DAILY EDITION: Oct. 8, 2003 Page 2

October 7, 2003

Recall, Rollover and Safety Info by TCC Team (10/6/2003)
Search the government's databases for safety info on your car.

Power Finds Europeans APEAL-ing

J.D. Power’s latest survey finds that folks who shop for non-luxury new vehicles like European brands the best — and those who shop for luxury cars and trucks like the Japanese. The 2003 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM, which measures satisfaction with interior and exterior styling and various levels of performance, discovered that non-luxury Eurobrands lead in exterior styling and ride, handling, and braking. Luxury Japanese brands pleased the same group of people when it came to interior styling, sound systems, and seats. And as new vehicles replace older ones, the survey found that many of them — including the Mazda6, Land Rover Range Rover, and the Toyota Sienna — far exceed the customer’s expectations based on the models they replaced. Toyota placed four models at the top of their segments; Porsche was the top-ranked brand in the survey of 102,975 new-vehicle owners. Find out more on the survey at www.jdpower.com.

Porsche, Lexus Top Power Reliability by Jim Burt (7/14/2003)
Mercedes, Kia suffer as Power's new three-year rankings put GM above average for the first time.

Spy Shots: ’05 Cadillac STS

2005 Cadillac STS

2005 Cadillac STS

Enlarge Photo
Although still draped in camouflage, these are the best pictures available of the upcoming 2005 Seville replacement, the STS. These photos show great detail of the front-end styling, with an uncamouflaged grille and headlamps, as well as overall dimensions and size. Testing under the codename S6S, the rear wheel drive Sigma-based STS will be powered by a tweaked 4.2-liter Northstar V-8 with more than 300 hp. Among other bells and whistles, Cadillac’s flagship sedan will be equipped with Magnetic Ride Control.

Spy Shots: ‘05 Cadillac STS by Brenda Priddy (10/6/2003)
Caddy ups the ante in the post-Seville era.

Spy Shots: ’05 Porsche Cayenne Targa

2005 Porsche Cayenne Targa

2005 Porsche Cayenne Targa

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Porsche is about to extend the Cayenne model range by two more variants. Within shortly the Cayenne will be available also with a six-cylinder engine, which Porsche bought from Volkswagen and adapted to Porsche standards. With this, the sports car manufacturer hopes to sell an additional 5000 to 10,000 units. However, this is not all. As can be seen from these photos, there is also a Targa version of the Cayenne in the pipeline. Clearly visible on the prototype shots is the large glass roof, which is still hidden under some plastic coating. The pictures of the SUV were taken during high-speed testing at Nürburgring.

Spy Shots: ’05 Porsche Cayenne Targa by Hans Lehmann/Hidden Image (10/6/2003)
Opening the Cayenne to the great outdoors.


Doubled Tax Break Urged for Hybrid Buyers

Hybrid-engine vehicle buyers will raise their tax break from $2000 to about $4000 if a coalition of GM, Ford, and Japanese automakers win their campaign in Congress. The initiative would change the form of the hybrid-vehicle sales incentive from a tax deduction to a more generous tax credit. As reported in the Oakland Press (October 5), it would also include pickup trucks that have some hybrid components, such as those in some Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks GM began selling to fleets this year.

According to the Scripps Howard News story, House Republicans have threatened to kill the credit if it isn’t broadened to include the truck components. Hybrid purchasers already qualify for a $2000 tax deduction on the only gas-electric cars sold at the current time — the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic and Insight. These cars, soon to be upgraded by a 2nd-generation Prius, which is larger and more powerful, sell for about $20,000. The proposed $4000 tax credit has a “sliding scale” that varies according to how much energy a particular model saves, how much pollution it emits and how much of a technological advance it represents.

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