The 2011 Detroit Auto Show has come and gone and though it didn’t have the real wow factor of other shows of the past with their outrageous concept cars and over-hyped launches it did have some noteworthy introductions. Here are some of the top highlights from the show.
Porsche 918 RSR
Porsche had teased that something big was in store for the Detroit show and they fulfilled their promise with the 918 RSR. Based on the 918 Spyder Concept that made the rounds at last year’s auto shows, the 918 RSR is a single seat hardtop racing version of the Spyder. It features a 563 horsepower 6.2 liter V8 that revs to a screaming 10,300 rpm. If that’s not enough, Porsche has also added two electric motors at the front wheels which bring the total output to an amazing 767 horsepower.
2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
Designed as an “entry level” M car, BMW says they drew inspiration from the original 1988 M3 which was a lightweight racecar for the street. The 1 Series M Coupe sports a high output 3.0 liter turbocharged inline 6 cylinder engine with 340 horsepower routed through a traditional 6 speed manual transmission. The car is expected to show up in dealer showrooms sometime in the spring of this year at a starting price of $47,010 which would make it the most affordable M car BMW has ever produced.
2012 Hyundai Veloster
Hyundai has fully transformed itself from a company that made cheap boring cars to one with a full stable of critically acclaimed, stylish and fun cars. Their latest addition to the lineup, the 2012 Veloster, debuted at the 2011 Detroit show and looks to continue Hyundai’s recent string of successful models. The Veloster’s overall design is fresh and funky and it’s most unique feature is a third half door on the passenger side to ease entry into the rear seats. Power comes from a 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine making 138 horsepower so it won’t be a high speed screamer but it should still be sufficiently fun to toss around. The big thing is that the estimated mileage should come in around 40MPG so it has the potential to be fun and frugal. A traditional 6 speed manual is standard and a Hyundai developed 6 speed dual-clutch transmission will be an option. Hyundai is shooting for a base price of around $17,000.
Toyota Prius C Concept
Toyota has plans to develop an entire line of Prius models and this one, slated to enter production in 2012, looks to be the most exciting and possibly most affordable of the bunch. They’ve gone with a smaller size and weight to further increase the efficiency of the hybrid powertrain. Toyota claims it will be the most fuel-efficient and the most affordable hybrid in the U.S. If they can keep the styling the way it is, it should be a hit with younger buyers.
2012 BMW 650i Convertible
BMW unveiled the newly redesigned 650i Convertible at this year’s Detroit Auto Show and it looks great. Powered by a 400 horsepower twin-turbo V8, the big cruiser should have plenty of get up and go. Transmission choices will be either a 6 speed manual or eight speed automatic. Sadly, t here is no folding hardtop for you fans of mechanical complexity. Instead, the 650i makes due with a fabric top that can be deployed in just 19 seconds. The car is scheduled to go on sale in the spring at a starting price of $91,375.