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The Houston Auto Show's must-see cars: Auto experts make their picks

Fueled by a resurgent automotive industry the 2014 Houston Auto Show is the biggest ever with more than 34 manufactures displaying hundreds of vehicles over the entire 700,000 square foot floor in the Reliant Center. It can be overwhelming for sure, but auto writers Nic Phillips and Kevin McCauley are here to guide you to the don't-miss cars of the show.

This is the first of a two-part series.

The F80 generation BMW M3 just revealed at the Detroit Auto Show last week has made it way to Houston and it's not just the M3 here. It's joined by the coupe version now called the M4. 

One of the most beautiful cars on the floor, the Jaguar F-Type first came out as a convertible. This year, it's debuting the hardtop. 

Hardtop or drop top, the F-Type is a stunner tucked away in a far corner of the floor. 

While not new, a close up look at the latest SRT Viper never loses its appeal. 

Runner-up for Best New Design in CultureMap's Annual Auto Awards, the 2014 Cadillac CTS makes its first appearance. 

The 2015 Escalade is still imposing and now thoroughly modernized. It's the focal point of the Cadillac booth. 

The $75,000 Cadillac ELR shows what happens when the luxury brand gets a shot at the plug-in electric vehicle technology pioneered in the Chevrolet Volt. 

Front and center at BMW is the uber performance M3 sedan and its M4 coupe families. 

The latest M3/M4 focus on optimization of performance — just look at the detail in the side mirror design for aerodynamic efficiency. 

The hugely popular BMW X5 SAV or "Sports Activity Vehicle" is shown in its third generation form. It is also now available at dealers. 

Our pick for Best New Design of the Year, the BMW i3 Electric is prominently displayed on the center aisle of the floor. 

The carbon-fiber constructed urban vehicle breaks new ground and its interior looks like a concept car making it the most innovative vehicle this year. 

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is the luxury brand's entry into the hot compact crossover market.

Audi, never one to disappoint these days, brings the understated yet incredibly potent RS7 coupe-like sedan. Its hot, and an extremely limited supply makes this an unassuming exotic. 

New at Volvo is the V60 Sportswagon, one of the few wagon options out there. It looks fantastic in R-design trim with the Polestar upgrade.

It is a 325 horsepower sleeper. We love it. 

The North American Car of the Year — the C7 Chevrolet Corvette — stars at the Chevy stand. 

The corvette's flanked by the equally potent 580 horsepower Camero ZL1 in Transformer-inspired yellow. 

British boutique automaker Lotus is represented by its Evora sports car now with an available automatic transmission opening the door for more drivers who prefer to have the computer do the shifting. Find them on the Star Motorcar stand along with their Aston Martins and Mercedes Benz offerings.

The Houston Auto Show runs through Sunday. The hours are noon to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $10 for adults and kids six to 12 years old are $5 — CASH ONLY at the door. Parking at Reliant Center is another $10.

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