Angeles Auto Show Index by TCC
Chevy Revamps Impala,
2006 Chevrolet Impala
The Impala is the more radically improved of the two. The four-door, last retouched in 2000, has been recast as a more sophisticated sedan with a neatly arched roofline and a familial resemblance borne through its grille. Inside the look is vastly more refined than the last-generation car, with a broad dash panel integrated with better-drawn instruments, higher-quality switchgear, and even a line-in port for iPods to mate up to the new audio systems. The Impala’s seats have made their concession to the SUV era as well, with a flip-fold feature that opens a flat load floor from the trunk to the back of the front seats. The rear seats seem to have far more support than prior editions, too.
2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
But it’s the powertrains that most readers and enthusiasts will scan for — and it’s the return of the small-block V-8 to the front-drivers that is most surprising. The base engine in both cars is a 3.5-liter V-6 with 210 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque; an uplevel 240-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 is a version of the smaller engine. The 303-hp V-8 is a newly engineered version of GM’s 5.3-liter, outfitted with Displacement on Demand technology that shuts off cylinders to increase fuel economy up to 12 percent, and designed for use in front-drive vehicles. It appears in SS models.
A four-speed automatic is standard on both cars on all trim levels. Revised suspension packages and new sets of 16-, 17-, and 18-inch wheels appear in various trim packages on both cars.
Other new features added to the cars includes an optional remote vehicle start system, steering wheel radio controls, and new audio systems that include XM radio, MP3 capability and in-dash CD changers. Side curtain airbags are available on the Impala, while seat-mounted side airbags can be had on the Monte Carlo.
HHR Goes For PT Niche
2006 Chevrolet HHR
2006 Pontiac G6
2006 Pontiac G6
The coupe should connect with younger buyers drawn to its more sporty styling, company officials hope. It's a 2+2, though the backseat is more usable than many other two-doors in the segment, thanks to a relatively long, 112-inch wheelbase. Rear legroom is 35 inches, about 1.5 inches less than in the larger Pontiac Grand Prix. The doors are six inches longer than the front doors on the G6 four-door for ease of entry.
But the real attention-grabber is
likely to be the convertible, which features a hardtop that folds away,
origami-style, in a mere 30 seconds. The technology is not new, but until now,
it's been limited to far more expensive products, such as the Mercedes SLK or
Lexus SC430. With the top up, there's 5.8 cubic feet of trunk space; 1.8 cf with
the top down. The top was designed by Karmann;
Both coupe and convertible will be offered in two trim packages. The GT models features a 200-hp, 3.5-liter V-6, while the performance GTP package makes 240-hp with its 3.9-liter, high-output six. A four-speed automatic is the base transmission for both trim levels, though there's also a manual six-speed available on the GTP (on the coupe and G6 sedan).
Anti-lock brakes are standard. Stability control, XM radio and OnStar, and remote starting are available on the G6 two-doors.
2006 Pontiac Torrent
Venturi Shows Off Fetish
Equipped with an mid-mounted, air-cooled 245-hp electric motor, delivering 241 hp of power and 162 lb-ft of torque, the sporty roadster sprints from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 106 mph. Range is 217 miles.
The Fétish proves that there is an alternative for the petrol engine, says Pastor.
The battery of the Venturi can be charged in 3.5 hours at 80 Amps, while it takes 16.5 hours to charge it at 16 Amps. The car weighs 2425 lb, is 152.6 inches long, 74.2 inches wide, and only 47.2 inches high.
According to Pastor there is interest from four clients, but he says: “People should drive the car first.” The Fétish will only be built to order for around $675,000.—Henny Hemmes
Hyundai’s Tucson Gets Fuel-Cell Concept
The Korean car maker Hyundai unveiled their second-generation fuel-cell vehicle today at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show.
Beginning in just a few weeks, Hyundai’s first hydrogen-powered vehicle, the Tucson FCEV, will begin its testing program out of Hyundai America Technical Center, AC Transit of Oakland, California, and Southern California Edison, partially supported by a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Hyundai’s second-generation fuel cell vehicle is dramatically improved in almost every way, the company says. The Tucson FCEV has a driving range twice as much as Hyundai’s first-generation vehicle, the Santa Fe FCEV. Maximum speed and power have both increased to improve the overall performance. In a major technology breakthrough, the Tucson FCEV is one of the first fuel cell vehicles capable of starting in freezing temperatures. Testing has proven that the vehicle is capable of starting after being subjected to -20 degrees Celsius temperatures for five days. Other technical advancements include a higher output fuel cell and a new lithium ion polymer battery.
“These advances in our fuel cell electric vehicles are exciting steps forward for our program,” said Kim Sang-Kwon, president of research and development for Hyundai-Kia Motors. “The Tucson FCEV is proof that Hyundai has significantly improved efficiency and quality control in the manufacturing process.”
A team consisting of ChevronTexaco Corp., Hyundai Motor Co., and UTC Fuel Cells was awarded federal funds to lead a five-year demonstration and validation project designed to showcase practical applications of hydrogen energy technology. The primary goal of this multi-year project is to develop and demonstrate safe, convenient, and reliable hydrogen-based distributed power generation, fuel cell vehicles and vehicle fueling infrastructure, and to educate key audiences about the use of hydrogen as a potential fuel for transportation and power generation. —Greg Sanchez