Consumer Car News: 5/27/02

May 28, 2002

Summer gives us the perfect excuse to line up the latest set of hot wheels — and for some reason, it also gives Johnny Law the perfect excuse to yank us back to earth when the speedo creeps into the top half of its range. And while speeding tickets might have cost you big time, here at TCC, the story behind the ticket can get you valuable prizes — including a new radar detector! Read up today to find out how you can win inside TCC:
Click here for TCC’s Speeding Excuses Contest!

Are power windows too dangerous for children? A safety group that advocated interior trunk-release handles says that power windows are dangerous enough to warrant automatic rollbacks and other technology. Kids ‘N Cars, which nudged automakers into providing glow-in-the-dark emergency handles inside trunks for emergency release, wants carmakers to equip power windows with technology that would automatically lower windows if they encounter any resistance. They say some 50 children have died in the past 17 years by strangulation in car windows. Most windows now made will roll back if they encounter a moderate amount of resistance. The group, Reuters says, also wants power window switches to pull up when raising windows; many made today can be pushed to raise the window.

College freshman, Shahin Tabassi, got more than he bargained for on the way to finals this week. Tabassi found himself driving next to a 2003 BMW Z4 on the highway. Tabassi grabbed his camera and managed to get these pictures before he arrived at his college in Southern California. This second generation roadster will be officially introduced at the Paris Motor Show in late September, and is expected to be at dealerships as early as October or November.
Spy Shots: 2004 BMW Z4

2000 Jaguar F-type

2000 Jaguar F-type

Enlarge Photo

Automotive News reports that the concept Jaguar F-Type roadster has been pushed back. Intended as a mid-size convertible to compete against the BMW and Benz $50,000 roadsters, the F-Type will give way so that Jaguar can finish development of other models, including the coming XJ sedan and a successor to the XK coupe/convertible. A Jaguar spokesman told the industry weekly that Jaguar would introduce 17 new products in the next four years.
Spy Shots: 2003 Jaguar XJ by Brenda Priddy (5/6/2002)

Buick will offer a new sport-utility vehicle dubbed Rainier, starting in mid-2003, the brand confirmed on Thursday. The 2004 Rainier will be based on the same chassis used for the popular Chevrolet TrailBlazer, but will have its own unique exterior and interior design, according to Roger Adams, Buick general manager.

The Rainier is the first of a half-dozen new vehicles that Buick expects to bring out over the next half-decade, Adams told the Automotive Press Association. “We will introduce an either all-new or totally redesigned product in each of the next four years,” Adams said.

Adams also confirmed Buick is considering a rear-wheel-drive car and a convertible but will stay out of the high-performance market. Supercharging is a possibility as Buick expands its powertrain offerings, but "We're not going after boy racers," Adams said. Adams also confirmed the replacement for the Buick Regal has been delayed for at least one year so it could be redesigned, he said. The redesign of the Regal was ordered by Robert Lutz, GM vice chairman, Adams said. The new Regal is now expected to appear in 2004.

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