Luxury cars on show

The latest in luxury vehicles - featuring some of the fastest, safest and most technologically advanced cars in the world - will be introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show.

Aston Martin will be premier the DB9 Volante, one of the fastest sports cars on the road. The convertible can reach 0 - 60 in less than five seconds and top at 180 miles per hour. This is the first convertible ever to use Aston Martin's unique VH platform (Vertical/Horizontal) strategy - which is very light, provides better performance, handling and durability and yet is extremely rigid. The DB9, which is being hand-built, will be available as a Coupe in March 2004 and the Volante will be available in September October 2004.

Volvo's new S40 and V50 sportswagon promise to be the safety leaders in their class. Both are engineered with a unique steel structure that can absorb the brunt of an accident, so the passenger compartment stays intact upon impact. The vehicles are part of Volvo's Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), a unique approach to building a car that integrates everything from crashworthiness, to dynamic styling and driving characteristics. The S40 will be available in March and the V50 will be available in May June 2004.

Jaguar is re-styling one of its most popular cars - the S-type. The sedan has been extensively re-worked and refined for a more athletic, contemporary look. Among the S-type's new features are the use of lightweight aluminum rather than steel for the hood that gives improved weight distribution and handling balance. The S-type will be available in May.

The auto show also offers a glimpse at future luxury cars that will be faster, conserve more fuel and adjust to drive on almost any condition. The Jaguar RD-6 concept car features an updated clean diesel engine which will allow the Jag of the future to accelerate faster and make the car 40 percent more fuel-efficient.

Land Rover's first concept car in 55 years, the Range Stormer, touts all-new technology that allows the driver to adjust to nearly any terrain possible. With just the turn of a dial, the driver can adjust the SUV's engine, suspension, traction and other features according to the road conditions - whether it's on snow, sand, rocks, winding roads or normal day-to-day driving.