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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 12, 2012 at 3:36 PM

CES 2012: Crazy cars get wings, wireless and wood

LAS VEGAS — Usually car stereo companies bring the wildest vehicles to the Consumer Electronics Show, but they were upstaged this year by carmakers.

Ford, Mercedes, Audi and others brought their own hot rods showcasing future energy and telematics systems. They also used CES to show off new 2013 models ahead of Detroit’s annual auto show that begins on Saturday.

These rolling gadgets drew huge crowds and took some of the thump out of the conference hall that used to be dominated by custom cars with ridiculously huge stereos.

Here’s a look at some of the crazy cars at CES this year.

Ford’s booth was dominated by its four-winged Evos concept car, which has cloud-connected heart monitors in the seats to monitor drivers’ “physical state and workload and adjust the driving experience accordingly.”

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Ford also showed the new all-electric Ford Focus — with new apps developed with Microsoft, a flank borrowed from the Prius and a grill lifted from Aston Martin:

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Kia’s Naimo has an LG tablet in the back seat that syncs with the dashboard system. It also a bamboo floor:

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Mercedes brought a concept car with gullwings, but unlike those used on its early 300 SL, these wings were made partly of carbon fiber and weigh 60 kilograms apiece. The F125! uses a hydrogen fuel cell that runs for 1,000 kilometers on a charge and reaches speeds of 220 kilometers per hour, according to Matthias Flach, an engineer who worked on the design.

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The wheel design on the F125! is especially apt:

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Audi’s “Urban” concept vehicle has a roof like a fighter jet cockpit; it slides back to access the driver seat and a rear seat:

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Car stereo companies still found ways to get attention, though, such as Savini and its oh-so-classy, Vegas-style Lamborghini Murcielago display:

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Diamond brought Batman’s Camaro SS:

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Kenwood brought a newer Lamborghini:

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Panasonic was one of several companies showing prototype digital dashboards:

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Sony equipped a Kawasaki Teryx 750 FI 4X4 Sport, so you can take the home theater anywhere:

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The Massive High Performance Audio trike:

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