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by Tim Beissmann

After a tumultuous 18 months, the Yanks are regaining their confidence, getting creative again and celebrating the Detroit Motor Show in the best way possible: with a floor full of new production and concept vehicles.

The GMC Granite Concept does all the things a concept should: it turns heads, it breaks new ground for the manufacturer, and it’s got suicide doors. Or “French doors”, as GMC is calling them.

But the rest of the Granite is all rock hard and industrial, aiming to put tough, square edges back on the boxy design recently urbanised by the Scion xB and the Nissan Cube.

Under the bonnet is a 1.4-litre turbocharged inline-4, but for now that doesn’t so much matter, as the Granite is significantly more than a stone’s throw from production.

Something that will make its way to the showroom is the 2011 Lincoln MKX – a neatly styled SUV with perhaps the largest gnashing teeth (or the most well-maintained moustache, depending on how you personify cars) in the motoring world.

The MKX will become the first vehicle from Ford Motor Co. to offer the new “My Touch” driver interface system, which features an iPhone-style touch-screen.

Improved safety features including adaptive cruise control, collision warning, blind-spot information and cross-traffic alert systems can vary the vehicle’s speed, give the driver warnings and ready the car and passengers for a collision.

The 2011 MKX also gets a slightly larger 227kW/380Nm 3.7-litre V6, which Lincoln claims still returns fuel economy of 9.4 litres/100km combined.

Cadillac has joined the high-performance V6 party with the unveiling of its XTS Platinum Concept.

Combined with a plug-in electric system, the all-wheel drive XTS concept is capable of producing 261kW and 400Nm.

The production XTS will be sized between the DTS and the STS and will replace the former in around two years time.

Despite the set-square styling, the exterior of the XTS Platinum flows more elegantly than recent designs, but it’s the interior that Cadillac wants people to pay attention to.

Fitted with organic LEDs, illuminating panels and creamy, wooden colours, Cadillac says the cabin “takes inspiration from nature, specifically the intricate layer of petals that combine to form an orchid”. Wow.

That’s probably enough from America for now.

 

(with Edmunds Inside Line)




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