Top 10 Cars At 2011 Detroit Auto Show –

The 2011 North American International Auto Show is the first important auto show of the year and this edition at Detroit we’ve seen some interesting cars announced. Here is a personal top ten in my opinion; the ranking has been done randomly.

Volkswagen Passat

The American-spec Volkswagen Passat was one of the biggest names this year at Detroit. Formerly teased as the new “NMS” sedan, the car will be available in the US starting with this August at a very affordable price of less than $20,000. The new Passat will be available in three different trim levels. The first one will get you the entry-level 5-cylinder power unit that produces 170 hp. The other gasoline engine is the more powerful VR6 6-cylinder unit that churns 280 hp. If you prefer diesel, you will be happy to hear that the car will be available with a TDI unit that produces 140 hp.

Audi A6

One of my personal favorites at Detroit was the new Audi A6. The German automaker unveiled the model prior to the auto show and at its official debut, the car won the “Best Production Vehicle” award, given by EyesOn Design. The new generation of the beautiful A6 will be available with five different engine options – two gas units and three diesel engines. The most affordable model will be the one with the naturally aspirated 2.8 FSI that outputs 204 hp and offers 280 Nm of torque. The other gas engine is a 3.0 TFSI that will be good for 300 hp and 440 Nm of torque. The entry-level diesel engine is the 2.0 TDI which will produce 177 hp and 380 Nm of torque.  The other two variants are based on the 3.0 TDI engine – one of them will output 204 hp / 400 Nm, while the other will churn 245 hp / 500 Nm of torque.

Mercedes C-Class

Another German car made it into the top, the new generation of the Mercedes C-Class, another looker. The new model is drop-dead gorgeous both inside and out. Along with the styling changes, the C-Class will get two new engines, including the 4-cylinder 1.8-liter turbocharged unit that will output 201 hp. The other one will be a more potent V6 3.5-liter that will crank up around 300 hp.

Hyundai Veloster

Design-wise, the Hyundai Veloster was the coolest car this year at the NAIAS. This gorgeous three-door sports coupe was officially unveiled, after years of unconfirmed rumors. The styling of the car was inspired from a sports bike and the car will be available with a brand new engine. I’m talking about a 1.6-liter Gamma 4-cylinder unit which will be the company’s smallest GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) unit. Developing 138 hp and linked to either a 6-speed dual-clutch (DCT) gearbox or a standard 6-speed manual transmission, the Veloster will certainly be a hit.

Ford Vertrek

Finally something from the domestic market and by that we mean the Ford Vertrek. It seems that this cool-looking SUV / crossover will be the base of the upcoming generation of the Escape. Under its awesome design, the car has a 4-cylinder EcoBoost 1.6-liter engine that outputs about 160-180 hp. In addition, the Blue Oval will also offer a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost as well as a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder unit. In Europe, the car will probably also get a 2.0-liter TDCI engine. All of these engines will feature the Auto-Start-Stop technology which will lower the fuel consumption by 5%.

Mach7 Motorsports Falcon

We’ve talked about the Mach7 Motorsports Falcon last week and it had to be in this top as it will be a very potent American supercar. The car will be powered by a massive V8 6.2-liter LS3 Corvette engine that churns 500 hp in its standard version. If you want more muscles, the car can be fitted with either an LS7 or LS9 supercharged power unit that will output 640 ponies. With the LS9 package, the car will do the 0-62 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds, onto a top speed of well over 200 mph.

GMC Sierra All-Terrain HD Concept

The GMC Sierra All-Terrain HD Concept rocked the 2011 Detroit Auto Show with its very powerful 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine that is good for 397 hp and 765 lb.-ft of torque. With many “green” cars launched at the event, this GMC model was an exception to this rule.

Ford C-Max Energi

Speaking of efficient cars, Ford unveiled two versions of the C-Max model, dubbed Hybrid and Energi. The latter has a high-voltage lithium-ion battery, a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle gas engine and of course, an electric motor. The car runs primarily on electric mode with certain conditions – when the battery is empty for instance – allowing the car to switch to a “charge-sustaining hybrid mode for continued optimal fuel efficiency.” The Hybrid is like all the hybrids nowadays, packing an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery and the same engine we mentioned before, except for the plug-in component.

Chevrolet Sonic

The Chevrolet Aveo was officially killed in US when the company launched the new Sonic model. The car will be available with a choice of new engines, including 4-cylinder petrol and diesel power units with outputs starting with 70+ hp for the 1.2-liter versions and ending with 115 hp for the 1.6-liter units. With a price tag of only $12,115 – it is the ideal car for taking you from Point A to Point B.

BMW 1-Series M Coupe

We almost forget the highly-anticipated BMW 1-Series M Coupe. The smallest M model ever made comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter engine that cranks up 340 hp. What I love about the car is that the Germans decided to offer only a manual gearbox for it, making it an authentic driver’s car.

If I’ve didn’t include a car that you consider to be worthy of this top, I am open to suggestions and opinions. Maybe the 6-Series Convertible or the Chrysler 300 should have made it into the top; I’ll let you decide that.

All things considered, the 2011 Detroit Auto Show was pretty interesting, with many production models and concepts revealed, showing us that the future of the automobile looks promising.

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