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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Jan 17, 2005

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

The east floor


The North American International Auto Show is underway in Detroit.

Smart cars The weather is cold, but inside Cobo Center the environment is hot, with more than 40 production and concept vehicles making their world debuts. Some major themes found at the 2005 NAIAS: ? All-wheel drive is becoming a common option at the lower end of the market. ? Increasing numbers and variations of hybrid powertrains are entering the mainstream, as manufacturers increase production and model availability. ? The sport wagon or crossover segment is growing. Here are brief descriptions of some of the highlight vehicles on display at America's premier auto show.

Dodge Charger The new 2006 Charger was one of the most anticipated and debated debuts of a production vehicle at the show. The Charger name is synonymous with all-out, in-your-face Detroit (MoPower) muscle. But the one thing a muscle car never had and the new Charger does are four doors. Thus the controversy among the purists. Nonetheless, under the hood there's plenty of muscle in the form of a 5.7L HEMI V8, engine capable of delivering 340 horsepower and 370 pounds-feet to the rear wheels. Headed to Dodge showrooms this summer.

Ford SYNus Concept Thumbs up to Ford and its designers for a willingness to kick up the fun factor. Along with the Fairlane concept, the Ford SYNus is the type of whimsical, highly impractical concept vehicle we'd expect to see at the Tokyo Motor Show - a venue known for its way-out designs.

The SYNus, that's short for "Synthesis Urban Sanctuary" is a fortified, B-size urban cruiser with six-inch thick doors, bank vault door handles and bulletproof glass. The armored car toughness on the outside gives way to a "sanctuary" on the inside, complete with a soft, welcoming interior and a large LCD display mounted on the rear door.

Jeep Hurricane Concept With two ## yes two ## hemi engines driving the front and rear wheels, the Jeep Hurricane is a tour de force of horsepower and engineering wizardry. Naturally, it's four-wheel drive. But get this: it's also four-wheel steer. Front and rear tires can turn inward, allowing the Hurricane to turn on its axis - that's a zero turning radius. Or the rear tires can turn in the opposite direction of the front to reduce the turning circle. Or all four wheels can turn in the same direction for sideways movement without changing direction the vehicle is pointing. Now add 335 horses and 370 pounds-feet times two, and you have one extreme machine.

Saturn Sky You're looking at the new face of Saturn, and it's turning heads. This open-air roadster ## built on the new small-car, rear-wheel-drive Kappa platform ## is poised to shift the Saturn image and attract youthful buyers. Its dynamic design and fluid lines signal a dramatic departure for the brand, and it does so with verve. A wide stance, 18-inch wheels pushed to corners and short overhangs give the vehicle a solid presence. The Sky is scheduled to enter production in 2006, with a target price under $25,000. More Shots From The Show

Acura RDX concept SUV

Audi allroad concept car

Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Chrysler Firepower concept car

Ferrari SuperAmerica

Ford Fusion

Ford Shelby GR-1 concept car

Ford Sport Trac concept truck

Ford Fairlane concept vehicle

GM Sequel concept vehicle

GMC Graphyte concept vehicle

Hyundai Sonata

Infiniti Kuraza concept vehicle

Jeep Gladiator concept vehicle For more of the gallery of photos from the North American International Auto Show, go to 2005 North American International Auto Show - Part 2.

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