Reporter notebook jottings from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit:

  • General Motors Corp. puts a finer point on Pontiac GTO’s sub-6-second performance, as promised by product guru Bob Lutz. The most recent tests have the Monaro-based muscle car going from 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in 5.7 seconds.

  • Jaguar went through three body shells before it perfected a method of polishing aluminum for the XJ show car, unveiled in Paris and reprised at the Detroit show this week.

  • Ford’s Motor Co. hails its 427 concept sedan as "unabashedly American," but its chief designer, Joseph Baker, is British.

  • Aston Martin says the all-new platform that supports its Porsche 911-fighter, the AMV8 Vantage (to debut by 2005), also will shoulder other vehicles with longer wheelbases and different powertrains, but not a competitor to the Porsche Cayenne SUV. Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez scoffs at the idea. Of the SUV genre, he says: "We don’t even know what that is."

  • Jim O’Connor, Ford group vice president-marketing, sales and service, addresses 1,600 employees at an online Q&A from the auto show floor. He confirms Ford’s commitment to racing and to remaining competitive in the financing arena.

    One employee admits to being "tired of driving my family around in Windstars" and questions when Ford’s car lineup will exhibit some freshness. O’Connor is suspicious, having heard the complaint before. "Is your name Judith?" he asks, referring to his wife.