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2000 Detroit Auto Show II Page 2


2000 Mercedes SLA concept

2000 Mercedes SLA concept

SLA ROADSTER BUTCHES UP BENZ With the slightly feminine SLK roadster (which gets a 2.3-liter V-6 engine this year) firmly entrenched in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the company is going for a harder-edged roadster to flesh out its profile. The masculine SLA Roadster is derived from the current Benz A-Class, as is its 125-hp 1.9-liter four-cylinder. The arrow-shaped surround for the three-pointed star strikes us as a little close to the Alfa Coupe, but nothing else about this car seems contrived. The interior is stitched together from natural leather, and brushed aluminum in a pleasing retro pattern decorates the dash. An integrated luggage rack on the tail provides lugging capability, since the SLA’s top folds into what would normally be trunk space.

2000 Toyota Sequoia

2000 Toyota Sequoia

TOYOTA SEQUOIA Toyota’s long-awaited full-size SUV is here, and the Sequioa, named after the oldest living objects on the planet (except possibly Cher), has a look we’ve seen somewhere before. Priced competitively against the lookalike Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe, Sequoia will likely start at around $35,000. Larger than a Land Cruiser, the 2001 model year SUV will be built in Princeton, Indiana, alongside the Toyota Tundra full-size truck. Not by coincidence, it uses the same iForce 4.7-liter V-8 as the Tundra, with 240 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque. Inside, you’ll find a third-row bench seat that seems somewhat cramped for adults, but usable for children.

2000 Chevrolet Avalanche and Pontiac Aztek

2000 Chevrolet Avalanche and Pontiac Aztek

CHEVROLET AVALANCHE AND PONTIAC AZTEK While crowds of Gen Y kids generally obscured the view, GM launched its Aztek and Avalanche for those who missed the press previews and the Los Angeles introductions. The Avalanche, Chevrolet’s SUV body mated to a pickup bed, is based on the current Silverado truck platform and shares its 5.3-liter V-8. Its unique pass-through to cargo area opens the back of the cabin to longer loads, including the vaunted 4x8 sheet of plywood. It’s due in the 2001 calendar year as a 2002 model, but the front end could go on to other Chevy trucks as a fix for the current vehicle’s tepid styling. The Pontiac Aztek, the angular SUV bred from the Montana minivan, sports a 3.4 liter V-6 with 185 hp and an independent suspension. On sale this fall, the four-wheel drive version comes out six months later.


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