LOS ANGELES - General Motors will make a splash at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show this week with a compact 2003 Pontiac sport wagon aimed at young adults.
According to AutoWeek, a sister publication to Automotive News, the Pontiac will be built at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. in Fremont, Calif., and will be based on the next-generation Toyota Corolla platform.
The vehicle, expected to be called the Pontiac Vibe, likely will compete with the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.
Styling is derived from the four-door Pontiac Piranha concept, which was displayed in February at the Chicago auto show. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder Toyota engine will provide the power.
GM also will unveil an upscale production vehicle aimed at truck buyers.
New Japanese utes
Among the other debuts in Los Angeles are production editions of the Isuzu Axiom and Suzuki XL-7 sport-utilities. Concept versions of those vehicles were shown at the 2000 New York and Detroit shows, respectively, and there is little difference from the production model. The Axiom is a 2002 model (story and photo, Page 8), while the XL-7 is a 2001.
Mazda will unveil the 2001 Protege, a mid-cycle change to the automaker's entry-level car. Also on display will be the MPS, a low-volume, high-performance sedan based on the Protege. The MPS has a pumped-up engine, suspension modifications and an MP3 player.
Mid-cycle changes also will appear from Acura, in the form of new sheet metal for the 2001 3.5RL and 3.2TL. A Type S version of the 3.2TL, with a higher-horsepower engine and tightened suspension, also will debut.
Daewoo will show an early version of the 2002 Leganza. The car has more angular sheet metal than the current model and is powered by a 2.5-liter V-6 engine.
Daewoo 5-seat minivan
Daewoo also will unveil the 2002 Rezzo/Tacuma, a small minivan with seats for five. The Rezzo/Tacuma names are used in Asia; a name has not been selected for the U.S. market.
On the European side, BMW will hold the world debut for the 2001 M roadster and M coupe powered by the six-cylinder engine used in the M3.
The Porsche Carrera GT, which is capable of 200 mph, will have its North American debut in Los Angeles. The V-10 mid-engine roadster promises 0-to-60 mph acceleration in under four seconds. Sales begin in 2003, and the price is expected to be $350,000 to $400,000.
Also being shown in North America for the first time is the 2002 Mercedes-Benz C-class sports coupe. The car, which arrives this summer, will offer a 2.3-liter supercharged engine and will be positioned as the least-expensive Mercedes sold in the United States. According to Mercedes, the price is expected to be well under $30,000.
Land Rover will display the 2001 Land Rover Discovery Series II TReK, one of the vehicles that took part in Land Rover North America's annual TReK competition, a four-wheel-drive contest for Land Rover retail employees. The company will announce plans to produce a limited number of the vehicles for the North American market.
Some automakers will unveil low-priced wagons to see if a trend away from sport-utilities is brewing.
Mazda will unveil the 2002 Protege 5, a five-door vehicle that is part hatchback and part wagon. However, Mazda thinks Protege 5's sporty styling will appeal to younger buyers rather than parents.
Kia will show the 2001 Rio wagon, which likely would be the lowest-priced wagon on the market.
Volkswagen, having seen some acceptance of the high-end Passat wagon, will try a lower price with a wagon version of the Jetta. The Los Angeles show will be the vehicle's world debut.
General Motors will unveil the Chevrolet Borrego, the first concept from its new Los Angeles styling studio. The Borrego is a four-seat rally car, sort of an El Camino aimed at today's youth. Borrego uses a Subaru Legacy platform and engine, and shows how GM could use its global alliances to create new vehicles.
DaimlerChrysler, which usually unveils all of its concepts in Detroit, will unveil a Chrysler concept at the Los Angeles show.