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Lexus rolls out sport coupe hybrid at North American International Auto Show

DETROIT — Lexus unveiled a sleek, powerful concept sport coupe Monday that the luxury brand said offers a look at how its future offerings might be designed. • The two-door, four-seat LF-LC hybrid, which features an expansive glass roof, was rolled out at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which holds media previews this week and opens to the public on Saturday. The Lexus concept features tail lamps inspired by the look of jet airplane afterburners. Lexus expects the LF-LC would kick out more than 500 horsepower. • "We wanted this to be a gorgeous car, but we also wanted everything to be functional with a focus on the driver," said Lexus general manager Mark Templin. • The LF-LC is packed with technology, including touch-screen devices in the center console and on the doors as well as two 12.3-inch LCD display screens. • The luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corp. said there are currently no plans to produce the LF-LC.

Car and truck of the year awards

The Hyundai Elantra has won the North American Car of the Year award, while the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque won the North American Truck of the Year.

Fifty automotive journalists voted on the winning vehicles from a group of finalists. Car finalists included the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat. Truck finalists were the BMW X3, Honda CR-V and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.

Smart unveils itty-bitty pickup truck

Calling it the perfect vehicle for an urban society, Smart on Monday unveiled the "for-us," its tiny take on the classic U.S. pickup truck.

Smart, a division of Germany's Daimler AG, said the concept vehicle is so small that it could fit in the bed of a traditional pickup and be barely noticed. At the same time, it provides enough room for two people to sit comfortably. The truck's cargo bed hold spaces to charge the front wheels of two electric bicycles.

GM could be back in the saddle again

General Motors is on track to retake the title of world's top-selling automaker, riding strong sales in the U.S. and China to beat Volkswagen and Toyota.

GM, which lost the crown to Toyota in 2008 after holding it for more than seven decades, won't release global sales numbers until later this month, but it's on pace to finish 2011 at about 9 million cars and trucks, at least 800,000 more than its German and Japanese rivals.

Lexus rolls out sport coupe hybrid at North American International Auto Show 01/09/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 9, 2012 9:14pm]
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