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Off-beat happenings in New York

Daniel Craig appearance, protesters get tongues wagging at auto show

Auto show press days always have something in common.

They’re loud, they’re crowded, and there are always a few things that make even jaded journalists take note. And this year, the New York Auto Show was no exception.

What had tongues wagging? Believe it or not, it was a vacuum — one that Honda says will be the first-ever in-vehicle one when it debuts in the Odyssey minivan. Many scoffed at first, and then thought it over. A cleanup system in a minivan? Good heavens, why did it take so long for someone to think this up?

Jeep brought out its new Cherokee compact SUV which, like several vehicles these days, has the ability to scope out a parking spot and then guide itself in. The twist? When it finds a spot, the in-dash screen shows a graphic of the spot, and the icons of the cars it will be parking between will be displayed as original 1941 Jeeps.

Land Rover debuted its new Range Rover Sport the night before the show by closing off several streets in Manhattan and having actor Daniel Craig race one through the city. Talk about bulletproof: what cop is ever going to give 007 a speeding ticket?

Chevrolet brought out the new Camaro Z28 accompanied by engine noises broadcast at an ear-splitting 110 decibels, which can potentially cause hearing damage (but it sure sounded good). Meanwhile, Cadillac presented its new CTS the night before — at the Lincoln Center.

The show also drew protests from the UAW. The union claims that Nissan hires temporary workers and won’t allow unions in its U.S. plants. Actor Danny Glover attended a similar protest at the Detroit Auto Show in January, while this time, workers from the Mississippi plant travelled to New York to hand out leaflets at the door.

  • Off-beat happenings in New York

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