After a Detroit auto show highlighted by muscle-car concepts and a Geneva confab with all sorts of wacky wares, April's New York auto show seemed almost tame: The big stars had four doors.

Perhaps none has more portent than the Aura sedan, a new midsizer crucial to General Motors Corp.'s Saturn division. Based on GM's Epsilon platform, the crisp and clean Aura bows midyear as an '07 model.

Much like the concept shown in Detroit in 2005, the Aura will be offered with a 3.5L V-6 mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission and with a 3.6L DOHC V-6 linked with GM's new 6-speed automatic for front- or all-wheel-drive layouts.

Another critical sedan is Nissan North America Inc.'s all-new '07 Infiniti G35, the followup to the first-gen Infiniti luxury performance sedan that was a hit when it launched in 2002.

The G's styling is a careful evolution of the original's, and it will be powered by a heavily revamped variant of its VQ 3.5L DOHC V-6 expected to generate in excess of 300 hp. Equally important, Infiniti delivers a lusher and more substantial interior.

The Chrysler Group's Jeep division unveiled a milestone: the first-ever 4-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The '07 model also is the first Wrangler to accommodate five passengers. The extra doors mean the Wrangler goes up in size, adding 20.6 ins. (52.3 cm) to grow its wheelbase to 116.0 ins. (294.6 cm). To enhance its passenger-carrying capability, the Wrangler's rear doors open a full 90 degrees.

Jeep also unwrapped the Patriot, a more traditional styling job for the new FWD/AWD platform also being used for the upcoming Compass. The 4-door Patriot is powered by Chrysler's 2.4L DOHC I-4 variant of its new co-developed 4-cyl. engine range and is linked to a choice of continuously variable transmissions and either FWD or a choice of two AWD differentials.

Nissan also has plenty riding on the all-new Altima. Last year it was the fifth best-selling passenger car in the U.S., and Nissan officials say they wanted more than a superficial reskin. The Altima moves to a new, slightly smaller “D” platform that is more rigid and purportedly offers improved dynamics. The Altima retains its two engines, a 2.5L 4-cyl. and the VQ 3.5L V-6, both updated.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus division rolled out its highly anticipated LS 600h L, the hybrid-electric variant of its all-new flagship that Lexus says is the world's first hybrid-electric vehicle with a V-8.

Thanks to the boost of its twin electric motors, Toyota claims the '08 LS 600h L's 5L V-8 has the power of a V-12 (said to be near 430 hp), yet delivers best-in-class fuel efficiency for a V-8.

For the economically minded is an all-new Elantra from Hyundai Motor America. The 4-door Elantra is larger in most dimensions. Power comes from a 2L DOHC I-4 dealing out 138 hp.

Other debuts: Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s Acura upscale division teased with a concept of its successful MDX midsize CUV; American Suzuki Motor Corp. unveiled an all-new XL7 compact CUV riding on a new FWD architecture; Mazda Motor Corp. debuted the CX-9, a 7-passenger CUV that, confusingly, Mazda claims has nothing to do with the new CX-7 CUV, the all-new 5-passenger model that replaces the Tribute; and Audi of America Inc. displayed the all-new TT coupe, arriving in 2007.

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