Jaguar sources confirmed that the company is considering the possible addition of a station wagon variation of the new S-type. 'The sketches are very nice and this car makes sense. It could arrive by year 2001-220, but nothing is decided,' the source said. Jaguar is also evaluating whether to offer an S-type turbodiesel engine.
Skoda is developing its own small engine for the next Felicia, but it won't be ready when the car debuts in about 2000. The car will be based on the Volkswagen Polo. The new engine is being developed by Skoda to replace the existing pushrod engine. Displacement will be between 0.9-1.3 liters. 'An engine is the heart of a car, and customers appreciate the value of that,' said Skoda board member for technical development Wilfried Bockelmann. 'We are developing a range of small engines to show our skill and tradition as engine builders.' Skoda wants to develop a third model to complete the range. It will probably be a class bigger than the Octavia rather than smaller than the Felicia. 'In most of our markets, we sell to single-car families,' said Bockelmann. 'So it won't make sense to launch a Lupo-sized vehicle. A larger family-size model is more likely.'
Wim Oude Weernink
Jaguar might make a car for the super-luxury class against Rolls-Royce, Bentley and the future Daimler-Benz Maybach. 'We have the name Daimler, and that should do us very well,' said Jaguar chairman Nick Scheele. So far it is just talk. He said no clay models had been made. Jaguar has sold 993 models marketed under the name Daimler through September. Daimler-Benz markets its cars under the name Mercedes-Benz. Ford chairman Alex Trotman said the Daimler was a possibility. 'We think it's a very good brand,' he said, 'and it could cause considerable confusion' because of the name. Jaguar pronounces its car Dame-ler, while the German company is pronounced Dime-ler.
Mitsubishi has told its 150 UK dealers not to carry out service or repair jobs on gray import vehicles. 'This means that anyone choosing to buy a Mitsubishi from a gray importer will need to depend on that person in future,' said Stephen Dixon, managing director of Colt Cars, on the eve of the Birmingham auto show. 'Why should a spurious importer selling a vehicle which has been misrepresented and which offers no service or manufacturer's warranty get away with telling his customer to go to his friendly Mitsubishi garage if anything goes wrong?'
Subaru is developing a 200hp, 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder engine in a boxer layout to help it compete against European brands. 'Horizontally-opposed engines may not be fashionable, but we know a lot about them and their low center of gravity and perfect driveline balance,' said Subaru product development general manager Musuru Katsurada. Subaru has used boxer engines for 33 years, and the engine will arrive in 2001. 'We will never build a bigger car than the new Legacy model,' said Katsurada, 'but we do need more power.'