Fast and powerful cars took centre stage on Tuesday (January 14) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as the global demand for luxury cars is expected to remain on the fast track in 2014.

BMW is putting the new 2 series on the road as it tries to fight off competition in the affordable luxury car market, hoping to rebound from the lackluster debut of the 1, which won't be back in the U.S. Adding to the need for speed- and higher sales - the German automaker is updating its M series with the M3 and the M4.

Industry leader Mercedes-Benz is taking direct aim at BMW's popular 3-series with a refreshed version of the Mercedes C-Class, made of aluminium- a trend at this year's auto show.

Mercedes has its eye on the aspirational buyer in the U.S., Europe, and especially China, says Mercedes Head Dieter Zetsche.

But while the Europeans are in the lead, don't count out Asian manufacturers like Toyota and Lexus.

Toyota is looking to send a message that fast and sleek can come from Asian shores with its Toyota FT-1 concept car, aimed at younger car buyers.

And its luxury brand Lexus is not far behind - shaking things up with the RC F high-performance coupe as the industry bets on fast cars to keep a global revival at full throttle.

Presented by Adam Justice