The 12 Most Significant Concepts of the Detroit Auto Show

Jeep Hurricane

Front Left View

What's Chrysler's hottest property? The Hemi V-8. What's better than a Hemi? Two Hemis, of course. That's exactly what the Jeep Hurricane--a highly conceptual, dune-buggy-like off-roader--packs: one forward-facing Hemi up front and a second, rearward-facing Hemi in back. Each makes 335 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque, and the Hurricane can blast from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. The Hurricane also defies credulity with its 4-wheel steering system that enables it to spin on its own axis and move sideways. 37-inch tires and 20 inches of articulation add credence to the Hurricane's boast of ultimate off-road vehicle. The chassis and body are both carbon fiber, and they're attached to an aluminum central spine. The point of all this exotic hardware is to create a flag-waving extreme machine that lets Jeep thump its chest and bask in glory.

Jaguar Advanced Lightweight Coupe

Front Left View

The Advanced Lightweight Coupe shows that design director Ian Callum has a clear vision of where he wants to take Jaguar. Yes, it's officially a concept, but this car will hit the road nearly intact as the next-generation 2007 XK8 and XKR coupe and convertible. As its name implies, the concept, like the XJ8 sedan, has a bonded and riveted aluminum skeleton supporting aluminum body panels, which should drop curb weight by several hundred pounds compared with the current car. This plus higher-horsepower versions of the current cars' normally aspirated and supercharged V-8s should put performance near Porsche 911 territory. The 2+2 cabin beautifully balances modernity and sumptuousness, with nary a trace of show-car frippery.

Lexus LF-A

Front Left View

A sports-car concept possibly foreshadowing a supercar from Toyota's premium brand, the LF-A aims to, Lexus says, "explore the outer limits of sports car performance." It would theoretically be developed in tandem with the company's Formula 1 racing efforts to take advantage of competition-grade power- and drivetrains. With an engine capable of pumping out more than 500 horsepower, Lexus estimates a top speed of more than 200 mph. The supercoupe also provides clear hints at future Lexus design. With a Z06-ish rake, it is more visually interesting than any previous Lexus. Exterior features include turbine-inspired wheels, Shrek-ear side mirrors high on the A-pillars, and cool scoops/inlets on the C-pillar. The LF-A's overall length measures 173.2 inches, which is two inches shorter than a Porsche 911 Turbo, but its 101.6-inch wheelbase is nine inches longer. The Lexus is 73.2 inches wide and 48 inches tall.

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