2013 Detroit Auto Show Recap & Gallery: Day 1

Ed note: Our own Sam Miller-Christiansen attended this week’s media preview of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Below, you’ll find a recap of his first day on the floor. Full disclosure: during his visit, Sam was the guest of General Motors, but he had plenty of time to explore offerings from other automakers at the show.

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The 2013 North American International Auto Show (better known as the Detroit Auto Show) is home to many new models, and the entire event has a more upbeat and progressive feel than in years past.

Of course the star of the show was the…

2014 Chevrolet Corvette at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (photo by Sam Miller-Christiansen)2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The mighty C7 Corvette has arrived and — surprise — it’s called the Stingray again! Its exterior design is an evolution from the precious generation, though the surface detailing is much more highly refined, and the circular taillights have been pretty much ditched for a more angular design. The interior is vastly improved, with upscale materials and detailing as well as advanced digital displays that can be customized to show whatever the driver desires (or, well, almost anything, winky face). It looks so fantastic you’ll probably want to light up a sparkler and sing “The Star Spangled Banner”. I certainly did.

Hyundai HDC-14 Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (photo by Sam Miller-Christiansen)Hyundai HDC-14 Concept

The HDC-14 Concept made me wish that Hyundai had kept the reveal sheet on, as it looked much better covered than it did when finally unveiled. On the positive side, there’s a gorgeous, arching roofline reminiscent of the Audi A7. It all falls apart from there with a flat-out hideous grill that looks like a dead catfish and a fussy rear. The interior was pure pie-in-the-sky concept, though apparently you can play poker on the infotainment screen in the center console, so at least there’s something for gambling addicts. The HDC-14 is supposed to foreshadow the new Genesis sedan design. Let’s hope Hyundai’s designers get their eyeglass prescriptions fixed by that time.

(Ed. note: Hyundai is not a gay-friendly automaker.)

2014 Infiniti Q50 at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (photo by Sam Miller-Christiansen)2014 Infiniti Q50

Replacing the G-Series in Infiniti’s lineup is the Q50. Infiniti appears to be playing it safe here with very evolutionary styling and a rear that looks a bit too much like the Hyundai Sonata for its own good. Inside, the Q50 is surprisingly more of the same, with a safe and already-seen-before feel. A touchscreen system, similar to that found in the Honda Accord, makes its first appearance in an Infiniti product and is called InTouch (har har). The Q50 will arrive with conventional and hybrid power plants, marking the first time Infiniti will offer a hybrid in this class.

Lincoln MKC Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (photo by Sam Miller-Christiansen)Lincoln MKC Concept

The next link in the chain for Lincoln’s revival, the MKC Concept, gives us a very good idea of what to expect from the company’s upcoming crossover entry. It’s a cleanly executed design, with the signature Lincoln grill up front and full-width taillights ’round the rear  It’s going to be crucial for Lincoln to have a strong contender in the crossover market, and the MKC concept looks fantastic. Inside, the design is much the same as that on the MKZ introduced last year. It may not be distinctly a Lincoln, but it is distinctly attractive, and that’s very good news for Ford’s luxury brand.

Toyota Corolla Furia Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (photo by Sam Miller-Christiansen)Toyota Corolla Furia Concept 

I suppose the Corolla is now furious or something. I’m not quite sure what Toyota is trying to convey with the name of this concept, but clearly it’s supposed to foreshadow the upcoming new Corolla, which we’ve only had to wait about 100 years for. Imagine this concept but stripped of everything that makes it interesting or attractive and you have the next Corolla. Yay!?

Honda Urban SUV Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (photo by Sam Miller-Christiansen)Honda Urban SUV Concept

Think of the Honda Urban SUV Concept as a Fit crossover and you wouldn’t be far off. The Urban SUV concept is pleasantly proportioned and cleanly styled, though I do take issue with the slightly wacko grill-bleeding-into-headlights treatment up front. It’s not pretty on the CR-V, and it’s not pretty here either.

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (photo by Sam Miller-Christiansen)Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

The CrossBlue Concept is a first look at the seven-seat crossover VW is developing especially for us wagon-hating Americans. This will be the second model built in VW’s state-of-the-art Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. Visually the CrossBlue reads like a slightly higher Ford Flex but with a more mainstream design than the Ford. VW actually wants this thing to sell. The interior is a bright spot, with clean, upscale looking design throughout. Can’t wait to see the production version.

BMW 4-Series Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (photo by Sam Miller-Christiansen)BMW 4 Series Concept

The 4-Series Coupe Concept is a very strong indicator of what we can expect from the production 4-Series Coupe when it is unveiled later this year as a replacement to the 3-Series Coupe currently on the lots. The 4 Concept is striking in person, with a taught, muscular body and a bold (though slightly sloppy-looking) face. Interior is lifted straight from the new 3-Series sedan. Pity.

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