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Cars to Arrive In

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2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Photo: Rod Hatfield
By Hugh Poulter
So you want to make an entrance. You want to be noticed—to arrive with panache and step elegantly out of beautiful machine that oozes grace and abundance; or arrive in a display of brute power or, maybe, arrive in a car so ludicrous that everyone collapses with laughter. Well, there are plenty to choose from at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so we picked our favorites.
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2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Photo: Rick Dole

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe

Arguably there is no other car on earth that allows you to make this much of a statement. Built with an abundance of chrome, leather and wood, this car has more presence and opulence than anything else on the road, especially with the top down. The 453-horsepower V12 6.7-liter engine gives the Roller a lot more pace than you would expect from a car of this size and weight. If making a presence is worth the price tag in the region of $400,000, you may as well go for the optional brushed steel hood—you know you’re worth it.

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2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster Photo: Rod Hatfield

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster

This car is a muscle machine that also oozes European style. The Murcielago LP640 in yellow with the roof down will get you noticed—that much we guarantee. And if you don’t get seen, you will certainly be heard as the 640-horsepower 6.5-liter V12 engine comes complete with banshee howl. Once you want to escape your admirers, simply find a long section of winding road where the permanent all-wheel drive, based on Lamborghini's VT (Viscous Traction) System, will ensure they won’t be seeing you for a while.

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Mercedes-Benz Concept Ocean Drive Photo: Rod Hatfield

Mercedes-Benz Concept Ocean Drive

The Ocean Drive Concept harks back to a bygone era of the grand tourer convertible. The four-seat convertible is classically styled with clearly defined lines accentuated by two-tone paint but balanced by large, smooth surfaces. Power comes from the 517-horsepower 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine delivering the power through a 5-speed automatic transmission. As the chairman of the Board of Management DaimlerChrysler and head of Mercedes Car Group, Dr. Dieter Zetsche said, this is a car to “dream ofa car that could make the Mercedes star dance with the stars.”

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Holden EFIJY Concept Photo: Sean Frego

Holden EFIJY

You can’t beat this GM concept for pure front. This wild modern-day hot rod is a 21st Century rendition of Australia's most famous car, the FJ Holden, and was originally unveiled at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. EFIJY is a radical pillarless custom coupe built on a Chevrolet Corvette chassis and powered 6.0-liter V8. The Soprano Purple paintwork highlights its curvaceous body, reinterpreting the classic design cues of the iconic 1953 FJ Holden.

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Ford Airstream Concept Photo: Sean Frego

Ford Airstream Concept

Not only will you be seen arriving in Ford's Airstream crossover concept, but you could hang out for a few days or hold a small party in it. The concept comes from a joint venture with the iconic trailer company that explores the way people might take road trips in the future. Its distinctive, sleek, silver bullet shape is pure Airstream, while the asymmetrical orange-bordered windows are typical of the current generation of Ford concepts. Behind the full-length and top-hinged door is a trailer-like, wraparound low-backed seat, and a floor-mounted cylindrical LCD screen showing a looping movie of flames, landscapes and abstract images.

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Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Concept Photo: Rod Hatfield

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

This hunk of honest American muscle car puts a modern twist on a proud heritage. After the enthusiastic reception the hardtop Camaro Concept got last year, it was a real no-brainer for Chevy to create a convertible. With its tri-coat paint and gray sport stripes paying homage to one of the best remembered parts of Camaro’s illustrious history (the 1969 Hugger model), and a torquey V8 under the hood, this just has to be fun to roar up in. Proof that there are still times when only genuine Detroit metal will do.

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Changfeng Hunan Rhombe Concept Photo: Rick Dole

Changfeng Hunan Rhombe

Okay, this may not be the kind of entrance everyone could pull off. But you would get noticed as you arrive in this concept that is the most ludicrous rendition of a car that we have ever witnessed. It has four wheels, but they’re not quite where you’d expect them to be. Two are located in the middle of the car and then there’s one each at the front and rear. The front and rear wheels are for steering and the central ones are for traction. The cabin is made entirely of organic material, and looks like it was crafted out of bamboo by amateur basket weavers who’ve never actually seen a car.

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Lexus LF-A Concept Photo: Sean Frego

Lexus LF-A

This stunningly styled concept is a massive head-turner. Although first shown two years ago at NAIAS to demonstrate a new styling direction for Lexus, the styling of this new version has been refined with the use of more curved surfaces and additional detailing. The LF-A is still powered by a 500-plus horsepower V10 engine with a front mid-engine placement and a rear transaxle for balance. According to Lexus, the superior aerodynamics, revised styling and horsepower make a top speed of 200 mph possible for a very quick arrival.

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 Audi R10 Photo: Perry Stern

Audi R10

You’d most likely to be turning up on your own in this car unless you could shoehorn a passenger into the carbon fiber pod next to you. Having a race circuit as your destination would be helpful, too. The Audi R10 racecar is powered by a completely new 650-horsepower 5.5-liter 12-cylinder bi-turbo turbodiesel engine, which is extremely economical and quiet. This car is famous for a blistering win in the European 24 Hours of Le Mans last year.

Auto Show Highlights