Cars n' Stars: How to Name Year 2000 Models, Coulthard Dumps On Schumacher, Neat New Cars.
28 April 1998
For some time there has been speculation in the auto making creative community as to just how the car companies are going to "model year identify" the cars coming in 2000. A 2000 Lexus or 2000 Taurus LX sounds like a reference to motor size or cubic centimeters, or something. Just doesn't ring the same way as 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier. Now, we think Lincoln may have solved this dilemma by putting the 2000 (year) behind the model name as in Lincoln LS 2000. It debuts to the press next week at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. In F-1 activity David Coulthard, McLaren driver, leveled a blast at former World Champion Michael Schumacher last week, as he referred to their banging incident in Argentina. David said, "Formula One bosses should stamp out the win-at-all-costs attitude of Schumacher before someone gets hurt." The F-1 kiddies are getting ready for this weekends San Marino race at Imola, and Schumacher says he is confident they finally have his Ferrari dialed in and that tyres will be important. Jacques Villenueve has been testing at Jerez, Spain, and said that a major modification has been made to his car and it is now about at its limit. In Toyota Atlantic activity, Anthony Lazzaro hit the wall at Nazareth in his MCI sponsored car, and team owner Cal Wells has withdrawn the entry until they can find out more about what failed on the race car. Features on some newer 1998 vehicles: Audi A4 Avant is powered by a 2.8 liter V6 200 hp motor with 30 valves and has a five speed automatic Tiptronic gearbox available. It has all-wheel drive, ABS, 15 inch alloy wheels, 12 way power front seats and a sunroof. This sleek looking wagon seats five and has 63.7 cu.ft of cargo space with the rear seat folded. What's most noticeable on this line of cars, which has long been noted for their conservative approach to exterior styling cues, is the range of "far-out" new colors such as: Melange metallic, Santorin Blue Mica and Hibiscus Red Mica. Audi's have a three year, 50,000 mile warranty.MSRP is $32,000. The 1998 Ford Mustang Convertible doesn't seem to have changed much outwardly and we have to give Ford gold stars for not referring to the unchanged '98 press materials as... "all new makeover for the Mustang," etc True they have upgraded a few things such as adding polished aluminum wheels and a premium sound system. The standard mill is a 3.8 liter V6 with 150 hp and the GT model gets a V8 225 hp 4.6 liter motor. The car finally gets cup holders and a Securi-lock security system that boast 72 million-billion possible codes. That's to keep the bad guys busy. The convert has four-wheel disc brakes, EZ opening electric top..two snaps and it's locked. The EPA for the V6 five speed manual AND the automatic are identical. 20 city. 30 highway. The V6 stickers at $22,000. Isuzu Trooper for 1998 is more powerful . . . 13 more hp than last year with its V6, 213.2ci aluminum motor. The Asian automaker is proud of the new engine as it is virtually bullet proof and sports platinum spark plugs with a life of 100,000 miles. The other high point for the new Isuzu Trooper is its Borg Warner torque on demand drive system. The TOD system allows shift-on-the-fly and will be a boon to genuine, dyed in the wool, for real, off roaders, whoever you are. Though the Trooper is and always has been "truck-like," it does sport creature comforts such as power steering, cruise control, six-speaker stereo system and electric defoggers,rear foot rests. On the outside and at the rear it is shades of cars of the 1930s with side (fender) mounted spare tires as the new Trooper has hard spare tire cover, color keyed to the vehicles body color mounted on the rear door. And it looks real George ! MSRP for the 1998 Isuzu Trooper is $26,550 and EPA is a not too impressive 16-19 mpg. Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel