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2003 Detroit Auto Show, Part VII


2003 North American International Auto Show banner

2003 North American International Auto Show banner

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2003 North American International Auto Show banner

2003 North American International Auto Show banner

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2003 Los Angeles Auto Show Ford banner with type

2003 Los Angeles Auto Show Ford banner with type

Related Articles:
2003 L.A. Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (1/1/2003)
2003 Detroit Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (1/2/2003)

NISSAN TITAN UNVEILED

2004 Nissan Titan

2004 Nissan Titan

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Nissan is putting Ford, GM and Dodge on notice with the Titan, the company's first full-size pickup. Nissan says its full-sizer won't be a 7/8ths rendition like Toyota's Tundra, but a true full-sizer with the best power, towing and handling in the segment. The Titan comes only in King Cab and Crew Cab configurations; a 5.6-liter, 300+-hp V-8 is standard, as is a five-speed automatic transmission. Two bed lengths can be ordered, and a four-wheel-drive system activated by a pushbutton is available as well. Nissan is paying special attention to the aftermarket, and has made the Titan's bed similar in size to the competition to facilitate the development of aftermarket parts. The Titan will go on sale Dec. 1, a couple of months after Nissan introduces its first full-size SUV built off the same platform. But though they share the same platform, the Titan has a live rear axle, while the unnamed SUV features an all-independent suspension. --Marty Padgett

2003 Dodge Tomahawk concept

2003 Dodge Tomahawk concept

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DODGE RUMBLES IN ON V-10 TOMAHAWK CHOPPER
The star of the NAIAS so far is the Dodge Tomahawk concept, a drool inspiring four-wheel motorcycle that is built around the Viper V-10 engine. Driven onto the Chrysler stage with a throaty roar by group COO Wolfgang Bernhardt, the Tomahawk left viewers gasping. The 505-cubic-inch engine produces 500 horsepower and theoretically can produce a top speed of 400 mph. The engine has been mated to a two-speed gearbox and a double-double chain drive system. Performance? At 590 lb, the Tomahawk could go 0-60 mph in an inertia-defying 2.5 seconds. Chrysler Group CEO Dieter Zetsche volunteered that Dodge might just build the bike in limited numbers, but no decision had yet been made. —Bill Rapai

2003 Dodge Kahuna concept

2003 Dodge Kahuna concept

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OH YEAH — KAHUNA AND AVENGER, TOO
The Tomahawk debut overshadowed two other concepts shown by Dodge, the Kahuna minivan that harkens back to the classic woodies, and the Avenger rallye inspired coupe. Chrysler Group design chief Trevor Creed said that even though the Kahuna is shorter than Chrysler’s short-wheelbase minivan, it has more interior room than the long-wheelbase vans. The vehicle has 22-inch wheels that give it a huge presence and a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The exterior features Point Break Blue paint and composite bird’s-eye maple laminate side panels accented with aluminum. All exterior windows are frameless and are retractable into the doors. Overhead, a fabric roof opens from the B-pillar back to the lift gate.

2003 Dodge Avenger concept

2003 Dodge Avenger concept

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The Avenger is the latest vehicle inspired by European rallye cars and popular teen video games, but carries the flexibility and utility of an American SUV. The four-door vehicle is eight inches taller than a Dodge Stratus but has a shorter wheelbase. Of course, the rear seats in the 2+2 seating configuration fold flat, and the rear doors open to 90 degrees for easy access. Creed says the vehicle demonstrates Dodge’s “enthusiast manifesto” for performance and utility. —Bill Rapai

2003 Maserati Kubang concept

2003 Maserati Kubang concept

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MASERATI GOES 4X4 WITH KUBANG
In the wake of the Porsche Cayenne’s debut, Maserati brought out its own SUV concept—a wagon married with a serious grand touring car. Called Kubang, it’s named (along with the marque’s tradition) after a Javan wind.
The Kubang boasts a 48/52 percent front/rear weight distribution and has a center of mass that’s 100 mm lower than the average SUV, according to Maserati. Correspondingly, the driving position is much lower than that of other SUVs. Seating options can vary from just four individual seats to a bench seat for three in back and a third row with two rear-facing seats. For cargo-area convenience, the lower portion of the tailgate folds down to allow a flat loading area, which can also be used to transport long items.
A 390-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 provides power, delivered through an all-wheel-drive system. Its six-speed transmission is an unusual unit: a manual gearbox with mechanical electro-hydraulic control, allowing either fully automatic use or manual shifting without a clutch pedal. Top speed is more than 160 mph, and the Kubang can get to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds. Maserati emphasizes that the Kubang is not intended as an off-road vehicle. Nor is it confirmed for production — though many showgoers considered its shape finer than the Cayenne. —Bengt Halvorson


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