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2000 Motor City Auto Show - The Circus Comes To Town

Jeep Varsity
Tori Tellem | Writer
Posted May 1, 2000

Concepts, Production Models, Rumors, Lies, And Truths For 2000 And Beyond

Detroit. You probably know it best for its cars and its cold, especially if you've never been there. But, for a couple of days a year, it's all autos, all the time. The auto show takes over, and the city buzzes with unveilings. Journalists from every crack and crevice of the world come to see what automakers from around the globe are showing off for the new model years. They also reveal cars and trucks that they think no other manufacturer could ever drum-up the brain cells to conceptualize (hey, buddy, look to your left). While there are a few other shows that are snagging some of the glory from Detroit-both Los Angeles and Chicago presented a handful of these anticipated vehicles-Motor City is still the biggest of the big. So here they are, the trucks and SUVs that resulted in the most gasps and hmms. And remember-don't send those cards and letters to us. It's the manufacturers that need to know what you think of these creations.

Meet Its Maker: Jeep.

What's So Good About It? There's Wrangler and Grand Cherokee inspiration. Varsity, capable be thy middle name. There's four-wheel drive, a transfer case with low range, and a built-in compass and altimeter.

Notables: Behind that familiar grille lurk independent front and rear suspension and the label "heavy-duty car," given by its birth parent.

Also included: A 3.5L V-6 that supposedly scoots to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, an automatic four-speed transmission, a backbone-style center console, a symmetrical instrument panel with large gauges and yellow-green backlights, and a custom setup of short and long arms and coilover shocks. The news in inches: 19x9 wheels, 109.6-inch wheelbase, 911/42 inches of ground clearance, and 28.4-inch front and 28.3-inch rear overhang.

Food for Thought: What?! This might be the redesigned Jeep Cherokee?
Status: Concept.

Meet Its Maker: Dodge.
What's So Good About It? It's considered a Passenger Priority Truck. They say "the Dodge MAXXcab is the first pickup truck to give the highest priority to the passengers," so it doubles as an office and a hauler. But just because its focus is on making passengers happy, it's still a truck-a 11/42-ton with a 52.7-inch longbed that's 24 inches deep and 56.7 inches wide, to be exact.

Notables: Try this on for size: "a luxurious front cabin with cream pillow-top leather-tailored seats, a sports-sedan-style instrument panel with brushed aluminum details, navy door inserts, adjustable pedals, and a child-focused rear cabin." Translation: In the back is a DVD player, Internet access, and a handheld sketch pad. The driver's "infotronic" system is equipped to handle office-type data, and the center console is geared for a laptop. Under the hood is a 4.7L Next Generation Magnum V-8 matched to a multispeed auto tranny for 238 ponies and 295 lb-ft of torque. Also worth mentioning: an independent front suspension with torsion bars, a custom design of independent short and long arms with coil-over-shocks at the rear, 18x11 wheels, 33-inch rubber, and a wheelbase of 132.3 inches.

Food for Thought: Um, what happened to the Power Wagon?
Status: Concept.

Meet Its Maker: Subaru.
What's So Good About It? The Subaru Truck X-perimental has a supercharged, intercooled 2.5L V-6 boxer engine and a 5511/42-inch longbed that can extend forward another 2011/42 inches (that's 76 inches without a bed extender!).

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