Detroit Auto Show 2011—What to Watch For

Twenty-eleven is rolling in and we'll be heading back to Detroit to check out the best of what the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has to offer. We've already been teased with the prospect of an all-new Toyota Prius, concepts from Ford and MINI and a new Benz C-Class. So what else can we expect to see under lights at the COBO Center come mid-January?

Kia Motors KV7 Concept Car

We have the above sketch but little else on the KV7 Concept Car, which appears to take design cues from the Soul and add gull-wing doors, a modular interior and some Cylon DNA

Here's the press release in its entirety:

Kia Motors To Unveil KV7 Concept Car At 2011 North American International Auto Show

For the past several years Kia Motors' design-led transformation has been delivering production vehicles—such as the Soul, Forte (Cerato) Koup and Sportage—that bear a very close resemblance to the original concept designs that preceded them.

At the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Kia will make another dramatic design statement with the world debut of an all-new, convention-challenging concept vehicle named "KV7".

BMW 1 Series M Coupe and ...

Along with the first outing of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, BMW will debut the new 6 Series Convertible, the new 1 Series Coupe and the new BMW 1 Series Convertible.

Porsche world debut

Porsche is returning to Detroit in 2011 for the first time since 2007 and it promises a grand re-entrance with the world debut of a new model along with several first showings in the USA.

Ford F-150 EcoBoost engine teardown

Something a little different from Ford is on offer at the NAIAS. Engineers will tear down an engine that has undergone quite a bit of wear and tear—the equivalent of 160,000 miles and 10 years of rugged use.

"Customers will be able to see for themselves how the components fared during a regime of tests that, when taken together, are far more extreme than even the harshest-use customer could dish out," said Jim Mazuchowski, V6 engines programs manager. "This EcoBoost truck engine received no special treatment, and now we're going to see how it did."

The public teardown takes place on January 15 at 11 a.m.

Chrysler 300

We'll also have our eyes peeled for the 2011 Chrysler 300 with its distinctive LED-illuminated running lamps, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, luxurious interior and huge 8.4-inch Touch infotainment center.

Michelin Challenge Design

It's not all about the big boys and we're expecting to see some intriguing ideas spring from the 10th Annual Michelin Challenge Design competition which is hosted at the NAIAS. Hundreds of designers, teams, studios, and companies from over 50 countries will vie for floorspace in 2011, submitting full-size vehicles, scale models and computer-generated renderings.

NAIAS press preview days kick-off on January 10—stay tuned for our coverage of what's shaping up to be a big show.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.