TCC’s Daily Edition: 12/12/01

December 11, 2001

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2003 Hummer H2

2003 Hummer H2

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GM unveiled the Hummer H2, the first product of its investment in AM General. The new truck is essentially a Hummer shape grafted on a heavily modified GM heavy-duty truck platform, with a 325-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 and heavy-duty four-speed transmission. A full-time four-wheel-drive system with a locking rear differential is standard; two tire packages will be offered, a softer highway set and a triple-sidewall set for extreme off-roading. A luxurious interior with CD stereos, power windows and leather seats will be standard with each H2, which is entering pilot production soon in Mishawaka, Ind., and goes on sale in July for $50,000-$55,000. Stay tuned to TCC for a full story on the H2.
Hummer Humming New Tune by Jim Burt (8/13/2001)


2002 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas

2002 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas

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The 2002 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas evokes giant American sedans of the past, with its long hood, genuinely spacious interior, and silent V-8 that effortlessly floats the car up hills, and the most important ingredient – a suspension that prevents the outside world from intruding on the car’s occupants. The big Jag swallowed railroad tracks – railroad tracks – without a hiccup. The XJ8 also possesses the uniquely Jaguar ability to attract women like raccoons to a campground dumpster.
2002 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas by Dan Carney (12/10/2001)

While the first "production" fuel cell vehicles will hit the road by 2004, most observers don't expect serious volumes for another decade or more. Improving fuel cell technology is only part of the cost. An equal challenge is finding a way to produce and then store the hydrogen FCVs run on. Chrysler's prototype Natrium minivan unveils a new approach. Other FCVs either store hydrogen in liquid or gaseous form, or produce it out of more conventional fuels, like gasoline. Natrium, however, uses a chemical called sodium boro-hydride, a hydrogen-rich form of the cleanser, borox. A simple onboard reformer splits off the H2 needed for the fuel cells, and the used chemical slurry is then stored, so it can be pumped off the vehicle and recycled. Natrium combines the fuel cell system with regenerative braking and batteries, yielding a top speed of 80 mph and a range of 300 miles. It will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

The industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the newest Explorer earned its top rating in crash tests, while the Jeep Liberty and Isuzu Rodeo got marginal ratings. The tests crash vehicles into a barrier at 40 mph, five mph faster than those conducted by the federal government. Ford had asked the IIHS to delay its test so that it could make modifications to the Explorer’s structure. Along with the Explorer, four other SUVs — the BMW X5, the Acura MDX, the Lexus RX 300 and the Mercedes M-Class — were awarded the highest rating.
Ford Begins Tough Struggle by TCC Team (12/10/2001)

Following a ten-year decline, car theft is on the rise in the U.S. once more, climbing 1.2 percent in 2000, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The industry-funded organization says 1.17 million cars were reported stolen last year, based on statistics from the FBI. The top ten stolen cars reads like a who’s who of the best-sellers list: the Toyota Camry was the most stolen vehicle, followed by the Honda Accord, Honda’s Civic and the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. A complete list can be found on the institute’s Web site,//
TCC Tip: Hands Off, Crooks by Bengt Halvorson (1/19/2001)

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