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DAY ONE : Sunday, January 5 - Part 1


North American Car & Truck of the Year Award

Volvo XC 90: Winner of the North American Truck of the Year

MINI Cooper: Winner of the North American Car of the Year

An international group of automotive journalists today selected the Mini Cooper and Cooper S as the North American Car of the Year and the Volvo XC 90 as the North American Truck of the Year. 

The other finalists in the car section were the Nissan 350Z and the Infiniti G35. Finalists in the truck section were the Hummer H2, the Nissan Murano and the Honda Element.

Candidates for the 2003 North American Car of the Year were the BMW 7-Series, Honda Accord, Honda Civic Hybrid, Infiniti G35, Mazda6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Mini Cooper and Cooper S, Nissan 350Z, Pontiac Vibe, Saab 9-3, Saturn Ion and Toyota Matrix.

Candidates for the North American Truck of the Year were the Ford Expedition, Honda Element, Honda Pilot, Hummer H2, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Range Rover, Lexus GX 470, Lincoln Aviator, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Murano, Subaru Baja, Toyota 4Runner and Volvo XC90.

Ford Motor Company

Ford 427 Concept

Model U

Freestyle FX

The Ford 427 concept is a modern, all-American sedan inspired by the exuberance of the company's landmark sedans of the 1960s, replete with the uncompromising, 590-horsepower engine that inspired its name.

"This is a car that you take home, park in your driveway, sit back and let your neighbor eat his heart out," said J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president, Design. "The 427 concept is unmistakably Ford and 100 percent American. It demonstrates that a sedan from a U.S. manufacturer can once again be exciting, sexy, sophisticated and powerful."

Inspired by how the Model T revolutionized personal transportation in the last century, a team of Ford researchers and designers created Model U. It is a clear expression of Ford Motor Company 's strategy to pursue future automotive technologies without compromising today's customer expectations for personal mobility. 

"When Henry Ford built the Model T, it was affordable, offered the most advanced manufacturing and was built with the most advanced materials," says Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, Ford Motor Company vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering. "In a similar but entirely contemporary way, Model U starts a new cycle."

The Freestyle FX concept is a new kind of vehicle that transcends boundaries and can't be pigeonholed. In the world of crossovers, it is like nothing else because it is based on nothing else. Purpose-built for consumers with active lifestyles, the vehicle was conceptualized as an all-things-to-all-people, no-excuses concept version of the production Ford Freestyle, scheduled to make its debut in 2004.

"The Freestyle FX is a thinking person's vehicle, a complete surprise box when you open it up," says Chris Theodore, Ford vice president, North America Product Development. "It offers the aspirational looks of an SUV, great driving dynamics with the quiet and refined ride of a sedan, the capacity and flexibility of a minivan and the security of all-wheel drive."


Dodge Durango concept SUV

"The Dodge Durango Concept is a new generation of sport-utility vehicle that could only wear the Dodge name," said Richard Schaum, Executive Vice President, Product Development. "With its bold cross-hair grille, innovative interior and a big HEMI rumbling under its hood, the Durango Concept exemplifies the in-your-face styling and sheer capability that is Dodge."

The Dodge Durango Concept design provides a strong hint of the next generation Durango that will appear in late 2003 as a 2004 model. The Durango Concept is approximately 85-percent of the production level exterior design.

The Dodge Durango Concept features a bold and powerful presence that is three inches longer, more than three inches taller and four and a half inches wider than the current generation Durango. The enlarged exterior results in a roomier all-new interior that provides increased head, shoulder and hip room and available seating for seven. Interior capacity is increased by 15 percent and is enhanced by Durango's fold-flat cargo floor. As shown in the concept, Durango now has the capability to carry 48-inch wide sheets of plywood between the wheel wells.


2004 Nissan Quest 

The new Maxima 

The all-new 2004 Nissan Quest is a revolutionary, category-redefining approach to the minivan – one designed to add a heretofore missing element of style and personality while at the same time elevating the traditional minivan strengths of functionality, utility and safety features. The new Quest is scheduled to go on sale at more than 1,100 Nissan dealers nationwide in summer 2003 as a 2004 model and will be the first of four new vehicles scheduled to be assembled at Nissan's new $1.43 billion manufacturing facility in Canton, Miss.



The new Maxima is more stylish, refined and evolved than ever – higher performance, roomier and sportier. In essence, a wolf in wolf's clothing,” said Kirrane. The 2004 Maxima is available in two models: the sporty 3.5 SE and the luxurious 3.5 SL. For the first time, Maxima will be assembled in the United States, at Nissan’s award-winning manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn. The new Maxima is scheduled to go on sale at 1,100 Nissan dealers nationwide in March 2003.


Pikes Peak concept

A8 L

Premiere in Detroit: at the North American International Motor Show Audi is exhibiting a sport concept study: the Pikes Peak quattro, for all on-road driving and moderate off-road terrain. It has been developed exclusively for this debut at America's most important automobile exhibition.

This impressive study for an Audi that is typical in its suitability for several market segments, takes its name from Pikes Peak, a mountain some 4,300 meters (14,110 feet) high that rises abruptly out of the Colorado Plain of the Rocky Mountains. It can be seen from many miles away and is also called "America's Mountain".




Premiering in Los Angeles and following at Detroit's North American International Auto Show is the highly anticipated, all-new 2004 Audi A8 L 4.2. The long-wheelbase version -- with an additional five inches -- is the ultimate luxury sedan choice for North American customers, and provides even greater room for rear-passenger comfort.

Behind the wheel, A8 L owners will experience driving the most sporty of luxury sedans, with its advanced aluminum air spring suspension and shock absorber control, quattro(R) permanent all-wheel drive system and powerful 4.2-liter V8 engine.

Day One: Part I     Day One: Part II

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