WSJ:Bag It or Build It? — Upcoming Models — AcuraZine Community

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WSJ:Bag It or Build It? — Models

Bag It or Build It?

Readers Get a to Vote

On the Auto Maker’s

The world’s car makers spent of the past week in frigid trying to float trial in the form of concept show Which ones will aloft?

In honor of the New Year and the new season, I’d like to you to play, Bag It or Build It.

BAG IT OR BUILD IT

on which1 of the concept vehicles the Detroit auto show become a reality. And join a about whether auto are in touch with what want.

I’ll run down the and cons of some of the concept that several auto are showing off at the big North American Auto Show in Detroit – is for cars and trucks what is to electronics. These show – some literally fiberglass and others working prototypes – in production, and may never be. Their is to provoke a response from and the press that car makers can into their future decisions.

In some cases, the Volkswagen New Beetle, the enthusiasm for a car is so strong that company decide to put the model into as fast as possible. Other cars will never be than that – either cost-effective technology to make real doesn’t exist or their likely sales justify an investment. Their is to generate buzz in the motoring and that’s it. Some show are just bombs and everyone tries to forget about

So here we go with a selection this season’s crop. you’re ready, cast vote to Bag It or Build It.

Chevy

Back in 1954, Chevrolet came up with a show car the Nomad that combined the and frame of a Corvette with a back. The result was the ultimate mobile. Chevy eventually real Nomad wagons you can find for sale on the Internet

The new Nomad concept car GM created for the show is much smaller those older cars. built on a chassis that’s a down version of the rear building blocks for the new Corvette, GM executives have code-named GM’s brass are very about the Kappa architecture it offers a relatively inexpensive way for GM to small, light and inexpensive drive cars that can be to create buzz for a brand gone bland. The Pontiac roadster, which GM showed as a car two years ago, is now headed production on the Kappa underpinnings.

The Nomad is what a Solstice look like if it had a cargo fanny pack — and a bowtie badge.

Pros: A funky wagon might be the ticket for attracting young to Chevy – or more likely, crisis types looking for different to flog during the commute route.

Cons: A Nomad would probably not the show car’s 250 horsepower four-cylinder engine. And the car’s not big, making it impractical for who have serious loads or

Volkswagen Concept T

Back in the of the Old Volkswagen Beetle, a popular way to the dowdy little basic car was to it into a dune buggy, fat tires and an open air body.

Volkswagen, which needs a in the arm while it awaits the arrival of versions of its best-selling U.S. wants to generate some with a show car that’s a between a Dune Buggy and an crossover sport-utility vehicle. The T is the factory-sanctioned Dune Buggy VW never made.

Pros: An coupe with in-your-face might be just what needs to connect with Y the way it connected with Generation X. All vehicles don’t have to be wagons in disguise. Hats off to California design studio.

Cons: But seriously, does the want a strange looking drive sports car that can vault over dunes?

FTX Truck

Sure, Toyota got a lot of last week with hybrid versions of the Toyota and Lexus RX330 sport wagons, due to reach these later this year. But the Big and I mean Big, is a show aimed at giving the public a to the intentions Toyota has for a Big Pickup it plans to start building in at a new factory in Texas.

The FTX is a brutish designed, Toyota officials to conjure up images of a fist. It in complete contrast to the Green Toyota projects with the and Prius hybrid vehicles. The FTX is for an entirely different audience those socially conscious Toyota is well aware its current large pickup, the is dismissed by a lot of serious pickup as too small and too wimpy. The FTX serves that Toyota wants to run the Big Dogs.

Pros: A Toyota big enough for Texas: What be wrong with that?

This thing looks a Dodge Ram with testosterone Who wants to drive around in a

Honda SUT

Speaking of pickup guess who wants into market after years of that pickup trucks weren’t its bag? Honda. The maker last week the wraps off the much-anticipated show of its Sport Utility Truck, or Yes, you are familiar with idea from the Chevrolet which basically is a Chevy SUV with the back roof off to create a pickup bed. The big with the Honda SUT is that the vehicle is a crossover SUV, on a chassis and mechanical components to a Honda Pilot. That the ride will be softer, but the utility in terms of towing will be less than the Avalanche.

Pros: The Honda SUT could be the Suburban Cowboy’s pickup – a smoother ride and lots of for the kids and their dirt in back.

Cons: If you want a truck, get a real one that can tow a This is a 21st Century with better quality and safety features.

Ford Cobra and Chrysler ME 412

Finally, look at a pair of supercar vehicles from two of Detroit’s challenged players, both of are counting on 2004 to be a big comeback


The Ford Shelby Cobra car is a 605 horsepower, V-10 powered sports car that shares components with the production of the Ford GT. The Shelby also the return to the Ford family of Shelby, the legendary hot-rod responsible for the original Shelby and other mouth-watering muscle

If Ford actually built a car the Shelby Cobra concept it probably come along time after the Ford GT into production and established. But and Chief Executive Officer Ford sure seemed to the car when he showed it off last his previous image as an environmentalist and vehicle enthusiast notwithstanding.

Why not build a V-10 muscle car the Ford GT has run its course? Ford to spread the cost of the GT project another model. Carroll fans get another toy in the garage.

The concept Cobra’s styling is successful at reminding you of how much and nimbler the original looked. And the of a V-10 American muscle named after a snake exactly original.

Vying for and aahs at the Detroit show is ME 412, a 12-cylinder ultra car DaimlerChrysler executives say is a functioning capable of surging from 0 to 60 per hour in 2.9 seconds. At which the occupant travels backward in to meet Marty McFly and Berry.

If you didn’t know Chrysler was run by Germans with an to demonstrate to their rivals home that they know how to make a real sports car, the mid-engined ME 412 put you straight. It’s what a Carrera GT would look if Chrysler built one.

Pros: It sure would … parked next to the

Cons: Who in the world needs a car that can go 0 to 60 in under three Chrysler should concentrate on up with more affordable and sedans that real would want to buy.

* * *

So, them or bag them? You be the judge. here,4 or send me an e-mail. report the results in a couple of

• Send comments about on the Road to joseph.white@wsj.com 5.

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