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2007 Detroit Auto Show

Old 12-30-2006, 10:59 AM
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Default 2007 Detroit Auto Show

What will they show this year that will get us all excited?


AUTO REVIEW

Almost time for the Detroit auto show

Dreams, schemes and reality
By Ron Amadon, MarketWatch
Last Update: 7:30 AM ET Dec 30, 2006


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is coming up, with the automotive community ready to show off everything from high-powered sports cars to small gas sippers that to the naked eye may not seem like much more than a golf cart with a roof.
To be sure, there will be the usual assortment of bands, music, fireworks, glitz and beautiful women in evening gowns, as well as GM's Bob Lutz denying up and down that he's going to retire, lots of rumors, and the Chinese telling us again that one day they will introduce a car in this country.

We'll be at the press preview days starting Jan. 7, to give a sense of what the automakers are up to in terms of their designers' dream cars as well as the wheels that will be rolling into showrooms in the weeks and months ahead.

Millions and millions of dollars ride on these vehicles, as everyone tries to have the introduction that leaves the cavernous halls of Cobo buzzing. Herewith we run down some of the expected highlights.

First and foremost in our book, it certainly will be interesting to see if the buzz set off last year by the unveiling of the Dodge Challenger and the Chevy Camaro can be matched at this year's extravaganza.

The rumor mill has it that Chevy will display a Camaro convertible this year. If some of the early sketches are anywhere near correct, this one will be a stunner, with a big GM V-8 under the hood. Stayed tuned for that one, boys and girls.

On a much smaller scale, we'll get a look at the Smart car called the fortwo (get it?) that's to hit the U.S. sometime in 2008 -- if all plans work out, that is. This tiny subcompact buzzes around London like a bee. In light of the crowded conditions in many European cities, the little thing makes sense: Along with good gas mileage, it has the ability, as the Brits put it, "to park on your welcome mat."

Roger Penske and his United Auto Group will distribute the fortwo in the U.S., and Penske seldom bets wrong. How small is it? Try 98.4 inches long, or roughly 46 inches short than the Mini. The fortwo will get a 0.7-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 61 horsepower. (See more at http://www.smartcarofamerica.com.)
In a more conventional vein, Honda will introduce a concept car that should give us a good idea of what the Accord coupe will look when it's introduced in the fall. Both four- and six-cylinder models will be offered.

And Acura, Honda's upscale brother, will debut its "advanced sports-car concept," which could offer up a good clue of what a redesigned NSX might look like. Early drawings show a low-slung car with a high beltline and a pointed rear end. It's a very contemporary look, and we hope Honda will end up producing something pretty close to it.

Now to beg our readers' indulgence: Don't hit the "back" button here, just because we're going to talk about a Lincoln. Ford's luxury brand will unveil the MKR, a sleek-looking coupe with an all-glass roof that has the Lincoln badge etched in. The MKR also boasts a huge grill that's instantly recognizable as a Lincoln. It's one sharp-looking car.
Ford's Jaguar brand (and how much longer will we be able to say that?) will show off the XF Sedan that looks very Aston Martin-like, and that's not a bad thing. The XF's due to replace the S-type, probably in 2008.

General Motors will take the wraps off a new Chevy Malibu, with much emphasis to be placed on interior quality. The Malibu's also getting a new grill that looks a bit like the new Chevy pickups. Cadillac will debut a new CTS. (Aside: GM's big display at the show will be just that, a big display. Measuring 120,000 square feet,
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:08 PM
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2007 auto show goal: Turn lookers into buyers
New U.S. models aim to entice


BY JOE GUY COLLIER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

January 1, 2007



A BMW is under wraps atop a display Friday during preparations for the 2007 North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall. (RASHAUN RUCKER/Detroit Free Press)

North American International Auto Show
Where: Cobo Hall.

When: Media preview Jan. 7-9; industry preview Jan. 10-11; charity preview Jan. 12; public show Jan. 13-21.

Public show tickets: $12 adults, $6 senior citizens and children 7-12, children 6 and under free with parent.

Charity preview tickets: $400 (advance purchases only).

Failed alliance talks. Turnaround plans. Buyouts, bloated inventories and a Japanese automaker that just won't stop growing.

After a year of dramatic events that spanned the globe, the auto industry is preparing for next week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit in what figures to be another critical time for the U.S.-based automakers.

Much of the focus in 2006 was on cost-cutting moves, said Kevin Tynan, an analyst who follows the auto industry for New York-based Argus Research Co.

Products will be the story in 2007, Tynan said. After cutting tens of thousands of jobs and laying out plans to shutter factories, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. must show they have cars and trucks that resonate with customers, he said.

"You can only back up for so long and not get knocked out," Tynan said. "At some point, you have to move forward to win the fight. That's where product comes into play. At what point do you step forward and try to win?"

The Detroit show will be a significant marking point for the industry. This year, the show celebrates its 100th anniversary as a Detroit Auto Dealers Association-managed event.

Started as a local showcase of cars, the Detroit show has become an international event attracting more than 6,000 journalists and close to 800,000 visitors. Top executives from every major automaker will lay out their vision for the coming year through news conferences and interviews.

"You have industry leaders here," said Carl Galeana, cochair of the show. "That's what has separated the Detroit show from all the rest around the country. The leadership of the auto industry comes to Detroit whether they're from the Detroit area or not."

The show also provides a spotlight for some of the automakers' most promising new vehicles. More than 50 production or concept vehicles will be unveiled at this year's show for their North American or worldwide debut.

Last year, the rebirth of the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger began at Cobo Hall. Toyota Motor Corp. also unveiled a dramatically redesigned Camry.

"If they have a big product, they want to do it here," Galeana said.

The 2007 show should be another year of both breaking corporate news and major vehicle introductions that provide a preview of the coming year in the auto industry.

A year ago this time, GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner took the floor at Cobo Hall on the heels of what would be a $10.6-billion loss for 2005 and speculation that his job was in jeopardy. Ford was losing money and market share in North America while the Chrysler Group, the Auburn Hills-based unit of DaimlerChrysler AG, was winning new customers.

Heading into this year's auto show, Wagoner seems firmly in control. GM has narrowed its losses and persuaded 35,000 hourly workers to take buyouts. Talks of a global alliance with Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA came and went. So did activist investor Kirk Kerkorian, who sold off his GM stock.

Last year, Ford announced its Way Forward turnaround plan, hired a new CEO and then announced an acceleration of the Way Forward, backed by a financing deal worth up to $25.5 billion. About 38,000 Ford hourly workers took that company's buyout p
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:10 PM
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Default RE: 2007 Detroit Auto Show

Curtain goes up in Motor City
A look at the vehicles to be shown at this year’s Detroit Auto Show

By Bengt Halvorson
Forbes Autos
Updated: 3:55 p.m. CT Jan 5, 2007
Downtown Detroit isn’t exactly the most desirable place to be in January — unless you’re a motorhead or just an average motorist keen on getting a first look at the hottest new vehicles coming this year and beyond.

The North American International Auto Show, as the Detroit show is officially called, remains the top U.S. auto show for its sheer number of important model introductions. Last year the show boasted 70 new vehicles, including many world debuts.

And just like the other major shows, the Detroit show lives a double life. Following the special preview days for media and analysts, 800,000 public attendees will stream through the doors, making it one of the most-visited auto shows anywhere. The show will be open to the public Jan. 13-20 at the downtown Detroit convention center, Cobo Hall. Admission for adults is $12.

Business woes this year for the domestic automakers, combined with weak economic conditions and inflamed gas prices, mean that they’re under a lot of pressure to deliver designs that are going to be a hit with discerning shoppers.

We’ll no doubt see several important trends continue: Manufacturers will keep pushing stylish, car-based SUVs — called crossovers because they’re a sort of cross between a wagon and an SUV — as alternatives to sedans and minivans; sporty niche utility vehicles will hone in on younger, more-finicky buyers; and striking designer interiors, with materials such as brushed aluminum and carbon fiber, and customizable features like LED mood lighting and multimedia entertainment systems will find a place even in the smallest cars.

Here are some of the new vehicles we expect to see at this year’s show:

A few months ago at the Los Angeles auto show, Acura unveiled the future design direction of its sedans with its high-waisted, aggressive Advanced Sedan Concept. In Detroit, Honda’s luxury brand will roll out a similarly named Advanced Sports Car Concept that, according to the company, “provides a glimpse at the next-generation Acura exotic sports car,” presumably one that will fill the void left by the discontinued NSX.

Although it’s no secret that the 2007 BMW 3 Series Convertible will use a folding hardtop system rather than a conventional soft-top, Detroit will mark the public debut for the models, which are expected to arrive later this year. In the U.S. we can expect convertible versions of both the 328i and the twin-turbo 300-hp 335i.

Look for a new Cadillac CTS to be uncovered on the Detroit stand. The sport sedan launched a whole new and much-acclaimed look for Cadillac when it debuted in 2002 and will receive its first major redesign for model year ’08. It should prove to be a significant new model for this embattled American brand that faces steeper competition by the year.

Last year, muscle cars ruled at the Detroit show, with unveilings of the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger concepts as well as the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500. The trend continues this year, with a Chevrolet Camaro convertible concept and a revamped 600-hp Dodge Viper.

Chrysler will show its Nassau wagon concept that, according to the automaker, brings the side silhouette of a British-style “shooting brake” sports car (like a low-slung wagon) and the cargo versatility of an SUV. It’s based on the same platform as Chrysler’s 300 sedan and will likely see production.

Ford will no doubt have several surprises on its stand at Cobo Hall, but as of now, one of the cats is already out of the bag: The automaker will pull the wraps off a high-performance, rear-wheel-drive sedan concept called the Interceptor, based on the Mustang coupe. Lincoln may also show a high-performance sport sedan called the MKR.

The Trailhawk concept that Jeep is plann
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:11 PM
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Big 3 aim to compete with American style
Automakers will put heavy focus on sedans at annual Detroit show



By Roland Jones
Business editor
MSNBC
Updated: 5:06 p.m. CT Jan 5, 2007
After years of losing ground to Asian brands, the Big Three U.S. automakers will roll out a bold array of new vehicles in coming days, aiming to lure buyers back into their showrooms with styles that are manifestly American.

Just like last year, when Chrysler and General Motors displayed “retro” versions of the Dodge Challenger and Camaro to critical acclaim, the overriding theme of this year’s Detroit auto show will be the boldly styled American cars, analysts say.

“This year’s show will be a celebration of the American car — real American cars for real Americans,” said John Wolkonowicz, senior auto analyst for North America at Global Insight, a consulting company. “It’s all about the return of the American car.”

For too long, America’s domestic automakers have created clones of popular Japanese vehicles, hoping to copy the success of Toyota and Honda, which have seen their U.S. sales soar at the expense of GM, Ford and Chrysler, Wolkonowicz said. Now the Big Three are daring to step out of the mold.

“It’s about doing what only the American car companies can do well,” Wolkonowicz said. “They should be creating aggressive cars with attitude and a hint of the golden era of the American car. If you want a Toyota, just buy a Toyota. I think the Big Three have finally figured this out. These will be the cars that get all the excitement in Detroit.”

To win back U.S. share, the Big Three are going to have to reclaim part of the passenger car business. For this reason, one of the most important new car models on display in Detroit will be the redesigned 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, which is intended to compete with the most popular midsize cars — the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

With a wheel base that is three inches longer than the Camry and a modern interior, GM’s new Malibu is drastically different from previous models, which were generally seen as small and boxy. GM hopes the updated model will steal a chunk of the market from the Camry — the top-selling car in the United States for eight of the past nine years.

“This car has a really nice interior, and it doesn’t look cheap. It’s the kind of styling in a midsize sedan we haven’t seen from a domestic manufacturer for quite some time, and so I consider it to be a very significant for GM,” Wolkonowicz said.

Another important GM product to debut in Detroit will be the 2008 Cadillac CTS, which will herald a new design direction for the brand and potentially refashion the image of a Cadillac from an old man’s vehicle to a young person’s car. Cadillac reportedly will add a coupe and wagon to its popular CTS lineup, going up against German rivals BMW and Mercedes.

Ford will be looking to revitalize its troubled Lincoln brand with the MKR concept car, which the company says “expresses Lincoln’s future design strategy.” The car boasts “guilt-free” luxury, according to Ford, including environmentally friendly components and renewable resources such as a re-engineered oak instrument panel, mohair carpet and soy seat foam.

Ford will also show off its Interceptor concept, a car than hearkens back to the sporty elegance and muscle of 1960s sedans. Ford’s head of design J Mays, best known for the 2000 redesign of the Volkswagen Beetle, is responsible for the Interceptor, which Wolkonowicz calls the first truly exciting car that Ford has introduced since the Mustang.


“If Ford is going to succeed, the company needs to cater to people who want to buy a Ford, not the people who want a Toyota, and this is an American car with real swagger,” he said. “There has been some question as to whether Ford’s product development capability was intact, and I think the Interceptor shows it definitely is. They say the
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:13 PM
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Hot event could suggest GM stands for Glamorous Models
January 5, 2007

BY JULIE HINDS

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Celebrities are no strangers to the North American International Auto Show. Celine Dion wowed the charity preview party in 2003. Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives" appeared at last year's unveiling of the Dodge Challenger and Chrysler Imperial.

But this year, General Motors is upping the ante on the fame game.

For a pre-show event Saturday in downtown Detroit, it's bringing in enough famous faces to fill several Escalades.

The event, called GM Style, is an invitation-only gathering for about 1,000 movers and shakers. They'll gather at a pavilion built for the occasion east of the Renaissance Center to see a hip runway show that blends cars, stars and designer fashions.

More than a dozen celebrities will appear, including Jennifer Hudson, whose breakout role in "Dreamgirls" is earning rave reviews, and Mario Lopez, the runner-up on ABC's ratings-hit "Dancing with the Stars."

Others: actresses Vivica A. Fox and Cheryl Hines actor Christian Slater and supermodel Petra Nemcova. Carmen Electra will do her thing, and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel will emcee from the red carpet.

Grammy winner John Legend will perform, and Lady Sovereign will open for him.

Why?

The event seems at first glance like an attempt to make consumers look over here at the celebrities and cool cars and not over there at the realities of what could be another tough year for the domestic auto industry.

But those who track the power of celebrities as a marketing tool say it's more than a diversion. By putting on the show-biz glitz for a night, GM could generate publicity far beyond the gear-head world and boost its image.

It'll get GM exposure on the E! channel, not just CNBC.

"The biggest value is the buzz that it creates," said Michael Bernacchi, marketing professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Even though people are hurting and worried in metro Detroit because of the auto industry's dilemmas, the auto show is a time for razzle-dazzle.

An event this big is "a reason to talk, to discuss, to look," said Bernacchi .

"Good products are No. 1. But you have to create a buzz for the biz and you don't do that by burying cars underground. The auto show is our version of the Oscars."

'A positive way'

GM's move is a "shrewd and savvy decision," said Ken Baker, who chronicles the lives of celebrities as West Coast executive editor of Us Weekly.

In a way, celebrities and their images are brands, just like cars are, according to Baker. .

"Everyone's aware of GM's problems," said Baker. "The more they sex up their brand, that's only going to serve them in a positive way."

The event is expected to be covered by entertainment-news shows like "Extra" and "Entertainment Tonight."

What's the cost of booking all of the celebrities? Baker estimated it could run from half a million to a million dollars (and that was before GM announced Thursday that Legend and several others would join the event).

Spokesmen from GM declined to discuss price.

In some ways, GM Style is a spinoff of the GM Ten event held annually in Los Angeles around Oscar time. At GM Ten events, stars like Longoria, Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Foxx turn out to model and mingle.

Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design, described the debut of GM Style as good not just for the company and the auto show, but for Detroit in general.

He also said it's a good venue for introducing the Camaro convertible concept and for showing off concept cars from GM's global design centers.

Seventeen GM vehicles are to be part of the show, ranging from a Buick LeSabre concept to the Saturn Sky Red Line and the Holden EFIJY.

Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe will work with the celebrities and help them select outfits that complement
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:24 PM
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US: Ford Interceptor concept to debut at Detroit

By Glenn Brooks
2 January, 2007
Source: Automotive World

Ford Division will give the Interceptor concept its world premiere at the Detroit motor show on 7 January.

The four-door Interceptor uses the architecture of the Ford Mustang and is powered by a 400hp (298kW) version of Ford Racing's 'Cammer' 5.0 litre V8 which has been modified to run on E85 ethanol. Drive is to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

Inside, black leather and contrasting metal finishes feature heavily. The dashboard, headliner and thick steering wheel are leather-covered, while the concept's four low-backed bucket seats are wrapped in thick black belt leather with exposed-edge seams and contrasting caramel stitching.

The head restraints deploy from the ceiling and adjust fore and aft, as well as up and down for each occupant, while the audio control panel and climate controls are also stowable when not in use.

The concept incorporates Ford's patented four-point safety belt design in all four seats, with inflatable seatbelts in the rear. Volvo has also shown four point harnesses in its own concept cars in recent years but so far, neither it, nor any other OEM has put them into production.

The Interceptor is 5,121mm long, 1,941mm wide and 1,392mm high. It sits on a 3,068mm wheelbase, which compares to the 3,048mm measurement for the otherwise similarly sized Dodge Charger, the most logical rival for any future Interceptor production version.


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Old 01-05-2007, 06:25 PM
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Default RE: 2007 Detroit Auto Show

Ford Interceptor Concept
The Mustang based Ford Interceptor is a rival to the 300.


Posted: Tuesday, January 2nd 2007 06:01 PM PST
By Editor, Crave Online


Ford will use the Detroit auto show in just over a week to showcase an all-new concept car called the Interceptor. Built on a stretched version of the Mustang platform, the car offers a preview of a four-door rear-wheel drive sedan to compete with the Chrysler 300.


"The Ford Interceptor concept is a pure sedan that speaks to performance car lovers everywhere," said Freeman Thomas, director, North American Strategic Design. "These people might need more space, but they still appreciate the power and attitude that cars like this represent."


Under the hood is a 400 horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 Cammer engine, capable of running on E-85 ethanol. Overall length is 201.6 inches, while wheelbase is 120.8 inches. The car features a number of safety features, including four-point seat-belts and inflatable rear belts. It rides on 22-inch wheels and a solid rear axle.



[IMG]local://upfiles/17/3FF193A5CEB244C2A6C34D39A2F85882.jpg[/IMG]

Looks like the front of this Ford SuperChief concept

[IMG]local://upfiles/17/E8AF38E351C442E59053C29E901F0466.jpg[/IMG]
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For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:34 PM
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Media coverage has started for NAIAS. Camaro convert is getting LOTS of media. Chrysler unveiled updated mini vans..... geeesh.

Other Chrysler unveils come later in the week.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:36 PM
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only a couple days now...
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:02 AM
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That is ugly.[:'(] Ford needs to go on a chrome diet and they need to quit looking like a cross between weird and ugly. It reminds me of the latest crop of GM minivans.

The reason why GM has failed in the minivan market is that they don't put in any effort into it. In 1997, when they came out with the Venture, the then updated Silholette, and Trans Port (Montana), they offered an engine that wasn't among the best in class at that time. Then they waited until 2005 before making any real changes. They were downright dangerous in the crash test. The marketing strategy they used was foolish. The only difference between the Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac vans were the badging and some options. Their minivans were only competitive in the Chevy market but not in the Oldsmobile and Pontiac market. This means that the GM vans would be competitive against Plymouth but not against the Dodge or Chrysler. The problem that has effected GM's latest minivans is that they are very ugly. Again they haven't seperated the Chevy from the Pontiac, Saturn, and Buick models. They should offer their new 6-speed transmission in the newest models as well as the higher tech High Feature engine in the Saturn and Buick model, and the supercharged 3800 III in the Pontiac as an option.

The Windstar was competitive at first. The styling was good, the engine was powerful, and it was about the safest. The problem that the Windstar had was it was plagued with severe transmission problems and numerous head gasket failures. The second generation failed because of the bad reputation the Windstar emerged from these problems. Many of the first generation also plagued the second generation. The engine had fallen behind in power as had the transmission. The Chrysler 3.8L was more powerful than the Ford 3.8L when the Grand Caravan was updated in 2001. By the time they made the Freestar, Ford's image had been damaged. Ford needs a more powerful V6 family that both more fuel efficient and is more reliable than the 3.8L/3.9L/4.2L.
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