Hyundai, Ford and Nissan shine at Detroit Auto Show

Hyundai, Ford and Nissan got off to fast starts at the Detroit Auto Show Monday, making the biggest news of the early portions of the show.

The Hyundai Elantra was maybe the biggest winner of the day, as it was named the 2012 North American Car of the Year.

The Elantra was chosen by a panel of 50 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada.

Ford also had a big day, which included the debut of the 2013 Ford Fusion. The four-door sedan will come in gas, hybrid and plug-in options, and the EcoBoost, 1.6 liter engine is expected to receive 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg in the highway.

The Fusion Hybrid is expected receive 47 mpg in the city.

With a thinner body and new headlights styles, Ford is upgrading the look of the Fusion. Expect it to arrive in showrooms later this year.

Not to be outdone, Nissan also turned heads at Monday’s show thanks to the debut of a 2012 Nissan Pathfinder Concept and e-NV200 concept.

The Pathfinder features a lightweight, aero-friendly design, but this SUV is going to arrive adventure ready. It carries a V6 engine mated to a next-gen CVT, which should increase fuel capacity by 25 percent. Four wheel drive and increased towing capacity will also highlight the next generation model.

Expect to see the new Pathfinders on the showroom floor sometime around Fall 2012.

Maybe the most fun vehicle on display Monday was the Nissan e-NV200 Concept. It looks like a van you’d see in the Star Wars movies, with futuristic style design all the way through and thin, long headlights.

The electric-powered van is touted as having the same battery life as a Nissan Leaf, between 47 and 105 miles.

It’s being considers as a mass-produced vehicle, so look for the van of the future to arrive sometime in the future!

See the Waikem Blog throughout the week for updates from the Detroit Auto Show. 

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