The 2008 oil price bonanza seems to have given the U.S. auto industry a much-needed kick in the pants - pity it was closely followed by a crippling recession. While last year's petrol prices in America still seemed outrageously cheap to many Europeans, the spike was enough to finally put fuel economy and smaller cars on Big Auto's agenda. Take this concept from Lincoln, Ford's luxury brand, better known for its enormous presidential limousines. The 'C' Concept is Lincoln's vision of a luxury compact. Its 4cl, 1.6l, 180-horsepower Ecoboost engine gets 43mpg on the highway, 25% better than the Ford Focus manages - and its reconfigurable dash, hubless steering wheel and spooky KITT-style omnipotent conversational computer ("Eva, I need the most fuel efficient route to Luciano's") combine to make it one of the most unabashedly "futuristic" concepts shown at this year's Detroit Auto Show.
Read the full article: Lincoln's vision of a luxury compact includes Eva, the talking car computer