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2003 Detroit Auto Show Preview Page 3

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CONCEPTS: Infiniti says its Triant concept is a “highly emotional vehicle for active lifestyles,” one with gullwing doors and tailgate and a high-tech communication-centered interior.

TOYOTA/LEXUS


2003 Lexus GX470

2003 Lexus GX470

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2003 Lexus GX470

2003 Lexus GX470

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Lexus GX470
The new GX 470 will be on the floor of Cobo Hall, having just gone on sale in November. The GX470 is based on the same basic ladder frame chassis and mechanical package as the new 4Runner. Power comes from Toyota’s familiar 235-horsepower, 4.7-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V-8 that was introduced on the current Land Cruiser and now powers that vehicle, its clone the Lexus LX470, the Toyota Sequoia SUV, and is optional on the Tundra pickup and the 4Runner. As in the 4Runner (and the revised 2003 Land Cruiser and LX470), the 4.7 is backed by a new five-speed automatic transmission.

2004 Lexus RX330

2004 Lexus RX330

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2004 Lexus RX330

2004 Lexus RX330

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Lexus RX330
The all-new Lexus RX330 - the upcoming replacement for the RX300 - will be unveiled in Detroit. The RX330 is bigger in all dimensions than the current RX300. We expect it to be powered by a 240-horsepower 3.3-liter V-6 when it makes its "official" world debut at the NAIAS in January.

BMW/MINI

2004 BMW X3 spy shot

2004 BMW X3 spy shot

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2003 BMW xActivity Concept

2003 BMW xActivity Concept

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BMW X3
BMW will unveil the xActivity concept crossover at next month's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The prototype is very close to the X3 sport utility BMW plans to launch in 2004. The two most notable elements of the all-wheel-drive concept vehicle are the cloth top roof and absence of B and C pillars. Utilizing a so-called "frame-structure convertible," longitudinal members on both sides connect the A-pillars with the rear end. Sources, however, says neither the roof or lack of pillars will show up in the production X3 model for structural engineering reasons. A unique rear cargo loading system, though, is likely to make into production. When the tailgate of the five-door is opened, cargo, such as two bikes, partially ejects from the loading area. The mini-ute’s 3.0-liter straight 6-cylinder engine delivers 231 bhp through a manual gearbox to 18-inch wheels. The vehicle will be anufactured for BMW by Magna. Like all the new BMWs, the xActivity body style has alternating concave and convex surfaces. BMW chief designer Chris Bangle likens this treatment to the natural lines formed by fire and water. – Jim Burt

2003 Rolls-Royce spy shot

2003 Rolls-Royce spy shot

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2003 Rolls-Royce spy shot

2003 Rolls-Royce spy shot

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Rolls-Royce
On New Year's Day 2003, BMW gains control of the Rolls-Royce marque from Volkswagen. On that day it also will launch this $220,000 ultra-luxury sedan, code-named RR01. The new car boasts potent V-12 power, limo‑like proportions, space-frame construction and a first‑class interior. Expect a length in excess of 212 inches in short‑wheelbase form, with long‑wheelbase Park Ward variants likely to run close to 235 inches. Hidden under the long con­toured hood is a sophisti­cated four‑valve‑per‑cylinder V-12, a modified version of the NG12 powerplant that made its debut in BMW's E65 7‑Series earlier this year. Capacity is said to have been boosted to around 6.8 liters – well up on the 5.4-­liter V-12 used in the Seraph. The engine also uses BMW's new Variotronic valve timing system to extract high torque. Drive is channeled through BMWs new six‑speed automatic transmission to huge 19-inch rear wheels.

ALSO: The V-12, long-wheelbase 760Li should make an appearance at Detroit.
HONDA/ACURA

Acura EL: Acura will debut an all-new sports sedan at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in January, possibly dubbed the EL. The new Acura sedan will sport a high performance i-VTEC engine and sport-tune suspension with a four-seat cabin. The 2004 model will be positioned squarely between the RSX sports coupe and the 3.2 TL sedan. The new car is slated to go on sale in spring of 2003.

CONCEPTS: The Honda Studio E concept vehicle, a panel-side version of the all-new Honda Element, "merges a style of nightlife transportation with a high-tech, multi-function platform that can lay tracks - both rubber and audio," according to Honda. Studio E's interior operates much like a band's backstage room with adaptable seating that can be configured into a lounge. Additional features include a DJ turntable and extensive on-board audio electronics capable of mixing music or showing videos. The paneled exterior styling features a passenger-side center-opening side cargo door. Aggressive engine tuning, high-performance suspension and a lowered body underscore the city performance edge to Studio E.

VOLKSWAGEN

The production version of the New Beetle Convertible should show up, and the Phaeton and Touareg will be shown here and in L.A. as well.

HYUNDAI/KIA

2003 Hyundai OLV concept

2003 Hyundai OLV concept

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2003 Hyundai OLV concept

2003 Hyundai OLV concept

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Hyundai says the OLV concept vehicle scheduled for a worldwide debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit will look a little something like this sketch. The OLV — Outdoor Lifestyle Vehicle for long — is a conceptual look at a future affordable utility vehicle. The concept will feature a supercharged and intercooled four-cylinder engine, removable roof panels and a convertible truck bed that can easily be converted from conventional trunk to utility bed when needed.
2003 Hyundai Tiburon GT V-6 by Marc K. Stengel (12/9/2002)

2003 Kia KCD-1 Concept Crossover

2003 Kia KCD-1 Concept Crossover

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Kia Slice
Call it an “alternative to clumsy, fuel-thirsty sport utility vehicles.” Well, that’s how Kia is billing its KCD-1 Slice, anyway. The concept vehicle, seen here for the first time, will be making its public debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroitnext month. The car-based, six-seat Slice is aimed at offering ute-like versatility but more car-like ride and handling, with a V-6 powertrain and a sport-tuned suspension on its wheels-to-the-corner platform.


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