Buick, Saturn Unveil "Crossover Sport Vans"
2005 Buick TerrazzaEnlarge Photo
The Buick version joins the brand as its third truck (Rainier is new for 2004; Rendezvous has been in the lineup since 2002). The dramatically styled nose incorporates Buick's trademark badging with a silhouette familiar to the other vans in the GM family. Offered in CX and CXL versions, the Terrazza will offer a 200-hp 3.5-liter V-6, standard 17-inch wheels, and available Stabilitrak stability control and Versatrak all-wheel drive.
2005 Saturn RELAYEnlarge Photo
GM Goes "Sport" With Minivans (12/5/2003)
But can it shake the "soccer-Mom" message?
Volvo Shows V50 Wagon
2005 Volvo V50Enlarge Photo
2004 Volvo C70 Convertible by Eric Peters (11/17/2003)
Swedish virtues at a sub-German price.
DB9 Droptop for Detroit
2005 Aston Martin DB9 VolanteEnlarge Photo
Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin said: "From the outset of the DB9 programme we knew we wanted a convertible model. So the Volante has been designed, engineered and built from the outset as a convertible — it's not a Coupe with just the top taken off.
"The DB9 Volante has all of the traditional styling cues you'd expect from a convertible Aston Martin. It's very elegant and perfectly proportioned from every angle, while subtle embellishments help create a powerful-looking sports car."
The top retracts within just seventeen seconds. When down, it folds behind a hard tonneau cover, which then electrically closes flush with the DB9's bodywork. In the event of an accident, sensors in the DB9 Volante detect the risk of a potential rollover and two roll hoops are deployed from the rear seat headrests, while front-seat passengers are protected by the windscreen A-pillars which can withstand twice the total weight of the car. —Ian Norris
Hyundai HCD Gets 8
2004 Hyundai HCD8 conceptEnlarge Photo
BMW 6-Series Cabrio Coming to Motown
2004 BMW 645Ci
Ferrari Scaglietti Bound for Detroit
2004 Ferrari 612 ScagliettiEnlarge Photo
The 612 got its name in honor of coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti, who worked in Modena at the start of the Ferrari company. He was a master in sculpting aluminum forms, so Ferrari dedicated the all-aluminum 612 to his memory.
The 612 is designed by Pininfarina, and it has elements of a sporty berlinetta but with room for four. It replaces the 456M and is larger and roomier, but with an aluminum space frame and body it actually weighs 132 pounds less. Structural stiffness, however, has been improved by 60 percent. The mid-front layout puts the engine right behind the front axle, and the gearbox and differential in unit at the rear ensure a low-as-possible center of gravity.
The 515 hp of the previous Maranello engine has been boosted to 540 hp for the 612 Scaglietti, which accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and can reach a top speed of above 195 mph. The engine works together with a six-speed mechanical gearbox with either a conventional manual shifter or a new-generation electro-hydraulic set-up, known as the F1A. It has been designed for fast manual shifting with a comfortable automatic mode, too.
Good weight distribution (46/54 percent front/rear) is enhanced by a performance-oriented handling setup, with active damping and the special CST stability and traction control system used here for the very first time on a Ferrari.
The 612 will debut at the Detroit auto show in January and will go on sale in the spring. —Henny Hemmes