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NAIAS 2008 Day One Show Coverage Live From Detroit

Published Jan 15th 2008, 5:41pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

100yrlogo Reporting live from Detroit and NAIAS on all the new unveiling and happenings here at the auto show. Much talk and excitement over the many new choices in environmentally friendly vehicles, wild design concept cars and elegant new designs.

The Chevrolet Malibu is the 2008 North American Car of the Year, and the Mazda CX-9 is the 2008 North American Truck of the Year.

07_naias_08_malibu_1The winners were announced today at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit's Cobo Center. However, the auto show does not give the awards.

The awards are unique because, instead of being given by a single media outlet, the winners this year were chosen by 45 automotive journalists who represent newspapers, magazines, television, radio and web sites in Canada and the United States.

The NACOTY/NATOTY awards recognize vehicles for things like innovation, design, safety, quality, handling, fuel economy, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. To be eligible for the 2008 award, vehicles must be "all new" or "substantially changed" in 2007 from previous models. In the fall, journalist-jurors picked 15 of their favorite cars, including minivans and 13 trucks, including sport utilities and crossovers. After a second round of voting in December, jurors whittled that short list even further to three vehicles in each category. Other finalists for the 2008 North American Car of the Year included the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Malibu and Honda Accord, and for the 2008 North American Truck of the Year, the Buick Enclave, Mazda CX-9 and Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid.

Chevrolet_corvette_zr1 Chevrolet officially announced the 2009 Corvette ZR1 – an American supercar that brings the technology and engineering refinement of carbon-fiber, ceramics and electronics together in a distinctive design.

However, the ZR-1 is more than just a new powerful engine. The body gets littered with lots of weight-saving carbon fiber found in the hood with a raised, polycarbonate window – offering a view of the intercooler below it, carbon-fiber roof panel, roof bow, front fascia splitter and rocker moldings with clear-coated, exposed carbon-fiber weave. The widened fenders are also carbon fiber to accommodate the larger wheels. For the first time, carbon ceramic brake rotors with painted blue calipers and exclusive 19x10 (front) and 20x12-inch (rear) wheels are standard for the ZR-1 as well as automatically adjusting Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension.

Performance figures have not been provided yet, however, GM acknowledges the ZR-1 will top 200 mph with a new 220 mph speedometer. Speculation puts a 0 – 60 mph time of 3.4 seconds and price is expected to come in at 100,000 USD.

Saab Saab also unveiled the 9-4X BioPowerConcept, yet another effort by GM on creating a board range of fuel efficient vehicles across all brands and be the leader in environmentally friendly vehicles. The 9-4X will have four-wheel-drive (hence the X) and the concept is powered by a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder turbocharged engine producing 245 hp and 353 Nm torque. If the engine is fueled with E85 Ethanol power increases to 300 hp and 400 Nm torque. The 4WD uses a central placed differential which directs drive power to the front and rear axles, the rear axle also has an intelligent rear-differential to spread power to which ever wheel needs it most.

X08ar_hm013 HUMMER unveiled the HX Concept amid many OOOOOO's and AHHHHHHHHHHH's. "This is the HUMMER design language stripped down to its essence," said David Rojas, creative designer. "The HX has an aggressive appearance and great proportions, with beauty lying in its functional austerity."

GM Extends Biofuels Leadership With Coskata Partnership

General Motors’ global leadership in producing vehicles that operate on ethanol fuel blends is a key part of its commitment to reinvent the automobile through a range of clean transportation technologies that reduce greenhouse gas (CO 2) emissions and petroleum use.

GM’s partnership with Coskata to commercialize its unique process for turning biomass into ethanol is just the most recent example of GM’s commitment to make ethanol more available by promoting ethanol production technology and infrastructure.

The Coskata partnership also builds on GM’s longstanding leadership in automotive fuels development and testing that included research and development of unleaded fuels in conjunction with the development of the catalytic converter and early formulations of ethanol.

“GM has been at the forefront of developing and promoting ethanol and ethanol-capable vehicles to reduce petroleum consumption and emissions,” said Beth Lowery, GM vice president, Environment, Energy and Safety Policy.

“ We believe ethanol used as a fuel, not just as a gasoline additive, is the best near-term alternative to the surging global demand for oil because ethanol is renewable and it reduces CO 2 emissions compared to gasoline,” she said. “ Best of all, it is available today.”

After working alongside ethanol producers to develop fuel formulations to provide optimum performance in vehicle engines, GM began exploring ethanol usage more than two decades ago and was the first manufacturer to enable its entire U.S. fleet to operate on E10, a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol.

Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall presented the Mercedes Vision GLK

Daimler "I love the GLK's powerful design, not to mention its incredibly spacious trunk, its exceptional comfort and the fact that it's a Mercedes," comments Kim Cattrall, one of the four stars of hit TV show Sex And The City and celebrity guest of the Mercedes-Benz press conference at the 2008 NAIAS (North American International Auto Show), who brought more than just a hint of Hollywood glamour to the COBO Hall. The world-famous actress made her stage entrance in the "Vision GLK" SUV study, where she displayed an impressive familiarity with the subject. "After all, I am one of the few people who have already had the opportunity to gather a generous amount of
hands-on experience with the future GLK," says Kim Cattrall in conversation with Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Management Board of Daimler Benz AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

New Genesis is First Hyundai to Offer XM NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic Service

XM the nation's leading provider of satellite radio with more than 8.5 million subscribers, today announced that Hyundai will offer XM NavTraffic real-time traffic service as an option on the Genesis, its new, rear-wheel drive premium sports sedan. The Genesis will be the first Hyundai brand vehicle to offer the service, which will be available as part of the
vehicle's navigation system.

Northwod Northwood University Scores Exclusive Auto Show Partnership

Students of Northwood University, a private, nonprofit, accredited university specializing in managerial and entrepreneurial education, will get an up-close, behind-the-scenes look into this year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Selected by the NAIAS for an exclusive experiential learning partnership with the auto show, the students will gain hands-on experience, learning the intricate operations of a national auto show. This is the sixth year that Northwood students are participatingin the partnership.

The NAIAS internship program places 28 Northwood students in key full-time positions for the opening week of the auto show, January 11-18, 2008, including the NAIAS Press Preview, Industry Preview and the Charity Preview black-tie gala. Students are in charge of exhibitor assistance,event assistance, press credentialing, press room maintenance, media tours and opening ceremony coordination.

FAMA Magazine, (, a publication aimed at Hispanic women announced two awards today to General Motors; OnStar President Chet Huber accepted the FAMA Magaxine Humanitarian. The Chevy Malibu was named Car of the Year for Women by FAMA, the award was presented to Ed Peper, Crystal and Esther Martinez of GM.

Harveys_seatbeltbag One last fun note my new cream colored Harvey's Seat Belt Bag get the award for most compliments from women on the show floor! The signature purse every REAL car girl should carry!

Stay tuned for day two reporting live from NAIAS.

Jody DeVere

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