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2005 NAIAS Preview

      Well it’s getting to that time of the year again. No I am not referring to the time when you blow your whole years’ earnings on Christmas presents and festivities, but the time of year when auto makers start bringing out their finest. Yes, auto show season is upon us and this year’s wave of new products is sure to be as exciting as ever. So as soon as the Christmas leftovers have been put away and the holiday joy is thoroughly spread our editors will be headed back down to Cobo Hall for more fun than any one automotive journalist should be allowed to have. In an effort to kick off the new show season we have compiled the latest buzz to keep the excitement peaked and the saliva flowing (careful not to drool on the keyboard). Below we have broken down the news, by manufacturer, of what we expect to see in January. Enjoy!

Ford Motor Company
Ford intends to roll out several new products to keep the life of last year’s Year of the Car going. Among them will be the midsize Fusion sedan, the Harley-Davidson F-150, and the Mustang convertible should make an appearance even though it could debut a week earlier at the Los Angeles show. Lincoln brings to the table an upscale version of the Fusion in the form of the Zephyr. Mercury will show off the Meta One concept which utilizes future design themes of the brand and is filled with advanced electronics and safety features. Land Rover is going after the high rollers this year with the supercharged Range Rover Sport. Also making its North American debut will be the Aston Martin Vanquish S, featuring an even more muscular V12.Mazda will show off a thinly disguised production model. In concept form it is called the MX-Crossport and borrows some design elements from the RX-8 sports car. Altogether Ford Motor Company will feature a total of eight concepts from Ford, Mercury, Mazda, Jaguar and Volvo.

General Motors
GM is expected to show off a slew of concepts and production vehicles, but they are keeping especially hush hush right now. It is likely we will see the Coupe and/or Convertible versions of the Pontiac G6. The Equinox-based SUV dubbed Torrent will break cover as well. Saturn will show a sporty new production roadster dubbed Sky and it’ll be wearing uncharacteristically sexy sheetmetal as the sketch reveals. Chevrolet is said to have a new Monte Carlo ready for the show. We’re sure to see the next Z06 Corvette and the STS-V. Buick, GMC, and Saab are staying quiet in the meantime.

DaimlerChrysler has already shown off a couple of its upcoming concepts in the form of the Chrysler Firepower and Jeep Gladiator. But there are also rumors of a 300C coupe and/or convertible showing up. Dodge will show off its latest iteration of the Charger in the form of a 4-door based off the Chrysler 300. Mercedes is likely to show up with its new ML and/or G-class sport utilities. What is also known is that DCX will be launching the Smart brand in the U.S. and displaying the Formore concept. Also at the show will be a Mitsubishi version of the Dodge Dakota pickup dubbed the Raider as well as a sleek new Eclipse.

Volkswagen Group
Audi will bring out the Avant version of its latest A6 sedan, but no word as yet about a new allroad, though it looks like they’ll go more toward crossover SUV territory with something dubbed the Q7. We could also see the new Jetta make its official debut although that could happen in LA or elsewhere. Volkswagen will also feature a concept, details as yet are unknown.

Other notable production debuts will come in the form of the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Rio, and the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet. Kia, Hyundai and Suzuki will also show off concept vehicles, though no details are available now. Infiniti will show its new M45 and Toyota will show an all-new and much more stylish Avalon. Lexus will try to wow crowds with an exotic sports car called LF-A and an updated GX 470 SUV. Acura will offer a glimpse of an upcoming production model with the RD-X Small SUV concept. Nissan will show off a sporty, small coupe named Azeal and it is intended to be an affordable “pocket rocket”.
     If all that doesn’t get you salivating, you must be dehydrated. This year’s show season is sure to cause a stir. We will be updating this preview as new information is made public. As always Automotive Trends will be bringing you live coverage from the show floor. Yes it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. So go get some refreshments and meet us back here on January 9th for the kick off of the North American International Auto Show.

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