TCC's Auto Show Index by TCC Team (2/23/2003)
Our coverage of the world's major auto shows, year to year.
Every other year, automotive journalists experience a rare sort of nirvana. It’s difficult to tell if it’s the enlightenment of seven major auto shows dawning upon us — or just a contact buzz from the ink on the two tons of press kits we’re compelled to cart home. But 2003 is one of those biannual highs that puts us — and you — in the driver’s seat through the major auto shows in L.A., Detroit, Chicago, Geneva, New York, Frankfurt, and Tokyo.
The New York auto show rounds out the year in American shows, and it seems set to do it in a style best termed “New York Brash.” How else to explain the worldwide intros of about 20 new vehicles, including trios of important product from Nissan and Toyota, not to mention a groundbreaking new direction for Chrysler cars?
This week, TCC is bringing you a preview of what we know and what we suspect will make its way to the floor of the Jacob Javits Center, the pearl of the West Side Highway. We’ll update this as frequently as we receive new information. And come April 15th, we’ll be bringing you all the news and pictures you could possibly want from New York — and potentially some that you don’t want, if we happen to run into the Naked Cowboy and/or Ricki Lake. But enough of that dreaming — on with the show:
2004 Chrysler LX spy shot
2004 Chrysler LX spy shotEnlarge Photo
We’ve shown you spy pictures of Chrysler’s upcoming rear-wheel-drive “LX” that’s set for a New York debut. The new car will switch the Chrysler sedans from a front-wheel drive platform to rear-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive as an option. Power is expected to come from an optional 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 or a base 3.5-liter V-6 powerplant, and the cars will share several components with Mercedes, including their five-speed automatic transmission and electronic stability control system.
2004 Nissan SUV spy shot
2004 Nissan SUV spy shotEnlarge Photo
Nissan will follow up on its Detroit trifecta with a pair of trucks sure to cause concern in Detroit, Dearborn and Auburn Hills. The full-size Pathfinder Armada SUV shares design features and components with the recently introduced Titan pickup, and it too will be built alongside at Nissan’s plant in Canton, Miss. Power will come from a 300-horsepower 5.6-liter DOHC V-8. The newest member of Nissan’s quickly growing family is expected to be available next fall, as will a Crew Cab version of the Titan.
2003 Lexus HPX concept
2003 Lexus HPX conceptEnlarge Photo
Toyota is planning a busy schedule of introductions for April’s New York Auto Show. The company has released a sketch of its HPX concept car with a brief description, calling the concept a high-performance, all-wheel-drive crossover. Gone un-photoed: the two production models due at New York. The 2004 Prius, which Toyota says will be larger and more fuel-efficient than the current car, and the 2004 Camry Solara, the two-door version of Toyota’s Camry sedan. Toyota says the Solara will be its most American effort to date, with development, styling and production all handled within U.S. borders.
2004 Toyota Siennaby John Pearley Huffman (3/17/2003)
One step beyond the Odyssey?
2004 Chevrolet Malibu
2004 Chevrolet MalibuEnlarge Photo
In Detroit we showed you the four-door Malibu due in 2004. New York’s turn comes with the 2004 Chevy Malibu Maxx. Like the Malibu four-door, it’s built off GM’s Epsilon architecture, which also is the basis of the Saab 9-3 and Opel Vectra. But the Maxx has something different from the sedan — namely, a fifth door. The Malibu Maxx is a hatchback in the tradition of the old Mazda 626 hatchback, though Chevy will call it an extended sedan. It is six inches longer than the standard sedan, with six inches of travel in the back seat of both models, allowing the driver to reconfigure the back seat and luggage area to accommodate passengers or gear. The front passenger seat folds flat. Chevy boasts that an eight-foot kayak or eight-foot stepladder fits inside the car with the trunk closed. The trunk of the Maxx has a flexible half that works to hide gear, and it stands up on a post when the trunk is open for a tailgating table. It also will come with a standard remote starter, literally a hot-button feature that Chevy feels will have as much allure to buyers in cold-weather states as a disappearing third seat on a minivan.
’04 Malibu Gets Maxx-ed Out by Jim Burt (11/18/2002)