A tech nerd’s view of the North American International Auto Show

DETROIT — Yep, it’s back again. It’s New Year’s, and that means the North American International Auto Show is once again being held at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit.

More than 5,000 journalists from all over the world are being hosted Monday and Tuesday during Press Preview Days. On Wednesday and Thursday, thousands more industry figures will be there for Industry Preview Days. The annual Charity Preview takes place Friday, and the show opens to the public Saturday, running through Jan. 22.

For more information on the show, visit http://www.naias.com.

Here are the pictures I took Monday, with commentary, on what’s up on the show floor.

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Some honest to goodness dreamboats from Alfa Romeo

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BMW’s electric supercar, the i8. Behind it is the much more modest and affordable, but still cool, i3.
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Thousands attended Ford’s press conference in a practically unrecognizable Joe Louis Arena. The automaker cosponsored a major conference on the city of tomorrow Monday at the JLA space as well.

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A new electric Ford cab.
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Ford Motor Co. executive chairman Bill Ford
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Ford CEO Mark Fields
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An illustration of the city of tomorrow in the 100-foot Ford oval screen high over Joe Louis Arena.
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Ford, Fields and (back to camera) journalist Walter Isaacson discuss the problems of the city of tomorrow.

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The Michelin Media Center, which takes over the Riverfront Grand Ballroom at Cobo for press preview days. Unlimited fountain Coke Zero is a true danger to this reporter. By midafternoon I was vibrating like a tuning fork.
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A 1950s Chevy Nomad graced the press lounge area.

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That’s a Mercedes? OK then.

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The North American Car of the Year, the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, featuring 200-mile range. Auto officials say EVs with 300 to 350-mile range are not far off. So much for range anxiety.
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A new Chevy Traverse.
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This nifty fold-up flat screen is part of the new Traverse.

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Ford gets into the mini-SUV game with the EcoSport, due out in 2018.

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The Roush P-51 edition of the Ford Mustang. A mere 727 hp. I can almost hear the cell doors clanging shut behind me. But it would be fun while it lasted.

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A truly weird car of tomorrow at the ZF display. A rock garden on the dashboard and a keyboard instead of a steering wheel.

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This Nissan concept has the ultimate in suicide doors.

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The Nissan Rogue Sport, a new small SUV from the Japanese carmaker led by Carlos Ghosn.
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A Mercedes-Benz hybrid-electric propulsion system
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Chatting up the crowd at the Lawrence Tech booth in the Cobo Center atrium.

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The VR system at the LTU booth lets you walk around a virtual auto design lab.

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Our Vanishing Americana Dept.: The auto show spokesmodel.

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Yeah, the Acura supercar. If I picked the right six numbers some week, I just might.

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