Detroit 2008: Five Significant Production Debuts

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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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