In what will certainly become known as one of the great ironies in automotive history, progressive, tech-obsessed Toyota burped out a gigantic, cast-iron pickup truck as its main offering, and embattled dinosaur General Motors won giddy raves for its startlingly visionary Volt plug-in sequential-hybrid concept car. (But since Toyota is expected to surpass GM this year as the world's largest car manufacturer, this cosmic flip-flop sort of makes sense.)
Chinese manufacturer Changfeng presented, with no apparent irony, a bright-orange concept car called the Rhombus that looks like a Le Car that's missing a chromosome. It features a bamboo interior, shag carpeting, an awkwardly stair-stepped hood and trunk, and wheels not at the four corners but in a cross shape running down the middle of the car. There's no conceivable benefit to this.
Automotive-racing tycoon, trucking-company founder and veteran car salesman Roger Penske-a dude who oozes macho from every pore-has taken up the wee-little-car cause and become the designated importer for the distinctly un-Hummer-like Smart ForTwo, coming here in early 2008 after many years of corporate agonizing over whether the American market actually wants microcars. Maybe Penske will start racing the little buggers.
Legendary singer Seal was on the Audi dais to perform, you guessed it, Crazy before going on about how much he loved his Q7 SUV.