Monthly Archives: January 2009

The state of the Motor City’s Motor Show in difficult times.

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Detroit, Mi. was once the most prosperous city in America. Back in the 1960’s it was home to the Motown record label, and of course it was home to the three largest car companies in the world.

Times sure have moved on, all the major record labels are now based in California, and while General Motors, Ford and Chrysler still call Detroit their home, these companies are no longer known as “The Big Three.”
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Mercedes-Benz E-Class

This gallery contains 8 photos.

A new family of E-Class sedans and wagons is coming to Canada next fall. The cars were given a special introduction on the evening before the first press day but were not displayed on the show floor. The perfectly-recognizable front fascia now has pairs of pointy parallelograms for headlights instead of twin ovals. Continue reading

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BlueSport concept returns VW to populist roadster roots

This gallery contains 6 photos.

One of the few genuine surprises at Detroit was the world premier of the Volkswagen Concept BlueSport, a mid-engine, minimalist roadster. BlueSport was created to forward several propositions; that a fun-to-drive car can be made in a sustainable format; that a compact roadster is equally suited to thrive in both urban and “winding road” settings; that VW’s design language will return to simple and emotional shapes. Continue reading

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Toyota Prius

This gallery contains 3 photos.

If you want to understand what the new-gen Toyota Prius is all about, just consider this: Toyota’s objective is to sell 400,000 units each year by 2010. This will make Prius one of Toyota’s top selling global vehicles, right alongside venerable nameplates, like Camry and Corolla. Can you say “mainstream?” Continue reading

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Lincoln MKT

This gallery contains 5 photos.

The Lincoln version of the Ford Flex crossover made its debut in Detroit. Like the Flex, this new MKT is assembled at Ford’s facility in Oakville, Ont. But, as you can see, it doesn’t look anything like the squared-off Flex. The rising beltline over the rear quarter is perhaps its most distinctive line, and helps give the vehicle a lot of character, particular when viewed from the rear (check out those wrap-around tail lamps!). Continue reading

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A test track yes, but not for speed

This gallery contains 10 photos.

A rather unique part of this year’s Detroit show is the indoor test track for trying out electric and hybrid vehicles. The speed limit is 10 mph. And it’s not too big. But it is beautifully landscaped, complete with two ponds. Continue reading

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Hyundai Genesis and Ford F-150 win gold

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Winning the coveted North American Car of the Year title is a breakthrough achievement for Hyundai and a historical first for Korean cars. The Ford F-150, on the other hand, is an old pro at this. Previous full redesigns of the long-running best-seller had effectively won Truck of the Year trophies twice before, in 1996 and 2004. The winners were announced at the start of the first media day of this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, on January 11. Continue reading

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Twelve Japanese and Korean Premieres

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Of the thirty-four new models that made their first Canadian appearance at the Montreal International Auto Show, more than a third were from Japanese and Korean carmakers and two were also making their North American début. Here is a quick rundown: Continue reading

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Now inside the great walls in Detroit

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Chinese carmakers were by no means at their first visit to the North-American Auto Show. This time, though, they would not be relegated to the lower level or outside corridors of Detroit’s Cobo Hall. Continue reading

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Ten Premieres for European brands

This gallery contains 5 photos.

The 41st edition of the Montreal International Auto Show has an abundance of the newest models on display, as if to defy the current economic doldrums. Here is a quick overview of the new models that were introduced by European manufacturers during the press day on January 15. Continue reading

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