The wait is over: Here come the cars

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Celebrating its 25th anniversary as an international event, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most —up close and in one place.

The parade of fabulous new vehicles equipped with cutting-edge automotive technology from around the world is on its way to Detroit.

“It’s what we’ve been working toward since last January,” said Bob Shuman, chairman, NAIAS 2014. “The manufacturers continue to show their confidence in the NAIAS, and will once again bring their absolute best to Detroit’s world stage. The show is going to rock.”

With less than two weeks to go before the show opens to the largest media audience in North America, the industry remains focused on one of the top automotive events in the world.

“We’re at the top of our game,” said Shuman. “That means introductions of an expected 50 worldwide concept and production vehicles that will be seen for the very first time right here in Detroit,” Shuman added.

With more than 5,000 journalists from around the globe expected to attend the NAIAS, the show continues to be at the forefront as a venue for manufacturers and Tier One suppliers to announce new vehicles and make industry news. NAIAS also attracts large numbers of high-ranking auto executives.

“Just by looking at the numbers, top management knows that Detroit is where they need to be,” said Shuman.

Our top expected unveilings and highlights for the 2014 NAIAS:

Ford Mustang marks 50 years with all-new sleek design, innovative technologies and world-class performance

The all-new Ford Mustang is one of the most hotly anticipated cars coming to this year’s NAIAS. While the new Ford Mustang was revealed in early December, Detroiters are eager to get up close and personal with the legendary vehicle.

“The Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car, it is the heart and soul of Ford.”

Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the 9 million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music vdeos and video games and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. For the first time, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia.

“We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang, an American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom for millions of people around the world,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln.

The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements, including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck, with contemporary execution.

“You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true,” said Moray Callum, Ford executive director, design, The Americas.

Key design features to look for:

• A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track

• The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass

• Three-dimensional, tri-bar tail lamps with sequential turn signals

• Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front and trapezoidal grille

Mustang convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car a more upscale appearance and a quieter cabin. The new top lowers twice as fast as before, and has a sleeker profile when folded for open-air motoring.

The information and controls and active driver needs are all readily accessible in the aviation-inspired cockpit, which is executed with the highest degree of craftsmanship ever found in a Mustang. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomier cabin, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags.

Dodge Debuts New Dart Blacktop

The Dodge brand is expanding its lineup of Blacktop packages to the 2014 Dodge Dart, building on the success of the Blacktop packages already offered on Charger, Challenger, Avenger, Journey and Grand Caravan.

Built to give customers a sporty, distinct look customized by the factory at a tremendous value, the Dodge Blacktop vehicles add unique Gloss Black wheels, select exterior paint colors, Gloss Black painted split-crosshair grille with Gloss Black matching grille surround and darkened headlamp bezels, as well as some unique Blacktop interior touches.

“The Blacktops have become a signature of sorts for the Dodge Brand,” said Tim Kuniskis, president and CEO, Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “With the addition of the Blacktop package for the Dodge Dart, we’re adding to our line-up of vehicles that offer the more aggressive look that has become so popular with our customers.”

The 2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop package will start arriving at dealers in the first quarter of 2014.

The reveal of the 2015 Corvette Z06 and C7.R

Chevrolet will introduce the 2015 Corvette Z06 and it will be the most track-capable Corvette ever, designed to deliver supercar levels of performance through unique powertrain, chassis and aerodynamic features.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 and the all-new C7.R represent the next evolution in the Corvette Stingray, the industry’s most awarded car in 2013. Continuing the momentum, the reveal of the Z06 and the C7.R will be live streamed on Monday, Jan. 13 during the North American International Auto Show.

The live stream will be available at chevy.com/Z06reveal beginning at 9:30 a.m. EST in the Chevrolet Exhibit at Cobo Hall.

“Chevrolet is America’s favorite performance car brand, and for 2014 we are going to offer enthusiasts more choices than ever before,” said Alan Batey, senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “No other manufacturer will be able to match the breadth of performance cars from Chevrolet.”

The 2014 Corvette Stingray is one of three finalists for the North American Car of the Year, on which 48 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada vote to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. The winners for North American Car and Truck of the Year will be announced Jan. 13 at an auto show media event in Detroit.

For more information about the 2014 North American International Auto Show, please visit http://www.naias.com.

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