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VW Dune concept. (Volkswagen)
VW Dune concept. (Volkswagen)

Shifting Gears

Shifting gears: News and notes from the Detroit auto show Add to ...

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. That appears to be the tack Volkswagen is taking with its Beetle Dune concept vehicle, set for its worldwide debut Monday at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

The original Dune, unveiled in Los Angeles in January 2000, “was more science fiction,” says Volkswagen in a press release previewing its successor, adding that this one “is practically a production vehicle.”

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The new Dune, which harkens back to 1960s California surf and sun, features “a wide, cool and offroad look,” according to VW.

READY FOR ITS CLOSEUP: The Corvette Stingray was the star of the 2013 show – and Chevrolet is hoping to steal the Detroit spotlight again this year with the reveals of its much-anticipated 2015 Corvette Z06 and C7.R. In fact, the auto maker plans to stream both debuts on Jan. 13 starting at 9:30 a.m. Go to chevy.com/Z06reveal on Monday to watch it live.

And while vital statistics for the Z06 have been a well-guarded secret, Chevrolet finally slipped up on Tuesday – on purpose perhaps? – and revealed the car’s performance numbers on the web.

Meta data from Chevy’s website (the text description below the URL of a Google search on the vehicle) stated, “With 620 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the most advanced Corvette ever made. Read more about Chevy’s supercar here.” This was captured in a screenshot posted by a Jalopnik.com reader.

The meta data has since been changed to “The 2015 Corvette Z06 is the most advanced Corvette ever made. Read more about Chevy’s supercar here.”

BIDEN, HIS TIME: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and at least four other Obama administration officials will pay a visit next week to the Detroit auto show. The Detroit News says that Biden will tour the Cobo Center on Jan. 15.

ROCK ON: More than 50 concept and production vehicles will make their worldwide debuts at the 2014 NAIAS starting Jan. 13. “The show is going to rock,” said Bob Shuman, chairman of the show. “We’re at the top of our game.”

Debuts? Absolutely. They have a few. Try these on for size: Among those 50 or so unveilings that Shuman is bragging about are the Cadillac ATS Coupe, Corvette Z06 and C7.R, Chrysler 200 sedan, BMW M3 and M4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class Coupe, Volvo Concept XC Coupe, Lexus RC F and LF/NX, Hyundai Genesis, Kia GT4, Nissan’s Sport Sedan Concept and the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge.

JUMPING THE GUN: General Motors will unveil the new 2015 GMC Canyon pickup on Jan. 12, a day ahead of the Detroit auto show. Its Chevy twin, the Colorado, was revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

DOWN THE ROAD: Tesla already has its sights set on 2015, as it hopes to unveil its so-called electric vehicle for the masses at next year’s NAIAS, according to Bild. Franz von Holzhausen, the California-based auto maker’s chief designer, told the German magazine that the Model E – with an expected range of 320 kilometres – will not simply be a smaller version of the Model S. The Los Angeles Times reports that it will be priced at about $40,000 (U.S.). In the meantime, Tesla’s funky Model X electric crossover – with gullwing doors – is expected to go on sale in a few month’s time.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: Auto show fanatics can download an app from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play store that allows viewers to “experience what it’s like to be on the show floor in Detroit,” according to the promotional propaganda. The free app, called Auto Show Passport, also showcases the cool cars from the Geneva, Shanghai, Frankfurt, Paris and Tokyo shows.

RUN, DON’T WALK: The NAIAS opens its doors to the public with the Auto Show Shuffle, its second annual five-kilometre run on Jan. 18. It’s free and registered participants will receive a T-shirt, medal and discounted admission to the show.

QUICK HITS: The NAIAS runs from Jan. 18 to 26; tickets are $13 (U.S.) for adults, $7 for seniors and children … Approximately 800,000 people will go through the event’s turnstiles … More than 5,000 journalists are expected to attend the Jan. 13 and 14 media preview days … The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards will be announced early on Jan. 13 … Grammy award winner Sheryl Crow will perform at an NAIAS black tie charity gala on Jan. 17 … The Detroit auto show has been in existence since December, 1907 and has been staged at its current location, the Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center, since 1965.

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