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North American International Auto Show Preview

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NAIAS 2007
By Perry Stern
Take a first look at what we expect to be revealed at the upcoming big show in Detroit.
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 Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept


Following the debut of its Advanced Sedan Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, Acura will bring the Advanced Sports Car Concept to Detroit for its world debut. Very little detail has been released on this sleek-looking coupe, but Acura does say that this concept provides a glimpse at the brand's next-generation high-performance sports car. Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s President and CEO Takeo Fukui will be on hand to introduce this new vehicle in Detroit. For all the details and photos of this exciting sports coupe, return here to see our complete coverage following Acura's press conference on January 7, 2007.

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2008 BMW 3-Series Convertible


After introducing the fifth-generation 3-Series sedan in 2005, and the 2-door coupe in early 2006, it follows that the next in line would be the 3-Series convertible. The newest version of the 3-Series will make its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This will be the first time that the 3-Series features a retractable hardtop, which consists of three pieces that fold out of sight behind the rear seat. As with the coupe, the new convertible will be available as the 328i or the 335i, with its 300-horsepower turbocharged engine.  For more details and great pictures of this new convertible, return to MSN Autos on the afternoon of Sunday, January 7, 2007, following BMW’s press conference.

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2008 Cadillac CTS


Early in 2002 Cadillac began its new product initiative with a new sport sedan that featured cutting-edge styling and an advertising campaign featuring a soundtrack from Led Zeppelin. That was the CTS, and at the upcoming show in Detroit Cadillac will reveal the next-generation of this successful sedan. Details have not been released by the automaker; however, based on spy photos published in a number of publications, the new CTS will have a larger grille, shorter rear doors and a sleeker profile. There have been rumors about more power as well, but we’ll have to wait and see. Return here on the morning of January 8, 2007, for the details and photos of this all-new CTS following Cadillac’s press conference.

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Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Concept


The most important news from Chevrolet at the upcoming auto show in Detroit is expected to be the introduction of the all-new Malibu. One of the brand’s top sellers, the Malibu will feature a roomier interior with a more upscale feel. “The next-generation Chevrolet Malibu's interior showcases the precision and detailed execution that will differentiate it among the midsize car segment,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet General Manager. “The 2008 Chevy Malibu will offer a number of striking and progressive interiors that use premium materials to demonstrate quality and value not seen before in this segment.” The Malibu will also feature a restyled grille which GM is referring to as the “new face of Chevrolet.” In addition to the Malibu, Chevy will take the wraps off the Equinox Sport. With lowered suspension, 18-inch wheels and a 263-horsepower engine, this new version should put the “sport” in sport-utility vehicle. Meanwhile, providing more flash then the Malibu is the expected debut of the Camaro Convertible concept. Painted in an eye-catching Hugger Orange pearl, the convertible makes a perfect followup to last year's debut of the Camaro coupe. For more details and pictures of these vehicles, return here on the afternoon of January 7, 2007, following the General Motors Press Conference.

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 Chrysler Nassau Concept


Some may think that the minivan is dead, but rumor has it that not only does the originator of the minivan disagree, the company is coming out with the next generation of the best-selling minivans in America. There has been no confirmation from Chrysler; however, several publications have reported that the new minivans (Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan) will make their world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. Meanwhile, there will also be a world debut of the Chrysler Nassau concept. The Nassau is a luxury 4-door coupe designed for performance. The bold grille and sleek lines gives some idea to the direction the company’s designers are leaning when thinking about future sedan products.



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2008 Dodge Viper


When Chevrolet came out with the Corvette Z06, it virtually matched the horsepower of the Dodge Viper. Apparently this didn't sit well with Dodge, so at the upcoming show in Detroit a fresh new Viper will debut, this one boasting an all-new 8.4-liter aluminum V10 engine producing 600 horsepower. A number of other upgrades have been made to styling as well as under the skin. And it was just a few short months ago that Dodge took the wraps off the Avenger concept car at the Paris Motor Show. In January look for the final production version of this sporty new sedan. Based on the new Chrysler Sebring, the Avenger gets the familiar cross-hair grille and other Dodge styling elements, with the final vehicle likely to be quite similar to the Paris concept. Alongside the new Avenger a freshened Magnum should appear as well; however, details have not been released by the manufacturer. The same is the case for the new Caravan minivan, which should also  make its world debut at the show in Detroit.


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 Ford Interceptor Concept


For the last several months, there have been rumors that Ford was considering building a 4-door Mustang. Ford has said they absolutely won't be doing that, however that doesn't mean they can't use the Mustang platform to build a 4-door muscle car, which is exactly what they have done for the this year's auto show. Called the Interceptor, this tough-looking 4-door sedan takes a number of styling cues - including its bold grille - from the F-250 Super Chief concept from last year's show. Under the long hood is a 5.0-liter V8 Cammer racing engine producing 400 horsepower that can run on E85. We expect that there will be more on the Ford stand than this powerful concept car, so return here January 7, 2007 for complete coverage from MSN Autos.

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Honda Accord Coupe Concept


The North American International Auto Show will be the venue for a first look at where Honda plans to take the design of its bread and butter car, the Accord. The Accord is Honda's best-selling model, and it is consistently one of the best-selling passenger cars in America. The world debut of the Accord Coupe Concept marks the first time that Honda has ever shown a concept-version of the Accord at a major auto show. Not many details have been released about the concept, but from the sketches it does appear to be designed for performance. To see pictures of the actual car, along with detailed reporting, return here on January 8, 2007, for complete coverage following Honda's press conference.

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Hyundai has come a long way since it first introduced the Excel to the American market back in 1986. With vehicles ranging from the economical Accent to the luxurious Azera, the Korea-based automaker plans to add a ninth vehicle to its lineup with the introduction of the Veracruz crossover SUV. While details are still scarce, Hyundai tells us that the new Veracruz will be larger than a Honda Pilot and will feature more cargo space than the Mercedes-Benz GL. Seating will be available for seven, with a third row that folds flat into the floor. Power will come from a 3.8-liter V6, and Veracruz will offer all the latest safety equipment. To learn more about this new crossover from Hyundai, return here for our complete coverage of Hyundai's press conference on January 8, 2007.

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 Jaguar C-XF Concept


The famed British marque will debut the all-new C-XF Concept at the upcoming show in Detroit. Designed by the same team responsible for the new XK, this stunning 4-door sedan provides a good look at what the design direction is planned for future Jaguar models. The sleek coupe-like profile is accentuated by the high beltline and bulging hood. Under that hood is Jaguar's powerful supercharged 4.2-liter V8 engine. While the C-FX is still just a concept car, the rumor is that this car is not far off from the next-generation Jaguar S-TYPE . We may have to wait a little while to see if that's true. So return here for complete coverage of this new concept late on January 7, 2007.

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 Jeep Trailhawk


The Jeep brand has continued to expand its offerings over the last few years with the new Compass and Patriot. At the upcoming show in Detroit, Jeep will reveal a concept called the Trailhawk. Based on the new Wrangler, the Trailhawk concept blends the capability of the Wrangler with the premium qualities of the Grand Cherokee. According to Jeep, the front styling is reminiscent of a bird of prey, thus the name Trailhawk. At the moment, this is just a design study, but Chrysler has developed a reputation for taking concept cars to production, so we'll just have to wait and see.


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 Kia Kue Concept


When Kia pulls the wraps of the all-new Kue concept, the Korean company will reveal its approach to the crossover SUV. According to the automaker, the Kue takes the utility of a sport-utility vehicle but puts a definite emphasis on performance. Sitting on 22-inch wheels, a common size concept cars, the Kue is a bit longer than the new Kia Rondo. Kia has made it clear that the Kue is purely a concept car; however, it does provide a hint at the future design direction for the company. Return here on January 8, 2007, to see our complete coverage, including photos and video of this futuristic concept vehicle.

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2008 Lexus IS


An all-new high-performance version of the Lexus IS sport sedan will make its debut in Detroit this January. Called the IS-F, the new model will feature unique styling and what Lexus calls a "substantial boost in power." It hasn't been confirmed, but it's likely the boost will come from a V8 engine under the hood. It's also expected that this will be the first of several "F" line cars from Lexus. In addition to the IS-F, the brand plans to unveil a concept version of an exotic sports car; however, that is the extent of the details released at this time. To get all the skinny on both these vehicles, return here on January 8, 2007, for complete coverage from MSN Autos.

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 Lincoln MKR Concept


The Lincoln brand will reveal the futuristic MKR Concept in Detroit in hopes of bringing a fresh new look to the marque. This luxurious 4-door coupe introduces a new design style the company calls "elegant simplicity." MKR features a number of luxurious yet eco-friendly amenities as well as fuel-saving technologies from its flex-fuel engine. The MKR is also being used to introduce a new engine family for the car company. Called "TwinForce", the engine in the concept is a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 producing 415 horsepower.

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 Mazda Ryuga Concept


Following on the theme of "Flow" first introduced in the Nagare Concept at the L.A. Auto Show, Mazda will debut the sleek Ryuga Concept at the Detroit show in January. Ryuga, which means "gracious flow" in Japanese, features gull-wing doors and bold fenders. “Ryuga is Zoom-Zoom defined,” said Laurens van den Acker, Mazda’s global design director. “It combines vibrance, confidence, fun and youth all in one ingenious package.” While the Ryuga is providing a glimpse at the future of Mazda, the company will also show a vehicle for the present. The Tribute, redesigned for the 2008 model year, will be available for the first time with a hybrid powertrain. This will be Mazda's first gas-electric hybrid sold in America. To see the futuristic Ryuga and the new styling of the Tribute, return here on January 8, 2007, for complete coverage following Mazda's press conference.

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 Mercedes-Benz Concept Ocean Drive


The 4-door convertible has all but disappeared from the U.S. market; however, Mercedes-Benz is contemplating bringing it back. The German automaker will debut a design study called the Concept Ocean Drive at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Concept Ocean Drive is a luxurious 4-door convertible that appears to be based on the S-Class sedan. However, the body of this concept is unique, featuring a larger version of the signature Mercedes grille with stylish LED headlights. Of course the interior is lavishly appointed with high-quality leather, birds-eye maple trim and other high-end features. The Concept Ocean Drive is merely a concept; however, Mercedes-Benz will typically build design studies such as this to gauge consumer interest in a possible production model. For all the details of this beautiful convertible, return here on January 7, 2007, to see our complete coverage following the Mercedes-Benz press conference.

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2007 MINI Cooper Sidewalk


It may look the same as the previous version, but the MINI Cooper is all-new for 2007 and will be making its North American debut at the auto show in Detroit. Still retaining all the fun-to-drive qualities that has made it such a success, the new MINI was completely redesigned from the ground up. Larger by about 2.4 inches in length, the 2007 model gets more power for better performance. A special edition Cooper Convertible Sidewalk will also make its world debut in Detroit, sporting special wheels, English leather sport seats, chrome interior trim, a Harmon/Kardon audio system and more. For more details on the new MINI, return here on January 8, 2007 for complete coverage from MSN Autos.

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 Mitsubishi Prototype X


Mitsubishi has chosen the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to debut one of its most important carsthe all-new Lancer. With styling similar to the Concept X sport sedan first shown in Tokyo last year, the 2008 Lancer is the second vehicle built on Mitsubishi's new global platform. The first was the new Outlander, which went on sale earlier in 2006. This platform is versatile enough to be used for a number of future models as well. In addition to the Lancer, Mitsubishi will unveil the Prototype X. The Prototype X strongly hints at the styling for the next-generation of the high-performance Lancer Evolution, which will be available later in 2007. For details and pictures of both these vehicles, return here on January 8, 2007, following the Mitsubishi press conference in Detroit.

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2008 Nissan Rogue


It doesn't go on sale until next fall, but Nissan will provide the first look at the Rogue at the upcoming auto show in Detroit. The new model is a small crossover SUV that should provide a car-like ride with all-wheel drive and an innovative interior space. While the Rogue is ready for production, the Bevel concept is just a design study. Created at Nissan Design America in La Jolla, CA, the Bevel concept is described by Nissan as a "dynamic, multi-purpose vehicle with a small size, big utility and fresh thinking." For more details of both these vehicles, return here on January 7 following the Nissan press conference for full coverage from MSN Autos.

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2008 Porsche Cayenne


It's been four years since Porsche branched out from exclusively building sports cars and premiered the Cayenne SUV. This January the Germany-based automaker will pull the wraps off the first redesign of the Cayenne. In addition to fresh styling, the 2008 Cayenne will get a line of more powerful engines, an advanced stability control system and a new Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) system. Porsche will provide more details during the company's press conference, so return here for all the details and photos on January 8, 2007.

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2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe


Taking many of the features and styling cues from the 100EX concept shown in 2004, Rolls-Royce plans to reveal its first new model since the launch of the Phantom in 2003. Called the Drophead Coupe, this 2-door 4-seat convertible carries over the brushed-steel hood and teak-wood trim from the original concept. Doors are rear-hinged for easy entry and exit, and the 5-layer cloth-top is lined with cashmere. The Drophead Coupe will begin production next summer and is expected to sell for just over $400,000. For more details and photos of this elegant open-top car, return here following the Rolls-Royce press conference scheduled for January 7, 2007.

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 Toyota FT-HS Concept


Toyota has developed an eco-friendly reputation with the several hybrid models on the market. Along these lines, the company plans to debut a hybrid sports car at this year show in Detroit called the FT-HS Concept. Designed to be a sports car for the 21st century, the FT-HS features a V6-based gas-electric hybrid powertrain that produces about 400 horsepower. Combined with the sleek styling and lightweight construction, this concept should be capable of reaching 60 mph in around four seconds. At the other end of the ecological scale, Toyota will also debut the Tundra CrewMax pickup truck. This four-door pickup will offer the most room available in the Tundra lineup. For more details of these two vehicles, return here on January 7, 2007 to see MSN Autos' complete coverage.

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 Volvo XC60 Concept


The Swedish automaker has made it official that the Detroit show will play host to the world debut of the XC60 Concept vehicle. This new Volvo concept gives a first look at the next member of the XC family - a smaller 5-passenger crossover to complement the popular XC90 due in showrooms at the beginning of 2009. The XC60 Concept also gives an indication of the styling direction for future Volvo designs. As is expected from a Volvo, the XC60 Concept features a number of advanced safety features including an automatic braking system called City Safety. More details will be available following the Ford Premier Auto Group press conference late on January 7, 2007.

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