NAIAS (North American International Auto Show), Detroit, 2008

2007 NAIAS reporting | 2008 DC Show | Other auto shows | 2009 Dodge Ram | Chrysler ecoVoyager

The 2009 Dodge Ram is out, and we have photos, details, and an engineering analysis!

Gregg Groff’s NAIAS show wrap-up (1-17-08)

NAIAS 2008 has opened, the new car and concept reveals have been done, the international press has packed up and left.....What was it like behind the scenes?

In a word, hectic. While expanding Cobo Hall is a recurring topic in Detroit, this does not mean it is a small place. At 2.4 million square feet, with a lower level and three suite levels, you spend a lot of time walking to see everything. The press room was on the third suite level, which meant having to go through security every time you went from there to the show floor. Monday was the day the Presidential candidates came to pretend they cared for Michigan's problems, so you had to have your bags checked by bomb sniffing dogs.... I was using the bag Dodge handed out with the press kit, which unfortunately had a package of beef jeerky that Dodge was also handing out at the Ram intro... I must say, those dogs are well trained. The open package only momentarily interested the German Shepherd dog as he checked everyone's bags for IEDs.

2009 dodge ram springs

I have been to the NAIAS for the last twenty years during the public show, the floor during press days is quite different. Some displays are not finished, and there is a lot of open space- space that next week will be occupied by production models for the public to look at, lean on, sit in, and steal all the knobs from. This is the first time I've seen cars at the auto show that still had the radio controls intact.

When you are an Official Correspondent, you get to see, touch, and sit in some cars that are roped off during the public showing. I was a little surprised when I was invited to sit in a Lamborghini. Getting in a Lambo is easy, just grab the top of the steering wheel, rest your hand on the seat back and twist and drop right in. Getting out however, is bit different, especially when you are not a young, thin, athletic type. Let's just say that when you are that close to the ground, gravity is much more effective. What is it like to sit in a Lamborghini? You get a great view of the spokesmodel's kneecaps, to start. You also start to feel that a scarf and yellow sunglasses are essential accessories. The seating position is low, with your legs and arms almost straight out ahead of you. You resist the temptation to make "Vrrm, Vrrm" noises. Before you get too carried away, you remind yourself that this is a car, albeit one that costs as much as three of your subprime-loan-inflated-value house.

dodge viper

There is the Michelin Design challenge, where students of automotive design create their visions for the automobile's future... one of which resembles a motorcycle helmet on a basketball...

You can try out a crash simulator, which is a car seat on a short track that is stopped quickly... with and without seatbelts. Umm, next time, I promise...

You get to hear first hand the scoffing of enthusiast magazine writers when GM announces that they believe the new CTS-V will be the fastest production sedan in the world. If out-of-town writers find out you live near Detroit, you get asked where the best "men's clubs" are located...

dodge daytona

When you are at the introduction of the new Dodge Ram, you get to see why Jim Press said "OK, now look at the truck!" (Hint: Animals will be animals)

You go to check out the Toyota reveal, the line to get in stretches from one end of Cobo to the other so you watch it via CCTV at the Toyota display. The New Toyota everyone is breathlessly waiting for turns out to be a fawn colored crossover...

Overall, it was a fascinating experience, and even if the Aspen Hybrid interview didn't pan out as I had planned I wish to thank Dave for the opportunity to cover this event for Allpar.

dodge journey

Concept impressions by Gregg R. Groff (1-17-08)

Concept cars are often just that- Styling exercises to gauge public reaction. Often they are merely shells, with no running gear. Sometimes an automaker goes the extra mile and makes a concept that actually functions as a vehicle, practical or not. These concepts push the limits of available technology to see what is possible. After seeing only sketches of these three concept cars, it was impressive to see them actually driven onto the stage.


Of the three, the Jeep Renegade has the most production ready drivetrain, a more or less standard diesel/electric hybrid configuration that is at least familiar. While the drivetrain could be marketed today, the rest of the concept, although cleverly done, is not quite as marketable. First, there is no provision for a roof. While the material and electrics are designed to withstand water, most people like to stay dry in the rain. The cutout doors look neat, but would not offer wet weather protection. Any Jeep wrangler owner can tell you that a topless, doorless Jeep is not very pleasant in a storm, even if it doesn't harm the vehicle.

More conventional, but removable, doors and an easy to raise and lower top would be essential for the Renegade in production trim. The twin motor four wheel drive system raises some interesting possibilities, especially if the motors could be operated independently. Combine this with the steering capability of the Hurricane concept and you would have a vehicle that literally could go anywhere it could fit through. The sealed wireless electronics modules sound almost like they may have been developed for the military, as they would be impervious to wetness as well as sand.

One issue not addressed: Wireless communication I understand, wireless power I do not, unless we are talking Tesla coils. There must be some sort of power connection, even if it's to charge an internal battery. If that's the case, a wireless, removable audio system should be a hit with the beach crowd.

The Dodge ZEO also has a real drivetrain, in that it could be built today. However, some of the claims sound a bit optimistic: 5.7 seconds 0-60 times, an 11 second quarter mile, 130 mph top speed, and minimum 250 mile range sounds like having your cake and eating it too. I would love to put this car through its paces. A weight of 2650 lbs and 268hp would be quick, no doubt. But the Renegade and ecoVoyager list a 40 mile range on a 16 Kw/hr battery, and the Zeo lists 250 miles on a 64 Kw/hr battery. That's about 100 miles more than I'd expect, especially since the ecoVoyager and ZEO are close in weight. Perhaps I'm overthinking it a bit.

dodge zeo

The styling of the car is fantastic, it's green without the geek. The scissor doors are a little over the top, style-wise, the tuner crowd has played out that design so much that Lamboghini no longer uses them. A four door design similar to the Saturn Ion coupe would be more realistic, with rear hinged doors opening only when the front doors are open. The interior is a little Jetson-ish, but not to the point of being unusable. The stationary steering wheel hub actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it, as the guage pod moves with the column so that it is viewable no matter what angle the column is set to. The airbag would be more effective as well, since it's location is constant regardless of steering wheel rotation. This feature might make it to production vehicles in my opinion. The rear of the ZEO is similar in look to the Crossfire, with the rear window more prominent. It would look better as more of a coupe-like design, rather than the wagon-ish design. The rear window/hatch just doesn't flow as well as the rest of the car. Really, it's a minor point- and one of personal preference.

dodge zeo

The Chrysler ecoVoyager is described as elegant and simple. I'm still trying to reconcile those two words in the same sentence. What the ecoVoyager brings to mind is a minivan. Trust me, that's not a knock on this car, I like minivans. If what you need to do is transport people in comfort in a small vehicle, this is the way to do it. I think something along this line of thinking would make an excellent urban taxi. However, of the three, the ecoVoyager has the most fanciful drivetrain, a battery supplemented with a fuel cell. A vehicle that appears to have bottles of compressed hydrogen sitting above the rear axle is going to be a tough sell. There is a safe way to store hydrogen ( see it at ) but the perception of the public is often different from the reality. While I have no doubt that the system works as described, I feel that the cost may put it out of the range of a production vehicle at this time.

chrysler ecoVoyager concept

Oddly enough, of the three, this concept is one that looks like a production vehicle, or at least fits in with what is currently available. The electric front drive system could be replaced with a conventional drivetrain and not affect the styling much, other than a bit longer hood. The interior is a bit unusual, with on-demand instrumentation display the minimum amount of data necessary. Smooth is the word that comes to mind. The interior lacks most of the fiddly-bits that are deemed necessary, like HVAC controls, stereo, window switches, everything is hidden, yet accessible. The HVAC and audio controls are in a slide out tray where the center stack usually resides, while window controls are in the armrests of the seats. This is a decent ergonomic idea, in that the controls would be literally at your fingertips.

The open architecture of the body, with no B pillar, could be accentuated with swiveling front seats. By facing the rear, the ecoVoyager could become a mini-office for salesmen on the road. The 'one box" design seems to indicate a body on frame architecture, with the fuel cell being under the floor of the car. Electric battery/fuel cell vehicles can spread the components of the drivetrain around the vehicle freeing up the design to innovative uses of space. The entire vehicle seems to be passenger space when you first look at it, almost like a supersized SMART car. It would have been easy for the ecoVoyager to have come out looking like the Toyota Previa, but there is enough sweeping style lines in the body to keep it from looking like an egg on wheels. Grill and taillight treatment leave no doubt that this is a Chrysler, and for having a very short nose the car still looks good from most angles.

During the reveal, Dieter Zietsche was sitting in the front doubt these concepts were well under way before the breakup of DaimlerChrysler. Apparently Dr. Z is more of a "car guy" than many gave him credit for, as there really was no need for him to attend. It justs makes me wonder what might have been if things were done a little differently a couple years back.

Day Two, by Gregg R. Groff

We’re waiting for Gregg’s wrap-up and hybrid interview. We might be waiting for a long time.

Dodge Journey vs Toyota Venza

While the filthy journalists were kept somewhat at bay from the new Toyota Venza, I was able to get close enough to at least get an idea of the features it has.

dodge journey

The center console on the Venza has the shifter protruding from the vertical section, much like that in the Caliber. This makes for a more useful floor mounted console, but the look of the shifter sticking out of the dash is something that takes getting used to. Toyota's reputation for interiors isn't going to be hurt by this one, and this is one area where the Journey needs a little help. After seeing the level of quality in the Ram's interior, I am hopeful that the rest of Chrysler's line will benefit. There is still too much hard plastic on areas where you rest your arm and across the dash. Venza's interior, while obviously the top trim level, features nice soft material on the doors and dash. It will be interesting to see if this is used on the four cylinder model when it's introduced.

Powertrains are similar, with four and six cylinder engines, but the Venza has a 33 horsepower advantage over the Journey's V6 (235 hp Journey, 268 hp Venza). Both are connected to six speed automatics.

Overall, even though Toyota boasts of bold styling, compared to the Journey it just fades away. Side view and rear of the Venza are too generic - a Toyota trait. The only thing the Journey may be mistaken for is a Caliber, certainly a boost for the Caliber. If Toyota considers the front of the Venza "imposing", then the front styling of the Journey must be considered "intimidating." The styling of the Journey is much more aggressive than the Toyota. If the Journey is purchased as the sole family vehicle I can see no reason for any Red Blooded American Male to be ashamed of being seen in it. Somehow I can see this idea utilized in advertising the Journey.

It's too bad neither vehicle was available for test drives, as that can really tell the character of any vehicle. I would expect that the Venza would be a bit faster, but since I don't have any data on weight or 0-60 times that is just speculation based on horsepower ratings. Journey has an advantage with AWD, it's unclear if that will be offered on the Venza.

One area that the Journey will likely outshine the Venza is in price. I just don't see Toyota pricing an entry level Venza below $20,000. With an AWD V6 selling for $25,530, there is a definite price advantage. Toyota customers tend to be fiercely loyal so I don't know how many will come over to Dodge, but I feel they are doing themselves a disservice not to look at Dodge. This is the first year for the Journey, and after seeing what Chrysler is capable of doing with the new Ram, I'm sure some of the improvements will rub off on the rest of the line.

New concepts

Green is the word of the day, with every manufacturer touting their advances in green technology, Chrysler had to do something a little extra to distance themselves from the crowd. They achieved this end by introducing not one, but three distinctly different ecologically friendly concept vehicles, the Jeep Renegade, Dodge ZEO and the Chrysler ecoVoyager.

Jeep Renegade

The Renegade concept is a B segment vehicle, a two seat sporty minimalist that is a hybrid design. A separate 200 Kilowatt (268 HP) motor for each axle drives the Renegade. Power is supplied by a 16 Kilowatt/hour lithium-ion battery pack that gives an all-electric range of 40 miles Regenerative braking assists in charging the battery, recuperating energy ususally lost as heat. For an extended range, a 1.5 liter, 3 cylinder BLUETEC diesel engine develops and additional 115 HP and provides a range of 400 miles. Equivalent fuel economy is 110 mpg, with lower emissions than a standard gasoline engine.

The framework of the Renegade is aluminum to reduce weight. Other materials used were selected to be environmentally responsible in manufacture as well as recyclability. Featured are soy-based foam seats and doors, co-molded aluminum/silicone steering wheel, a one piece molded chassis with out using harmful resins, and a one piece molded interior tub.Colors in the interior and exterior are molded in to avoid the use of solvents in the paint.

There is no wiring, the controls are wireless id user changeable sealed waterproof units. The HVAC system is not coolant based. The wireless interior is designed to be hosed down It features a floor drain, with channels molded into the floor mats to direct water to the drain.

Above all, this is still a Jeep, which means off-road capability. Four wheel drive with low range and locking differentials front and rear assure trail-worthiness. 235/65R20 BF Goodrich tires on 7.5 inch wide wheels provide the grip. Suspension is SLA (Short-Long Arm) in front, with multi link in the rear. An approach angle of 44 degrees and departure angle of 52 degrees mean that the Renegade can traverse both rock and steep driveways.

Dodge ZEO

The ZEO (Zero Emissions Operation) is a pure electric vehicle featuring a 64 Kilowatt/hour lithim-ion battery providing a range of at least 250 miles. A 200 Kilowatt electric motor driving the rear wheels gives the ZEO a 0-60mph time under six seconds- similar to HEMI powered vehicles.Quarter mile times would be in the 11 second range, with a top speed of 130 mph. 23 inch wheels are placed out at the extreme corners of the vehicle to give the ZEO exceptional handling.

The design is a four door, four passenger sport wagon with distinctive "scissor opening" doors, often called "Lambo Doors". When open, there is easy access for both front and rear passengers An aggressive look is achieved with wide fenders and a long appearing hood. The windshield extends almost to the rear of the car for a panoramic view. The crossbar grille features a blue LED strip to signify this is an electric car.

zeo interior

The interior curves around the passenger in a nearly unbroken line with controls in the center console and a display mounted to the steering column. Seats use "thin technology" similar to that used in the Caravan's Stow n Go seating. Another blue LED strips sweeps from the dash to the rear pillar.The enter hub of the steering wheel is stationary, with the rim revolving about it. Paddle levers control the audio system.


The Chrysler ecoVoyager, contrary to speculation, is not built on any existing platform but instead is described as a "one box' design with the passenger compartment sitting above the propulsion system. Drive is through the front wheels by the shared 200 Kilowatt electric motor. A 16Kw Lithium-ion battery supplies a 40 mile range, Regenerative braking is employed here as well. Extended range is provided by a hydrogen fuel cell, giving the ecoVoyager a range of over 300 miles.


Most of the body is passenger space, with center opening doors that open a full ninety degrees and no center B-pillar to get in the way. The interior can be described as organic, in that there ar no visible button or knobs- or insrument display.The blackout display in a recess in the top of the dash only displays currently needed information. Defroster vents and HVAC vents are hidden behind mesh. Window and heat/massage controls are vintegrated into the armrests of the seats. The interior is designed to make passengers as comfortable as in their own living room.The sound system employs something called "direct sound", where each passenger can listen to their own music without disturbing the others- and without headphones.

These are all considerd design and technology concepts, with no plans to build as shown....but features will show up in future Chrysler vehicles.

Chrysler 300C Hollywood

This design exercise was created to emulate the limousines of the twenties, with an open roof over the chauffer. While not slated for production, it would be easy to imagine dropping off celebrities at a Hollywood premiere. The wheelbase has been stretched 18" to accommodate full-sized front opening doors. There is seating for two, with each occupant having their own 15" flatscreen to view their favorite movie. A center console has places for champagne bottles and glasses. If Chrysler decided to build limosuines, this one could be easily modified to suit the purpose.

inside hollywood from chrysler

300C Hollywood

300C Hollywood edition


Day One: 2009 Dodge Ram introduction (by Gregg R. Groff) — finalized; Day Two coming soon

We are expecting further reports from the show including a look at the Chinese automakers expected to make cars for Dodge. Page update, 5:30 pm: interview with Steve Williams; 7:51 pm, more text and photos


nardelli, press, lasorda

A big introduction needs a big show - Chrysler did not disappoint with the introduction of the 2009 Ram Pickup. Staged outside of Cobo Hall on Washington street, Chairman Bob Nardelli told everyone to "watch the horizon." Soon, a scene from the Old West emerged as cowboys on horses drove a heard of cattle up the street, parting to allow three new Dodge Ram pickups to pull through and park in front of the assembled media. (There was a bit of humor as a few of the cattle decided to do what animals do...)

naias introduction

The new Ram's interior has been a source of speculation here in the forums, I am glad to say that it does not dissapoint. The term "Lexus-like" was overheard, and having sat in the truck I am inclined to agree. The seats are very supple, trim on the doors and dash has a nice feel to it. All in all, the interior does not make you feel like you are sitting in a truck, but a luxury car. The instrument panel is nicely laid out, with chrome trimmed guages. Window switches are where you expect them to be, and there is a large cupholder in a door pocket that is convenient. The Ram Box storage in the bed sides provides 8.6 cubic feet of lockable storage, with a drain so that they may be used as coolers.

inside the new Ram

There will be a Diesel option in 2009, as well as a hybrid HEMI option. The Hybrid promises fuel mileage comparable to that of a sedan.

Steve Williams, Senior Manager of the body-on-frame product team, on the new 2009 Dodge Ram suspension

Allpar: What is the design purpose for the rear sway bar to be mounted facing rearward?

S.Williams: Primarily, it was a packaging concern.

Allpar: What about frame rigidity? Wouldn't it be stronger with the attachment point ahead of the rear axle?

Williams: That was addressed early in the design phase. The only room for the bar was behind the axle, so the frame was a clean sheet design to accompany this. The frame is a box section, hydroformed to provide the strength required.

Allpar: It was mention during the reveal that no one has used a coil sprung rear in a pickup since GM used it in the 1970s. Those trucks were known to have poor handling loaded, and excessive wheelhop on acceleration when unloaded. How were these problems addressed?

Williams: The GM system was a three point suspension. The Ram's suspension is multi link that controls the motion of the rear axle. The spring placement helps to control wheelhop under accelaration.

Allpar: There was mention of a diesel for the light truck, Any hints as to size and configuration?

Williams: All I can say is that it will be a "V" can speculate further if you wish.

Allpar: The interior is a big improvement over the previous models. How much consumer input was involved in the redesign?

Williams: We visit Allpar and other sites, read peoples opinions of our products and take that into consideration when designing the entire vehicle.

Allpar: There is a hybrid system in Rams' future. Is it the same system as the Aspen's?

Williams: Essentially, yes, but reprogrammed for the unique needs of the Ram truck. [Allpar will be following up tomorrow, we hope, with more detail on this.]

Chinese cars at NAIAS

NAIAS stands for North American International Auto Show, and in case you forget about the international part, there are at any given moment conversations going on around you in about nine different languages. You can try to interview the newcomers to the show, the Chinese, but it will likely go like this:

Allpar: What is the target for launching this vehicle in the United States?

Geely: In about three to four years, due to dificulties in meeting US requirements.

Allpar: What kind of difficulties are you having meeting US requirements?

Geely: In about three to four years.....

Allpar: Thank you for your time...

geely car

There were cars from Geely, Chamco (ChamFeng in China), Chang Feng (different company), BYD (Build Your Dream), and one maker of little bubble cars that the only name I could find was in Chinese characters. That's five- quite a presence for a country that is still a few years away from entering our market. I had hoped that Chery would have a representative there so I could see what Chrysler is working with, but I can tell you this much.

China builds cars.

Geely Chamfeng: Chinese car

That fact seems to be lost on many who are under the impression that China did not have an auto industry until the US went over there. While they labored for years under communist rule, without any incentive to improve, they have been building cars for nearly as long as Western countries. What changed with US intervention is the way they built cars.

Think of it this way - let's say the only way you knew how to paint your house was with a brush. Now, you can get the job done, but it's not very smooth, the amount of paint applied is uneven, and it takes a long time to get the job done. Now one day a neighbor comes by and shows you a revolutionary way to paint - with a roller. You try it out, and your first attempt is sloppy, and only a little better than the brush, but much faster. After a few rooms, you get the hang of it snd soon you are painting faster and better than ever......

That's what happened in China. We gave them rollers. They are learning the technology, and quickly.

Chang Feng has a contract with Mitsubishi for the drivetrain, and a chassis calibrated by Lotus for their new car, the Kylin. This is a quick way to achieve certification in western markets. A representative of Geely said that their goal of meeting US emission and safety standards is because these standards are the most stringent - a car that meets US standards can be sold anywhere in the world. Their goal is to break into the westrn European market, this is where the greatest sales potential outside of China exists. Geely already exports to South Africa, Russia, and Venezuela, although the numbers are small (30,000 annually).

Now think about the mindset here. Instead of shooting for an easier target and building to the standards of the desired market, China is going for the toughest standard.

The Chinese built cars on display were of an accepatble quality, nothing earthshaking, but nice fit and finish, with interiors that were comfortable if somewhat subdued. Chamco's SUV used material that closely resembled the MBtex in my 1993 MB 190E, a soft, and durable vinyl.

The rep from Chamco told me that US spec models likely would have leather interiors - leather being far cheaper to produce than vinyl in China. The vinyl interior is actually the upscale material in their market.

Most of the reps I talked to put the launch date of Chinese built cars in the US at 2 to 4 years away. Chamco was more optimistic, expecting to begin export to America in 2009. Chinese built cars are coming, and with a public already accustomed to Asian cars there just may be a market for them.

inside the chamfeng: china car

While not much official comment could be made today on the Chinese carmaker's connection with I am hoping to get more info at tomorrow's press conference. I talked with a representative of Chamco Motors, who claim to be the first importers of Chinese cars to the US. They are looking at a launch date in the first quarter of 2009, with the cars priced about 20% lower than comparable vehicles. The SUV on display, about the size of a Ford Explorer, would sell for about $16,000. They hope to have 150 dealers at launch, and 75 are signed up now. The warranty is likely to be a 3 year/36000 mile warranty, but they are investigating 5/50 or even lifetime powertrain. The cars themselves are about average, with the SUV interior appearing to use the same MBtex material that Mercedes-Benz used in the 1990s. The representative stated that US specification models will likely have leather interiors, as leather is cheaper than textiles in China. The US models will also have a more powerful engine, 185hp vs 150hp in the Chinese market.

Aspen Hybrid

We don’t have a writeup on this one yet. Keep going for more...

Aspen hybrid engine

Dodge Journey

On display were both the SXT and R/T levels of the new Journey. The interior of the SXT was a nearly monochromatic beige that was rather uninspiring, but color aside, there are some nice features.

Plenty of storage, with three bins in the dash alone, an over head compartment with storage for sunglasses or garage door opener plus a convex mirror that can be used to keep an eye on the rear seat passengers (similar to the one in the minivans).

Dodge Journey

The driver's door has a large area designed to fit a "Big Gulp" sized cup, plus the cooled cupholders in the center console (Optional). If you like the Caliber, you'll you'll like the Journey. It has a similar look from the outside, with more room inside. It has good visibility all around, with few blind spots. The R/T I saw had an optional camera by the rear license plate to assist in backing up. This is a feature that really should be standard on many vehicles.

journey interior

Additional new Ram notes

The Ram 4x4 has a larger articulation range than its leaf-spring competitors, and less freeway hop. The 3.7 liter V6 has best in class mileage. The Hemi now has variable cam timing and up to 5% better mileage. The Ram has best in class aerodynamics.

The cattle drive was fairly uneventful and probably not worth the cost of getting all those cattle into Detroit from Oklahoma... Jim Press: “This is one show you’re not going to forget... okay, look at the truck. Let’s not watch that...” ... “Come on down now, get a closer look, but watch where you stand!”

Golf clubs and rear coils and fishing rods all fit into the same RamBox bin. Jim Press is a far better speaker than Bob Nardelli, whose speech was either inspiring or boilerplate, depending on your level of suspicion.

We’ve posted the Dodge Ram details on our 2009 Dodge Ram page.

Three concept vehicles are already known to be ready for introduction, since Chrysler already released drawings: the ecoVoyager, which may well end up replacing the PT Cruiser in Chrysler’s “mid-sized crossover” spot; the Dodge Zeo; and the Jeep Renegade. Photos of these vehicles are here.

GOING TO THE AUTO SHOW: Cobo Hall is a much more friendly arena than, say, the Javits Center; it has parking inside, on the roof, and all around at private garages, not to mention shuttle service from the Detroit Zoo and other locations. If you’re not coming first thing in the morning, the Zoo plus shuttle may be the best way in, though parking is inexpensive.

We were pleasantly surprised at the surrounding area. Police presence was clear but so were a large number of businesses and office buildings which could not have remained if the neighborhood was as bad as, well, other parts of Detroit.

If you live in the area, go to the auto show. It's probably the most grand show in the country and the facilities were surprisingly good.

More photos: Marc Rozman

Over all the show was as good as ever. Many of the displays were repeats, with all the company cuts this saves money of course.

The Chrysler displays were real good. I tend to judge the display attendance by to number of people actually in and around the cars and trunks that the company has to offer. Some displays like Mercury, who had a great concept car last year and this year, see very little activity around the production vehildes. Looking around the Chrysler’s 3 division displays, people were all over most of the cars and trucks on the floor. The new Journey, Ram truck and Mini Vans seem to be the real attention getters. The concepts are cool and draw the peolpe in but if they don't walk over to that production vehicle and check it out you may as well stay home.

I was glad to see the lack of real in your face "Green" theme. Saturn seem to be the real one on board with that but maybe they had more time to work on it, were it is still new to Chrysler LLC, even thought the 3 new concepts are green. I think next year it will be more prevelant as diplays are reworked over the year. Many displays were heavy on the ins and outs of being green, that gets some looks but most people are more interested in what looks and feels good for the price and cost of operation.

I have attended the Detroit Auto show for along time now, my wife and I went on our first date to the 1973 Detroit Auto Show! And were both going strong after all these years! Now if I can just get her to let me buy one of those new Challengers without selling the 69 Charger life will be good!

dodge viper

viper engine

chrysler nassau concept

inside the journey

back of the journey




More photos: Matt K

journey detail

Dodge Ram


journey dashboard

More photos: Gregg Groff



Dodge Stormtrooper

Stormtrooper rear

gas cap detail

Some other sights at NAIAS....


The new Ford F-150 is continuing the "Bold Look" with a larger grille and headlight treatment similar to the Fusion. Straight on, the new front end looks like Boba Fett for you Star Wars fans. It's a love it or hate it look.

hyundai genesis

Look at this engine.....V8, DOHC, 375HP and 333 lb-ft torque, and it's from....Hyundai! It goes in the new Genesis.


Mitsubishi GTO

Mitsubishi brought out an early model of the Galant, yes, that says "GTO" above the license plate. Editor’s note: seems the Mustang and Duster were both major influences.

hummer HX

The Hummer HX, removable roof and doors, how innovative!


Buick Riviera concept, with the largest gullwing doors since custom vans.


For details and photos of the cars, see our minivans, Dodge Avenger, and Dodge Viper pages

Chrysler HeritageHistory by YearChrysler People and BiosCorporate Facts and History

We make no guarantees regarding validity, accuracy, or applicability of information, predictions, or advice. Please read the terms of use and privacy policy. Copyright © 1994-2000, David Zatz; copyright © 2001-2016, Allpar LLC (except as noted, and press/publicity materials); all rights reserved. Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and Mopar are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The Renegade-influenced Wrangler
Chrysler SUV
Could we see a Chrysler SUV?
Harald Wester
FCA’s “22 minute” diesel defense

All Mopar Car and Truck News

FCA at the Eiffels  •  Car photography  •  Chrysler: Port Melbourne

What are the quickest Hellcats? Hey Charger! 2018 Ram 1500