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I'm sure most automotive executives thought they were done caring about report cards around junior year of college. But that doesn't mean we're not going to grade their efforts at this year's North American International Auto Show. Hopefully after this we'll be done with Detroit…until 2006 at least. Oh and we grade on a tough curve folks.

DT: Not surprisingly the Fusion stole much of the thunder from the big concepts Ford unveiled in Detroit. For creating an attractive, mid-size sedan Ford has a volume car that could sell well. Unfortunately they didn?t show much else. The Fairlane was a great concept but was overwhelmed by the SYN-us and aluminum GR-1. Also the Ford booth was pretty boring, didn?t show off the cars well (no one noticed the Mustang Convertible) and the fact that their presentations were done outside the main hall turned me off.

Grade: C+

WK: When I received some nice shots of the Fusion, I couldn?t help but be amazed at the way the 427 concept car was interpreted in a mid-size car. I am really impressed with the Fusion, clear taillights and all. Ford concepts left me dry (insert your own sinus joke here). The Fairlane tragically got off on the wrong foot with me due to the use of the name on an SUV until I was able to see the vehicle for what it was, a big minivan (that?s a good thing). The SYN-us was not only the saddest name, but also the most useless concept. I saw the GR-1 already, it just wasn?t so shiny.

Grade: B-

Bonus images below.



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