London - Arabstoday
1. Ford Mondeo
Approach it from the side or back, and it looks disappointingly similar to the current car, but from the front the new Mondeo has upped the style significantly. The chrome grille and narrow headlights wouldn't look out of place on an Aston Martin. Engines are the big news though - there's the usual turbodiesel and EcoBoost petrol units, and now normal and plug-in hybrids too, returning 56mpg and 140mpg respectively.
2. Honda NSX
Honda's return to the supercar arena caused quite a stir - everyone had an opinion on its angular styling. In the flesh the proportions are near identical to an Audi R8, but the pointed front end and floating C-pillars do just enough to give the new NSX a look all of its own. The clay model on display in Detroit was badged an Acura, but we won't have to wait long to see the UK car - a Honda badged version will be shown at the Geneva show in March.
3. Lexus LF-LC
There were concerns that the LF-LC's styling, especially the front end, was too fussy, but in person the overall effect is sensational. Lexus say this marks a new beginning for its design direction, if so we're all for it - especially if the money men can find a way to put those LED tail-lights, inspired by the afterburners on an F22 fighter jet, into production. The interior quality was spectacular too, from the spiralling centre console to the multitude of touchscreens which replace every button and toggle in the cabin. It hasn't been ruled out for production either.
4. VW E-Bugster Concept
VW has some big plans for the Beetle, and this all-electric concept spelt them out. The idea behind it is simple: to preview the new Beetle Cabriolet in an eye-catching way, hence the chopped windscreen, one-piece removable roof and battery pack where the rear seats used to be. The hot-rod styling gave it a distinctly American flavour, perfect for the Detroit show, and there was a deeper meaning too. We learnt that a two-seater speedster version of the Beetle is under development for 2014.
5. New Mercedes SL
With the SLS Roadster, new SLK and now the SL, Mercedes' trinity of roadsters is complete. The SL's fussy styling may have split opinion on the stand, but we can only marvel at the technology underneath it. For the first time in a production model the bodyshell is entirely aluminium, cutting up to 140kg from the weight, plus the V6 and V8 engine line-up is more powerful and cleaner than ever. This is one we can't wait to drive.
6. MINI Roadster
The MINI stand is a lesson in how to stretch your brand into every possible niche. It's latest model, the MINI Roadster, is positioning itself as a cut-price rival to the Audi TT - with prices starting from over £7,000 less. That's a good chunk of money when you consider the MINI is built by Audi's arch nemesis BMW. MINI says the fabric hood keeps the centre of gravity low, so it should be just as lively to drive as other MINIs in the range.
7. Mercedes E300 BlueTEC HYBRID
While BMW's ActiveHybrid range now includes the 7, 5 and 3 Series, the focus is on high-performance with impressive efficiency. Mercedes has taken a different route though with its hybrid E-Class by following Peugeot's lead and opting for a diesel-electric powertrain. The result is 67.3mpg and 109g/km of CO2, toppling the current class leader, the non-hybrid BMW 520d EfficientDynamics, which can only manage 119g/km. The Mercedes will cost around £10,000 more though... let battle commence.
8. Buick Encore
Buick is a brand more American than a cheeseburger and fries, but this latest model is more significant than you might think. Firstly it's the sister car to the Vauxhall Mokka, which we'll get to see at the Geneva show in March, and secondly it's the first car of its type to go on sale in the US. A small SUV might not seem like the most adventurous move, but US buyers are still coming around to the idea of fuel efficiency and compact cars. A bold move from Buick, let's hope it pays off.
9. Porsche 911 Cabriolet
The avalanche of new 911s has already begun. It looks fairly predictable, but in fact the new 911 Cabriolet is more than the Coupe without a roof. Firstly it's lighter and stiffer than the old drop-top, and the roof gets an innovative new composite panel and fabric construction that makes it quicker to fold away and sturdier at high speeds. There's also a pop-up wind deflector that doesn't take up any interior room - small touches that should make big differences to the ownership experience.
10. BMW 3 Series
OK, so we saw official pictures of the 3 Series back in October and drove it in November, but Detroit was the first motor show outing for the new 3 Series, so it couldn't be ignored. The highlight in terms of efficiency is the 320d EfficientDynamics, which returns 68.9mpg and emits just 109g/km of CO2, although if you like it a little spicier we'd recommend the 302bhp 335i, until the new M3 arrives next year that is.