GM's Vortec 4200 I-6.
Named 2004 Ward's 10 Best Engine
For the third consecutive year, General Motors' Vortec 4200 inline-six engine has been recognized as a Ward's Communications 10 Best Engine.

When it was introduced in '02 vehicles, the Vortec 4200 was the first inline-six engine in GM Powertrain's engine portfolio in almost 20 years. Recognized by Ward's at that time, the engine has continued to garner praise, earning the 10 Best recognition in 2003.

The Vortec 4200 is a 4.2L inline-six-cylinder, all-aluminum, dual-overhead-cam, four-valves-per-cylinder engine. Using a range of advanced engine technologies, such as variable valve timing, electronic throttle control, and coil-on-plug ignition, the engine delivers 275 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, providing customers the power of a V-8 with the efficiency of a six-cylinder. It is the standard powerplant in the '04 Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT, GMC Envoy, Envoy XL, and Envoy XUV.

2k4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Ford Bronco Concept
It looks like Ford is thinking very hard about bringing an early Bronco-inspired SUV to market. The boxiness of the concept brings back the rugged, utilitarian aesthetic of the early Bronco with its exposed door hinges and cleat-like door handles. An aggressive billet-style grille with strong, broad elements frame the front-mounted winch. The concept's industrial-strength exterior is softened slightly and given the millennial treatment with mica silver paint. A torquey 2.0L turbodiesel drives the concept, and inside, the machined aesthetic softens somewhat with the use of suede on the seats and door trim.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Toyota FTX Concept: Is This A Texas-Sized Pickup?
Jim Press, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., unveiled the FTX concept pickup truck at the North American International Auto Show. The vehicle hints at the styling and size of the next-generation Tundra pickup, which will be built at the current Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana, as well as a new plant under construction in San Antonio. The FTX concept features a large-displacement V-8 hybrid gas-electric engine that is being considered for the next-generation fullsize pickup.

New RWD Six-Speed Transmission For TrucksFord will introduce an all-new rear-wheel-drive family of six-speed automatic transmissions beginning in 2005. The new six-speeds, featuring multiple variants for Ford Motor Company cars and trucks, will provide fuel economy improvements in the range of 4 to 8 percent.

These six-speed transmissions use a very efficient architecture with reduced part complexity, low parasitic losses with comparable weight to many four-speed automatics. This transmission will also have the ability to automatically shift into Neutral during extended idle conditions to reduce drag on the engine. When the driver presses the accelerator to launch, the transmission will reengage smoothly and automatically.

Sophisticated electronic control of the new transmission will offer several new features, including shift points that better adjust to specific driving conditions, and grade braking similar to that on the new TorqShift.

It's Showtime In Kentucky
Bluegrass Productions will be producing the May Madness Nationals Top 100 in Mayfield, Kentucky, the weekend of May 28 (Memorial Day weekend). If you're into classics, old cars, and a great down-home experience, this is for you. For more information, contact: Billie, Caroline, or Christie Peal, (270) 382-2139, (270) 382-3995.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Mitsubishi Sport Truck Concept
Mitsubishi's ambitious (and ambitiously styled) Sport Truck Concept springs from the Japanese automaker's longtime alliance with DaimlerChrysler. Mitsubishi is taking this design process seriously as the firm is planning to launch a pickup truck in the North American market, an action that marks the company's entry into an important market segment.