Consumer Car News: 6/17/02

June 17, 2002

SIERRA CLUB AIMING AT AUTOMAKERS
The greener-than-thou Sierra Club says it’s targeting Detroit’s automakers — particularly Ford Motor Co. — in a new campaign designed to guilt carmakers into making more fuel-efficient vehicles. In the stead of CAFE reductions lobbied away by the Big Three, the Sierra Club wants automakers to begin equipping more cars with fuel-conserving devices like continuously variable transmissions and automatic shutdown/startup systems for stoplights. The Sierra Club will target Detroit and D.C. with advertising, and will use radio ads to press Ford chairman William Clay Ford Jr. to do more to earn his “green” reputation. The campaign will last three years, the organization said on Wednesday.
California Ponders CO2 Future by William Rapai (5/20/2002)

 

CONGRESS WANTS ACCESS TO SECRET CODES
Both houses of Congress are working on legislation that would pull the veil off the diagnostic codes automakers use to assess and repair vehicles. Reuters reports that since 1996, when manufacturers moved aggressively into computer controls for emissions control and vehicle diagnostics, it has become more difficult for consumers and independent repair shops to accurately diagnose and fix problems because of a lack of information. A spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers told the news service that automakers are working on a solution that would short-circuit the move toward legislation.

 

IN BRIEF: VW TO BUILD MICROBUS
In a short statement, Volkswagen says it’s building a new Microbus in 2005. The remainder of the newser confirms that VW’s Hanover plant will build the new vehicle. As Reuters reported, the addition of the vehicle will also add 1500 jobs to the plant.
Microbus: Nostalgia Rules VW? (6/17/2002)

 

BENTLEY ISSUES NEW GT DETAILS

Bentley GT Coupe

Bentley GT Coupe

Bentley GT Coupe

Bentley GT Coupe

Still months away from its pending divorce, Bentley is kicking off its independence a little early by issuing technical details of the new GT Coupe coming next year. The British brand — set for emancipation from Rolls-Royce on Jan. 1 — will offer, Bentley says, supercar performance in a usable package with seating for four people. A twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter W-12 engine will deliver more than 500 hp, and will be mated to a paddle-operated six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Electronic stability control will be grafted on the Coupe’s double-wishbone and multi-link suspension with electronic damping. The company, now part of the Volkswagen empire, is promising a zero to 60 time of under five seconds and a top speed of more than 180 mph.

 

PT CRUISER GOES CHROME

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrome

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrome

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrome

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Chrome

Chrysler’s PT Cruiser is going for bling-bling with a Chrome Accents package available on some ’03 models. The package gets a grille with chromed slats, chromed bars on the front fascia, a strip of chrome around the car’s equator, and yep, chrome wheels polish the package. Inside there’s more metallic trim on the door sills and shifter. The PT Cruiser Touring and Limited Edition models will offer the snazzy package, which will retail for $1,270 on the Touring Edition and $595 on Limited Edition models.
2003 Chrysler PT Turbo by TCC Team (3/26/2002)

 

TOYOTA PRICES ’03 AVALON
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. says the ‘03 Avalon will cost from $25,845 to $30,405 as it goes on sale today. The base XL now gets an air filtration system, and rain-sensing wipers. The XLS adds an auto-dimming driver-side outside mirror and a remote control DVD navigation system. Other packages available on the 2003 model, built in Kentucky, include remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, power leather-trimmed seats, leather steering wheel and shift knob and a JBL audio system.

ISUZU TO WORK ON BRAKES
Isuzu says it’s going to upgrade the brakes on some 1998-1999 models without being asked for a formal recall. Those model years of the Isuzu Rodeo and Amigo and Honda Passport — some 215,000 vehicles — can suffer from longer braking distances that Isuzu attributes to programming in a computer chip governing the anti-lock control; similar 2000 models with an upgraded chip offered better braking performance, Reuters reports. The action is not an official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall.


CHRYSLER GETS SIRIUS
Chrysler says the Sirius digital-radio system will be standard on the 300M sport sedan — and now, the radio gear will be a $299 dealer-installed option on more of its ’03 lineup. The vehicles to be Sirius-ready include the following:
Chrysler: PT Cruiser, Sebring Sedan and Convertible, 300M, Concorde, Voyager, Town and Country;
Dodge: Stratus Sedan, Dakota, Durango, Ram, Intrepid, Neon, Caravan, Grand Caravan;
Jeep: Liberty and Grand Cherokee.
In addition to the $299 hardware, Sirius Satellite Radio requires a monthly subscription of $12.95.

 

BMW GIVES NOD TO MORE MOVIES
BMW says it will follow up its hip series The Hire by filming a brace of new spy-thriller ads for the Internet and elsewhere. Clive Owen will return as the driver who memorably slung Madonna around the back seat of a 5-Series until she wet herself. BMW says three new films will be released at bmwfilms.com in 2002; the films most likely will coincide with the release of the new Z4 roadster this fall.

 

ONSTAR GOES MOBILE — HOME, THAT IS
Owners of recreational vehicles can drive more secure in their knowledge, now that OnStar will be made available on future new RVs. GM announced on Thursday that its popular in-car concierge and mapping service would be adapted by RiverPark, Inc. of Elkhart, Ind., for use by RV manufacturers in new motorhomes. RiverPark, a supplier of electronics components and products to the RV industry, will facilitate design and vehicle integration of the OnStar RV Special Edition.

 

2019
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2019
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.