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The 2005 Detroit Auto Show

January 11, 2005

It’s that time of year again.  The brief span of a few days when I actually wish that I was in Detroit, rather than on a different hemisphere.  The Detroit Auto Show (formally the North American International Automobile Show) is the event in the automotive industry.  It is where the majority of new models and goofy concepts are unveiled for the first time.  If you like cars, watching for what shows up is one of the highlights of the year.

And, now that the press days are winding down, I thought I’d put up my three favorites from this year’s show.

The Jeep Gladiator


I know I showed the Gladiator a few months back, but I still love the design.  It may be a few years, but I think we will actually see this one reach production.  I have a feeling that the new Wrangler platform is being designed to accomodate a whole raft of variants, from the long-wheelbase Unlimited available now to a Gladiator-like pickup, to probably even a four-door SUV.  Besides, a Jeep pickup just makes sense, unlike a certain pickup being offered by a certain Japanese automaker (cough…Mitsubishi…cough).

The Jaguar Advanced Lightweight Concept


Jaguar has been promising to unveil a concept vehicle that would convey their new design language, and with the ALC they certainly delivered.  While I like the current XK, I think that Jaguar’s other designs are a bit too "Old World" and decadent to really stand up against Mercedes, BMW, and Audi, or even the Japanese luxury marques.  This design, though, maintains elements of Jaguar’s heritage while updating it for the 21st century. 

The ALC is rumored to be a near production concept that will bow next year as the new XK8.  What I can’t wait for, though, is to see how the new design language translates to Jaguar’s sedans.

Oh, and if the design makes you think of Aston Martin, that’s because it was penned by Ian Callum, the man responsible for the DB7, Vantage, Vanquish, and most recently the stunning DB9.

The Acura RD-X


The RD-X is a near-production concept that gives us a big, whopping hint about what Acura’s upcoming compact SUV will look like.  As with pretty much every new vehicle today, it derives its platform from another vehicle – Honda’s CR-V.

Why do I like it so much?  For starters, it is a clean, pure design.  Acura has been refining their design language over the past few years, and I think the RD-X is the best expression of it to date.  Second, a compact Acura SUV is one of the few automotive ideas that gets Jamie’s attention.  Third, I’m just an Acura fan.  I owned one, and, though I traded it in after a year and a half, I still think they are great cars.  Out of the luxury makers, they are my favorite brand.  There’s not a vehicle in their lineup I dislike, and that’s saying quite a bit.  But there is one that’s been missing – until now.

With the RD-X, Acura will finally have an answer to the smaller SUVs like the Lexus RX330 and the BMW X3.  Between it and the larger MDX, Honda’s luxury arm should have a nice one-two punch in the light truck category.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kay permalink
    January 11, 2005 4:42 pm

    So, how long do we have until our XKR will be the old style model?

  2. January 11, 2005 5:04 pm

    Probably about two years

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