'06 Range Rover Sport
Land Rover is at it again, this time preparing to launch its fifth nameplate for the Range Rover brand. Unveiled in January 2004 at the North American International Auto Show, the entirely new Range Rover Sport will hit U.S. showrooms in summer 2005. The new model is said to feature excellent on-road driving characteristics delivered through Land Rover's new Dynamic Response suspension system and performance-tuned chassis. The new system, which makes its debut on the Range Rover Sport, is designed to sense cornering forces and affectively optimize body control and handling. The system also affords the ability to decouple when off-road, to allow greater wheel articulation.
Affixed with an aerodynamic exterior design, the five-door Range Rover Sport includes a premium engine offering in the form of a supercharged 390hp 4.2L V-8. A normally aspirated V-8 engine option will also be available. Pricing and more detailed specifications about the vehicle will be announced closer to the vehicle launch date, but it's expected to be positioned between the new LR3 and Range Rover. For more information about the new Range Rover Sport, contact: www.landroverusa.com.
DaimlerChrysler and GM to Develop Hybrid Propulsion Systems
In a cooperative effort that's said to advance the state of hybrid technology, DaimlerChrysler AG and General Motors Corporation plan to work together to develop a two-mode full-hybrid propulsion architecture for use in GM, Chrysler, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Some of the intended designs include rear- and front-wheel-drive versions for cars, trucks, and SUVs. The new systems are expected to improve acceleration performance, in addition to significantly improving vehicle fuel economy and range. The two-mode full-hybrid drive system differs from the typical single-mode systems, which rely on much larger electric motors. This makes packaging more efficient, as the two-mode systems function using compact and powerful electric motors designed to fit within the approximate space of a conventional transmission. GM will be the first to offer the new technology in a vehicle when it plans to launch full-hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon in late 2007. Mercedes-Benz will focus on high-tech hybrid propulsion systems in rear-wheel-drive passenger cars in the luxury segment. Chrysler will offer a variety of hybrids, but its first application using the new two-mode system will be in the Dodge Durango.
Toyota Tacoma Off-Road Challenge
Toyota played host to scads of motorcycle enthusiasts in 2004 by presenting the 24th Annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows, which made stops throughout the U.S. At select locations, Toyota invited showgoers to take part in the Tacoma Off-Road Challenge, a purpose-built off-road course with a steep-hill climb, muddy ditches, off-camber situations, and other obstacles. The course was designed to demonstrate the off-road capability of the '05 Toyota Tacoma and give show attendees an opportunity to put this capability to the test. Also taking part in the event was off-road racing legend Ivan "Ironman" Stewart, who was on hand to discuss the new Tacoma, as well as offer off-road-driving tips while traversing the course.