2013 Detroit Auto Show: Winners and Losers

Audi rs7

The 2013 edition of the Detroit auto show kept a steady pace with elegant new production cars and one of the biggest crops of concept cars we've seen in years. We'll grade both groups, starting here with the cars you'll actually be able to buy later this year. Cars.com editors Aaron Bragman, Mike Hanley, David Thomas and Joe Wiesenfelder scrutinized the sheet metal and deliver the results.

2014 Audi RS 7

David Thomas: Winner

The A7 is one of my favorite luxury cars as it is, and that's sans the 560-horsepower, twin-turbo V-8 that Audi has shoehorned into the RS 7. Visual tweaks like the "Quattro" script in the lower grille and beefed-up bumper are nice. The quilted leather treatment also speaks to me. It says, "You can't afford me, but wouldn't it be great to sit here?"

Mike Hanley: Winner

The RS 7 is blindingly quick — Audi claims zero to 60 mph happens in less than 4 seconds — and under the bright auto-show lights, the white one at the Audi stand was blinding, too. It's almost not fair that Audi has two performance lines — S and RS — to woo enthusiasts.

Joe Wiesenfelder: Winner

What's not to like (if you can afford it)? The seats feel as good as they look. Mike's not kidding about being blinded. That was the most light my eyes had seen in four days of Midwestern winter. It literally hurt my eyes.

Aaron Bragman: Winner

Blinding is definitely the word to describe the RS 7. Blindingly quick, blindingly expensive and yes, blindingly white in this showcar example. They say that the measure of a good design is whether it looks good in white or not, and the RS7 unquestionably does. This is going to be a future classic.
By David Thomas | January 17, 2013 | Comments (9)

2014 Infiniti Q50 Video

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Notwithstanding Infiniti's questionable new Q-for-cars, QX-for-SUVs naming convention, the 2014 Q50 appears to be an overall improvement on the outgoing G37 sedan it replaces. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays looked at the Q50's hybrid version this week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, concluding that its "surprising utility complements a strong pedigree."

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The new Q50 is lower, longer and wider than its predecessor, with body-style updates that add improved interior volume to decent backseat legroom and trunk space (even in the hybrid). Features like the double-arched grille in front and rear-end style suggest classic Infiniti; meanwhile, a 3.5-liter V-6 paired with an electric motor, direct-adaptive steering system and stylish, samurai-influenced interior trim show change is also embraced.

Check out the video below.

By Matt Schmitz | January 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport: Photo Gallery

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Lexus’ small sports sedan gets an entirely new look for the 2014 model year. Outside, the design now resembles other new Lexus sedans with an oversized spindle grille dominating the front bumper. Dagger-like LEDs accent the headlights, which are integrated into the bumper.

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Inside, the 2014 IS gets a layout similar to those of the newer GS and ES models. The cabin features touch-sliding controls for the climate control, a roomier backseat, new multimedia system and a batch of available active safety features. Check out the photos below.

By Robby DeGraff | January 17, 2013 | Comments (2)

Acura NSX Concept: Photo Gallery

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If such a thing can be said of a supercar this exotic and technologically advanced — and at least two years away from production — the Acura NSX concept is old hat to us. The NSX we're seeing this week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is largely the same as the one we saw at the 2012 show: same mid-mounted, direct-injected V-6; same Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system; same pair of torque-boosting electric motors.

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What is new and notable, however, might be referred to as RoboCockpit. Acura says this concept car's cabin focuses on the "synergy between man and machine." This so-called Human Support Cockpit features a streamlined, nearly button-free interface.

As you start the countdown to the day the machines become self-aware, check out the gallery below.

By Matt Schmitz | January 16, 2013 | Comments (7)

2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport: Up Close

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The Lexus IS' dominant design theme is its oversized spindle grille, which looks great in the F Sport trim on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. LED daggers below the headlights complement the pinched upper area of the grille, and the dagger theme is mimicked in the taillights.

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The interior sees even bigger changes than the outside, with an all-new dashboard design that adopts the slightly industrial, stacked design of other recently redesigned Lexus models. The F Sport's black-and-red interior looks great, too.

By Mike Hanley | January 16, 2013 | Comments (13)

2014 Kia Sorento Video

2014-kia-sorentoAt first glance, the 2014 Kia Sorento doesn’t appear very different than the outgoing 2013, but Kia says 80% of the parts are new or significantly redesigned. Inside, there’s a newly redesigned center console with a larger display for Kia’s multimedia system as well as other updates.

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We first saw the new Sorento late last year at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays checks out the redesigned Sorento on the floor of the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  Mays finds a lot to like with the new interior, but also notes there’s still room for improvement.

Check out the video below. 

By Joe Bruzek | January 16, 2013 | Comments (3)

Nissan Resonance Concept: Photo Gallery

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Nissan says designers of the Resonance were inspired by the "future allure of hypersonic travel," and though the hybrid crossover concept won't break the sound barrier, its influence likely will resonate in models to come. Showing off its sci-fi-friendly features along with fuel-economy-boosting airflow management, the Resonance — a possible precursor to the next-generation Murano — bows this week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Everything about the Resonance looks ahead to the world of tomorrow. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mates with a hybrid electric drive system and Nissan's next-gen Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission. Although a 3-D holographic center console screen is unlikely to find its way to production, it sure is cool to see in the here-and-now.

Check out the gallery below for a further glimpse into the future.

By Matt Schmitz | January 16, 2013 | Comments (3)

2014 Jaguar F-Type Video

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Jaguar’s 2014 F-Type convertible may be the smallest car in the luxury automaker’s 2014 lineup, but the F-Type is certainly not the least expensive with a starting price just under $70,000, including a destination charge. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays takes an up-close look at the sleek F-Type at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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The F-Type features V-6 or V-8 engines with power ranging from a mild 340 horsepower standard to an extreme 495 hp with a supercharged V-8 in S models. F-Types with the supercharged V-8 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Expect the F-Type to go on sale this summer.

Check out the video below.

By Joe Bruzek | January 16, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Audi SQ5 Video

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The Audi Q5 already runs neck-and-neck with competing small luxury crossovers in popularity, so the added power and quickness of the 2014 SQ5 model may give it the boost it needs to pull ahead. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 in the new SQ5, which is debuting this week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, gets hefty horsepower and torque increases, helping to shave nearly a full second off of the Q5's 6-second zero-to-60 time.

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Performance enhancements aside, the SQ5 could use a little work on the exterior, Mays says. Silver trim along the grille and on mirror caps has a plastic-like appearance, and the 21-inch wheels we saw in Detroit may be a bit much for the SQ5's lowered ride height.

Check out the video below and judge for yourself.

By Matt Schmitz | January 16, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Detroit Auto Show, Day 2: What You Missed

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The second day of the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit comes to a close with the revealing of many production vehicles. Nissan showed off a new Versa Note hatchback and announced big pricing news for the Leaf; Kia presented its new full-size Cadenza, and Cadillac’s ELR coupe continued to wow our editors. Wild concepts like the Nissan Resonance, Ford Atlas and Honda Urban SUV also drew attention.

Check out our coverage of the new and exciting models that debuted today, as well as videos and photo galleries of models from Day One, below: You also can get an overview of our coverage from this year’s Detroit auto show on our Auto Show page, which sorts everything by model.

By Robby DeGraff | January 15, 2013 | Comments (0)

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