Integra: A redesign finally is coming for the long-in-the-tooth Integra. The new Integra, which last was redesigned in 1994, will bow in the spring of 2001 and likely will be created off the new flexible Civic platform.
The new Integra coupe might be renamed the RS. The future of the Integra sedan, however, might be in jeopardy: It contributes only 10 percent of the line's sales, so a case can be made for dropping the four-door model.
CL: A redesign in spring 2000 puts the CL on the new Accord/TL platform, which will mean a much longer wheelbase. The four-cylinder engine may be dropped in order to stop cannibalizing sales of the higher-trim Integra/RS.
3.2TL: The 3.2TL is nearly a sellout, but Honda is not waiting for a sales slowdown to take action. A five-speed automatic is in the works. Some sources say Acura also will offer a 260-hp V-6 as an option, but Acura denies it.
Though a redesign is planned for the 2003 model year, American Honda sources say there is no chance a rear-wheel-drive model will be created to fight the Lexus IS 300.
3.5RL: The 3.5RL is scheduled for major changes in the 2002 model year, including more expressive styling to reflect its up-market status. The current model carries styling cues that make it look like the 3.2TL's big brother. Some sources say the next 3.5RL will have a 3.8-liter V-6, while others say Honda will offer a 4.0-liter V-8 that will be shared with the MAV sport-utility.
NSX: Despite low sales, Acura will continue to market the NSX as its image car.
Sometime around the 2002 model year, the NSX will get a restyled front fascia that incorporates clear headlamps in place of the current pop-up type. The rear wing will remain, having become a signature design cue of the car.
Engine power will be increased, although the V-6 engine will probably remain, despite wild reports of a V-8 or even a compact V-12.
MAV: Honda and Acura Divisions' Executive Vice President Dick Colliver's plan to rescue Acura from the doldrums relies heavily on the new Honda Odyssey-based 2001 sport-utility. The MAV will replace the smaller Isuzu-produced SLX, which will be dropped at the end of the 1999 model year.
The MAV, which will be built in Alliston, Ontario, will come with a 3.5-liter V-6 and have the required fender flares and aggressive grille to connote off-road toughness. The sport-utility will have a 110-inch wheelbase and be 185 inches long, larger than the Lexus RX 300 and BMW X5. When Honda gets a version in the 2003 model year, the Acura edition will get an engine bump to 3.7 or 3.8 liters.
Insight: This fall, Honda will offer the first ready-for-sale hybrid-powered vehicle in the United States.
The Insight will be powered by a 1.0-liter lean-burn three-cylinder engine with variable valve timing, mated to a nickel-metal-hydride battery motor. Combine the ultra-low emission powerplant to an aluminum chassis and design, and Insight may get 70 mpg.
The vehicle is expected to be priced below $20,000.
Civic: The 2001 model year brings a redesigned Civic coupe and sedan that are a little wider and longer than the current generation and are powered by a slightly larger four-cylinder engine.
Though a hatchback is iffy for the North American lineup, a reprise of the Civic wagon is likely.
The single-cam, 1.6-liter four-banger will be bored out to 1.8 liters and will have a flatter torque curve, more horsepower and lower emissions.
Though appeal to the performance-conscious youth market is paramount, given the Toyota Echo's entry into the field, there are no plans to market a low-priced vehicle beneath the Civic.
Accord: Honda's decision to put the Accord on a five-year cycle means the popular car won't be redone for the 2002 model year, when the Toyota Camry will be redesigned. The plan is to create a slightly larger and more powerful Accord for the 2003 model year.
Prelude: The arrival of the S2000 roadster would seem to put the Prelude's future in doubt, but Honda executives insist the Prelude will remain in the lineup.
S2000: Honda's S2000 roadster delivers an astounding 240 hp from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, plus impressive handling, all for about $30,000. The waiting list for this new 2000 model is growing longer.
CR-V: A redesign of Honda's popular sport wagon is slated for the 2002 model year off the new flexible Civic platform. Packaging will be close to the current version, although a slightly larger interior may be in the offing.
The next-generation CR-V will have more power.
Passport: Honda won't get the sport-utility variant from the Odyssey platform until the new Alabama plant comes on line, so the Isuzu Rodeo clone will have to do until the 2003 model year.
Odyssey: The big minivan was introduced last fall and has been a hot seller ever since. There are no plans to revamp the vehicle in the next few years.
G20: A short cycle is planned for Infiniti's near-luxury model, a small sedan that shares components with Europe's Nissan Primera.
The 2002 model year redesign will deliver an engine with more oomph and improved noise-vibration-harshness qualities than the current four-banger, which comes from the Nissan Sentra line. However, the next-generation G20 likely will remain a front-wheel-drive four-cylinder car, despite its luxury pretentions.
I30: The I30, Infiniti's volume leader, is new for the 2000 model year and tries to push a bit away from its Maxima twin.
The powerplant packs 227 hp, and the interior treatment is definitely youthful for a luxury car. The styling was done in Japan.
Q45: Infiniti's dramatic Q45 redesign will arrive for the 2001 model year, along with the return of a 4.5-liter V-8, an engine that will produce an estimated 320 hp.
Infiniti's concept car, briefly displayed this past spring at the New York auto show, offers a hint of the styling direction for the next-generation Q45. The concept is a cross between the Mercedes-Benz E class and S class.
S30: The Japan-market Skyline coupe will be the basis for the fifth entrant to the Infiniti line, arriving in early 2002 as a 2003 model. Whether it will be a four-seat model like the Skyline, or some other vehicle using the platform's hard points, is yet to be determined.
At the spring New York auto show, Nissan showed sketches of sporty cars that may have tipped its hand. And no, it won't be a Z with an Infiniti badge. But it's an expensive platform, so the Renault cost-cutters could kill it off.
QX4: The Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti QX4 are nearly twins. The reskin for the 1999 model year came too early for the new 3.5-liter engine, which will arrive for the 2000 model year.
A full redesign is slated for the 2002 model year; expect the nearly new engine to carry over. The exterior styling will be influenced by the BMW X5.
Renaults products: Rumors abound of French-built, Infiniti-badged vehicles, be they the futuristic Avantine minivan or the redesigned Laguna sedan. But Renault says it is not interested.
Rodeo: The redesigned 2003 sport-utility will retain Isuzu's trucklike body-on-frame platform and line of four- and six-cylinder engines. Isuzu denies reports that the next-generation Rodeo will come off the new General Motors' GMT360 platform, which will be used for the redesigned 2002 Chevrolet Blazer.
Amigo: The redesigned Amigo will arrive about six months after the new Rodeo bows, assuming the Amigo lives that long. There may be a repositioning of the Amigo as a two-door Rodeo, rather than its current marketing as a small off-road runabout.
Trooper: The redesigned 2002 Isuzu will keep its body-on-frame construction. Again, Isuzu insists it will use its own platform rather than the rumored sharing with GM.
Hombre: Isuzu does confirm that it has been given the development and engineering lead to create the next-generation Chevrolet S10 and GMC Sonoma pickups and the replacement for its Hombre pickup. The redesign, code-named GMT355, will come for the 2003 model year.
VehiCross: The VehiCross went on the market this past spring, but Isuzu's image-leader may be a short-term vehicle if product planners sense a greater demand for the VX2 or Zaccar concept vehicles. Otherwise, the VehiCross should last through the 2001 model year.
The XV-02 convertible VehiCross concept is being studied for production in very limited numbers.
Medium SUV: Isuzu is studying a proposal to offer a slightly larger sport-utility off a stretched Rodeo platform that would fit between the Rodeo and the Trooper. If produced, the vehicle would bow some time after the 2003 model year.
Oasis: The Honda-produced minivan will be dropped at the end of 1999 model year.
IS 300: This new rwd sedan will land in next spring to do battle with the BMW 3 series. A starting price of around $27,000 is predicted.
Although U.S. execs wanted a compact V-6 engine, Japan is sticking with a 3.0-liter, inline-six, an updated version of the old Supra mill.
The youthful interior and exterior styling will be almost identical to that of the model currently on sale in Europe and Japan.
ES 300: Expect special editions until the redesigned car arrives for the 2002 model year. With the introduction of the IS 300, the next ES 300 will likely move up market.
GS 300/400: No major changes are expected in the near future.
SC 300/400: In January 2001, the coupe lines will split. The up-market V-8 version will come from the GS platform and maintain its luxury coupe status, while a less-expensive version may come from the IS 300 and more effectively battle the 3-series coupes.
LS 400: Lexus' top-of-the-line sedan receives a dramatic redesign that will be unveiled in the spring.
Some sources say the 4.0-liter V-8 will be carried over with the addition of a refined version of the 4.7-liter mill from the Tundra/Land Cruiser. Other sources say the 4.0-liter V-8 will be bored out to 4.3-liters, while a 5.0-liter V-12 from the Japan-market Century will be offered to battle the S class more effectively. Then again, reports of a V-12 flagship with a stretched wheelbase have been around for years.
RX 300: The luxury sport wagon is selling better than expected. In fact, it's the No. 1 seller in the Lexus line. Aside from the standard midcycle fascia freshening, no changes are expected.
LX 470: No changes are expected.
Protege: The Protege, which was new for 1999, will be short-cycled and will land on the Ford Focus platform in the 2002 model year. Expect almost entirely Ford mechanicals but substantially different styling.
626: The mid-sized entry will complete its five-year cycle and likely will be redesigned for the 2003 model year off a stretched version of the next Mondeo platform. However, Ford Motor Co. debate regarding the future of the Mondeo may mean that Mazda gets to design its own 626.
Millenia: There may not be room for the Millenia in the Ford global franchise; but if it survives, it will move down market.
Whereas sales pressures have the $32,000 car down to $27,000 with incentives, the next edition with content and engineering changes would truly be a $27,000 car. Either way, the expensive Miller-cycle V-6 is a goner.
If the Millenia is kept in the line, some sources say the next generation will come off a stretched Mondeo platform, while others predict a rear-wheel-drive rival to the Lexus IS 300.
Miata: The Miata's redesign is slated for the 2002 model year. Expect the next-generation car to stay true to its roots. Breaking the $20,000 barrier for the base model in 1999 was a big decision, so prices probably won't climb much higher.
RX-7: Debate over the future of the new RX-7 delayed development of the car for three years. Sources say a Miata-based 2+2 coupe concept that looks and feels nothing like a Miata will be displayed at the upcoming Japan auto show. The new RX-7 may arrive as soon as the 2002 model year.
A 200-hp, rotary 1.3-liter is expected to power this screaming sports car. Given the direction of the Ford-Mazda union, the rotary may soon be the last engine engineered by Mazda in the automaker's lineup.
MPV: Mazda is betting that its redesigned 2000 model, with about the same interior and exterior dimensions as the Nissan Quest, will be a hit with consumers who are not interested in a big Dodge Grand Caravan or Honda Odyssey.
A 2.5-liter Ford Duratec V-6 powers the vehicle. Third-row disappearing seats mimic the Odyssey's, while industry-first power windows are incorporated into the sliding side doors.
J14A: The Ford-Mazda sport wagon bows in the 2001 model year.
When Mazda began development of the sport wagon, the automaker planned to use the 626 platform to create a vehicle nearly the size of a Ford Explorer.
However, things changed when Ford took over the program. The platform was retained, but the sport wagon's size was trimmed. From Ford's perspective, there was no reason to have a Mazda sport wagon that is about the same size as the Mercury Mountaineer and the popular Explorer.
The result is that Mazda's sport wagon will be a little longer and wider than the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. However, with the accolades Nissan's Xterra is receiving, Mazda executives fear the sport wagon's size may have been reduced too much.
A 2.5-liter Duratec V-6 is planned for the up-market sport wagon, while the base engine will be either the 2.0-liter Zetec four-cylinder from the Escort or a similar sized engine from the 626.
B series: Mazda's compact pickup will continue to be produced off the Ford Ranger platform so there will be few differences between the two models.
A redesign for the 2002 model year will come off Ford's P155 program.
Mirage: With virtually no marketing support for this car, there are doubts that a 2002 redesign will come to America. But Mitsubishi executives insist the line needs an entry-level car. If it does come to America, the 2002 model will be an attempt to lure performance-types away from Civic.
Galant: New for 1999, Galant finally got a decent 3.0-liter V-6 to compete with the Accord and Camry. But the car's still a tad narrow for American tastes.
Mitsubishi executives here want the next generation, slated for the 2003 model year, to be developed and styled entirely in America.
Eclipse: The 2000 Eclipse - Mitsubishi's volume and image leader - is redesigned and shares the Galant platform.
The 3.0-liter V-6 replaces the peaky turbo four as the up-market engine. The all-wheel-drive option is dropped; traction control is added to the option lineup. A Spyder will arrive in March.
Diamante: With nearly a year's worth of inventory on hand, the Diamante was very close to being scrapped for the 2000 model year, but it lives on.
If it can hang on until the 2003 model year redesign, the Diamante will move down market and likely will come off a stretched version of the Galant platform, similar to what the Toyota Avalon is to the Camry.
3000GT: The car will be dropped at the end of the 1999 model year; no successor is in sight.
Sport wagon: A small sport wagon will arrive in the spring of 2002 as a Toyota RAV4 fighter. The vehicle will be built in Japan and most likely based on the next Mirage platform.
Montero Sport: Changes for the 2000 model year include dropping the four-cylinder engine, using the 3.2-liter V-6 as the base engine and bringing in a 3.5-liter V-6 as the up-market engine. More-responsive coil springs replace less-expensive leaf springs that initially were installed for cost-saving reasons.
Mitsubishi President Katsuhiko Kawasoe predicts the next-generation Montero Sport, coming in early 2003, will be assembled at its Illinois plant. That pretty much assures it will come off the new Galant platform.
Montero: For spring 2000, the long-in-the-tooth Montero finally will get a redesign. Longer, lower, wider, but with the same overall wheelbase, it no longer will look like an African safari vehicle.
For now, the Montero will share the 3.5-liter V-6 with the Montero Sport, but Mitsubishi is aware that U.S. buyers are unforgiving of underpowered SUVs. A supercharger or 3.7-liter engine may be offered in the future.
Sentra: The launch date for the redesigned Sentra was Christmas 1999. Now it has been pushed up to February 2000 as the Mexico plant tries to ramp up as quickly as it can.
The redesign no longer looks like a economy car but rather like a Nissan version of an Audi A4. However, cost-cutting was of paramount concern, so interior fittings still may feel low budget. The higher-performance 2.0-liter four-cylinder version will be launched first because the base 1.8-liter did not have enough power and is being retuned.
Altima: A restyled fascia greets the 2000 model along with noise-vibration-harshness improvements and tightening of the soft suspension feel.
But the real news comes for the 2002 model year when Altima gets a new platform and grows to take on the Accord and Camry. The new Altima is expected to have a 105-inch wheelbase and 188-inch length.
A new model will be offered with 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V-6 engines.
Maxima: Redesigned this summer, the Maxima receives new sheet metal and elegant interior trim. The model's already potent 3.0-liter V-6 is boosted to 222 hp, but the increased weight of the car means it does not feel that much faster.
When the new Altima arrives in 2002, Maxima will get a standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine that will generate around 260 hp. In 2004, the car will be put on a stretched version of the Altima platform and be positioned similar to Toyota's Avalon.
Z: It is coming, but development conflicts abound, including whether to equip the sports car with a six-cylinder for enthusiasts and brand strengthening, to use a four-banger for pricing reasons, or to offer both engines.
The earliest arrival would be spring 2002.
Frontier: Probably the worst truck launch ever is being corrected piecemeal. A V-6 is finally available in numbers. Styling deficiencies will be corrected in the fall of 2000 with a rough-and-tough fascia appearance created by Nissan Design International.
The short-bed Crew Cab is the first Asian pickup with four nearly full-sized doors to reach the U.S. market.
Nissan wants to take the commercial-vehicle feel out of the truck, especially the school bus-like shifter. A supercharger will come with the V-6 in the 2001 model year, giving the Frontier a frisky 210 hp.
SUT: The trademarked Nissan Sport-Utility-Truck eventually could replace the Frontier Crew Cab that just went on sale or it could be marketed alongside the Xterra as a sport-utility with a truck bed. The truck is slated to arrive in the spring of 2001.
Xterra: The Xterra, new for this summer, is Nissan's attempt to regain the simple ruggedness and potent image of the original truck-based Pathfinder.
Many predict this sport-utility may be the home run that turns Nissan around in America. The vehicle has aggressive pricing, good looks, smart packaging and a good-enough powertrain.
Pathfinder: A bold restyling for the 2000 model year began rolling down the assembly line too early to incorporate the larger, more powerful 3.5-liter V-6. The new 240-hp engine arrives in January.
A full redesign is slated for the 2002 model year; expect the nearly new engine to carry over.
Quest: Nissan and Ford have been mulling the end of their minivan deal in Ohio; the Ford plant there also produces the Mercury Villager. Though the contract is supposed to conclude in 2004, it may conclude prematurely in 2002.
A replacement minivan that Nissan could market here might be the Japan-market Nissan Elgrande or the Euro-market Renault Espace.
Impreza: The Impreza is due for a redesign for the 2002 model year. By that time, it will be almost 10 years old. In the future, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. is expected to stick more closely to a five-year cycle.
The Impreza is tasked with bringing in younger buyers. Subaru expects the small, sporty Impreza to demonstrate that awd has performance benefits, too.
Legacy: The third-generation redesign comes as a 2000 model and includes both the plain-Jane Legacy sedan and wagon and the Outback sedan and wagon with its sport-utility-like styling.
Subaru is working on a new six-cylinder boxer engine that will be distinct from the six-cylinder engine offered in the old SVX, which was discontinued in the 1997 model year. Look for the Outback to get the six-cylinder engine in a couple years to help it compete with bigger sport-utes.
Forester: A minor facelift is planned for the 2001 model year, with a redesign in calendar 2002.
Brat: Subaru would dearly love to offer a spiritual successor to the Brat, a small, stylish pickup sold here in the 1978-87 model years. A pickup with carlike styling would be a perfect fit with Subaru's awd crossover lineup. But the company lacks the resources to develop it, so there is no next-generation Brat in the current five-year plan.
Swift: Though the small car will be dropped at the end of the 2000 model year, zero marketing support already effectively has killed it off here.
Esteem: A redesign comes in the 2002 model year, but no amount of cool stuff can be substituted for the amount of marketing dollars it takes to get on the radar screen of Civic, Corolla and Ford Focus shoppers.
The Swift's disappearance may allow for the Esteem to be assembled at CAMI Automotive Inc. in Ingersoll, Ontario.
Vitara/Grand Vitara: The sport-utilities are new for 1999, so no changes are planned.
Pickup: A three-door pickup concept was shown at the 1998 Detroit auto show, but nothing has been heard since. The drawbacks: The concept sacrificed both rear-seat space and truck-bed length.
Larger SUV: Executives have hinted at a larger sport-utility, sized similar to a Nissan Xterra. This fall's Tokyo Auto Show will tell whether that is a reality.
Prius: Toyota's hybrid arrives in spring 2000 with a beefier suspension and stronger acceleration than the Japan-market model. How it still can get 60 mpg is up to Toyota's engineers to solve.
Echo: Two- and four-door versions of the subcompact will arrive for the 2000 model year. While there are not exactly identical to the prototypes seen at the Detroit auto show, they will be close enough.
The Echo was patterned after the European one-box Yaris, but got a stubby trunk for the U.S. market. The 1.5-liter engine's 100-plus horsepower is strong for an entrant in the basic category. It sips fuel, too.
Corolla: The Corolla gets a facelift for the 2001 model year so it is not completely eclipsed by the Echo. Expect a more expressive redesign for the 2003 model year, but it probably still will attract an older crowd than the Echo or the Honda Civic.
Engineers are chasing better performance from the automatic transmission.
Celica: The Celica returns to its boy-racer roots with aggressive styling by Toyota's Calty design center in Southern California.
The new car will have a shorter overall length but a longer wheelbase and lighter weight than the current model. The engine choices include the Corolla's 1.8-liter four-cylinder and a variable-valve-timing design from Yamaha that boasts 180 hp. Pricing will compete with the Mitsubishi Eclipse.
MR Spyder: Though it is supposed to arrive in spring 2000, Toyota is hustling to introduce the car earlier to cash in on the resurgence in roadster offerings and America's good financial health. The new roadster is aimed right at the Mazda Miata.
The MR Spyder will have the same variable-valve-timing engine as the up-market Celica. Six-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions will be offered.
Camry: The best-selling car in the United States receives a fascia restyling for the 2000 model year and a redesign for the 2002 model year. That is when Toyota will launch its new engine family that finally will be free of valve adjustments, putting it even with the other 100,000-mile entrants.
Solara: A convertible version will arrive this summer as Toyota attempts to dethrone the Chrysler Sebring as the midsized chop-top of choice. Running gear will be identical to the Camry's.
Avalon: Toyota's Calty design center in Southern California redesigned the Camry-based Avalon. The 2000 Avalon will have a longer wheelbase that will contribute to a roomier passenger compartment.
The V-6 will get an upgrade with variable-valve-timing and output of 210 hp. Standard ABS will be complemented by optional traction control and vehicle skid control.
RAV4: Watch the Tokyo Auto Show this fall for styling clues for the redesigned 2001 RAV4. It will share major platform pieces and modules with the next-generation Corolla.
Toyota is concerned about the Nissan Xterra, say analysts and Toyota insiders, and is trying to increase the size and power of RAV4. But a V-6 is unlikely.
329N: The Corolla-based sport wagon code-named 329N won't have Corolla styling cues, but it will come from the same platform and slot under the RAV4. In appearance, it will be more of a mini-minivan than a mini-sport-utility, similar to Renault Scenic.
The new vehicle should arrive in the 2003 model year and be assembled at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont, Calif. There may be a variant shared with General Motors, possibly Pontiac.
Sienna: A reskin will come in the 2001 model year with a redesign in the 2003 model year.
Buyers may not have to wait for the redesign to get a more powerful engine that also meets low-emission vehicle requirements since the Camry gets the new engine in the 2002 model year.
Tacoma: Mid-year 2000 marks the arrival of the 2001 redesign, code-named 222N.
The 3.4-liter V-6 will remain the biggest powerplant, but the four-cylinder may receive more displacement. Rear-facing access doors finally will be added.
Tundra: Toyota's big truck arrived in May with a choice of a 3.4-liter V-6 or the 4.7-liter V-8. Toyota predicts it can sell 100,000 Tundras out the gate.
4Runner: The 4Runner will remain a rugged, tough sport-utility when it is redesigned for the 2002 model year. Improvements in noise, vibration and harshness are expected.
With the Montero Sport and the Pathfinder getting bigger V-6s, the 4Runner may get an engine boost as well. The four-cylinder version may be dropped.
Sport Wagon: Probably the 2002 model year is the earliest Toyota will get the Lexus RX 300 twin. Based off the Camry platform, the yet unnamed model, code-named 013N, will have less content to hit the low-$20,000 range.
Tundra-based SUV: Aimed to hit squarely between the Ford Explorer and the Expedition, Toyota's biggest sport-utility will be priced well below the Land Cruiser. The yet unnamed sport-ute will have the same running gear as the Tundra, will be built in Indiana and will arrive in fall 2000.
Land Cruiser: The current Land Cruiser, introduced last summer, will remain in the lineup despite the entry of the Tundra-based SUV. Dealers make too much gross to let this one get away.
Staff Reporters James Treece and Jim Henry contributed to this report