Ghosn to Keynote Big Apple’s Auto Show

The show features more than a dozen global debuts and about 10 North American introductions.

Herb Shuldiner

April 11, 2006

4 Min Read
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NEW YORK – Renault SA Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn kicks off the New York International Auto Show April 12 with a keynote address.

Ghosn, who also is CEO of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., makes his second appearance in this role. The theme of his speech is the importance of value in the global auto industry.

In addition, the show will feature more than a dozen global debuts and about 10 North American introductions. Here is a rundown on some of the highlights:

The Chrysler 300 long-wheelbase model debuts, featuring an extra 6-ins. (15 cm). The stretched wheelbase adds 10.2 cu.-ft. (0.3 cu-m) of interior space and provides 46 ins. (117 cm) of rear legroom. A 250-hp V-6 engine is standard and a V-8 Hemi producing 340 hp is optional.

Jeep will stage global introductions of two new models here. The ’07 Patriot is an all-new CUV that will become the entry-level model for the brand. A concept version debuted at the last Frankfurt auto show. The production version will be offered in 2- and all-wheel-drive versions. A 2.4L, 172-hp engine with variable valve timing is standard. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable transmission is optional. There also is a Limited model that includes air conditioning, power windows, speed-sensitive power locks and tinted glass.

A facelifted Volvo XC90 makes its global debut. It will be the first to use the all-new inline 6-cyl. engine designed by Volvo and manufactured at a Ford Motor Co. U.K. plant. Volvo says it is likely other Ford nameplates will use the same engine. In addition, Volvo’s S80 flagship sedan will have its North American premiere.

Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9 7-passenger cross/utility vehicle is designed specifically for the North American market. It will be available in either front-drive or AWD versions and will have a new 3.5L V-6 engine. The CX-9 comes with dynamic stability control and roll stability control as standard equipment.

Lexus’ most powerful hybrid sedan makes its world premiere. The LS luxury hybrid, which goes on sale next year, is a high performance hybrid with power equivalent to a V-12, but with better fuel economy.

Scion unveils a new sport coupe concept featuring doors that swing up and out to open, similar to those found on some Lamborghini models. The doors swing out and up to open. While this Blue Blitz Mica-colored version is not expected to become a production vehicle. The design exercise hints at the second-generation tC.

Saturn has a trio of new models making their global debuts. The midsize Aura sport sedan is expected to boost sales when it becomes available this summer. The Sky Red Line that goes on sale in the fall is a performance version of the stylish roadster the brand recently introduced. The Outlook 8-passenger is built on a new General Motors Corp.’s platform that also will underpin the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia.

Pontiac will use its G6 GXP for feedback for a new higher performance midsize model. The GXP uses a 3.9L V-6 with a 6-speed manual transmission. The engine is said to generate 270 hp and 259 lb.-ft. (351 Nm) of torque.

Acura marks its 20th anniversary by introducing a concept version of an MDX CUV. The vehicle, which goes on sale later this year as an ’07 model, was designed and developed in North America and will also be built here. Acura designs, develops and manufactures about two-thirds of its models in North America. Suzuki Motor Corp. unveils its XL7 midsize CUV that comes with a 3.6L DOHC engine. The XL7 is 197 ins. (500 cm) long and is built on a platform with a 112.4-in. (286-cm) wheelbase.

The Mercedes-Benz ’07 E-Class makes its global debut with a new glass sunroof as standard equipment. The wagon version offers a power tailgate as standard. For the first time, the E-Class will come equipped with the Mercedes Pre-Safe system that was first used in the S-Class. The E550 model, powered by a new-generation 32-valve 5.5L V-8 delivering 382 hp and 391 lb.-ft. (530 Nm) of torque, replaces the E500. There’s also a new E63 AMG replacing the E55 AMG model. The E63 is powered by a 6.3L naturally aspirated V-8 that produces 503 hp and 465 lb.-ft. (630 Nm) of torque.

The Hyundai Elantra debuts as the last of a 7-vehicle product blitz by the South Korean auto maker in the last two years. The Elantra continues the aerodynamic styling cues in the Santa Fe CUV and is 2.2 ins. (5.6 cm) longer. It also is taller and wider. The Elantra hits showrooms this fall.

The Kia Sorento gets an extensive facelift – both exterior and interior. The fresh new look is helped by a revised grill, bumper and lights. Kia also promises new safety features, power and a more nimble performance. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. will show its all-new Altima and redesigned Maxima, while luxury division Infiniti is expected to unveil a production version of the new G35. The Coupe Concept, shown at the North American International Auto Show in January, hints at the conservative design of the new G35.

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