Each year consumers get a chance to see the most innovative products automakers have to offer, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Lauren Fix, a New York-based automotive expert and author of "Lauren Fix's Guide to Loving Your Car," made the pilgrimage to Detroit in January to see new developments in style, engineering and fuel efficiency.
"It's the largest auto show in the U.S.," Fix says. "It showcases the newest cars and technology."
Fix was among more than 800,000 attendees at the show. Here are four of the most exciting vehicles to make their debut at the event.
1. Ford GT
The sleek GT has a 600-horsepower V-6 engine, making it Ford's most powerful production vehicle. The body features "active aerodynamics," such as a deployable rear spoiler that increases air resistance for easier braking.
The driver enters the car through a door that swings upward, giving the vehicle a futuristic appearance. Inside, the driver's seat is in a fixed position, but there are adjustable pedals and an adjustable steering column to accommodate a wide range of body sizes.
Karl Brauer, senior director of insights and senior editor for Kelley Blue Book, says it's rare for a U.S. automaker to make an exotic, high-end sports car like the GT. It's scheduled to be available at Ford dealerships by the end of 2016. Ford has yet to price this car or release performance figures.
Fix says the GT likely will sell for about $250,000. This puts it off limits to most motorists, but the car is more about prestige than sales, she adds. The idea behind the GT was to create a car that would enhance Ford's reputation for using advanced technology.
Fix says it was one of the most praised cars at the show. "(Ford) took the show by storm."
2.General Motors' fuel-efficient Chevrolet Volt
One of the attention-grabbers at the Detroit auto show was the redesigned Chevrolet Volt. This hybrid car can travel 50 miles on battery power, on a single electrical charge. Sleeker than its predecessor, the 2016 Volt has an overall gas/electric fuel economy of 41 mpg, up from 37 mpg on the previous version.
A new seating design includes a center rear seat that gives the car room for five passengers instead of four.
The car is expected to reach dealer showrooms during the second half of 2015, according to a recent report on Edmunds.com. While there is no information available on pricing, the previous Volt's suggested retail price was $34,345, according to Motor Trend.
James Billmaier, author of "Jolt! The Impending Dominance of the Electric Car and Why America Must Take Charge," praised the car's improved fuel efficiency.
"The Volt has a lot of benefits," he says. "I’m pleased to see GM continue to be aggressive about moving in this direction."
3. Hyundai's first plug-in hybrid
Hyundai used the auto show to unveil its first plug-in hybrid, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.
Fix says a big reason for producing the car was to demonstrate Hyundai's ongoing commitment to fuel efficiency. The four-door sedan will travel 22 miles per charge, using only electricity, according to a January report in Popular Science.
Once the onboard battery is out of energy, the Sonata plug-in operates as a standard hybrid, using a 2.0-liter gasoline-powered engine. Hyundai anticipates an Environmental Protection Agency rating of 42 mpg for combined city and highway driving.
According to a recent Edmunds.com report, Hyundai will begin selling the plug-in at its dealerships this spring. Pricing has not been announced.
Hyundai will offer an advanced collision warning system in the vehicle. The system can alert drivers if a vehicle in the adjacent lane is approaching too quickly for a safe lane change.
4. The luxurious Mercedes-Maybach S600
The Mercedes-Maybach S600 demonstrates the automaker's commitment to producing high-end luxury cars. No ordinary Mercedes, Braun describes the car as "an ultra-premium brand within a brand."
Fix says this car was designed to appeal to buyers with very deep pockets. "They are making it their premium luxury line," she says.
The Mercedes-Maybach is all about extras, Fix says. Options include worktable consoles, a large-screen television, and a refrigerator. An air filtration system humidifies and scents the air inside the cabin.
In addition to luxury, the car offers high performance. According to a January report in Bloomberg, the Maybach's 6.0-liter V-12 engine will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in five seconds, reaching 155 mph at its top speed.