Category - 2009 Detroit Auto Show

Event Coverage from the 2009 Detroit Auto Show

2009 NAIAS Coverage: Ford Press Conference (2010 GT500 & 2010 Taurus)

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Ford debuted the Ecoboost Flex alongside the 2010 GT500 and 2010 Taurus before deftly sneaking the F150 on stage just before the end of their show. For a truck with so many early accoldades, they still seem a little nervous about it sharing the stage with a line-up that focuses on fuel efficiency and sporty driving dynamics. More details in our daily wrap-up article later this evening.

See the complete Ford Press Conference gallery HERE.

S:S:L Prepares To Invade Detroit!

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With less than 48 hours to go before the 2009 North American International Auto Show… Speed:Sport:Life team is assembling.

Somewhere on a very private Texas airfield, a Gulfstream Five awaits the arrival of a Imola Yellow TT containing our fearless leader, Zerin Dube, and photographer/destruction expert Carl Modesette.

At this precise moment, a restless Air Force sergeant is clutching an assault rifle and nervously glancing at Byron Hurd, a man she knows only as “the prisoner”. Hurd’s eyes are closed. His fists clench against the steel restraints, knowing his time will come to break out, commandeer an F-16 “Fighting Falcon”, and bail out over Cobo Arena.

Meanwhile, I, Jack Baruth, am relaxing in the hollowed-out volcano which serves as my secret headquarters, watching my henchmen apply the last touch of Zaino plasticwax to my one-of-a-kind Lime Green Audi S5 and load it with a dozen pairs of benchmade two-tone shoes. Before long I shall be on the road as well.

What can you expect from our 2009 NAIAS coverage? Plainly put, more of the same: the very best event photos possible from our crack team of color-correcting perfectionists, sprinkled liberally over uncompromising written coverage of all the major reveals and press events. In addition, we’ll be conducting private interviews with executives from BMW, General Motors, and others.

Take a look at last year’s coverage to get a taste for what we’re preparing to bring you Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evening. And, as always, thanks for reading!

The secret vehicle team: a trip to Ford’s SVT division.

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Story and photography by Jack Baruth

What if you built a five-hundred-horsepower ponycar… and nobody noticed? Worse yet, what if you built a five-hundred-and-forty-horsepower limited-edition ponycar that is really closer to a six-hundred-horsepower limited-edition ponycar… and nobody gave you any credit? Well, today we’re going to give credit where credit was due. Three months ago, we had the pleasure of meeting some of the people behind Ford’s SVT division, learning about some of the cars which have figured prominently in the recent history of fast Fords, and experiencing a GT500KR development mule around a top-secret test track. Due to technical difficulties (in other words, the race-related breakage of our crummy old DV camera) it’s taken a while to bring you this stuff, but we’re hoping it will be worth your wait.
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2009 NAIAS Preview: 2009 Honda Insight Hybrid

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Even though Honda won’t be holding an over-the-top press conference at the 2009 NAIAS, the all-new 2009 Honda Insight Hybrid will still be debuted to the world in Detroit. Ruining all the fun of a surprise, Honda has dropped one photo of the Insight ahead of the show.

The Insight is expected to have annual global sales of 200,000 units per year – approximately 100,000 in North America – and will utilize a new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy enhancement technology named the Ecological Drive Assist System.

The five-passenger, five-door Insight will go on sale in the spring of 2009.

Lord Byron: The Detroit Auto Show — Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

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Story by Byron Hurd

That’s not a Dave Matthews Band lyric, by the way. If it’s still familiar to you, that’s likely because it’s the title of a short story by Joyce Carol Oates, first published in her Epoch collection in the mid-1960’s. What does it have to do with this column, or with the automotive world as a whole? Well… nothing, actually. But the title’s catchy, and I think it’s a good foundation for a discussion about a twenty-year staple of the American auto industry. According to the NAIAS fact sheet, Detroit has hosted some semblance of an auto show for the better part of a century. It wasn’t until the late eighties that Detroit started to lobby its way into the international spotlight. And while New York, Chicago and Los Angeles also play host to the international automotive media, Detroit hosts the North American International Auto Show. Or at least it did.

At publication time, the list of deserters is as follows: Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Nissan (Infiniti), Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Porsche and Land Rover have bailed entirely. Whether any of these companies will have display models on the floor isn’t entirely clear, but their reps will be absent. Honda has also announced that they will not be holding any press events, but it appears their vehicles (including the new Insight, which was supposed to be debuted) will be on the floor for viewing and photography. I suppose that fits though, since for many enthusiasts the excitement of a hybrid vehicle typically ends at its sheetmetal. Now when you compare the sales volume of these manufacturers to that of those who are still on the floorplan, it may not seem like a catastrophic shift in direction, but it is certainly not insignificant. Two of the Big Japanese 3 are out; two of the smaller Japanese volume sellers are out; and the exotic builders are dropping fast. Keep in mind, most of these announcements have come over the last two weeks. We’re still over a month out.

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