Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on January 9, 1994 · Page 124
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 124

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Sunday, January 9, 1994
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Auto Show tlL. 1994 etroit iead-to-head pith imports 8M THE DETROIT NEWS SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 1994 -" ;--- rr'"""1" " " " - ..-;.. '"" "" " " " ... . . , - . -J j goes jmrn- ' 1 I V X.-fc, U. Making waves: ,::Big Three refuse ::;to take a backseat j :J:to nameplates from j:f;Asia and Europe. I Bjf Paul Lienert ' and Timothy Dunne r New and redesigned domestic ve-, Ihrifiles are challenging Asian and European brands on nearly every front i from inexpensive economy cars to ! luxurious and high-performance jiiakes. tTwo of the most exciting new cars ijiis year from Detroit happen to be within reach of most pocketbooks Chrysler's Neon compact and the revamped Ford Mustang. iHere are some of the most significant entries for '94, classified by tyke segment: !: ; Ces8 than $12,000 tChrysler is gaining global attention for its all-new Neon, which , replaces the Dodge ShadowPlym-) o'utb Sundance models and is being sold by Dodge and Plymouth dealers. !tThe car features a quirky but i fresh design, interior space that feels ajbsolutely cavernous for a small car, and an engine lineup that overpowers the competition. 't 'Mated to a five-speed manual or ithree-speed automatic transmission, ,the base engine is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that makes 132 horsepower yfhile the upscale version of the same pawerplant delivers 142 horsepower. Dual front air bags are standard. )iStially, only a sedan version of the NSon will be offered, but look for a ' ; sporty coupe to show up in the fall. rFord's all-new Aspire replaces ' the Festiva as the automaker's entry-ley.el subcompact car. The exterior features a much more rounded de-sign, similar to the industry trend. $uilt in Korea by Kia Motors, it is available in three- and five-door jijatchback models. A single engine powers both: A 1.3-liter, four-cylin-! tier producing 64 horsepower. It's j fltted with a standard five-speed iitianual transmission with a three-jBpeed automatic available as an op-t tjon. A driver's air bag is standard. '".Hyundai's budget-conscious '! EJantra sedan gets several revisions ; j fbt'Jhe new year, including a face-lift KjnWhe front end that includes a ! seeker nose, a revised rear fascia, a standard driver's side air bag and (Jptional antilock brakes. l Volkswagen's Golf and Jetta J models began reaching U.S. custom-e)"8"by the middle of last year J nearly two years after their introduc-l.tiQri in Germany. Changes to the '94 fhodels include the installation of i 'dual air bags for driver and front-seat ; passenger and the availability of an-"tilock brakes as an extra-cost option. "1in both cars, the standard 115-; horsepower, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine is mated to a standard five- ' CMC rollled a more rounded Sonoma compact pickup for 1994 Dodge completely redesigned its full speed manual transmission, or an optional four-speed automatic. A 172-horsepower, 2.8-liter V-6 is available in upscale Jetta models and will likely be offered eventually in the Golf. Both cars are assembled in Mexico. $12,000-$20,000 One of the most notable entries in the class is the all-new Honda Ac-' cord, built in Marysville, Ohio. Powered by a standard 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to either a five-speed manual or electronic four-speed automatic, the Accord is offered in three body styles coupe, sedan and wagon and several trim levels. An optional V-6 engine won't be available until the fall. Acura's entry-level vehicle, the Integra, is all-new inside and out. Offered in coupe and sedan styles, a 142-horsepower, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine is standard. The upscale Integra GS-R is powered by a hightech version of the same engine that makes 170 horsepower. Another Japanese entry in the sporty compact segment is the Toyota Celica. Significantly redesigned inside and out, the Celica takes some styling cues from its upscale coupe sibling, the Lexus SC300. The Celica is offered in two trim levels the base ST and upscale GT with a 110-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine and a 135-horsepower, 2.2-liter engine. Last year's turbocharged and all-wheel-drive models have been discontinued. Ford introduces the first significant remake of its legendary Mustang pony car since 1979. Still a rear-drive car, the Mustang has more curves than its predecessor, and underwent suspension modifications to eliminate its bone-jarring ride. Power is delivered via a standard 140-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 or the optional 205-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8. A year ago, Chevrolet introduced its substantially revised fourth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. For the new model year, Chevy has added the Camaro convertible, which can be ordered in the base or high-performance Z28 edition. The Japanese-built Dodge Stealth received revised front and rear styling for the new year, more power from its optional turbocharged V-6 engine (now 320 horsepower overall), a six-speed manual transmission and a passenger-side air bag. Mitsubishi's mid-size Galant debuted last summer as an early 1994 model-year. It is a bit longer and wider than its predecessor, and wears a more rounded skin. Two versions of the same 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine power the car: The base SOHC engine produces 141 horsepower while the DOHC engine turns out 160 horsepower and is accompanied by a sportier suspension and tires. Korean automaker Hyundai is introducing its redesigned 1995 Sonata sedan. Situated in the highly competitive mid-size segment, the '95 Sonata is larger than its predeces- :. - sized Ram pickup. y . .'y iPGW sor, features an all-new chassis and independent rear suspension. A 137-horsepower, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder is the standard engine, while a 142-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 can be had as an option. Dual air bags are standard and antilock brakes are available. Ford made several key changes in its Thunderbird and Cougar coupes for '94. First, it revamped the cockpits, then revised the front-end styling and finally added an optional 190-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8. Dual air bags are standard; ABS is optional. Over $20,000 Acura's flagship Legend sedan gets a new top-of-the-line GS model. It features a 230-horsepower V-6 engine, six-speed manual transmission and various suspension enhancements and minor exterior styling changes. The Audi Cabrio is the first convertible offered by Volkswagen's prestige-car division. It boasts a 172-horsepower, 2.8-liter, V-6, and is loaded with standard equipment, including air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and locks and a power soft top. BMW has redesigned its 325i Cabrio, with power supplied by a twin-cam, 189-horsepower 2.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine. A power top, dual air bags and antilock brakes fZT- ,..--"-7 l.-.Tinmr- ? i ...4-sy& Big 3 on top of booming truck, van market By Paul Lienert Here's a stat that sums up how the vehicle market is changing: One of every three new vehicles sold in the United States is a truck or van. No wonder automakers made multimillion-dollar investments this past year to develop alternatives to sedans, station wagons, sporty coupes and hatchbacks. The truck market is red-hot and, so far, is the kingdom of Detroit's Big Three. Foreign manufacturers have been less successful in this segment. Far and away the most intriguing of the trucks for 1994 is Chrysler Corp.'s Dodge Ram. Previewed a year ago at the Detroit show, the '94 Ram features bold styling reminiscent of '50s pickups and big over-the-road rigs, including a rounded nose with a distinctive chrome "beer-keg" grille. The Ram is offered in a wide range of configurations, including 2x4 and 4x4, regular and long bed, light- and medium-duty. Engines include a base 3.9-liter V-6, a choice of two V-8s (5.2 or 5.9 liters), a new 8.0-liter V-10 and a 5.9-liter Cummins turbo-diesel six-cylinder. Individual Ram models include LT (base), ST, Laramie SLT and Work Special. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes and a driver's side air bag are standard, as are retractable cup holders, tinted glass and intermittent wipers. 'Cf 115 are standard. In mid-1993, the German automaker added a choice of two twin-cam V-8 engines to its mid-range 5-Series sedans and wagons a 215-horsepower, 3.0-liter unit and a lusty 282-horsepower, 4.0-liter pow-erplant. Completely redesigned for the first time since 1986, the all-new Buick Riviera goes on sale in May as an early '95 model. Engine choices include a standard 205-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 and a supercharged 225-horsepower variant of the same engine. An electronic four-speed automatic transmission is standard with either engine. The big Buick Roadmaster gets a new engine for '94: A 260-horse-power version of the Corvette's 5.7-liter V-8. The same engine is the standard powerplant this year in the Cadillac Fleetwood and optional in the Chevrolet Caprice. Cadillac has redesigned its Sedan DeVille and for '94 offers an upscale companion, the Concours. Both cars share underbody components with the pricier Seville. The DeVille gets a 200-horsepower, 4.9-liter V-8, while the Concours is fitted with the twin-cam 270-horsepower 4.6-liter Northstar V-8. Dual air bags, ABS and traction control are standard. Introduced as early '94 models, the Chrysler New Yorker and LHS sedans are the company's luxury Red-hot: Companies push their edge. Dodge rolls out year's most intriguing truck Ram. In compact trucks, General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet S10 and GMC Sonoma pickups have been reworked extensively from top to bottom for the 1994 model year the first major overhaul since their debut a dozen years ago. The S10 and Sonoma are offered in a variety of body styles and chassis configurations, including regular and extended cab, short and long bed (regular-cab models only), and two-and four-wheel drive. Power train choices include a standard 118-horsepower, 2.2-liter, four-cylinder, plus two optional 4.3-liter V-6 engines, delivering 165 and 195 horsepower, respectively. Transmissions include a standard five-speed manual and an electronic four-speed automatic. Four-cylinder models are fitted with rear-wheel anti-lock brakes, while V-6 models get four-wheel ABS. The sheet metal on the S-trucks has been redesigned front to back, with more rounded, aerodynamic lines. Semi-flush glass and double-sealed doors help reduce wind noise. The new cabins are roomier in most dimensions, and feature redesigned instrument panels, with revised gauges and controls. America's best-selling mini vans if V - ' - - flagships. The front-drive sedans share many components with the popular "LH" sedans (Intrepid, Vision, Concorde), including the 214-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 and four-speed automatic. Antilock brakes and dual air bags are standard. A new twin-cam, 188-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 powers the '94 edition of the Lexus ES300; the same engine is offered as an option in the Toyota Camry. The Lincoln Continental got a new grille and some modest cosmetic changes for '94. An all-new model, powered for the first time by a twin-cam V-8, is due in '95. Conceived originally as the entry-level model for Mazda's stillborn Amati division, the new Millenia sedan is a premium front-wheel drive four-door powered by a twin-cam, 164-horsepower 2.5-liter V-6, with a supercharged 200-horsepower variant offered as an option. Mercedes-Benz has replaced its entry-level 190 sedans with a new C-CIass models for 1994. The base C220 is powered by a twin-cam, 147-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder while the C280 gets a twin-cam, 194-horsepower, 2.8-liter six-cylinder. Dual air bags and ABS are standard; traction control is an option. The German automaker has renamed its mid-range series as the me long-running Chrysler triplets get major styling and mechanical changes for '94. The Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager are available in regular and extended versions, while the premium Chrysler Town & Country comes only in the extended variant. Long-wheel-base models can be ordered in front-and all-wheel drive configurations. All Chrysler minivans get full frontal air bags this year. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are now standard on Grand Caravan and Grand Voyager. Other enhancements include a redesigned instrument panel, an upgraded acoustical package (to reduce noise), plus restyled bumper fascias, side moldings and body cladding. Engines and transmissions also have been upgraded. New features for 1994 include a remote keyless entry system, reprogrammable power door locks and reclining child safety seats. From GM, the Chevrolet Lumi-na van and Pontiac TransSport have received significant changes and upgrades for the 1994 model year. Most noticeable is a face-lift, with all-new hood, fenders, headlamps, rocker panels and bumper fascias. The effect is to give the vans Swedish automaker Saab redesigned its flagship 900 model (above) for the first time in 15 years. Volkswagen's Golf HI (far left) made its long-delayed U.S. debut as a 1994 model. Toyota's Celica (top left) has been significantly redesigned inside and out. Cadillac gave its Sedan DeVille (bottom left) a 200-horsepower, 4.9-liter V-8. E-CIass. New for '94 is the E420 sedan, powered by a twin-cam, 275-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8. The Mitsubishi 3000GT gets a mildly revised nose for '94. ', One of Detroit's most-anticipated introductions is the spring debut of the all-new Oldsmobile Aurora, k luxury-sport sedan that's powered by a twin-cam, 250-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-8. Parent General Motors figures the Aurora should undercut the price of its Japanese and European rivals by $10,000 or more. Another new GM product (it owns 50 percent of the company, anyway) is the Saab 900, which has been redesigned for the first time in 15 years. The car offers, for the first time, an optional six-cylinder engine. It's a twin-cam 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter V-6 that's courtesy of GM's European arm, Adam Opel AG. The five-door hatchback will be joined at mid-year by a three-door and later by a two-door convertible. Performance-car buffs love the looks and capability of the all-new Toyota Supra, especially the hot turbocharged variant with its twin-cam, 320-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine. Another turbocharged engine a twin-cam, 225-horsepower, 2.3-liter five-cylinder is being offered on the Volvo 850 sedan and wagon. a more conventional look, while shaving overall length by several inches. The top of the instrument panel a deep and massive shelf that turned off some drivers in the past has been redesigned to give it the perception of being more shallow. A driver's side air bag is new, and integral child safety seats are available as an option on the seven-passenger model. The outside buckets in the second row have fold-down child restraint seats with five-point safety belts. (Commonly used in race cars, such belts use two shoulder strapi and are secured on each side of th seat, plus the bottom of the seati Each belt is locked into a centra) buckle that rests on the chest rathet than on the side of the seat). GM also has redesigned the modular seats irt the middle and third rows to fold fully forward and upward, easing access to the rear. There's a new remote keyless entry system, and the power door locks have a new automatic locking feature when the transmission is shifted out of park. Two power-train combinations are offered: the standard, 120-horse-power, 3.1-liter V-6 with three-speed automatic transmission and an optional, 170-horsepov er, 3.8 liter, V-6 with four-speed automata transmission. Paul Lienert is a free-lance auto journalist whose Car Talk column appears each Wednesday in The Detroit New s Auto section.

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