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The best and worst from the North American International Auto Show

Best in show: Ford Focus Arguably the most beautiful and technically advanced compact car in the world, the 2012 Focus steals the show. Destined for production around the globe, the Focus sedan and hatchback will offer a new 2.0-liter engine and dual-clutch transmission when they hit dealerships in about a year. The Focus will offer automatic parallel parking, blind-spot detection and the latest version of Ford’s voice control system for everything from navigation to mobile phones, iPods and Internet radio.

Associated Press

Best in show: Ford Focus Arguably the most beautiful and technically advanced compact car in the world, the 2012 Focus steals the show. Destined for production around the globe, the Focus sedan and hatchback will offer a new 2.0-liter engine and dual-clutch transmission when they hit dealerships in about a year. The Focus will offer automatic parallel parking, blind-spot detection and the latest version of Ford’s voice control system for everything from navigation to mobile phones, iPods and Internet radio.

Here are some hits and misses from the North American International Auto Show held in Detroit this month.

Hit: Cadillac XTS

Perhaps the most graceful big Cadillac ever, the elegant and advanced XTS concept reveals the brand's plan for its next big luxury sedan, which should be on the road within two years.

The concept features a plug-in hybrid system that would allow all-electric driving for short distances. A 350-horsepower drivetrain and all-wheel drive promise good performance on the highway and back roads.

Hit: Audi A8

A sophisticated refinement of Audi's flowing styling, plus a stunning interior and advanced features, make the 2011 A8 a luxury sedan to watch in 2010. The new A8 also has more power and a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy than the outgoing model.

Hit: Mini Beachcomber

The doorless, open-roofed concept version of Mini's coming SUV is loaded with goofy charm. It may reach production as a successor to the 1960s Mini Moke.

Miss: Chrysler

Despite the presence of vehicles and technologies from Chrysler's Italian partner, Fiat, there's no explanation of why they're on the stand, when they'll go on sale or how Chrysler will benefit from the alliance.

Miss: Honda CR-Z

Honda sold America's first hybrid, but the CR-Z seems to miss the point: People buy hybrids for outstanding fuel economy. The CR-Z's sporty design — reminiscent of Honda's classic CRX hatchback — is among the most exciting new production designs at the show, but its fuel economy is unimpressive.

The CR-Z's projected EPA rating of 36 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway not only trails the Toyota Prius, it has worse fuel economy than Honda's own bigger Civic and Insight hybrids.

The best and worst from the North American International Auto Show 01/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 3:30am]
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