Detroit 2008: Chrysler 300C Hollywood limo
click above for more high-res images of the Chrysler 300C Hollywood limo

Despite no longer being owned by Daimler, Chrysler LLC's display area at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is still right across the aisle from its former parent company. That means the Chrysler 300C Hollywood limousine comes face to face with the oddly similar Maybach Landaulet with every revolution of its turnstile. Like the Landaulet, the 300C Hollywood also features a partially exposed cabin, but this time over the front seats rather than the rears. The fully-enclosed rear passenger cabin is accessed by two large suicide doors and features plenty of leg room thanks to its chassis stretch. There's also a repository for three bottles of Cristal (or whatever bottled spirits you prefer to imbibe) and two flutes in between the seats. Meanwhile, the driver is left to convene with Mother Nature and her elements up front where the interior luxe is decidedly lesser.

In fact, the 300C Hollywood limo becomes much more interesting when you look at it through a socio-polical lens. It's clear where the Haves and the Have Nots are supposed to sit, with a nice partition in between them to keep the classes separated. OK, perhaps we should just pop open a bottle of Cristal and stop reading into it too much.

There's no press release from Chrysler for this one, just a gallery of high-res pics below to browse.

Gallery: Chrysler 300C Hollywood limo

(Via Autoblog.)

Detroit 2008: Mercedes-Benz E320 BlueTec is only sort of 50-state legal

Back in October, Mercedes-Benz made something of a splash in California when they re-introduced the E320 to the California market. It was the first new diesel available in the state in over two years. However, it now appears that the E320 BlueTec is not actually technically legal in California or four other states that use the same emissions regulations. The current E320 BlueTec is not equipped with the urea injection system meaning it does not meet California regs. Mercedes received a waiver from CARB that would allow them to lease the cars in the state for two years. At the end of the lease, the cars cannot be re-sold in California or the other four states. When the ML, GL and R class BlueTec models go on sale late this year, they will have urea injection and be truly fifty-state legal and can be sold in California. The E-Class won't get urea injection until the next-generation model debuts in the next couple of years.

(Via AutoblogGreen.)

Detroit 2008: Lamborghini bringing personalization with Ad Personam program
Click the image above for more high-res pics of the Lamborghini Ad Personam program.

What's more exclusive than a Lamborghini? A Lambo individualized through the raging bull's Ad Personam program. The concept behind the program, due to be unveiled in Detroit in a few days, is to allow customers to create their own rolling masterpieces through exclusive colors and interior appointments.

The Gallardo Spyder will be available in Marrone Apus and the same matte brown finish originally debuted on the Reventon, which has apparently been requested by several owners. Blu Cepeus will be another hue available on both the Murcielago LP640 coupe and roadster, which also sports the same matte finish. The interior of the Gallardo and Murcie can be fitted with Marrone Gaia, along with a few other equally pompous lofty-titled leathers, plus Alcantara.

If you've got the means, then check Lamborghini's press release after the jump.

Gallery: Lamborghini Personalization

Continue reading Detroit 2008: Lamborghini bringing personalization with Ad Personam program

(Via Autoblog.)

Detroit 2008: Getting intimate with the Glass Roof Mustang
click above for high-res images of the Ford Mustang Glass Top

Probably the last thing the world needs is another Mustang variant, but Ford's got to keep its retro pony mobile relevant. So after offering the coupe, releasing a convertible and then making eleventeen bazillion different versions to suit every conceivable taste, it's fitted the 'Stang with a glass roof that blends the lines of the coupe with a little bit of open air lighting.

Granted, the Glass Roof Mustang is not particularly innovative, but we like the effect both inside and out. There's a clean line of darkness that begins at the top of the windshield and sweeps up and over the roof into the hatch. Inside, it's essentially an over-sized moonroof, but when facing ahead, you can't tell that it terminates right behind your head. If the blaring sun threatens to burn your bald spot, a retractable cloth sunscreen is fitted right over the rear seat passengers that's closed with a quick tug.

Gallery: Detroit 2008: Glass Roof Mustang - Live

Gallery: Ford Mustang Glass Roof

Continue reading Detroit 2008: Getting intimate with the Glass Roof Mustang

(Via Autoblog.)

Detroit 2008: Geely FC makes an argument for Chinese cars
click above to view more images of the Geely FC

Of all the Chinese automakers in attendance this year at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Geely is the only one with cars we believe could actually be sold in the U.S. We have no idea if its new FC sedan, which debuted in China just five months ago, would pass strict U.S. safety and emissions standards, but its design, features and build quality seemed just up to snuff for an American consumer shopping for an inexpensive four-door sedan.

The FC was developed in-house by Geely and features a 1.8L four-cylinder with variable valve timing producing 137 horsepower and mated to a five-speed manual. A 13-second trip to 62 mph isn't a world record, but it's just enough to keep up with traffic and return good fuel economy at the same time. There's also an available in-dash navigation system, dual airbags, and ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution. The interior, as well, didn't look or feel like it was made from recycled Tonka toys.

Mind you, we're not saying the FC would set the sales charts on fire in the U.S., but it could be competitive with the bottom dwellers in its class. For a Chinese automaker hoping to sell cars in the world's largest market, that's progress.

Gallery: Detroit 2008: Geely FC

(Via Autoblog.)