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This time on motor week 93 we track pass the awesome new Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Lisa Barrow tracks the latest environmental design from Volvo. We take a quick look at Jeeps like this be a grand Wagoneer and a look at what's new from the Chicago Auto Show to come drive with us next. Each Monday three TV's automotive magazine and. Your host for Motor Week ninety three. John Davis. Apollo and welcome again to motor week 93 we're glad to have you with us.
Surely one of the longest running battles in the automotive wars has been that of the pony cars. For over 25 years now the Ford Mustang Chevy Camaro and Pontiac Firebird have been duking it out. Lately though aging designs and strong foreign competition have slowed sales forcing Ford and GM to take drastic measures or be left behind. First a strike back is GM all new f body design as in this 1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. It's radical look makes a bold statement. Let's see if it has the performance to back it up. To find out we took this latest American money favorite when her stomping grounds Roebling road Raceway near Savannah Georgia. First order of business as always was acceleration. It's my money you're on. It's hard to find zero to 60 performance of six point two seconds. A quarter mile flew by and fourteen point seven seconds at ninety eight miles per hour.
That's within a second of the latest Corvet's time. And that's no coincidence since the top Firebirds as well as the Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 share the Corvettes 5.7 liter L.T. 1 V8. Although in the f body application it's D2 to a mere 275 horsepower and three hundred twenty five pound feet of torque. The tuner not the old one provides plenty of care for this thirty four hundred fifty five pound machine power hits the pavement through a borgwarner six speed manual gearbox. The same as the one found in the Dodge Viper shifts were smooth but not always accurate. Their drivers more than once getting gear instead of third. Automatic when it came time for some handling impressions we discovered that GM Stassi Engineers had been the new front a arm suspension deliver smooth cornering lateral transitions are now more progressive and the overall feel is increased. The rear suspension has been revised but still retains the aging live axle design
does an adequate job detail in place. Axel has been eliminated but the body's increased power demands a more modern figuration. By that power the lower speed corners of rubble and roads for the pill didn't hesitate to step out always regain its composure quickly a new power rack and pinion steering. Without it. Firebirds Ternan is crisper now better feel. Some credit for the Trans-Am improved handling must go to its new tires these 240 550 Z-R 16 Goodyear Eagle G.S. sees. We raved about them when they appeared on the Corvette last year and liked him equally well here. Another important feature on the racetrack is with great Trans-Am He just wore wheel disk and all Firebirds good standard abs. They performed flawlessly despite the heavy demands of the track more everyday demands produced 60 to 0 stops of 111. The federal response was fine and nosedive was moderate but we knew
that there was nothing moderate about the Trans-Am handsome new styling. When we first met a GM Milford proving grounds its races its roots back in 1988 when Pontiac introduced its While the show car yet the Banshee a milder view came a few years later in the form of Chevrolet's California concept Camaro. From these two it's easy to see the natural progression to the final production model brought in rear lines are carried over even the wheels and wing are similar. The overall effect is bold and modern retains a family look to link the new design with the Firebird heritage new polymer composite body panels help to save weight while also eliminating most of the squeaks and rattles formally associated with the f body. The hood and rear quarter panels are still made of steel. This would be lines are carried over to the inside as well but these curves and organic shapes are not just for looks. The Trans-Am interior is functional and efficient driver and passenger airbags are standard as is the glove box once again. Seats are
situated low but are comfortable and offer decent support. They use a combination of power and manual adjustments. The curved dash pod surrounds a comprehensive gauge package. Analog dials are large and easy to read at a glance controls for stereo and ventilation are well marked and within easy reach on the center dash our rear seat room is typical too plus too tight. Best to fold it down for increased cargo room under the heavy back hatch luggage space is up to a respectable twelve point nine cubic feet with a wide flat shelf augmented by a deep well at the rear. Prices for the base to be six powered 1093 Pontiac Firebird start at thirteen thousand nine hundred ninety five dollars. The be a Firebird formula with less aggressive body work than the Trans-Am starts at seventeen thousand nine hundred ninety five dollars a bargain price for a real Corvette power and are well equipped Trans-Am cost the still reasonable 21000. 70 dollar EPA fuel economy ratings are 17 city and
25 highway we managed 22 in our mix. Your fine number is much warmer. And more than 93 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am is all about its power is reminiscent of muscle car as a whole has knowledge and refinement make it thoroughly modern. When your sense of home grown. Environmental concerns are high on everyone's priority list these days especially if you're a car maker. The race to produce environmentally friendly machines is on this week's F while I report Lisa Barrow looks at a promising concept vehicle from Volvo. Turban engines have been used to power boats airplanes and helicopters for years but now although it's utilizing the technology with this vehicle the environmental concept car. The four door is a hybrid electric vehicle which means its electric motor
can run solely on battery power or it can utilize another onboard energy source. In this case a diesel fuel the gas turbine engine with a high speed generator. There's basically three driving modes at the moment. One is called pure electric and you can go about 50 60 miles on one charge of the batteries. There's another mode called hybrid and that means that when the batteries reach a certain discharge level the gas turbine automatically comes on and drives the generator and recharge the battery automatically. The third mode is called turban mode. And in that mode basically you have the turban on all the time. In other words you're running really off electricity generated by the turban generator rather than from the batteries. The pure electric mode is great for city driving but for an extended trip the hybrid seta offers a range of over 400 miles. This sleek aerodynamic concept car was designed completely on a computer and Bob those monitoring in concepts center in Southern California. It's based on the Vaio 850 platform and the body is made entirely of aluminum which is recyclable and
saves about 400 pounds in weight. Nickel cadmium batteries represented in green on this model run down the center of the vehicle and also underneath the rear seat and luggage compartment. I suspect that in the long run within five years or so probably we'll be looking at some kind of an advanced lead acid battery rather than a Nike ads. One of the great advantages I think is that you could go home. As as you always do and plug it in when you get up in the morning. We fully charge it it takes about six hours. The other possibility is to charge her with the gas to her as we go. That's worth. About an hour. Once behind the wheel of the EEC scene I found exhilaration to be smooth and plenty of power was available. Top speed is 109 mph and 0 to 60 in the pure electric mode is 20 seconds. Going to the hybrid mode and the number decreases to 13 seconds. The entire package remains true to tradition from the side impact protection system to the integrated child seat.
Even the futuristic styling retains a link to the Volvo heritage. I still can't get used to how quiet they are amazing while running off battery power. The ECAC is designed to be a zero emission vehicle with a gas turbine and use the vehicle meets the ultra low emission standards that have been set by the California legislature for 1998. But unfortunately according to the earliest we might see this car in the street would be the turn of the century. Visually the bulb doesn't look much different from the cars we drive today. And that's important since Valvo hopes the CC will bring todays Malvo buyers closer to accepting alternative fuel vehicles and the automobile closer to environmental compatibility. If you own and work on an air cooled Volkswagens you want to look at John Moores. How to keep your hopes wagon a long time now in its 23rd year of bread. It
is an invaluable manual of step by step procedures mixed with a good dose of humor. The latest edition features an added section on the heating system. Well as more information for collectors and restores it's an entertaining read and a must have for any. Pack toss is here now to entertain more of your Karkare questions Pat. John this time I have a solution for a problem that just about everybody has seen at some time or another. You're driving down the road you look at the car next to you and some part of it doesn't match the rest of it that is the color. You know the paint doesn't all match it's been in a minor accident and the colors just don't work out well. There is a solution these days and to help me explain it. I have Mike sank from PPD paints Mike tell me about this little bit of history here. Pat this is a computerized color matching system it's called PPC profit and what it does is take a picture of a car's color and make a color match a whole lot better. Show
me how it works. OK we just take the instrument like this it's really easy. Put it down in the car and if you listen for a second can actually hear it work. What it did Pat was take a picture or fingerprint of the color and what it'll do next is will download the information that the instrument gathered back into the CPSU it will compare its figure pretty against 80000 or so in the file. Pick the cross this color will take and adjust it if it needs it and will have a good match. So in other words this could indeed actually develop a color from what it what it sees no question about it. OK now one of the things that the general public. Lots of times doesn't have an idea about is that there is this tremendous tremendous variance as far as colors are concerned on a given automobile. Like here for instance we have this series of blue now these are all the same color code but depending on how the car was sprayed at a particular factory or something. All of these different shades are available and this is what a profit
would would help with. Right what it'll do is it'll take a look at all the different variances that might be caused by application equipment or wear and tear on the car whatever it might be a faded color. Take a look at all the different variances and it'll take the one that's closest to whatever the color is you're trying to match and adjust it so I can see where a lot of painters ought to love you. Now in addition to this business of getting the paint matched properly Another area that we have a lot of trouble with when we're dealing with accident repairs and so on is in the actual estimating of the damage and I understand you have something to offer there too. Yeah that's got people access Pat what that does is it provides the shop and also the consumer with a real fair estimate writing ability in other words the computer aided by input from the shop owner or the estimate or whoever it will be the DATA step into the computer it's priced and what happens is whether you're working a quarter panel whatever it might be that data can be fed in a fair estimate developed.
OK now that could be worked from a computer keyboard like this but there's other ways as well right. Yeah there's also a wind bark and I don't know if your views have ever seen it but in grocery stores they have it it's a little pen with a light on it and you wind over a UPC code reference book that might for example reference sort of offender that needed repair. Again you want rate over that UPC code the data is fed into the computer and a price is developed. Simple. So it really helps making an accurate estimate because it takes in to consideration all the little details that somebody's just writing a by hand might not get that's correct. So it's good for the consumer and good for the body shop as well. Absolutely great. OK so those are a couple of the things that you should look for if you have an accident with your car. Could really save you a lot of grief if you have a question about your car right to me. If I use your letter on the year I'll send you a motor week T-shirt. The address is Motor Week Owings Mills Maryland 2 1 1 1 7. That's Motor Week. Always Mills Maryland 2 1 1 1 7.
Despite the success of the newly introduced Jeep Grand Cherokee there was still a group of Jeep enthusiasm who are unhappy. They mourn the passing of the grand Wagoneer with its V8 engine roomy leather interior and yes even the woody side panels. Well the folks haven't forgotten these loyal owners and so they've introduced a new grand Wagoneer. It offers all of the features that the old grand Wagoneer owner wants as well as everything the new Jeep buyers demand. The coming of the new Grand Wagoneer marks a first for Jeep. It is the first time that a grand Wagoneer and Cherokee in this case the Grand Cherokee share a common platform. Previous incarnations of these vehicles were structurally distinct. The basic Cherokee which is still available using the x J platform while the grand Wagoneer road on Jeeps 18 J series pickup chassis common use of the modern Z J platform means that the grand Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee
share identical interior and exterior dimensions. But Grand Wagoneer buyers get a host of Extra standard features not the least of which is the distinctive imitation wood trim and a set of sporty aluminum wheels wearing two twenty five series tires. More important however is the multi port fuel injected five point two liter V8 engine found under the hood. If you want its 220 horsepower and 285 pound feet of torque and a Grand Cherokee you must purchase it as an option. The wagon here it's standard. As is the smooth quick shifting four speed automatic transmission and Jeep squadron track full time bore will drive system which efficiently puts the grand Wagoneer power down on loose surfaces. On pavement grand Wagoneer accelerate sixteen point nine sec. Sprightly for thirty nine hundred pounds sport utility vehicle stopping is equally efficient. One hundred twenty six feet six which is only by the platform standard four wheel and the lock breaks the flexible coil spring suspension provides
handling on par with the best current four by four wagons with a top heavy feel. Highway ride is also very smooth. We would prefer more feedback from the heavily used to power steering. Mileage estimates are on the low side. 14 city and 18 highway. No complaints about the interior however which has a full complement of power and luxury features such as leather covering on the support of bucket seats which have a wide range of power adjustments. There is also the most comprehensive set of analog gauges in Jeep history. The standard casette stereo is straightforward and easy to use and I test vehicle features an optional CD player. It's just as efficient and a bargain it only a hundred forty six dollars. Automatic climate controls are also standard on the grand Wagoneer as is plenty of small article storage space. Rear seating is very roomy and comfortable in the split folding seat helps increase luggage space and that's good because as with the Grand Cherokee cargo room is about two and a half cubic feet less than that of the Ford
Explorer. But it costs more. Our grand Wagoneer starts at twenty nine thousand three hundred forty one dollars and comes to thirty thousand eight hundred dollars with options. But the advantages of the grand Wagoneer model lie in its full load of luxury features and the sixty five hundred pound towing power of the big V-8. If the luxury touches aren't important to you however you can buy the V8 option and a Grand Cherokee offers the same towing ability for about a thousand dollars less. But after sampling the opulence of our grand Wagoneer test vehicle we've decided to keep it. It's joining our long term test fleet we're looking forward to enjoying both that good old fashioned grand Wagoneer luxury and the performance of the best Jeep ever for quite a while. Our car of the week is a 1954 board bassline Skyliner. It belongs to Scott Lowe of Liberal Kansas. Now if you have a rare
or unusual car it is a good color photo and a stamped self-addressed return on below the considerate book of the week. Our address is Motor Week Owings Mills Maryland 2 1 1 1 so. Now it's time for Lisa barrow and all the latest Motor News. We saw. John Ford Bob British car builder Jaguar. Everyone worried the American auto giant would kill the company's most unique products like the classic x day as Coupe which recently lost its famous V12 engine. Well the V12 powered X J.S. isn't dead yet. It lives on in this car a limited edition X Jr. as yard could very well stand for racing since the car is built by Jaguar sport which is run by a long time Jaguar race team boss Tom Walkinshaw Jaguar sport engineers have build a mere 100 cars in x day are as trim and the hefty price of seventy three thousand dollars for a hard top or eighty thousand one hundred dollars were convertible.
Both their expertise and the car's limited numbers. The x Jr.'s treatment starts with a host of exterior modifications including aggressive body color bumpers and side moldings. There's also black trim instead of chrome and a large rear wing. The best parts however are inside a new crank pistons and cylinder liners. Increase the engines displace to six liters. Competition grade fuel injection and a new engine management system. This makes for a big power jump. The car now packs three hundred eighteen horses and three hundred thirty nine pound feet of torque. And you feel them when you step on the gas pedal. Our test car rocketed to 60 in only 6.6 seconds over two seconds faster than our last standard the 12 x day as the quarter mile ended in fourteen point seven seconds at 100 mph. But the engine begs for more than three gears. Even if the modified automatic transmission does handle the extra torque without losing its crisp positive feel stiffer springs suspension bushings a new Bilstein shocks also made this the most nimble X-Day as ever.
While never destroying its famous Grand Touring ride and the standard ABS brakes stop it's four thousand fifty pounds from 60 in an average distance of only 140 feet. Despite its sporting feel they actually are as retains the luxurious interior feel that characterizes Jaguars finest products. Generous wood trim is everywhere and while our staff felt that the RS increased cornering ability demanded more lateral seats aboard they all admired the rich leather coverings. The tie rear seat is still of little real use and the trunk offers ten point six you big feet of luggage space and while you may wish to travel in your ex Jr.'s the increased performance potential makes it equally well suited to weekends of spirited driving. The next day RSA is a grand touring car in the finest Jaguar tradition John and many on the motor weeks death and be the 100 people who will get to own one. Next stop is our latest report from this year's auto show circuit. Our crew has just gotten back from the Windy City 1993 Chicago Auto Show.
The big news from Chicago is about small trucks. Two new models on display for the first time. First stop is GMC. That's all new Sonoma compact and sleek contemporary styling is complemented by a roomier car like interior based power it's a 2.2 leaderboard but by opting one of to be six says buyers will also get standard for Will and Grace Chevy's version will be known as the 10 oz to show off its new compact truck lineup as well. Although based on the Ford Ranger much of the B series sheet metal is unique to Mazda It's where shoulder look is more utilitarian than the Rangers round or sport truck styling. Sales start in May and Dodge truck a windy city their first look at a face lifted Ramban. It goes on sale next month. Sheet metal changes include new grill until like treatments or will ABS is optional. Like any auto show people come here to see cars as usual concept cars through the biggest crowds.
We were lucky to even see the Dodge Viper GTX which had people lined up for and by keep on opening day. Chrysler officials are studying the feasibility of producing this stunning but if it were up to us they could start selling it tomorrow. Chevrolet showed the Caprice maced him Alan S S also being considered for production Beecher's a leather interior police packet suspension and Corvette L.T. one V-8 powered Pontiac debuted its newest concept the Grand-Am GTI built in the spirit of the legendary muscle cars from the 60s its sports victory our engine paint a special interior and even has ram air induction the six horsepower is pegged to 200. As for production cars Toyota unveiled its all new 220 Hore Supra and 320 horsepower Super Turbo. These past two plus two sessions caused plenty of headaches for sports car competitors when they hit the streets in June and Hyundai debuted a sporty little convertible
called the Sun scoop. It should retail for about $13000. When it hits the sunshine beat next fall. Lots of companies gave out souvenirs but not as tangible as what swag and he gave away free cars to everyone. Actually these boy euro vans were part of a recycling display manufactured right on the spot from ground up car bumper. It's no wonder that the Chicago Auto Show draws over a million visitors each year with the right mix of new cars and dream cars. There is something for everyone. We'll be back next week with another motor week new car road test as well as reports from Lisa Barrow right thing Haas and Pat Goss. And we'll have a special behind the wall look at Rolls Royce. Plus all the latest Motor News. I'm John Davis. See that. To order a video cassette of this program call 1 800 4 2 2 0 0 6 4. Or send twenty nine ninety five plus $4 shipping and handling
to this address. Ask for program number twelve twenty two. This is B.S. and expanded version of motor week's Porsche past present and future is available on video cassette. It explores the history and future plans of the German automaker and that includes test drives of the
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MotorWeek test drives the 1993 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in its Modern Muscle road test segment. In the week's FYI Report, Lisa Barrow looks at an environmentally-friendly concept vehicle from Volvo. A Car Books segment reviews John Muir's "How To Keep Your Volkswagon Alive." Pat Goss answers car care questions. The episode also looks at Jeep's latest Grand Wagoneer, Lisa Barrow reports the week's automotive news, and the MotorWeek crew visits the 1993 annual Chicago auto show.
MotorWeek, television's original automotive magazine.
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Chicago: “MotorWeek; 1222,” 1993-02-17, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 7, 2020,
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APA: MotorWeek; 1222. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from