December 31, 2006
Automotive adventure between Europe and Asia : GlobalGiants.com
With the Mercedes-Benz E-Class from Paris to Beijing.
Stuttgart – On October 21st, 33 E-Class cars with clean diesel drive started on a fascinating long-distance drive covering around 13,600 kilometres from Paris to Beijing. The symbolic bridging between Europe and Asia over long stretches of the journey followed the route of the first transcontinental car race in history, which started exactly 99 years ago from Peking to Paris. The winner reached his destination in 62 days. With the modern E-Class cars, Mercedes-Benz accomplished this journey, parts of which are unpassable areas, in only 26 days. The sporting challenge for the roughly 330 participants from 35 nations was to achieve the lowest possible fuel consumption for the separate stages and the overall distance.
With this automotive marathon, Mercedes-Benz once again demonstrated the capabilities of its latest diesel engines with respect to emissions, economy and operating range, even under the most extreme conditions.
Five legs from Europe to Asia
After the start in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower on 21 October, the route of the ”E-Class Experience” initially led through France, Germany, Poland and the Baltics to St. Petersburg, where the first change of drivers took place after seven days. In this case, the route followed the path of the legendary first transcontinental automobile race held 99 years ago, which ran in the opposite direction from Beijing to Paris and wrote automotive history.
In many places the convoy was spontaneously surrounded and joyfully greeted by local people who appreciated their striking and unusual design. All participating E-Class cars are decorated with the flags of the participating nations, in order to underline the internationality of the long distance drive.
The longest diesel marathon of all times ended successfully in Beijing. The 36 Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars, which left Paris on 21 October on a transcontinental rally covering about 14,000 kilometres, arrived safe and sound in the Chinese capital after traversing Europe and Asia. Through this endurance test under extreme conditions Mercedes-Benz has once again demonstrated the outstanding performance of its modern diesel engines in terms of emissions, fuel economy and reliability. Proof of this is also the fuel consump-tion of the victorious “Ebay” team which won the fuel economy contest with an average of 7.19 l/100 km diesel. The best result on a daily leg was as low as 5.5 l/100 km.
PHOTO: Beijing: Arrival at the Yongding Gate, the southern access point to the “Holy Axis” of the Forbidden City.
During the five legs of the ”E-Class Experience" more than 360 drivers from 35 countries took turns at the steering wheels of the diesel sedans. In only 25 driving days they passed through nine countries under partly extreme conditions, such as snow and ice, as well as unpaved roads. The average daily driving distance was about 560 kilometres. Together with the 24 escort vehicles, which ranged from the G-Classes of the Mercedes-Benz crew and technical trucks to the mobile Aral diesel service station, the marathon entourage covered a total road distance of about 840,000 kilometers. This corresponds to the 21-fold circumference of the earth at the equator. [GlobalGiants.com]
NEWSWEEK COVER: JANUARY 8, 2007 ISSUE
PHOTO: The January 8, 2007 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, January 1), "Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006: From Watergate to Iraq, How An Accidental President Changed the Way We Live Now" includes a special report by presidential historian Michael Beschloss, tributes by George H.W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Nancy Reagan, Dick Cheney and others and a historical analysis of Ford's presidency. Plus: Saddam Hussein-the death of a dictator and a look at the future of the Middle East.
2007 Suzuki SX4 : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: The 2007 Suzuki SX4 compact sport X-over (crossover), named "Best Kept Secret of 2007" by Autobytel, is designed for those who live an adventurous life and is sure to be a year-round standout in any driving conditions. The all-new SX4 (the name stands for (S)port (X)-over for (4) seasons of weather) features a handsome five-door hatchback design, a sophisticated standard all-wheel-drive system, excellent stability and crisp handling characteristics. Built in Japan, the SX4 features a sophisticated 2.0-liter, in-line four cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine rated at 143 horsepower. SX4 is also fitted with intelligent all-wheel drive (i-AWD) as standard equipment. The i-AWD system operates in three modes for maximum fuel economy on dry pavement or to facilitate traction in case of snow or mud. [GlobalGiants.com]
December 30, 2006
Mazda CX-7, Adrenaline : GlobalGiants.com
Mazda CX-7 SUV, code-named Adrenaline is designed and built by Mazda Design North America in Irvine, Calif. Adrenaline is a high-performance sport-crossover vehicle designed to promote the essence of all Mazdas, best described as the “Emotion of Motion.”
Based on the all-new Mazda CX-7, Adrenaline is a fully running prototype that showcases Mazda’s commitment to performance. “Adrenaline is athletically inspired for people who demand a car that is as lean and fit as they are and represents their passions, yet doesn’t sacrifice in hauling those passions around,” said Franz von Holzhausen, design director, MNAO. “Adrenaline is tuned like an avid cyclist, and delivers on the promise.”
A wider, lower stance and a bold new face give the all-wheel-drive Adrenaline an aggressive and firmly planted sporty stance. Unique design cues include new front and rear exterior styling, a clam shell front clip, wrap around rear spoiler and an innovative rear glass design. New fenders and doors give Adrenaline a three-inch wider overall stance.
Inspired by the yellow jerseys worn by bicyclists to signify stage and overall winners, Mazda designers chose gradating yellow paint theme, which gives the impression of the vehicle punching through the atmosphere. It is bright, bold and sporty. [GlobalGiants.com]
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Completes Post-Katrina Transformation
Resort Continues Revitalization of Gulf Coast Tourism.
BILOXI, Miss., Dec. 29 -- Today, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino will complete its $550-million transformation with the opening of the Beau Rivage Theatre. Widely regarded as the premier entertainment venue in the south, the Theatre will play host to today's brightest stars in its 1,550-seat showroom and be home to Imaginaya, the Beau's newest production by acclaimed Russian choreographer Alla Duhova. The theatre features a $3-million, state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and is one of the best-equipped theaters in the USA.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Beau Rivage underwent a dramatic renovation to restore its legendary southern charm while adding new amenities and experiences for guests to enjoy. It reopened for business on August 29, 2006. Now boasting enhanced architecture and interior design schemes; 1,740 luxurious guest rooms and suites; a redesigned casino; 11 world-class restaurants including Todd English's OLiVES, four exciting lounges and bars; 12 retail venues; a lavish spa and salon; tropical pool; convention center; an unparalleled Fazio-designed golf course and the Beau Rivage Theatre; the Beau is back.
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is MGM MIRAGE's destination resort on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Named one of the top 100 hotels in the continental United States and Canada by Travel + Leisure, Beau Rivage blends world-class amenities with world-famous Southern hospitality. Featuring 1,740 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites; 11 restaurants; four nightclubs and bars; a 1,550-seat theatre; an upscale shopping promenade; a world-class spa & salon; and Fallen Oak, a new Tom Fazio designed championship golf course; Beau Rivage offers one of the finest destination resort experiences in the Southeast USA.
Chevrolet Returns To NYC As Timekeeper Of Times Square : GlobalGiants.com
New Year's Eve will debut Chevy's new permanent timepiece in Times Square.
Photo: 2007 Chevrolet Impala LTZ
DETROIT – Chevrolet will return to New York City with a permanent presence in Times Square. Representing Chevy’s first long-standing presence in Times Square since the 1950s, Chevrolet is installing an iconic clock on the One Times Square building, just below the “Ball Lowering” location on New Year’s Eve that will mark the time in the “crossroads of the world.” The timepiece will alternate between a series of animated clock facesâ€¦a signal of things to come.
Photo: Times Square
Chevrolet is the “Official Ride of New Year’s Eve in Times Square” as part of its marketing partnership with Countdown Entertainment, the Times Square Alliance and the City of New York. For the second straight year, Chevrolet will provide tens of thousands of festive hats for revelers. And in addition to co-branding on the Mayor's Stage and media riser, Chevy branding will appear on the crystal podium used by Mayor Bloomberg to begin the midnight “Ball Lowering” from the top of the One Times Square building. [GlobalGiants.com]
Chevrolet HHR Premiere Edition To Debut In Detroit : GlobalGiants.com
DETROIT -- Chevrolet will debut the HHR Premiere Edition at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it announced Wednesday, December 27, 2006. The HHR Premiere Edition features 17" black chrome wheels, black chrome exterior package, a special Cappuccino Frost Metallic exterior color and a special Ebony/Gray two-tone interior. The HHR Premiere Edition will begin production early in the first quarter of 2007. [GlobalGiants.com]
December 29, 2006
2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra : GlobalGiants.com
Best-in-class horsepower, towing capability and fuel economy extend GM’s legacy and heritage in full-size trucks.
Photo: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Extended Cab
DETROIT – General Motors introduces its all-new, 2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra – comprehensively redesigned pickups that incorporate new exterior and interior designs, and powertrain, chassis and safety systems. The vehicles take GM’s truck legacy to a new level. They lead the segment in performance, efficiency, capability, refinement and safety. The new trucks offer more power and better fuel economy than the vehicles they replace.
Photo: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Interior
Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are offered with three cab styles, three cargo box lengths and several specially tuned suspensions. All have distinct identities, including brand-exclusive sheet metal and design cues yet share fundamental traits that support segment-leading capability, quality and performance.
Photo: 2007 GMC Sierra
“Nobody has a deeper well of truck experience than GM, and it shows in the all-new Silverado and Sierra with their segment-leading V-8 power, fuel economy and towing capacity,” said Gary White, General Motors North America vice president and vehicle line executive for full-size trucks. “While power, pulling and payload used to define the full-size truck segment, today that’s the price of entry and consumers demand more. Our new trucks feature spacious and refined interiors and a host of exclusive features. Simply put, they have what it takes to continue their leadership position in the industry.”
“There are no peers when it comes to the depth and breadth of GM’s truck offerings,” said White. “The new trucks represent a well thought-out range of models and capacities, meaning customers can find the exact truck they need, whether it’s for work, personal driving or – as is more the case today – both.” [GlobalGiants.com]
2007 Suzuki XL7 : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: The 2007 Suzuki XL7 blends SUV versatility and safety to increase driver and passenger comfort and features available all-wheel drive and seven-passenger, three-row seating to provide adaptability for active, mobile lifestyles. The 3.6-liter, V6, DOHC engine rated at 252 horsepower with 243 lb.-ft. of torque is matched to a five-speed automatic transmission fitted with manumatic controls. [GlobalGiants.com]
Chrysler 2007 NAIAS Concepts : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: The Chrysler Nassau concept is a four-door, four-passenger luxury coupe with an emphasis on driving dynamics. The artistic exterior design leans toward an exploration as to what could be a future sedan in the brand's lineup. The Chrysler Nassau concept highlights sweeping curves to define the front and rear fasciae.
Photo: The Jeep Trailhawk concept merges the spectrum of the Jeep brand by combining the core features of the Jeep Wrangler with the sophistication of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Derived from the all-new 2007 Wrangler architecture, the Jeep Trailhawk concept taps into "Jeep Rugged" attributes to provide classic proportions, unsurpassed off-road capability and a new approach to open-air freedom. The headlamps, cropped and peering out from beneath a diagonal brow, produce the countenance of a bird of prey, and the inspiration for the "Trailhawk" name.
Sneak Peek of Concepts
It's 31 seconds of drummin', thumpin', flyin' frames. If you look quickly enough you can catch a glimpse of the Chrysler Nassau and the Jeep Trailhawk — the two concept vehicles that will be unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. [GlobalGiants.com]
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December 28, 2006
PEOPLE MAGAZINE 'HALF THEIR SIZE' DOUBLE ISSUE
PHOTO: PEOPLE publishes "Half Their Size" - a double issue devoted to the inspirational weight loss of ordinary Americans who've struggled with - and succeeded at - taking off tremendous amounts of weight. Motivated by their kids, the mirror or a bad encounter with a seat belt, PEOPLE profiles five "Half Their Sizers" who dropped a collective 1,041 lbs. The issue takes a look at the diet and exercise plans that helped each person transform their bodies and their lives. PEOPLE Magazine hits newsstands Friday 12/29/2006.
JULIE ROBERTS PARTNERS WITH SCHWAN'S CONSUMER BRANDS
PHOTO: Award-winning country music star Julie Roberts is kicking off the New Year with an exclusive frozen food partnership with Schwan's Consumer Brands North America, Inc. Known for her deep, blues-soaked voice that poignantly captures the pain of the wronged and forgotten, Roberts has quickly become a favorite of fans and music critics alike. Her acclaimed second album, Men and Mascara, has brought accolades and critical acclaim far and wide.
Nordstrom Celebrates Black History Month With Kamoinge Photo Exhibit
Highlighting Style, Spirit and Pride of African American Musicians.
SEATTLE, Dec. 27 -- In celebration of Black History Month, Nordstrom will showcase a photography exhibit by Kamoinge, a talented group of African American photographers. These images illustrate life and culture as expressed through music over the past 40 years. The exhibit will be displayed in select Nordstrom stores and at www.nordstrom.com throughout the month of February.
Photo: Joey Morant, Rainbow Room, 2005. Photographer: Mark Lee Blackshear
Appearing for the second year at the Nordstrom exhibit, Kamoinge is a group of New York City-based photographers whose work has been featured in books, museums, newspapers and magazines throughout the United States. Kamoinge (a Swahili word meaning "a group of people acting together") was established in 1963 in Harlem to alleviate the sense of photographic isolation generally felt by black photographers. Today their mission has evolved to produce visual images of time that reflect human relationships, political and social interactions and the spiritual world of imagery. Nordstrom has recognized Black History Month over the past five years with in-store exhibits.
The exhibit will feature 11 photographers: Salimah Ali, Anthony BarBoza, Mark Lee Blackshear, Adger Cowans, Gerald Cyrus, Colette Fournier, Herbert Randall, Herb Robinson, Radcliffe Roye, Jamel Shabazz, and Shawn Walker.
Nordstrom, Inc. is one of the USA's leading fashion specialty retailers, with 157 US stores located in 27 states. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 99 Full-Line Stores, 50 Nordstrom Racks, five Faconnable boutiques, one free-standing shoe store, and one clearance store. Nordstrom also operates 35 Faconnable boutiques in Europe.
Mercedes-Benz Design Study: Concept Ocean Drive Convertible : GlobalGiants.com
Detroit, Dec., 2006 -- At the 2007 North American Auto Show Detroit, Mercedes-Benz is adding to its reputation as a pioneer and design trendsetter among premium carmakers with the presentation of its Concept Ocean Drive four-door convertible. This study is a one-off creation by Mercedes-Benz which revives the tradition of large luxury convertibles. Not having to work to a design brief or production specifications left the designers free to get on with the job of developing the world's most comfortable and elegant convertible.
According to Mercedes-Benz, "The Concept Ocean Drive is an aweinspiring jewel on wheels. As a four-door convertible, it belongs in a luxury genre that has almost disappeared from our roads. Like the luxury convertibles of years gone by, this showpiece from Stuttgart features the maximum in elegance, lifestyle sophistication and exclusiveness. To put it another way, it represents automobile culture at its most attractive and desirable.
The one-off special has an all-new body with an almost classic flavour and with clearly defined lines and vibrant two-tone paintwork which are exceptionally charismatic. Although on one level the Concept Ocean Drive displays the restraint of an elite and aristocratic automobile, it is also an open invitation to go on a "top-less" cruise along the world's finest ocean promenades. Luxurious, exotic materials have been crafted with consummate skill to create a showpiece of unparalleled perfection.
The unique luxury convertible design study from Stuttgart turns a "dream car" vision into reality. At the same time it is also an affirmation of the design excellence and values of the Mercedes-Benz brand, including the brand's traditional basic principles like excellent build and quality, comfort, effortless superiority, value retention and safety. These values have now been joined by three further key messages: passion, fascination and innovation. " [GlobalGiants.com]
Styling conveys effortless superiority and elegance
Apart from the four doors, the outward distinguishing marks of the concept car include a very large and upright radiator grille, LED headlamps and taillights, two-tone paintwork and a striking interplay between taut lines and large, restful surfaces. This lends the one-off special an air of effortless superiority, power, elegance and forward-flowing energy.
The long side-window opening which, typically of a convertible, is not interrupted by a B-pillar or window frames, ensures seamless continuity between the exterior and the interior, even when the top is up. Extensive use of high-value materials –such as finest-quality leather, 3D-effect materials and large bird's eye maple trim panels (in the interior and even on the soft-top compartment cover) – and many other thoughtfully designed interior details, highlight the luxurious, unique character of this design study.
The design study is based on the twelve-cylinder Mercedes-Benz S 600, on account of this model's long wheelbase. The technical highlights include:
• the innovative soft-top mechanism resulting in smooth operation and fast closing times;
• the innovative AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, which is featured on all four seats, allowing occupants to enjoy top-down motoring even in the colder months of the year.
The on-board equipment also includes top-level Mercedes-Benz innovations, some of which are unique worldwide – including Brake Assist PLUS, the innovative PRE-SAFE brake system (in combination with radar-based DIS-TRONIC PLUS) and the PRE-SAFE anticipatory occupant protection system.
December 27, 2006
KELLOGG COMPANY SPECIAL K(R) CHOCOLATEY DELIGHT(TM)
PHOTO: Research shows by replacing a higher calorie evening snack with a lower calorie snack, like a bowl of Special K(R) Chocolatey Delight(TM) cereal, women may lose weight. (PRNewsFoto/Kellogg Company)
2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara
Photo: First introduced as a 2006 model, the Grand Vitara has garnered much media and consumer praise and has won numerous awards, including a "Best Buy" from Consumer Guide. The 2007 Grand Vitara features a standard 185-horsepower, 2.7-liter, V6, 24-valve DOHC engine, a sophisticated available Four-Mode full-time four-wheel-drive system, tough unibody construction enhanced with a built-in ladder frame and an extensive list of interior amenities and standard safety features.
The list of standard safety features is extensive: ABS with EBD and ESP, including traction control, six airbags, three-point driver and front-passenger seat belts featuring shoulder height adjustment; in the rear seat, each passenger is provided with a three-point seat belt system and a headrest. With its carefully engineered control layout and close attention to materials and fit-and-finish, the interior of the Suzuki Grand Vitara is functional and attractive.
Boeing KC-767 Tanker for Japan Completes First Flight
Boeing test pilots took the first KC-767 Tanker slated for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force on its maiden flight Dec. 21.
"This first flight represents an enormous step in meeting Japan's strategic self-defense needs," said Maj. Kenji Nagatomo, Japan on-site Tanker program liaison. "We are looking forward to having our first KC-767 enter service in 2007. The aircraft has great flexibility in its aerial refueling and cargo capabilities, and will help Japan provide aid to the world's population during major natural disasters."
December 26, 2006
2007 Ford Shelby GT : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: Carroll Shelby and the first production 2007 Ford Shelby GT which will go over the auction block in support of the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Event on Saturday, January 20th.
The Shelby GT is the third modern Shelby Mustang produced through a collaboration of Ford and Carroll Shelby. In addition to the 2007 Shelby GT500, Ford and Shelby created 500 copies of the Ford Shelby GT-H, which are available to rent through select Hertz rental centers. [GlobalGiants.com]
December 25, 2006
Premiere of the new smart fortwo in the USA : GlobalGiants.com
North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Photo: smart fortwo coupé passion
Stuttgart, Germany, Dec., 2006 -- For the very first time on US soil: the new smart fortwo, is celebrating its USA premiere at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit (January 7 to 21, 2007). The new smart fortwo will be available in the USA beginning in the first quarter of 2008. The car shown in Detroit is an European version of the new smart fortwo. Model lines to be available in the United States will be announced at later date.
smart, like Mercedes-Benz and Maybach, is part of the Mercedes Car Group. The exhibition stand is directly opposite Chrysler and Dodge in Oakland Hall (inside Cobo Center). Written in large letters on the stand are the words "Coming to the USA in 2008". And right in front of it -- a smart fortwo with red bodypanels and a silver tridion safety cell.
Photo: Ulrich Walker, President smart
The new smart fortwo can do everything that the current model can do - but better. This means that the new smart fortwo is even more comfortable, even more agile, even safer and even more environmentally friendly than its predecessor. And from the first draft it is designed to meet USA customer needs and registration standards.
The right car at the right time.
It is time for the smart fortwo to make an appearance in the USA; fuel prices are rising, and city traffic is increasing by the day. In short, the smart fortwo is the right car at the right time.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the two-seater quickly became a popular vehicle following its launch in October 1998. The same is sure to hold true in the USA.
More than 770,000 customers have chosen the first generation of the smart fortwo – often to replace a larger car with the lively two-seater. Because the smart fortwo is something special and stands out from the crowd, and because it is simply fun to drive.
Apart from this, the vehicle concept is also highly practical – especially for people who live in cities or urban areas. On most journeys a car carries just a single occupant, and because people make faster progress through the city in a smart fortwo. And because with a smart fortwo, people can make faster progress through city streets and they do not even need to search for a parking space – the smart fortwo can easily fit between in very limited space – they can find one right away.
Photo: Ready for 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit: Premiere of the new smart fortwo in the USA
As early as 2002, the smart fortwo was included in the permanent collection in New York’s Museum of Modern Art – the only vehicle there that is still produced today. The five other models to attain this honor were the Cisitalia, Jaguar E-Type, Willy’s Jeep, Ferrari Formula 1 and Volkswagen Beetle. [GlobalGiants.com]
Gap Holiday 2006 Collection
Photo: GAP limited edition gold-trimmed Hoodie.