2002 Los Angeles Auto Show by TCC Team (1/3/2002)
Toyota show sponsor
sponsored by Toyota
Toyota show sponsor
2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4Enlarge Photo
The SEMA crowd shows its love to the Honda Civic and the Ford Focus — and that makes the folks at Dodge a little jealous. That goes a long way in explaining the Dodge Neon SRT-4, a 205-hp Neon that’s meant to deliver self-made looks and performance to a whole new crowd. The Neon SRT, Chrysler says, will be the fastest production car available in the U.S. for less than $20,000. At $19,995 it sports a 205-hp, turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 220 lb-ft of torque, good for a 0-60 sprint of 5.9 seconds and top speed of 148 mph, they claim. Also in the package: a heavy-duty five-speed manual gearbox, dual exhausts with steel tips, 17-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel discs and a six-speaker CD stereo, cladding and a big rear spoiler. Chrysler CEO Wolfgang Bernhard says the SRT is a reasonable cue from the company that brought you the Viper: “People want us to build something sweet for the street,” he told crowds while his jacket was spray-painted by street artists creating a graffiti backdrop behind the screaming-yellow SRT. Dodge’s John Hernandez adds, “We really need to go after the Honda Civic — go after them on the dragstrip, on the street, everywhere like we did when the Neon first came out.”
HONDA TAGS MODEL X FOR YEAR END
Honda Model X ConceptEnlarge Photo
PRICES W8, ADDS GLI
Volkswagen’s sales resurgence in America spiked its sales to more than 355,000 cars last year, and the brand’s product assault isn’t over — in addition to the Turbo S New Beetle TCC’s reviewed for you this week, VW will sell its first eight-cylinder car here within the calendar year. The Passat W8 will offer an unusual 271-hp eight-cylinder engine in the current Passat sedan or wagon body, along with a leather interior, a power sunroof and air conditioning for $37,900. And later in the year, the company will reintroduce the Jetta GLI, a trim level high on performance and slightly lower on price. With a 200-hp VR6 engine, an Electronic Stability Program, 17-inch wheels, a six-speed gearbox and sport suspension tuning, the GLI will sticker at $22,950. A similarly powered GTI VR6 joins the lineup at the same time, for $21,175.
2002 Acura NSX
2002 Acura NSXEnlarge Photo
ACURA REFINES CL, NSX
With its MDX sport-ute setting sales records, Acura’s spending some money and attention on its two-doors in 2002 and 2003. First, the decade-old NSX receives a welter of refinements. Although there’s no horsepower boost, aerodynamic massaging of its air dams and hood help it pick up 7 mph; top speed is now 175 mph. Revised interior trim and monochromatic paint treatments mark the $89,000 ‘02 model, and six new interior colors allow buyers to match the inside and outside of their treasured supercar. As for the CL, it gets a light update outside, with a more prominent grille and other detail work. The Type-S model engages a new six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential; a five-speed automatic SportShift is available on the Type-S. All CLs have new center console designs, too.
2001 Toyota MatrixEnlarge Photo
Pricing for Toyota’s Matrix starts at $14,670, the company told audiences at the L.A. Show. For that price, buyers get a five-door wagonlet with a 130-hp engine, air conditioning, and a CD player. The midlevel Matrix XR retails for $16,180; the XRS, with the 180-hp four-cylinder and anti-lock brakes tops the range at $18,750.