Q1, a “shooting brake”-styled crossover with enough lines from the TT – and close to its size – to keep “Transporter” Jason Statham looking cool enough.
Kia carved for speed, with a Stinger: Kia’s teaser photos for the GT4 Stinger concept support its description as “sculpted”: a hot pocket-rocket for the youth market with a turbocharged 315 horsepower 2 liter engine.
The future of Maxima: Nissan unveils its new sport sedan, expected to be the first taste of a revamped Maxima for 2015.
Mercedes C Class gets promoted: For years the entry-level Benz, the brand new C Class is larger and comes with more options once reserved for the S and E classes,while the smaller CLA takes its place on the first step of the Mercedes ladder
More speedy choices from BMW: A new 2 series to replace the 1; and a new M3 and M4.
American luxe: Cadillac shows the ATS Coupe.
Volvo’s SUV future: The concept XC Coupe.
Also new: Infiniti’s Eau Rouge concept for the Q50; a midsize pickup from GMC, after years of supersizing; Porsche’s new 911 Targa; a successor to the Toyota Supra; and Ford re-unveils the all-new Mustang, introduced in December at the Los Angeles auto show.