Consumer Car News: 2/25/02

February 25, 2002

FORD TO BUILD GT40

Ford GT40 Concept

Ford GT40 Concept

Ford Motor Company will build the exotic GT40 supercar it showed as a concept at this January's Detroit auto show, the company announced today. The GT40, a throwback to the company's glory days in racing in the 1960s, will become one of the 20 new or freshened products Ford will unveil each of the next few years in the hopes of turning around its slumping sales. "Our revitalization plan is centered on products," Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement released this morning. "The company that builds and delivers the best cars and trucks wins, and we're going to win. I can't think of a better symbol of that winning attitude than GT40." Stay tuned for more on this breaking story later today at TheCarConnection.com.
Ford Concept Revives GT40 by TCC Team (1/7/2002)

CHRYSLER RECALLING 1.6 MILLION GRAND CHEROKEES

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Some 1.6 million Jeep Grand Cherokees are being recalled by DaimlerChrysler after hundreds of reports that the vehicles roll backwards when placed in park. While DaimlerChrysler says it believes that drivers are mistaken in the reported incidents, it has agreed to recall the 1993-1998 models in question and retrofit them with new shifter pieces to ensure the shifter is firmly in park. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the move won’t end its investigation into the Jeep, which it has linked to 364 crashes, 159 injuries and five deaths. Find out more about the massive DC recall in today’s edition of TheCarConnection.com:
Jeep Recalls Grand Cherokee by Joseph Szczesny (2/17/2002)

 

NHTSA OPENS INVESTIGATIONS
Audi, Ford, Kia and General Motors are the latest brands to be affected by new investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA says it will investigate the following to determine whether recalls are necessary:

·         Audi: 210,626 Audi A4 and A6 sedans for a brake-pedal bracket failure;

·         Ford: 1995 Explorer sport-utes, for front seatbelts latches not buckling;

·         General Motors: 1995-1997 Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire for fires in the steering column, and 1999-2001 Olds Intrigue sedans for flickering lights;

·         Kia: 1999 calendar year Sportage SUVs for broken windshield wipers.

 

GROUP WANTS NEW ROLLOVER RATING
The National Research Council (NRC) wants the government to take a second look at its rollover rating system, and to incorporate crash-safety data in the numbers. Researchers from the group, an offshoot of the National Academy of Sciences, argue that the numbers produced by the Feds – which are derived from the vehicle’s dimensions and weight distribution -- can vary widely even within one “star” rating level. The NRC wants numerical data included in the rankings; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Reuters that it is working on possible road tests that may or may not retain the star ranking system.
Recall, Rollover and Safety Info by TCC Team (2/4/2002)

 

MERCURY TO GET ESCAPE
Automotive News reports that some of the future products promised for Mercury and Lincoln have been identified. They include a long-rumored Mercury version of the Ford Escape sport-ute, although the desire to differentiate it from its Ford sibling will keep it form market until at least 2005, the trade weekly says. Other products penciled in include a new Mercury sedan, a minivan based on the Ford Windstar, a new large flagship Lincoln, and a restyled LS sedan. The LS also gets a performance edition as a part of the plan, which the paper reports has been funded by parent Ford. However, a Lincoln Mercury version of the upcoming Ford Crosstrainer crossover vehicle has yet to be approved.
Mercury Showing Signs of Life? by TCC Team (2/11/2002)

 

BENZ CLK SET FOR GENEVA

2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK

2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK

2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK

2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK

2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK

2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK

The next Benz CLK coupe makes its debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show, the company announced on Tuesday. The 2003 CLK has a new suspension and new sheetmetal, a range of reworked engines, and a stouter, roomier body. Top of the line will again be the CLK55, now boosted to 367 hp; eight-, six-, and four-cylinder engines abound down to the 163-hp supercharged four-cylinder found in the CLK200. A diesel engine also will be available, while base U.S. cars likely will continue to offer the 215-hp, 3.2-liter V-6. Body rigidity is up 40 percent while drag is down to 0.28. Front, side and curtain airbags are standard, as are anti-lock brakes. Stay tuned for more on the CLK as TCC covers the Geneva Motor Show in March.

 

DC TO UNVEIL MAYBACH AT GENEVA

2003 Maybach

2003 Maybach

2003 Maybach

2003 Maybach

2003 Maybach

2003 Maybach

DaimlerChrysler returns to the ultra-luxury market at the 72nd Geneva Motor Show with the first public showing of the new Maybach sedan. Gone from the scene for more than sixty years, Maybach is being brought back by DaimlerChrysler to join a growing cluster of high-end marques in Germany: on January 1, 2003, BMW gains control of the Rolls-Royce name, and Volkswagen owns Bentley. The new Maybach will bring back the brand’s double-M logo on a long four-door sedan that shares technology with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Built in Sindelfingen, Germany, next door to the S-Class, the Maybach will feature a V-12 engine with 550 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. It goes on sale in the fall; the Geneva Motor Show opens to the public on March 7.

 

GM MAKING MONARO A GTO?

2002 Holden Monaro

2002 Holden Monaro

2002 Holden Monaro

2002 Holden Monaro

2002 Holden Monaro

2002 Holden Monaro

GM is studying ways to bring the rear-drive Holden Monaro V-8 coupe to the U.S. as a modern-day Pontiac GTO, Reuters reports. In an interview with GM vice chairman Bob Lutz, the news service says the world’s largest automaker is looking into importing the big two-door to plug a product gap in the brand’s lineup. "Needless to say, assuming affordability, there isn't one guy in the United States who wouldn't like to have it sooner rather than later," Reuters quotes Lutz. GM’s Australian division could ramp up to send 20,000 Monaros to the States if U.S. crash standards prove simple to meet with the vehicle.

 

SEGWAY AUCTION UNDERWAY ON AMAZON

Segway short pic

Segway short pic

At press time last night, it would have cost you $106,300 to be one of the first owners of the Segway, the unique two-wheeled personal transportation device invented by Dean Kamen. The 80-lb, 12-mph, gyroscopically endowed scooter is to be sold en masse later this year for an estimated price of $3,000 each. The Web site has three Segways to auction off to the high bidder on March 28; the wealthy winners will pick up their scooters in Disney World in late April. The profits from the auction will go to a non-profit group established by Kamen.
Segway: Delphi's Dream Job by Joseph Szczesny (12/24/2001)
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