The stars of the Detroit motor show 2014

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It's one of the most iconic car shows in the motoring calendar – and this year the stars were out in full force in Detroit.

As the covers came off the cars in Motor City, we were treated to some key new model introductions, and not just from the home American brands.

The Europeans, Japanese and Koreans were all out in full force, too, with some stellar debuts of key cars for the UK market.

Here's our pick of the best new models.

Kia GT4 Stinger

Here's the car we've been hassling the manufacturer to make for years – a rear-wheel drive, 300bhp, turbocharged sports car! It may only be a concept at present, but Kia's GT4 Stinger will aim to rival Mazda's MX-5 in terms of price and thrill drivers with its agile handling and light weight chassis. Designers said they've taken an 'analogue approach' to the concept and wanted to make it 'as much fun to drive from A to B as possible'. With looks that echo the Nissan 350Z and Dodge Charger, we can't see it being anything other than a hit – if they get the price right, of course...

Mercedes C Class

This is big news for one of the most competitive sectors in the UK market. Meet Mercedes' new C Class, a car that'll take the fight to its bitter rival, and better-selling BMW 3 Series. Merc has worked wonders in the cabin – the finish is stunning and will make German rivals sit up and take notice. The manufacturer says this is their 'most agile and efficient car ever' and will be a 'new benchmark' in the segment. We'll have to wait and see about that – but there's little doubt they've got the looks spot on.

Toyota FT-1

This bonkers crazy concept was created by Toyota's sandal-wearing Californian design team – but fear not, it's no hippy machine. The FT-1 stands for 'Future Toyota' and while it is said to be a spiritual successor to the iconic Supra and 2000GT, it's really designed to show the Japanese marque's future design direction. There's no word on what's under the bonnet at present, but rumour has it, it's likely to be a traditional combustion engine with high output.

The stars of Detroit 2014

The stars of Detroit 2014


BMW M4 / M3

Nothing gets car fans excited quite like an M-badged BMW and Detroit had not one, but two of them. The M4 is the new name in the line-up – the coupe version of the performance car. There's a new M3, now a saloon only, and both share a new six-cylinder turbocharged unit for the first time. BMW says emissions and fuel economy are 25 per cent better, though, so don't mourn the V8's death for too long. The new 2 Series Coupe was shown off in Detroit, too – but it stole little of the limelight...

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

If the Q50 is Infiniti's answer to the 3 Series and C Class, then this is the AMG or M-badged rival. Draped in carbon fibre and drawing inspiration from the Red Bull F1 team hook-up, the Eau Rouge concept – named after Spa's all-or-nothing corner – is believed to get a 500bhp powerplant if it ever gets the go-ahead.

Porsche 911 Targa

It's a name synonymous with the 911 and has accounted for 13 per cent of all sales of the legendary model – and now it's back. Styling won't appeal to everyone, but the crazy roof mechanism on the 911 Targa will make grown men weak at the knees. The rear glass dome hinges back for the roof panel to slot underneath in a beautiful fashion. We're just not quite sure why you'd want one over a convertible.

VW Golf R

If you thought the Golf GTI was good, wait until you see this! With a 296bhp turbocharged engine, four-wheel drive and a 0-60mph time of under five seconds, it's the fastest Golf on sale. Due in showrooms in the Spring it's likely to cost a fraction under £30,000. Quad exhausts and new front and rear bumpers mark the R out.

Audi Allroad Shooting Brake

Believe it or not, this is the strongest indication yet of what the next TT will look like. Don't worry, it's not going to be an estate (well, not yet anyway), but the design cues shown off on this concept will feature heavily on the next TT. The Shooting Brake concept is powered by the firm's e-tron hybrid transmission that boasts 650Nm of torque and 400bhp – easily enough to see it hit 60mph in 4.6 seconds!

Mini John Cooper Works Concept

With more vents than Canary Wharf's air-conditioning system and enough brushed aluminium body work to fit out a professional kitchen, this Mini won't be for everyone. It's little more than a design study at present, with few details about powerplant or performance, but it does give Mini fans an idea what the next hot Mini will look like.

Volvo XC Coupe

The Swedish firm is on a bit of a roll with its concepts at the moment. This is the second of three design studies from the marque and, like the Concept Coupe we saw at Frankfurt last year, it's an absolute stunner. The firm says it hints at the overall styling of the much-anticipated replacement for the XC90 – and that the production car will retain its seven-seat versatility that isn't present on this concept.

The stars of Detroit 2014

The stars of Detroit 2014