Detroit Motor Show

 As competition heats up in the subcompact car segment, Chevrolet is giving its value-priced Aveo a bolder design and more powerful engine.

Chevrolet will introduce the Aveo RS show car at the Detroit auto show. It’s meant to hint at the new, European-inspired styling of the 2011 Aveo, which will go on sale next year.

Chevrolet lowered the grille and gave the show car 19-inch (48-centimeter) tires for a tougher appearance. The Aveo is a four-door, but the rear-door handles are nearly hidden, giving the car the zippier look of a three-door hatchback.

The show car has the same 138-horsepower, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine as the compact Chevrolet Cruze, which goes on sale later this year and gets 40 miles per gallon (17 kilometers per liter). That’s more pep than the Aveo’s current 108-horsepower engine.

Aveo’s U.S. sales peaked in 2005, but the car has been struggling as newer subcompacts came on the market, including the Nissan Versa, the Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris.

Small car blitz
The Aveo will be part of a small-car blitz at the Detroit show, where automakers will be displaying the new Ford Focus, Mazda2, the electric Nissan Leaf and an electric concept version of the Fiat 500. Chevrolet also will be showing its Spark minicar.

Other cars on show
With all the attention Ford has already generated with their all-new, sub-compact 2011 Ford Fiesta, the bigger small-car news coming from Detroit will be the world-debut of the 2012 Ford Focus.  The all-new Focus is an incredibly important new car for Ford Motor Company. It’s reported to be a true world car, with major componentry shared with European Focus models. The Focus is one-size larger than the Fiesta and further bolsters Ford’s line of cars that is already outselling their trucks .

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
Hot on the heels of the production CTS Coupe reveal at December’s LA Auto Show, the fire breathing V-Series Coupe will heat things up in the Cadillac display. The V-Series is Cadillac’s equivalent to BMW’s M-Series and Mercedes-Benz’ AMG group of vehicles. The high-performance two-door to feature the same 556-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 as the CTS-V Sedan.