Detroit 2008: Five Significant Production Debuts

January 18, 2008
These are our picks for significant production debuts at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. They're all game changers of some form or another. Read why we think so and then click the links at the end for full coverage of each vehicle.
0801 04 Z+2009 Hyundai Genesis+rear Three Quarter View
2009 Hyundai Genesis
With rear-wheel-drive, a powerful V-8, and an attractive (albeit contrived) design, Hyundai moves into the large luxury sedan market. Slowly but surely, this company continues to raise its own bar. It's interesting to note that Hyundai didn't use the Genesis to launch a Lexus-like brand. We're eager to see who buys these cars.

0712 05z+2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1+rear Overhead View
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
True, we've known about this one since December, but it's hardly old news. Chevy is building the most powerful - and most expensive - Corvette ever. It may not look much different from other C6 Vettes, but this one is packed with enough power and tech to make up for it. If it's as good as it looks on paper there should be no shortage of customers for this $100,000 beast.

0801 02z+2009 BMW 335d+front Three Quarter View
2009 BMW 335d
We love diesels and, according to a few recent All-Star lists, we happen to like the 3-series. We're glad to finally see a performance-oriented diesel sedan on its way to the USA. Honorable mention goes to the X5 equipped with the same engine - quite possibly the perfect tow vehicle. Let the diesel invasion begin.

0801 03 Z+2009 Volkswagen Passat CC+front Three Quarter View
2009 Volkswagen Passat CC
Sexy Passat used to be an oxymoron. Volkswagen has taken the idea for the Mercedes CLS (itself based on the E-class) and created a four-door coupe for the masses. Look for the Passat name to be dropped for the American market, and for the CC to start somewhere around $27,000. That's an impressive price for a car that looks this good.

0801 07 Z+2009 Cadillac CTS V+front View
2009 Cadillac CTS-V
Power like this was previously unheard of in an American sedan. Like the CTS coupe concept, the CTS-V shows Cadillac is serious about going after the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The factory-tuned horsepower war will no longer be limited to German soil.


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2009 Hyundai Genesis

Base RWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
starting at (MSRP)
3.8L V6
Fuel Economy
18 City 27 Hwy
2009 Hyundai Genesis