Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
2003 L.A. Auto Show:Dozens of autos make their debut
Power clad, low emission vehicles are among the new trends unveiled this week
By Ed Garsten / The Detroit News
LOS ANGELES -- Automakers courting performance enthusiasts and environmentalists, nostalgia buffs and trend-setters will take the wraps off two dozen production and concept vehicles during media previews today and Friday at the 2003 Los Angeles Auto Show.
General Motors Corp. will cater to the power crowd as well with the much-anticipated debut of the 21st-century version of a 20th-century icon: the Pontiac GTO.
Ford Motor Co. will take advantage of the West Coast locale to unveil a special low-emissions version of its Focus small car.
And Toyota Motor Corp. will showcase two production vehicles from its new Scion brand aimed at a youth market the automaker calls the "Net Generation."
One of the most awaited world debuts will come Friday, when GM unveils the new Pontiac GTO. It's a rebadged version of the Monaro, built by GM's Australian affiliate, Holden Motors.
While sketches have been released publicly, this will be the first time the real thing will be displayed as a show car, first in Los Angeles and next week in Detroit.
GM is keeping most details under wraps until Friday, but the power plant under the hood will be considerably more brawny than the 290 horsepower engine in the original Monaro.
Ford will introduce the 2003 Ford Focus PZEV today. The Focus PZEV will meet California's partial zero-emissions standard using a new 148-horsepower, 2.3-liter, inline four-cylinder engine. Under the PZEV standards, a vehicle cannot give off any evaporative emissions and its emission system must last at least 150,000 miles.
The PZEV powertrain will be standard on all Focus models sold in California, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts beginning the first quarter of this year and will be introduced nationwide next year in all non-SVT Focus models.
Ford will also show off a pair of concept vehicles: a supercharged Thunderbird roadster and a three-door sport utility runabout.
The roadster's fate is in the public's hands. The concept vehicle, sporting a 3.9-liter, 390-horsepower V-8 engine, will make the auto show circuit so Ford can gauge public reaction. A thumbs-up by showgoers could put the roadster in production as part of Ford's Living Legend line.
The Ford Faction concept is a three-door sport utility vehicle with all-wheel drive that is the first design from Ford's Ingeni studio in London. The Faction is built for city dwellers who live in the middle of the action, and its name is a compound of "Ford" and "action."
"The Faction is designed for and by the lifestyle generation," said Kris Tomasson, chief designer at Ingeni.
Toyota Motor Co. has been winding up the buzz machine for the past year in advance of the introduction of its new Scion brand.
The first two production vehicles make their world debuts in Los Angeles today.
The xB is based on the boxy bbX concept vehicle. The xA is believed to be a production version of the ccX, a lower-slung crossover type vehicle.
Scion goes on sale in California in June, but will be available nationwide within a year. The vehicles will start at a youth-friendly $17,000 but a number of appearance and performance options will be available.
Making a first appearance on this side of the pond will be the Porsche Cayenne, the German automaker's foray into the luxury sport utility vehicle market.
The Los Angeles Auto Show is an apt venue for the Cayenne's North American debut since Southern California is one of Porsche's biggest U.S. markets.
On display will be a 340-horsepower Cayenne S and 450-horsepower Cayenne Turbo. They'll be available in the United States this spring.
Other vehicles making their North American debuts in Los Angeles are the seventh-generation Jaguar XJ, Mercedes-Benz's ultra-luxury Maybach, the 2004 Audi A8, 2004 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII and 60-horsepower Ferrari Enzo.
The show runs from Jan. 4-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
(Photo) Ford's supercharged Thunderbird with 3.9 liter V-8 engine.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....