Detroit Auto Show 2012: Smokin’ Lincolns, slapping rivals & other stories

As we pack up from another Detroit auto show preview, we'd thought it worth rounding up the best stories from elsewhere across the web, like a Lincoln so hot it's literally smoking:

Lincoln concept smokes on the auto show floor [Detroit Free Press] After the Lincoln MKZ concept was unveiled Tuesday, it started emitting little wisps from the driver's side door panel. It took some disassembly to spot the electrical short and snuff out the hottest Lincoln in years.

Scrappy automakers take potshots at rivals [Detroit News] In the recent past, auto execs avoided throwing public jabs at rivals. That's changed to the point where several official presentations this year included callouts of competitors, although none match the one from BMW's North American chief on new models from Detroit: "We don't produce sofas on wheels — and we don't take mass-market vehicles and rebadge them as premium."

Auto industry 'Oscars' don't guarantee car sales [Associated Press] Previous winners of the North American Car and Truck of the Year award -- selected by 50 or so auto reviewers -- have gone on to impress a near-zero number of buyers with said honor. After winning the 2007 award, Saturn took the physical trophy around dealerships, talking it up as a validation of the brand. The brand died two years later. (This year's winners: the Hyundai Elantra and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.)

Up, up and away into Ford's cloud [Wheels/New York Times] Among the carnival-like games set up to entertain journalists and the public when the auto show opens this weekend, the Ford display featuring an elevator ride into a "cloud" -- actually a bank of monitors in the convention center roof -- seems like fun, but needs a little more excitement. If only they could pair it with the racing simulators a few steps away.