2007 North American International Auto Show
arguably no bigger stage in the world for new production
and concept cars than Detroit's North American International
Auto Show. Each year, car companies show what will
be coming soon to a dealership near you and with their
concepts, provide a snap shot of what could be in
your garage in the years to come.
Angeles auto show had a clear emphasis on alternative
fuel vehicles, Detroit seems to be showing the opposite
with a full array of high-performance vehicles.
retractable hard top found on the new 2007 3-Series
Convertible represents BMW’s first foray into
the popular coupe-convertible market. The three-piece
roof design allows the convertible to mimic the new
3-Series Coupe’s good looks and visibility with
the top up. The same engines found in the Coupe will
be available on the convertible.
Read more on the 3-Series
first-generation CTS established an entirely different
design language for Cadillac and an equally different
emphasis on performance. The all-new second generation
builds on both of those aspects, while overhauling the
often-criticized interior with better, more luxurious
materials. The stance is now wider, which should improve
the rear-wheel-drive car's handling, along with an all-wheel
drive system borrowed from the SRX. The top-of-the-line
V6 now makes 300 horses.
Our 2005 Cadillac
on the successful heals of the Saturn Aura comes another
General Motors attack on the mid-size sedan market.
With aggressively elegant styling, the new Malibu is
reminiscent of the Infiniti
M35 and Acura
TL from the rear, with a stylish front end similar
to Australia's Holden Caprice. GM is particularly proud
of the interior, though, previewing it much earlier
than the exterior. Materials and overall design look
vastly better than the outgoing model.
Our 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ review
Town & Country / Dodge Caravan
might be going the way of the dodo and Britney Spears'
career, but the company that invented them is staying
the course. Styling of both vans has been updated
to mimic the boxy shapes found throughout the Chrysler
group, but thankfully foregoes any attempt to resemble
an SUV. Novelty is key with minivans, and the Caravan
and T&C offer the unique and very nifty "Swivel
'n Go" seating system that allows you to turn the
middle row captain's chairs around like in a train.
Playing gin rummy on road trips will never be the same
shown in Paris in quasi-concept form, the Avenger will
be Dodge's second serious effort (after the Caliber)
to wedge itself into the European market. It is based
on the same platform that underpins the new Chrysler
Sebring and takes obvious styling cues from the full-size
The base engine is a 173-horsepower four-cylinder, with
two optional V6s; the latter of which makes 235 horses.
The Avenger probably won't challenge the Camry
for mid-size supremacy, but it will certainly offer
a macho-looking alternative.
Europe enjoys the thoroughly modern second-generation
Focus that underpins the Volvo S40 and Mazda
3, here in North America we get a third take on
the first Focus that showed up in 1998. The hatchback
and wagon models are now dead, with the sedan and new
coupe the lone Foci available. The radically freshened
exterior's shape still looks dated, while the edgy-looking
new interior doesn't seem to have the Euro Focus' top-notch
fit and finish. The Bluetooth-based Sync system should
please technophiles, though, by controlling cell phones
and iPods with voice commands.
See our coverage of the 2008 Detroit Auto Show
For more information, visit www.naias.com
continues its automotive blitzkrieg with what looks
like yet another quality product: a seven-passenger
SUV aimed at the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
Powered by the Azera's
beefy 260-horsepower V6, the Veracruz out-muscles both
of those models while falling slightly short of the
Mazda CX-9. Hyundai claims an interior volume greater
than the Mercedes-Benz
GL450. The interior's design and materials seem
to have taken another step forward, looking as if they
were pulled straight from a Lexus.
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Photos by their respective manufacturers. Top photo
by General Motors of the Chevrolet Volt unveiling.
|(Updated 01/16/09 SCV)