North American International Auto Show to Spotlight Style and Substance

Next week’s North American International Auto Show promises to feature an impressive array of all-new and redesigned, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Volkswagen’s Audi brand will unveil its redesigned A6 sedan, which is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. later this year.

Rival German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz also plan to showcase refreshed models at the show. They include the next-generation BMW 650i, 1-series coupe convertible and the new M coupe, all of which will go on sale in the U.S. this spring. The refreshed 2012 Mercedes C-class, available with either a turbocharged 1.8-liter four cylinder or 3.5-liter V-6 engine, will also be on display.

Domestic automakers are looking to the auto show to help them rebound from the turmoil of last year.

Ford Motor Company has chosen the show to debut the production model of its 2012 C-Max minivan, which is built on the Focus platform. The C-Max will go on sale in the U.S. later this year or early next year. The automaker also plans to unveil other, alternative powertrain models built on platform.

New compact models from Buick and Chevrolet will be on display as well as the all-new 2012 Chevy Sonic subcompact model. The Sonic will replace the Aveo when it goes on sale next fall.

Also on display will be a concept version of GMC’s Sierra All-Terrain HD light truck, which was unveiled to the media last month. The restyled Sierra HD, featuring a wider track and additional ground clearance, is scheduled to go on sale in 2014 or 2015.

Chrysler Group has chosen the show to unveil its redesigned rear-wheel drive 300 sedan. Jeep will also showcase its 2011 Compass crossover vehicle, which is already in production and will sell for $4,000 more than the current-year model. The new Compass’ styling, including the front grille and headlights, borrows heavily from the Grand Cherokee.

Toyota will unveil a concept version of a new model based on the Prius platform as well as its new Prius wagon, which is scheduled to go into production next year.

Japan’s No. 2 automaker, Honda, will show a concept version of the Civic. The redesigned 2012 Civic, with sportier styling, is scheduled to begin arriving in U.S. showrooms in March.

Also on display at the show will be the much anticipated concept version of the Hyundai Veloster coupe with a reported fuel-economy of 40 mpg. Hyundai plans to release the Veloster later this year as a 2012 model to compete with the MINI.

One of the most talked about models on display at the show will be Kia’s new KV7 concept model featuring innovative swiveling rear seats and gull-wing doors.

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