VW Microbus concept
We don’t have much on this vehicle, but word has it that the concept will be a front-driver that’s headed for production within a couple of years, built off a more conventional VW platform than the hippie-style Microbus that powered many a Deadhead from parking lot to parking lot in the Sixties. If they show this one off in the Cobo garage with stir-fry tofu and tie-dyed parkas, we’ll know they really get it.
Jeep Liberty silverEnlarge Photo
2002 Dodge Ram
2003 Dodge Ram Spy Photo
The 2002 Ram isn’t as radical as some predicted, but probably still macho and tough enough for the crowd down at Lowe’s. It’s said to be powered by an all-new 5.7-liter V-8, with an option for the likely replacement for the Cummins Turbo Diesel: Mercedes-Benz’ own MBE-906 (Freightliner) diesel engine. Production of the Ram was originally scheduled to begin in the summer of 2002 in Windsor, Ontario, at the Pillette Road assembly plant and the Ram was expected to debut for the 2003 model year – but now sources are pretty certain the Ram will make an earlier appearance for the 2002 model year. A heavy-duty version will follow close behind, with the Dakota and an all-new (code named DH74) full-sized Ram-based SUV will follow, probably as late 2003 or 2004 models.
Mazda RX-Evolv conceptEnlarge Photo
GM’s Gaggle of Concepts
Of course, you read all this news in TCC’s preview of the GM ’01 Concepts. In case you missed it, click on the link and review the Buick Bengal, a roadster with slinky good looks; the Chevy Borrego off-roader; the Pontiac Rev all-wheeler; the Hummer H2 SUT (that’s sport-utility truck, for the unwashed), Cadillac Vizon, GMC Terracross. It’s unknown if the Oldsmobile 04 concept will be shown, what with the recent announcement of Olds’demise.
Nissan Sentra SE-R and Big Truck
We’ll have to get back to you on this trio – Nissan showed us the two production vehicles in Arizona late last year, but bribed us into secrecy with a steak dinner and a nifty tube of sunscreen. (We ask so little.) We’ll have details later this week on the L.A. debut of the 2002 Altima, and next week, word on the SE-R and full-size truck concept.