THE ENTHUSIAST’S GUIDE TO LIFE BEHIND THE WHEEL VOLUME 4 NUMBER 4 J U L Y- A U G U S T 2 0 0 5 MINI Cooper S Convertible Also... HONDA RIDGELINE Honda reinvents the pickup truck VEHICLES • EQUIPMENT • SAFETY • PERFORMANCE • MAINTENANCE • MOTORSPORTS • EVENTS • DESTINATIONS • ATTRACTIONS THE ENTHUSIAST’S GUIDE TO LIFE BEHIND THE WHEEL CONTENTS JULY-AUGUST 2005 TEEN DRIVERS BMW Adventure Training, Adventure Trips................18 Safety, performance, skills and fun are all part of the same package, and these courses and tours from BMW are a great place to get them all in one package. TEST DRIVE MINI Cooper S Convertible .....................................20 A Take one red-hot, popular little über-car, dress it up to the Cooper S level of performance and trim, then drop the top and what do you get? This little open-air funmobile. By Barbara and Bill Schaffer, Joe Sage TEST DRIVE Honda Ridgeline: Honda Reinvents the Pickup ..........26 B The full-size pickup truck is one of the most popular, venerable and universally similarly executed vehicles on the market. Till now. Honda steps back and starts over. By Barbara and Bill Schaffer, Joe Sage T H E ARIZONARIDER E N T H U S I A S T ’ S G U I D E T O L I F E O N T W O W H E E L S MOTORCYCLE EQUIPMENT Buell XB Accessories ..............................................32 As complete as the 2005 Buell lineup of XB Lightning and Firebolts bikes already is, the factory offers key gear and upgrade parts to make any of them that much better. EQUIPMENT Bridgestone Potenza™ RE92A™ for new Eclipse .......38 TRACK TIME Track Time in the Porsche Carrera GT ..................... 40 C Not everybody gets their hands on a half-million-dollar limited-production Porsche, much less track time in one, but here we do. Start saving—you’re going to want one. By Bill Schaffer DEPARTMENTS FROM THE PUBLISHER : START YOUR ENGINES .................................4 CAR SMARTS : QUIZ ......................................................................7 AUTO NEWS UPDATE ...................................................................10 DESTINATION DIRECTORY.............................................................24 MOTOR RESOURCES DIRECTORY ...................................................30 THE INSIDE TRACK: BRIEFS & RUMORS ...........................................36 UPCOMING FEATURES..................................................................42 C A B - COVER: MINI Cooper S Convertible. Photo courtesy BMW of North America, LLC. START YOUR ENGINES : FROM THE PUBLISHER ize matters! So they say. So this month we have a couple of vehicles to S report on, each of which has a size factor of sorts. The MINI speaks for itself—small. However, any convertible adds hundreds of pounds compared to a vehicle’s hardtop weight, with the frame and body member adaptations MAGAZINE THE ENTHUSIAST’S GUIDE TO LIFE BEHIND THE WHEEL necessary to make up for the missing rigidity of a roof, so this MINI—the Cooper PUBLISHER/EXECUTIVE EDITOR: S Convertible—is a new MINI that may look as diminutive as any, and even light Joe Sage and airy with its open top, but in fact it’s going to add a few pounds to the small CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: car. Does that matter? Well, in this case, we have the Cooper S model, so that Jill Amadio, Pilar Covarrubias, already makes up for some of it. Mark Cox, Larry Edsall, Then we have Honda, the inventor of the modern small-car consciousness in Dan J. Gardner, Gary Goldzweig, America, one might say. Honda is a very small family-owned company, so they Bob Kroener, Jim Rogers, don’t take lightly to inventing a whole new product in their lineup. And what size? Bill & Barbara Schaffer, Tim Sharp CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: They take on the mightiest traditional beast on the American road, the large pickup. Jean-Pierre Brietta, Rich Cox, We don’t dare say “full size,” and we hesitate to say “pickup,” as they have quite Luis DeBonoPaula, Larry Edsall, thoroughly reinvented the vehicle classification. But it is a big Honda, and it does Dan J. Gardner, Randy Lorentzen, make the manufacturer’s lineup grow, exponentially. Jim Pyle, Dick Reed Let’s see how they drive! DESIGN & PRODUCTION: AdZoneAZ ADVERTISING SALES: 480-948-0200 ARIZONA DRIVER MAGAZINE PUBLISHED BIMONTHLY BY ADZONE ARIZONA LLC Arizona Driver Magazine PO Box 13387 - Scottsdale AZ 85267 www.azdrivermag.com Joe Sage Arizona Driver Magazine and Arizona Rider Magazine are registered Publisher/ tradenames of AdZone Arizona LLC. Executive Editor Where the roads are dry and the cars are slick. Arizona Driver Magazine PO Box 13387 Southwest Media Communications LLC - 602-748-4584 Scottsdale AZ 85267 6450 E Cave Creek Rd - Suite 105 - Cave Creek AZ 85331 480-948-0200 PO Box 5953 - Carefree AZ 85377 www.azdrivermag.com 4 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 5 QUIZ : CAR SMARTS 8. According to Bentley, the typical buyer 18. How many accidents are caused annual- of a new Continental GT fits into which of ly by drivers falling asleep at the wheel? the following categories? a. 20,000 b. 50,000 a. Net worth $3 million, owns 5 cars c. 75,000 d. 100,000 b. Net worth $8 million, owns 6 cars c. Net worth $20 million, owns 7 cars 19. Which Chrysler Group vehicle offering d. Net worth $30 million, owns 8 cars the optional Hemi V-8 has the highest per- centage of vehicles sold with that engine? 9. How many new diesel-engine passenger a. Chrysler 300 vehicles were registered in the US in 2004? b. Dodge Magnum a. 269,000 b. 344,000 c. Dodge Durango c. 470,000 d. 586,000 d. Jeep Grand Cherokee 10. What year did BMW make ABS 20. What share of Mustangs being sold is (antilock brakes) standard on all models? the V-8 powered GT? a. 1982 b. 1986 a. 24 % are GTs b. 38 % are GTs c. 1990 d. 1995 c. 47 % are GTs d. 56 % are GTs 11. What was the average price of the 900 21. Among worldwide automakers, what is cars sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Hyundai’s rank in sales worldwide? Scottsdale in January 2005? a. 5th b. 7th a. $44,000 b. $53,000 c. 9th d. 11th c. $68,000 d. $89,000 22. What is the average age of a Toyota 12. What percentage of people buy their buyer? 1. What percent of new vehicle buyers in tires from the first retailer who recom- a. 45 years old b. 50 years old 2004 bought an extended service contract? mends new tires are needed? c. 55 years old d. 60 years old a. 8.8 percent b. 13.8 percent a. 23 percent b. 44 percent c. 20.8 percent d. 25.8 percent c. 59 percent d. 78 percent 23. What percentage of new cars have screens for viewing DVDs or data? 2. How long does it take Nissan to develop 13. What kind of business did Rita Ghosn, a. 5 percent b. 9 percent a new vehicle off an existing platform using wife of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, recently c. 12 percent d. 16 percent digital technology? open in Tokyo? a. 10.5 months b. 14 months a. An art galley 24. Who drove the Chevrolet Corvette Pace c. 18.5 months d. 22 months b. A Lebanese restaurant Car at the 2005 running of the Indianapolis c. A Nissan dealership 500 race on Memorial Day? 3. Vehicles made up what percentage of d. A multi-language bookstore a. Roger Penske b. Jay Leno total 2004 California retail sales? c. Colin Powell d. Robert Lutz a. 6 percent b. 11 percent 14. Which of these low volume vehicles c. 15 percent d. 20 percent sold the most cars in the US during 2004? 25. How many traffic deaths are caused a. Bentley b. Aston Martin annually by tire blowouts? 4. What is the estimated extra cost for a c. Maybach d. Maserati a. 200 b. 400 company to build a hybrid vehicle? e. Rolls-Royce f. Lamborghini c. 600 d. 800 a. $2,500 b. $3,500 g. Ferrari c. $4,500 d. $5,500 26. What percentage of SUVs sold in US 15. Which cars have the most frequent are built by Ford, GM and Chrysler Group? 5. Which material, used in the production number of vehicle crashes? a. 32.7 percent b. 46.5 percent of vehicles, had the largest price increase a. Those with less than 200 hp c. 58.4 percent d. 65.4 percent in 2004? b. Those with 200 to 250 hp a. Aluminum b. Copper c. Those with 250 to 300 hp 27. How many brands have sold one c. Plastic d. Steel d. Those with more than 300 hp million or more vehicles in the US in one year? 6. For every dollar invested in magazine 16. Crude oil makes up what percentage of a. Six b. Seven advertising, how much do automakers get the price of a gallon of gas sold in the US? c. Eight d. Nine back in sales? a. 38 percent b. 54 percent a. $4.17 b. $8.23 c. 66 percent d. 75 percent 28. Which type of vehicle has the lowest c. $12.87 d. $15.51 driver fatalities per vehicle-miles rate? 17. How many of the 30,594 dealerships a. Large pickups 7. Where was the stainless-steel bodied selling US brand cars sell exclusively one b. Large 4-door SUVs DeLorean sports car built? brand? c. Large 4-door cars a. Canada b. United States a. 3,275 b. 7,077 d. Minivans c. Sweden d. Ireland c. 10,582 d. 13.339 ANSWERS ON PAGE 8 >> ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 7 CAR SMARTS : ANSWERS >> ANSWERS (quiz on page 7) >> 5. Answer: d. According to Wardsauto.com steel has the 14. Answer: a. Bentley was the top selling vehicle of the largest price increase in 2004 – 80 percent. Copper 60 low volume cars (mostly exotics and ultra luxury percent. Plastic 50 percent. Aluminum 20 percent. models) for 2004 with total sales of 2,393. Ferrari 1,176. Maserati 1,055. Lamborghini 653. Aston Martin 600. 6. Answer: b. According to a 2003 study the Publisher’s Rolls-Royce 413. Maybach 244. Information Bureau, automakers had sales of $8.23 for every dollar they invested in magazine advertising. 15. Answer: d. According to the Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, vehicles with over 300 hp have 7. Answer: d. The ill-fated DeLorean sport car was built 33 percent fewer crashes than cars with less than 200 for its short life at a plant near Belfast in Northern hp. Cars with 200-250 hp have 13 percent fewer crashes Ireland. than the under-200-hp cars. Cars with 250-300 hp have 22 percent fewer crashes than those under 200 hp. 8. Answer: a. According to Bentley, the typical buyer of a Continental GT has a new worth of $3 million and 16. Answer: b. According to the US Department of owns about 5 cars. For the ultra luxury segment of cars Energy, crude oil makes up 54 percent of the cost of a like a Rolls-Royce Phantom, Maybach or Bentley gallon of gas. Arnage, the typical buyer typically has a net worth of $30 million and seven or more cars. 17. Answer: b. According to Automotive News there are 7,077 exclusive car dealerships selling only one US brand in the US. The largest is Ford with 2,458 dealers 9. Answer: c. According to J.D. Power and Associates 1. Answer: c. According to Power Information Network selling only Fords. there were 470,000 passenger vehicles (cars, trucks & LLC, 20.8 percent of new vehicle buyers purchased SUVs) registered in the US in 2004. That is up 56 extended service plans in 2004. 18. Answer: d. According to the National Highway Traffic percent over 1999 when 310,000 were registered. Safety Administration, drivers falling asleep at the 2. Answer: a. Nissan says they can develop a new vehicle wheel cause 100,000 automobile accidents annually. 10. Answer: b. BMW made ABS brakes standard on all its off an existing platform using digital technology in just models sold in the US in 1986. 10.5 months. 19. Answer: c. 53 percent of the Dodge Durango’s sold are equipped with the Hemi option. Magnum – 46 11. Answer: c. In January the annual Scottsdale Barrett- percent. Chrysler 300 – 41 percent. Jeep – 19 percent. 3. Answer: d. According to Automotive News, 20 percent Jackson auction sold 900 for about $61 million making Dodge expects 60 percent of the new Chargers to have of California’s retail sales were vehicles. the average price just under $68,000 per car. the Hemi engine. 4. Answer: b. According to Energy and Environmental 12. Answer: d. According to General Motors, 78 percent 20. Answer: b. According to Ford, 38 percent of the new Analysis Inc. hybrids cost about $3,500 more to of the consumers purchase tires from the fist retailer Mustangs sold so far have been the V-8 powered GT produce. The costs break down like this: Batteries, who recommends the need for them. model. That compares with 33 percent for the previous cooling system and battery controller ($1,400), generation. Electronic controls and inverter ($1,400), Electric 13. Answer: b. Rita Ghosn, wife of Nissan CEO, Carlos motor 50kW ($600) and Harness, safety circuitry and Ghosn’s, recently opened a Lebanese restaurant called 21. Answer: b. Hyundai is the 7th largest automaker in AC-DC converter ($600). Savings on the transmission My Lebanon in Tokyo. the world (by sales volume). It fits between 6th place amounts to $500, which brings the final cost to $3,500. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and eighth place Nissan. 22. Answer: b. According to Toyota, the average age of a Toyota buyer is 50 years old. The average age of a Lexus owner is 55. 23. Answer: c. According to Alpine Electronics, as reported by Business 2.0 magazine, nearly 12 percent of the new vehicles have screens for viewing DVDs or data, and that number is expected to increase to 50 percent in just 5 years. 24. Answer: c. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a new Corvette owner himself, drove the pace car at the 2005 Indianapolis Memorial Day Race. 25. Answer: b. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are over 400 deaths and 10,0000 disabling injuries each year due to tire blowouts. 26. Answer: c. The Big 3 automakers (Ford, GM and Chrysler Division) sold 58.4 percent of the new SUVs the US in during the first quarter of 2005. That compares with 71.0 percent of the SUVs sold in the US in the first quarter of 2000. 27. Answer: a. Nissan recently sold more than one million vehicles in one year to join the exclusive club of six automakers reaching that milestone. Nissan’s one million was recorded for their fiscal year which runs April through March. The other companies include GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota and Honda. 28. Answer: d. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, minivans have the lowest driver fatalities per billion vehicle miles – 2.76. Large 4- door cars 3.30. Large 4-door SUVs 3.79. Large pickups 4.07. Very small cars have the highest fatality rate per billion vehicle miles – 11.56. The Car Smarts quiz includes news and trivia from industry sources, trade journals and consumer magazines compiled for Arizona Driver by BILL & BARBARA SCHAFFER of Auto Digest. 8 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER AUTO NEWS UPDATE BMW 3 SERIES MOVES TO NEXT LEVEL Hyundai Azera The all new 2006 3 Series moves BMW’s best-selling car to a new level with all-new engines, suspension and improved interior space for rear seat passengers and cargo. The new more rigid body conveys the BMW look without pushing the envelope too far. Power still comes from ultra smooth inline six-cylinder engines, but they employ magnesium/aluminum composites, three-stage variable induction and other technological innovations to boost the 330i’s horsepower from 225 to 255hp along with more torque and higher RPMs. The resulting engine also weighs 22 pounds less, is more compact and gets 12 percent greater fuel economy. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard with an optional 6-speed Steptronic automatic. An enhanced version of the iDrive audio and climate control system is optional. It also has an available Comfort Access system to unlock the door or start the engine while the remote key remains in a pocket or purse. The new 3 Series will be at dealerships later this year. ▼ The new Hyundai Azera brings significant evolution, abandoning distinctly unusual style points from the XG350, going mainstream and doing it well. AZERA REPLACES HYUNDAI XG350 that will provide reliable incident PORSCHE PANAMERA ▲ Hyundai is moving its flagship up in detection and route guidance. The It appears the cat is out of the bag on the scale and size with the introduction of the technology is all in place, but it will anticipated fourth Porsche model. The Azera and replaces the XG350. Hyundai require collaboration between the company recently registered the name claims the new luxury sedan has more automakers to develop a common basis Panamera for coupe-looking four-door interior room than the BMW 760i and to make the systems work. BMW and sedan which is expected to debut at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The standard DaimlerChrysler are working on the Frankfurt motor show in September. It’s engine, and probably only engine, is a system as part of a new Car2Car designed to carry four adults and 3.8-liter V-6 rated at 265-hp. Even with an Communications Consortium, including compete with cars like the new Mercedes- abundance of new luxury features, Audi, Fiat, Renault and Volkswagen. Benz CLS and the Maserati Quattroporte. BMW c-Series coupe generally seen only on high-priced luxury Rumors suggest the platform might be vehicles, and segment-leading safety MICROSOFT TBOX something shared with Volkswagen’s features the Azera should be priced in the Microsoft wants to get into your car with Phaeton and Passat, after the success of $25,000 to $30,000 range when the 2006 a simple device that provides directions, the last VW/Porsche collaboration, which model arrives at dealerships. plays digital music and makes hands-free spawned the Porsche Cayenne and phone calls. The simple two-button Volkswagen Touareg. Power will probably VEHICLES AS TRAFFIC SENSORS system, called the TBox, has no screen be the same 4.5-liter 340-hp and 450-hp Imagine there has been a traffic accident but links via Bluetooth wireless twin turbo V-8s used in the Cayenne. around a corner that you are approaching technology to personal digital assistants and your car automatically slows down (PDAs), cell phones, iPods and other 2X FUEL SAVINGS: PLUG-IN HYBRIDS before you round the corner and see the similar devices. Once activated, by Watch for hybrid vehicles to take a new accident. BMW and DaimlerChrysler are pushing one of the two buttons, the TBox turn in the future. There is a great deal of currently testing vehicles in Europe with will be controlled by voice commands. discussion going on in the auto industry telematics systems that may be used to The system will be capable of offering about future use of plug-in hybrids. Rather turn the vehicles into mobile sensors that navigation information, remote vehicle than just getting in and driving with the automatically report road conditions to a diagnostics and electronic yellow pages. vehicle recharging itself, the plug-in traffic control center. The system gathers Unlike the current factory installed hybrids would have to be plugged in to information like location, direction of navigation systems that cost $1,500 to recharge the larger batteries. The travel, speed and along current driving $2,000, the TBox could be available for as advantage is they can run much longer conditions. With that information gath- little as $200 or $300. Microsoft is than regular hybrids in an all-electric ered from a significant number of currently trying to sell the systems to vehicles it is possible to create a system automakers. KEEP RIGHT >> 10 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 11 Chevrolet Equinox Dodge Charger Expect to see the look of this Chevy Equinox’s front end bodywork applied to Chevrolets throughout the lineup, from the smalleest hatchback on up. >> AUTO NEWS UPDATE - cont’d MUSTANG COBRA COMING BACK FAST the equivalent power and performance to Ford is bringing back the Shelby Cobra a 6-liter engine (hence the 600 mode. That means fewer emissions, and a GT500 for 2007 and it promises to be one nomenclature). The stretched version will significant increase in fuel economy. The of the most potent Fords ever sold. be offered with the hybrid drive, too. down side is they would need to carry Developed by the Ford SVT team, the new larger, more expensive batteries and be Cobra is powered by a supercharged 5.4- TIRE PRESSURE MONITORS REQUIRED plugged in, but the upside is the battery liter V-8 engine producing in excess of The National Highway Traffic Safety would not limit the travel distance. 450 horsepower. The car will carry SVT Administration has mandated that all new badging, but the SVT will be dropped as vehicles have a tire pressure monitoring IT LOOKS LIKE A CHEVROLET part of the official name. The new car is system. The new regulation, which will be ▲ General Motors plans to unveil a new moving back from independent rear phased in through the 2006 through 2008 look that will carry over to all its North suspension to a solid rear axle to cut the model years, says each vehicle must have American products from the Daewoo- weight by 180 pounds. The price is a warning light activate if any of the tires built cars to full-size Chevrolet pickups. expected to be around $40,000. pressure falls 25 percent or more the GM plans to make Chevrolet the recommended cold-inflation pressure. company’s mass-market brand world- STRETCHED AND HYBRID LEXUS LS The ruling applies to all cars and trucks wide with products sold in North As Lexus introduces the next generation less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle America, Europe and Asia all having the LS in the fall of 2006 it will offer a weight. The systems will cost automakers same recognizable “look.” According to stretched version of the brand’s flagship as much as $70 per vehicle. David Lyon, executive director of Asia sedan. Currently the LS offers the shortest FULL LINEUP OF DODGE CHARGERS Pacific Design at GM Daewoo Auto and wheelbase version currently available on SMALLER MERCEDES-BENZ SUV Hoping to expand on the success of the Chrysler 300, Dodge has introduced the Charger, which is now on sale and is likely to be in short Technology Co., the front ends will have luxury sedans, but starting with the 2007 Mercedes-Benz is expected to build a supply. Prices start at $22,995 for the 250-hp V-6-powered SE base model. A Charger SXT with the same V-6 is priced at $25,995. Dodge “a little bit of a truck influence.” There will models there will be a regular length and small sport utility vehicle called the X- says the 340-hp Hemi V-8-powered Charger R/T starts at $29,995 and should make up about 60 percent of the product mix. A limited be a large grille opening with no metallic a longer model offered to compete with Class. Smaller than the M-Class, the X- grillwork visible. About one-third down the stretch versions of Mercedes-Benz, Class will compete with the BMW X3 and edition Charger Daytona R/T will be available this summer. It will have a 350-hp Hemi (up 10 hp from the standard Hemi thanks to a from the top of the opening, a horizontal BMW, Jaguar and Audi. The new LS 460 Land Rover Freelander. According to better exhaust system) and upgraded handling package, Michelin tires, load leveling shocks and other enhancements. The Daytona R/T bar bearing the Chevrolet bow-tie logo will also get a larger 4.6-liter engine, up AutoWeek magazine, it will be developed comes in two colors rekindled from the 1970s: “Go Man Go” metallic orange and “Top Banana”. The package also includes a rear spoiler, extends across the grille area. The bow tie from the current 4.3-liter. Later in the on the next-generation C-Class chassis. exclusive front fascia and chin spoiler, black honeycomb grill, special decals and 18-inch wheels. The Daytona is priced at $32,495. Later will vary in size depending upon the model year the LS will be offered in a Initial speculation is that it will have two this fall the Charger SRT-8 will debut with its 6.1-liter 425-hp Hemi enginel. ▼ vehicle. Lyon stressed that there will not gasoline/hybrid version called the LS rows of seats with a rear bench that will be a cookie cutter look, but rather it will 600hL. By adding the electric motor be a consistent look for a broad lineup. assist, the first hybrid luxury car will have KEEP RIGHT >> 12 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 13 Jeep Compass concept LEXUS BIDS FOR KING OF MOUNTAIN The new Lexus IS has its sights set on knocking the BMW 3 Series off its King of the Mountain perch. Starting with a dramatic new styling the IS gets a new aluminum suspension, electronic-assist steering and variable ratio variable brakes designed to offer a more progressive feel. A diesel engine will be available on European models, but the US cars will get gas only. The IS 250 gets a 201-hp 2.5-liter V-6, while the upper level IS 350 has a new 300 plus horsepower 3.5-liter V-6. The 3.5-liter engine is said to produce 0 to 60 mph acceleration times in the low 5-second range. Both models are rear-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive as an option. Transmissions include a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Lexus claims to have the world’s most advanced and fastest recalculating navigation system ready for this car. The system also includes Bluetooth technology plus a six-disc CD changer that also The Compass concept vehicle brings a new niche to the Jeep lineup, but purists may object strongly... it’s the first-ever Jeep without off-road ability. handles MP3 and WMA files. ▼ >> AUTO NEWS UPDATE - cont’d the nozzle is removed and protects on the upcoming Audi Q7, which is a against splash back and contamination of derivative of the Volkswagen Touareg slide back and forth and possibly be the fuel system. It also eliminates the (Volkswagen owns Audi and Bentley). The removed to expand cargo capacity. occasional “check engine” light, which is idea behind the high level SUV stems Engines could include a 2.2-liter four- activated when the fuel cap is not from the 6.0-liter 450-hp W-12-powered cylinder, and several V-6s from 230 hp to tightened correctly on some vehicles. The Touareg that was produced in a limited 270 hp, along with a 326-hp 4.7-liter V-8 system is designed reduce fuel vapor edition of 500 and at a price of $100,000. in the US. The X-Class is expected to go on emissions during refueling, too. Without All 500 were sold out in just one month. sale in Europe in 2007 with rear- and all- the cap, the fueling door can be made With Bentley styling cues and an interior wheel drive versions and would likely be smaller allowing manufacturers more filled with super luxury appointments it’s available in the US a year later. An official design flexibility. To date the Ford GT possible a Bentley SUV could be announcement is expected later this year. sports car is the only vehicle with the new reasonably priced at $200,000. Direct Fill system. WATER DISPLACEMENT 40 AIR FRESHENER MAY BE SAFETY According to the company history, WD-40 JEEP STRAYS FROM OFF-ROAD DEVICE inventors were trying to create a line of ▲ Jeep plans to build the four-wheel drive A recent study by researches at Wheeling Lexus IS rust-prevention solvents and degreasers Compass crossover introduced originally Jesuit University suggests that a simple for use in the aerospace industry, when as a concept in 2001. The Compass will fit solution to curb falling asleep at the wheel they developed the formulation for the into the Jeep lineup just south of the may be using a car air freshener. The current WD-40 lubricant. The name was Wrangler. The five-seater will compete study that showed drivers were more created from the inventor’s notes — WD with vehicles like the Toyota RAV4, Honda alert and experienced less fatigue when a stands for Water Displacement and the CR-V and Land Rover Freelander at a price pine scent was added to the car interior. 40 stands for the fact that the product in the $20,000 range. As a crossover the The study further indicated that drivers was created on the 40th attempt. Compass is a dramatic departure for Jeep, also demonstrated a decreased level of whose mission has always been to build anger and improved overall driving ELIMINATING THE GAS CAP versatile off-road vehicles. Look for it in performance when exposed to Illinois Tool Works, Inc. has designed a dealerships next year as a 2007 model. strawberry and pine scents. AroMetrics™, new direct fill fuel system that eliminates a new auto fragrance system owned by the need for a gas cap. To fill the tank the BENTLEY MAY CONSIDER SUV Eagle One appearance products and driver opens the fuel door and inserts a Bentley may have a high-end SUV in the Valvoline commissioned the study. The refueling nozzle into the guided fuel filler. works, according to information obtained The system then seals automatically when by AutoWeek magazine. It will be based KEEP RIGHT >> 14 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 15 >> AUTO NEWS UPDATE - cont’d warn the driver of gravel, black ice or other hazards while adjusting the stability SAGE new AroMetrics car fresheners have an control and adaptive cruise control auto- adjustable release mechanism so the matically. There will also be a lane change fragrance level can be controlled while assistance system that will vibrate the lasting up to 45 days. The $2.99 device is steering wheel to warn the driver that he Bugatti Veyron available in 15 fragrances including has left his lane. A side view assist system ADVERTISING “fresh & clean”, “crisp cotton”, “new car” uses radar sensors to warn the driver of a ▼ and “white caps” along with a dozen vehicle in the blind spot to the side and DESIGN more tradition scents. It was not noted if behind the driver’s field of vision. scents, other than pine and strawberry, ▼ would affect driving functions. DODGE BACK IN POLICE BUSINESS PUBLISHING With the introduction of the new Charger, HYUNDAI SETS SIGHTS HIGH Dodge is planning to get back into the law Hyundai’s goal is to reach 1 million enforcement business. The full-size rear- annual sales by the end of this decade wheel drive sedans are available to police and to make that plan work it has seven departments with the 250-hp 3.5-liter V-6 new products scheduled to arrive at engine or the 340-hp HEMI V-8. Police dealerships by the end of 2006. The vehicles will be equipped with Electronic latest entry is the Sonata that takes a Stability Program with Emergency Brake direct shot at Honda Accord and Toyota Assist, all-speed traction control and four- Camry. The Sonata is nearly identical in wheel antilock brakes. The package size and power to both of those high includes a long list of heavy duty volume cars. The increased dimensions electronic and drivetrain equipment to of the Sonata jump it to the next level so handle the extra demands placed on the is now rated as a “large” sedan by EPA vehicles. There will also be optional all- designations. Even with the base price of wheel drive versions available for added the Sonata, with a 162-hp four-cylinder traction. Watch out for the trademark engine, going up $1,451 to $18,495 the Dodge crosshair front grilles to start One picture is just a start, with the Bugatti Veyron, and we wish we had room for a thousand words. This supercar is pretty much off the charts. equipment levels have grown appearing in your rearview mirrors as dramatically to include stability control, early as the fall of 2005. intensive construction of the sedan will CHEVROLET’S NEXT BIG TRUCKS retaining the stable chassis dynamics and traction control, front, side and curtain carry over to the coupe, and will likely The first wave of the next generation full- all-weather traction ability. The new airbags, cruise control and, four-wheel HYUNDAI AND KIA HYBRIDS IN 2006 also be used on the next generation S- size Chevrolet trucks will arrive at system débuts in Europe on the high antilock disc brakes. The base price also Gasoline/hybrid powered versions of Type sedan. If the entry-level X-Type dealerships starting in the first quarter of performance RS4, which is scheduled for includes air conditioning, CD player, all Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio will be survives it will more than likely continue 2006. First up is the Tahoe. The Suburban North American models in 2006. The first power, 16-inch wheels, tilt wheel and offered probably by the second half of to use a less expensive Ford platform. is due in the second quarter of 2006 car to get the rear-bias system was the V- keyless entry with alarm. The upper level 2006 says Lee Hyun Soon, senior followed by the Avalanche in the third 8-powered S4. In mid-2006, all 2007 Sonata has a base price of $21,495 and executive vice president of powertrains. BUGATTI VEYRON OK FOR PRODUCITON quarter. The Silverado 1500 pickup is model quattro-equipped vehicles will get is powered by a 235-hp 3.3-liter V-6 The systems will use a high-efficiency ▲ The Bugatti Veyron is not a car that scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2006, the new system. engine with a five-speed automatic internal combustion engine and one or many of us will ever see, let alone ever with the heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 transmission. more electric motors to power the drive, but it’s certainly a car that dreams models coming in the first quarter of THE NEXT PORSCHE 911 TURBO wheels. Larger highbred vehicles from the will be made of. Imagine 1,001 horse- 2007. According to Automotive News The next generation Porsche 911 Turbo THE NEXT GENERATION AUDI ALLROAD Korean manufacturers will probably power coming from an 8.0-liter quad- Cadillac and GMC brands, which share should roar into dealerships early in 2006 Brochures / Catalogs / Magazines Just a year after Audi gets into the SUV come to the US market in 2008 or 2009. turbo W-16 engine producing a 0 to 60 components with the Chevrolets, will pumped up to 480 hp from the previous Concept / Design / Production / Print Publishing business with it’s upcoming Q7, which is Hyundai has developed it’s own hybrid time of 3.0 seconds and a top speed of follow a similar timetable. All the sheet 444-hp version. The new Turbo will be a derivative of the Volkswagen Touareg, it systems, but is buying the batteries from 252 mph. Or for another perspective how metal will be new, but the styling will be the first mass production Porsche model Media Planning & Placement will present the next generation allroad Panasonic EV Energy Co., which supplies about 0 to 186 mph in 14.0 seconds! VW more evolutionary, than revolutionary. available with the new double-clutch ▼ (Audi spells allroad with no capital letter). the Toyota Prius Hybrid. Hyundai is also boss Bernd Pischetsrieder has approved gearbox, which is similar to the Audi DSG Call to discuss individual projects or strategic needs. Audi describes the allroad as a vehicle for investing heavily in hydrogen-powered the production of the Bugatti Veyron ultra AUDI’S NEW-GENERATION QUATTRO automatic that shifts faster than a AUTOMOTIVE / AVIATION / BOATING mature, sophisticated driver’s tired of the fuel cell research. supercar. Development of the world’s Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system has manual. The other Porsche turbo, the MANUFACTURERS / IMPORTERS truck-base SUVs. Coming to market for fastest production car has not been traditionally had a 50/50 front/rear torque twin-turbo Cayenne SUV, will get a INDUSTRIAL / CONSTRUCTION the 2008 model year, the new allroad will JAGUAR TO LIGHTEN ITS LOAD without difficulties. Tires and high-speed split under normal driving conditions. second engine choice producing around TOURISM / ACTIVITIES / EVENTS get an optional 4.0-liter commonrail Jaguar is showing an Advanced Light- stability have been a problem, but The new generation now has a 40/60 540-hp, up from the base 450-hp. ■ RESORT / HOTEL / LODGING turbodiesel V-8 rated at 282 hp and weight Coupe concept that should be a engineers are making progress. Michelin front/rear split to give it a rear axle bias to INSTITUTIONAL / FINANCIAL producing 479 lb.ft. of torque. Innovative close facsimile of the next generation XK is the only tire company brave enough to better compete with the rear-wheel drive REAL ESTATE / DEVELOPMENT Auto News Update includes a summary of auto technology in the works includes light- coupe. The concept is built on the same try to meet tire speed and durability vehicles. Audi engineers claim this will news from industry sources, trade journals and 480-948-0200 emitting diode headlights and optical family platform that debuted recently requirements. Early estimates list a price give the quattro vehicles handling more consumer magazines compiled for Arizona Driver sensors that read road conditions and with the XJ sedan. The aluminum- in the $1 million range. like the rear-wheel drive vehicles while by BILL & BARBARA SCHAFFER of Auto Digest. A D Z O N E A R I Z O N A L L C ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 17 TEEN DRIVER : DRIVING SKILLS How much fun is this?! Here is why you want to become the best driver you can... BMW DRIVER TRAINING: ADVENTURE TRAININGS AND ADVENTURE TRIPS 2005 ou may have a taste for some This trip through Namibia, south of the Delivering Y adventure behind the wheel, and you may find these are just the vehicles to do it in. You may even be driving these vehicles now. But before equator, is certainly a unique way to combine driving pleasure with a truly unusual trip: this nine-day offroad adventure takes participants to one of the the driver’s edge you can take on something as fun as all this, you need to get the training. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun! You may not be headed off to Europe this year ... or maybe you will ... but a quick look at this program shows there is a lot of fantastic most beautiful and wildest regions in the world. Covering a distance approximately 1,200 km or 750 miles, participants will experience downhill gradients of up to 11 %, gravel, sand, of rocky tracks and a lagoon only accessible to teen drivers. Traditional driver’s education has focused on the skills needed to pass a driving test, with classroom lectures and some behind-the-wheel “on-the-job training.” The DrivingMBA™ experience out there for the trained driv- during low tide - these are the challenges program goes beyond this, bringing high-tech simulators to everyday drivers. er, or the driver willing to be trained. you have to brave. On this exclusive The real experience is the process of safari, participants also learn how to getting there. BMW Adventure Trainings navigate with an offroad GPS system and and Adventure Trips enrich the actual the roadbook, they practise the exact training experience by another essential handling of their car in the dry moon- factor: These events combine exclusivity scapes and mountainous sand dunes of with individual style, a team experience the Namib Desert. with a club ambience, the thrill of travel- ling with mastery in controlling one's car, Nürburgring Nordschleife: The DrivingMBA Comprehensive ™ and, not least, the joy of discovery with M3 Circuit Training and M5 "Taxi" the experience of learning anew. The aficionado of high-speed driving will Driving Tutoring Program These components are available as a discounted package or individually: be simply thrilled by a unique race track • Rules of the Road® DVD : Award-winning interactive DVD tutorial for home use. BMW Winter Training: experience on the labyrinth of the "Green • Pre-Permit Driving Simulation Course : 5 hours total computer simulated driving experience gives Elegant Pirouettes on Snow and Ice Hell," as the Nordschleife is called. These start each year in early December. Participants experience the BMW 330i teens a solid foundation in fundamentals before they get behind the wheel. The training locations are in Sölden, and M3 precisely where they are fine- • Safe Young Drivers : A book to supplement your own in-vehicle training. Austria and in Åre, Sweden and offer a tuned by BMW's engineers and • Advanced Decision Skill Building : The same high-end simulator used by police and other unique combination of successfully suspension specialists in the development professionals to improve behind-the-wheel decision-making skills. learning in mastering your car on snow process. Apart from the theory of driving • Profiler™ : Assesses your skills against a pro database (included with Advanced Decision Skill Building). and ice with truly outstanding fun and a dynamics, the programme comprises • DUI : Students in both simulator courses experience the negative impact upon vehicle control of driving great experience. Section Training making participants while impaired. aware of the particular challenges of this BMW Z4 Roadster Adventure Trips: demanding track. The highlight of this Driving “Topless” through Europe two-day course is the completion of In spring and summer, lower the top and several guided laps round the track almost travel through the most beautiful country- 21 km or 13 miles in length, following a side in Europe. Just two of the many pace car setting the right standard. In the destinations, by way of example, are the process the instructors ensure absolute Tuscany Region in Italy or the Ticino safety: The focus is on safe driving on the Canton in Switzerland. Cruising in their ideal line, not on the fastest lap times, Z4s, participants spend four wonderful which are not measured, anyway. days enjoying serpentine roads in the Italian part of Switzerland, in the Engadin Visit the BMW German website at Region, and in Italy itself. www.bmw.de/fahrertraining (with link to English) for dates, pricing and detailed www.drivingmba.com BMW X5 Adventure Trips: A Far-Out information on these BMW Adventure 9181 E. BELL ROAD, SUITE 103 • SCOTTSDALE AZ 85260 • 480-948-1648 Experience for Man and Machine Training and Adventure Trips. ■ 18 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER TEST DRIVE : 2005 MINI COOPER S CONVERTIBLE MINI to the MAX Take one fun MINI Add Cooper Add S Drop the top Anything missing? by Barbara and Bill Schaffer MINI likes their name spelled in all caps (though not all comply). Could they have a complex? Good things come in small packages, and this is one. e watched The Italian Job again The convertible has a redesigned three- W recently, knowing that we were going to get the MINI Cooper S Convertible the following week. Thank slat grille, and the headlights have a new reflector and bezel under the crystal. The front bumper has been enhanced with goodness by the time we got it our fewer crease lines plus it comes with enthusiasm for extreme driving was out of chrome accents, which along with the our systems. But regardless, we had a newly integrated fog lamps, doesn’t lose great time running around in it for a week. the MINI signature bulldog look. Driving the MINI Cooper is a liberating The interior is most distinctive with its experience. Unshackled from normal oversized speedometer mounted in the automotive bulk and convention, the center of the dashboard. Front seats are MINI entices a driver with a kind of supportive, with manual front, back and spiritual experience. The sensation is height adjustments. Contoured sport enhanced, especially when driving the S seats are available on the convertible. model, with the ability to accelerate, turn, There is one drawback to the convert- stop and all the other driving functions— ible—visibility. When the top is up, the quickly and with a smile on your face. rear view is limited to the side mirrors and The entire experience is not unlike a small gap out the rear between the rear driving a go-cart, and if you’ve driven one roll bars. Drop the top, and it’s better, but of those, you’ll always remember how still with some obstructions. MINI engi- much fun that was! neers conveniently provided help for this The MINI maximized the driving exper- handicap by installing a Park Distance ience recently with the advent of the Control system as standard equipment on convertible—now you can have the all MINI convertibles. sensation of the MINI and with wind Once you read the instructions, drop- through your hair, too. There is probably ping the top is easy, and it can even be no more distinctive vehicle in the world done from outside the vehicle by a series than the MINI Cooper. The whimsical- of presses on the key fob. The unique top looking vehicle still brings a smile to our makes this the only convertible we know faces when we see it on the road and causes a big grin when we’re driving it. KEEP RIGHT >> 20 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 21 OUR DRIVE Whereas a lot of small cars have had a limited audience and/or some stigma attached to them (outside the tuner set), the MINI has done very well with a broad- er audience, as it has panache from its heritage versions and the current models as well. We wondered, though, how this might carry forward into the Convertible. A Cooper S version is a good place to start, but might this be a less-than-manly vehicle, along the lines of the VW Cabriolet? (Of course, that only matters to half of us.) To drive it, we’d have to say no. We checked with MINI’s corporate communications people, to see what the gender split is, on the hardtop and the new convertible, but they didn’t provide any data. At any rate, nobody seemed to be making fun of us for driving it. Front-wheel drive can be notorious for torque steer (and some other undesirable The MINI Cooper S Convertible comes with runflat tires and tire monitoring system. It can continue up to 90 miles at speeds of up to 50 mph with no air. characteristics), unless the engineers really do their work. MINI’s engineers of that opens in stages, first to provide a nearly the same sort of steering feel as a have done their work since day one, and sunroof over the front seats, and then to go-cart. The steering system is also de- this little car handles quite confidently drop entirely behind the rear seats for the signed to eliminate virtually all the torque and precisely for a front-driver, though full open-air experience. steer characteristics that often plague some characteristics remain. There are a few concerns with a convertible version The MINI convertible comes standard front-wheel drive performance cars. MINI Cooper S DIMENSIONS EPA Size .............................Mini compact of most anything, too. First is that the with fully automatic power top with The MINI Cooper Convertible comes sliding sunroof, power windows, central standard with four airbags—two front- Convertible Weight.........................................2,844 lb. chassis stiffening required by the lack of Wheelbase ...................................97.1 in. a roof will always add weight to the car. locking with remote control, Park Dis- mounted and two side airbags. It also STANDARD EQUIPMENT In the MINI’s case, it’s only about a 122- Length ........................................ 143.9 in. tance Control, heated glass rear window, comes with high strength aluminum • Air conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo pound gain; still that demands a fun-vs- Width.............................................66.5 in. tire monitoring system and more for the rollover hoops behind the rear seats, • Power automatic soft top performance tradeoff. Second is loss of Height ..........................................55.5 in. base price of $21,450. The S version is along with a reinforced A pillar wind- • Tire monitoring system trunk space, and with the MINI, that sta- Fuel Capacity ..............................13.2 gal. priced at $25,450 including shipping. The shield surround that will help to protect • Heated rear glass window tistically means its impact on a small rear Cargo Capacity ..............4.2 to 21.4 cu. ft. • Park Distance Control storage hatch and the back seat volume; MINI Cooper hardtop starts at $16,950. occupants in the event of a rollover. • Remote keyless entry MECHANICAL the difference is negligible. Third is half- Packages and options available include The MINI S Convertible accelerates • Electric windows Engine................1.6L Supercharged 4-Cyl related to the second: if the top doesn’t a Navigation system, rain sensor wipers, from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.0 seconds, but • 16-Inch alloy wheels Horsepower .............................168@6000 drop into the trunk or storage area, does Xenon headlights, wind deflector, auto- it feels even faster in the small car. It also • Sport suspension Torque ......................................162@4000 it pile up and block your rear vision, as matic climate control plus other favorites. has a top speed of 134 mph. Our fuel • Automatic Stability Control + Traction. Transmission..........................6-Spd. Man. with an old VW bug convertible? This is A 1.6-liter supercharged four-cylinder economy averaged a combined 29.8-mpg, Base Price: .................................. $24,900 Drive ......................................Front wheel somewhat the case with the MINI, engine powers the MINI S Convertible, as compared with EPA estimated mileage Options: Brakes ........................................Disc ABS although it doesn’t add that much block- producing 168-hp compared to 115 horse- of 25 mpg for city driving and 32 mpg on • Premium package (Automatic air Tires .........................................205/45R17 age behind what the rear seats and roll power for the standard model. Our test the highway. Young kids complained that conditioning, Steering wheel controls, hoops already block. The other half of On board computer & speed control, PERFORMANCE car was equipped with the 6-speed man- the MINI convertible was “too small,” but that equation is visibility with the top up, Harman Kardon premium audio).$1,350 0 to 60 mph..................................7.0 sec. ual Getrag transmission with a shift link- we think it’s “too cute” and “too fun.” and this is less than ideal. • Sport package (Sport seats, Dynamic Speed to mailbox..........................78 mph age that required little more than a flip of Now who are you going to believe, Anything fast, fun and top-down is Stability Control, Fog lights, 5-Spoke Top speed ...................................134 mph the wrist to shift. It’s also available with an whining kids or an adult who loves to going to appeal to us. Small fits well, too. Bullet Alloy Wheels and HID headlights) EPA economy rating ................25/32 mpg optional 6-speed automatic transmission. drive and have a good time? So with MINI, would we opt for the con- ...................................................$1,850 Our actual fuel econ ..................29.8 mpg vertible? Maybe. It’s a lot of fun! But the To keep with the go-cart emulation, the The MINI Cooper convertible—and the • Leather trim ................................$1,300 COMPETITORS hardtop is surely the purist’s iteration. ■ MINI is equipped with a quick ratio coupe—both fall into that category of cars Total Options ................................$4,500 PT Cruiser convertible, Mitsubishi Eclipse electro-hydraulic power-assist rack-and- we really like: they are “keepers.” It’s just Freight ...............................................$550 Spyder, Toyota Camry Solar convertible, pinion steering system. It takes just 2.5 so much fun and convenient to drive; we Price as Tested............................$29,950 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible turns to go from lock-to-lock, giving it can’t help but love it. ■ 22 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 23 DESTINATION DIRECTORY Arizona Nevada Mexico ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS RESORTS / LODGING Chiricahua State Park Las Vegas Tourism Bureau Puerto Peñasco Mexico Online HCR 2, Box 6500 • Willcox AZ 85643 6120 W. Tropicana Ave. • Las Vegas NV Beachfront home rentals in Rocky Point. 520-824-3560 www.lasvegastourism.com 623-935-0507 • www.puerto-penasco.com Grand Canyon National Park MOTOR MUSEUMS ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS PO Box 129 • Grand Canyon AZ 86023 Imperial Palace Auto Collections Baja California State Tourism Office 923-638-7888 Visitor Info Recorded Message Fifth floor parking facility of Imperial Palace. Blvd. Diaz Ordaz s/n Lake Havasu State Park 702-794-3174 Edificio Plaza Patria Nivel 3 699 London Bridge Dr. • Lake Havasu AZ 86403 www.imperialpalace.com/auto.html CP 22400 Tijuana BC 928-855-2784 (66) 81-9492 National Automobile Museum Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument The Harrah Collection Chihuahua State Tourism Office 10 Organ Pipe Drive • Ajo AZ 85321-9626 10 Lake Street South • Reno NV 89501 Calle Libertad No. 1300 520-387-6849 Visitor Information 775-333-9300 • www.automuseum.org Edificio Agustin Melgar, 1er Piso Petrified Forest National Park CP 31000 Chihuahua, Chihuahua PO Box 2217 (14) 29-3421 Petrified Forest National Park AZ 86028 New Mexico Sinaloa State Tourism Office 928-524-66228 Visitor Information ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS Av. Camarón Sabalo esq. Tiburon Saguaro National Park New Mexico Department of Tourism Edificio Banrural 4 Piso 3693 South Old Spanish Trail 800-733-6396 x 0643 • www.newmexico.org CP 82100 Mazatlán, Sinaloa 520-733-5153 Visitor Info Rincon Mtn District (69) 16-5160 Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Sport Compact Drag Racing PO Box 1928 • Santa Fe NM 87504 Sonora State Tourism Office Every thursday at Firebird Raceway 8380 Cerrillos Rd. Suite 302 • Santa Fe NM 87507 Centro de Gobierno www.dragracing.com/phx 505-983-7317 • www.santafechamber.com Edificio Estatal Norte 3er Nivel Comonfort y Paseo Río Wupatki National Monument RESORTS / LODGING CP 83280 Hermosillo, Sonora Flagstaff Area National Monuments Inn on La Loma Plaza (62) 17-0076 6400 N. Hwy 89 • Flagstaff AZ 86004 315 Ranchitos Road • Box 4159 • Taos NM 87571 928-679-2365 Visitor Information 800-530-3040 • www.VacationTaos.com 928-526-1157 Visitor Information, HQ Inn on the Alameda Of national interest 303 East Alameda • Santa Fe NM 87501 MOTOR MUSEUMS California 505-984-21221 • www.innonthealameda.com Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS 20900 Oakwood Blvd. • Dearborn MI 48124 www.hfmgv.com • 313-271-1620 Palm Desert Visitor Information Center Utah 72-990 Highway 111 • Palm Desert CA 92260 Imperial Palace Auto Collections ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS 800-873-2428 • www.palm-desert.org (see Nevada listings) San Juan County Tourism MOTOR MUSEUMS Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum 117 S. Main Street • Monticello UT 84535 Pickerington OH 43147 Petersen Automotive Museum 800-574-4386 • www.southeastutah.org www.motorcyclemuseum.org • 614-856-2222 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (at Fairfax) • LA CA 90036 Southern Utah Scenic Tours 323-930-CARS • www.petersen.org National Automobile Museum PO Box 1113 • Cedar City UT 84720 (see Nevada listings) 888-404-8687 • www.utahscenictours.com National Corvette Museum Colorado RESORTS / LODGING 350 Corvette Drive • Bowling Green KY 42101 ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS Desert Rose Inn & Cabins www.corvettemuseum.com • 800-53VETTE 701 W. Highway 191 • Bluff UT 84512 Petersen Automotive Museum Colorado Activity Centers, Inc. 888-475-7673 • www.DesertRoseInn.com (see California listings) 737 N. Tenmile Drive - Suite 35 PO Box 129 • Frisco CO 80443 Shelby American Collection 800-777-8642 - www.coloradoinfo.com (see Colorado listings) MOTOR MUSEUMS Shelby American Collection 5020 Chaparral Court PO Box 19228 • Boulder CO 80308-2228 www.shelbyamericancollection.org 303-516-9565 Information is derived from a variety of sources and may not be final or accurate; check all info. Listings do not necessarily represent any specific affiliation with nor endorsement by Arizona Driver magazine. 24 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER xx • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • xx TEST DRIVE : 2006 HONDA RIDGELINE Honda reinvents the pickup truck by Barbara and Bill Schaffer Caption: Safety equipment on the Honda Ridgeline pickup includes driver and passenger airbags, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags with rollover sensor. It’s also the first four-door pickup to earn the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 5-Star safety rating for both frontal and side impact crash test performance. A major distinguishing set of features centers around innovative storage, access and utility in the pickup bed area. ver the years we’ve driven hun- traction control, anti-lock brakes, Electron- and unlocks with the cab doors, and it has O dreds of trucks, and with a few exceptions they leave us wanting more. We want more precise handling, stronger performance and a smoother ride. We want the truck ic Brake Distribution, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor and front side airbags. With features like this, the Ridgeline is unique, but then Honda designers took a major leap over the competition with a an interior emergency latch—just in case. So, have you been hankering for a pickup, but hesitated because it wasn’t a practical family vehicle, and you really didn’t want to be driving one of those to be quieter and more civilized. It rugged integrated cab and bed design, double cab monsters? Or have you appears what we’ve been waiting for is riding on a fully integrated closed box thought instead about a sport utility the Honda Ridgeline. frame with unit body construction. Then, vehicle, but rejected it because there was The 2006 Ridgeline is a real truck built to top it off, the Ridgeline became the no place to haul the topsoil, bark and new from the ground up. It will do nearly first truck with four-wheel independent trees you were planning to buy for your anything the big name trucks will do, and front and rear suspension—plus it’s only backyard project? If you can answer “yes” often better. We’re talking about hauling a one available with an advanced four- to either or both of these questions, do 1,200-pound load, pulling a 5,000-pound wheel drive system (VTM-4WD). we have a truck for you: the 2006 Honda trailer or climbing a 24-degree loose dirt But the coup de grace is the trunk. In Ridgeline pickup. hill. We’re talking about loading five adults the rear half of the five-foot composite With truck sales (including SUVs) in a quiet comfortable cab, hauling a and steel bed, there is a hatch that covers exceeding 54 percent of the new vehicle couple of dirt bikes or 4-by-8-foot sheets an 8-cubic-foot in-bed trunk. The water- market, Honda needed to expand beyond of building material. And those are just and dust-tight double-sealed compart- its current three truck offering (Pilot, the routine things the Ridgeline will do. ment is large enough to carry up to three Element and CR-V) to offer a real truck Beyond its conventional truck charac- sets of golf clubs, or several large pieces of that could actually haul things. teristics, the Ridgeline starts to pull away luggage. For tailgate parties, the trunk can Honda engineers and designers, not from the rest of the massive pickup fleet even be filled with ice and beverages, and content just to copy an existing truck, with carlike handling, performance and when the ice melts, the water can be wanted to reinvent the truck and make it ride. Then there are the standard safety drained through a convenient drain plug features like Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), in the floor. The trunk automatically locks KEEP RIGHT >> 26 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 27 OUR DRIVE The first Honda Ridgeline we saw was at a media event (opposite page), where Honda’s key engineering and development team gave us a very thorough presentation and Q&A on their new vehicle. We’ve often heard of products that readdress the original concept and totally reinvent the segment. This is one of those. It doesn’t have the separate cab-and-box on ladder frame of the Ford, Chevy/GMC, Dodge and Toyota offerings. But it does carry, tow and transport with the best of them, at least in its own way. The differences are in the details—plenty of them—from its dedi- cated motorcycle hauling system, to its multifunctional tailgate, to its more carlike interior that really is more carlike (or SUV- like), to its secure storage boxes and more. The second Honda Ridgeline we saw Honda Ridgeline RT was in normal traffic, in the rearview mirror. What was this imposing machine, STANDARD EQUIPMENT bearing down from behind? Not an HD Transmission cooler; Electronic brake Escalade or Navigator, but rather... a distribution; Brake assist; Vehicle Stability Honda badge?! Oh yes, it’s the new Assist; Tire pressure monitoring system; Ridgeline, and it apparently does deliver a Keyless entry; AM/FM/CD audio; Air strong and aggressive persona. better. The result is the Ridgeline. Ridgeline is built using a heavy-duty Satellite Radio can be added to the RTL, can accommodate objects as wide as 49 conditioning; Driver’s seat height The third Honda Ridgeline we saw was adjustment; Split folding rear seat; Power The Ridgeline started as a totally new unibody construction with a lower ladder and for $2,000 more the RTL gets a DVD- inches between the wheel wells. It’s our test vehicle, which we drove in windows & door locks; Power sliding rear design, without pulling together elements frame for added strength. Shunning the based navigation system. designed to accommodate two motor- Arizona for a week. What did we learn? cabin window; Cruise. from existing products. It has a strong traditional solid rear axle, engineers used Standard equipment on the RT model cycles or a full-size ATV and has six 350- We didn’t have any major pickup duties at Base Price ................................... $27,700 masculine appearance to appeal to tradi- a heavy-duty four-wheel independent we drove included a power sliding rear pound capacity cargo hooks, as well as a hand, so there was no chance to compare Options .............................................none it with, say, the F-250 4x4 in our company tional truck buyers, and it has a certain suspension for better handling and ride. window with reminder chime, keyless bed tailor-made for these to fit securely. Freight ...............................................$515 resemblance to Chevrolet’s Avalanche Standard equipment on all models entry, automatic heated wipers zone to The heavy-duty tailgate is one of the fleet. It can carry a 4x8 sheet of plywood, Price as Tested.............................$28,215 though, haul a lot of weight, tow even because of the rear sloping C-pillar. The includes Vehicle Stability Assist with keep wipers from freezing, privacy glass, strongest in the industry with a 300- DIMENSIONS more, and can stow your tools or even EPA Size .................................Std. pickup design looks even stronger as it replaces traction control, four-wheel disc brakes power locks, power windows, cruise pound dynamic load capacity. groceries in sealed, dry, secure and very Weight.........................................4,503 lb. the traditional separate cab and bed and Electronic Brake Distribution with control, air conditioning, and AM/FM/CD The Honda Ridgeline is the most un- accessible compartments. These are Wheelbase .................................122.0 in. construction with one continuous body brake assist. audio system. The RLT adds features like truck like truck we’ve driven and basically some of the key things you Length ........................................ 206.8 in. without the break. The bumpers are also A 255-horsepower 3.5-liter Honda V-6 leather seating, eight-way power seats, therefore a favorite in our book. With its usually give up when you buy a pickup Width.............................................76.3 in. integrated into the body design to augment engine powers the Ridgeline, and front seat heaters, six-disc CD changer spacious, well-organized, interior smooth truck as a daily driver. Height ..........................................70.3 in. Honda did set out to reinvent the Fuel Capacity ..............................22.0 gal. the one-piece look. The long hood and generates 0 to 60 mph acceleration times and much more. ride and trademark Honda efficiency it pickup truck, and they have succeeded at Cargo Capacity...........................8.0 cu. ft. strong grille and flared fenders continue to of 8.6 seconds. The engine has Honda’s Secured storage is always a problem makes a great truck for someone who exactly that, and executed it very well. enhance the rugged one-piece. The result is Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic with open bed pickups, but Honda has doesn’t especially want a truck but needs MECHANICAL Honda has a lot of confidence and has Engine ...............................3.5L SOHC V-6 the largest Honda vehicle ever built. Control (VTEC) along with a drive-by-wire solved it by installing an eight cubic foot one occasionally. tackled the tough pickup market aggres- Horsepower ...............................25@5750 The Ridgeline is about the size of a throttle system, direct ignition and a “trunk under the rear portion of the cargo At the introduction earlier this year, we sively. The question remains whether a Torque ......................................252@4500 compact or mid-size truck, but inside it 105,000-mile tune-up interval. Also stan- bed. The compartment is easily reached drove the Ridgeline pulling a 5,000- hardcore pickup buyer (and that’s the best Transmission ..........................5-Spd. Auto has space equivalent to most of the full- dard is a five-speed automatic transmis- by opening the tailgate, which folds down pound trailer, and it did a good job. It kind) will go for all the enhanced function, Drive........................................Four wheel over the traditional style that gives the size pickups. The innovative five-passen- sion with cooling system and fully like a conventional tailgate, or sideways also easily carried a 1,550-pound Brakes ........................................Disc ABS segment—and its owners—character. It Tires .........................................245/65R17 ger interior packaging includes large automatic four-wheel drive system. like a door. The compartment is sealed payload without seriously affecting its will take the test of time to see whether a masculine controls, an abundance of The EPA rates the fuel economy of this from the weather and provides space for handling characteristics. For someone PERFORMANCE Ridgeline fits in at a Pro Rodeo event or 0 to 60 mph..................................8.6 sec. storage areas, and an excellent fit and Honda at 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg luggage, camping gear, tools or it can who needs heavy duty hauling and cargo building materials center, or whether a EPA economy rating ................16/21 mpg finish. There’s even enough space under on the highway. Our combined average even be filled with ice and beverages carrying capacity, the Honda Ridgeline cleverly enhanced level of usefulness is Our actual fuel econ ..................17.7 mpg the split rear seat to carry a set of golf was 17.7 mpg. thanks to a drain hole in the floor. won’t work. But for someone that wants just not enough to sell people a very clubs. With its 112 cubic feet of interior The Ridgeline is available in three The steel-reinforced molded composite to pull a boat, take the family shopping different style of pickup truck. ■ COMPETITORS Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Silverado, capacity, the cab of the Honda Ridgeline model designations: entry level RT priced cargo bed is dent and corrosion resistant or haul some building materials from the Dodge Dakota, Dodge Ram, Rod Explorer pickup has the same interior space as a at $28,215 including shipping, RTS at and eliminates the need for a bed liner. lumberyard, the Ridgeline is perfect. It’s Sport Trac, Ford F-150, GMC Sierra, Lincoln Town Car. $30,590, and the top of the line RTL at The five-foot long cargo bed extends to the kind of truck that just might make Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra Unlike most pickups, the four-door $32,005. For $1,150 a moonroof and XM 6.5 feet long with the tailgate down and more people want a truck. ■ 28 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 29 MOTOR RESOURCES DIRECTORY Performance Tires & Wheels Auto Dealers Automotive Fine Art Tirexchange, Inc. Aston Martin North Scottsdale Automotive Fine Art by Don Evenson Tires • Wheels • Chrome Plating 18088 N. Scottsdale Road • 480-538-4200 Private commissioned paintings in oil or acrylic 15485 N. 84th Street • Scottsdale 11259 E. Via Linda • Suite 100-185 Audi North Scottsdale 1-800-766-2588 • 480-596-9655 Scottsdale AZ 85259 • 480-661-8410 18088 N. Scottsdale Road • 480-538-4000 BMW North Scottsdale Driver Tutoring Auto Spa / Convenience / Gas 18018 N. Scottsdale Road • 480-538-3900 DrivingMBA™ Lou Grubb Ford Cobblestone Auto Spa & Market Comprehensive simulator tutoring for teens 8555 E. Frank Lloyd Wright • 480-991-3333 SCOTTSDALE: A program of Accelerated Skill Builders • Frank Lloyd Wright & Hayden • 480-596-1200 MINI North Scottsdale • 15111 N. Hayden Road • 480-561-2622 480-948-1648 • www.drivingmba.com 18018 N. Scottsdale Road • 480-538-6464 PHOENIX: • Bell Road & Piestewa Parkway • 602-787-0035 Porsche North Scottsdale CHANDLER: Custom Garage Interiors • Alma School & Germann • 480-814-9274 18000 N. Scottsdale Road • 480-538-3850 GarageTek SURPRISE: Scottsdale Lamborghini • Bell Road & Grand Avenue Call to visit our completely furnished garages Raintree & Hayden Road • 480-483-9300 623-580-0900 • www.garagetek.com Van Chevrolet 8585 E. Frank Lloyd Wright • 480-991-8300 Service & Repair Mobile Communications Airpark Auto Service NEXT Technologies, LLC Auto Dealers - Specialty 8115 E. Raintree • 480-998-1605 Integrated Mobile Media Environment (IMME) Greulich’s Auto Repair Dream Machines 602-370-0098 • www.NextTech.biz 8180 E. Raintree • 480-483-8186 14825 N. 82nd St. Suite C • 480-951-9524 Gorilla Motorsports Mobile Broadband Internet Motorcycle Dealers Select line of vehicles restyled for performance Sunangel Communications, Inc. 1425 S. Clark Drive • Tempe AZ 85281 Cycle-Moto 2-Way Mobile Broadband Internet 408-507-0999 • www.gorillamotorsports.net Aprilia - Ducati - Motoguzzi - Triumph 480-905-1663 • www.broadbandonwheels.com 330 E. Southern Ave # 37 • Mesa AZ 85210 Motorsports of Scottsdale 480-898-0559 • www.azsbk.com The Finest Collection of Pre-Owned Luxury Autos Mobile Detailing Service Raintree & Hayden Road • 480-483-9300 Waxwerks Detailing Scottsdale Lotus Motorcycle Manufacturers Detailing - Valley Wide Mobile Service 8355 E. Raintree Suite 170 • 480-922-6242 Aprilia Motorcycles - Scooters Classic, Muscle & Luxury Autos www.apriliausa.com Ken Dickson • 602-788-9680 Online Classic Car Classifieds Dan Gurney Alligator Motorcycles, Inc. www.waxwerksdetailing.com ClassicCars.com Dan Gurney’s All American Racers, Inc. Put your classifieds online at 2334 S. Broadway • Santa Ana CA 92707 Aftermarket Enhancements 714-540-1771 • www.allamericanracers.com 480-460-8800 • www.classiccars.com Gorilla Motorsports Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. Performance packages - superchargers - A/V 9950 Jeronimo Road • irvine CA 92618 Racing Events Custom interiors - wheels/tires - suspension 949-770-0400 • www.kawasaki.com 1425 S. Clark Drive • Tempe AZ 85281 SCO Nights 408-507-0999 • www.gorillamotorsports.net Sport Compact Drag Racing Triumph Every Thursday at Firebird Raceway 385 Walt Sanders Memorial Drive www.dragracing.com/sco Newna GA 30265 Vehicle Diagnostics 678-854-2010 • www.triumph.co.uk Phoenix International Raceway AutoXray 602-252-2227 • www.phoenixraceway.com EZ-Scan 6000 Automotive Scanner Information is derived from a variety of sources www.obd2can.com and may not be final or accurate; check all info. High Performance Schools Listings do not necessarily represent any Bob Bondurant School specific affiliation with nor endorsement by of High Performance Driving Arizona Driver magazine. Mention Code AZ803 for discounted multi-day 1-800-842-RACE • www.bondurant.com 30 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER THE ARIZONARIDER ENTHUSIAST’S GUIDE TO LIFE ON TWO WHEELS Buell XB ACCESSORIES NEW PR0-SERIES SUSPENSION KIT FOR BUELL XB MODELS Improve Balance and Feedback to Rider for Racing or Track Days The new Pro-Series Suspension Kit (P/N 48083-04Y, $76.95) from Buell Accessories is designed to enhance the handling performance of 2005 Buell XB models and pro- vide better rider feedback than the stock suspension. Intended for use in racing appli- cations or for riders fine-tuning a Buell XB for track-day riding, the kit includes a 12 percent stiffer rear spring and 6 percent stiffer fork springs. The Pro-Series rear spring is a single-rate spring that compresses at a constant rate throughout its travel, unlike the progressive-rate stock spring that is rather soft on initial compression to provide a smoother ride on public roads. The Pro-Series spring will deliver a stiffer ride and is not recommend for carrying a passenger. The stiffer rate of the Pro-Series spring also provides a broader range of pre-load adjustment for heavier (over 200 pounds) riders. The rates of the front and rear springs are more closely tuned than the stock springs to provide more consistent front-to-rear balance. The springs are designed by Showa, supplier of the stock suspension systems, and will work well with the existing adjustable dampers, which make this a more affordable performance upgrade. ■ Buell Lightning XB12S KEEP RIGHT >> 32 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 33 NEW DETACHABLE SADDLEBAGS FOR BUELL XB MODELS Custom-fit Carrying Capacity for Lightning and Firebolt Models Buell owners can add touring capacity or just around-town utility to an XB Lightning or XB Firebolt model with the new Detachable Saddlebags ($159.95) from Buell Accessories. Constructed of molded polyester, these streamlined black bags are weather- and UV-resistant, and the rigid body and lids maintain shape when empty. The bags expand two inches for additional capacity, and feature reflective trim and waterproof zippers. Detachable Saddlebag P/N 91310-04Y fits all 2003-later XB Firebolt models, and includes support brackets and reflector relocation brackets. Detachable Saddlebag P/N 91458-05Y fits all 2003-later XB Lightning models and features an easy-to-use hook-and-loop mounting system. ■ NEW DETACHABLE TRUNK BAG FOR BUELL XB LIGHTNING MODELS Weather-Resistant Touring Luggage: Sleek Style,Custom Fit The new Detachable Trunk Bag (P/N 91456-05Y, $109.95) from Buell Accessories is versatile touring luggage custom-fit for all 2003-later Buell XB Lightning models. The rigid polyester body and lid hold shape when empty and are UV- and weather- resistant. Expandable side pockets offer additional capacity, and a padded handle makes it easy to carry this bag to a hotel room or office. The bag has reflective trim, an easy-to-use mounting system, and comes with a rain cover. The Detachable Trunk Bag is designed to work as a system with Detachable Saddlebags (P/N 91458-05Y, $159.95), which must be purchased separately. ■ Buell Firebolt XB12R 34 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 35 THE INSIDE TRACK: BRIEFS & RUMORS ■ Sophisticated future software may ■ The rumor of a future Hyundai truck ■ Mazda is working on a high- enable vehicles to travel at high speeds, in persists, but now sources say they won’t performance version of the Mazda3 heavy traffic, without the fear of crashing. make the same mistake According to Microsoft Corp. chairman Toyota did by building a Bill Gates, in-vehicle software and lightweight truck. Rather, the ■ Saleen is adding twin turbochargers ■ Jaguar is studying the prospects of ■ The Hummer is not big enough or cameras can be made so sophisticated Hyundai truck will be a super to its awesome S7 supercar to boost the building a four-wheel drive crossover tough enough for some affluent Russians, and cheap that car crashes may become duty model built by US truck 550-hp engine to 750-hp and torque from vehicle to replace the slow selling X-Type so a Russian entrepreneur is marketing a thing of the past. Gates made the maker International. 525 lb.ft to 700 lb.ft. The two-seater, sedan, according to British reports. the Kombat T-98. The Kombat can be statements at a recent auto conference in upgraded to withstand anti-tank rockets Dearborn, Mich. ■ Hyundai is expected to ■ Volkswagen has a smal- and machine-gun fire. But make no introduce a rear-wheel drive ler five-door SUV planned for mistake this is not a military vehicle, ■ The shipping charge for a typical new luxury sedan by 2007 to test the 2007 model year called because inside there is a minibar, DVD vehicle is in the $500 to $700 range. The the waters for a possible the Bedouin. It’s based on player, TV and a navigation system. new $327,500 plus Maybach ultra sedan luxury brand emulating Mazda3 5-door parts from the Golf and Kombat designer Dmitri Parfenov is also Toyota’s Lexus and Passat and will fit in a niche hoping to sell it in England for about Maybach 62 Nissan’s Infiniti brands. Hyundai hatchback to be called the MazdaSpeed3. to compete with vehicles like $360,000 each. vice chairman and co-CEO, Kim Power is expected to come from a slightly the Toyota RAV4, Land Rover Dong Jin, says the luxury car is a detuned version of the same 2.3-liter Freelander and BMW X3. ■ Mazda has a new sport wagon in the “higher priority” than a truck as a turbocharged engine scheduled to power Volkswagen also has a pickup works for introduction late in 2006 or way to improve brand image. the larger the MazdaSpeed6. The 6 will Saleen S7 truck in the works for 2008. early 2007. Developed from the MX- have a reported 256-hp, while the 3 is Crossport concept, which debuted at the ■ Volkswagen is rumored to be likely to be in the 230- to 240-hp range. which weighs less than 3,000 pounds, ■ The replacement for the General Detroit auto show, the new wagon will working on a rear-wheel drive The MazdaSpeed3 should debut at the accelerates from 0 to 60 mph, without Motors worldwide Epsilon platform use the same platform as the Mazda6 platform for a new car that will fit Frankfurt Motor Show in September. turbochargers, in 3.3 seconds – the turbo currently used to build the Saab 9-3 and sedan. According to Mazda officials between the Passat and the should put that figure somewhere in the 9-5 will be reconfigured to both Phaeton. The platform will also ■ General Motors will delay the second upper two-second range making it easily front- and all-wheel drive (AWD). likely find its way into the next generation Cadillac SRX sport wagon the fastest car on the block. Expect the That means it’s very likely we lists a $2,750 destination fee. The price Audi A8, but only with all-wheel drive that was due for the 2008 model year. $400,000 price tag to increase, too. will see AWD options for next covers shipment from Germany in a configurations. It’s also rumored that VW According to GM spokesman Pat generation 9-3 and 9-5 Saabs. special container, as well as transport is working with an Asian company on the Morrissey, the delay will only be a few ■ Now with three hybrids in dealerships, from the port to the Maybach studio in an development. months. The SRX will get a scheduled Toyota’s next products to get the gas/ ■ Pontiac will offer a enclosed truck. interior freshening for 2007. Earlier this electric hybrid treatment include the removable hardtop option for the ■ General Motors is rumored to be year GM announced it had killed plans to Lexus GS 450h in 2006 and the Toyota new Solstice roadster so that it ■ Chrysler COO Tom LaSorda said the working on a rear-wheel drive perfor- build an SRX-V high performance version. Camry in 2007. The period from 2008 to will qualify it to be raced in company is exploring the possibility of mance car to take the place of the 2010 should bring dealers the following Sports Car Club of America adding diesel engines to other Chrysler Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. ■ Watch for Dodge Hemi brand power hybrids: Lexus ES, Toyota Avalon, Sienna, events, which require a factory Mazda MX-Crossport concept Group vehicles. The diesel-powered Jeep Both of the so-called “pony cars” were tools at your local hardware store. B3 Tundra and Sequoia. hardtop. Sources say it will be Liberty CRD is currently one of the most discontinued in 2001 due to poor sales, Brands, Inc. has introduced a new line of available early in 2007. crossover buyers are looking for a better popular vehicles in the Jeep lineup with but with the renewed success in the premium power tools hoping to cash in ■ Acura will launch a smaller (than the ride than a conventional SUV, but want each vehicle selling in an average of 18 original pony car, the Ford Mustang, GM on popularity of the Hemi V-8 used in MDX) crossover in 2006 based on the ■ DaimlerChrysler has again dropped more space and a higher seating position days, as compared to the 40 to 50 Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles. compact TSX sedan. The new RDX will be plans to bring the tiny Smart to the than a sedan. days for other vehicles. Ho9lden VZ SS Commodore the first Acura to be equipped ■ With MG Rover going out of with a factory turbocharger. ■ BMW will offer diesel- ■ Automated headlight dimming business, Land Rover has lost a In addition to the 2.2-liter powered models in the US may be making a comeback if the source of engines for the Freelander 260-hp four-cylinder it will as early as 2007. Most likely new system created by Gentex SUV. As a result, they will stop also get the new Super- models will be the X5 and Corporation catches on. The shipping the Freelander to the US handling all-wheel drive from X3 SUV models. With new system uses a camera-on-a-chip market and will use the remaining the new RL. low sulphur diesel fuel semiconductor device that turns engines for vehicles sold in other available in the US at that on high beams when they are markets where the it is more popular. ■ The new updated BMW 7 point, the diesel engines needed and automatically goes to The Freelander is currently being Series have two-stage Adap- will allow BMW to meet US low beams when oncoming redesigned and will be shipped to the tive Brake Lights. Whenever Acura RD-X concept emission levels, while headlights or the taillights are detected on appears to be wanting to get back in the US again late in 2006. ■ the driver applies the brakes getting high torque and vehicles ahead. The system is integrated game. Initial development may be done Briefs & Rumors is a summary of auto news from harder than usual, motorists following United States. It was determined they better fuel economy. Currently BMW into an automatic-dimming rear view by GM Australian subsidy Holden, which industry sources, trade journals and consumer behind are warned by the larger brake would have to charge too much to for the offers diesel engines I all but two of its mirror. It is now available on the 2005 Jeep was responsible for rear-drive Pontiac magazines compiled for Arizona Driver Magazine light area. cars to make a profit. But stay tuned. models currently being sold in Europe. Grand Cherokee and the Cadillac STS. GTO development. by BILL & BARBARA SCHAFFER of Auto Digest. 36 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 37 EQUIPMENT : BRIDGESTONE POTENZE RE92A FOR MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE BRIDGESTONE® BRAND POTENZA™ RE92A™ O.E. ON 2006 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE High-performance all-season tire optimized for popular sport coupe B ridgestone® Potenza™ RE92A™ tires will be original equipment on the 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Bridgestone will supply the popular sport coupe with the Bridgestone Potenza Bridgestone Potenza RE92A tire in size P225/50R17 93V. RE92A tires feature a unique tread “The Eclipse has enjoyed continued design with interlocking triangulated success in a very competitive marketplace blocks and circumferential grooves for and we’re excited to gain this original excellent wet, dry and snow traction. Hard original equipment tire equipment fitment on another popular rubber sidewall stiffeners resist lateral supplier for the automaker’s 2005 Mitsubishi vehicle,” said Michael Martini, (sideways) movement to maintain tire Endeavor, Montero and Galant vehicles. president, original equipment consumer stability, improving the vehicle’s tire division, Bridgestone Firestone North responsiveness and cornering. The The Bridgestone Potenza® RE92A American Tire, LLC (BFNT). “Our Bridge- Bridgestone Potenza RE92A tire in size is available in Arizona at: stone Potenza RE92A tire is a perfect com- P225/50R17 93V carries a V speed rating TIREXCHANGE, INC. plement for the sporty and hip Eclipse. and a UTQG rating of 260 for treadwear, A Performance Tires and Wheels The all-season performance tread pattern for traction and A for temperature. 15485 N. 84th Street was optimized to match the superior han- The Bridgestone Potenza RE92A fitment Scottsdale AZ 85260 dling characteristics of the Eclipse, which on the 2006 Eclipse is a result of the 1-800-766-2588 delivers high performance in a vehicle continuing relationship between BFNT 480-596-9655 ■ that is a daily-driver.” and Mitsubishi. Bridgestone is also the 38 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER TRACK TIME : 2005 PORSCHE CARRERA GT Clearly not just another car by Bill Schaffer ife is filled with memorable L firsts: your first step, first kiss, first drink…you get the idea. Now, mentally filed with my memor- able firsts is my first drive in the Porsche Carrera GT. To the unaware, it’s just another car, but to car guys (and girls) it’s a legend. Envision a 605-hp V-10 engine mounted in an exotic lightweight two-seat sports car. Imagine a top speed of 205 mph. Think about accelerating from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds, or to 100 mph in 6.9 seconds. And it’s unique—just over 200 built so far, and Porsche only plans to build a total of 1,500 over the next few years. Of then, squeeze that throttle.” and massive 14.96-inch brakes of the course, exotic means expensive. The base I’d driven the Porsche 911S Cabriolet same ceramic material. Someone said price is $443,000. Load it up with all the and the Boxster S around the 1.45-mile the clutch costs about $8,000 to replace. customizing options and you’re looking at interior test circuit in the infield of Cali- Everyone was talking about how tricky a price of about $534,000 before taxes fornia Speedway, was starting to feel more the clutch is, but Kees (after cautioning and license. comfortable and was actually getting me that “this car cost more than my I was spending the day at the California faster. Glancing down at the digital house” and “don’t scare me”) said, “let Speedway in Ontario with a group of west speedometer just before braking at the the clutch out and then give it some gas.” coast auto writers driving Porsche con- end of the longest straight, I saw speeds I did, and fortunately I didn’t stall, like vertibles. Porsche conveniently supplied just over 100 mph before braking hard to some of the writers did. us each with a professional driving about 35 mph for the corner. I spent about I spent the first few laps getting the feel instructor. This was a great way for me to 15 minutes in each of five Porsche test of the GT. It was surprisingly easy to drive. polish my driving skills, plus it was a way cars with Kees. What a great day! As I pushed harder the car responded for Porsche to keep this group of overly Finally it was my turn for the Carrera with power far beyond my experience exuberant auto writers under control. GT. Driving the legend is very intimi- level, but it was forgiving when I needed My instructor, Kees Nierop, has driven dating. There is nothing normal about it to be. On my last run down that long at Sebring, Le Mans and all the big races. this hand-built car. The construction is straight, I blinked down at the digital He was a great instructor, coaching me carbon fiber, aluminum, magnesium and speedometer—274 kilometers/hour. Back through each turn: “Brake hard first, then other lightweight materials. It even has a at the press tent I made the conversion downshift, then turn in and then, only small 6.65-inch ceramic composite clutch calculation. 170 mph! ■ 40 • July-August 2005 •ARIZONADRIVER ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 41 UPCOMING FEATURES Hummer H3 In a realm that is largely based on in-your-face size, Hummer’s lineup paradoxically keeps coming out with something smaller. We’ll be reporting on the newest one: the H3. 2006 New Model Year Preview Can’t wait? Neither can we. We’ll bring you details on about 300 vehicles from about 50 manufacturers, spread out over two issues. Stay tuned to see what gets your blood pumping. Ford GT Ford’s very own supercar certainly has added something to their lineup. We have early word on a special edition due for 2006. We’ll bring you info on development and new rumors.
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