Last day @ NAIAS: Attendance and unveilings all big in 2013

It’s the last day of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in downtown Detroit, Michigan. The sun is shining and in typical NAIAS form, there’s nice and fluffy snow on the ground – it wouldn’t be the Detroit Auto Show without it.

(Jan 2013) Detroit, MI North American International Auto ShowIt may be one of the biggest Detroit Auto Shows in recent years. More than 100,000 show goers entering the doors at Cobo Hall, three times this week, giving a respectful nod to the Joe Louis statue. And it clearly remains one of the biggest shows for automakers – domestic and foreign – with more than 50 vehicle debuts.

Renovations at Cobo Hall are clearly underway, now in the second part of a three-phase plan to expand and revitalize the aging venue. Although we found the new three-story glass atrium facing the Detroit River impressive, there’s still a lot more work to do.

So, with exciting new cars, new technology, building upgrades and colorful displays, here’s what we liked:

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Hottest car and truck at the show

Cars – Hands down, if you followed the show at all, the new 2014 Corvette Stingray was a must see. In red or gray, the Corvette Stingray exceeded our expectations with an estimated 450 horsepower (335 kW) and 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm), acceleration from 0-60 in less than four seconds and more than 1g in cornering grip. And even though we wouldn’t be thinking about fuel economy when driving this icon, the Corvette team checked the box by exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model. Most importantly, the design is captivating. See for yourself in the photo gallery.

2013 Ram 1500

Trucks – It’s Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year, the North American Truck/Utility of the Year and it’s won a host of other awards in 2013. And we must admit, we were drawn to it as well. The 2013 Ram 1500 is our favorite from its stance and design to its capability and all-new technology. With the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine or the award-winning Pentastar V-6 matched to the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission, the Ram 1500 touts a combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency – 25 miles per gallon – as well as high-tech touchscreens to keep you connected and your eyes on the road and an air suspension for a smooth ride.

Top favorites on Twitter

We must mention that out there in the world of Instagram and Twitter, we found these vehicles were among the favorites: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Audi RX7, Acura NSX, SRT Viper (in the Chrysler stand) and the Bentley Continental GT. Of course, they were “my future car” or “dream car,” given the age of this group of show fans.

Now we’ll wait for the numbers and see just how big NAIAS turned out to be in 2013.

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