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>> As the 2007 North American International Auto Show, or Detroit Auto Show, gets small in our rearview mirror, here's a video notebook of some of the highlights. The Chevy Volt was clearly the hot car of the show. And a completely new take on alt fuel. It uses an onboard gas engine to generate electricity for the electric motor that runs the car. That will do a lot of scrub off GM's reputation as the company that supposedly killed the electric car if the Volt makes it to production a few years down the road. Two big ragtops caught our eye. First was the Mercedes Ocean Drive, basically an S600 with slightly revised styling but the top lopped off. And the buzz around the industry is that this points to an internal Mercedes discussion of how to shut down Maybach yet retain its few customers. Along the same vein was the Rolls Royce Phantom, notable as their first since 2002. Arguably a lot less pretty than the Bentley Convertible you know it competes against. Speaking of top down cars, we drooled all over the new BMW35i Retractable; they'll sell all of these they can make. We already adored this car as a serious performer fixed-top coupe in our recent review, but a steel retractable adds a certain gravis tos and keeps it from becoming a silly version of a car that's otherwise highly respected. Lexus starts getting a little chesty with its new F series aimed at combating Mercedes AMG, BMW M and Audi S cars, this ISF with a V-8 from the LS is where it all gets started. Our question is, what took so long? Lexus has a lot of Pebble Beach to scrub off if it wants this new line to ring true with those who value driver's cars. Honda has never shown an Accord concept before, but when they finally did this year, it shows why they couldn't resist. Never has an Accord looked this imposing as a car rather than as sensible transportation. And one of the most important pointers we saw in the future of cars was the synch system from Ford and Microsoft. It uses Bluetooth and USB in the vehicle to seamlessly and simultaneously connect virtually any portable gadget you might carry while you are in the vehicle. Finally the ingemity of iPod adaptors may finally be breaking.
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