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4 Best-in-Show Luxury Rides at the Detroit Auto Show


The Detroit Auto Show kicked off with a lot of flash, pulsing club music, copious amount of machine-generated fog and some of the most-unusual cars automakers have rolled out in years. Here are four luxury vehicles that auto-industry journalists voted best-in-class.

The 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit kicked off with a lot of flash, pulsing club music, copious amount of machine-generated fog and some of the most-unusual vehicles automakers have rolled out in years. Even Car & Driver magazine was moved to call this year's batch of concept cars -- from a $47,000 German compact to a full-size van from Kia Motor -- "weird."

But experts agreed that in the luxury-class division, a handful of cars stood out among the rest. Here are five luxury vehicles that top auto-industry journalists voted the best-in-class at this year's Detroit Auto Show.

Porsche 918 RSR.

Porsche introduced an eye-catching hybrid concept car inspired by the 918 RSR that AutoWeek called "the undisputed star of the show." The gasoline-electric-powered coupe has a mid-mounted, 4.5-liter, 563-hp V8 powering the rear wheels, and a kinetic-energy-recovery-system (KERS) flywheel that was first seen on the 911 GT3 RS hybrid race car, according to AutoWeek. The Porsche 918 RSR won the EyesOn Design Award for Best Concept Vehicle, which are sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology.

2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe.

The editors at Car & Driver voted the BMW 1-Series M Coupe a "Best-in-Show" and who can argue with its pedigree? The showstopper has the same twin-turbo inline-six as the 335is, generating 335 hp. Even better, the 1-series M coupe has the braking system of the M3, Car & Driver says. "At $47,010, it’s not cheap," Car & Driver said, "but it should make one heck of an entry-level M."

2011 Chrysler 300C.

Chrysler brand Chief Executive Olivier Francois, who quoted the entire opening lyrics from rap star Eminem's "Lose Yourself," told the crowd at the Detroit Auto Show that the automaker invested a whopping $1 billion on the redesign. AOL Autos reported that the automaker also said an eight-sped transmission is on the way that will help the 292-horsepower V6 achieve 30 miles per gallon.

2012 Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC sedan is diesel-powered vehicle to wear an S-Class badge here since the mid-1980s, according to the editors at Kelley Blue Book. The BlueTEC 4MATIC will sport a version of the 3.0-liter V6 BlueTEC turbodiesel engine also found in the ML- GL- and R-Class models. KBB expects the model to be offered somewhere in the range of $85,000 to $88,000.

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