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2000 Chicago Auto Show, Part I Page 2


2000 Mazda NexTourer concept

2000 Mazda NexTourer concept

NEXTOURER, NEXT CAR? Mazda, meanwhile, seems an inch away from committing its NexTourer prototype to production. First unveiled at last October’s Tokyo Motor Show, it’s a car/truck crossover vehicle about the length of a current 626 sedan. But there’s as much passenger space as a Mercedes S-Class sedan, noted Mazda VP Kobe Kobayakawa. The trunk is equally roomy, providing room for four large golf bags, even before the rear seats are folded down. "We are considering production," acknowledged Marketing Vice President Steve Odell. Mazda plans to closely gauge reaction at the Chicago Auto Show and then decide if there’d be enough demand. While a front-drive version would likely be first to market, Kobayakawa added that Mazda is also studying a four-wheel-drive variant.

2001 Mercedes AMG CLK55

2001 Mercedes AMG CLK55

AMG BREEDS THE CLK55 Mercedes-Benz’ ever-expanding AMG lineup is growing by three more vehicles this year. With a 342-horsepower AMG V-8 engine on tap, the Mercedes CLK55 AMG is the fastest production Mercedes ever. Benz conservatively estimates its 0-60 time at 5.2 seconds. The hotted-up CLK will go on sale in September as a 2001 model, with some 500 examples available in the first year. Mercedes also announced that it would also be bringing the S55 and CL55 AMG models to the United States as well in the coming year, for a total of four AMG-massaged products introduced recently (including the ML55 sport-ute).


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