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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eleven
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Aston Martin at Detroit Auto Show
Issue Eleven
March 30, 2004
Live, From Detroit, It's the 2004 NAIAS!
Detroit Auto Show Awards
Keeping things in Balance
60 Seconds with Henrik Fisker
Windshield Dyno: The Beltronics GX2
Nissan Altima Facelift
WORK Wheels Introduction
Cadillac Merchandise
Not The Record To Be Proud Of
Open Wheel Racing in the USA: Big Changes
Bear Market in the Auto Business?
Coming Next Issue
NYC Auto Show

Live, From Detroit, It's the 2004 NAIAS, continued.

Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Supercar

Audi A8L Long Wheel Base V12

Pontiac Solstice Convertible Sports Car

Lamborghini Murcielago

Hundreds of Photos in the Photo Gallery
Another entry at the 2004 NAIAS that didn't suffer from the "not being in production" category is the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Perhaps the only thing this car suffers from is an exorbitant price tag. We were pleased to discover that the car isn't nearly as long as it looks in pictures and seeing it stripped down to the chassis reveals the incredible engineering ingenuity behind this car. For example, the Mercedes-Benz three-point star on the grill, which has always been a purely cosmetic fashion statement, does double duty as an air intake for the supercharger. The interior of the car is almost as sleek and efficient as the exterior. With individually padded bucket seat, the SLR is remarkably comfortable for a sports car, but then, one would expect nothing less from Mercedes-Benz.

The new flagship model from Audi, the A8L 6.0 Quattro, sports some serious muscle with a V12 capable of producing 450-horsepower, enabling it to reach 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. The Quattro all-wheel drive and air suspension systems come standard, and it is the first car in the world to be equipped with the new adaptive light technology with LED daytime driving lights.

And last, but not least there is the Pontiac Solstice, a front-engine, rear-wheel drive convertible that has been the pet project of Bob Lutz every since he came to GM in 2001. Sporting a 170-horsepower, 2.4L Eco-Tech engine, a five-speed manual transmission, front- and rear-independent suspension. The 2006 model will be available in 2005 and is expected to sell for less than $20,000. Sources close to the project say GM will produce 100,000 units annually.

Just as a great concert comes to an end, always much too quickly, so to did the 2004 NAIAS Press Days. But unlike a rock concert, the journalist audience will have to wait until next year for an encore. What took weeks, approximately 10, to prepare and build is torn down as quickly as possible to make room for the massive crowds that will fill Detroit's Cobo Hall from Jan. 10 through Jan. 19 as the public gets to feast their eyes on the newest, latest and greatest that the automotive industry has to offer. Detroit is a lot of things, not the least of which is glamorous and exciting. In addition, the NAIAS always provides more than its share of surprises. So much so that it has become the hallmark of the show. Now, if only they sold a "concert T-shirt."
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