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2005 NAIAS Preview (Part 2)

     With so much new product being rolled out one can get overwhelmed pretty easily. So, we are going to do a little warm-up for this weekend’s main event, the 2005 North American International Auto Show. Do your best to keep up as we show you what LA has shown us thus far and what Detroit still has in store.

We saw the Chrysler Firepower and the Jeep Gladiator a couple of weeks ago, but DCX is just getting started with the real firepower. SRT is flexing its muscles with the Chrysler 300C SRT-8, and now the Dodge Magnum SRT-8, sporting the same 6.1L HEMI V8. Power remains at a very healthy 425 horsepower, just what the doctor ordered. Not enough for you? Check out the Viper SRT-10 Coupe. It is still packing 500 horsepower but now with a tin top.

Ford Motor Company
For 2006 Ford is coming out with a full armada of new vehicles. The Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr are covering the volume entry-level category based off a version of the Mazda6 platform. Both come in front wheel drive packing a 210 horsepower 3.0L V6 with a 6-speed automatic. A 2.3L 4-cylinder is standard on the Fusion with the auto and a 5-speed manual. The Ford Explorer Sport Trac is now larger, based off of the current Ford Explorer. Even the independent rear suspension carries over while the styling hints at what a revised Explorer will look like. Moving up the family line Ford is showing off yet another of the popular Harley-Davidson trucks, this time being built off of the new F-150. The back in black Hog is available with either 2wd or Awd, a first for Ford trucks. Rolling off the assembly line in Flatrock, Michigan, the Mustang Convertible is topless and ready to soak up some rays (though I would wait until the snow melts). Prices bump up a bit over the coupe, with a V8 GT Deluxe starting at $29,995. We’ve shown you the Range Rover Sport, but now we are hearing that the full size Range Rover will also be receiving two new engines from Jaguar, a 4.4L V8 and the 4.2L Supercharged 390 horsepower V8. Also expected in Detroit is the Shelby GR-1 concept originally shown at Pebble Beach; be careful not to pull a muscle as you oodle over the 604 horsepower V10 this sexy two door is packing.

General Motors
Pontiac showed off its first ever SUV, the Torrent (they seem to be infatuated with this first ever stuff). If after looking closely at it you swear you have seen it before, you have. Only it was under the skins and badges of the Saturn VUE and Chevy Equinox. Chevy rolled out two mainstream hitters, the ’06 Impala and Monte Carlo. Not terribly fond of the new styling, but it is an improvement, and the powertrain received a much-needed boost. Top engine for the SS’s is the 5.3L V8 from the Grand Prix GXP with 303 horsepower. Also breaking cover is the STS-V. The V receives more aggressive styling inside and out, as well as a 440-horsepower supercharged Northstar V8. Pontiac introduced two new variants of its G6 in the form of a new hardtop convertible and coupe. We will also see a couple of good looking Saturns (Did we just use “good looking” and “Saturn” in the same sentence?!) at Detroit. The Sky roadster based off of the new Kappa platform and a thinly disguised production midsize sedan called Aura seek to add some serious credentials to the beleaguered Saturn brand. Though the noisemaker of late is the Corvette Z06. From one of the biggest small blocks you will find, a 7.0L 427 cubic-inch monster, 500 horsepower cranks out at 6200 rpm. Extensive carbon fiber and aluminum throughout the car keep weight in check.

There are only a few hours left until the doors of Cobo Hall are thrown open and we’ll be inside bringing you exclusive pictures and reports from the show floor. Be sure to click back here Sunday evening for our big first day recap! In the meantime make sure to read our NAIAS preview located here.

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