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2006 North American International Auto Show Day 2
 Date: January 09, 2006 15:57
 Submitted by:  JeffX
 Source: TOV News
 Credibility Rating: Not Specified

3:50PM Well, our first update of the day is a little late. First of all, we got here a little later than originally planned, but still in plenty of time to make our key objective for today. The media center here has become impossibly overcrowded and for some reason the wireless internet is utter crap up there. So at the moment I'm tapping away from the comfort of a leather chair in Nissan's very nice display, enjoying a frosty Sapporo. Down here on the show floor the wireless internet connectivity is great. Thanks for the brews, Nissan!

Anyhow, as expected, the RDX was the big debut during the Acura press conference. The rumor we heard about the "surprise" announcement of a mid-engine V6 sports car must have been disinformation of some sort, or Acura got cold feet, because there was no mention of it. As you may have already seen, what was mentioned were the specs for the RDX - 2.3L Turbo (as we've been saying), 240hp, and 260lb-ft of torque, with SH-AWD and a "racing-inspired paddle shifter". We have a hunch that Acura's holding the line at "only" 240hp on the RDX so it doesn't create too much havoc in the spec hierarchy of the line. We got a few photos during the conference, but with something like 1000 heads bobbing about, we're waiting until the crowd dissipates so we can get better "clear" shots of the car. Hence the Sapporo. While we waited for Acura's press conference, we were fortunate enough to have the Fit's Senior Product Planner (Christina Ra) give us an on-camera overview of the car. We'll be sharing the video as soon as we can get it edited. Photos from today will be posted soon after I release this, so check back to see some shots from the RDX introduction. jp

UPDATE: 4:08PM Thanks to a reminder from one of our readers, I realized I forgot to reveal what the mysterious shrouded object was. The object I'm talking about is the vehicle that looked suspiciously like a 1986 Acura Legend through the translucent cover. It was in fact a 1986 Vintage Acura Legend, and unfortunately, not a supercar cloaked in an elaborate facade, as some had suggested. Good try - very imaginative! jp

UPDATE: 7:09PM We started late, but we hit the ground running: a thorough interview with the Fit senior project planner went very well and I learned quite a bit about the car since it's the first time I've laid eyes on it in the flesh. It's actually very attractive, reminding me quite a bit of the recently departed EP3 Civic Si, just in a smaller size with different purpose and proportions. The "Magic Seat" is really cool, offerring numerous interior configurations that allow for a cavernous cargo space. If I were looking for a small, attractively priced runabout with good power and efficiency, the Fit would be near or at the top of my list. With 109 HP and a 5MT, it should be a good bit of fun, especially for those with active lifestyles.

We also had the privilege of interviewing the RDX's sales large project leader, Will Walton, who gave us some additional background into the design and details of this exciting SUV. With Honda's first North American turbocharged engine in a car, the 2.3L I-4 saddled with SH-AWD should be rewarding to drive. Unfortunately, it isn't offered with a manual transmission at this time (perhaps in the future?), but hopefully the sequential automatic has been retuned for more sporting drivers (unlike the RL). We'll have more details about the RDX once we get Will's interview edited and uploaded.

In the meantime, be sure to visit the gallery to see some of the pics we took today. In the meantime, I'm signing off for the day. We'll return tomorrow to fill-in some of the gaps of pictures we missed from some of the other exciting introductions that occured earlier. rl

UPDATE: 1:01 AM Technically it's tomorrow, but since we haven't been to sleep yet, it's still today in our minds. We really do have to give mega kudos to Chrysler for hosting the past two nights of killer parties. If we were hanging around tomorrow night, we would be enjoying a third and final night of sheer joy. They really do it up right: drinks, food, music, and good people. Everyone we've encountered at the Chrysler events have been immensely pleasant and great to chat with. It's nice to have some relaxed company after a day of rambunctious press events and shuffling about. Important to note is that Jeff and I caught glimpses of David Spade and his entourage entering and leaving the Chrysler event, Miss Michigan serving drinks and mixing with the crowd (she's a scant 6'1" or so), and heard that Angie Harmon and her husband Jason Sehorn were mingling earlier in the evening as we were slaving over photos and video. The things we do for our readers...

Our trusty Chrysler 300 rental transported us back to our comfy Sleep Inn with style and we're about to hit the sack so we can catch the much hyped Chrysler press event tomorrow morning around 9am. See you then. Ryan out. rl

Last edited by JeffX on January 12, 2006 11:55

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