The NAIS Auto Show makes Detroit the center of the automotive universe for a few days in January and it's pretty amazing what you can see as you walk the floors.
- For the 12-year old in you, Chevy showed a Camaro decked out in lime-green paint over chrome finish, Hot-Wheel details and logos, and a flat-black racing stripe running from the hood and its eight chrome-lined heat extractors, over the roof and off the rear spoiler. It's the paint job that really caught my eye -- somehow it recreates the shiny, cool, colorful Hot Wheel car-look I remember from my childhood. And staging it on a giant orange Hot-Wheel track is a nice touch.
- For the 18-year old in you, at least if you're a male, the show still has the traditional bevy of beauties standing around the cars and trucks. One of these days, they just might put an end to this practice. But for balance, I must add that when I went to see what Ford was doing with its trucks, I noticed the company had positioned several flannel-shirted, blue-jeaned guys around the vehicles. It seemed only fair.
- For those with a need for speed, there was the new Audi R8 (complete with a booth babe),
and the eye-popping LF-LC from Lexus.
There were also a nice collection of BMWs, Acuras, and other high-end speedsters, as well as a classic 1952 Mercedes 300 SL.
- For the celebrity spotters, there were several Detroit-area congresspersons, both the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Energy, and way too many auto executives to count. There were also a few "other" stars. BMW, for example, had speed skater Apolo Ohno, swimmer Janet Evans and decathlon champ Bryan Clay introduce the new 3 Series. Ohno is the only one I recognized though, thanks to his trademark soul patch. Now you might ask, what does a German luxury car company have to do with some U.S. Olympians? According to car company, the common threads are speed, agility, and athleticism.
- And finally, for the ultimate soccer-mom mobile, the Maserati Kubang, an SUV built on a Jeep platform and powered by a 6.4-liter V8 Hemi.
And if you want to see more, check out all the fresh new videos from the floor of Cobo Hall when the NAIAS Auto Show was in town!