This year's North American International Auto Show was full of compelling auto stories, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Mercedes CLA among the most intriguing. In addition to the big debuts, the show was stocked with plenty of other glistening fiberglass and aluminum conveyances that, while they didn't quite make our best of Detroit coverage, did smile brightly in front of the camera.
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Bentley gave the world a pretty thorough preview of the "world's fastest four-seat convertible" a couple weeks before the show. With some hard work by the 616-bhp 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12, the Continental GT Speed Convertible can hit 202 mph (325 km/h). It accelerates to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.1 seconds. Some elements you'll notice on the exterior include 21-inch alloy wheels, dark-tint grilles and rifled exhaust tailpipes. We prefer it in blue over the original purple.
Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class Electric Drive
Unlike its big, sexy brother, the Concept B-Class Electric Drive wasn't quite exciting enough to score a spot on our list of top concepts from 2012. But that reflective electric blue paint job does grab the eye no matter what form it's covering. More practical than the SLS AMG E Drive, the Concept B-Class is a five-seat hatchback that uses a 134-hp electric motor. It was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Car & Driver reported last year that Mercedes will sell the production version in the United States.
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
If you ask us, every auto show needs a little bit of unadulterated Italian eye candy. The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta may be nearly a year old, but it still fills that role without a problem. The new Corvette reminds us a bit of this one, but the F12 is still the more exciting design. The 740-hp coupe has about another month of bragging rights as the fastest, most powerful road-going Ferrari before the upcoming F70 assumes control of the throne in Geneva.
Toyota Corolla Furia Concept
It's hard to make an entry level sedan like the Toyota Corolla exciting. But with a sportier profile, a bunch of carbon fiber, an aggressive name and a blazing orange paint job, Toyota may have done it. Designed to be a more "ferocious," furious take on the Corolla, the Furia concept "uses pure and simple surface elements to create a confident, more decisive appearance." Toyota calls that orange color "Fuego Furioso." While the next production Toyota will undoubtedly be a little less furioso, Toyota does say that this concept provides a message about the direction it plans to head in the future.
Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X isn't as pretty as the Roadster or Model S, but it definitely stands out, even in a show hall filled with perfectly polished automobiles. When open, the distinctive Falcon Wings in the rear reveal two benches of seating, the rear-most of which doesn't appear suitable for anyone that measures his age in double digits. Like the Model S, Tesla's first SUV will come in both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations. Tesla plans to launch the Model X in 2014 for a price that's comparable to a similarly equipped Model S.
Solar Powered 1967 Toyota 2000GT
Last year, the original Japanese supercar got a modern update. In a collaborative effort organized by the Toyota Automotive Association, more than two dozen companies outfitted the 1967 2000GT with a 120 kW electric motor and solar panels on the hood and rear glass. One of those partners – Aisin – had the car on display at its booth at the Detroit show. The car is capable of speeds up to 124 mph (200 km/h).
Auto shows tend to lean overwhelmingly toward vehicles with four or more wheels, but while darting from one car manufacturer's dais to the next, we did happen across some delectable two wheeled machines – like Honda's CBR1000RR sports bike.
Check out the full photo gallery for more of our "best of the rest" Detroit round-up.View gallery - 85 images