Mike Stevens | Jan 5, 2011

Like its European counterparts in Paris and Geneva, the North American International Motor Show has traditionally been a major event for brand-new models and concepts.

In recent years, the Detroit show has played host to the unveiling of the new Ford Focus, the Suzuki Kizashi, Hyundai's Sonata-replacing i45 and the latest BMW Z4.

This year looks set to be the equal of any previous show, with a host of new models and concepts set to be revealed. For a look at the concepts and Australia-destined debuts scheduled for Detroit, read on.

Revealed in the digital realm back in December after months of spy photos, Audi's new 2012 A6 will make its official debut this week. Exact dates for the new A6's Australian debut have yet to be confirmed, although Audi has locked in a 2011 local launch.

Another model that made its debut on the online stage is the new 2012 BMW 6 Series, the German carmaker unveiling its latest new model in its big-power 650i Convertible form.

BMW has confirmed not only the 650i for Detroit, but also its updated 2012 1 Series and the hotly-anticipated 1 Series M Coupe - two more models that were revealed online recently.

The Chevrolet brand isn't available in Australia, but with Holden sharing many of its models with its stablemate at General Motors, the unveiling of the production-ready Chevrolet Sonic (formerly the Aveo) will be significant for Australian buyers. The Sonic/Aveo will arrive in Australia this year as the next-generation 2011 Holden Barina.

Apart from the European-market C-Max, Ford is expected to unveil a crossover concept that will point to the future design of its Explorer SUV. With the (soon to be updated) Ford Territory set to be replaced around 2015, this concept could be more than a little relevant for Australia.

Honda has confirmed that it will unveil a concept version of the all-new 2012 Honda Civic, bouncing back from development hold-ups caused by CEO Takanobu Ito's edict that the new Civic must be smaller, lighter and more efficient than its predecessor.

Teased by a run of images and videos in recent weeks, Hyundai's production-ready Veloster will be the star of the Korean carmaker's stand this week. With right-hand-drive variants reportedly confirmed, an Australian debut for the new coupe is a strong chance.

On the concept front, Hyundai will also unveil a new crossover concept dubbed Curb. Whether the Curb has a production future, however, remains to be seen.

Hyundai's Korean partner Kia won't be revealing any production models in Detroit, but that won't stop the giant-killer from showing us something new: keep an eye out for its gullwinged KV7 concept.

Mercedes-Benz's new 2012 C-Class will make its debut in Detroit this week, and the German carmaker's Australian arm has confirmed a local launch for the second quarter of 2011.

Keeping up the pace in the concept realm is MINI, with its recently-revealed Paceman concept set for a Detroit debut. Based on the high-riding Countryman, the Paceman offers a look at the barely-imagined 'small SUV coupe' category.

Porsche is set to reveal "something special" at Detroit this week, and while the German sports and luxury carmaker has confirmed a production future for the unnamed model, it remains to be seen exactly what will be shown. Reports out of Europe suggest a production-ready version of its 918 Spyder - in coupe form.

World number one carmaker Toyota has promised an all-new Prius-badged model, this time coming in MPV form with a greater focus on space and family moving. The new model will reportedly be named Prius V.

For all the coverage of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, keep an eye on TMR this week.

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