Chrysler Set to "Stow 'N Go"
2005 Chrysler minivansEnlarge Photo
Chrysler Revamps Minivan Seats by TCC Team (12/9/2003)
Can the original regain its lead with "Stow 'n Go?"
Chrysler Unveils Production 300C/Magnum
The production versions of the Chrysler 300C sedan and Dodge Magnum sports tourer concepts were quietly introduced in New York October 7, with marketing execs proclaiming this the most significant model rollout for Chrysler since the LH platform buried the K-car in 1992.
Very little has changed since the concepts were introduced. The 300C was shod with 18-inch tires, as opposed to the 20-inchers sported by the concept, and both cars wore a little less chrome trim.
Both cars will hit dealer showrooms next spring and are based on the new LX rear-wheel drive platform. Engines will range from a 200-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 through a refined version of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that produces 340 hp at 5200 rpm and 365 ft/lbs of torque at 4000 rpm, which should provide zero-to-sixty times of 6.5 seconds and a top speed in excess of 150 mph.
The transmission is a five-speed electronic AutoStick with a gated shifter, and ABS, all-speed traction control, and DC's Electronic Stability Program will be standard. A full-time AWD system will be an option on the Magnum.
Interiors of both cars feature watch-face instrumentation, adjustable pedals, four-spoke tilt-and-telescoping steering wheels, and, in the case of the 300C, elegant faux-tortoiseshell trim on the steering wheel, shift knob, and door pull handles.
In addition, approximately 20 percent of the LX platform shares componentry with Mercedes, particularly in drivetrain hardware, suspension modules, electrical systems, and seat modules.
Packaging and pricing details still need to be worked out with the dealer network, execs said, although they expect the 300C to compete at the low end with Toyota's Avalon, up through the Acura model line. —Paul W. Cockerham
Fall is Cutback Season in Detroit by Joseph Szczesny (10/6/2003)
Dank jobs outlook mirrors the weather; when will Big Three spring back?
Dodge Sling Shot, Jeep Rescue Concepts Ride in Detroit
Debuting at the North American International Auto Show in January will be two concept vehicles.
2004 Dodge Sling Shot conceptEnlarge Photo
2004 Jeep Rescue conceptEnlarge Photo
Saab 9-2X Set for L.A.
2005 Saab 9-2XEnlarge Photo
Toyota Plans Hybrid Pair for Detroit, Pickup Too
Toyota is seizing the hybrid lead at the Detroit auto show, where it will introduce a pair of gas-electric vehicles to complement its 2004 Prius. The Highlander crossover will share the Hybrid Synergy Drive system with the Prius; the Lexus RX 330 hybrid will have a gas-electric powertrain expected to be based on the same technology. Toyota also will show a new range of GS mid-size luxury sedans in Detroit, but the most troubling or exciting concept from Toyota — depending on what brand you work for — will be a new full-size pickup that's due to enter production in San Antonio, Texas in 2006.
BMW 6-Series Cabrio Coming to Motown
BMW will use its Detroit show space to show off the droptop version of the new 645i coupe. The 645Ci shares its 4.4-liter V-8 with the 645Ci Coupe, and makes 325 hp through all of its available transmissions: a six-speed manual, six-speed Steptronic automatic or a six-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG). BMW says the Convertible will reach 60 mph in about six seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The four-seater comes with a DVD nav system standard.
Mitsu Eclipse Coupe Coming to Detroit
2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse Concept-EEnlarge Photo
Spy Shots: '05 Mitsu Eclipse by Brenda Priddy (9/1/2003)
Project America spawns a two-door.
Scion Adds tC
The upcoming tC coupe will be Scion's third product, will debut at Detroit and go on sale in June. Based on the Japan-market Toyota Avensis, the tC will be especially distinctive as the only car on the market with a fully glass roof, an engineering feat to maintain the stiffness of a normal roof. The four-cylinder tC will offer a supercharger kit shortly after launch. Although price-wise it looks like people might cross-shop the tC with the Celica, a Scion rep asserts that "…the Celica is more of a boy-racer; the tC is more of a 3-Series Coupe. We're not going to be in the same market."