Kbb.com Lists Top 10 Favorites from Auto Show
IRVINE, Calif. — Domestic automakers are positioned for the potential for superb growth if consumers react to new vehicles in the same way as editors from Kelley Blue Book. The Web site revealed its Top 10 new and concept units from the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
More than half of the 10 units mentioned came from either Ford or General Motors.
Kbb.com's top choice went to the 2012 Ford Focus, while coming in a strong second was the GMC Granite Concept, a unit that's already picked up a 2010 EyesOn Design Award at the event.
GM was well represented overall as two Cadillac units, another from Chevrolet and one from Buick also caught the attention of Kbb.com.
Site executives pointed out that the sheer volume of vehicle debuts was a bit subdued this year as compared to the industry's heyday. However, they contend that the pool of new vehicles coming down the line still shows a bright future to generate plenty of consumer buzz.
"After the most amazing year most of us auto industry veterans have ever experienced, including a complete overhaul of the domestic landscape, bankruptcies, executive turnover and an ever-changing product focus, this year's Detroit Auto Show had a completely different vibe from last year's show," explained Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kbb.com.
"No one thinks the industry is out of the woods yet, but there was a collective sense of renewed energy to move forward," Nerad continued.
"The key emerging trends involve alternative-powered vehicles and in-vehicle technology, but there's no shortage of interesting new conventional vehicles. So, it was a pleasure to pick our Top 10," he added.
Kbb.com also shared more commentary about each of the vehicles they picked for this list.
No. 1 2012 Ford Focus
"We gave the 2012 Ford Focus the top spot on our Detroit Auto Show Top 10 list both for what it is and what it means. When the next generation arrives early in 2011, the Ford Focus will finally possess the kind of style its cool technologies and European-like driving dynamics deserve. More importantly to many, this high-volume seller promises to provide even more momentum to the accelerating domestic renaissance."
No. 2 GMC Granite Concept
Based on the same platform as the forthcoming Chevy Cruze compact sedan, the Granite Concept would be the smallest — and most Scion-like — GMC ever built should it see life as a production vehicle. Highlights include tough, industrial looks and a flexible interior in which the front passenger and right-side rear seats fold up and in towards the center console to create a long, tall storage area perfect for a bike. We're ready for a stronger box like this.
No. 3 Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept
"If Volkswagen made a Jetta Coupe Hybrid, this would be a sneak peak at the next generation. The New Compact Coupe (NCC) is fitted with a 1.4-liter direct-injected turbocharged gasoline engine that makes 148 horsepower, an electric motor/generator that contributes another 27 ponies and a seven-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), all of which allow the NCC to sprint from 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, top out at 141 mph and return 45 mpg on the combined Euro cycle. The next frontier for compact hybrids? Style."
No. 4 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
"The CTS Coupe isn't even on the road yet and Cadillac's already treating us to a V-powered upgrade. Like the CTS-V sedan, the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe gets is motivation from a 6.2-liter supercharged/intercooled V8 that makes 556-horsepower and 551 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Cadillac's most powerful V8 ever can send the CTS-V Coupe from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Look for the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe to start arriving at dealers this summer, with a starting price in the $55,000-$60,000 range."
No. 5 Chevrolet Aveo RS Concept
"An admittedly bolder-than-life precursor to the next-generation Chevy Aveo, the slick Aveo RS Concept does give a good idea of what to expect when the 2012 production version hits Chevy stores in early 2011. While virtually all of its detail elements are enhanced to ‘show car' spec, the upcoming volume-build Aveo will have the same basic size and shape as the RS, making it longer, wider and more spacious than the existing car with an interior that offers a more contemporary look and allows buyers a far greater level of personalization potential. And if an RS model does show up, we'll consider it gravy."
No. 6 2011 Honda CR-Z
"Whether or not you find the 2011 Honda CR-Z jogging fond memories of Honda's enthusiast-classic CR-X, there are reasons to get excited about what promises to be the zippiest hybrid to date when it shows up this summer. Honda CR-Z vitals include 122 horsepower, a 2,700-pound curb weight and highway mileage topping out at a seemingly unremarkable 38 mpg. The 2011 Honda CR-Z will also offer a six-speed manual transmission — as well as a CVT automatic — and is expected to start in the low $20,000 range. We're feeling a comparison test coming on."
No. 7 Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept
"Yeah, we like the Cadillac CTS and SRX, and the Escalade is a one-of-a-kind hauler, but shouldn't the Cadillac lineup include a big sedan worth talking about? Yes, it should. And whatever form this Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept takes as a production vehicle, it's sure to be hard to ignore. The concept's mechanical highlights include a plug-in hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive. Inside, the XTS features voice/touch inputs in place of traditional knobs and switchgear, balanced by plenty of the premium leather and real wood that we'll always want in a big Cadillac sedan."
No. 8 Mini Beachcomber Concept
"If the Porsche 911 Turbo is serious fun, the MINI Beachcomber Concept would be more of a fun fun. This open-air, all-wheel-drive concept is based on the forthcoming MINI crossover set to launch late in 2010. If your geography or personality compel you to consider contingency plans for rain (or snow), you'll be happy to know the MINI Beachcomber Concept can be sealed up with lightweight roof and door panels. Seriously, how much fun could you have in that thing?"
No. 9 Buick Regal GS Concept
"The car features a 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission and 14-inch Brembo brakes. It also has an integrated rear spoiler, vertical air intakes and dual exhaust outlets. Inside, you'll find a suede-covered flat-bottom steering wheel, deeply contoured Recaro sport buckets and an Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS). And yes, it's a Buick. Although a one-off for the moment, expect a production version of this high-powered, enthusiast-grade Buick Regal variant to arrive in Buick showrooms within the next year or so."
No. 10 Audi e-tron
"Yes, ‘Detroit showcar Audi e-tron' is the official name of Audi's latest electric jaw-dropper. This version is more than a foot shorter than the first e-tron that debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show last year, and smaller, even, than an Audi TT. Audi says it will hit 60 mph in less than 5.9 seconds and travel up to 155 miles on a single charge. And when it runs out of juice, it's still every bit as gorgeous."