5 Japanese Cars To Watch For At The 2013 Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 12th, 2013

With approximately 50 new vehicle makes and models to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show next week, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to digesting coverage. After all, most of us have jobs and can’t spend every hour from January 14th to January 27th fawning over the automotive industry’s best.

What’s a guy (or gal) to do?

Fortunately, below you will find five of the most highly anticipated Japanese vehicles to set your sights on for the next couple of weeks. These are the ones you’ll want to watch out for:

#1. Toyota Furia Concept

We’ve already written about the Toyota Furia concept, and with good reason… This new design stands out as the single most highly anticipated Japanese vehicle to make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Toyota has been reeling us in – hook, line and sinker – with several different teasers over the past couple weeks, including a fiery promo video that left us with a burning desire to know more.

Speculation has it that the new Furia is going to be a concept for the next generation Corolla (which is due for a reboot), but I’m personally hoping that it is something more exciting.

#2. Lexus IS Sedan

Speaking of Toyota… So far, everything we’ve been exposed to regarding Lexus’ new flagship luxury sedan, the Lexus IS, has felt like a rejuvenating breath of fresh air. It’s nice to see that Lexus is clearly catering to both the luxury aficionado and the high-performance daredevil. Lexus has a new and improved perspective on luxury performance thanks to their two-year stint with the Lexus LFA, and we’re all excited to see what that looks (and feels) like in this new sedan.

#3. Nissan Leaf

Let’s face it, not all of us are going to be edge-of-the-seat-excited about the Nissan Leaf. Not that the vehicle isn’t well-designed or appealing, but it doesn’t have the same spiciness of the Lexus IS or the anticipation behind the Toyota Furia.

However, the success or failure of this vehicle could have a very big impact on the future of the automotive industry. We are on the brink of electric vehicles finally becoming a viable market, but if Nissan’s now-lower-priced Leaf can’t do it, then we may still have several years before EVs are truly worth automakers’ time. Maybe that’s being a little dramatic, but there’s no denying that just about every other brand considering expanding their EV market will be keeping tabs on the public’s reception to the Nissan Leaf.

#4. Acura MDX Prototype

Here we go, back to luxury and performance… The way cars were meant to be enjoyed!

Frankly, Acura has done a pretty good job of keeping the details behind the new MDX prototype under wraps. We really don’t know very much about it. However, there are spy-shots available of the MDX being tested specifically against the BMW X5, so we know who Acura is trying to target with this new luxury crossover. Us Japanese car enthusiasts have high hopes that this new prototype will become a solid contender in the segment.

#5. Infiniti Q50

Originally set to make its premier at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the Q50 is instead going to be duking it out with the new Lexus IS for the spotlight at the Detroit Auto Show next week. This is another vehicle that we don’t know a ton about, but it will be interesting to see how well Infiniti’s new luxury sedan will compete with the likes of both the BMW 3-Series AND the Lexus IS. My bet goes to Lexus, but you Nissan fans out there may lean the other way.

If nothing else, the Infiniti Q50 is the first vehicle to take on the “Q” moniker instead of Infiniti’s old “G” naming structure. Why? Who knows… Better parts, new vision, improved technology… But whatever the reason, it’s got to be worth something, right?

Stay tuned next week as the Detroit Auto Show’s doors open to the press on January 14. There should be plenty of auto-eye-candy available for you if you’re interested (who isn’t?), so come back here in a just a few days!

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