2002 Detroit Auto Show by TCC Team (1/7/2002)
Toyota show sponsor
sponsored by Toyota
Toyota show sponsor
VW SEEKING THE FUTURE
Volkswagen’s fortunes aren’t only looking rosy in the U.S. Though the company enjoyed record sales of 355,648 vehicles in the States in 2001, it also set records to the north and south. VW board member Dr. Jens Neumann credits a raft of product introductions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to the record 669,479 vehicles sold last year in all of North America. Will 2002 be a sales sequel? Neumann gave no estimates but glowed over the range of new VW products imminent in the North American lineup, including the Passat W8, which he says shows “all we know how to do at once.” Additionally, Neumann confirms that VW will decide whether to build a new Microbus within the first half of 2002.
Volkswagen Magellan concept
MAGELLAN GIVES VW SUV DIRECTION
Another auto show, and there’s still no sport-ute production vehicle from Volkswagen. However Neumann also confirms that the vehicle’s name will be Touareg, a moniker borrowed from a nomadic sub-Saharan tribe of all things. And although it wasn’t shown in production form, the sport-ute probably will look a lot like the Magellan concept shown in Cobo. The Magellan is a crossover vehicle “filled with strength and courage,” says VW’s Martin Winterkorn. The design concept was penned in VW’s Spanish studio, and blends car, truck, and SUV attributes. The running gear includes an all-wheel-drive system with electronic differential locks and 19-inch wheels, while the interior boasts seating for six and various cargo configurations, along with a removable navigation system — something the real Magellan managed without?
2002 Mercedes-Benz Vision Grand Sport Tourer
GRAND VISION: BENZ’ SPORT TOURER
Looking strikingly similar to the Chrysler Pacifica in proportion and purpose, the Mercedes-Benz Vision Grand Sport Tourer (let’s just call it GST in honor of our Canadian pals, eh?) is also a six-seat crossover vehicle with striking good looks but without a B-pillar. Though Benz might be chided for claiming the GST creates an “entirely new vehicle segment,” as passenger-car board member Juergen Hubbert says, the GST does make for a nifty companion piece for the existing M-Class sport ute. An AMG-tuned 5.5-liter V-8 with 360 hp powers the GST through an automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive setup riding on 22-inch wheels. Inside the dash is trimmed in wood and aluminum accents; an in-car DVD system is mounted in the front seatback. TCC sources say the GST is headed for production in Vance, Ala., alongside the M-Class and shares its body-on-frame chassis.
2002 Maserati Coupe
COUPE BOOSTS MASERATI PROFILE
We’ve shown you the Maserati Spyder — of course, a coupe couldn’t be far behind. The enclosed version of the snazzy, vaguely Qvale-ish Maserati Coupe shares the Spyder’s 4.2-liter V-8 with 390 hp, massive Brembo brakes and choice of six-speed manual or Cambiocorsa (F1-style) semiautomatic transmission.
Maserati to Debut at L.A. Show by Joseph Szczesny (11/26/2001)
2002 Toyota CCX concept
TOYOTA PREPS FOR YOUTH WITH
Toyota calls this concept a multi-purpose vehicle — but doesn’t have a purpose in mind for it yet, other than possibly enticing younger buyers. The Italian-built concept is more acknowledgement from the company that it’s not capturing the younger buyers it needs for the future. The ccX sports a conventional 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission, but inside it’s all about flash: twin sunroofs create a near-convertible atmosphere, Toyota says, and interior materials like the neoprene seats and waterproof floor are made for heavy-duty use.
2003 Toyota Corolla
COROLLA PRICED AT
Value-minded shoppers, your Toyota is here again. The 2003 Corolla is available as a base CE, luxury LE or somewhat sportyish S, and rides on a 102.4-inch wheelbase, which is more than five inches longer than the Corolla it replaces and 0.7 inches shorter than the current Honda Civic sedan’s. However, at 178.3 inches long overall, the new Corolla is actually 3.7 inches longer than the Civic and a scant 0.8 inches longer than Nissan’s Sentra (which has a 99.8-inch wheelbase). An evolutionary version of the 1.8-liter, DOHC 16-valve engine was in the previous Corolla, and it now features Toyota’s VVT-i variable valve timing system and that helps bump the horsepower rating from 125 last year to 130 this year. Pricing for the Corollas puts the base CE model — with CD player, air conditioning and split rear bench — at $13,370. The uplevel LE retails for $14,680, while the S is priced at $14,515.
2003 Toyota Corolla by John Pearley Huffman (1/7/2002)
GM Autonomy concept
AUTONOMY: GM’S FUEL-CELL
Until now, declares GM’s design director, Wayne Cherry, “nobody’s designed a vehicle around a fuel cell.” Unlike a gasoline engine, a fuel cell can be manufactured in a variety of shapes, even laid out flat, more like a shoebox. The Autonomy, a sort of fuel-cell-powered, ready-to-body chassis, makes good use of this flexibility. It mounts its powertrain underneath, rather than in front or behind, the passenger compartment.
Autonomy: GM Asks "What If?" by TCC Team (1/7/2002)