The Detroit auto show is here, and it's nice to see that the recession has forced carmakers to show some of the most relevant new models we've seen in years. One thing we always look for is a segment comparable to the small, efficient, cheap, handsome cars that Europeans have been driving for decades. Given the perpetual vapourware of the Chevy Volt we aren't holding our breath for any of the electric models, but damn it's nice to see the 2012 Ford Focus on its way to both Europe and North America next year. We could picture driving one of these things around that Arc de Triomphe roundabout, dodging wine- and garlic-soaked Frogs on Vespas. Actually, given the sorry state of the dollar, buying one of these would probably be cheaper than going over there. You might even have enough cash left over to round out the experience with and a bunch of cheese and baguettes and a Maurice Chevalier CD.