At a press event earlier this morning, representatives from Ford, GM and Chrysler, along with reps from The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and event chairman (and TheCarConnection.com guru) Paul Eisenstein announced details on the first inaugural "NextCruise." Billed as a "Lean, Mean, and Green" element to the Dream Cruise, NextCruise will take place August 15th and 16th alongside the normal cruise, and will feature ride and drives of current and future green technologies from major automakers.
Jalopnik Snap Judgment: We love everything about the Woodward Dream Cruise — the cars, the people, the events, the after hours hoonage, but it's suffering from a touch of backlash as of due to a combination of gas prices and NIMBYism. The hippies at the south end of the cruise have already started running the "Green Cruise" a week prior to the Dream Cruise as a sort of hemp and patchouli-scented alternative. With gas at record levels, now's the perfect time to mix things up a bit. We think this is a great way to make the cruise more relevant. A way to celebrate the future of the automobile, while simultaneously celebrating everything great from the past.
Nine Auto Manufacturers - and Two 'Green' Motorsport Series - To Display Technologies and Provide Public Ride and Drives
PLEASANT RIDGE, Mich., July 23 /PRNewswire/ — The 2008 Inaugural NextCruise(TM), to take place on August 15-16, is a new event - new in both concept and content. Staged in the City of Pleasant Ridge, NextCruise(TM) introduces an environmentally friendly and future-looking dimension to the Woodward Dream Cruise, widely viewed as the world's largest automotive spectator and participation event.
Nine of the world's largest automakers are supporting NextCruise(TM), by providing the public with multiple opportunities to check out - and drive - the latest in "Green Machines" (including hybrids, clean diesels and those with other, new super-high-mileage and ultra-low-emission technologies).
"NextCruise(TM) marks a number of important firsts," said Paul Eisenstein, Event Chairman." It's the first-ever public event that brings together such a large array of leading automakers, specifically to display environmental vehicles and technologies; the first-ever event where the public has the chance to drive such a wide assortment of clean, high-economy cars, trucks and crossovers; and it's the first-ever official Woodward Dream Cruise event that is specifically future-focused.
"NextCruise(TM) helps expand the relevance of the Woodward Dream Cruise from what is primarily a retrospective into a celebration of the automobile, past, present and future," Eisenstein added.
NextCruise(TM) will also feature displays of even more advanced green concepts and technologies, such as fuel cells and hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines, together with experts to provide insight into how those developments can reach production in the not-too-distant future.
"As Pleasant Ridge has the longest stretch of green space on the entire Woodward Corridor, it's highly fitting that the City should be the host of this "Green" event as part of the Woodward Dream Cruise," said George Lenko, Pleasant Ridge Commissioner and NextCruise(TM) organizer. NextCruise(TM) will be based in Memorial Park, immediately adjacent to Pleasant Ridge City Hall.
"Today's and tomorrow's Green Machines challenge the stereotype that environmentally-friendly automobiles require customers to make significant sacrifices: in size, features, comfort and, especially, performance," said Eisenstein. "NextCruise(TM) provides a venue for manufacturers to display current and future Green technologies and engage the public in understanding that the newest Green Machines are roomy, well-equipped and, in keeping with the spirit of the Dream Cruise, able to deliver surprising performance and fun."
NextCruise(TM) also will include a look at the next generation of "green" motorsports, including the ethanol-fueled IndyCar Series, and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), which features a unique Green Racing Challenge this season. The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix - which takes place on Labor Day weekend - includes both IndyCar and ALMS races. The motorsport display will include race cars and appearances by key IndyCar and ALMS drivers.
"Because of the press of competition, motorsport has traditionally developed technologies that have found their way to production cars," Eisenstein stated. "Motorsport can be exciting, competitive and environmentally friendly, all at the same time.
"NextCruise(TM), put simply, is lean, mean ... and green."
NextCruise(TM) will be held in Pleasant Ridge's Memorial Park along Woodward Avenue, north of Nine Mile Road. There will be a public preview on the evening of August 15. NextCruise(TM) itself takes place concurrent with the Woodward Dream Cruise on August 16. Major auto manufacturers supporting include General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volkswagen. Other sponsors and exhibitors include Bridgestone, Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, IndyCar Series, American Le Mans Series, PR Newswire, G-2 Communications and ESI. For information go to www.nextcruise2008.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.