Article and Photos by Matt Daniels.The New York International Auto Show
Wednesday, March 30 1999
The day started early at the Oldsmobile press conference and breakfast. While I personally am not interested in the Oldsmobile automobile, I did have a good time at their presentation. While most people were eating breakfast waiting for the show to start I stood quietly by the sidelines. The presentation started with the playing of one of Oldsmobiles recent commercials (one that I think is very cool and would probably get me into one of their dealers if I didn't know any better). After some speeches their press conference concluded with a musical number by the cast of the Broadway show Chicago and the unveiling of the 2001 Aurora.
After a few moments of wandering around the Audi booth, it was time for the press conference. It started with the introduction of Audi of America Vice-President Len Hunt.
Also announced was that the bi-turbo 2.7-liter A6 would be arriving in the US this fall. One person asked why it wasn't going to be labeled an S6 and it was explained that the S models are usually the top-of-the-line model and the bi-turbo was going to be an engine option for the A6, not a totally different model.
A question was asked about the S4 Avant and if it would be coming to North America. Len Hunt confirmed that AoA has no plans to bring the S4 Avant to America any time soon.
The last question of the day was asked by myself. I asked what the difference was between the North American and European S4's that resulted in the lower power rating. He referred the question to the Product Planning Manager, Marc Trahan. Mr. Trahan explained that the U.S. had more restrictive emissions laws and after a lot of technical explanations, that went completely over my head, said that after converting the data into U.S. spec the hp rating would actually drop in number. Len Hunt then added "I have driven both the North American and the European models and I can assure you that there is no difference in the way they drive."
After the Audi Press Conference it was time to check out the rest of the exhibits. Since it was a press day and number of days before the show actually opened, a number of booths were still being set up and were not all that impressive in their current disassembled state. The BMW booth seemed to be complete and was very impressive, it had 5 cars mounted vertically on a back wall. Another exhibit that caught my eye was a turntable with a black Plymouth Prowler on it. The turntable had a control panel that would let you control the speed, tilt, and rotation of the car. It even had a fog machine! It was the ultimate gadget to play with. Other cars that caught my attention: a bright orange modified Cadillac Caterra, the new 2000 Ford Taurus (much improved, IMHO), and two crashed Saab's.
Editors Note:This article was updated on 5/13/99 to reflect to correct spelling and title for Marc Trahan, the Product Planning Manager at Audi of America.
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