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When I took on the assignment of covering trucks and SUVs at this
year's Detroit auto show, I never imagined I'd be able to write about
two of my favourite things in the same blog: cars AND Sex and the City.
Mercedes-Benz used a little star power for the formal unveiling of its
new Vision GLK Concept: Kim Cattrall, who plays the naughty Samantha
Jones in Sex, introduced the SUV with Mercedes' chairperson Dieter
The new GLK (on sale next January in the U.S.), plays a role in the New
Sex and the City movie, which is currently being filmed and comes out
True to her character, Cattrall said the GLK has ``bulges in all the right places and it`s a tight little package.``
And there`s room for all the Gucci and Versace bags a New York shopper can manage to fill in one day, too.
With four out of six of this year's finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year finalist's from General Motors, the odds were odds were in the hometeam's favour. About as surpising as a Britney Spears meltdown, the Chevy Malibu beat out the Cadillac CTS, and the Honda Accord for the 2008 North American Car of the Year.
My choice would have been the Caddy. The Malibu's good. But it's not as big of a breakthrough as the car it's based on, and last year's winner, Saturn's Aura.
On the truck, if I was GM, I'd be peeved.
The Mazda CX-9—a car-based crossover—beat out the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. Last year, Chevy won with its Silverado, by all accounts, a real truck.
BTW, that's Car and Driver's Tony Swan, one of the judges, doing the intros.
The beige F430 spyder seemed kind of out of place there on Ferrari's stand, where everything else was bright red (except for the featured car, a baby-blue 430 Scuderia coupe). Weird, the muted colour scheme.
Weirder still, the green "bio-fuel" stickers all over the hood and the doors. Is this, I wondered, some kind of joke?
It isn't. Yes, this F430 wlll run on biofuel. And yes, despite being probably the raciest car brand on the planet, Ferrari is committed to greening its fleet. With European regulations on the way to force down CO2 emissions, it's going to have to.
To that end, a biofuel F430 is only the start. Ferrari has already shown us the Mille Chilli, a concept that looks like an Enzo but weighs just 1,000 kg (hence its name). With vastly reduced weight through the use of high-tech materials and design, Ferrari will be able to build more environmentally-friendly cars that will be faster as well.
The crowd was gathered on either side of Washington Ave., in front of
anticipating a sort of running of the bulls. What we got instead was a slow and steady march of 150 long-horned steer (probably safer anyway considering they weigh about the same as a truck).
Cowboys corralled the cows, and then came the new 2009 Dodge Rams. Dodge calls the new look "Get out of my way" (which the crowd did when the steers got spooked and began hopping on each other like salmon swimming up stream).
While Dodge's grilles have, over the past few years, made bold statements, the Ram's is bolder than ever. There's a new Crew Cab model, a first for Dodge. There's extra storage in cubbies built into the floor.
A new 5.7L Hemi V8 with 380 hp and 404 lb.-ft. of torque powers the Ram.
The new Ram arrives this fall. The new Cummins diesel engine is available starting 2009.
Mazda claims that, on any given weekend, there are more cars powered by its engines out on racetracks than any other brand. So it's no surprise that its two major show stars this year were the facelifted RX-8 (now racier than ever, with revised styling and a new R3 performance package) and the Furai, the company's latest concept car to feature the flowing surfaces of its "Nagare" series. Unlike most concepts, which are often slapped hastily together out of fiberglass and wimpy electric motors, the Furai rolls on a full Courage race-car chassis and is powered by the company's signature rotary engine. It's got lots of cool stickers too.
Everyone -- I mean everyone -- though GM would take the Truck of the Year title. After all, the US automaker claimed two of the three entrants (the Buick Enclave and Chevy Tahoe Hybrid), but it was not meant to be. Mazda won this year's big prize with the CX-9.
The Mazda is my top pick for crossover -- but truck of the year?
(The Mazda received 201 votes, the Tahoe Hybrid 140 and the Enclave 109.)
The General did walk away with the 2008 North American Car of the Year award for the Malibu -- which is getting all the buzz right now. The Cadillac CTS came in second, while the redesigned Honda Accord came in third.