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2004 NAIAS Show Stoppers (Day Two)

Production Vehicles Dominate Day Two    

     Yesterday was the time for automakers to show off their visions for the future, today was about this years’ new production vehicles. Aston Martin made journalists salivate over the newest convertible in their lineup, the DB9 Volante. Jaguar then debuted the revamped 2005 S-Type and Land Rover took the wraps off its first true concept dubbed Range Stormer. Land Rover says it isn’t going into production but several elements of the concept will find their way into an all-new production vehicle which will debut shortly.

      Mercedes-Benz introduced the latest variant of the GST Vision show cars, this one strongly hinting at what will come when the production version hits for the 2006 model year.
     Mitsubishi debuted a swooping Eclipse concept and a Sport Utility Truck going by the acronym SUT. We suspect both hint at future production models.

     General Motors was eager to show off its revitalized Pontiac lineup now complete with a Solstice roadster, G6 sport sedan, GTO and V8 powered Bonneville. We were impressed with our initial impression of the G6 finding it handsome and well executed inside with promises of strong performance from all models.
     BMW pulled the silk off of its 645Ci Cabriolet and we are happy to report it looks even better in person than in the pictures–and it looks pretty good in the pictures.

      Ferrari made its first ever world debut in the US with the official unveiling of the 612 Scaglietti. Inspired by Ingrid Bergman’s famous custom designed wedding gift this all-new 2+2 Ferrari relies heavily on aluminum to keep weight down even though it has grown in size over the outgoing 456.
     Nissan unveiled the 2005 Pathfinder and Frontier pickup while Volkswagen showed off a wild off-road concept dubbed Concept T.
     Scion debuted the tC which thankfully, we can report looks much more traditional than the ungainly xB box on wheels.

     Lincoln made a trio of debuts today while hungry journalists stuffed themselves silly. First is the Mark LT pickup show car which will be on sale in production form in little more than a year. You’ll remember this is Lincoln’s second crack at the popular pickup segment after their failed attempt with the handsome but helpless Blackwood. The Mark X is a glass-hardtop roadster built on the Thunderbird platform. It could go into production if public reaction is favorable. Lincoln’s third debut was a surprise teaser concept of the next generation Aviator. It will be car based and less powerful than the current production model. Lincoln’s two concept vehicles look good but we beg J Mays to abandon the new Lincoln grille idea. The current waterfall grille is elegant and leagues better than this cheese grater idea.
     Chrysler finally introduced the 2005 300C and Magnum production vehicles as well as the latest generation of minivans.
     Hyundai released a concept that was surprisingly easy on the eyes called the HDC8. Subaru held the introduction to the 2005 Legacy sedan and wagon and Mazda finished the day off by revealing a show car called the MX Micro Sport.

      Tuesday was the calm after the storm with only a few major introductions. Chrysler unveiled the Crossfire and PT Cruiser Convertibles as well as a stretched Jeep called Wrangler Unlimited. Lexus unveiled the new GS cars as well as their hybrid powered RX.
     It was a show jam packed with important introductions and we are already counting the days until NAIAS 2005.

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