Geneva Brings New 911
The upcoming Geneva Motor Show
will be the setting for the launch of Porsche’s sixth-generation 911 Turbo. The
new Turbo model will show up at the Palexpo in March, powered by a 480-hp
version of the classic Porsche flat-six engine, up 60 hp in this edition.
Porsche says the new model will zip to 60 mph in less than 3.9 seconds when also
outfitted with the standard six-speed manual transmission — and even quicker
with the six-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission, in 3.7 seconds or less.
With either transmission, top speed is limited to about 190 mph. The Turbo will
be available in Europe in the summer;
plans and prices have yet to be
CarGirl: What Real Women Drive by Carol Traeger
Our battle of the sexes takes place on
VW Has Concept A for Geneva
you think “child of a new era,” do you think Britney Spears or Volkswagen? VW
wants you to believe that child is its new Concept A, a crossover coming to the
Geneva Motor Show as a concept vehicle that could give away some details of the
ute. The Concept A blends sport-ute
with sportscar, VW says, from its chrome-framed grille on back. The four-door
(the back doors are rear-hinged) has a sleek roofline that ends in a hatchback
that’s split into tailgate and liftgate sections. A soft top pulls back to open
the cabin to the elements, and the Concept A rides on massive 20-inch wheels.
Power for the concept comes from a 150-hp version of VW’s new Twincharger four;
a six-speed manual gearbox puts power through all-wheel drive. The concept could
host a turbodiesel engine or the 200-hp FSI turbo four, VW admits. Inside, four
bucket seats are surrounded in black patent leather; the console sports a
Multi-Media Interface (MMI) like those on some Audi models. Stay tuned for more
previews next week from TCC.
2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI by TCC Team
Tight handling, 40 mpg and the world’s best
Pontiac Losing Minivan, Getting Base Coupe
dealers at the National Auto Dealers’ Association convention in Orlando are being told
they’ll get a new entry-level coupe to sell, and at the same time have been
informed they’ll lose the Montana SV6 minivan, Automotive News reports. The coupe will
be stopgap product based on the Chevy Cobalt, to be sold until GM comes up with
a better strategy for getting younger buyers into the Pontiac showrooms. The
model, the News reports, will be a 2007 model and will be priced
from about $20,000 like the similar Chevy Cobalt SS.
Spy Shots: 2008 Scion
2008 Scion xB
hot-selling xB is due to be redesigned soon, and the replacement vehicle is
expected to be larger than the current model. This photo captures a prototype mule,
obviously based on the current xB, but stretched, which seems to confirm that
the new xB will be at least a few inches longer than today’s car. —Antoine Guilbaud/Hidden Image
Spy Shots: 2007 Ford
Dinah Shore Chevrolet
These photos of updated Ford
Escapes show that a thorough freshening is in the works for Ford’s crossover.
The biggest change comes at the front end, where new large headlamps, which
closely mimic those on the Ford Edge and restyled Expedition, sit atop a chunky
new front bumper that looks significantly more square-jawed than today’s Escape.
The grille appears to shy away from the clean three-bar design of Ford’s Edge
and Fusion, in favor of a trucky look more like the F-Series pickups.
Spy Shots: 2007 Ford Escape by KGP Photography
Smoother flanks and an Edge-ier grille.
Spy Shots: 2008
2008 Ford Freestyle
had held that the Ford Freestyle would be killed off for
2008 and replaced by a Mercury version similar to the Meta One show car. But now
Ford’s planners have decided to keep the Freestyle, and give it a design update
for the 2008 model year.
This artist’s sketch gives an
idea of what the 2008 Freestyle may look like, complete with Ford’s new
corporate front-end styling as now seen on the Ford Fusion and on the recently
shown Ford Edge.
for the 2008 Freestyle will come from a new 3.5 liter V-6, giving the crossover
improved performance versus the 3.0-liter engine used currently. —Antoine Guilbaud/Hidden Image
Daily Edition: Feb. 15, 2006 by TCC Team
New 911 Turbo, Pontiacgetting coupe, Ford Escape spied.
CarGirl: What Real Women
Last November, TCC ran a
column by Douglas Flint entitled “What Real Men Drive,” in which he claimed real
men don’t drive macho HUMMER H2s or diesel Ford F-350s; they drive International
Scouts and Chevy El Caminos. And if they can’t get their hands on one of those
out-of-production models, other real-man options include:
Any convertible (the Mazda
Miata excepted) as long as the top stays down whenever it’s not raining or
Any plain-Jane American
four-door sedan (think Ford Crown Vic or Buick LeSabre)
The Jeep CJ series
Anything with a plow on it
In response to his column, TCC
reader Erin Mays wrote a letter to the editors praising
Flint on his choices and concluding with, “I’m just eagerly
awaiting ‘What Real Women Drive’ by TCC’s CarGirl.”
So this one’s for you, Erin,
albeit three months late.
CarGirl: What Real Women Drive (2/12/2006)
Our battle of the sexes takes place on wheels.
Talking and Driving — Sans
Phone — Still Dangerous
Cellphones aren’t the only
distraction for drivers. A new report suggests that in-car conversations can be
just as dangerous as using a cellphone while driving, researchers at the
Michigansay. The school’s Transportation
Research Institute equipped 36 cars with video cameras and studied the footage
while comparing it to vehicle movement. What they found was that more than a
third of the time, drivers were talking (15 percent of the video clips
observed), grooming themselves (6.5 percent), using a cell phone (5 percent), or
eating and drinking (2 percent). And compared to observations of drivers talking
on cell phones, the study found that proper steering and lane discipline were
about the same for drivers talking to a passenger or talking on a phone. All
forms of “non-driving” behavior had some negative impact on safety, the
researchers report, mostly in steering inputs. Women and drivers younger than 30
were more likely to engage in distracting behavior than other subjects, the
study also said.
Great Drives: Maui, Hana, and Haleakala
Ana kapuana — it means “so the story goes.”
You hear it chanted in native Hawaiian songs that infuse antiseptic AM waves
with floral scents, and from the locals who slow down and wave to other drivers
through rolled-down windows at the few roadside stops on the 52 miles from the
airport to the eastern tip of nowhere. At the 90-minute mark, give or take, you
figure out that the phrase also applies to the “hour or so” you were told it
would take to get from the
Maui airport to one of the
many visions man has held of paradise.
1999 Chrysler Concorde
The hour or so becomes nearly
two and a half hours, during which the lilting music on our car’s radio begins
to dissolve away any connection to the mainland or even the more populated
center of Maui, about 300 sharp turns and dozens of one-lane bridges back.
BlackBerries lose signal at roughly the same point where only the road ahead
indicates any sort of civilization has dawned somewhere nearby. Waterfalls
cascade on the veering road, and deluges and sharp-edged rays of sun fence atop
the pavement while the ocean keeps languid score.
At some point — is it nap time
already, or time for a carsick bag? — you arrive in Hana, where the Hawaiian
blessing mahalo (“may you be in
divine breath”) parts from the lips of everyone in the village and at the
Hana-Maui resort, almost a mantra. It’s a local inflection, we soon learn — mahalo, as in manana, only
Great Drives: Maui, Hana and
Twists, turns and the occasional bout of