Mercedes Benz, for example, is unleashing what promises to be a terrific
new C class model (designated the C240 and C320) for 2001,
dumping its excellent four banger in favor of 18 valve, six cylinder engines
matched with a 6 speed standard or five speed automatic transmission (the
320, alas, only has the automatic shifter).
Incidentally, the S-Class Mercedes now has a V-12 powered model available,
and I would imagine it must really move!
BMW is also upgrading the entry level 3 series models
sixes, to 2.5 and 3 liters, which will give a few more horses to the
ultimate driving machines. As if this isnt enough, also coming
will be an all-wheel-drive option and the new, 330 horsepower M3
the sport edition of the popular series. Should be extremely interesting
An all-new Q45 is on tap from Japans Infiniti. The original was
a lovely vehicle, but kind of got lost in the drooling hoopla over the
Lexus LS40, which was introduced about the same time. Since then, Infiniti
seems to have misplaced its nerve, so hopefully the new one will be as
bold a stroke as the original. The third generation Q45 will be longer
and have toys like a DVD-based navigation system, for drivers who just
refuse to keep their eyes on the road. The 4.5 liter V8 is being upgraded
to 340 horsepower so, if nothing else, the new Q should have plenty of
get up and go.
Speaking of the LS400, as of model year 2001 it is no more. Mourn not,
however, but get ready to welcome the virtually all new LS430, which not
only has a bigger engine and more horsepower, but which is also more aerodynamic
and includes such innovations as a laser enhanced cruise control thats
supposed to keep your car a safe distance behind those other yahoos on
You may have noticed the omission of some famous names like Audi, Cadillac,
Jaguar, Rolls Royce, and the like. This doesnt mean they dont
offer some wonderful wheels, just that they arent changing a lot
between model year 2000 and 2001.
So if your ship doesnt come in this year, therell undoubtedly
be even neater stuff coming along in model years to come.
Its an interesting time to be a car buff.
Jim Bray's technology columns are distributed
by the TechnoFILE Syndicate. Copyright Jim Bray