10 Coolest (and Craziest) Cars of the 2013 St. Louis Auto Show

Categories: Autos

6. The Car That Changed My Mind: 2013 Corvette ZR-1
corvette 3.jpg
Jason Stoff
As a rule, I tend to hate 'Vettes. Everything from 1975 on just has always rubbed me the wrong way. And for a lot of car guys that is sacrilege. That is like saying you hate '57 Chevys and bubblegum pop. But the lines, the design, the (until the Gen 6) wimpy power numbers, and moreover, the way in which the Corvette had so drastically veered away from it's humble roots as a small, light, nimble roadster just rubbed me the wrong way. The fact that these, these things had such a cult-like following just added to my distaste of all things 'Vette.

Meeting the completely redesigned 2013 ZR1 changed my mind. Drastically. The interior is all-new, and is a caliber unto itself. Finally. The car has been shortened, made even more powerful, and has by all means entered unequivocally into the supercar ranks. Now, is it a roadster, like say the Solstice or the Sky were? No. Should it be? Yes, in my world. Will it ever be that car again, as it was in 1953? No. So, for what it is, what it has become through evolution, the new Corvette has my admiration. Consider my mind changed. That rarely happens.

5. The Most Extreme Makeover: 2013 Ford Fusion

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Noah McIntyre
I have driven the previous iteration of the 4-cylinder Ford Fusion. I thought it was a nice car. It felt substantial, was decently laid out, and handled - I kid you not - at least as well as a BMW 3-series if not better. But it was exceedingly boring to look at, and at least the four-banger could not manage to get out of its own way going down hill with a tail wind. It was just an abominable car to be stuck with where people could see you or would need you to get out of their way quickly.

The new Fusion is an entirely different, entirely new animal. Several trims of the 4-cylinder range from 175 hp up to 230 hp. The looks alone are stunning, and the words Jaguar and Aston Martin were heard many times over near the Fusion display. And yes, while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this form of imitation works, and works very well. The best part is the price point at $24K. That is 24 large for a very nicely equipped four-door family sedan with great looks. This one is a true home run for Ford. Bravo.

4. Miss Popularity: 2013 Camaro ZL-1

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Noah McIntyre
This car drew a crowd, which reminded me of the bygone days of the Auto Show where there would be several cars that drew constant and consistent crowds all day, every day. This year those pretty girls at the dance were few and far between. The R8, the ZR1, the Fusion, and above them all, this car. The ZL1 just is America. I know Mustang and Mopar folks are going to scream and howl, but admit it. Go abroad and talk cars, go anywhere inside the U.S. and talk about cars and say the word "Camaro." Watch what happens. It's seeped into our DNA. And I, for a long time, was an F-body hater. Much like the Corvette, the styling and stifled performance of the Camaro and Firebirds of the day made me just cringe. But the renewed body style of the Gen 6 Camaro, coupled with the go-fast, stop-hard and turn-quick goodies stuffed into the ZL1 - not to mention the stunning stereo - made this the most popular car of the show, hands down.

Oh, and I want one.

Up next: The cutest car (a man can drive), the Lamborghini, and electric perfection.

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