Autoweek names top NAIAS picks: Porsche 918, Ford Vertrek, Chrysler 300...

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AutoWeek has offered its pick of the cars to see at this year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), naming the new Porsche 918 RSR Concept the Best in Show.

The popular magazine said that the 918 RSR, a supercar which recovers energy to provide an eight second engine boost on demand, was "the undisputed star of the show".

Porsche has already been widely praised for the new model, which it presented as it returned to the Detroit show after a four year hiatus to win the EyesOn Design Concept Award and a host of other commendations from various publishers.

AutoWeek's other picks included the Ford Vertrek for Best Concept (also reflecting the choice of the EyesOn Design jury) and the Chrysler 300 as the Most Significant.

Chrysler's long-awaited "all-American" model was introduced on January 10 and was described by AutoWeek executive editor Roger Hart as "critical to Chrysler's very survival."

Last year, the Most Significant award went to fellow Detroit giant Ford for its new Focus, a rare unanimous vote from the AutoWeek jury who commented that "enthusiasts have been crying for the European Focus for years and we're finally getting our wish."

The BMW 1 Series M Coupe was judged the Most Fun of this year's NAIAS, beating models such as the Cadillac CTS-V, GMC Sierra All Terrain HD concept, Hyundai Veloster, Mini Paceman and the Porsche 918 RSR concept.

As the show opened, there was no doubt in the mind of Hart that there has been a change in the industry.

"The 2011 Detroit show had more than two dozen new models and reinforced the new normal in the automotive business," he explained.

"There were no fancy, pie-in-the-sky, dreamlike concept cars. Nearly everything billed as a concept looked as if you could buy one tomorrow at your local dealership and drive it home."

The show opens to the public January 15 and runs through January 23 in Detroit, Michigan.

http://www.naias.com

http://www.autoweek.com

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