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GM Rolls Out Five Sleek Concept Cars
Cadillac Evoq
The Cadillac Evoq
(click photo to enlarge)

Chevrolet Nomad
The Chevrolet Nomad
(click photo to enlarge)

Pontiac Aztek
The Aztek sports aggressive Pontiac styling.
(click photo to enlarge)

Buick Cielo
The Buick Cielo
(click photo to enlarge)

Oldsmobile Recon
The Oldsmobile Recon
(click photo to enlarge)

Aztek Interior
Aztek Interior
(click photo to enlarge)

Streaming VideosGet Windows Media Player
*Buick Cielo (28.8K)
*Buick Cielo (56K)
*Oldsmobile Recon (28.8K)
*Oldsmobile Recon (56K)
*Pontiac Aztek (28.8K)
*Pontiac Aztek (56K)
*Wayne Cherry Interview (28.8K)
*Wayne Cherry Interview (56K)

General Motors chairman and CEO Jack Smith stressed GM's dedication to the "pursuit of leadership" through innovative designs and a greatly reduced production cycle here in Detroit today. According to Smith, a new and more streamlined approach is going to allow GM to introduce one new product per month throughout the entire year of 1999. Today, the automaker introduced five such examples.

Smith was joined by Rick Wagoner, GM president and chief operating officer, who elaborated on this theme. He stressed the need for GM brands to sense the unique needs and desires of customers, and then quickly adapt accordingly.

GM vice president of design Wayne Cherry then took the stage to preside over the unveiling of five gleaming new concept cars.

He pointed out that the concepts were developed not only as technology test beds, but also as crossover design studies aimed at addressing emerging lifestyle trends.

(Click here to see a streaming video interview with Wayne Cherry, conducted by CarPoint Editor/Publisher Mark Hickling.)

The first concept to drive down the ramp was the Pontiac Aztek. Referred to as a "lifestyle support vehicle for young and active people" by Cherry, the Aztek combines the handling of a sport sedan with the utility of a minivan. The rear seats and cargo area can be reconfigured for maximum versatility, and traction is assured with full-time all-wheel drive. All this is wrapped in an aggressive style that is obviously Pontiac.

The Buick Cielo was the second concept to be featured. An open-air 4-door sedan, the Cielo is equipped with a retractable hardtop that rides roof rails into the trunk. Inside, voice-activated controls can be customized to each individual driver. The graceful lines of this concept were clearly Buick.

Next up was a uniquely styled concept from Oldsmobile called the Recon. Considered by its maker to be the next generation of sport utillty, the Recon features Internet access and the latest communications technology.

Chevrolet brought out the Nomad next. Referred to as a different sort of crossover, the Nomad combined the performance of a sports car with the flexibility of a sport utility. It features styling similar to the '50s model with the same name, and has a small block V8 under the hood.

But the star of the show was the Cadillac Evoq. The sleek roadster features crisp edges, with a grille and taillights that are all Cadillac. Even more impressive looking with the hardtop retracted, the Evoq is powered by an enhanced Northstar system. Of all the concepts, this appeared to be the most producible.