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2003 Detroit Auto Show, Part VIII Page 2



2004 Chevrolet Colorado

2004 Chevrolet Colorado

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CHEVROLET'S ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
After much anticipation, Chevrolet pulled the wraps off its new successor to the S-10 line. The Colorado, called a mid-size pickup, has a sleek appearance while following the rugged design cues of the rest of the Chevy truck line. The Colorado, termed a mid-size pickup and about the same size as the S-10, will be available in nine different configurations, including three different cab types, three suspension packages, and either two- or four-wheel drive. The new truck has substantially improved torsional rigidity, partially attributed to a new-design ladder-type frame. A new line of large-displacement engines powers the Colorado. The standard 2.8-liter “Vortec 2800” inline four makes 175 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, while the optional 3.5-liter inline five makes 220 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. Both incorporate variable valve timing and an electronic throttle. They’re extensively based on the 4.2-liter inline six featured in GM’s mid-sized sport utility vehicles, but the four and five feature a balance shaft design for smoothness. Four-wheel-drive models have shift-on-the-fly capability with a dash-mounted switch, and traction control is now available on four-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive models. Roof rail side airbags and ABS will be standard. -- Bengt Halvorson
2005 Chevrolet Equinox

2005 Chevrolet Equinox

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CHEVY INTRODUCES FIRST CROSSOVER

Chevrolet unveiled a long-anticipated entry into the compact SUV segment—the fastest growing segment in the industry. Based on the same platform as the Saturn Vue, the Equinox is available in either front- or all-wheel drive. The only powertrain available is a 3.4-liter V-6 and a five-speed automatic transmission. The available all-wheel-drive system sends all power to the front heels during normal conditions, redirecting power to the back wheels if the front wheels slip. Equinox’s front end was given the same look as Chevrolet’s truck line, with a strong vertical bar across the large grille. The interior is touted as highly flexible, with a Multi-Flex rear seat that slides forward or back eight inches total to allow either more cargo room or more passenger room, while carrying back-seat passengers. The cargo shelf height is also adjustable. With the base price being especially important in this class, the Equinox has a front disc, rear drum brake system, and ABS will not be standard. Other available features will include roof rail curtain airbags, an MP3 player, heated from seats, and a power moon roof. -- Bengt Halvorson


2004 Chevrolet Malibu

2004 Chevrolet Malibu

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CHEVY'S NEW MIDSIZE MAINSTAY ROLLS OUT
The Malibu, a rental-car and fleet mainstay, will be completely new for 2004. The new model is built on GM’s global Epsilon platform, currently  shared with the Opel Vectra, Saab 9-3, and several other models in the works. The new Malibu, like its predecessor, will continue to emphasize comfort and value, but with a bit more attention to details. Badging has been eliminated from the sides to clean up the appearance. Basic dimensions are about the same as the current car, but interior space has increased. The rear seat folds down, 60/40, to help acommodate large cargo items. Two different powertrains will be offered: the 140-hp, 2.2-liter Ecotec four-cylinder, and a new 200-hp, 3.5-liter version of the familiar pushrod V-6 (which may see a Displacement on Demand upgrade the following year). GM’s electric power steering finds its way into the Malibu for 2004. Both engines are matched with a four-speed automatic. A specially designed four-point front cradle with tuned bushings allows luxury-car ride-and-handling attributes, according to Chevrolet, and many other noise-elimination features normally only used in luxury cars have been employed in the new Malibu. Safety-wise, ABS will be optional, and side roof airbags will also be available. Production will start this fall at GM’s Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City. -- Bengt Halvorson


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