MINI MINI by niusheng11


									             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

                                                                             Cooper S

                                                                       Also...  HONDA
                                                               Honda reinvents the pickup truck

         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
                                            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

                           COVER: MINI Cooper S Convertible.
                           Photo courtesy BMW of North America, LLC.

      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
                                                                                                                                       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!
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                      Joe Sage                                                             Arizona Driver Magazine and
                                                                                           Arizona Rider Magazine are registered
                                                                                           tradenames of AdZone Arizona LLC.
                      Executive Editor

                                                                                                                                                                                   the roads
                                                                                                                                                                                     are dry
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4 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER                                                                                                                                                       ARIZONADRIVER • July-August 2005 • 5

                                               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
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

                    >> ANSWERS (quiz on page 7) >>
                                                               5. Answer: d. According to 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),
   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

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

                                                          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

How much fun is this?!
Here is why you want to become the best driver you can...

                                                ou may have a taste for some          This trip through Namibia, south of the
                                        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,

                                                                                      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.         (with link to
                                                                                      English) for dates, pricing and detailed                                
                                        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

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                                                                                                   623-935-0507 •
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                                                          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 •                                       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 •                                 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                                                  505-983-7317 •                                   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 •
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 •                                 Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village
  ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS                                                                                                                          20900 Oakwood Blvd. • Dearborn MI 48124
                                                                                                                                       • 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 •                                                                                                              (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 •
                                                                                                                                       • 614-856-2222
6060 Wilshire Blvd. (at Fairfax) • LA CA 90036                          Southern Utah Scenic Tours
323-930-CARS •                                                                                                                 National Automobile Museum
                                                                        PO Box 1113 • Cedar City UT 84720
                                                                                                                                                (see Nevada listings)
                                                                        888-404-8687 •
                                                                                                                                                National Corvette Museum
Colorado                                                                  RESORTS / LODGING                                                     350 Corvette Drive • Bowling Green KY 42101
  ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS                                                  Desert Rose Inn & Cabins                                       • 800-53VETTE
                                                                        701 W. Highway 191 • Bluff UT 84512                                     Petersen Automotive Museum
Colorado Activity Centers, Inc.
                                                                        888-475-7673 •                                    (see California listings)
737 N. Tenmile Drive - Suite 35
PO Box 129 • Frisco CO 80443                                                                                                                    Shelby American Collection
800-777-8642 -                                                                                                             (see Colorado listings)
Shelby American Collection
5020 Chaparral Court
PO Box 19228 • Boulder CO 80308-2228

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

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. ■
 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 •
                                                  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 •
                                                  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 •                                                                      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 •          Aprilia - Ducati - Motoguzzi - Triumph
480-905-1663 •                                                             330 E. Southern Ave # 37 • Mesa AZ 85210
                                                  Motorsports of Scottsdale
                                                                                                     480-898-0559 •
                                                  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                                                             
Ken Dickson • 602-788-9680
                                                  Online Classic Car Classifieds                     Dan Gurney Alligator Motorcycles, Inc.
                                                                            Dan Gurney’s All American Racers, Inc.
                                                  Put your classifieds online at                     2334 S. Broadway • Santa Ana CA 92707
Aftermarket Enhancements                                                                             714-540-1771 •
                                                  480-460-8800 •
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 •
1425 S. Clark Drive • Tempe AZ 85281              SCO Nights
408-507-0999 •         Sport Compact Drag Racing                          Triumph
                                                  Every Thursday at Firebird Raceway                 385 Walt Sanders Memorial Drive
                                                                     Newna GA 30265
Vehicle Diagnostics                                                                                  678-854-2010 •
                                                  Phoenix International Raceway
                                                  602-252-2227 •
EZ-Scan 6000 Automotive Scanner                                                                      Information is derived from a variety of sources                                                                                      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 •

30 • July-August 2005 • ARIZONADRIVER
                                  ENTHUSIAST’S           GUIDE        TO     LIFE     ON     TWO   WHEELS

Buell XB
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
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. ■

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

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

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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