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Detroit Auto Show – 10 Cars Worth Waiting For in 2011

Mercedes-Benz SLS E-Cell

Mercedes-Benz SLS E-Cell

Price: $220,000 (est.)

On Sale: 2013

The Mrecedes-Benz SLS E-Cell isn’t a new car, it was unveiled this past summer, but its appearance in Detroit shows that Mercedes-Benz is serious about electric speed. This is a battery-powered version of Mercedes’s SLS supercar, one that uses four electric motors to produce 526 hp and 649 ft-lbs of torque. According to reports, the E-Cell charges to 60 mph in around four seconds.

2011 Chrysler 300

2011 Chrysler 300

Price: $28,000 (est.)

On Sale: Spring 2011

The 2011 Chrysler 300, a revamped version of Chrysler’s iconic rear-wheel-drive sedan, is arguably the most important result of Fiat’s work, and its Detroit reception should prove a bellwether for sales. Mechanicals are shared with the previous 300, but styling, interior, and suspension tuning are new.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta

2012 Volkswagen Jetta

Price: $20,000 (est.)

On Sale: Spring 2011

In the past few years, the German brand has announced wildly ambitious sales goals and heavily de-contented its base models, all in the name of competing with the Japanese juggernaut. The replacement for the current Passat should follow the mold set by the 2011 Jetta, larger and significantly cheaper than its predecessor, while targeting Honda Accord and Toyota Camry buyers.

2012 Honda Civic

2012 Honda Civic

Price: $20,000 (est.)

On Sale: Spring 2011

As in years past, Honda has been cagey about what it’s bringing to Detroit. The few details that have emerged — including the sketch seen here — confirm a concept version of the next Civic, an evolution of the styling used on the brand’s CR-Z hybrid. Everything else is speculation, but expect a return of the legendary Civic hatchback and a focus on efficient, four-cylinder power.

Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid

Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid

Price: N/A

On Sale: 2012 (est.)

Porsche will appear in Detroit for the first time since 2008, when it left to focus its efforts on Los Angeles’s warmer, glossier car expo. Stuttgart has said little about its Detroit offering except to announce, with typical German pomp, that it’ll be spectacular. Figure on the so-called spectacle centering around a production version of the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid or an entry-level, Volkswagen-derived, four-cylinder sports car. Or maybe just a brass band and lederhosen.

2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe

2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe

Price: $45,000 (est.)

On Sale: Spring 2011

BMW’s 135i coupe gets extra horsepower, a stiffer suspension, and wider, more aggressive bodywork. The 335-hp M Coupe is meant to evoke Munich’s original, first-generation M3, a raw, racing-inspired enthusiast’s special. Like that car, the 1 M will be expensive, sold in limited numbers (the U.S. allotment is said to be less than 1,000 cars) and offered in just a handful of colors.

Mini Paceman Concept

Mini Paceman Concept

Price: $23,000 (est.)

On Sale: 2012 (est.)

The Paceman concept, a two-door version of the Countryman SUV, sports all-wheel drive, 19-inch wheels, and a 211-hp turbo four-cylinder engine borrowed from Mini’s John Cooper Works lineup. It also reportedly shares the Countryman’s wheelbase, weight, and length, prompting questions as to its necessity.

2012 Ford C-Max

2012 Ford C-Max

Price: $20,000 (est.)

On Sale: Fall 2011

Like Chrysler, Ford is in the process of reinventing itself. Most of its recent new products boast a hefty European influence, and the C-Max people-mover is no exception. This is a seven-passenger mini-minivan, at just 178 inches long, it’s roughly the size of a compact sedan, that offers a standard six-speed automatic and an available hands-free liftgate. As a bonus, the C-Max shares a platform with the excellent 2012 Ford Focus, so it should be more entertaining than the average kid-wagon.

Toyota Prius Family

Toyota Prius Family

Price: $30,000 (est.)

On Sale: Spring 2012 (est.)

Much like Chrysler, Toyota hasn’t had an easy year. Excessive recalls and the Prius scandal dampened the public’s enthusiasm for the Big T’s products, but even relatively cheap gas hasn’t softened the company’s commitment to hybrids. Toyota will unveil three new Prius models in Detroit, including a production plug-in hybrid that will likely achieve triple-digit mileage, and a people-mover with 50 percent more cargo capacity than the current Prius.

2012 Hyundai Veloster

2012 Hyundai Veloster

Price: $18,000 (est.)

On Sale: Fall 2011

The past two years have seen a complete modernization of Hyundai’s lineup, but the brand’s small, efficient sports coupe was cancelled in 2008. The Tiburon’s replacement doesn’t have an official name yet, but Hyundai claims the car will offer four seats and resemble the Veloster concept shown here. Power comes from a 1.6-liter, 140-hp, direct-injected four. Bet on front-wheel drive and a footprint similar to that of the Honda CR-Z.

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Written by Arsa

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