It wasn't long ago that the Detroit Auto Show was certifiably depressing. Car companies were pulling out of it, GM and Chrysler were going bankrupt, there was a definite atmosphere of doom and gloom. In 2013, Detroit is without question back and enjoying what seems to be renewed importance. Here are the highlights.
America's premier auto show started quite fittingly with America's premier sports car. The all-new C7 Corvette tows a fine line between 60 years of heritage and the latest automotive advancements. It's a safe bet it'll be an even greater thrill to drive, but will this new design be able to ignite a new generation of Corvette enthusiasts?
The Corvette might have been the star of the show, but GM's bread-winning trucks have been redesigned as well. The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra feature styling inside and out that eschews the fancy details of its Ford and Ram competitors. We think traditional truck buyers will appreciate that, but not as much as the burlier and more efficient engines.
Elsewhere on the GM stand, Cadillac unveiled its ELR extended range electric vehicle. Think about it as a Chevy Volt disguised as a sleek and luxurious Cadillac sport coupe and you won't be far off.
Sleek and luxurious are descriptions several other luxury cars here in Detroit hope to garner.
Infiniti's Q50 is the completely redesigned and renamed next-generation G Sedan. Besides its new styling and name, this rear-drive sport sedan seems to carry on the same solid attributes that made the G37 so popular.
Mercedes gave a sneak peak at its new CLA-Class. It may look like a baby CLS, but underneath is the front-drive platform of the A-Class hatchback solid in Europe. It'll be Benz's new entry-level car here in America.
Another new car in that segment will be the next-generation Lexus IS sedan. It's certainly a bold departure from the old car, but the jury's still out on its styling.
There were no shortage of concept cars here in Detroit, but most were just thinly disguised version of vehicles already OK'd for production.
The Volkswagen CrossBlue gave the first look at the German brand's forthcoming three-row, seven-passenger crossover designed specifically with American families and wallets in mind. Its bigger than the Touareg, but cheaper too.
The Honda Urban SUV Concept represents the other end of the SUV spectrum, occupying a size class below current compact crossovers -- including the CR-V. Sharing many of the same space-saving tricks as the Honda Fit, expect this little SUV to live up to its Urban name as a city-bound trucklet.
The Toyota Furia Concept gave a glimpse at a radically different next-generation Corolla, whereas the Acura MDX Prototype confirmed very evolutionary changes for the brand's best-seller.
The BMW 4 Series Concept was probably the least coy in hiding its production rootss. It may be called the 4 Series, but it's really the coupe version of the 3 Series. Same underpinnings, same engines, same interior, likely a higher price.
There were some more fanciful concepts, though. The Hyundai HCD-14 Concept is a design exercise that points in the direction of the next-generation Genesis and Equus, while showcasing a truly futuristic interior.
The Nissan Resonance Concept also established some possible styling cues for future Nissan SUVs.
The German luxury carmakers all came out with insane, high-performance versions of current cars. BMW had the M6 Grand Coupe, Audi the RS7, and Mercedes showed its face-lifted and all-wheel-drive E63 AMG.
There was even more here in Detroit, so make sure to check out our full coverage at Edmunds.com as well as our videos on individual cars. Tell us your highlights.