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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 Sun, Jan 14, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2007 DETROIT AUTO SHOW: A SUBDUED AFFAIR Words by Christopher Merlo, Mark Dapoz & Chuck Dapoz; Pictures by Mark Dapoz Page 3 MAZDA RYUGA (concept vehicle)

The design of the Ryuga is simultaneously gentle and aggressive. This compact sports car is significantly shorter and lower than today's four-passenger Mazda RX-8 sports car, but it offers more interior room. Two large gull-wing doors provide easy access to the front and rear seats. The engine is a 2.5-liter and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. MERCEDES-BENZ OCEAN DRIVE (concept vehicle)

The Ocean Drive is design study for a four-door luxury convertible. The platform is from the V-12 Mercedes S 600. In the rear seats is a folding armrest with controls for a DVD/audio system as well as a compartment for a champagne bottle and two goblets. LEDs are used for the headlamps and taillights. There's no hint this striking car will ever be produced. MINI CONVERTIBLE SIDEWALK (production vehicle)

The new MINI went on sale in Europe a few weeks ago. It's larger than the previous model, though that's hardly noticeable, and major changes have been made to the interior. The Sidewalk is an upgrade of the new MINI Convertible. It features light-alloy rims and special leather upholstery. The Sidewalk is available as a package on the 115-horsepower MINI Cooper Convertible and the 168-horsepower MINI Cooper S Convertible. The Sidewalk goes on sale in mid April. 2008 MITSUBISHI LANCER (production vehicle)

The all-new Lancer is powered by a new 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, producing 152 horsepower and 146 foot-pounds. A CVT is optional, a first for Mitsubishi in North America. The body has been stiffened significantly, making it stiffer than the current Lancer Evo. Seven air bags are standard, including the first driver's knee air bag in a Mitsubishi. The new Lancer reaches dealerships in March. MITSUBISHI PROTOTYPE X (concept vehicle)

This is a concept vision of the next-generation Lancer Evolution. It features a turbocharged version of the new engine in the 2008 Lancer and a new, high-performance all-wheel-drive system called Super-All Wheel Control. Numbers haven't been released, but Mitsubishi says the new Evo will offer more power than the 286 horses in the current model. A new paddle-shift automated manual transmission will be offered for the first time. Look for the next-generation Evo in the first quarter of 2008. 2008 NISSAN ROGUE (production vehicle)

The Rogue is a crossover SUV. A 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine drives the front wheels or an all-wheel-drive system with yaw control. Inside you'll find a detachable, easy-to-clean cargo organizer that prevents cargo from shifting. A fold-flat front passenger seat is an option. The Rogue goes on sale in September. NISSAN BEVEL (concept vehicle)

We're not sure whether this is an SUV, a crossover, a work truck or something else. Nissan calls it an "advanced design study." It features short front and rear overhangs, a one-piece rear hatch, glass roof with solar panels, low height, 20-inch wheels, fiber-optic cameras in place of side mirrors and drive-by-wire throttle, brakes and steering. 2008 PORSCHE CAYENNE (production vehicle)

A new family of engines with direct injection brings unprecedented power to the second-generation Cayenne. Optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control almost eliminates body roll to improve handling, comfort and safety. The base Cayenne pumps 290 horsepower from its 3.6-liter V-6. The Cayenne S generates 385 horses from a 4.8-liter V-8. And the Cayenne Turbo takes that same engine to 500 horsepower and propels it to 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds. Prices are roughly the same as today's models at, respectively, $43,400, $57,900 and $124,300. ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM DROPHEAD COUPÉ (production vehicle)

If you're a Rolls-Royce kind of person but inclined to informality, this is the car you've been waiting for. The two-door, four-seat convertible achieves remarkable rigidity by using an aluminum chassis and all-aluminum spaceframe. The engine is the same 6.57-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 that powers the Phantom saloon (i.e., hardtop sedan), with zero-to-60 acceleration of 5.7 seconds. If you have to look at the price tag, you can't afford it. (But since you asked, get ready to write a check for a figure north of $400,000.) 2007 TOYOTA TUNDRA CREWMAX (production vehicle)

Not content with the interior room of its four-door Double Cab, Toyota is supersizing its new Tundra lineup with the CrewMax, offering the most legroom of any full-size pickup: 44.5 inches. Standard on the CrewMax is the most-powerful V-8 Toyota's ever offered, the 5.7-liter i-Force, which produces 381 horsepower and 401 foot-pounds. (The i-Force is optional on the Tundra Regular Cab and Double Cab.) Inside is a large center console deep enough to hold hanging file folders, a first for a pickup. The CrewMax will arrive in dealerships in March, about a month following the launch the new Tundra line. TOYOTA FT-HS (concept vehicle)

The FT-HS is a front-engine, rear-drive, two-plus-two hybrid sports coupe. Toyota brands its 3.5-liter V-6 ultra-high performance, ultra-fuel efficient and ultra-low emission. Performance targets are 400 horsepower, with a zero-to-60 time of about four seconds. Toyota not only wants the car to be lightweight, it wants the FT-HS to look lightweight. We wonder whether Toyota will be able to create this eco-friendly, high-performance sports car, but we applaud the aspiration. VOLVO XC60 (concept vehicle)

Volvo says this concept car "offers a good indication of how the 'real' XC60 will look." The platform is a 265-horsepower, bio-ethanol, 3.2-liter, six-cylinder engine with all-wheel drive. It has an innovative tailgate in which the lower portion can open separately by extending slightly from the vehicle, then rising parallel with the glass above it, providing access to the cargo area without swinging out the full tailgate. The production version of the XC60 is due to reach showrooms at the beginning of 2009. See accompanying LA Car articles, Panic In Detroit and Variations On A Theme From Detroit To go back to Page 1 of this report, click here To go back to Page 2 of this report, click here To go to the NAIAS home page, click here.

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