This sedan is no drag
General Motors says it has created the most aerodynamic five-passenger sedan. The vehicle, tested at the GM wind tunnel in Warren, Mich., has a coefficient of drag of 0.163, less than half that of a typical family sedan. GM's two-passenger EV1 has a coefficient of 0.19. The concept car will be shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.
TRIAL BALLOON? Maybe Honda Motor Co. Ltd. is checking whether the winds are favorable for its much-hinted-at entry into the aircraft business. Sitting in its headquarters showroom in downtown Tokyo, next to the latest motorcycles and cars, is a single-engine airplane. It is not powered by Honda, however. It is a Russian-built Sukhoi 31 M. It is there to promote the FAI World Grand Prix of Aerobatics, which was held over the weekend at Honda's Twin Ring Motegi motorsports complex. Of course, it is possible to sponsor a Grand Prix without being a body or engine builder, but that is not the way Honda usually operates.
ANOTHER VOICE AGAINST GM -The National Automobile Dealers Association is not alone in opposing General Motors' retail efforts (see story on Page 4). The state motor vehicle boards and commissions don't like the plan, either. The National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions, which includes the agencies that license dealers, has pronounced factory-owned dealerships a flop. The group wants GM to put its retailing plans on hold until it has time to talk the effort over with state regulators.
PENSKE PICKS HONDA - American Honda Motor Co. will supply engines to Marlboro Team Penske in the 2000 Champ Car racing season. The drivers for Roger Penske's team will be Gil de Ferran and Greg Moore. The decision is a coup for Honda, as Penske had been allied with Mercedes-Ilmor as an engine supplier for nearly a decade. Honda has won three of the last four CART manufacturers' titles, and with this season, Honda-powered drivers will have won four straight championships.