BEST IN SHOW: Ford Focus. The first truly global new car from the blue oval brand is a good looker with so much promise. Think of it as an upscaled, and upscale, Ford Fiesta and you get the picture. It is displayed as both a hatch and sedan in Detroit and will be a winner when it gets to Australia.
WORST IN SHOW: Chrysler concept. The person who decided it would be a good idea to slap a toothy Chrysler grille on a Lancia Delta should be fired. Right now. It’s ugly and a dreadful pointer to how bad things could get with Fiat and Chrysler in bed together
MOST FUN: Volkswagen NCC. The dancing boys, not girls, used to unveil the New Concept Coupe on the Volkswagen stand. A brave move and a lot of fun.
FUTURE STAR: Honda CR-Z and Toyota FT-CH. A tie between the hybrid heroes from the two Japanese brands, with the CR-Z scoring because it is ready now and the Toyota because it will have much more Gen-Y appeal than a Prius.
BRIGHT IDEA: Audi e-tron. Most brands think plug-in electric cars are just for the city, but Audi is convinced that battery power can work for a supercar. It started the e-tron story last year in Frankfurt and moved it up a gear in Detroit.
BEST CONCEPT: GMC Granite. The GM truck brand has lots of room to grow after the sale of Hummer and the Granite shows great potential as a tough urban runabout. It stays true to GMC but moves the brand on and up.