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2006 New York Auto Show, Part V Page 2

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Audi Reframes Cabriolet’s Face

 

Audi has revised the A4 and S4 convertible for 2007. The models receive the new corporate grille, add two direct-injection gasoline engines for the first time, and have an optional acoustic roof that the company claims now reduces cabin noise to the levels of the sedan even at highway speeds. The fully automatic, electro-hydraulic roof can be operated when driving at speeds of up to 19 mph. A4 Cabriolets come with either a the 3.2-liter, 255-hp V-6 or a  turbocharged 2.0-liter, 200-hp four-cylinder.  The S4 Cabriolet comes with a 4.2-liter, 340-hp eight-cylinder engine. As usual, front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive is available with all engines. A continuously variable transmission, six-speed manual or automatic transmission is offered. Audi claims the four-link front and the trapezoidal-link rear suspension are modified to produce noticeably improved levels agility, handling, and comfort. Standard stability control is supplemented by a rollover protection system with two protective bars, controlled by sensors, behind the rear passengers that are triggered within milliseconds in case of an accident. Standard equipment is extensive: the A4/S4 Cabrios feature the electric roof and dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker audio system, power one-touch windows, cruise control, and a large ski sack.

 

Audi also announced that its RS4 sport sedan would be priced from $68,820 when it goes on sale in June. The RS4 is powered by a 420-hp V-8.—Ken Zino

 

 

New Suzuki XL7 Comes From Theta

 

2007 Suzuki XL7

2007 Suzuki XL7

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The name may look the same as the current version, but the omission of the dash between XL and 7 on Suzuki’s newest ute means a lot. The new generation, is no longer based on the Grand Vitara, but is instead a derivative of GM’s Theta architecture, which also underpins the Chevrolet Equinox.

 

For the seven-passenger Suzuki version, the platform has been stretched by nearly 8 inches to accommodate the third-row seat. Mayasu Date, chief designer of the XL7, told TheCarConnection that he had to use some visual tricks to disguise the long overhang in the rear.

The new XL7 features a 3.6-liter V-6 VVT engine that was designed by General Motors, but is built by Suzuki. It has 250 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. With more cubic inches and more horsepower the new engine also has a better fuel efficiency than the current 3.5-liter V-6. An electronic all-wheel-drive system will be available.

 

Front airbags, side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. The XL7 goes on sale in the fall.—Henny Hemmes


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