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Efficiency is key at the 2013 Detroit auto show (roundup)

We take a look back at some of the most interesting revelations of the 2013 Detroit auto show.


The 2013 North American International Auto Show -- simply, the Detroit auto show for those familiar -- was the stage for quite a few debuts that ran the gamut of vehicle types, classes, and feasibility. Chevrolet pulled the wraps off of the next great American supercar, a dueling pair of luxury sedans were debuted by Infiniti and Lexus, Ford showed off a very thinly veiled look at the future of one of the best selling vehicles in the world, and glossy concept sedans and crossovers could be found around every corner.

Among this wide range of vehicles, one theme was shared: fuel efficiency. Of course, it's no surprise that the next generation of vehicles will need to sip less fuel than the last, but we found the variety of fuel-saving techniques for these concepts and production cars to be almost as interesting as the cars themselves. We've rounded up a few highlights below:

Ford Atlas concept Josh Miller/CNET

Ford Atlas concept
Giving us an early peek at the future of the Ford F-Series pickup, the Atlas concept doesn't deviate much from Ford's established formula -- it doesn't have to, Ford's large pickups are among the best-selling vehicles of all time. Rather than focus on more muscle, the automaker has taken a look at improving efficiency with active aerodynamic features and usability with a few new driver-aid features aimed at making towing a trailer easier than ever.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe Josh Miller/CNET

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe
Easily the most highly anticipated vehicle launch of the 2013 Detroit auto show, the seventh generation of the iconic Corvette is also a revival of the equally iconic "Stingray" designation. The new Stingray is stronger and more high-tech than the previous models, featuring a 450-horsepower V-8 engine and a seven-speed manual gearbox with an Advanced Rev-Matching feature. Extensive use of carbon fiber and composites in the body and direct-injection and cylinder deactivation tech in the engine bay also make it the most efficient 'Vette ever.

2014 Nissan Versa Note
2014 Nissan Versa Note Josh Miller/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note
I'd say that the 2014 Nissan Versa Note is the most accessible car to debut in Detroit this year. Not only is it one of the least expensive models announced (checking in with a $13,990 starting MSRP) and most efficient (boasting up to 40 mpg on the highway), but it also touts tech options that were previously available only on the most expensive Infiniti models. This entry-level hatchback can be had with Nissan's Around-View 360-degree camera system and the NissanConnect Google-linked navigation system.

Volkswagen CrossBlue concept
Volkswagen CrossBlue concept Josh Miller/CNET

Volkswagen's new hybrid system
After changing its stance on hybrids a few times over the years, automaker Volkswagen seems to have settled on a direction in Detroit by showing off a new hybrid concept. CNET's Wayne Cunningham sat down with VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg to get the skinny on the future of the automaker's engine, transmission, and electrification efforts.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-class
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-class Josh Miller/CNET

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-class
The midsize Merc' wins the unofficial "Most Diverse" award of the show, debuting its 2014 E-class in a wide range of body styles and engine options. With a new driver-aid system that can take over steering and braking when creeping through heavy traffic, this new E-class may be one more small step toward the autonomous cars that we were promised at CES 2013.

Check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2013 Detroit auto show for even more picture, articles, and videos.