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Old 01-02-2003, 07:32   #1 (permalink)
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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.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg b01tbird.jpeg (19.0 KB, 348 views)
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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.

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Old 01-02-2003, 07:58   #2 (permalink)
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2003 Detroit Auto Show: There's plenty at stake at this year's show


By RICK KRANZ | Automotive News

DETROIT - J Mays, design chief at Ford Motor Co., will be on the hot seat at the North American International Auto Show next week.

Mays must impress Wall Street and the buff book enthusiasts that the company can pull off its much-ballyhooed product turnaround.

He has plenty to unveil, at least. The automaker is promising new 15 production and concept vehicles at the show under the Ford, Aston Martin, Lincoln, Mazda and Mercury brands.

The most critical will be the 2004 Ford F-150 pickup, which will receive its first redesign since 1997.

Mays largely is abandoning the curves of the current F-150 in favor of a broad-shouldered look reminiscent of the Dodge Ram.

Mays' second challenge was to redesign an American icon, the Ford Mustang.

Insiders say the styling of the concept to be seen at the show liberally adopts styling cues from late 1960s Mustangs, especially the Shelbys. The concept, they say, is "within spitting distance" of the production Mustang that is expected to bow for the 2005 model year.

The Mustang needs to attract younger customers, but will buyers in their 20s be drawn to '60s retro styling that once excited their dads?

At General Motors, expect another Robert Lutz show. This will be the first Detroit show in which all the concepts were developed under the watchful eye of the company's vice chairman of product development. He was hired in the summer of 2001.

A year ago, Lutz and GM hit a home run with the two-passenger Pontiac Solstice, a last-minute addition that Lutz placed on the automaker's concept list.

Can Lutz and GM's styling team repeat that performance, generating the same degree of excitement for this latest round of concept vehicles?

Half of GM's world debuts will fall under the Chevrolet banner. But the showstopper could be a Cadillac concept with a 16-cylinder engine.

For the Asians, Nissan Motor Co. will have the biggest product parade with five world debuts, including a full-sized pickup.

Other important debuts will be a redesigned Toyota Sienna minivan and sport wagon concepts from Audi and BMW that are expected to reach production.
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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.....
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Old 01-02-2003, 08:03   #3 (permalink)
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GEARED FOR CALIFORNIA: FORD DREAM CARS

Specially designed vehicles being shown in Los Angeles

January 2, 2003
BY JEFFREY MCCRACKEN
DETROIT FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Ford Motor Co. is using the Los Angeles Auto Show to roll out three concept vehicles it believes are well tailored to California: a zero-emission vehicle, a movie-inspired sports car and a fashionable sport-utility vehicle geared to city driving.

California has long been a successful market for Ford, which likes to note its flagship Ford division has sold the most new cars and trucks in California of any brand for 19 years. The F-series pickup is the state's best-selling vehicle, according to the automotive research firm R.L. Polk Co.

For the Los Angeles show, which opens to the public Saturday, Ford will today unveil the 2003 Ford Focus PZEV. It will also show a supercharged Thunderbird concept and the Ford Faction, a compact, all-wheel-drive SUV.

The concept version of the Ford Focus meets California's stringent auto-emission standards. The PZEV stands for partial zero emission vehicle. It is powered by a new 2.3-liter, I4 engine that generates 148 horsepower. The PZEV power train will also be used for the Focus in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts later this year.

The new engine will be introduced in 2004 on all non-SVT versions of the Focus. (SVT, short for Special Vehicle Team, refers to the automaker's line of more powerful vehicles.)

Ford's next concept car is on the other end of the spectrum. The supercharged Thunderbird concept is a high-performance version of the Thunderbird that Ford rolled out in 2001.

Through the first 11 months of 2002, Ford had sold about 17,800 Thunderbirds.

This high-performance version is equipped with a 3.9-liter, supercharged V8 engine. It produces about 390 horsepower, compared with 280 horsepower for the standard Thunderbird.

Ford is unveiling this concept to gauge consumer interest in a performance version of the two-seat sports car.

Ford will also be showing off a limited-edition 007 Thunderbird from the latest James Bond film, "Die Another Day."

The final concept vehicle is the Faction.

The Faction is a three-door, small sport-utility vehicle geared toward city driving. It comes with a camera system called the City Eye that gives the driver a view directly behind the vehicle. The images are displayed on three screens at the base of the windshield.

The City Eye is also a media system that will provide entertainment and navigation information.

The Faction is equipped with a Duratec ST engine from the European Focus, which delivers about 167 horsepower.

Like many concept cars, the Faction is being introduced at a show so the automaker can gauge the response.

If an auto company gets much positive feedback, the concept car is often tweaked and introduced a few years later for mass production. Chrysler Group turned concept cars like the Dodge Viper and Chrysler PT Cruiser into production vehicles following good reviews and feedback from the news media and consumers.

(Photo) Ford Faction Concept
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File Type: jpeg faction.jpeg (9.1 KB, 18 views)
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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.....
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