Japanese Cars from Day 1 of the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Today marks the first day of press access to the first big automotive event of the year – the North American International Auto Show, or more commonly referred to as the Detroit Auto Show.

Many of you have marked your calendars in advance for this important date, but sifting through all of your favorite news sources for updates can be a hassle. So, to make life easier for our fellow Japanese car enthusiasts, this blog will be bringing you daily updates on the latest unveilings of the show. Being that this is a Japanese car blog, we will be specifically covering the Japanese-made vehicles debuting at the NAIAS.

Infiniti Q50

We knew that the Infiniti Q50 would be competing for attention with the highly anticipated Lexus IS, so it’s a good thing that Infiniti’s Toyota-owned competitor won’t be debuting their luxury sedan until Day 2… That means the new Infiniti Q50 has a whole day in the spotlight!

The all-new luxury sports sedan will be replacing the Infiniti G37 and will feature a highly aerodynamic exterior design with either a 3.7L V6 with 328hp or a 300hp 3.5L V6 gas engine hybrid-linked with a 67hp electric motor. One of the coolest features of the new sports sedan is a brand-new feature – Active Lane Control – which is capable of reading the road ahead and adjusting the vehicle’s steering based on automatically-perceived changes in road conditions or crosswinds.

Toyota Corolla Furia

Regular readers will know that this writer was hoping the Toyota Furia would be more than a Corolla reboot. So, when Toyota unveiled the Furia today and it was exactly that, you might expect me to be disappointed. However, the expressive innovation and vivid design clear in the real-life Furia have completely washed away any disappointments that last-week-me may have felt.

The new Corolla concept rides lower to the ground, is slightly longer than previous generations, and features a bevy of trend-minded aesthetic tweaks, such as a significantly pronounced grille, an abbreviated front clip, and a steeply raked windshield. Looks like the Corolla will continue being the best-selling vehicle of all time.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan leaf was definitely one of the cars that we were aware of, but not excited about, at the outset of the Detroit Auto Show. However, today Nissan dropped a bomb on us so huge that we felt compelled to write an entire article about this car alone.

The new Nissan LEAF S will be available as cheaply as $18,800 depending on your locale, and every single trim level will be more efficient, cleaner, and have a larger range than any of Nissan’s previous EVs.

Honda Fit-Based Urban SUV

The automotive blogosphere has been murmuring about a Fit-based SUV from Honda for at least the past six months, and today we finally got to see what those murmurings were all about. The new crossover from Honda has been dubbed the Urban SUV Concept, and Honda says that “The Urban SUV Concept is intended to provide the basis for a fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient small SUV with aspirational design, flexible packaging and next-generation connectivity targeting active lifestyle customers.” We know that the Urban SUV will launch in Japan by the end of the year, and in the States by 2014.

Day one of the Detroit Auto Show was a great start for Japanese car manufacturers with a good showing across the field. The least exciting Japanese car of the day was probably the Honda Urban SUV concept, but that’s not to say it won’t be a blazing success when launch-time comes later this year. After all, the same thing was said about the Honda CR-V and it is one of the best-selling SUVs in the American market. Plus, Honda/Acura has more cars waiting to be revealed over the next few days of the Detroit Auto Show, so you’ll want to check back tomorrow for the most up-to-date coverage.

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