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Show and Tell

Style, power and hybrid vehicles
are the talk of Los Angeles Auto Show

November 16, 2007|By Tom JensenWheelbase Communications

JAGUAR XF: The last new Jaguar to be developed under Ford ownership, the new 2009 XF blends “the style and performance of a sports car with the refinement, and sophistication of a luxury sedan,” according to Jaguar. The interior is trimmed in wood, aluminum and leather. The XF replaces the S-Type.

MINI COOPER CLUBMAN: Think of it as the Maxi Mini. Making its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto show is the Mini Clubman wagon. It features a unique rear door that’s split down the middle and opens to either side. There’s also a “clubdoor”, hinged at the back, on the passenger side of the car to provide easy access to the back seat and help make the Clubman a true five-seater.

MERCEDES-BENZ C63 AMG: This is the road-going sibling to the car currently competing in the German Touring Car Championships (DTM). Its AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine develops a peak output of 451 horses and provides 0-60 m.p.h. acceleration of about 4.5 seconds. Performance features include speed-sensitive sport steering and the new three-stage sport suspension that combines smooth ride and race-car handling. The C-class is the smallest sedan in the Mercedes fleet and is new for 2008.

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NISSAN GT-R: Nissan’s highly anticipated supercar, the GTR, is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 delivering 473 horsepower to all four wheels through a paddle-shifted six-speed-speed manual transmission. Expect 0-60 m.p.h. to be in the 3.5-second range. The Nissan-developed, high-performance suspension includes a three-mode driver-selectable switch. At around $80,000, the GT-R should redefine the the import supercar category with performance that’s rumored to be on par with the twice-as-expensive Porsche 911 Turbo.

Tom Jensen is a feature writer with Wheelbase Communications. You can drop him a line on the Web at: www.wheelbase.ws/mailbag.html. Wheelbase Communications supplies automotive news and features to newspapers across North America.

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