Skip to main content


Camaro Convertible Steals Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT (Dow Jones) - There are gazillions of new cars spread over the vast acres of the North American International Auto Show, but one car drew TV camera crews like Britney Spears.

The Camaro concept car rocked Cobo Hall last year, and this time around they sawed the roof off. And it is one heck of a true blue American pony car.

"The Camaro convertible concept instantly evokes an emotional response," said Ed Welburn, vice president of global design at General Motors Corp. "It's a vehicle that you want to make room for in your garage."

Now this is an auto show full of hype. Car makers are spending millions of dollars to wow us folks in the media and making all kinds of claims for their new vehicles. Yet, Wellburn's comments ring true.

And we will take it one step further. If you are a Chevy dealer, you are salivating over the idea of having the Camaro in your showroom, since there are few other cars in the lineup that will draw customers to your business like this one.

By the way, Chevy can do all the "concept car" talk it wants, savvy heads say the Camaro convertible will be in showrooms as a 2009 model. Chevy promises a V-8, and in the "Hugger Orange" color of the display car, you would be the center of attention. Good if you're trying to attract the opposite sex, bad if you attract the local constable.

"The instrument panel - including the four auxiliary gauges mounted in front of the shifter - pays homage to first-generation Camaros, while achieving a modern appearance," said Micah Jones, the interior designer.

For those of you into stats, the concept car is 186.2 inches long or 1.4 inches shorter than the Mustang. But the Camaro will ride on a longer 110.5 inch wheelbase. Chevy promises four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts up front, and a multilink rear. The concept car has 21-inch wheels in front and 22 to the rear.

Another striking car was Acura's Advanced Sports Concept which could really be a preview of the brands' next NSX.

Acura says this long-hooded, small cockpit car will be powered by a V-10.

Toyota introduced its new full-size Tundra CrewMax pickup truck. This one is truly full sized by U.S. standards and has a particularly striking interior that is much like the smaller Tacoma. After the formal introduction, we approached the model on the floor from the passenger side, since someone was in the driver's seat. When he turned toward us, we found out from his name tag that it was someone from FORD!

Just as other makers are turning away from the breed, Chrysler rolled out a new version of its minivan. It featured Swivel 'n Go seats. The second-row seats swivel 180 degrees to face the third row, with a removable table for picnics that can never be rained out. Chrysler will also feature separate DVD players for each row of seats to end arguments among siblings over what to watch.

Eric Ridenour, Chrysler's chief operating officer, said the company is sticking with minivans because they are still hot sellers. He believes that not everyone is ready to sell their van for a crossover vehicle, but Chrysler has those cars, too.

Ford showed off a new Focus, which is long overdue. It's a nicely updated version of the compact, that one day will also have sync, without the kitchen. It is the result of Ford's partnership with Microsoft and will offer various options for hands-free cell phone calling. One nifty feature is the ability of the system to read back to the driver any text messages. It will all be controlled by the driver at the steering wheel with the prime goal of being as minimal a distraction as possible. The Sync system will cost about $1,000 extra according to Ford and it will also integrate with your music devices. It will play personal ring tones, and be fluent in three languages.

The Detroit show opens to the public on next Saturday, and we highly recommend it to car buffs.


Popular posts from this blog

1966 Volvo Amazon Custom Coupe by Bo Zolland

(from Bo Zolland) This a custom VolvoCoupe design by Bo Zolland for a custom car and Volvo collector in Arizona.

1966 Amazon 2 Door is the base, but with added custom tricks and coupe roof. The front and grille are little modified due to identification visibility. The car will have a Volvo 2004 S-80 T-6 engine/trans and rear wheel drive, modern brakes etc. Air ride suspension and a mix of modern Volvo and Vette components in chassis.

2012 Audi TT & TTS Coupe & Roadster review

The new 2012 Audi TT & TTS The Audi TT continues to define the sports coupe and convertible segments. Its iconic, bold styling sends a clear message of performance and dynamic handling, while its turbocharged engine delivers class-leading power and efficiency. 2012 Audi TTS Roadster 2.0 TFSI photo Inside, occupants are treated to an interior built with the same high quality materials found in the A8 flagship. 2012 Audi TTS Coupe 2.0 TFSI photo The Audi TT Coupe and Roadster are powered by the award-winning 2.0-liter TFSI® engine for the 2012 model year. The inline-four generates 211 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque between 1,600 and 4,200 rpm. Complete with the Audi valvelift system, direct fuel injection, two balance shafts and a high compression ratio of 9.6:1, the engine contributes fuel efficiency and performance, a rarity in a true performance sports car. 2012 Audi TTS Roadster 2.0 TFSI photo Fitted with a six-speed S tronic® dual clutch transmission that also can be actuated by two …

Audi A1 S-line : 2012

Audi is extending the A1 family – the A1 Sportback is coming in early 2012. The five-door model is emotional and individual, communicative and youthful, sporty and efficient. The A1 Sportback hopes to build on the success of the three-door A1. 2012 Audi A1 S-line. The S line exterior package option has smart and sporty details. The accessories program for the A1 Sportback will later include kits with aerodynamic add-on parts and colorful decal sets. Upon request, Audi will paint the roof line – the roof arch, the roof and the roof spoiler – in one of three contrasting colors. A choice of 12 paint finishes are available, including the new color Samoa Orange, which is exclusive to the A1 Sportback. The Audi A1 Sportback is 3.95 meters (12.96 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.47 meters (8.10 ft), just like the three-door model. It is six millimeters (0.24 in) wider and taller than the three-door model, however, at 1.75 meters (5.74 ft) and 1.42 meters (4.66 ft), respectively. Its aerodyn…