NEW YORK - Saturn Corp. finally will unveil its second line of cars, the L series, at the New York International Auto Show this week.
Saturn's parent, General Motors, looks as if it will dominate the news from New York. The Saturn LS sedan and LW wagon are only part of a host of new GM production models to be shown.
Rival Ford Motor Co. will show the restyled 2000 Ford Taurus. The Mercury Sable, its corporate cousin, will be introduced this week at the San Diego auto show.
GM's headliners in New York will be:
The 2000 Chevrolet Suburban and the 2000 GMC Yukon, full-sized sport-utilities based on the new Silverado pickup platform. GM will unveil near-production show cars.
Oldsmobile will show the 2001 Aurora, expected to go on sale next year. With a choice of V-6 or V-8 engine and a lower entry price of around $30,000, the new model is expected to boost sales of the Oldsmobile flagship.
Pontiac-GMC will show the Pontiac Sunfire. Reskinned for the 2000 model year, it features a new instrument panel, an optional Monsoon sound system and a Getrag five-speed manual transmission.
Saab Automobile AB, which is 50 percent GM owned, unveils the 9-3 Viggen coupe, named after the Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet. Viggen means 'lightning' in Swedish. The 9-3 Viggen goes on sale in the United States in May as a late 1999 model.
Saturn's LS sedan and LW wagon are based on the Opel Vectra. These vehicles will be larger and roomier than Saturn's current lineup and will be powered by GM's new L850 world engine, a four-cylinder, multivalve powerplant. The Saturns will go on sale in midsummer.
In addition, GM President Rick Wagoner will kick off the New York press preview. Wagoner, who began his career as an analyst in the GM treasurer's office in New York, will address the International Motor Press Association on Tuesday, March 30.
The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association hosts the show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. It will run from March 30 through April 11, including three press preview days.
Along with GM's raft of new product, the Taurus will be the other big-volume New York debut.
Ford Division President Jim O'Connor is expected to unveil new sheet metal with a more conservative look. The oval influences of the previous generation have faded. The new car is expected to have more rear headroom and a larger trunk, addressing two complaints about the current edition. Also look for upgraded safety features.
Among the Japanese brands:
Infiniti Division will show a new I30. Among other changes, the engine has been retuned for more power.
American Isuzu Motors Inc. will show a concept derivative of the VehiCross sport-utility, the VX-O2. It reportedly differs from the VX2 concept shown in Tokyo in 1997. Otherwise, this year's New York show is not notable for all-new concept cars.
Mazda North American Operations will unveil the 2000 MPV minivan. It goes on sale this summer as a 2000 model. The seats have what Mazda calls a 'side-by-slide' feature, with removable center row seats that move fore, aft and sideways. The third-row seat also folds flat into the floor, or flips backward over the rear bumper, for 'tailgate' events. It has dual sliding doors. The engine is a 2.5-liter V-6.
Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. will debut its new 2000 Eclipse. The two-door hatchback now shares engines with the Galant: a four-cylinder and a V-6, replacing the old four-cylinder and turbo four. The new model has a longer wheelbase and more back seat room.
Mitsubishi also will unveil a reskinned Montero Sport.
Subaru of America Inc. will unveil the all-new Legacy. The Outback version was introduced at the Detroit auto show in January. In profile, the U.S. Legacy and the Japanese version are nearly identical. End-on views show differences in the bumpers, fenders, trim, cladding, wheels and the tailpipe.
Staff Reporters Mark Rechtin, Mary Connelly and David Sedgwick contributed to this report