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DOES ASPHALT DISAPPEAR IN AMERICA?

This question may well be asked by an inexperienced visitor to the Detroit auto show. Pickups based on all-terrain vehicles, all-terrain vehicles made from pickups (both of them are called here “sport utilities”), just all-wheel drive monsters are the main types of the theater of overseas novelties.

Anatoly FOMIN

Let's start with the biggest troupe. General Motors delighted with an incredible amount of concept cars: from a compact (by American terms) Saturn CV 1 mini van with an original accordion door to the astonishing dimensions of a GM Terradine pickup with four leading and controlled wheels. However, not they, but Buick-Lacrosse is the quintessence of Americanism. Imagine a luxurious sedan with classic American forms, a powerful eight-cylinder engine, which, in one word, turns into a pickup truck. No jokes. A computer with a speech recognition function gives the command to the electric drives - and a huge transparent sunroof leaves under the rear window, and then with it under the trunk lid. After which the latter takes the place of the roof, and a new, vertical glass "grows" out of the back of the rear seat. In about the same way, Lacrosse transforms into a two-seater pickup truck with a cargo area nearly 2.5 meters long. The dream of the Yankees to combine a prestigious sedan with a truck in one car came true, albeit in an experimental car.

The General Motors Precept concept car, resembling the pre-war Tatra 77, is characterized by a phenomenally low aerodynamic drag coefficient (Cx = 0.163) and is equipped with a hybrid propulsion system of a 40 kW turbocharged diesel engine, two electric motors of 35 and 10 kW and a lithium battery pack. Managing a hybrid drivetrain is so complex that it required the Pentium II-266 processor. But it’s 80 miles per gallon of fuel (3.8 liters), that is, "Present", according to European standards, is a three-liter car.

Another novelty has a more than controversial appearance and essence: Pontiac Aztec is a hybrid of a four-wheel drive car with a minivan and almost a camper, the back of which turns into a double tent. However, this heir to last year’s concept is a very real machine that will go on sale in the fall of 2000. The engine is the only one: a transverse V6 with a volume of 3.4 liters and a capacity of 136 kW / 185 liters. with. Cheaper equipment will be with front-wheel drive only.

For dessert, a small sensation from General Motors and AM General (producer of the well-known Hammer). This couple has established a joint venture to produce "civilian" modifications and … the new "Hammer N-2", intended only for peaceful use. The car will retain the structural design, strength and patency of its predecessor, but it will be much lighter, slightly shorter and already half as much cheaper. According to marketing experts, this will increase demand by at least five times. The project has been given a green street, and if everything goes well, then in 2002 the new product will appear at dealers.

Despite the obvious superiority of General Motors in numerical terms, Ford clearly exceeded all in terms of avant-garde decisions. The 24.7 family of concept cars (as the creators hint at meeting their needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) will certainly never see the conveyor, but some of the solutions may soon go into production. For example, a purely “virtual” instrument cluster: its image is projected onto a flat panel, allowing you to choose a composition of your choice or even make your own version and load it into the car’s computer memory. Another concept - Ford Equator is not so unrealistic and is aimed at a new segment of the extreme off-road vehicle market, where the Hammer ball rules.

In addition to the world's largest all-terrain vehicle Ford-Based, created on the basis of the F-350 pickup truck, the lighter Ford-Expedition (based on the F-150), customers are offered the well-known Explorer, including a shortened three-door version and .. A completely new Ford Escape with a supporting body, independent suspension of all wheels and a powerful three-liter engine - a combination that no one has yet proposed. However, the newcomer will not be alone - the Mazda Tribute (Tokyo-99 premiere) under slightly different body panels hides the same thing.

Today, the Swedish Volvo is also rightly attributed to the Ford tribe. It would seem, what can surprise a company whose conservatism has almost become a parable. However, in the new Volvo V70 and V70XC, it’s almost impossible to recognize previous cars. In style, they are much closer to the executive S80 than to their ancestor - the 850 model.

The transnational Daimler-Chrysler could not remain indifferent to the millennium and rolled out four concepts, each of them has a chance to see the future with slight changes. The Chrysler 300 Chemi S, a luxurious four-seater convertible with an eight-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive, should revive the former glory of the 1957 Chrysler 300C and the heavy-duty Chemi engine with a hemispherical combustion chamber. It is interesting that not only the appearance of the car is stylized here, but also the engine design! Previous design solutions are implemented at a new technological level. The Dodge McCab presents the look of a pickup truck in the new millennium: a higher forward-mounted cabin, independent suspension of all wheels and “priority for passengers”.

Jeep Varsity is a compromise between a city car and an SUV. The five-door hatchback with a full body drive, all-wheel drive, a highly accelerated small (in American terms) 3.5-liter engine and driving performance of a car illustrates the process that is opposite to what Subaru once proposed with its Legacy Outback.

Now is the time to take a look at the new Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes-Benz-SLA concept has a good chance in the market. Created on aggregates

A-class, compact front-wheel drive roadster has excellent dynamics, accelerating to 100 km / h in less than 8 s with a very modest engine rated at 92 kW / 125 l. with. The secret is simple - the mass of the car is only 950 kg. The average fuel consumption of less than 8 l / 100 km is also impressive compared to other open Mercedes.

The real "show stopper" in Detroit was the conceptual pickup Volkswagen-AAS. An unusually elegant silhouette for a pickup truck, a memorable appearance, a 10-cylinder turbodiesel with a working volume of 5 liters with pump nozzles, an independent suspension with the ability to control ride height over a wide range (280–390 mm), a six-speed hydromechanical “automatic machine” with the possibility of manual switching - here only a fraction of his new products.

The most prestigious Honda models are traditionally sold in the United States under the Akura brand. In the near future, the all-terrain Acura MD-X will be added to them.

The most significant new Toyota product is the Sequoia all-terrain vehicle, which is even bigger than the Land Cruiser 100, and it is being prepared for release in the USA. In size, the novelty is approximately between the Chevrolet Tahoe and the Ford Expedition, but in terms of internal volume it is superior to both.

In American spaces, even traditionally small cars grow to unusual sizes. Who would have thought that the Suzuki will roll out a concept car to the public

XL-6 - a full-size SUV with a V-shaped "six".

The American economy is on the rise, and all car manufacturers are vying with each other to try to tear themselves off a bigger piece. The demand for pickups and “sport utility” seems limitless - because the picture presented to journalists in Detroit is so dramatically different from the European one.

The doors of Saturn CV 1 rotate perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the machine, opening wide openings.

Saturn CV 1 Saturn CV 1

GMC Terradyne GMC Terradyne

Buick LaCrosse Buick LaCrosse

General Motors Precept GM Precept

"Hammer N-2" Hummer H-2

Pontiac Aztec Pontiac Aztec

Ford Equator Ford Equator

Ford Excursion Ford Excursion

Ford 24.7 Ford 24.7

Ford Escape Ford Escape

Chrysler 300 Hemi C Chrysler 300 Hemi C

Jeep Varsity

Dodge McCab Dodge MAXXcab

Mercedes-Benz SLA Mercedes-Benz SLA

"Volvo V70 XC" Volvo V70 XC

Acura MD-X Acura MD-X

Toyota Sequoia Toyota Sequoia

Suzuki XL-6 Suzuki XL-6

Hyundai Santa Fe Hyundai Santa Fe

"Lexus LS 430" Lexus LS 430

Volkswagen AAC Volkswagen AAC

BMW 323i Cabrio BMW 323i Cabrio

"Subaru Outback Sedan" Subaru Outback Sedan