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2012 Detroit auto show: Top car debuts

Microsoft IES Logo By Mark Atkinson and Michael Bettencourt for MSN Autos of Microsoft IES | Slide 1 of 27

The best cars of the North American International Auto Show

The last few editions of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit haven't been full of chuckles. A global economic crunch, massive layoffs and natural disasters put a somber pall over what has traditionally been a full-on, high-energy celebration of the car business.This year, though, there was a definite feeling of confidence amongst most of the exhibitors. The sheer scope and size of the booth spaces, and how well they reflected their brand through the use of lights, video screens and models — both human and machine — was impressive. But the clearest signal was simply the product. Although there were a few misses and head-scratchers, for the most part, it's clear that nearly every manufacturer is getting sharper, more aggressive and more aware of the increasingly stiff competition.With about 40 world premieres bursting forth from a noticeably revitalized North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we've gone through them all and chosen our best of show picks, with an eye to true market-shifting ability, especially in Canada. Our best-of-show list combines production vehicles ready to transform the definition of a mainstream car with production-aimed concepts with lip-smacking design appeal as well as an environmental conscience.Related links:Worst of the 2012 Detroit showBeautiful girls of DetroitCars we can't wait to drive
© Photo: Rod Hatfield
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