2002 Porsche 911 GT2
If the Mini is about fun, Mercedes-Benz' Detroit newcomer is about practicality - but that doesn't mean that fun is ruled out. The German manufacturer will be facing up to the unfriendly reception it could face in Chrysler-friendly Detroit with the latest addition to the C-Class range, the station wagon variant.
The fun aspect of the C-Class Estate is the stylish new look to the roofline. Previous M-B wagons have been boxy affairs, but the new model has an arcing line from windshield to tailgate that looks positively sporting - an impression that's enhanced by the aerofoil that's positioned at the top of the tailgate and actually improves aerodynamic performance. The new C-Class's dynamic abilities have been widely praised in sedan form, and the new wagon should be a big seller - but not so popular as it is in Europe, where almost a third of C-Class buyers go for the wagon. The new Estate will go on sale in the U.S. in September.
Two new Europeans that won't be in Detroit are from Ford's two upmarket brands. Photographs have been released of Jaguar's new X-Type small sedan, but we will have to wait until Geneva in early March to see the car in the metal. The same goes for Aston Martin's powerful 200-mph Vanquish supercar. That was announced and photographed last October, but a desire that the car should be seen at its best has put the first public showing back to Geneva.