Names the Top Five Vehicles of the 2009 Orange County Auto Show

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Highlights of the Season-Opening OC Auto Show Feature New Styling, Performance and Efficiency

The Kia Forte Koup follows in the footsteps of the slightly larger four-door sedan with an unprecedented 2.4L engine that produces 173 hp. This Forte Koup will be a class leader with numbers like this. Kia is becoming the next big global automotive giant

As the first major market auto show of the season, the Orange County Auto Show offers those in attendance a first look at hundreds of 2010 model year cars, trucks, crossovers and SUVs, in addition to concept cars and pre-production vehicles. To help show-goers get the most out of the event, the automotive experts at compiled a list of the top five must-see cars - the Best of the 2009 Orange County Auto Show.

"It's always exciting when the auto show season kicks off and the automakers showcase their newest technologies and concept vehicles designed to excite consumers and enthusiasts. The automotive industry reinvents itself every year as ideas are put on display for the public to see," said Michael Caudill, automotive expert. "When selecting our top five vehicles of this year's OC Auto Show, we looked not only at the forward thinking concepts but at the cars that will make an immediate impact in the automotive market as well."

In no particular order, the Best of the 2009 Orange County Auto Show are:

Cadillac Converj Concept (West Coast Debut)
This stunning 2+2 coupe first debuted at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and illustrates GM's vision of the future of luxury. The Converj is powered by GM's Voltec drivetrain, first shown on the Chevy Volt, which utilizes lithium-ion batteries and an electric motor as the primary method of propulsion. A small-displacement 4-cylinder gas engine acts as a generator, charging the battery when it begins to run low and significantly extending the vehicle's range. With a 40 mile pure electric range, innovative technological features and luxurious appointments throughout, the Converj proves that efficiency, luxury and aesthetic beauty can coexist flawlessly.

2011 Ford Fiesta
All too often in the minds of consumers, subcompact means subpar when it comes to style, quality and driving dynamics. Not so with the highly anticipated 2011 Ford Fiesta. A 1.6L 4-cylinder engine with variable cam timing offers great fuel economy and allows the lightweight Fiesta to zip around on the highway or through the city streets. The European-style sport-tuned suspension and precise steering also makes it fun in the corners. With an upscale interior and options including SYNC voice activation and leather seats, the Ford Fiesta is poised to cause a stir in the subcompact car market.

"Ford has hit a home run with its all-new 2011 Fiesta as this subcompact combines the right amount of sport and performance with a stylish and upscale interior," said Michael Caudill, auto expert,

2010 Kia Forte Koup (West Coast Debut)
With its bold and aggressive styling, the all-new Kia Forte Koup is one of the best looking small cars on the market today. Fortunately, Kia backs up those looks with a choice of two efficient and peppy DOHC 4-cylinder engines: a 156 hp 2.0L and 173 hp 2.4L. Just like its four-door sibling, the Kia Forte impresses on the inside with standard Bluetooth, SIRIUS satellite radio, iPod connectivity and optional heated leather seats. A curb weight well under 2800 pounds for manual transmission equipped models allows the Forte Koup to provide a sporty and efficient drive at an exceptional value.

"The Kia Forte Koup follows in the footsteps of the slightly larger four-door sedan with an unprecedented 2.4L engine that produces 173 hp. This Forte Koup will be a class leader with numbers like this. Kia is becoming the next big global automotive giant," said Michael Caudill, automotive expert,

Hyundai Nuvis Concept (West Coast Debut)
Though unlikely to see production, the wild Hyundai Nuvis crossover concept is significant in that it highlights Hyundai's Hybrid Bluedrive architecture which will form the foundation of Hyundai's future hybrid lineup. The parallel hybrid system mates a 30kW electric motor powered by lithium polymer batteries to the efficient 2.4L Theta II 4-cylinder engine, allowing either one or both to send power directly through the 6-speed automatic transmission. An electric air conditioning compressor, regenerative braking system and automatic engine shutoff feature show that Hyundai's Hybrid Bluedrive is on the cutting edge of fuel-saving technology.

Chevrolet Stingray Concept (West Coast Debut)
Another striking concept that probably won't make it to the showroom is the Stingray concept, although it does hint at possible styling cues for the next generation Corvette. Fresh off its starring role in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the exaggerated lines of the concept create a shape that is both menacing and beautiful, familiar and yet entirely different. The Stingray draws inspiration from some of the most recognizable Corvettes of the past, including the sweeping wheel arches of the C3 Corvette and the split-window rear of the 1963 Corvette Stingray.

For more on the cars featured in the Best of the 2009 Orange County Auto Show, stay tuned for vehicle information at and full OC Auto Show coverage in the Garage.

FOR MEDIA: If you are interested in speaking to Michael Caudill, our automotive expert, regarding the Best of the Orange County Auto Show please contact Ashley Garing, DRIVEN Media Communications, (951) 461-2429 to schedule an interview.

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