Cadillac Aims for World Class with
2005 Cadillac STS
standard to the world." For Cadillac, a motto once so appropriate had taken on
an air of derision in recent years, as the nation's leading luxury maker fell
increasingly behind its import competitors - in sales, as well as in design and
technology. That began to change with the introduction of the big Escalade SUV,
the "official" ute of the hip-hop generation, and a favorite backdrop for rap
videos. Then, with the introduction of the CTS sedan and XLR roadster, Cadillac
put a stake in the ground, wrapping the edgy and distinctive "Art and Science"
design theme around a pair of sophisticated, high-performance platforms. Now
Cadillac takes aim at the heart of the luxury market with its eighth new vehicle
since 2001, an all-new STS. The sedan the automaker unveils at the New York
International Auto Show this week replaces the old Seville, but it derives its
name from the Seville Touring Sedan, one of the better-handling front-drive
luxury cars on the road.
Preview: 2005 Cadillac STS by TCC Team (4/4/2004)
Smoothing out the rough edges.
Disco Dead - At Least in the U.S.
2005 Land Rover LR3
2005 Land Rover LR3
is the first official photo of the brand-new Land Rover Discovery, which likely
will be renamed the LR3 for the U.S. market. The Discovery 3 has the same bold
stance as its predecessor, which was on the market for fifteen years. The
Discovery debuted in 1989 and had a facelift in 1994. The new Discovery's
styling is a melding of the last models brutish good looks and the Range Rover's
tailored shape. Land Rover design cues - like the square front, flat rear end,
the roof that has two levels, and a lot of room around the wheels - are even
more pronounced than before. New is the rear hatch that is split
Preview: 2005 Land Rover LR3 by Henny Hemmes
Disco is dead - at least in the U.S.
Acura RL Prototype Headed for New York
2004 Acura RL Prototype concept
Acura's long-awaited replacement for
the RL sedan will be previewed at the New York Auto Show in the form of the RL
Prototype. The concept - which Acura says is a "close preview" of the 2005 Acura
RL, will sport a new Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive System that Acura says
distributes power not only between front and rear axles, but to the left and
right wheels separately. Along with other "industry-leading technology" Acura
also promises more horsepower than in today's vehicle.
Lexus Concept Landing in New
2004 Lexus LF-C concept
Lexus says its New York Auto Show display will include a
new concept vehicle, the LF-C sport coupe. The coupe will have a high-output V-8
as its concept powertrain. The vehicle displays, a release insists, "a new, more
passionate design direction," and will blend versatility and luxury, Lexus says.
Lexus holds its press conference at New York on Thursday, April 8.
Intensifies Design Effort by Joseph Szczesny
Giving Lexus a distinct image is number one on the priority
Nissan Adds SE-R to Altima
2005 Nissan Altima SE-R
The SE-R nameplate no longer is solely for Nissan's compact Sentra. At
the New York auto show, Nissan will display an Altima SE-R with a high-output
version of the 3.5-liter V-6. Nissan promises only that the engine will have
more than 250 hp when teamed either to a six-speed manual or five-speed
automatic transmission. Distinguishing features of the new Altima SE-R will
include 18-inch wheels, sport-tuned shocks, a deep front fascia and rear
spoiler, black leather seats and a three-gauge instrument panel like the one
found in the 350Z sports car. A Bose eight-speaker audio system is standard on
the SE-R as well. Nissan says the hotted-up Altima goes on sale in mid-September
for less than $30,000.
Nissan Sets Blistering Feb. Sales
by Joseph Szczesny (3/8/2004)
too, GM good, Ford faltering.
Next Suzuki SUV Coming to New York
2005 Suzuki SUV
American Suzuki plans to make a big splash in New York with
the unveiling of its next product, a sport-utility vehicle based on an existing
GM/Daewoo (GMDAT) platform. The SUV is set for sale this fall, joining the
Vitara and Grand Vitara as trucks available in Suzuki's product lineup. American
Suzuki is currently flooding its U.S. lineup with GMDAT cars, including the
recent additions of the Verona and Forenza sedan and the Reno five-door wagon.
Expect more cars in coming years as the company looks to more than triple sales
by 2007. The company sold just under 60,000 cars and trucks in 2003, but has a
goal to reach 200,000 units by 2007 by following its 357 plan, first laid out in
2002. Sales are looking up in 2004, increasing 3,000 units from 7,380
through the first two months of 2003 to 10,340 through February 2004. --Jack
Suzuki Forenza by Eric Peters (2/2/2004)
She works hard for
Jeep Looking Forward to Grand Cherokee
A Chrysler version of the Durango? A four-door Wrangler?
How about a Jeep pickup taken off the Dakota platform? It seems everything is
under study these days as the Chrysler Group studies ways to add more models to
its lineup, says Chrysler Jeep marketing VP Jeff Bell. "It's all about filling
in the white spaces," he said at the introduction of the Jeep Wrangler
Unlimited, a long-wheelbase version of the Wrangler coming to showrooms in the
next few weeks. The $24,995 Unlimited has the same physical and demographic
footprint as Jeep's last Cherokee, a vehicle that disappeared when Jeep added
the more sophisticated Liberty SUV in 2002. As for the future models, Bell would
not confirm any of the additional products coming to the Chrysler/Jeep lineup,
but says the company is studying all the ways it can to bring more vehicles to
market more quickly and more effectively. Bell adds that there's a big year
ahead for Jeep with the introduction of the Grand Cherokee at the New York auto
show in April. He also sees the replacement for the Wrangler coming within the
next few years. -Marty Padgett