2012 Detroit Auto Show: The Freshmen

The new kids on the block.

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  • 2013_Cadillac_ATS_1434
    <b>2013 Cadillac ATS</b>
    The ATS will be Cadillac's least expensive car when it hits the street this summer, but that doesn't make it a chump—in fact, apart from the CTS-V, it's their most exciting whip in a long time. Wearing the sleekest version yet of Caddy's Art & Science styling and packing both a turbo four-cylinder and a V6, this BMW 3 Series fighter is probably keepin' some Germans awake at night.
  • dodge dart
    <b>2013 Dodge Dart</b>
    For the first time since the original Neon showed up in 1994, Dodge has made a compact car with some style. (Hey, the Neon was stylish for '94.) But the new Dart has more than just style—with an Alfa Romeo-based chassis, one naturally aspirated and two turbocharged engines, and electronics like an 8.7 inch touchscreen, a customizable gauge cluster and a 506 watt stereo, the Dart could prove to be the hottest Dodge since the Charger.
  • 2013-mercedes-benz-sl-class-5
    <b>2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550</b>
    The first all-new SL-Class in 11 years, the SL550 could prove to be <i>the</i> baller whip of 2012. A lighter body and a more powerful V8 mean the SL550 has sports car hustle, while a revised interior and piles of hot tech (like a sound system that uses the chassis's open spaces as resonators for the bass) make this 'vert a nicer place to relax than most living rooms.
  • 2013 ford fusion
    <b>2013 Ford Fusion</b>
    The midsize sedan market is one of the toughest to break into in the car world, but Ford's new Fusion stands a serious chance of making the big time. Between its sleek lines, high-end technology and a choice of four engines (including two hybrid setups), the Fusion just might put Camry and Accord in their place.
  • ILX_1(1)
    <b>2013 Acura ILX</b>
    Acura calls the ILX a concept, but don't be fooled—it's pretty much identical to the production ILX headed to showrooms this spring. It's based on the Honda Civic, but scores a gadget-packed luxury interior and styling so sleek, the player haters'll never know your whip is all Civic under the skin.
  • 001_2013_Accord_Coupe_Concept(1)
    <b>2013 Honda Accord Coupe</b>
    Like the Acura ILX, this Accord is pretty much a concept in name only—the new Accord going on sale this fall will look a lot like this. The styling hasn't changed much, but the next middle-weight Honda scores new four-cylinder, six-cylinder and plug-in hybrid powertrains. No word yet if the 20" rims will make it to the streets.
  • 13Encore_004
    <b>2013 Buick Encore</B>
    Here's the truth about the Encore: it's tiny. It may look like a big SUV here, but in real life, it's almost ten inches shorter than a Ford Focus. But how important is size when you still have luxury car features like a super-quiet ride, leather seats, front and rear parking assist, and sensors to warn you if you're about to crash?
  • 2013 nissan pathfinder
    <B>2013 Nissan Pathfinder</b>
    Again, ignore the "concept" Nissan attached to the new Pathfinder's name—this is a pretty faithful look at what the new SUV will look like when it shows up this fall. Built on a unibody platform and outfitted with a CVT transmission, the new Pathfinder will not only look better than the ride it replaces, it'll get better gas mileage too.
  • RDX_2
    <b>2013 Acura RDX</b>
    For its second generation, the RDX ditches its old underpowered four-cylinder turbo for a 273 horsepower V6, which should improve both acceleration and street cred. It also loses the insect-like styling of the old version and replaces it with styling that looks traced off the larger MDX sport-ute—which ain't a bad move.
  • NAIAS_Toyota_Prius_c_004
    <b>2012 Toyota Prius c</b>
    If your top priority when it comes to cars is squeezin' as many miles as possible out a gallon of gas, the Prius c should be high on your shopping list. At 53 mpg in the city, it gets the best gas mileage of any car that you don't have to plug in. If you're looking for style, power, speed or fun, however...we'd say look elsewhere.

Today’s portion of our 2012 Detroit Auto Show coverage takes a look at the all-new cars unveiled at this year’s show. It was a big year for the home-grown automakers on the new model front, but some of the foreign companies managed to toss some good whips onto the pile. Check ‘em out.


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