Pick of the 2009 detroit auto show

A round-up of the hottest cars on show in Motor City

One of the biggest showcase events in the car calendar is the North American International Auto Show, held in ‘Motor City’ itself – Detroit. It’s a place where car makers can flex their muscles and grab headlines with their latest offerings of hot new metal.

Here are some of the best new cars from this year’s show…

Toyota Prius

The latest version of the world’s most popular hybrid was unveiled at Detroit, with the wraps coming off the third-generation Toyota Prius.

At first glance it looks similar to its predecessor, but underneath, there’s a new platform designed to give a more exhilarating drive. The petrol engine’s new and the clever electric motor system’s been tweaked to give better performance.

And Toyota also claim the new Prius is more economical than before, which makes it one of the greenest cars money can buy. Expect to see it nipping silently through city traffic over here from spring 2009.

Dodge Circuit/Jeep Patriot & Wrangler EV

Chrysler isn’t normally known for producing green cars. But the group pulled a series of aces out of the bag in the form of their EV range.

Short for Electric Vehicle, the Dodge Circuit, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Wrangler EVs all use a combination of electric and petrol power to offer improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. They also offer the ability to run for 40 miles on electrical power alone.

They’re not cheap to buy, but driving to work without petrol has got to be good on the bank balance.

Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S

The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S is the latest and most exclusive version of the sexy Italian saloon.

It’s already one of the most stunning cars money can buy, but this Sport GT S version adds subtle interior and exterior changes to make it even more appealing.

With a powerful 4.7-litre V8 engine, it’s fast and thirsty, with emissions that will put it in the highest tax band when it’s released over here in spring 2009. However, if you’re thinking of buying one of these Italian beauties, you can try and reduce running costs by comparing car insurance to see if you can find a good deal.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

A long-time favourite of the well-heeled, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was unveiled in an all-new guise in Detroit.

Looking like a mix of its C-Class and S-Class siblings, the new E-Class is a world away from its conservative predecessor, packed with advanced technology.

Available with driver drowsiness monitoring, automatic emergency braking and infra-red night vision, it promises to be one of the safest cars ever made, which could help reduce the cost of your car insurance. The new E-Class is available from March 2009.

Jaguar XFR

Muscling in on the act in Detroit is Jaguar’s meaty XFR. The high performance version of the acclaimed XF saloon adds pumped-up styling to the mix, with chunky alloy wheels and a muscle-bound body kit.

Giving it a big-cat roar underneath the bonnet is a supercharged 5-litre V8 engine, making it the most powerful Jaguar since the XJ220. It’s not the cheapest way to go motoring, but this handsome beast promises to be fantastic fun when it hits our roads in March 2009.

No matter what vehicle you decide to purchase, it is always wise to check which car insurance group it is in first.

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