2006 Future Vehicle Forecast

2006 Future Vehicle Forecast

Editors of Motor Trend
Apr 1, 2005
Contributors: Editors of Truck Trend
Photographers: The Manufacturers
Manufacturers love to keep us guessing. They try to keep secrets from us, and we fight tooth and nail to get the info out as soon as possible. Somewhere in the middle, you get to read about the vehicles just around the bend or concepts that point to what's coming around the next two or three (or four) bends. Here's a look at the future, as near as we can tell. Look for more in-depth coverage on our Web site (www.trucktrend.com) and in upcoming issues.
Photo 2/15   |   2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150
2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150
Going back to its roots, the next Ford Harley-Davidson truck will be based off the F-150 platform. This limited-edition vehicle will sport 22-inch rims, low-profile tires, smoked windows, high-gloss paint, and accent pinstriping. The H-D SuperCab F-150 will be offered in conventional rear-drive or with a new all-wheel-drive system. Inside, four unique captain's chairs will sport a die-cast Harley-Davidson bar-and-shield logo embedded in the aniline leather seats.
Photo 3/15
Of course, the interior will have a serialized nickel plate identifying the vehicle with an exact production date and number. Lurking under the hood is the solid 5.4-liter Triton V-8 with three-valve heads and 300 horsepower. Conspicuously absent is a supercharger, something the last SuperCrew Ford H-D F-150 offered (basically a detuned Lightning motor). Ford expects to sell approximately 10,000 of the specialty vehicles at a premium package price hovering around $5000.
Base price $37,000 (est)
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 4-door, 4-pass pickup
Engine type{{{90}}}-deg V-8, SOHC, 3 valves/cyl
Displacement, ci/L 330/5.4
SAE net horsepower, hp @ rpm 300 @ 5000
SAE net torque, lb-ft @ rpm 365 @ 3750
Transmission 5-speed auto
Curb weight, lb 5200
GVWR, lb 7200
Towing capacity, lb 8500
Payload, lb 1700
0-60 mph, sec 9.0 (est)
EPA city/highway, mpg 14/18
On sale Fall 2005
Photo 4/15   |   Kia KCD II
Kia KCD II
Designed at Kia's California design center, this concept is a full-size, three-row, body-on-frame Pacifica chaser. Interesting design touches include an aggressive grille and lighting, suicide doors, side glass that wraps into the windshield, and dual sunroofs. No word on powertrain offerings, but it'll need a V-8, or the company needn't bother.
On sale: TBD
Photo 5/15   |   GMC Graphyte Hybrid Gen II
GMC Graphyte Hybrid Gen II
A midsize SUV, the Graphyte is the first vehicle shown by GMC that uses the Advanced Hybrid System 2 that combines a Vortec 4800 V-8 (with displacement-on-demand cylinder shutoff) with full electric propulsion at lower speeds. The calculated fuel savings is said to be 25 percent for regular driving, compared with a normal midsize SUV. It rides on 22-inch wheels, offers an adjustable ride-height suspension, and has the first rotating rear hatch/tailgate system. Inside, the Graphyte makes driving a pushbutton affair, while maintaining a professional-grade appearance.
On sale: TBD
Photo 6/15   |   2006 Jeep Commander
2006 Jeep Commander
Inflate and square-off a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and what do you get? The Commander, Jeep's long-awaited seven-passenger SUV, which features stadium seating and looks like a super-size rendition of the much-loved 1984-2000 Cherokee. Trail-rated for off-roading, the $30,000-plus SUV comes with a 4.7-liter V-8 or 5.7-liter Hemi power.
On sale: Summer 2005
Photo 7/15   |   2005 Chevrolet HHR
2005 Chevrolet HHR
No one looking at Chevy's new HHR (Heritage High Roof) miniwagon will be surprised to learn that Bryan Nesbitt, creator of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, had a hand in its design. It's all here: movable rear package shelf with bag hooks on the bottom, flat-folding rear- and front-passenger seats, ball shifter knob, power-window switches in the center console. Despite riding on virtually the same wheelbase and being slightly longer (by 5.7 inches), maximum cargo space is close to the PT's 64.2 cubic feet. That's probably because the HHR's rear seats don't come out, and its rear deck is higher.
Power will come from one of two Ecotec 16-valve four-cylinder engines (2.2 or 2.4 liters). The base engine rates 145 horsepower and 150 pound-feet, while the uplevel I-4 is good for 170 and 170. Transmission options include a five-speed manual and four-speed automatic. Built on GM's new front-drive Delta platform (Chevy Cobalt, Saturn Ion) and riding on 16- or 17-inch wheels and tires with an optional sport-suspension package, we expect the HHR's ride and handling to be quite decent. HHRs will be served in LS or LT models, the latter subdivided into two trim packages. Expect base prices to fall in the $14,000-$18,000 range.
Base price$14,000-$18,000 (est)
Vehicle layoutFront engine, FWD, 5-door, 5-pass wagon
Engine typeI-4, DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
Displacement, ci/L134/2.2, 145/2.4
SAE net horsepower, hp @ rpm145/170
SAE net torque, lb-ft @ rpm 150/170
Transmissions 5-speed manual, 4-speed auto
Curb weight, lb3300 (est)
GVWR, lb 4200 (est)
Towing capacity, lb 1500 (est)
Payload, lb {{{850}}} (est)
0-60 mph, sec 8.0 / 10.0 (est)
EPA city/highway, mpg 21-23 / 29-31 (est)
On saleSummer 2005
Photo 8/15   |   2006 Range Rover S/C
2006 Range Rover S/C
With all the attention being given to the Land Rover LR3 (Motor Trend's 2005 Sport/Utility of the Year) and the new Range Rover Sport (also highlighted in this issue), the Range Rover was in jeopardy of being ignored. To make sure that wouldn't happen, Land Rover decided to use the same supercharged Jaguar motor and six-speed transmission available in its high-performance sedans (and the Range Rover Sport) and offer it in the larger, heavier Range Rover. With exact numbers in this configuration unavailable at press time, we're fairly certain horsepower and torque numbers will bump up against the 400 threshold.
Base price$85,000 (est)
Vehicle layoutFront engine, 4WD, 4-door, 5-pass SUV
Engine type{{{90}}}-deg V-8, DOHC, all-alloy, 4 valves/cyl
Displacement, ci/L260/4.2
SAE net horsepower, hp @ rpm400 @ {{{6000}}} (est)
SAE net torque, lb-ft @ rpm400 @ 3500 (est)
Transmission6-speed auto
Curb weight, lb5400
GVWR, lb 6700
Towing capacity, lb 7700
Payload, lb 1200
0-60 mph, sec 7.8 (est)
EPA city/highway, mpg 12/16
On sale Fall 2005
Photo 9/15   |   Ford SYNUS
Ford SYNUS
Here's an unexplored market niche: an armored truck that's smaller than a Honda Element. Doors are six inches thick, the glass is bulletproof, and the windshield has steel shutters, presumably to protect the 45-inch LCD TV mounted to the rear gate. SYNUS's stated mission is to shrink "Ford-tough" truck styling down to micro-ute dimensions.
On sale: A Mazda vehicle is rumored for 2007
Photo 10/15
Photo 11/15
BMW X5 Facelift
In spite of the lower hood line, reshaped door skins and fender flares, and slightly more capacious cargo area, there's no mistaking this for anything but the next generation of BMW's original Sport Activity Vehicle. Expect a roster of I-6 and V-8 engines similar to that of the current model.

On sale: Mid-2006

Photo 12/15   |   2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca
2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca
Looking to make a better (and cheaper) BMW X5, Subaru delivers the new B9 Tribeca, weighing in at 4200 pounds and using a 250-horsepower all-aluminum F-6 engine and five-speed automatic. One of our test drivers spent some time in one recently and walked away impressed. Really. He even commented on the B9's interior space being much more efficiently utilized than the X5, and, unlike the BMW, offers a third-row option. We expect pricing to start at $32,000.
On sale: Summer 2005
Photo 13/15   |   Mitsubishi Raider
Mitsubishi Raider
Mitsubishi has been out of the truck market for a while, but it leaps back in with this Dakota-based midsizer. A bold new face and a revised (and nicer) interior embody the transformation. Choose between V-6 and V-8, extended or crew cab, and two- or four-wheel drive.
On sale: Fall 2005
Photo 14/15   |   Suzuki SUV Concept X
Suzuki SUV Concept X
Sharing the platform with the Subaru B9 concept, the Suzuki will offer a more civilized ride for seven passengers than the Grand Vitara XL-7 does. Developed under codenames SG/X and 00X, the premium crossover wagon has already hit the consumer clinics in southern California and has received positive feedback.
Subaru insiders have commented about the vehicle's versatile and flexible interior, and it's believed that the second- and third-row seats will fold flat. Expect pricing to start at $30,000, with engine duties carried out by Subaru's 3.0-liter F-6.
On sale: Fall 2005
Photo 15/15   |   2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350/ML500
2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350/ML500
photography by Jim Reisman for Brenda Priddy & Co.
The current-generation (1998-2005) M-Class is a body-on-frame SUV that competes with the car-based Acura MDX, BMW X5, and Volvo XC90. The all-new 2006 M-Class has plenty of the old model's styling for instant recognition, but under the longer, lower, wider, and subtly modernized sheetmetal is an all-new unibody chassis. Mercedes will continue to build the M-Class in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and it'll share its new platform with several vehicles, including the 2007 seven-passenger G-Class, the replacement for the Gelandewagen. The M-Class remains a five-seater and launches with the four-valve 3.5-liter V-6 and the 5.0-liter V-8, both coupled to a seven-speed automatic. Height-adjustable Airmatic air suspension will be available for the first time. The M gains 5.9 inches in overall length, 3.7 inches in the wheelbase, and 2.8 inches in width, while it'll sit less than an inch lower. Safety highlights include a new active head-restraint system for rear-collision protection, adaptive two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger, curtain side bags, belt tensioners, and belt-force limiters for all seats. Expect an AMG version within a couple of years with a naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V-8, which we expect to have well over 400 horsepower.
Base price $38,000 (est)
Vehicle layout Front engine, 4WD, 4-door, 5-pass SUV
Engine type V-6/V-8 {{{90}}}-deg, DOHC, all-alum, 4 valves/cyl
Displacement, ci/L 227/3.7, 303/5.0
SAE net horsepower, hp @ rpm 268/302
SAE net torque, lb-ft @ rpm258/339
Transmission 7-speed auto
Curb weight, lb 4700 (est)
GVWR, lb {{{6000}}} (est)
Towing capacity, lb {{{5000}}} (est)
Payload, lb 1200 (est)
0-60 mph, sec N/A
EPA city/highway, mpg 14-18 / 12-16 (est)
On saleSpring 2005

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