Detroit is Back! Automakers crank up NAIAS 2012

After a few long years of easing back to normal, Detroit is back! Yes, all signs point to a complete metamorphosis of the Motor City and its annual auto show. Today was Day 1 of the Press Preview at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), and we spent it hustling from one reveal to another. A slew of journalists, bloggers, and industry people filled the Cobo Center, which was a pleasant sight after a few dismal years while Detroit has worked its way back from the government bailouts of 2008 and a down economy.

The morning kicked off with the announcement of the North American Car and Truck of the Year by Car and Driver magazine’s Tony Swan. Hyundai’s Elantra compact sedan received honors in the car category, beating out the Ford Fusion and Volkswagen Passat finalists. The truck award went to Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque, a sporty compact ute. The Evoquqe edged out the Honda CR-V and BMW X-3 for the top spot.

Automakers launched dozens of refreshed, new and concept vehicles via loud displays full of lights, cameras and action to rile up the crowd. TorqueNews.com actually has a comprehensive list of cars here. Some of the production-ready showings were: the Audi Q3 crossover, Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Sonic RS, Dodge Dart, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Veloster Turbo, Lexus LF-FC, MINI Roadster, Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, and the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid. Check out the photos on our Facebook page.

Highlight of the Day: The Return of a 90’s-Era Sports Car

I don’t think there was any car more highly anticipated than the Acura NSX ‘concept.’ It sat sheathed until the mid afternoon – and even then it was beautiful to look at. The sporty car draws up nostalgia for those of us who were crazy about the NSX of the 1990’s. This one, however, will come with a hybrid drive train. And what’s better treat for the U.S. enthusiasts who loved the NSX than the fact that this supercar is slated to be developed and built in America.

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Melanie Batenchuk