Buick Cielo (28.8K)
Buick Cielo (56K)
Oldsmobile Recon (56K)
Pontiac Aztek (56K)
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
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
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
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
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.