Many of the folks visiting the North American International Auto Show recently in Detroit will be talking about horsepower and mileage and torque and drive train. But for the rest of us, sometimes the easiest way to understand a car is to compare it to a current celebrity. Which is exactly what we've done.
'14 Chevy Corvette Stingray Matthew McConaughey
Why: Sleek, sexy and full of energy — think of all those times you've seen photos of a shirtless McConaughey working out on the beach. Both have a bit of a reputation for being cheesy — the Corvette as the quintessential midlife crisis car and McConaughey as a caricature of himself. But that doesn't mean we don't love them both.
BMW 4-series Concept: Beyoncé Knowles
Why: Beyoncé is classy and has a thing for luxury cars. The 4-series is sleek and sophisticated while also compact. Its stitched leather seats bring to mind Texas, which is Beyoncé's home state.
Acura NSX Concept David Beckham
Why: The sleek, seductive car, which is low to the ground and has a red leather and suede interior, is the sexiest thing around. Just like Beckham. And yet, beneath that sexy exterior, both have consciences — the car is a hybrid and the soccer star spent a recent day visiting cancer patients and wounded veterans in the hospital.
Nissan Resonance Concept Lady Gaga
Why: With headlamps that resemble giant grasshopper eyes, showy, futuristic details and lots of gold, the crossover hybrid puts on quite a show — much like Gaga, whose eccentric wardrobe often takes on a futuristic tone.
'13 Dodge Challenger Tom Cruise
Why: Showy on the outside, the Challenger is intent on making an impression — a rather studied one at that. One could say that Cruise — the man who jumped on a couch while declaring his love for Katie Holmes and often whisks his daughter to places in rented helicopters — also works hard to make an impression.
Cadillac ELR Samuel L. Jackson
Why: The car, which will go into production sometime next year, is effortlessly smooth and sophisticated with a sense of hipness. It's also electric. One could say the same about the beret-wearing Jackson, who is charged up in his own way.
'13 Land Rover Range Rover HSE Denzel Washington
Why: Washington is a solid guy who does his job and does it well without getting weighted down by all the stuff that goes with being a celebrity. This version of Range Rover, a brand that has a tradition of being solid and durable, yet luxurious, is several hundred pounds lighter than previous models.
'13 Fiat 500e Lena Dunham
Why: Both are alternative newcomers. The 500e represents Chrysler's first electronic car. Dunham, once known almost exclusively by people who preferred independent films, is now a major player.