Report from Detroit: The North American International Auto Show 2013

By Jonathan Spira on 14 January 2013
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Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Karmin on Sunday

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Karmin on Sunday

DETROIT—The North American International Auto Show is one of the largest and oldest auto shows in the world.  It was first held in 1907 and, with the exception of three years during the Second World War, has taken place every year since.  Given its proximity to the headquarters of the Big Three, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, it has particular importance and it is also considered the only true “international” car show in the U.S.

Many carmakers use the Detroit show to launch important new models and show off concept cars.

This year, the Detroit show is open to the public from January 19th through the 27th.

Chevrolet and Mercedes-Benz both got an early start by holding premieres on the eve of the show’s opening.

Chevrolet unveiled the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the seventh generation of the classic American sports car.  This is the first new version of the Vette since 2005 and, with 450 pound-feet of torque by its 450 horsepower powerplant, it’s the most powerful standard Corvette to be ever offered.  The new Corvette is very angular, a stark contrast to its more rounded predecessor, and may be the most polarizing new design at the show.

Mercedes-Benz and the band Karmin pulled the wraps off the 2014 CLA-Class, a car not officially being shown at the Detroit show since it will make its world debut on January 15 at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin.

The CLA-Class is a baby CLS, with its dimensions (such as its 182.3” length) dictated by the Mercedes A-Class.  Mercedes is aiming for a younger, more connected market and is equipping the CLA with features such as Internet radio and mbrace2 telematics.  Its sharply creased design gives it the lowest drag coefficient, 0.23, of any production car sold in the United States.  Certain high-efficiency models will have a drag coefficient as low as 0.22, although these cars will not be available in the U.S.

Although pricing hasn’t yet been announced, it is likely to be $5,000 less than the entry-level C-Class

Elsewhere in the show, Lincoln unveiled the 2014 MKC compact crossover, Buick is showing the updated 2014 Enclave crossover, and Cadillac will offer up the 2014 ELR plug-in hybrid.  In addition, Lexus will unveil the 2014 IS sports sedan and Acura will reveal a redesigned MDX mid-sized crossover.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)


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