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Performance concepts aplenty at Detroit Auto Show

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DETROIT (Jan. 14, 2014) — The 2014 edition of the North American International Auto Show is turning into a performance festival, with performance-oriented prototypes and 2015 previews from at least a dozen car makers making headlines.

As for the present, Chevrolet garnered both the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year honors for its 2014 Corvette Stingray and Chevrolet Silverado. ____________________________________________________________________________

Tire Business staffers William Schertz and Alaina Scott visited the NAIAS this week. Click here to see more photos from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show at our Facebook Page.

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Topping the list of performance cars turning heads at this year's show are the Toyota TF-1, Kia Stinger, Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge and Nissan Sports Sedan and IDx Nismo concepts to go with the debuts of the 2015 Lexus RC-F coupe, Cadillac ATS coupe, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, BMW M3 and M4 coupe.

Toyota's swoopy TF-1 is seen by many observers as the base for a resurrected Toyota Supra, the car maker's popular two-door sports coupe of the 1990s and early 2000s.

Autoweek magazine reports the Toyota FT-1 concept shares some of the swoops and vents with the Lexus RC F, along with high-performance styling cues from the likes of the Ferrari Enzo, Nissan GT-R, SRT Viper and McLaren P1.

The Kia GT4 Stinger concept is a clean, 2+2 fastback coupe powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It was designed by the Korean car maker's Irvine, Calif., Design Center America.

Nissan's four-door Sport Sedan Concept embodies next-generation design cues, Autoweek reported, including the V-Motion front end, floating roof and boomerang headlights to go with a 300-hp V6 and custom 21-inch alloy wheels.

The Sports Sedan complements the Datsun 510-inspired IDx concept launched at last year's Tokyo Auto Show.

The two-door, rear-wheel-drive Lexus RC F coupe is fitted with a 450-plus-hp V8 coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

In naming the top car and truck of the year, the panel of North American-based journalists selected the Corvette and Silverado over 10 other cars and 11 other truck and utility vehicles eligible for the award. To be eligible, a vehicle must be redesigned or substantially changed and be introduced during 2013, the awards committee said.

The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.

Runners-up to the Corvette Stingray were the Mazda3 and Cadillac CTS, while the Nos. 2 and 3 trucks/utility vehicles were the Jeep Cherokee and Acura MDX.

Six auto makers had multiple nominees, led by GM with six: the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Impala and Silverado, GMC Sierra and Buick Encore. Hyundai-Kia and Toyota Motor Sales each had three: the Kia Cadenza and Sorento, and the Hyundai Santa Fe LWB, and the Toyota Corolla and Tundra and Lexus IS.

The others were Nissan North America's Nissan Rogue and Infiniti Q50; BMW's 4 series and X5; Jaguar-Land Rover's Jaguar F-Type and Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and the Mazda3 and Mazda6.

During the show, Michelin North America Inc. unveiled its Premier A/S tire with its new EverGrip technology, which the tire maker said allows the tire to maintain wet traction as the tire becomes worn.

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Article based on reporting by Autoweek and Automotive News, sister publications of Tire Business.

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