The 2014 Detroit motor show kicked off the year in style, with big-name production reveals and plenty of exciting new concepts
Steve Cropley Autocar
12 January 2014

This was a bumper Detroit motor show, despite all the concerns over Motown's impending financial meltdown, and one that held fascination for everyone, whether you were the most dyed-in-the-wool lover of the traditional Yankee brands, or a confirmed Europhile. 

The Germans, Japanese and Koreans were there in force with products of global significance, and Ford had an all-new replacement for its vital F150, America's best-selling truck for 37 years and the third best-selling vehicle on the planet

Most of all, Detroit 2013 had Mary Barra, the new GM CEO-designate, first-ever female chief of an American car giant and a notably efficient, emollient replacement for the austere Dan Akerson. Barra stepped out on Sunday night to launch the GMC Canyon pick-up into a media storm that immediately cast her in the role of superstar.

So great was the media's collective determination to get close to the 52-year old former product chief, a GM "lifer" who joined as an intern in 1980, that reporters and cameramen climbed on cars and fought one another in what USA Today described as "one of the most furious scrums at an auto show news conference in a long time". 

The fact that the Canyon (and its sister product, Chevy Colorado) represented the beginning of an avowed "GM product onslaught" or the return of GM to a neglected class was completely lost in the melee. So was the new Mercedes-Benz C-class, a well-received Three-Pointed staple whose Sunday night reveal clashed with GM's fun and games.

Coupés and sporty cars abounded. Toyota's FT-1 coupé was a little over-decorated, but its proportions were exciting enough for everyone to hope it was heading for the big-time as a replacement for the much-missed Supra, as well as a big brother for the super-successful GT86.

BMW staged a world debut for the 2-series, which looked just as enticing previously as the 1-series coupé. Audi had another of its Shooting Brake concepts, strongly tipped to foreshadow the debut of the new TT at Geneva in six weeks' time (just as another Shooting Brake concept did back in the mid-Noughties) and Kia - once again - grabbed all eyes with its original, slightly outlandish but thoroughly believable Stinger coupé concept, particularly interesting for its rear-drive layout and its 315bhp from a 2.0-litre turbo engine.

The biggest American news was always going to be the F150: someone revealed that if you could have stood the year's 763,402 sales end to end, they'd have reached from Los Angeles to New York. Most important move was the model's eye-catching switch to an aluminium outer body (the all-new ladder chassis is still steel) a move that saves up to 320kg.

This in turn has allowed the adoption of a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 engine, described as having the performance and towing ability of a mid-range V8. The normally aspirated 6.2-litre range-topping V8 is dropped, and the Ford's increasingly popular 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 becomes the top performance engine.

Chrysler's new 200 saloon, a decent-looking Ford Focus challenger with Alfa Giulietta bits hiding underneath, seemed to get a better reception from European reporters than Americans. It seems the ultimate expression so far of Fiat chief Marchionne's determination to find synergies between the two companies which Daimler (Chrysler's former suitor) never managed. Production starts in a year's time, and dealers are reputed to have high hopes.

In all it was a lively and optimistic show, with US car sales already back to pre-recession levels and America's Society of Auto Analysts issuing bullish market predictions for the next few years. Most of all, it was a show GM and its new chief, Mary Barra, will never forget.

Read more Detroit motor show news.

See how the Detroit motor show unfolded:

1830hrs Our live reporting from a very busy 2014 Detroit motor show is now coming to close. However, we'll be updating the gallery with some additional pictures this evening, and autocar.co.uk will feature reflections from the show and follow-up news stories during the days ahead.

1706hrs Another remark from Tesla VP Jerome Guillen concerning vehicle safety: "The concerns won't harm our image. People can see our approach, which is to constantly improve and learn and push through developments". Asked whether Tesla intends to make an electric pickup to appeal to the US market, he said: "We have no plans. We have enough to go with Model X and the third-generation car."

1702hrs Tesla VP Jerome Guillen has also announced that the company is exploring the potential of battery swapping stations, but he added "it will take a while to explore if customer demand is there. Supercharging station demand is so great so that is our focus."

1700hrs Autocar's editor Jim Holder is reporting live from the Tesla press conference at the Detroit motor show. Tesla VP Jerome Guillen has said the company will launch its next-generation vehicle at "around half the price" of the current Model S in about three years from now. He didn't say it, but the talk is that this could be a rival for the BMW 3-series.

1656hrs Some more Tesla snippets courtesy of Autocar's editor Jim Holder, who is reporting live from the electric vehicle manufacturer's Detroit show presentation. Company vice president Jerome Guillen said that Tesla expects to double the number of dealerships it has around the world this year. "Our big problem remains recruiting enough people to work in them," said Guillen. The company's is busy rolling out its fast-charging system across the US and Europe. It has almost 80 of the so-called superchargers in place now, mostly in the US and Norway but also in Holland, Germany and Switzerland.

1651hrs Tesla VP Jerome Guillen has also commented on the safety of the manufacturer's cars in light of product recalls, most recently due to a power adaptor fault. Guillen said that Teslas had driven a cumulative total of 168 million miles on the roads now and there had not been one serious injury.

1649hrs Jim Holder, Autocar's editor, is listening to the Tesla presentation. He reports that the brand's vice president, Jerome Guillen, has stated deliveries to customers in the last quarter of 2013 were 6900 cars, which was about 20 per cent up on expectations.

1646hrs Chevrolet is bucking the current gearbox trend by fitting a manual transmission as standard to the new Corvette. Is it a good move? Our special correspondent Marc Noordeloos picks up the debate.

1637hrs Autocar editor Jim Holder is ambling along to Tesla, which is holding the final major manufacturer press conference of the Detroit motor show's second day. "Tesla is next for me," says Jim. "We're not expecting any major updates beyond sales figures, but this is also a company with the biggest capacity to surprise in the industry so we can't be sure. As the show launch schedule winds down, it'll also be interesting trying to spot the journalists from the rival car company executives listening in. There's no question that Tesla has shaken up the industry, and the premium car makers in particular. Whatever they may say, they're watching Tesla's progress in microscopic detail."

1635hrs Acura has revealed its US-market TLX luxury sports saloon, which it claims offers class-leading interior space and an "unbelievable dynamic experience". The car will be available with a choice of either a 2.4-litre four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed auto 'box or a 3.5-litre V6 combined with a nine-speed automatic. The car is due in the summer. 

1604hrs Autocar's editor Jim Holder has had a chance to sit in the new Subaru WRX STI, which taps into the classic heritage of performance Subarus from years gone by. He's described it as having a 'historically accurate plastic interior', which could be damning the WRX STI with faint praise… still, here's hoping it goes well.

1556hrs Rally fan (and Autocar big cheese) Jim Holder was pleased to hear some rally legends references during the Subaru WRX STI launch. He tweeted: "Nice to hear Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Petter Solberg and Mark and David Higgins all mentioned at new Subaru WRX STI launch."

1543hrs Fantastic news from Subaru's UK importer that it intends to bring the new WRX STI – unveiled in Detroit earlier – to these shores in the summer. It will be priced from £28,995. Autocar.co.uk will bring you a full story on that in due course.

1535hrs The ATS Coupé is the first Cadillac to utilise the company’s updated, more modest badge, which has lost the classic laurel wreath.

1532hrs Now it's over to Cadillac, where the new ATS Coupé is the star car.

527hrs By the way, back at 1452hrs Autocar editor Jim Holder mentioned that he was writing a blog about the Lexus RC-F, specifically about the brand's spindle grille, which elicits a 'Marmite' reaction among car enthusiasts. That blog is now live and you can read it here.

1523hrs Another snippet from the Subaru WRX STI launch is that US all-round motorsport ace Travis Pastrana is rejoining the Subaru Rally Team USA. He'll compete in the Rally America series alongside Manxman (and current champion) David Higgins.

1519hrs Subaru chief Tom Doll announced there will be a special 'launch edition' of the new Subaru WRX STI. It comes in Subaru blue with gold wheels and a large rear wing, harking back to classic WRX STIs from the 1990s and 2000s. The WRX STI Launch Edition will be limited to 1000 units and will go on sale for three months when the standard car reaches market in April.

1515hrs A few interesting nuggets from the reveal of the Subaru WRX STI by Tom Doll, president of Subaru of America. Here's the autocar.co.uk story on the car.

1452hrs A quick note on the Lexus RC-F from Autocar's editor Jim Holder, who attended the unveiling: "I've just spoken to the chief designer of the Lexus RC-F for a forthcoming autocar.co.uk blog, in which he explains (and defends) the spindle grille and challenging styling. Interestingly, reader comments on the RCF story are broadly positive – has the tide turned? Now going feral to watch the Subaru unveil, which I'm not meant to be covering but which the mid-1990s rally fan in me can't miss…"

1448hrs Here are autocar.co.uk's views on the UK-spec Subaru WRX STI. Suffice to say most of us are quite excited about the potential of the new one...

1444hrs Next up on the car unveiling merry-go-round is Subaru. We have a sneaking feeling that it will be unveiling the WRX STI that leaked out ahead of the Detroit motor show.

1429hrs Infiniti vice president Andy Palmer acknowledges that the brand has a long way to go in Europe, although a production version of the Q50 Eau Rouge concept might help its profile. He told Autocar's Mark Tisshaw: “Infiniti is a long-burn cycle. Judge us in 2020, not 2013. Globally, we’ve gone from 120,000 units a year to 172,000 units last year. We should get close to 200,000 units in our current financial year, and the brand is already very profitable."

1420hrs A sizeable crowd has gathered at the Infiniti stand, where the manufacturer will shortly formally introduce the new Q50 Eau Rouge concept.

1416hrs Lexus chief Jeff Bracken isn't a particularly familiar automotive industry boss, something he noted himself during his RC-F presentation. But he is a petrolhead; he recounted a tale of how his father used to work for Carroll Shelby, and once returned to the family's Detroit home in a Shelby Cobra 427ci. Bracken was spellbound by the car, and the experience set him on a path into the automotive industry.

1406hrs Jeff Bracken, Lexus boss, went on to say that the Lexus RC-F will go on sale in the autumn.

1402hrs Lexus chief Jeff Bracken said: "The Lexus RC-F is front-engined and rear-wheel drive. It will only be sold as rear-wheel drive. Power comes from a 5.0-litre V8. It has 450hp and 383 lb ft of torque, managed by an eight-speed automatic transmission."

1359hrs Lexus group vice president and general manager Jeff Bracken has just introduced the Lexus RC-F to the world's media at the Detroit motor show.

1335hrs Autocar's editor Jim Holder explains what he believes the highlights of today at the show will be: "Highlights should include the BMW M3-baiting Lexus due for unveil shortly and the Subaru WRX STI, which they have steadfastly refused to take the covers off thus far. It's a risky tactic leaving the covers on during the busiest opening day of a motor show, but judging by Lexus the interest is enough to pull everyone back for today. Next question, will buyers be as keen as the world's press?"

1330hrs Our deputy digital editor Lewis Kingston had the opportunity to drive a development version of the Audi R8 e-tron last year.

1327hrs Over at Audi, company chiefs have confirmed to Autocar that the electric R8 e-tron should be rubber-stamped for production quite soon.

1324hrs Interesting words from Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche, who believes the Smart brand will become ever-more relevant as more people gravitate towards living in cities as opposed to the countryside.

1309hrs Steve Cropley, Autocar's editor-in-chief, has written this report on the first big day at the Detroit motor show.

1306hrs It is just past 8am in Detroit, and Autocar's editor Jim Holder has already completed one quick tour of the show halls. He says: "Show winding up again. Trickle of people coming in. Lexus RC-F has people revved up here. Lexus does well in US and the idea of a dual-purpose everyday car that can go mental on a track strikes a chord, as does the somewhat OTT styling it seems."

1259hrs The first unveiling of today will be over at the Lexus stand at 1345hrs (UK)/0845hrs (Detroit). The stand-out car for the Toyota-owned brand will be the RC-F sports coupé. Will it look as good as it does in the studio pictures?

1252hrs Autocar's senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel has reflected on the opening day of the Detroit motor show. Read his thoughts on the event here.

1245hrs The Porsche 911 Targa was another car that proved popular yesterday, particularly due to its cool roof mechanism. We've added a video of the roof workings to our story on the car.

1243hrs You can follow the team on Twitter at the following handles: @mtisshaw, @jim_holder, @StvCr, @hiltonholloway, @andrew_frankel, @Stuart_Price, @MarcNoord and the magazine @autocar.

1241hrs Our team on the Detroit motor show floor includes Jim Holder (Autocar's editor), Mark Tisshaw (senior editor news and features), Steve Cropley (editor in chief), Hilton Holloway (associate editor), Andrew Frankel (senior contributing writer), Stuart Price (photographer), Greg Kable (European editor), Richard Bremner (senior contributing editor) and special correspondent Marc Noordeloos.

1238hrs The German heavyweights were determined not to be outdone, with the Mercedes-Benz C-class garnering plenty of interest, Audi showing off a concept that previews the next-generation TT and BMW unveiling the M3 and M4 performance models.

1230hrs What was yesterday's stand-out show star? Well, the Toyota FT-1 got everyone talking, but the Nissan Sport Sedan concept and Kia GT4 Stinger were not far behind.

1157hrs It was an extremely busy day yesterday, with some high-profile launches and a smattering of surprises too. Our live gallery, above, includes many of the highlights from the lens of Autocar's photographer at the show, Stuart Price. Stuart used a pedometer yesterday to calculate that he walked 10.135 miles around the Cobo Centre to shoot all of the exhibits at the Detroit motor show. Suffice to say, his feet are a little sore this morning... 

1150hrs We're back up and running with autocar.co.uk's live rolling report from the 2014 Detroit motor show. Over the next few hours we'll bring you all the news, pictures and gossip from the second media preview day of the event.

0030hrs Day two of the Detroit motor show will start at 1345hrs (UK)/0845hrs (Detroit), and there are six more manufacturer press conferences scheduled. Lexus, Infiniti, Subaru, Cadillac, Acura and Tesla will all reveal their show stars, and autocar.co.uk's team will be there to bring you all the news as it happens. We'll also review the big stories from the opening day of the show and add some more images to our ever-growing show car gallery. 

2254hrs If you're left in any doubt about how far Kia's European profile has improved in recent years, today's GT4 Stinger reveal offered an answer. Autocar's editor Jim Holder spotted Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener and BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk both having close looks at the car. That speaks volumes about design guru Peter Schreyer's influence at Korean company.

2248hrs Well, the press reveals from the opening day of the Detroit motor show have long-since ended, but there are still a few snippets of news filtering through. We've learned a little more about the striking Kia GT4 Stinger, which is certainly one of the stand-out reveals from the show today. A company source suggests that the Stinger will be pitched as Kia's equivalent to the Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86. That could mean a price tag of around £25k. An on sale date in 2016 looks likely according to our source. We can't wait.

2216hrs The new Nissan Sport Sedan concept, which teases the next version of the Maxima, has been received well. Although it won't come to the UK, its design features could inform some of the future Nissan vehicles we see on our roads, as this story points out.

2213hrs Hyundai has brought today's manufacturer unveilings at the Detroit motor show to a close. The Korean manufacturer showed off its next-generation Hyundai Genesis saloon, a model that is due to come to the UK, unlike the current car.

2209hrs Germany's car makers are optimistic about the prospect of increasing their sales in the lucrative US market this year. That's according to Matthias Wissmann, head of the German automobile association VDA. The German OEMs, including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, are predicting a three per cent increase in the US new vehicle market in 2014 compared to last year. The German-dominated luxury car segment is expected to grow by one or two per cent of overall sales. “The American market is really back, and general economic data remains positive,” Wissmann says. “And the premium-car segment is growing, which fortunately we dominate.”

2149hrs The Bentley Continental GT V8 S was introduced to the US audience for the first time earlier today, following the car's European debut at Frankfurt last year. The car's task will be to contribute to the continuation of the marque's impressive sales growth. Last year Bentley's sales in the Americas – its largest market – increased by 28 per cent to 3140.

2140hrs Andrew Frankel, Autocar's senior contributing writer, has dashed over to see the new Nissan Sports Sedan concept. His reaction: "I really like the look of the concept. I like even more the fact that company boss Andy Palmer says it's visually very close to the production version that is due in 2016. I like less the fact that it'll never be sold in the UK, but I understand why: the last Nissan Maxima tanked and this one would too. Why? Nothing to do with the car and everything to do with the fact we're a nation of badge snobs." 

2135hrs Autocar's Mark Tisshaw is also impressed by resurgent Volvo at the Detroit motor show. He says: "Volvo Concept XC Coupé paves the way to new XC90 - looks good enough to be a model in its own right to me. XC40 perhaps?"

2133hrs Mark Tisshaw, our senior editor for news and features, has been beavering away making future autocar.co.uk videos for most of the day, but he's finally got the chance to have a close sniff around the new Mercedes-Benz C-class. His verdict? "Big noises are being made about the interior of the new Mercedes C-class - and with good reason, it's fantastic."

2125hrs Autocar's associate editor Hilton Holloway relays a news snippet from Porsche, where a senior employee has said that the next-generation Porsche Boxster will have the option of turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engines, a move that is being forced on the company by global CO2 regulations. The Macan SUV will also get four-cylinder engines said the insider "but I hope not too early in the model's life cycle".

2101hrs Autocar's senior contributing editor Richard Bremner is mesmerised by the roof mechanism on the new Porsche 911 Targa revealed earlier today. Read what he has to say about it.

2049hrs Reflecting on events earlier in the day, Autocar editor Jim Holder has pondered what the dramatic FT-1 concept means for Toyota.

2045hrs With the Kia GT4 Stinger presentation over, Autocar editor Jim Holder has clambered onto the Korean manufacturer's stage to get a good close look at the car that could change the way we regard Kia forever. Jim says: "Show floor verdict on the GT4 Stinger is that it's great so long as they can sell it for circa £20k. Can they make such a large, focused driver's car for that price?"

2039hrs Back to Mercedes-Benz AMG, and Autocar's senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel's discussion with AMG's Tobias Moers. Andrew notes: "It's not often you hear company chiefs praising rival product but when asked what he considers to the main competition to the forthcoming AMG GT coupé other than Porsche 911 he says instantly, 'The Jaguar F-type. That's a really good car. I sometimes think our cars make a lot of noise but the F-type really screams.' Expect AMGs to get even noisier starting now..."

2036hrs Tom Kearns is chief designer on the Kia GT4 Stinger project. He said: "Our goal was to create a true enthusiasts' machine. We focused on rear drive, 2+2 layout, lightweight, power, agile steering and took an analogue approach focused on getting the most fun from getting from point A to point B. It's a 250bhp 2.0-turbocharged race engine, with a six-speed manual gearbox, a quick ratio steering rack, 20inch wheels and 15inch Brembo race brakes. The back-to-basics interior is inspired by race cars. We wanted a naked look."

2033hrs Autocar's editor Jim Holder has been listening in to the Kia GT4 Stinger presentation. US sales boss Tom Loveless has confirmed that the sports car will go into production in a couple of years. Loveless added that the vehicle, which is the work of Kia's Californian design centre, is "a tribute to a day when performance about a direct link between driver and machine, not a list of electronic aids". 

2022hrs Another Mercedes/AMG snippet from our senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel: "Mercedes-Benz will continue to build the SLS supercar for another two years, but only in racing form. The SLS GT3 has been a massive success for the company both on the race track where it is widely regarded as the class of the field and commercially too. Nearly 100 examples have been sold, each retailing for over £300,000 before the costs of spare parts and aerodynamic and mechanical updates are taken into consideration. New rules for the 2016 season will see the end of production and a new GT3 competitor produced, likely to be based on the new AMG GT coupé."

2015hrs Autocar's senior contributing editor Andrew Frankel has chatted to Tobias Moers, the new boss of Mercedes-Benz AMG, who has confirmed that its new Porsche 911 rival will be called the AMG GT. "It is not, absolutely not, the GT AMG," he said in response to press speculation about the name. The new coupé is believed to be on course to be shown before the end of the year with sales starting shortly thereafter.

2013hrs We're just minutes away from the Kia press conference. Autocar editor Jim Holder is inches away from the stage: "A huge crowd has gathered for the Kia unveiling. It reminds you just how powerful a brand Kia is in us. That and the fact it is launching an Audi R8-alike sportscar seem to be an alluring mix. Head honcho Peter Schreyer has taken his seat but insiders say this concept is chiefly the work of the US-based design studio he oversees rather than from his own one."

2011hrs The enormous annual sales of the Ford F150 pickup truck mentioned below have resonated with Autocar's associate editor Hilton Holloway, who has been looking into electric and hybrid vehicle sales in the US. He says: "Despite all the hype, sales of electric cars in the massive US market have remained tiny. According to the figures for 2013, 23,094 Chevrolet Volts were sold and 22,610 Nissan LeafsTesla's Model S sold 18,000 and the plug-in Toyota Prius 12,088. Compare to the 763,402 sales of Ford's big F150 truck."

2007hrs Important news from Autocar photographer Stuart Price. His pedometer informs him that he's so far strolled more than six miles around the Cobo Centre today, attending the product launches and scurrying back to the Detroit motor show media centre to send his images back to autocar.co.uk's base. Check out his work in the gallery above this article.

2006hrs Another tweet on the new Ford F150 from Autocar's editor in chief Steve Cropley: "A Ford engineer has just revealed that if you parked the 763,402 F150s Ford sold last year end to end, they'd reach from Los Angeles to New York."

1934hrs The VW Beetle Dune Concept was the stand-out vehicle on Volkswagen's show stand. The German manufacturer also showed off a frugal new Passat BlueMotion concept and three examples of its Golf model range – the all-electric e-Golf, the Golf R and the iconic Golf GTI.

1925hrs Volkswagen of America’s new CEO, Michael Horn, made his US public debut at the Detroit motor show. Horn has replaced Brit Jonathan Browning, who left the role late last year. The new boss was in a bullish mood as he addressed industry mutterings that VW's growth slowed last year after three years of rapid expansion. “This year will build off our foundation of 400,000 sales annually in the US as we continue to grow our commitment to the market, our dealers and our customers,” he said.

1919hrs Autocar's editor in chief Steve Cropley admits he's impressed by the new Ford F150 pickup, which was unveiled earlier today. He's tweeted: "Drove to Detroit show in '14 Ford F150 V8. Drivetrain, wind noise suppression at Rolls-Royce level. 'Why change it?', I thought. Then I saw new one…"

1857hrs And still the reveals come thick and fast... Here are autocar.co.uk's stories on the Mini John Cooper Works concept and the Volvo Concept XC Coupé.

1852hrs Our senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel has wandered over to the Buick booth at the Detroit motor show. Despite a strong sales year in 2013, particularly in China, the brand's show stand was nearly empty of showgoers, prompting Andrew to ponder Buick's position: "Deserted Buick stand sadly makes an excellent metaphor for this city: empty, unloved and full of antediluvian monoliths nobody wants. Actually I'd back Detroit to turn it around, but Buick? If it weren't so big in China I reckon it would already be gone. If it can't raise any interest at its home show, what chance does it have?"

1832hrs There has been plenty of interest in the new Porsche 911 Targa, particularly its clever roof design and retraction method.

1822hrs We've added some more of Autocar photographer Stuart Price's images to the gallery at the head of this article. We're not sure how far Stuart has walked around the Cobo Centre today, but we're sure he's burned off that chocolate doughnut he had for breakfast.

1805hrs Spectacular Chevrolet Corvette C7.R Le Mans car breaks cover at the Detroit motor show.

1744hrs More Mercedes musings from our senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel, who has been drooling over the prospect of an AMG performance version of the new Mercedes-Benz C-class. "When it comes along, it will be powered by an all new four-litre V8," says Andrew. "How much power? Well they can get 355bhp from an engine half the size, so 700bhp would seem reasonable... Actually there's no chance of that, but the ability to beat the output of even the top 507bhp version of the existing car is clear to see. It would put the 425bhp, 3-litre BMW M3/M4 back in its box too. The only question is, will it be given a decent-sized fuel tank? The pathetic range of the old car spoiled an otherwise near perfect motor."

1735hrs The awesome Toyota FT-1 is generating plenty of social media chat. Could it be the car to transform the company's image? Toyota is mainly recognised in the US for its saloon range, whereas halo cars such as the Toyota GT86 are badged as Scion. An interesting take on the new concept from automotive industry analyst Jonathan Carrier (@jonathanjcarrier), who tweets: "Scion already appeals to Generation Y. Toyota needs to be more than the Corolla and Camry, US number one seller, in the US."

1730hrs A quick reminder that you can get involved in Detroit debates with our team on Twitter at the following handles: @mtisshaw, @jim_holder, @StvCr, @hiltonholloway, @andrew_frankel, @Stuart_Price, @MarcNoord and the magazine @autocar.

1717hrs Back to Audi, where Autocar's senior editor (news and features) Mark Tisshaw has an update on the manufacturer's plans for the forthcoming Audi TT.

1713hrs Is Infiniti's association with dominant Formula 1 team Red Bull Racing having an impact? It wasn't totally clear if the intended message had filtered down at the launch of the sporty Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge at Detroit today. "Infiniti Eau Rouge is causing problems for non-F1-savvy journalists in the US," reports Autocar's editor Jim Holder. "One asked: 'Infiniti Red Water - why?'." It is easy to forget that US journalists might not know the names of European circuit corners.

1708hrs More Audi news from Autocar's associate editor Hilton Holloway, who has learned that the MLB platform that will underpin all the new Audi models from the Audi A4 and above and the Porsche-developed MSB platform which will underpin new Bentleys and the future Porsche Panamera family will both be engineered with both plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicle capability.

1703hrs Interesting views from Audi, which says it doesn't plan to create a vehicle smaller than the A1 for at least another ten years.

1700hrs One final thought from our senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel on his discussion with Mini chief Jochen Goller: "Goller wouldn't be drawn on the configuration of the next Mini Clubman, but admitted that while it must retain its quirkiness, it needs to be more practical too. Does that mean a door on each side? Goller wasn't saying, but I reckon so."

1656hrs Another development from the conversation between our senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel and Mini boss Jochen Goller: "Mini says it is watching the BMW i3 with interest, but claims there are no active plans to use the i3 platform for an electric Mini," reports Andrew. "It would seem an obvious candidate for a range extender in the Countryman class. It seems it will be 2016 at the earliest before we see an electric or range-extender Mini."

1642hrs More news from the Detroit motor show halls from Autocar's senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel, who has got the lowdown on the new Mini John Cooper Works Concept from Mini boss Jochen Goller. He told our man that the new JCW will be "far more dynamic" that the last iteration. It will also be lighter, more powerful and more focused. Sadly, however, it is not due to arrive until 2015, contrary to recent reports.

1638hrs A refreshed version of the BMW X1 has been revealed during the manufacturer's Detroit motor show press conference.

1634hrs Autocar's associate editor Hilton Holloway has been speaking with Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen's head of development, about the company's plans for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Neusser says the first fuel cell test cars based on VW's modular MQB platform will arrive in two years. However, VW is also working on improved battery technology which could provide full electric vehicles with a greater range. That could reduce EV range anxiety among motorists and indirectly threaten the viability of fuel cells.

1629hrs Determined not to be outdone by performance cars from the German brands, Chevrolet has pulled back the dust covers from the awesome Corvette C7 Z06, which packs 625bhp from its supercharged V8 engine.

1624hrs Now BMW is revealing the details of the BMW 2-series, which is getting its first public airing in Detroit today. Here is Autocar's story on that machine.

1623hrs Mercedes-Benz has given its new C-class another airing following yesterday's reveal. Autocar's senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel attending and was struck by the car's remarkable scope. He says: "Mercedes research and development boss Thomas Weber says there will be a C-class that produces less than 100g/km of CO2 this year. It wasn't that long ago that sub-100g/km cars were all VW Polo Bluemotions. I never cease to be amazed by the progress still possible in this industry."

1617hrs BMW's reveal of its latest M performance vehicles is taking place right now. Read about the M3 saloon and M4 coupé here.

1510hrs Al Gardner, president and CEO of Chrysler: "The design and engineering teams produced a car that was so stunning we couldn't build it in the factories we had. But we refused to scale back our ambition. A flagship car requires a flagship engineering facilities, so that's what we built with the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant."

1508hrs Chrysler has overhauled its manufacturing processes, spending $1bn to make the new 200 a success, says Al Gardner, president and CEO of Chrysler: "Why are we so confident? Three years ago we had a powerful realisation. We realised that if you want to build a car that truly competes in the largest segment in the industry, you have to start from within. For us that meant making a huge investment and a completely new approach to car manufacturing."

1504hrs Fighting talk from Al Gardner, president and CEO of Chrysler about why the new Chrysler 200 saloon is good enough to take on competition from Europe and Japan: "A lot of people won't see this coming, but we've designed a car to take on every other vehicle in its class, to prove that a quality saloon doesn't have to cross an ocean to be worthy of being on an American driveway."

1503hrs Al Gardner, president and CEO of the Chrysler brand, said: "Make no mistake – this is our new flagship model. It is a car that will redefine the brand and challenge every assumption about the mid-sized saloon segment."

1502hrs Chrysler has hosted the third of today's press events at the Detroit motor show. It has revealed the Chrysler 200 saloon which you can read about here.

1454hrs Remaining with Ford for a moment, Autocar editor Jim Holder notes: "Massive fuss over new Ford F150 truck here. Why? It's Fords most profitable vehicle, so much so that if it was its own car company it would be in the top ten most profitable in the world…"

1449hrs Autocar's Andrew Frankel was also at the Ford media conference earlier, and noted: "Ford's Mark Fields on ebullient form, as you would be if your company has two of the four best selling cars in the world. The Focus and Fiesta are working wonders for them, but I couldn't keep my eyes off the stinking new Mustang. Hope its rear suspension isn't too sophisticated…"

1445hrs Autocar's senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel, who watched the reveal of the Toyota FT1 live, says "It is fascinating not just to see the incredible new Toyota FT-1 but to hear Toyota admit its recent designs have been too safe, too dependent on what was known to have worked in the past. It is making a commitment to work with less consensus in the future; not the sort of thing you hear car manufacturers saying every day. It's refreshing, to say the least." 

1441hrs The Toyota FT1 sports car is certain to be one of the stars of this year's Detroit motor show. Read our full story about the car here.

1358hrs Toyota has revealed a stunning sports car concept called the FT-1, which is the spiritual successor to the Supra. We'll bring you a full story on that shortly.

1343hrs Plenty of positivity over at Ford then. Next up at 1350hrs is Toyota, where we're excitedly anticipating some kind of surprise car reveal.

1340hrs "Supporting the new products will be our most ambitious manufacturing expansion in 50 years," says Mulally, "With two new plants in China, one new plant in Brazil, as well as increased capacity and production in Russia, Turkey and six of our US assembly plants. This will lead to the creation of 11,000 new jobs around the world in 2014 alone. More than we have created in any single year in more than a decade."

1339hrs Ford is gearing up for the biggest model onslaught in any year in its history. Company chief Alan Mulally says: "Ford and Lincoln will launch 23 new vehicles this year for customers around the world. 16 will be in North America – triple the number of new products last year."

1335hrs Mulally: "We expect small vehicles to represent more than half of Ford's total global sales by the end of this decade, with nearly one-third of all of our sales expected to come from the Asia-Pacific region."

1334hrs Mulally: "We have only just begun to see the full potential of our One Ford plan. We expect to achieve global sales growth of 25 per cent in the years ahead. We will become even more efficient to leverage our global scale to deliver profitable growth."

1333hrs Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO: "During the past seven years we have relentlessly pursued our One Ford plan. We are laser-focused on making progress with our Ford and Lincoln brands and have delivered 17 straight quarters of profitability."

1315hrs Ford has got the 2014 Detroit motor show officially underway with the first press conference of the day. Company chairman Bill Ford and president/CEO Alan Mulally are addressing the world's media.

1305hrs Mark Tisshaw (@mtisshaw) has also been consulting top-ranking Mercedes-Benz sources, and has discovered that the replacement for the Mercedes CL is on its way.

1303hrs Another quick gossip snippet from Autocar's Andrew Frankel (@andrew_frankel), who has spoken to a chatty Mercedes-Benz source who was happy to confirm that in addition to estate and coupe versions of the new C-class, the next GLK would be spun off the same platform and sold in the UK, and that there was nothing in the product plan by way of a convertible. When asked about the possibility of a four-door crossover coupé to slip between the CLA and CLS the source suddenly went very quiet and said, "we're here to launch the saloon".

1300hrs Audi's US growth was fuelled, not completely surprisingly, but SUV sales. The Audi Q5 experienced 40.8 per cent sales growth, while Audi Q7 sales accelerated by 45.1 per cent. The smaller Audi Q3 will join the US line-up this year.

1256hrs One of the stories to come out of last night's preview events was the strong sales performance of Audi last year, particularly in the USA where it enjoyed 13.5 per cent growth, selling a total of 158,061 cars.

1239hrs Then last night there were pre-event functions from the likes of Mercedes (which revealed the new C-Class), Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover and GM.

1238hrs Build-up to the show has been occurring over the last few days. On Saturday night the exclusive, invite-only Gallery event took place at the MGM Grand Hotel. You can view images from that shindig in the gallery above this story.

1222hrs Those of you who follow Autocar's photographer Stuart Price on Twitter (@Stuart_Price) will note that he has arrived at the Detroit motor show press office armed with his cameras, laptop and, most importantly, a chocolate doughnut and Coca-Cola. The breakfast of champions? 

1219hrs Andrew Frankel has already picked up a few interesting snippets related to his aforementioned blog. He has learned that Mercedes will no longer offer the traditional multi-bar grille with a bonnet-mounted three-pointed 'gunsight' in the UK. The reason is that its image is elderly and it only accounted for a tiny proportion of sales of the last model. If you really want a gunsight, your dealer will fit one for you as an aftermarket accessory.

1215hrs What will be this year's stand-out show star? It's a question Andrew Frankel has pondered in his Detroit motor show blog, which you can read here

1209hrs We already know that Ford will be unveiling a new version of its mighty F150 pickup. Although such vehicles aren't huge news on the European side of the Atlantic, they are critically important to the Blue Oval's fortunes in the USA. But the vehicles face the same challenges as the rest of the car world –  how to improve economy and reduce emissions. The new generation F150 features some interesting tech and makes use of aluminium to reduce the weight.

1206hrs The Autocar team in Detroit is up, full of coffee and raring to go with a busy day of unveilings ahead. Ford has the honour of kicking off the day's proceedings with its press conference at 1310hrs UK time (0810hrs Detroit). Autocar's editor-in-chief Steve Cropley is heading to that event, so we'll bring you any gossip and insight as it happens.

1205hrs You can follow the team on Twitter at the following handles: @mtisshaw, @jim_holder, @StvCr, @hiltonholloway, @andrew_frankel, @Stuart_Price, @MarcNoord and the magazine @autocar.

1204hrs Our team on the Detroit motor show floor includes Jim Holder (Autocar's editor), Mark Tisshaw (senior editor news and features), Steve Cropley (editor in chief), Hilton Holloway (associate editor), Andrew Frankel (senior contributing writer), Stuart Price (photographer), Greg Kable (European editor), Richard Bremner (senior contributing editor) and special correspondent Marc Noordeloos.

1200hrs (UK)/0700hrs (Detroit) We'll be bringing you all the car launches, news, pictures and gossip as they happen live from our team in the Detroit motor show halls as the event officially gets underway today.

1004hrs We've had our first glimpse of the full Kia GT4 Stinger concept, thanks to this leaked photo. The picture, which appeared on Facebook, shows the turbocharged, rear-wheel drive sports car concept ahead of its full reveal at the show later on today.

0909hrs It's one of the biggest debuts of the year, as the new Mercedes-Benz C-class is revealed at the Detroit motor show. Mercedes' rival to the BMW 3-series has grown in size, but lost weight, and comes with plenty of new technology for its interior.

0730hrs Audi's new Shooting Brake concept is believed to provide a close preview of the new Audi TT exterior. Hilton Holloway wonders whether the firm can make the concept stick, given that closely resembles the older Shooting Brake concept shown in Tokyo in 2005. Read his blog here.

0502hrs The new Chrysler 200 has been revealed ahead of its official debut at the show later today. According to its makers, the 200 blends and 'iconic American design' with a new platform and new engines. The car goes on sale in the US in the spring.

0230hrs Don't forget that as well as keeping up to date with all our Detroit motor show coverage on this live blog and elsewhere on the website, you can also get the very latest news via the Autocar Twitter feed, @Autocar, and see the latest pictures by searcing for Autocar on Facebook.

0136hrs Over at Volkswagen's 2014 Detroit motor show preview event, Hilton Holloway has learned that engineering work has started on the much-anticipated Volkswagen Crossblue SUV. The vehicle, which you can read about here, is due to launch in the USA in 2016.

0133hrs More on the new Mercedes-Benz C-class from Dieter Zetsche: "The new C-class offers the most choices in the segment. It is the most individual and multi-faceted C-class ever, from the selection of individual front faces to the wide range of efficient engines. We will offer the first plug-in hybrid in this segment that can cover most peoples' daily commutes on battery-electric power. Our customers also get the most choice in terms of suspension, because the new C-class gets our Airmatic technology. We believe our customers will appreciate the enhanced ride. The new C-class makes good use of new lightweight materials. We cut its weight by up to 100kg compared to the previous model."

0131hrs Dieter Zetsche: "The Mercedes-Benz C-class is our highest volume car in the world and the US is its biggest market. In developing the new C-class, we aimed for a car that simply lived up to our mantra 'the best or nothing'.

0120hrs Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche: "Our sales success in 2013 was driven by our new products. First and foremost, 2013 was the year of the S-class. In fact the S-class went so well that we decided to extend it with additional brands of our flagships - the S63 AMG at last year's Frankfurt motor show and, for those who aim even higher, the S65 AMG at Los Angeles."

0102hrs So the first major reveal of the 2014 Detroit motor show has occurred. Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche was on hand to introduce the stunning new Mercedes-Benz C-class, together with R&B singer Kelly Rowland, of course.

0044hrs Steve Cannon, head of Mercedes-Benz USA, explains how the CLA model is bringing in new, younger customers: "We're seeing new customers in the dealerships and the average age of a CLA buyer is ten years younger than a C-class buyer." He says the high-tech S-class has brought a touch of Apple Store cool to the Mercedes showrooms in the USA. 

0039hrs At Mercedes' pre-show reception, company chief Dieter Zetsche is reflecting on the company's sales performance: "We have climbed the automotive sales charts. Last year Mercedes sales in the US were up 14 per cent compared to 2012 and almost one in every five luxury vehicles sold in the US is a Mercedes."

0010hrs At 0030hrs (UK)/1930hrs (Detroit) Mercedes-Benz will be hosting its pre-show reception. Autocar's Mark Tisshaw is attending the event and autocar.co.uk will bring you the highlights as they happen.

0005hrs Our team on the Detroit motor show floor includes Jim Holder (Autocar's editor), Mark Tisshaw (senior editor news and features), Steve Cropley (editor in chief), Hilton Holloway (associate editor), Andrew Frankel (senior contributing writer), Stuart Price (photographer), Greg Kable (European editor), Richard Bremner (senior contributing editor) and special correspondent Marc Noordeloos.

Monday 13 January 2014 0000hrs (UK)/1900hrs (Detroit) This is Autocar's Detroit motor show live blog. As the wraps come off the new cars later today, our reporters will be keeping you updated on all the breaking news from the first major motor show of the year.

2337hrs Our correspondent Marc Noordeloos also reports that Land Rover is planning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Great Divide expedition in the USA in August 2014. The original trek, which highlighted the capabilities of the 1990 Range Rover, was a nine-day off-road odyssey through the wilds of Colorado. A retread of the same route sounds like enormous fun…

2331hrs It sounds as if US-based Jaguar enthusiasts could have to wait a little longer to drive Jaguar's planned BMW 3-series rival. "The new small Jaguar saloon will arrive in USA after global 2015 launch due to all-wheel drive being key to success there," notes Marc on Twitter.

2329hrs Meanwhile, our special correspondent Marc Noordeloos is picking up some snippets at Jaguar's pre-show shindig this evening. He's unearthed some insight into those stunning 2013 Jag sales figures we highlighted back at 1950hrs. "New V6 and all-wheel drive were key to sales increase," Marc tweets. "Jag is fastest growing brand in USA, Germany and India." 

2323hrs So what will Toyota show the world at its Detroit motor show unveiling tomorrow. Autocar's editor Jim Holder has a hunch on Twitter: "Whispers abound of a baby Toyota sports car concept at #NAIAS. Would be a show-stopper if so."

2310hrs Since the first international Detroit motor show in 1989, a total of 1365 new car debuts have been made at the event. Among them have been 734 production cars and 631 concepts. 

2303hrs The invitation-only Gallery event at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit brings together über-rich guests with high-end luxury car manufacturers. This year's event, which attracted several hundred guests on Saturday, showcased 27 luxury and performance vehicles from the likes of Aston MartinBentleyFerrariJaguarLamborghiniLand RoverMaseratiMcLarenPorsche and Rolls‐Royce. A new addition for 2014 was a fashion show… obviously. Anyway, we've added some pictures from the event to our picture gallery, above.

2227hrs Volkswagen has already partially revealed two of its Detroit show stars. The VW Beetle Dune concept has been shown off in a design sketch and is described as "practically a production vehicle". Slightly more sensible, but potentially more significant, is the VW Passat BlueMotion Concept. It features VW's 1.4-litre petrol power plant and is being shown off at the show to gauge US consumers' reactions to a large saloon with a small engine.   

2155hrs In the US the midsize pickup market is fairly modest. That hasn't prevented General Motors from pitching in to do battle with the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma with two similar vehicles: the Chevrolet Colorado revealed at last year's Los Angeles motor show and the new GMC Canyon, to be shown off at the Detroit motor show.

2129hrs Audi's Allroad Shooting Brake concept looks set to be one of the stars of this year's Detroit motor show. Images of the vehicle have sparked a sense of déjà vu in Hilton Holloway, who reckons he's seen the car at a motor show before.

2104hrs Porsche will unveil a new open-top 911 Targa at the Detroit motor show tomorrow. We've already spied test mules of the model.

2028hrs SRT has laid an early claim to the unofficial 'most attention-grabbing paint scheme' award at the Detroit motor show. The Street and Race Technologies brand will unveil this lurid green Viper Grand Touring model tomorrow.

2020hrs Every manufacturer will be hoping and praying that their teleprompters work correctly during tomorrow's presentations. Non-working equipment in front of a live audience can lead to unpredictable on-stage behaviour, as our friends at Stuff magazine reported on from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.

2018hrs As you can see in the picture gallery above this gallery, right now in the Cobo Centre the ground crews of each manufacturer are putting the final pieces of the presentations in place, laying the cabling for the audio-visual equipment, polishing the show cars to a fine sheen and – crucially – making sure everything works.

1950hrs Impressive news from Jaguar Land Rover on the eve of the Detroit motor show. The British company recorded its best-ever global sales in 2013. A total of 425,006 vehicles were sold, which represented an increase of 19 per cent over 2012. Land Rover sold 348,338 vehicles, with Jaguar pitching in with 76,668, a massive 42 per cent rise over the previous year.

1944hrs In the second of our series of blogs from the Detroit motor show, special correspondent Marc Noordeloos assesses Hyundai's position in the US car market and contrasts it with Europe.

1939hrs Hilton Holloway has used the medium of Twitter to report that he's safely arrived in Detroit. The weather? "Very bright, about zero. Quite nice, really", tweets Autocar's associate editor.

1932hrs Anyway, back to the point (what there is of it). We're sure most of you, like us, spent the festive period wondering what former General Motors boss Bob Lutz has been up to lately. The Detroit motor show has provided the answer, because the company he co-owns, VL Automotive, is unveiling a Fisker Karma-based convertible called the Destino. Which is, quite frankly, an awful name. Kudos to VL, though, for reportedly replacing the Fisker's electric powertrain with a 6.2-litre supercharged V8.

1929hrs Are they called Twitter handles, or are handles reserved for Citizen's Band (CB) radio? I'm thinking of Kris Kristofferson's character in 1970s trucking movie Convoy, whose CB handle was Rubber Duck.

1927hrs If you're an avid 'Tweeter', you can follow the team at the following handles: @mtisshaw, @jim_holder, @StvCr, @hiltonholloway, @andrew_frankel, @Stuart_Price, @MarcNoord and the magazine @autocar.

1921hrs Our team on the Detroit motor show floor includes Jim Holder (Autocar's editor), Mark Tisshaw (senior editor news and features), Steve Cropley (editor in chief), Hilton Holloway (associate editor), Andrew Frankel (senior contributing writer), Stuart Price (photographer), Greg Kable (European editor), Richard Bremner (senior contributing editor) and special correspondent Marc Noordeloos.

1911hrs In addition to this regularly updated live blog, our show team will be independently blogging about what they've seen in Detroit and what's impressed or dismayed them. Autocar editor Jim Holder is leading by example: he's already written a blog pondering the difficult challenge that lays ahead for General Motors' chief executive Mary Barra, who will face the world's media having been installed as the motor company's big boss late last year.

1904hrs As well as show unveilings and pictures, we'll also be reporting on some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on and rumours that will undoubtedly spread around the Detroit motor show rapidly.

1900hrs (UK)/1400hrs (DetroitThis is Autocar's Detroit motor show live blog. During the rest of Sunday and all of Monday, our reporters will be keeping you updated on all the breaking news from the first major motor show of the year.

1853hrs In fact, snapper Stuart has been out in the US since last week, when he shot our exclusive studio pictures of the bold new Lexus RC-F sports coupé, which you can view here.

1843hrs During the next day and a half we'll be bringing you latest show images courtesy of our intrepid photographer, Stuart Price, who will be flitting between the vast floors of the Cobo Centre, where the show is held, and the Detroit motor show press room, where he'll fire his images back to the UK. He's already been pointing his lens at some of the show build-up, as you can see above this article.

1833hrs The conceptual Audi wasn't alone: we've also seen images of the new Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 slip out before they were really supposed to.

1823hrs Of course, sometimes the motor show star cars unintentionally reach public consumption before their makers intended. The Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept is one such vehicle that snuck onto the internet yesterday evening.

1814hrs Shuman could be right – the build-up to the show has been fairly busy as manufacturers have teased and tickled us with sneaky images of their Detroit motor show stars. Read our Detroit motor show preview here to learn about some of the key reveals.

1811hrs Indeed, as the Detroit motor show celebrates its 25th birthday, show chief Bob Shuman says this year's event could be the best yet. Some 50 global vehicle unveilings are expected to be made on Detroit's world stage. "It will be an absolute news feast for the journalists who cover the show from around the world," he said.

1806hrs The Detroit motor show (or the North American International Auto Show to give the expo its full name) kicks off the year with some pretty significant new model unveilings. We're anticipating major interest in some of the show debuts that we'll be reporting on during the next 36 hours, not least from (deep breath) AudiBMWChevrolet, Ford, Infiniti, KiaLexus, Mercedes, PorscheSubaru, Tesla, Toyota and Volvo.

1800hrs (UK)/1300hrs (Detroit) Welcome to Autocar's Detroit motor show live blog. During the rest of Sunday and all of Monday, our reporters will be keeping you updated on all the breaking news from the first major motor show of the year.

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Corvette

This smaller, lighter, faster Chevrolet Corvette continues to fly the flag for the old-fashioned, all-American sports car

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Comments
3

IAD

14 January 2014
That VW Beetle Dune concpet. WTF is that about?

14 January 2014
"Deserted Buick stand sadly makes an excellent metaphor for this city: empty, unloved and full of antediluvian monoliths nobody wants. Actually I'd back Detroit to turn it around, but Buick? If it weren't so big in China I reckon it would already be gone. If it can't raise any interest at its home show, what chance does it have?"

Wow what first class deduction!! Give that man a Pulitzer....maybe the fact that you are on Press day and they had NOTHING new to show? Except they DO want Buicks...they had their best sales year since the early 80's....But don't let facts get in the way of irrelevant Journo bull.

Just stick to blowing smoke up JLR's arse..that's what you do best.

3

17 January 2014
Dear Autocar

Instead of deleting my comment asking why Jonathan Carrier has been presented as an Auto Industry Analyst instead of the JLR employee he says he is, why not answer?

When many members are commenting on the overly-positive JLR coverage, this kind of action only serves to heighten suspicion.

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