Acura - The big news at Acura this year is the all-new 3.2TL, the completely redesigned, performance/luxury sedan. Included in the upgrades are the new 225-horsepower, 3.2-liter VTEC V6 engine with sequential Sportshift automatic transmission, dramatic new interior and exterior styling, all-new chassis and suspension and the optional Acura Navigation System. Although the Integra Coupe RS model has been discontinued, the LS, GS, GS-R and Type R models remain with minor upgrades for 1999. The 2.3/3.0CL adds a leather-trimmed interior, a trunk-mounted cargo net and heated seats as standard. Lastly, more than 400 modifications have been made to the 1999 3.5RL including new exterior styling, a refined interior, larger disc brakes and the improved Acura Navigation System.
Audi - Making headlines for Audi this season is both the A6 Avant sedan and wagon with completely new styling, longer wheelbases and improved equipment levels. The A6 is exclusively equipped with Quattro AWD and a Tiptronic automatic transmission. Plans are also underway for the production of an A6 with a manual gearbox. Also added to the 1999 lineup is the A4 1.8 T Avant, which is replacing the 2.8 Avant front-wheel-drive wagon. The A4 will be available in two drivetrain configurations, offering an optional sport steering wheel with Tiptronic controls. The 1999 A8 will include a standard CD changer and offer a premium leather package, performance tires and a new exterior color.
BMW - Just about every model will receive upgrades for BMW's 1999-model year. The debut of the all-new 1999 3-Series and the new 528i and 540i sport-wagons should be real showstoppers. The first 3-Series models are the six-cylinder, four-door 323i and the 328i sedans. Both have new athletic lines, roomier interiors and more powerful engines. The 323i sedan is the lowest-priced six-cylinder car in its class and is powered by a 2.5-liter, 170-horsepower engine. The 328i has the largest brakes in its class and a 193-horsepower-inspired, 0-60 mph acceleration time of only 6.6 seconds. The all-new 528i sport-wagon is powered by a 2.8-liter, 193-horsepower, 24-valve incline six-cylinder engine. The 540i sport-wagon features a 4.4-liter, 282-horsepower, 32-valve V8 engine and standard 5-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.
Honda - The big news for Honda this year is the new Odyssey minivan. This seven-passenger minivan's 201.2-inch length and 68.5-inch height makes it as large as any minivan in its class. In addition, the new Odyssey is equipped with three-point safety belts, dual air bags, anti-lock braking, security immobilizer systems and a powerful 24-valve, fuel-injected V6 engine. Lastly, the Odyssey EX includes dual-power sliding doors, a first in minivans. All other Honda models are carry-overs with minor changes and face-lifts.
Hyundai - There are two noteworthy upgrades in the 1999 Hyundai lineup. The new 1999 Sonata has an all-aluminum V6 engine with a sporty, wishbone front suspension and a new quieter, larger cabin. The 1999 Elantra has changes to the appearance of the front and rear, and has a new, larger 2.0-liter engine.
Infiniti - A fourth model has been added to Infiniti's lineup of luxury performance vehicles with the July introduction of the 1999 Infiniti G20. A 140-horsepower, 16-valve, dual overhead cam, four-cylinder engine powers the new G20, and a new cross-engine mount system reduces idle vibration and acceleration noise. The G20 comes fully-equipped in a choice of standard or touring models. The only major options are the automatic transmission and the leather and convenience packages. The G20 joins the flagship Q45 luxury performance sedan, 130 luxury sedan and the QX4 sport-utility vehicle, which are all carried over from the 1998-model year.
lsuzu - The Oasis lineup gets tuned-up a bit with a six-passenger option available on the S trim level, including second-row captain's chairs, alloy wheels, roof rack and keyless entry. The Oasis LS model has been dropped for the 1999-model year. The 1999 Hombre features a revised bumper face-lift and a new third door available on the Spacecab models. Also, the steering hub has been redesigned housing a new, smaller air bag. The Trooper has also had some minor changes and upgrades, including the keyless entry system and a new luxury package, lsuzu will also be launching the Amigo hardtop later this year.
Jaguar - The 1999-model year lineup at Jaguar includes the XJ-Series sedans and the XK8 convertible and coupe sports cars. Some of the upgrades made to these models are a new version of the AJ-V8 engine, new front disc brakes on the XJR, two new exterior colors to both the Vanden Plas and XK8 convertible coupe, and now the XK8 is available with a beige convertible hood.
Kia - This summer Kia introduced the all-new 1999 Kia Sportage two-door convertible. This new model is based on the four-door Sportage and combines off-road capabilities with open-air motoring. The Sportage two-door convertible features a ISO-horsepower, 2.0-liter dual overhead cam engine. The 16-valve engine develops 127 lb-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The Sportage two-door convertible is offered in two configurations, the 4x2 with automatic transmission and the 4x4 with manual transmission.
Lexus - After launching five new models since last September, Lexus enters the 1999-model year with a strong lineup. The 1999 Lexus ES 300 receives a new drivetrain that is exclusive to Lexus, a new active control engine mount, standard electronic traction control and optional vehicle skid control. The RX 300, introduced as a 1999 model in March, offers SUV buyers ground clearance and the utility of an SUV with the ride and comfort of a luxury car, while the LX 470 offers off- road capability, with on-road luxury. The 1999 SC 300 and SC 400 sport coupes have been upgraded with several new luxury, safety and environmental enhancements, including standard truck-mounted six-disk CD auto changer, carpeted floor mats, daytime running lights, a digital sound processor and automatic audio control.
Mazda - This year Mazda has an all-new Miata with 140 horsepower, a more muscular, aggressive body and a new folding-glass rear window. The new 1999 Protege compact sedan has crisp, European-inspired styling, new triple-H construction for safety, more power and is considered to be the roomiest in its class. Also new this summer is the V-Series Cab Plus 4 which is the first import brand pickup truck with four doors.
Mercedes-Benz - Two new models join the Mercedes line - the CLK320 Cabriolet and the CLK430 coupe. Both are powered by a 3.2-liter, 215-horsepower, SOHC V-6 engine or with the optional new generation, 4.3-liter, 275-horsepower, SOHC V8 engine. The previous engine of the C230 is replaced with the supercharged 2.3-liter engine of the SLK roadster. All C-Class sedans have standard leather seating surfaces, and an optional sport package is available on the C230 Kompressor and the C280. E-Class sedans and wagons offer a new Windowbag inflatable side-impact curtain and the SL500 and SL600 receive both interior and exterior updates.
Mitsubishi - The big news for Mitsubishi is the all-new 1999 Galant mid-size sedan, featuring a stylish new exterior design, a roomy, driver-oriented interior, a revised 2.4-liter SOHC 16V four- cylinder engine and the new 3.0-liter SOHC, 24-valve V6 engine. The Montero Sport Limited is a new model with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, chrome grill, fog lights, integrated side steps and a leather- trimmed interior. The 3000GT gets aggressive new styling, the VR-4 has a unique new rear spoiler and the Eclipse GS coupe is available with a new sports value package, making it similar to the turbo models.
Nissan - The biggest news for Nissan this year is the all-new 1999 Quest with new rear driver side sliding door, 3.3-liter SOHC engine, standard ABS and more cargo volume than the previous Quest. Other 1999-model year highlights include a new limited edition option package available on Sentra GXE models including such upgrades as an AM/FM/CD audio system and remote keyless entry. The SE models will also have the remote keyless entry as a standard feature. The Altima continues into the 1999-model year as a carry-over following the introduction of a new design in 1998. The Maxima has a few changes, including five new exterior colors and an ignition immobilizer for enhanced security. The Frontier was new for the 1998-model year and received few changes for 1999. One upgrade available on the four-wheel-drive K/C Frontier model is the 3.3-liter V6 engine.
Saab - The 1999 upgrades and changes at Saab include a new 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo HOT engine, standard on Saab 9-3 SE models with manual transmission. Also on the 9-3 models are revised manual transmission gear ratios for improved low-speed driveability and other minor updates as new ceiling headliner, new cupholders and two new colors. The Saab 9-5 features two new colors and safety upgrades which include new side air bags, new seat belts and ventilated seats with active headrests that minimize whiplash. A new luxury station wagon will also be added to the 9-5 line.
Subaru — Many models have received improvements in order to separate Subaru from the rest. The Impreza has a new 2.5-liter SOHC engine, a new front end, a new sports tailpipe and new leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The Forester has a new 2.5-liter SOHC engine, new four-speed automatic transmission, revised five-speed manual transmission, enhanced structural safety features and new exterior and interior designs. New for 1999 is the Legacy Sport Utility Sedan —joining the Outback family as a more formal addition to the Outback wagons. The Legacy SUS offers off-road capability with the comfort and convenience of a refined sedan.
Suzuki — For the first time, American Suzuki Motor Corporation offers a 2.5-liter, 24-valve, 4-cam, V6 engine in its all-new Grand Vitara, making it the most powerful sport-utility vehicle in its class. This new sport-utility vehicle, replacing the Sidekick, has 155 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 160-lb-ft torque at 4,000 rpm. The Vitara utilizes a 60-degree "V" design that delivers high output and low weight, providing the best possible weight distribution for excellent off-road handling. The Vitara is available in either two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive configurations.
Toyota - Toyota has just introduced the all-new Toyota Tundra full-size pickup. It offers a roomier interior, four doors, all-new sheet metal and a chassis that is larger, considerably stronger and more rigid. This vehicle sets a new standard for handling, ride comfort and interior noise isolation. The Tundra's 4.7-liter engine will be the first double overhead cam, 32-valve V8 ever offered in the segment, and the first V8 engine to achieve a low emission classification from the EPA. Also, the engine will deliver approximately 250 horsepower, the strength of 350 lb-ft of torque and a maximum lowing capacity of 7,200 pounds. The Tundra comes with the option of a V8 or V6 engine, two- or four-wheel-drive, two-door regular cabin with an eight-foot bed, or a four-door access cab with a six-and-a-half-foot bed.
Volkswagen - The 1999-model year brings Volkswagen consumers the new 1999 EuroVan. The EuroVan features a V6 engine and more safety properties. It is available in the GLS and Multivan models and employs a six-cylinder engine. The engine's peak torque of 177 lb-ft at 3,200 revolutions per minute and its maximum horsepower of 140 at 4,500 rpm allows the EuroVan to carry nearly 1,000 pounds of cargo. The EuroVan comes with a variety of options and packages. The optional weekender package for the EuroVan MV combines the day-to-day functionality of the EuroVan GLS with the adventurous overnight capabilities of the EuroVan Camper. Features include the pop-up roof with two-person bed and fully-swiveling captain seats. The combination of front-wheel-drive, low-speed traction control and four-wheel ABS disk brakes ensures that the EuroVan driver has handling and control, characteristics found in all Volkswagens.
Volvo - This year Volvo introduces "the exciting safe choice" - the S80, a luxury sedan that combines safety innovation with striking style and comfort. Some of the new safety features include the Inflatable Curtain, which protects passengers from being partially thrown out through a side window; the Whiplash Protection System, an entirely new seat concept in which the backrest and head restraint shift backwards in a parallel movement during rear-end collisions; and the new Stability and Traction Control System, a regulation system which provides invaluable road grip by monitoring the relationship between the wheels and the road surface. The S80 will also have three different alarm levels with functions and sensors of different types. The new engine design features a 2.9-liter six-cylinder engine that puts out 201 bhp at 6,000 rpm with maximum torque of 207 lb-ft at 4,300 rpm. Ninety percent of the components are new compared with previous Volvo six-cylinder engines.