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Photos: Lincoln C concept

Going with the idea that small cars are in, Lincoln showed off the C concept at the 2009 Detroit auto show. The C is a small car that doesn't skimp on the luxury elements, and provides the setting for a new, high-concept dashboard.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 6 Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

Lincoln C concept

Lincoln showed off its C concept at the 2009 Detroit auto show, with the idea that luxury cars don't have to be big. This urban cruiser uses an economical 1.6-liter four-cylinder direct injection engine. Even more interesting is the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, a new development from Ford we hope to see in a production car soon.

Back to 2009 Detroit auto show coverage.

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2 of 6 Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

Lincoln C concept

At first glance, the C looks very odd, but when we noticed the wide, two-tone rear pillar, the style became clear--the C hearkens back to luxury hard tops of the 1930s. The front grille features Lincoln's signature wings, another feature brought back from an earlier era.

Back to 2009 Detroit auto show coverage.

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3 of 6 Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

Lincoln C concept

Thin-form bench seats allow flexible seating, and enhance the easy egress allowed by the suicide doors. The rear wheels are pushed back to maximize cabin space.

Back to 2009 Detroit auto show coverage.

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4 of 6 Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

Lincoln C concept

The C has a hubless steering wheel, with the wheel rotating on a chrome rim to provide steering input. A hubless wheel gives the driver an unobstructed view of the instrument panel. Paddle shifters for the dual-clutch transmission are mounted on the stationary rim.

Back to 2009 Detroit auto show coverage.

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5 of 6 Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

Lincoln C concept

A touch pad lets the driver control the interface. This concept is meant to have the conceptual dashboard avatar Ford showed off at CES 2009, a virtual person named EVA who helps the driver by reading incoming e-mail, scheduling appointments, providing traffic directions, and communicating through a conversational voice command system.

Back to 2009 Detroit auto show coverage.

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6 of 6 Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

Lincoln C concept

Even the brakes show innovation, with the disc running next to the rim, and the caliper clamping on from the inside.

Back to 2009 Detroit auto show coverage.

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