Edition 34 - June 29, 2001

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Toyota Verossa

Spyshots of the upcoming Toyota Verossa, a Japanese interpretation of an Italian sports sedan. Billed as a spiritual successor to the Chaser sports sedan, its top version retains the 280-ps turbo-charged 2.5-litre engine.

Toyota Altezza GITA

This is the official Japanese-market model of the Lexus IS300 Sportcross wagon. It features a re-shaped front airdam and top-spec versions have 4WD!

Nissan Skyline V35 / Infiniti G35

To the shock and surprise of numerous Japanese reporters, Nissan officially announced the new Skyline replacement on June 18, 2001. Just a short 4 years have elapsed since the introduction of the previous model, the R34. Poor sales of the R34 in all versions, including the GTR, have forced Nissan to speed up the replacement model. Based on the XVL concept car, the new Skyline banishes all the traditional Skyline cues, including the famous "afterburner" rear lights and the inline six RB engines. Despite the Skyline being something of a national hero car, sales have been poor during the reign of the R34. An ugly face, ungainly proportions and poor performance relative to the competition, drove the R34 to an early death. Carlos Ghosn said that the new Skyline is the face and soul of a rejuvenated Nissan, where all the bad traditions have been finally banished. Is the sign of confidence or over-confidence?

Japanese top-spec model has a 3-litre V6 Neo Di engine making 260-ps while the American Infiniti version is called the G35 and a logical 3.5-litre V6 engine, making 260-hp.

Honda CR-V

Aiming to re-take the compact SUV crown from the RAV4 in Japan, Honda is introducing a 3-door version of the CR-V. Incorporating an i-VTEC engine, it should have decent low-end grunt.

Toyota Camry

Shock! Toyota starts anew with the next Camry and wows with a striking new face! It has scowling headlights (kinda' like an angry Civic), a JDM Corolla grille, and sleek, long proportions. Amazing! This will put the American Accord where it belongs: 2nd place in sales in the USA. With Toyota's impeccable engineering and build quality, and FINALLY, decent design, Toyota is sure to surge ahead in the US, despite a weak market. Honda's design team is miles behind Toyota now.

Did you see the ads of the facelifted Accord? Did it remind you of a red colored refrigerator? Honda better improve their exterior designs or they will lose badly to Toyota in the coming years.

Toyota Windom / Lexus ES

Sister car to the Camry, the Windom will debut at the same time as the Camry. It has an even more radical front design, especially the headlights which are pulled far, far, far back towards the windscreen. It retains a traditional Lexus ES-type grille despite the radical re-sculpting, though. The rear design is more conservative, and reminds of the Lexus LS430 and Mazda Millenia.

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