For more than a hundred years, the Big Apple has been the site for the auto show season's grand finale. This year more almost 50 significant vehicles were unveiled and displayed at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, along with hundreds of current models. The largest-attended auto show in North America, the New York Auto Show draws more than 1.2 million car fans each year, called for their chance to see hot new production vehicles as well as fanciful and sometimes outlandish concepts.
An entire team of Motor Trend
editors attended the event, sending photos and text from the show floor as the vehicles were uncovered to provide daily coverage. We even had team members shooting video, with several segments still in production. Take a bite out of the Big Apple by enjoying this look at vehicles that will soon go in to production, and a few that will merely influence future models.
Click to read our 2005 New York Auto Show Coverage
Visit the 2004 NY Auto Show video index
Click to read our 2003 New York International Auto Show
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and favorite 2004 concept vehicle
in our polls.
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Acura has slowly but surely been establishing an edgy, performance-related image for itself over the past few model launches, and at long last the division's dull RL flagship is getting a similar makeover. Some of the concept's styling cues may be slightly exaggerated, but we expect the concept's proportions and themes to carry over to the production car hitting showrooms this September. We also expect to see the concept's Super-Handling all-wheel-drive (SH-AWD) system
. At its heart is an intelligent rear axle with a planetary gearset that takes the driveshaft speed and increases it by five percent. Then a pair of electromagnetic clutches apportions torque on demand to the rear wheels. With the increased input speed, the clutches can route extra torque to the outside rear wheel, which naturally spins faster than the front wheels in a turn. All of this is said to enhance cornering dynamics, and provide rear-drive dynamics with all-wheel-drive sure-footedness.Click here to watch the Acura video
Click Here to see the 2005 Acura RL photo gallery.
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With its new STS sedan, Cadillac promises precision craftsmanship, outstanding performance, and sophisticated luxury, all in a package it claims is "distinctly American." Based on GM's new rear-wheel-drive Sigma architecture, the STS is designed to compete with prestige sedans from around the world when it goes on sale this winter. Powered by a choice of 255-hp/3.6-liter V-6 (rear-wheel drive), or 320-hp NorthStar 4.6-liter V-8 (in both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations) promising 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds, both engines include variable valve timing and are mated to electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmissions. Emphasizing performance and luxury, the STS benefits from keyless access with push button start, distance-sensing adaptive cruise control, Magnetic Ride Control, upscale infotainment system, sound system with six-disc cd-dvd changer and surround sound, OnStar, advanced voice recognition, and (for the gadget minded), is bluetooth ready.
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America's favorite pony car turns the big four-oh on April 17, and the GT-R is its mid-life crisis birthday present. Officially it's a concept car, but it was developed and built by Saleen Specialty Vehicles in Troy, Michigan, to be capable of competing as a racecar. It also aims to show grass-roots racers that they can take a stock Mustang (85 percent of the GT-R's body structure is unchanged), and build a competitive vehicle at a reasonable price using parts from the Ford Racing catalogue, like the 440-hp 5.0-liter "Cammer" crate engine that retails for $14,995 and can be tuned to over 500 hp. That power is routed through a Ford Racing TTC-T56 six-speed transmission, a custom metal matrix composite aluminum driveshaft, and into a race-spec 4.56:1 differential. Big Brembo brakes, 20-inch Pirelli racing slicks, and competition suspension (retaining the live rear axle) round out the package. Carbon-fiber is used for the hood, grille surround, and underbody belly pan, and the orange paint is meant to evoke the Grabber Orange 1970 Mustang Boss 302 Trans-Am race cars. Happy Birthday, Mustang...and many more! Click here to watch the Mustang video
. Click Here to see photo gallery.
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Another classic moniker has been extinguished in these alphanumeric times, as the once Discovery is reborn as the all-new LR3. Building on the success of the BMW-engineered Range Rover, the Disco replacement borrows heavily from the flagship's styling and demeanor, translating to a more sophisticated, more refined, and more luxurious vehicle. Gone are the days of underpowered V-8s, thanks to a Jaguar-sourced 4.4L engine producing 300 horsepower packaged with a six-speed automatic transmission. Like the engine, the suspension is designed to offer solid road performance and class-leading off-road ability. A trick new feature is Terrain Response, which allows the driver to dial in the appropriate terrain setting from five choices, calibrating electronic controls and traction systems for appropriate performance. The LR3 goes on sale later this year in North America, while the same vehicle is badged Discovery 3 in all other markets.Click here to watch the Land Rover video
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After its much-anticipated debut in Geneva
, Mini has brought its convertible Cooper to New York. With the top up, the Convertible casts a silhouette like the hardtop models. As the soft roof begins its 15-second transformation, the roof columns automatically retract and the rear side windows move down in unison, as the cloth top folds neatly behind the rear seats. For more hair tousling options, the Mini Convertible features an integrated sliding panel that can be opened up to 16 inches while the car is driving. Available in three colors, the top features a glass rear window with defroster. On the safety front, the Mini Convertible rides on a fortified structure with integrated rear headrests, front and side airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), and Cornering Brake Control (CBC). Both the base Cooper and the supercharged Cooper S will be available in convertible form when the new model goes on sale Stateside late summer as a 2005 model. Estimated pricing for the Cooper convertible is $22,000; Cooper S convertible: $25,500.
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Saab is stretching its model range to include a fourth vehicle line, targeting one of the fastest-growing automotive segments with its new 9-7x mid-luxury SUV. Promising styling, performance, and fun-to-drive sportiness, the 9-7x will be positioned in the $37,000 to $45,000 price range, and will be powered by a choice of two all-aluminum engines -- a 275-hp/4.2-liter inline six, or a 300-hp/5.3-liter V-8 -- mated to a standard electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with on-demand all-wheel drive. Because Saab expects its buyers to pursue an outgoing and active lifestyle, the 9-7x includes a standard trailer hitch receiver and is rated to tow up to 6500 pounds when equipped with the V-8 engine. Standard equipment includes leather-trimmed seats, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and upscale sound system. Built on the General Motors GMT360 architecture, the dynamic 2005 Saab 9-7x is expected to go on sale in the first quarter of 2005.
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Calling it an example of "restrained extravagance," the Buick Velite concept is the first American demonstration of GM's all-new Zeta global vehicle architecture (its sister car, the Opel Insignia, was Zeta's International debut at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show
, last year. Named for an elite class of quick-moving soldiers in Napoleon's army, the Velite was designed in GM's Advanced Studio in Warren, Michigan, and assembled in Italy by reknowned coachbuilder Stile Bertone. Building from Buick's rich design heritage, the long hood opens forward and integrates three portholes on each side, while a complementary rear deck opens rearward to swallow the Velite's folding soft top. Power is provided by an experimental twin-turbocharged intercooled 400-hp/3.6-liter V-6 engine backed by a Hydra-Matic 6L80-E six-speed rear-wheel drive automatic transmission with manual tap-shift gear selection. Inside, Buick uses sumptuous materials, gold-leaf lacquer, and indirect lighting to evoke a rich, elegant atmosphere that matches its romantic yet contemporary exterior design.
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As the countdown continues till the Hummer range spawns a third, more affordable family member, the H3T concept truck continues its cross-country show tour with a stop in the Big Apple. A clear indication of the styling and proportions for the '05 production wagon, this pickup not only teases, but it tests the waters for an alternative body configuration. Riding on a 118.6-inch wheelbase and measuring 74.5 inches wide, the H3T embodies the classic Hummer proportions - wide stance, low roofline, and wheels at the corners. Pushed outward, the 34-inch tires and 11.5 inches of ground clearance give the H3T a staggering 51-degree approach angle and a 50-degree departure angle. With this concept, the cab and 5.5-foot bed are engineered as a single structure for rigidity. Power for this concept comes from a turbocharged Vortec 3500 I-5 engine producing 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. For those who want to extend the family range further, Little Tikes just announced it will soon offer kid-sized, 12-volt Hummer
exclusively at Wal-Mart.
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British sports car maker Lotus announced its plans for U.S. market growth begining with the 2005 Lotus Elise, a two-seat convertible that is expected to arrive in showrooms in June, with a sticker price starting at $39,985. The first all-new Lotus for the American market since the Elan debuted in 1990, Lotus boasts the 190-hp Elise offers more than 100 horsepower per liter to produce sub-five-second 0-60 mph times. Sourced from Toyota, the high-revving 1.8-liter 2ZZ-GE engine for the American market is both powerful and efficient, returning more than 30 miles per gallon. Claiming to be the first production car in the world with a bonded and extruded aluminum chassis, the Elise was developed using technology borrowed from the aerospace industry to produce an extremely lightweight (just under 2000 pounds) and exceptionally rigid chassis that is the backbone of its incredible performance claims and key to its athletic agility.
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Plasma running lights and taillights, neon crackle-tube indicators and brake lights, and a glass roof that offers ambient luminescence of its own make Mitsubishi's 2+2 Concept-E quite a study in lighting. An all-wheel-drive configuration in which parallel engines provide constant power to both the front and rear axles, even when shifting, also makes the fourth-gen Eclipse a study in high-tech hybrid engine mechanics. Front wheels are powered by a 3.8-liter/270-hp MIVEC V-6 engine and a six-speed automated manual transmission and rear wheels get an extra 200-horse push from an E-Boost electric motor for a theoretical total of 470 horsepower (if one gear allows the power peaks to briefly coincide). Up front, the grille vent and integrated front spoiler evoke the image of a jet fighter; elsewhere its hybrid electric drivetrain influenced the design of such elements as the functional elliptical side exhaust ports, which allow the electric motor's batteries to be placed down the center of the vehicle.
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Mercedes proudly displayed the second-generation retractable-hardtop SLK, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the mighty SLR supercar. Beyond fresh sheetmetal, the new SLK boasts a more robust suspension, more powerful engines, and improved steering for heightened overall performance. New options include new head/thorax side airbags, neck-level heating system, bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light function, and the seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC. Powertrains include a 163-hp supercharged four-cylinder, and a more exciting 272-hp V-6 that promises 5.5-second 0-60 mph times. Big news is the potent AMG 55 model shown here, complete with a V-8 engine and complete four-corner performance package. The 5.5L/360-hp V-8 will reportedly rocket the two-seat roadster from 0-60 mph in under five seconds.
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Nissan's Actic concept is a "content rich" design exercise created at its design center in La Jolla, California; conceived as an entry-level vehicle for "lives in transition" as buyers move from single to "married with small children" status, the Actic portends of a crossover vehicle expected to be added to both the Nissan and Infiniti lines. The sleek, silver Actic features flowing body lines, a "cross trainer"-style 20-inch wheel and tire design, and a matching trailer with inflatable walls that converts to a sleeping space for three. With no B-pillar to interfere, Actic's wide doors slide open for easy access; the front doors move forward and the rear doors backwards, like an elevator's, creating generous access for passengers and cargo. Actic comes to life through a 100-gigabyte key fob that stores data about the needs and personality of its owner, not just standard audio and HVAC preferences but also e-mail and navi settings, as well as content that governs and affects mood and ambience. An Actic-inspired vehicle is expected to slot beneath the Murano and FX35 in 2006 or 2007. Click to see more photos of the Nissan Actic
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General Motors wowed the automotive community with a trio of sports cars unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show based on the new rear-wheel-drive Kappa architecture. This latest Greek-named platform will underpin the Pontiac Solstice shown in Motor City, and since then, Saturn has revealed that its Pininfarina-assembled Curve concept will go in to production in 2006. Built at the Wilmington, Delaware, manufacturing facility alongside the Solstice, the Curve is expected to offer a supercharged 2.2-liter/200-hp Ecotec four-cylinder engine paired with a Getrag five-speed manual for an engine/transmission combination similar to that found in the new 2004 Saturn ION Red Line. The Curve concept is built from fiberglass panels over a steel tube structure, and features roof pillars concealed by a wraparound canopy of glass to create the look of a "floating" roof panel. If the production model remains true to the concept, it will truly be a halo performance vehicle for Saturn.
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Some concept cars foretell the future of automobility, either by predicting styling trends or exploring emerging technologies; others are built just for fun. Toyota's Motor Triathlon Race Car (MTRC) is among the latter. Designed in Europe, the zero-emissions fuel-cell-powered MTRC made its debut in Geneva. Power is delivered via an electric motor at each wheel, and the suspension automatically reads the road surface and adjusts for height as well as damping. That's because the "triathlon" Toyota envisions the youth of tomorrow running in the MTRC is a mixture of congested urban streets, a racing circuit, and an off-road course. Information available on the stand failed to elaborate on details such as how the hydrogen would be stored or where the fuel cell was packaged in this compact tandem-two-seater. As we said, don't hold your breath on the dealer showroom floor waiting for this one.
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Volvo continues to explore two-door vehicles with the YCC (Your Concept Car), an attractive car developed by an all-woman team. Intended as a showcase for innovative ideas, YCC goes over the top with female-focused features that have received a mixed response on the international show circuit. The interior provides numerous storage locations for travel essentials, such as keys, phones, coins, and even laptop. More importantly, it can adapt the driver's body configuration by using a soon-to-be-patented Ergovision system. Ergovision takes the basic idea of driver memory functions to the extreme, beginning with driver being scanned at a dealer. The proportions are stored on the key, which in turn tells the car to adjust seat, steering wheel, pedals, head restraint, and seat belt to suit the driver. The other standout technology is the parking assist, which combines a "space check" to ensure safe fit, then "Autopark" to help parallel park. The Autopark adjusts steering, while driver controls the accelerator, brakes, and gearshift. To reduce maintenance, there are exterior filler locations for fluids, and the automatic diagnostic system can schedule servicings when needed. The YCC shouldn't be dismissed as just a public relations experiment, as this concept car is brimming with good ideas that may influence future products.
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GT Racing performance and spirit is embodied in Maserati' road-going MC12. Owing to its racing pedigree, the MC12 can only be had in the blue and white colors of its racing past, a past that plays upon the rich trident-marque history. With its 630 hp, rear-engine V12, the MC12 can sprint to 60 mph in a scant 3.7 seconds, and tops out at a lofty 205+ mph. Contributing to the spectacular performance equation is an all-carbon-fiber bodywork, wrapping a carbon-Nomex honeycomb monocoque and aluminum front and rear subframes. The high level of technology and peformance comes and a premium, and the initial production run is limited to 30 examples, 5 of which will be allocated to racing use. An additional 25 street models will be built for clients in 2005.
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More black panther than Jaguar, the Super Eight concept breathes some bad attitude into the XJ Long Wheelbase sedan. Created by Jaguar Cars' Advanced Design Studio, the Super Eight explores refinements and creature comforts under a broad, single-piece glass roof. Inside, passengers are coddled in individual seats with inch-thick carpet, chilled champagne, Waterford Crystal, and abundant matte-finished American Walnut trim. Luxurious cow hide covers seats in aniline leather, while velvety nubuck trims the instrument panel, center console, and doors. To provide the soundtrack for a hedonistic escape, a custom 860-watt, 14-speaker Alpine stereo system was engineered with a "no-expense-spared" installation. To give the car the performance its brash exterior warrants, Jaguar fitted a 4.2L/400-hp supercharged V-8. While built to draw attention to the long-wheelbase XJ going in to production, the Super Eight reveals the development mindset expected to be reflected in future models.
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Surrounded by legendary Jeeps spanning from a WWII-era Willys to the Rescue concept vehicle, the all-new 2005 Grand Cherokee made its debut. Crawling onto the stage over a dirt course set up in the Camp Jeep pavilion, the SUV was immediately recognizable as a Grand Cherokee. The modern styling announces the evolutionary step forward, with improved 4x4 systems, increased passenger comfort, improved road manners, and new engine availability. Three full-time 4WD systems will be available, starting with Quadra-Trac I with a single-speed transfer case for simple operation. Quadra-Trac II features the new NV245 transfer case facilitating full-time active four-wheel drive, which anticipates and prevents wheel slip for optimum traction during a wide range of conditions. It also features a true low-range gear and a neutral mode, to allow the vehicle to be towed. Quadra-Drive II uses electronic limited-slip differentials to achieve the ultimate off-road package. To improve off-road ability, the suspension offers more travel than on the previous Grand Cherokee. On-road performance is heightened with available hydraulic-controlled active stabilizer system and Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Engines include the 3.7-liter V-6 shared with the Liberty, carryover 4.7-liter V-8, and mighty 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Inside, new premium amenities include GPS Navigation radio, rear seat DVD, Boston Acoustics audio, UConnect hands-free communication system, Smart Beam, and Rear-Park Assist. The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be built at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, with production scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2004. Click here to watch the Jeep video
.Click here to see photo gallery.
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Resting atop a rock pile, a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited welcomed visitors to the Camp Jeep pavilion. A real treat for off-road enthusiasts, this massive hall adjacent to the convention center features a full dirt track with steep inclines to show off the SUVs' climbing ability. Circling this track is an array of classic Jeeps and cool project vehicles, including themed Wranglers built by SoBe and Fender. This 2004.5 model measures 15 inches longer than a typical Wrangler; the added length is split, with 13 inches more cargo space and two more inches of rear legroom, creating a more functional, more livable all-terrain sport/ute. This long-wheelbase model promises improved on-road ride quality, while retaining the legendary Jeep off-road prowess, as engineers were keen to retain a 20-degree minimum breakover angle. Powered by a 4.0-liter/190-horse inline-six, the Unlimited boasts a 3500-lb towing capacity, besting the regular Wrangler by 1500 lbs. The larger Jeep has a large cloth top for foul weather and security that features a large 45x23-inch center flap to create a massive sunroof; it is also available with a removable hardtop. Look for this Wrangler to reach dealerships in April.Click to see more photos of the Jeep Wrangler
Click here to watch the Jeep video.
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The Liberty is freshened for 2005, with a bolder, more square appearance in line with future Jeep models. The flat hood, revised grille and wheel flares, and fresh body side moldings are reminiscent of recent Jeep concept models and move the Liberty in line with new Grand Cherokee. With the update, the Liberty Renegade is further distinguished from other models as it takes on a flagship role, with distinct off-road foglamps, taillamp guards, functional rock rails, four skid plates, and diamond-plate inspired seat fabric. Key options include 235/70R16 all-terrain tires and GPS DVD-based navigation radio. While the European market has had a diesel Liberty, this model will be offered in the U.S. for the first time for 2005. Certain to appeal to off-roaders and those concerned about fuel economy, the efficient 2.8-liter common rail diesel (CRD) engine is rated at an estimated 160 horsepower at 3800 rpm and with 295 lb.-ft. at 1800 rpm, providing class-leading torque and towing capability. This engine offers much more torque, while improving fuel economy about 25 percent and reducing CO2 emissions by an average of 20 percent. The diesel engine will be available on both Sport and Limited models. Click here to watch the Jeep video
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Just a few months after Mercedes unveiled the CLS Vision concept in Frankfurt the German automaker has revealed a production model, first in Geneva and now in New York. Attractively rendered, the CLS intends to bring a coupe-like appearance to the luxury sedan segment. Slotting between the E-Class and S-Class sedans, the CLS intends to appeal more to the enthusiast driver, while retaining four-door practicality. Shown as the CLS500, this car features a 5.0L V-8 with 302 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, matched with a seven-speed automatic. Lux factor is ensured with available Airmatic air suspension, sophisticated climate control, ventilated seats, Keyless-Go, Distronic adaptive cruise control, and bi-xenon headlamps with active cornering function. While the CLS seems to crowd Mercedes' premium offerings, we expect the next-generation S-Class will grow in size to allow a more comfortable fit within the company's increasingly crowded product line. Look for the CLS to go on sale this fall.
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Another of GM's concepts based on the new rear-drive Kappa architecture, this wagon evokes the spirit of the 1954 Chevy Nomad concept vehicle, including its round headlamps mounted on gently curving fenders, a trademark Corvette grille, and a forward-sloping B-pillar. It also reminds of the '90s concept of the same name and even color. This four-seat concept rides on a full independent suspension hung from a rock-solid chassis made of hydroformed frame rails, and sports a 107-inch wheelbase (two inches longer than other Kappa concepts on the circuit). Underhood is a turbocharged Ecotec 2.2-liter/250-hp four-cylinder engine mated to a new Hydra-Matic 5L40-E electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission with finger-operated tap shifting. The wee wagon utility is maximized by a removable rear roof panel, folding tailgate, and sliding cargo floor that extends over the folded tailgate so items placed on the load floor can be easily pushed into the cargo area.
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The cross-branding alliance between Subaru and outdoor outfitters L.L. Bean that first brought us the Legacy-based Outback L.L. Bean edition will be extended to the Forester lineup for 2005. The new Forester 2.5XS L.L. Bean version comes equipped with the 210-hp turbocharged flat-four mated to a four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes and (of course) all-wheel-drive. As such, the Forester 2.5XS L.L. Bean is aimed squarely at the hunting, camping, and fishing set, with its wipe-clean beige seats (monogrammed with the Bean logo), a standard moonroof out of which to shoot birds, a hard, durable, waterproof finish on the cargo floor and rear seatbacks to keep the birds and fish from staining anything permanently, and a load-leveling suspension in case you bag your limit.
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Nissan showed a peek at its full-size Armada and Titan "F-Alpha" platform blueprints for the all-new 2005 Xterra, making its world premier at the New York Auto Show. More is the word of the day, with more room, more power, and more utility. More room comes by way of a longer wheelbase and increased second-row headroom. More power comes from a 4.0-liter, normally aspirated V-6 with 250 ponies, and 270 lb-ft torque, which is mated to either a five-speed, electronically-controlled automatic, or a six-speed manual transmission. Bathed in mud, the Xterra's visage bespeaks of its sport/utility genes. This utility applies through to multi-flex cargo area, featuring easy-to-clean luggage space and an adjustable cargo-control channel system. Look for the Xterra in early 2005.
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Infiniti lifted the curtain on the forthcoming 2006 Infiniti M45 with the unveiling of its M45 Concept, based on an enhanced "next generation" FM platform. Performance and technology go hand-in-hand with this luxury, performance car, and bespeak of things to come. Underhood, the M45 Concept has a 4.5-liter, 32-valve dual-overhead-cam, V8 engine, which produces 340 horsepower. The chassis features an active-control rear suspension system that adjusts the geometry based on inputs from steering and speed sensors. The new Lane Departure Warning system (LDW,) warns the driver of an unintended pending lane change. State-of-the-art audio technology is realized in the 14-speaker, 5.1-channel surround-sound audio system. A pilot's tactile and visual hunger is assuaged with brush aluminum and leather interior appointments. Look for the production M45 in showrooms in the Spring of 2005.
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For years, the letters 'SE-R' were synonymous with sport-compact supremacy when applied to the Sentra of the early '90s. Now those letters are migrating to the mid-size class. In 2005, Nissan will introduce the Altima SE-R, powered by a tuned 3.5-liter V-6 good for more than 250 hp, bolted to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Other functional enhancements include firmer riding shocks, thicker anti-roll bars, bigger brakes, and 18-inch tires and wheels. Other visual distinctions on the SE-R include smoked tail lamps, a rear spoiler, and deeper front fascia. Inside, there's a new three-gauge cluster like the 350Z's, a set of leather sport bucket seats, and an eight-speaker Bose stereo. Expect to see the new Altima SE-R in dealers this September, priced just under $30,000.
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Audi strives to set a benchmark in the luxury performance segment, demonstrated with the American debut of its new A6 sedan. Following in the footsteps of its big brother A8, the A6 offers all-new engines linked to an assortment of high-performance transmissions and drivetrains promising dynamic driving beyond comparison, all wrapped in elegant sheetmetal with premium accoutrements typical of Audi design. Underhood, five powerplants include 174-hp/2.4-liter V-6, 252-hp/3.2-liter FSI V-6, and powerful 329-hp/4.2-liter V-8 gasoline engines, as well as 138-hp/2.0-liter and 221-hp/3.0-liter V-6 TDI choices. Supreme fuel economy and superior performance result from standard six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, though Quattro all-wheel drive is standard with the 4.2 and 3.0 TDI engines and optional with the 3.2 FSI model, while both front-drive and Quattro models benefit from sporty four-link front and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspensions inherited from the A8.
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Chrysler has long suffered from lack of a full-sized sport/utility vehicle to compete in the hot, highly profitable segment. Hummer blazed the trail for large, off-road biased SUVs, making the Jeep Rescue concept a very natural counter to this GM offensive. The Rescue draws upon Jeep heritage to create a massive body-on-frame SUV that would position it naturally above the Grand Cherokee and take on the H2. Ready to save lives in remote regions, or profile in Hollywood, the 80-inch-wide Rescue rolls on a 123-inch wheelbase (longer than Chevrolet Tahoe by seven inches). The suspension has adjustable ride height and an additional 4-inch lift available for fording streams. The massive 37-inch, run-flat tires can be aired down for increased, off-road traction, then pumped up with an on-board tire pressure control system for the ride home. Given the "rescue" theme, this concept truck features AC electric power (10 kW) generation in the field; 3-D topographical mapping software and topographical navigation system; under-chassis, point-of-view cameras for avoiding danger in its path; passive, infrared cameras for search and rescue; satellite telephone, VHF radio, and digital video recorder with satellite transmission; high-tech lighting; and front and back remote-control winches.Click to see more photos of the Jeep Rescue
Click here to watch the Jeep video
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The Mark LT is a key part of Lincoln-Mercury's plan to introduce 11 new products within six new segments over the next four years, and Lincoln's first attempt to place a companion full-size truck alongside the popular Navigator after floundering with the Blackwood. With the Mark LT, it's clear that Lincoln is taking a more conservative approach with its straightforward F-150 rebadging. Both the exterior and interior are given the obligatory branding treatment, drawing heavily from the Aviator and Navigator to create a truck that will fit very naturally in the product line. The Mark LT will be available in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and will offer four full-size doors and a 5.5-foot box. It will powered by a 5.4-liter, three-valve Triton V-8 engine that produces 300 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 365 foot-pounds of torque at 3750 rpm when production begins early in 2005 at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant.
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If gas prices continue in the direction they're going, it won't be long before Americans begin demanding vehicles like this little space wagon concept, which made its international debut in Geneva. The fifth concept vehicle presented by Mazda in the last six months, this six-seat people mover is built on architecture borrowed from the all-new Mazda3 platform. Powered by the same transverse-mounted 16-valve 2.3-liter/169-hp MZR engine found in the Mazda3 and Mazda6, its four-speed Activematic transmission can be operated in automatic or pseudo-manual modes. The bright cabin was designed to balance utility, comfort, and quality, and is accessible via dual sliding doors that open to three seating rows, each with two individual leather-wrapped captain-style chairs. For flexibility, the second- and third-row seats easily fold away to provide a nearly flat cargo floor. While it is labeled a concept, Mazda hints that it could be the foundation for a future space wagon. The fact that we're seeing it again stateside hints that might be ready for production.
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Designed to appeal to urban customers who are always on the move, Mitsubishi's Sport Truck Concept's styling is sporty yet rugged, and certainly revealed Mitsu's belief that a pickup truck can be both functional and fun to drive. Developed on Dodge's next-gen Dakota platform, the heart of the Sport Truck Concept beats with a powerful V-8 engine mated to an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission. The transmission features a dial-type shifter knob which, rotated into the D+ mode, allows for sporty paddle shifting through controls mounted on the steering wheel. Beyond the practical utility of a truck, the concept also features a four-wheel independent suspension and 22-inch custom alloy wheels for the sophisticated ride and performance more commonly associated with sport sedans. Large "barn-style" side doors open outwards to provide maximum access to an interior finished with chic, modern materials, and outfitted with an assortment of high-tech gadgetry and infinitely variable LED lighting. Click to see more photos of the Mitsubishi Sport Truck
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It seems small pickup trucks have been all the rage this auto show season. Another look at the new Tacoma X-Runner (which debuted in Chicago) reveals a bigger, stronger-shouldered truck with a horse-collar grille reminiscent of the big FTX concept from Detroit. The X-Runner is more slab-sided than the old Tacoma, with more distinctive taillamps and a kick-up in the rear fender opening, just like the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and the new Dodge Dakota. Compared with the current Tacoma X-Runner, the new model is five inches longer overall, with a four-inch increase in track width and 4.5 inches more interior shoulder and hip room. Compared with other upcoming '05 Tacomas, the X-Runner features an exclusive x-brace frame, with a chassis lowered one inch. Lateral acceleration is 0.90 gs, better than the Nissan 350Z that Toyota says it used as a benchmark for this truck. Standard engine is a 4.0L/240-hp V-6 with 275 lb-ft of torque, coupled to a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox. (A TRD supercharger pumps it up to about 300 horses.) The X-Runner also has 18-inch wheels, firmer, shorter springs and Bilsteins mounted outboard of the frame rails. Toyota hopes the X-Runner will appeal to youthful Scion shoppers who decide on a pickup.
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The legendary Bronco name reemerged at January's Detroit auto show
, as Ford re-explores the origins of the sport/utility vehicle in this concept. Key design features reminiscent of the original Ford Bronco include the boxy upright roofline, short wheelbase, round headlamps, a winch and guide rollers integrated into the lower fascia, and the Bronco nameplate milled into the modern three-bar grille. The roof features separate removable sections for open-air driving, giving the look and feel of the "Baja Broncos" of the early 1970s. Exterior details include exposed door hinges, cowl vents, flared wheelwells, and unique loop-shaped door handles integrated into the door. The Bronco concept mates a 2.0-liter/128-hp intercooled turbodiesel with six-speed PowerShift transmission and Intelligent 4WD system for a powerful, sure-footed off-roader, and adds nitrous-oxide injection for a temporary 50-horse burst of power at the driver's fingertips.
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Ten years after its debut in the American market with the Sephia compact sedan, Kia spices up its roots with an super sport wagon version of its highest volume model, the Spectra. In an attempt to revitalize and broaden the product line and continue its momentum upwards among the top-10 import brands in the United States, the Spectra5 sport wagon borrows its platform and powertrain from its cousin the Hyundai Elantra, but inherits most of its spiritual suspension DNA from the MazdaSpeed and Ford SVT performance tuner cars, having been designed by the same engineer. Spectra5's sport-tuned suspension rides on stiffer springs, firmer shocks, and larger anti-roll bars than the all-new-for-2004 Spectra sedan, and steps up to 16-inch alloy wheels and 205/50R16 Goodyears. Underhood is a spunky 138-horse/2.0-liter engine with continuously variable valve timing and multi-port fuel injection mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission or optional, electronically controlled four-speed automatic. Pricing will be announced when it goes on sale later this summer.
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Project Daisy blossomed at the Detroit show into a modern Shelby Cobra, complete with the bulging fenders, twin stripes, monster power, and smiling Texan, and it has achieved full bloom here in New York. Carroll Shelby conspired with the concept team to develop this show car, borrowing heavily from the Ford GT production car. For the Cobra, the mid-engine platform was reconfigured for a front-mid-engine application. Inspired by the Cobra 427, the team created a special 6.4-liter V-10 that produces 605 horsepower and 501 lb-ft of torque. In a 3000-pound car sized like a Miata, that power translates to sub-four-second 0-60 mph times. The six-speed transmission is rear mounted to distribute weight and increase interior legroom. The cockpit is all business, with essential gauges, race-inspired seats, and toggle-switch controls, all surrounded by aluminum and carbon fiber materials. Likewise, the clean exterior carries the essential Cobra cues with a modern, machined appearance highlighted with 18-inch front, 19-inch rear wheels. Many are wondering if they will build a production version. The official answer is, " 'We'll see.' If we get the same overwhelming reaction to the Cobra concept as we did to the GT concept, anything is possible," according to J Mays, Group Vice President, Design.
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In a separate exhibition hall decorated with strands of origami paper birds, Lexus introduced its third new concept car within the past year, the LF-C. This coupe is an early look at the next generation IS line, which will also include a two-door model. Special attention was paid to styling, with the goal to put as much emphasis on design as the brand has historically placed on quality. Compared against the current IS, the LF-C rides on a wheelbase that measures 5.1 inches longer, with a 5-inch wider track and 2-inch lower ride height. The Lexus Future Coupe brought two pleasant surprises: it has a retractable hard top, with provisions for targa-style configuration and it will be available with a V-8 engine with a sequential automatic transmission. Lexus suggested that this BMW 3 Series competitor will be a 2007 model, following about a year after the next-generation GS. Click Here to see photo gallery.
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Audi raises product placement to an all-new level with its RSQ Sports Coupe, developed especially for the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox film "I, ROBOT." Built with design elements suggested by movie director Alex Proyas, the mid-engined sports car races through Chicago in the year 2035 on spheres, not wheels, to help leading actor Will Smith solve a mystery that could have grave consequences for the human race. Its two doors are rear-hinged to the c-posts and open upwards like a butterfly's wings, and the interior is designed to like an aircraft's cockpit, with a steering wheel that folds out of the instrument panel and a center console that surrounds the ipilotisi body in the bucket seat. The laminate glass fiber of the body is coated with lunar silver paint to flop the hues of reflected colors and the color scheme is in the darker spectrum with isolated silvery accents. RSQ lettering illuminated with red light is integrated into the door sills. Look for this futuristic concept to appear on big screens in July.
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Emphasizing its functionality and fuel efficiency, Ford's Escape Hybrid was given an on-road mileage test wherein the little sport/utility was driven non-stop through the streets of Manhattan, taking on rush-hour traffic and congestion to show how far the electric hybrid vehicle could go on one tank of gas under severe driving conditions. After 37 hours of non-stop driving, the Escape Hybrid finally ran through its 15 gallons of fuel, averaging more than 38 miles per gallon. In a time when many drivers are asking for better fuel economy from their vehicles, the Escape Hybrid's four-cylinder gasoline engine combines with a 70-kilowatt traction motor generator to boost mileage while promising the performance of a traditional V-6 Escape, with near-zero hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen tailpipe emissions. In addition to the Escape Hybrid on sale this summer, Ford promises two other hybrid cars in its future lineup, including a 2007 Mercury Mariner hybrid SUV, as well as hybrid version of a mid-size sedan.
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Playing on the notion that bigger is better, and gaming is a lifestyle, Electronic Arts teamed up with Infiniti, Alpine Electronics, and Claus Ettensberger (CEC) to create a rolling state-of-the-art gaming machine and theater known as the EA Sports Ultimate Gaming Vehicle™
The idea was to take a luxurious SUV and stuff it full of premium AV equipment and game consoles that would put many home theaters to shame, not to mention mere showcars with their multitude of headrest displays. UGV is built on a pre-production Infiniti QX56, powered by a 5.6-liter V-8 DOHC engine. Most noticeable is the rear seating area, with its 37-inch 16:9 flat panel LCD screen
television. Innovative Audio installed a set of jumbo speakers in place of the QX56's back row of seats and pushed back the middle row to give passengers plenty of room to stretch out and play in comfort. Game console nuts will appreciate having their choice of either a Sony Playstation®2 and XBOX® game system. Alpine mobile audio equipment pumps out 1,800 watts of power driving four subwoofers and 16 tweeters and mid-ranges. EC adds 23-inch Antera chrome-plated wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW tires and Brembo 8-piston Gran Turismo Brake kit. For $200,000, you can have your own Ultimate Gaming Vehicle in just 90 days. VIPs and sports stars are the target markets for UGV who can roll in style while playing games; maybe they won't fumble or strike out.
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For those who shopped the $120,000-plus SL55 and SL600, and were left wanting, Mercedes-Benz proudly revealed the SL65 AMG. With horsepower spilling from the ball-bearing-fitted rollaway tool chests at AMG, Mercedes is able to offer the privileged few a special, hand-built twin-turbo V-12 engine producing 604 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of Freightliner-grade torque. (This engine will be offered in the CL65 AMG, as well.) Official claims have this incredible powerplant pushing the luxurious retractable-hardtop roadster from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The chassis is treated to a specifically calibrated active suspension to hold the road at the speeds this car can achieve, and anchored by 15.4-inch, eight-piston ventilated brakes. AMG 19-inch wheels, trim, badging, and bragging rights complete the core package. Expect prices to range near $180k when this fantasy-fueling car goes on sale later this year.
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Displayed amid three other concepts, Lincoln proudly displayed the concept vehicle for the 2006 Zephyr. Destined to slot beneath the LS, the Zephyr's mission is to bring younger buyers into Lincoln showrooms, with a product targeting Acura TL and Lexus ES 330 buyers. Clean, refined styling reveals the near-future Lincoln design language and structure, notably tight bumpers, vertical grille, clean sides, defined beltline, and integrated bright work. The interior is also chic, with smooth, simple surfaces dressed with wood, leather, and chrome taking the themes in the polished Aviator SUV interior to the next level. Based on the Mazda 6 platform, the production Zephyr will be offered in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations, powered by a 3.0-liter V-6, when it goes on sale in late 2005. Click Here to see the Lincoln Zephyr photo gallery.
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Suzuki expands its product offerings with a wagon variant joining the Forenza sedan this fall. The fourth of nine new products intended to push North American Suzuki sales past the 200,000 mark, the Forenza Wagon joins the growing roster of five-door compacts with a size advantage over competitors such as the Ford Focus and Toyota Matrix. Notable standard features include eight-speaker audio system with steering wheel-mounted stereo controls, four-wheel disc brakes, passenger-side weight-sensing advanced airbags, front side airbags, speed-sensitive power steering, and heated power mirrors. Powerful weapons for Suzuki, the Forenza wagon will pack an approachable $13K-$16K price tag and generous 7-year/100K-mile warranty when it goes on sale.
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Infiniti's flagship Q45 premium luxury sedan receives a more distinctive, more aggressive exterior appearance for the 2005 model year, as well as a more luxurious interior dressed in sumptuous maple wood with chrome accents, a pure white instrument cluster, and new sport contour seats. Power is provided by a 340-horsepower/4.5-liter V-8 engine linked to a five-speed automatic transmission that's been recalibrated for improved downshift response and smoother acceleration. Voice-activated controls, DVD navigation system with 7.0-inch LCD information display screen, and RearView monitor are standard. Climate controlled seats and Intelligent Cruise Control with Preview Braking are optional. The Q45's performance-tuned active dampening suspension, previously available only on the Premium Package, is now standard on all 2005 Q45s.
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