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2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part VIII

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2006 Nissan Urge concept

2006 Nissan Urge concept

 

 

2006 Detroit Auto Show Index by TCC Team (1/7/2006)

 

Compass Shows the Way to Jeep

 

2007 Jeep Compass Angie Harmon

2007 Jeep Compass Angie Harmon

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With another seemingly random surprise drop-in by an actress — this time, former Law and Order star Angie Harmon — the Chrysler sales and marketing chief Joe Eberhardt revealed the production version of the new Jeep Compass, the new smaller Jeep model that’s aimed more for urban customers and emphasizes fuel economy. Eberhardt called the Compass “the perfect gateway to the Jeep brand.”

 

The Compass has the footprint of a compact car, and Chrysler boasts that the Compass combines the packaging and functionality of an SUV with the driving attributes and fuel economy of a small car. Built on the same new small-car platform as the Dodge Caliber and made at the same Belvidere , Illinois , assembly plant, the Compass will feature a standard 172-hp four-cylinder made in Michigan with variable valve timing, paired with a new continuously variable transaxle, here called the CVT2. Chrysler says that the ‘2’ signifies that it’s a second-generation CVT that’s been tuned for better engine response.

 

Although the Compass isn’t as off-road focused as other models in the Jeep lineup, when properly equipped it can claim some measure of off-road ability, including respectable approach/departure angles of 21/32 degrees. Compasses come with either front- or four-wheel drive. Four-wheel-drive versions offer a “lock” mode for its active system, specifically for use in deep snow, sand, or other low-traction surfaces. Stability control, Electronic Roll Mitigation, anti-lock brakes, and Brake Assist are standard. Clever features include an onboard rechargeable flashlight and flip-down tailgate speakers.

 

The automaker is hoping that the Compass will reach out and bring in new buyers who would not have otherwise considered the Jeep brand. It will go on sale late this summer.

 

Preview: 2007 Jeep Compass by TCC Team (1/9/2006)
A slightly smaller direction for Jeep.

 

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New Camry Adds Distinctive Appearance, Hybrid Model

 

2007 Toyota Camry

2007 Toyota Camry

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Toyota today pulled the wraps off the sixth generation of its best-selling Camry sedan, which will replace the current version that was introduced for 2002. As expected, the new 2007 Camry is highly influenced by the current Avalon, introduced last year, and also inherits various design cues and features from upmarket Lexus models. While the dimensions aren’t markedly different than those of the current Camry it will replace, the proportions have been changed to make it more rakish and flowing, with a more sophisticated headlight and grille treatment, a softer-sloping rear pillar, and the wheels pushed farther out to the corners, increasing wheelbase by about two inches.

 

The Camry will have a standard 158-hp, 2.4-liter in-line four that’s a revision of the existing engine. The next generation V-6 makes a much bigger leap in power, with the optional 3.5-liter — basically the same engine as is offered in the Avalon — offering 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is mated to an all-new six-speed automatic transmission, while the four-cylinder goes with either a five-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. Most notably, Toyota is offering the latest version of its Hybrid Synergy Drive system on the Camry, pairing it with a four-cylinder engine for an emphasis on fuel economy rather than all-out performance; though the hybrid powertrain still delivers up to 192 hp, with EPA fuel economy of 43 city, 37 highway, an official range of well over 600 miles, and 0-60 in less than nine seconds.


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