Road Test: Vw Touareg

The worst thing about Volkswagen's new SUV is its name: Touareg (rhymes with "do-rag"). The company says it named its first SUV after a tribe of sub-Saharan nomads.

Road Test: 350Z Roadster

Driving the new Nissan 350Z Roadster is like having your own rolling amusement park. When I brought home a "ticket me" red Z, the kids in the neighborhood lined up to go for a spin, and cruising with the top down elicited cries of "cool car." But the Z is more than just eye candy.

Bill Ford's Rainy Days

As business trips go, this one should have been a pleasure for William Clay Ford Jr. The 46-year-old CEO of Ford Motor Co. has come to a political confab on Michigan's Mackinac Island (where, ironically, cars are outlawed) to speak about the company that great-granddad Henry Ford founded 100 years ago.

Road Test: Pacifica

So, is it a minivan, an SUV or just a plain old station wagon? In its new?Pacifica, billed as an upscale sport wagon, Chrysler has tried to capture the best characteristics of all three vehicles.

Blondes: Trading Places

The feds might still be hounding Martha Stewart, but Hollywood appears to have forgiven her. Lacking a real ending to the story, the producers of Monday's NBC biopic dreamed up a scene where adoring fans mob Stewart. "We decided that people in Middle America probably couldn't care less what's going on with her stock troubles," says executive producer Howard Braunstein. "People love her." The Feds aren't so easily charmed.

Cybill's Martha Moment

As the Martha Stewart insider-trading scandal erupted last summer, Matt Lauer gave the "Today" show audience his picks for the perfect actors to play Martha in the made-for-TV biopic: Cybill Shepherd, Candice Bergen or Robin Williams.

Road Test: Crossfire

As I pulled up to a stoplight in a low-slung silver Chrysler Crossfire, a hulking black pickup beside me blasted its horn. For a minute I wondered what I had done to provoke such road rage.

Out Of The Box Thinking

Bob Cooper can't pass a Costco without stopping. The California wine connoisseur has filled his cellar with more than 1,000 bottles purchased off the wooden shipping pallets at the no-frills warehouse club.

Styling With Digital Clay

Volvo chief designer Peter Horbury saw the inside of his own concept car for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show last month. In the past, Horbury would have had his hands all over one of his creations as it was coming to life in the studio.

Comeback, By Design

Jimmy Parsons had no plans to buy a car when he accompanied a friend to a Nissan dealership last week. To Parsons, Nissan was always "kind of a joke, and boring." Then he got a load of the razor-sharp 350Z sports car in the showroom. "I thought of myself in that car and went, 'Wow!' " says Parsons, 38, who wheeled a $33,000 silver Z off the lot. "I don't really need more tickets, but I wanted that Z."If anyone should be pulled over for speeding, it's Nissan.

Styling With Digital Clay

Volvo chief designer Peter Horbury saw the inside of his own concept car for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show last month.IN THE PAST, Horbury would have had his hands all over one of his creations as it was coming to life in the studio.

Moneymaker: Fanning The Flames

The stock market may be suffering, but Operation Iraqi Freedom has sure been good for business at Halliburton, the Houston oil-services company famous for its former CEO, Dick Cheney.

Periscope

HALLIBURTONCha-Ching CheneyThe stock market may be suffering, but Operation Iraqi Freedom has sure been good for business at Halliburton, the Houston oil-services company famous for its former CEO, Dick Cheney.

Full-Metal Traffic Jam

When all those limos pull up to the red carpet at the Oscars this month, some will be outfitted more elaborately than the stars. Beneath their shiny exteriors is the hottest new automotive accessory--bulletproof armor.

Pixels To Pavement

When Mazda decided to bring back its legendary RX sports car a few years ago, it feared it would be eating the Nissan Z's dust. The resurrected Z would hit the streets a year ahead of the RX-8.

My Engine Is Bigger Than Your Engine

Maneuvering among all the SUVs on the road used to be a white-knuckle ride for Judy Podkulski. Her car, with its puny four-cylinder engine, was no match for the monsters of the motorway.

Fiat: After Agnelli, A Sale?

Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli, 81, died last week just hours before a family meeting to decide the fate of his beloved but broken-down car company. Now it looks as though General Motors may reluctantly ride to the rescue of the debt-ridden Italian automaker.

Periscope

TerrorismMan on the RunOne of the most wanted terrorists today is a 36-year-old Palestinian Qaeda leader known as Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, who has been linked to recent Qaeda activity and possibly even Iraq.

Ford's New Muscles

Bill Ford Jr. desperately needs a hit. As the car company his great-grandfather founded prepares for its 100th anniversary, things have rarely looked worse.

The Fast And The Luxurious

Detroit isn't known for its fashion shows, but this past Sunday it hoped to create a buzz machine that even New York would envy. To set the stage for a big coming-out party at this week's auto show, General Motors spent nearly $1 million converting the august Detroit Opera House into a trendy cocktail lounge for one night.

Kicking Hyundai Into High Gear

Back in 1998, the wheels were coming off at Hyundai. Leno and Letterman regularly made the shoddy Korean car a punch line--to jokes about Yugo. The home office in Seoul couldn't even recruit a seasoned American to jump-start the faltering company.

The Ceo Party Is Over

It's official. After all the perp walks, Martha's mess, Jack's divorce and implosions of companies like Enron and WorldCom, CEOs now rank below funeral directors and lawyers in a new Gallup poll.

Road Test | Lincoln Aviator

If luxury SUVs had been around back in the days of the Rat Pack, they would have looked like the new Lincoln Aviator. As you slide into the Aviator's leather seats, you're transported back to the midcentury digs inhabited by those finger-snapping hipsters.

Tech Backlash: Start Me Up (Just Try)

When you're driving a road rocket like the $70,000 BMW 745i, you need some good tunes to provide a soundtrack to your speed. But as I flouted traffic laws all over Detroit in a wild weekend ride of this new Beemer, I found myself trapped in classical-music hell.

Living Room, To Go

So you've had a stressful day at work and now you're bracing for the white-knuckle ride home. You slump in your car, clench the steering wheel and, through gritted teeth, say: "Calm me." Your car feels your strain, recognizes your fingerprint on the wheel and responds.

Absolut On The Rocks

For the past few years, Teresa Duke ordered her martinis with Absolut vodka and plenty of olive juice to make them "dirty." "I like them so dirty they're almost kinky," says the 38-year-old physician's assistant from Cleveland.

Jack's Toughest Deal

For all the explosive tabloid revelations in the bitter divorce battle between Jack and Jane Welch, you'd think they would need security guards to keep them apart.

Martha's Shrinking Act

As Martha Stewart's legal troubles grow, finding her face in her magazine is like playing Where's Waldo? The former model was once splashed across the pages of Martha Stewart Living.

Will She Be In Or Out?

Can Martha Stewart still command the attention of Kmart shoppers? That's what Kmart CEO Jim Adamson is trying to figure out as the bankrupt retailer prepares to unveil a critically important new line of Martha Stewart holiday wares.

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