Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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September 24, 2009 • Autos

State Fair of Texas Auto Show media day(s)

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With the arrival of Autumn it is once again time for the great State Fair of Texas and one of the world’s largest auto shows. Gate attendance each year at the fair reaches more than three million over its three-week run, with estimates that at least 75 percent of attendees visit some portion of the auto show.

I say some portion, as it is hosted in three areas – two very long indoor buildings and the exciting outdoor truck display area. Automakers from the U.S. and Asia bring their latest offerings on all platforms and some have even used this event for world debuts.

Case in point, Ford and Toyota each presented a global debut of a new vehicle at this year’s auto show media day.

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Ford is No. 1 in truck sales and Texas is the No. 1 truck market. Company President Mark Fields hosted a live webcast for the introduction of the 2011 Super Duty pickup, highlighted by an all-new diesel powertrain and design upgrades.

While not quite as dramatic as when he used a large crane to introduce the last edition Super Duty but energetic nonetheless.

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The 2011 will offer Ford’s first inhouse diesel engine along with a new transmission. The industry (and competitors) will be eagerly watching how well this new powertrain setup performs once the new trucks begin rolling off showroom floors early next year.

More information on the 2011 Ford Super Duty may be found here: http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=31027.

No sooner did the Ford event end than Toyota fired away with its world debut of the fifth-generation 4Runner midsize SUV. This event marks the 25th anniversary for 4Runner and more than 1.5 million units sold.

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For 2010, the 4Runner is taller, wider and longer and is available with choice of 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission or 270hp 4.0-liter V-6 backed by a five-speed automatic gearbox. All 4×4 model 4Runners will be equipped with the six while 4×2 trucks can be configured with either engine.

The 2010 Toyota 4Runner gets major design upgrades inside and out with resemblance to the brand’s fullsize trucks lineup. Three trim levels are available on 4Runner: SR5, Limited and Trail grade for those who require maximum offroad capability. A fold-flat third-row seat is also now available.
For more information on the all-new fifth-generation 4Runner visit www.toyota.com.

In what has become a new tradition, General Motors held its State Fair media event the day before the traditional media day festivities out at Fair Park.
Using the studios in Las Colinas as a backdrop, GM introduced Texas automotive media to the all-new Buick LaCrosse and GMC Terrain. Several examples of each model were available for media drives.

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The new Buick LaCrosse is completely redesigned for 2010 and is built on global architecture at the Fairfax plant in Kansas City. It offers all-wheel-drive, a suite of advanced intelligent personal technologies and safety features and choice of three engines.

“The new LaCrosse builds on the success of Enclave as the next step in Buick’s renaissance and great attention to detail, craftsmanship and advanced technology,” said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president. “It offers unique features such as all-wheel drive and a new, efficient four-cylinder engine that will attract new customers to Buick.”

“There is great harmony in everything offered by LaCrosse – a beautifully crafted exterior, a premium interior and a satisfying driving experience to please the senses and complement any lifestyle,” Docherty said. “It’s a seamless package that incorporates the very best of GM’s global resources to make this Buick an industry benchmark.”

At launch, LaCrosse arrives with either 255hp 3.0-liter or 280hp direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 engine mated to six-speed automatic transmissions. Later in the model year GM will add a new 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder to the base CX models as the standard engine.

The new LaCrosse features distinctive “four-door coupe” styling and body-side sculpting and get portholes on the hood and a waterfall grille. Contemporary design themes run throughout the interior as well.

Our first impressions find the new Buick very nicely styled and appointed, although that body-side sculpting reminds us a bit of the Dodge Charger. We enjoyed our quick spins around the Las Colinas area making note of the quiet ride and peppy acceleration of the bigger V-6. Rear seat leg- and headroom is very accommodating but the trunk space is somewhat narrow.

Pricing starts at $27,835 for a base CX model LaCrosse and $33,765 for loaded CXS models. The new 2010 Buick LaCrosse is arriving in showrooms now, and more information is available at www.gm.com.

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The all-new GMC Terrain is another core ingredient to GM’s new “recipe for success” and is based on the new crossover utility platform shared by the Chevy Equinox. although Terrain only shares a common roof and windshield with the bowtie version.

“Yukon, Acadia and now Terrain – we’re continuing to build on the successful formula of taking the bold styling, premium features and functionality our customers have come to expect from our full-size truck products and creating smaller vehicles to appeal to a broader audience,” said Susan Docherty, general manager of Buick GMC. “Although it’s smaller on the outside, Terrain offers more on the inside. We believe it will attract customers by giving them totally new choices without compromising what it means to own a GMC.”

The 2010 GMC Terrain is said to deliver for its owners in 10 notable ways:
Design – the bold, strong look of a GMC
Fuel economy – 32 mpg rating makes Terrain a segment leader
MultiFlex sliding rear seat – best-in-class rear-seat legroom or cargo space, or both
Interior – premium materials highlighted by the warm glow of red ambient lighting
Smart, integrated features – practical, functional and fun
Direct injection and six gears – the elements of efficiency
Ride and handling – a solid feel behind the wheel
Safety – six standard air bags, OnStar and more
Quality – backed by GM’s five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty
Value – Nicely equipped from under $25K, or load it up for under $30K

The new GMC Terrain is available in front- or all-wheel-drive and when powered by the new 2.4-liter I4 Ecotec is capable of 32 mpg on the highway, besting all of its competition in the segment. Engine choices are between the aforementioned 182hp four or 264hp 3.0-liter V-6 engine – each mated to a unique six-speed automatic transmission.

On-road we found the Terrain quiet and smooth – what a modern CUV should be – while offering plenty of comfort and convenience. From the side we are reminded a bit of the Jeep Patriot but we do like the powerful new front fascia.

For more information visit www.gm.com.

Info on the State Fair of Texas and the auto show can be found at www.bigtex.com.

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