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Images: Cars built to entertain

At the 2006 International Auto Show, carmakers show off rolling living rooms with built-in iPods, Xboxes or DVD players.
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By Bill Detwiler on
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1 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Nissan Urge

At the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, carmakers are showing off rolling living rooms, banking on built-in gadgets as a key selling point for today's youth.

For those more interested in entertainment than alternative energy, Nissan Motor has the Urge. The 6-speed-manual, rear-wheel-drive prototype features a built-in Xbox game system. When the car is not moving, the steering wheel and pedals become game controllers. The rearview mirror becomes a small flip-down screen, and the dashboard becomes the game console.

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2 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Scion xB Release Series 3.0

Are gadgets more important selling points than performance and safety for young adults? The makers of Toyota Motor's limited-edition Scion xB Release Series 3.0 seem to think so. Available in February, the Japan-built xB will cost about $17,000. With airplane-style video screens built into the backs of both front-seat headrests, the car docks an Apple Computer iPod next to driver controls.

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3 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Buick Terraza

The 2006 Buick Terraza minivan can store music, movies and games on its 40GB hard drive. With its "Phat Noise" system, all three mediums can be played at the same time. Wireless headphones let back-seat passengers playing games drown out front-seat music.

The Terraza also has a new feature for drivers who have trouble parking. The rear bumper has sensors (below left) that signal the driver (below right) how close to park.

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4 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Toyota dB

Toyota coyly calls this model a "car-shaped music player." The Toyota dB, a compact hatchback, is geared toward customers who want to completely immerse themselves in sound.

A subwoofer is located in the center console, and eight additional speakers surround the interior of the car. The dB also includes 11 flashing lights located on the speakers, cupholders and door trim. This sound blaster is currently only available in Japan.

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