2003 Detroit Auto Show, Part I

January 4, 2003

 

The Detroit auto show is underway, and TCC is on the ground to bring you the latest product introductions. Stay tuned today as we update you on the latest from GM, Chrysler, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai and Audi.

 

 

 

Related Articles:
2003 L.A. Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (1/1/2003)
2003 Detroit Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (1/2/2003)

 

2003 Volvo XC90

2003 Volvo XC90

IMPORTS DOMINATE COTY AWARDS
Import automakers dominated the prestigious North American Car and Truck of the Year awards Sunday. The winners? Well, first a tip of the hat for the finalists. A first-time ever tie put four nameplates into the running in the truck category, the Honda Element, the Nissan Murano, the Volvo XC90 and the Hummer H2, the only American model in either category. On the car side, the Mini Cooper S was challenged by two more Nissan products, the 350Z and the Infiniti G35. Drumroll, and the winners were the Volvo XC90 and Mini Cooper S. The XC90 is Volvo's first-ever entry into the truck segment, and was first shown at the Detroit auto show last January. "To come back one year later and collect this trophy is a great honor for me," said a clearly ecstatic Volvo Cars CEO Hans-Olov Olsson. For his part, Mini's U.S. chief, Jack Pitney, noted that the car ran counter to the advice parent BMW was given by consultants, who said it would better spend its money on an SUV. "If we'd listened to their advice, we'd have never launched the Mini." The award is given by a panel of 49 North American auto writers.

 

2004 Ford F-150 FX4

2004 Ford F-150 FX4

NEW FORD F-150 BREAKS COVER
Ford’s next-generation F-150, due in the 2004 model year, represents a major step away from the soft-sided styling that marked the last generation. Still America’s best-selling vehicle (Ford sold more than 800,000 of the F-150 again last year, the fifth year in a row it’s hit that mark), the F-150 will again come in a bewildering array of bed lengths, cab configurations and drivetrain choices.

2004 Ford F-150 FX4

2004 Ford F-150 FX4

The body on all versions is exponentially stiffer than the last generation; Regular and SuperCab models have cabins six inches longer for better interior room, and all models come with at least two rear-hinged doors (a full four-door model is available, too). The 5.4-liter V-8 now has three-valve heads and makes 300 horsepower; the base engine is the 231-hp 4.6-liter V-8. Most interesting, the new F-150 comes in five trim levels that have markedly different interior styling – from the sporty FX4 to the luxe XLT and Lariat trims. Pricing has not been announced.
Stay tuned for more on the 2004 F-150.

 

FORD CONCEPT SLEW COMING

This afternoon’s introductions include a slew of concepts from Ford Motor Company, which is eager to convince the public that record losses and job cuts in 2001 have led to a leaner, product-driven car company. Among the concepts coming this afternoon:

 

2003 Ford Mustang GT concept

2003 Ford Mustang GT concept

Ford Mustang Coupe: TCC brought you the first exclusive shots of the Mustang GT Convertible concept last week. This time it’s the coupe, a strong indicator of the next Mustang’s styling.

 


2003 Ford 427 concept

2003 Ford 427 concept

Ford 427: According to Ford, the 427 concept is a modern, all-American sedan inspired by the exuberance of the company's landmark sedans of the '60s, replete with an uncompromising, powerful engine, and is powered by an ultra high-tech modular V-10 with the same engine displacement as Ford's landmark '427' engine of the 1960s.

 


2003 Ford Model U concept

2003 Ford Model U concept

Ford Model U:This concept, the company says, takes up the heritage from the Model T and reinterprets it for the 21st century. The Model Uoffers SUV driving excitement that is affordable, but can grow with a customer's lifestyle and aspirations. It is designed for mass production, but has nearly infinite capacity for being personalized and upgraded,” according to early word.

 

2003 Ford Freestyle FX

2003 Ford Freestyle FX

Ford Freestyle FX: This concept is a slightly veiled version of the Freestyle crossover wagon coming as a 2005 production vehicle. The production car will be an all-wheel-drive wagon with a four-door Five Hundred counterpart; the concept shares its 3.0-liter Duratec V-6 engine and three rows of seats for up to six passengers. The concept features a special roofline similar to that on the GMC Envoy XUV: at the push of a button the rear greenhouse automatically converts from a fully enclosed six-passenger sportwagon to a four-passenger utility vehicle capable of transporting cargo. 

 

2003 Dodge Durango concept

2003 Dodge Durango concept

NEXT DURANGO FROM DODGE?

A Dodge concept to be revealed today in Detroit could draw out the shape of the next Durango SUV. The 2003 Dodge Durango HEMI RT Concept has, according to Dodge, “more style, more cargo room and more capability.” The shape is about 85 percent of what the next Durango will look like,
according to a release; the interior room is larger thanks to a three-inch stretch in wheelbase and height, a four and a half-inch stretch in width, and two more inches of width. Several main styling cues—including the upright grille—are borrowed from the full-size Ram pickups, but with creased sheetmetal, constant-radius curves, and clear-lens rear taillights. Inside, new details include a completely redesigned gauge cluster, various new cupholders and cubbies, and an available navigation system. Cargo capacity is up 15 percent, too, and Durango’s flat-folding rear seats carry over with a lower
loading floor.
The concept is powered by a 345-hp version of the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 mated to a heavy-duty five-speed automatic gearbox. Suspension is independent at all four corners (via a Watt’s linkage in back), and the steering is rack and pinion. On
the concept, ABS is standard and side curtain airbags extend to all three rows of seats. —Bengt Halvorson

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