THE ’87 LINEUP: FOREIGN SPOKEN HERE

Mitsubishi Wagon

This all-new, seven-passenger vehicle is Mitsubishi’s first foray into the American mini-van market. It’s designed to permit a mind-boggling array of seating possibilities: great flexibility but not a van for the in-decisive. The 2.4-liter engine produces 107 horsepower. The price is nothing to sneeze at either-$12,800 for the base model.



Nissan Pulsar NX

Take a look at a 1986 Pulsar. Kind of blah, right? Now take a look at the 1987 Pulsar NX. What a difference a year makes, eh? The all-new Pulsar is a shapely coupe that stands out in this age of four-wheel boxes. T-tops make it a semi-convertible, and fold-down rear seats give it ample storage capacity. The $11,000 base model comes with a humdrum 70-horsepower four-banger, but an optional twin-overhead-cam engine rated at 113 horses is available.



Sterling 825SL

East meets West in this Honda-engineered, Rover-styled luxury sedan in the $19,000 price range. The most exciting aspect of the car is its 24-valve, V-6 engine, which produces 151 horsepower and a top speed of nearly 130 mph. Although the technical specifications are similar to the stylish Acura Legend’s, the Sterling offers a more stylish body and more elegant interior appointments, including Connolly leather and burled walnut.



Renault GTA

The newest entry in the expanding pocket-rocket category of peppy subcompacts is the Renault GTA. Based on the more mundane Encore series, the GTA is equipped with a five-speed close-ratio transmission mated to a new two-liter engine. The two-door coupe ($9,000) and convertible body styles ($13,000) both feature color-coordinated grilles, front airdams, and rear spoilers.



BMW M6

This is the first of BMW’s long-awaited M-cars to be introduced in this country. Like those in the soon-to-come 3-Series and 5-Series, the M6 is a hotted-up version of the 6-Series. The venerable six-cylinder engine has been equipped with four valves per cylinder and tuned to produce some 256 horsepower. Also, the suspension has been upgraded and a variety of aerodynamic aids have been added to the car. All this sophistication doesn’t come free: the price tag is expected to run about $50,000.



Bentley Eight

If you’re looking for the kind of comfort associated with life in the Taj Majal and you don’t mind parting with $90,000 to get it, the Bentley Eight, new for the U.S. this year, may be your kind of dreadnought. Though it’s a massive four-door sedan, the new Bentley presents a sportier appearance than that of its cousins at Rolls-Royce, yet doesn’t sacrifice traditional amenities such as sumptuous leather and deep-pile carpeting.



Toyota Camry

The most visible change in the all-new Camry is the sleek, streamlined body, which is about as elegant as you’re going to get for $11,000. More than just a pretty face, the Camry also gets a 21 percent boost in horsepower, raising it to 115.



Nissan Pathfinder

The new four-wheel-drive Pathfinder is a vehicle with multiple personalities. At various times, it acts like a sedan, truck, station wagon, and off-road vehicle. The aero-dynamically styled five-passenger “civilized vehicle” is equipped with a four-cylinder engine in base trim, but Nissan expects the 140-horsepower V-6 version starting at about $15,500 to account for 85 percent of its Pathfinder sales.



Jaguar XJ-S Cabriolet

Study your surroundings: the dashboard is made of real wood, the seats caress you with the feel of real leather, and wind is rushing through the open top at about, say, 120 mph. Is this automotive heaven or what? Actually, it’s Jaguar’s new cabriolet, an open-air version of the XJ-S introduced in 1976. Although the price tag is $45,000, you can’t find a cheaper V-12 engine in this universe.



Honda Civic 4WD Wagon

Honda’s spiffiest engineering innovation for 1987 is the four-wheel-drive version of the Civic wagon. For a shade under $10,000, you get the best of the two-wheel and four-wheel-drive worlds. The car switches automatically to four-wheel drive whenever the tires start to lose traction, then returns to two-wheel drive when the tires again encounter a dry surface.



Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R

This is Mitsubishi’s screamer. It’s equipped with a turbocharged 2.6-liter engine that produces 176 horsepower. It also comes with nearly every other feature in the Mitsubishi bag of tricks. It even has radio controls in the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The only downside to all this good cheer is that the ESI-R, at $18,000, is also the company’s most expensive car.



Mitsubishi One Ton Mighty Max

Mitsubishi’s newest pickup truck has a longer body and cargo bed than the standard Mighty Max, which rests at the base of the line. The One Ton also benefits from a larger 2.6-liter engine rated at 109 horsepower and mated to a five-speed transmission. It even comes with an adjustable steering column, and prices start at $7,400.



Yugo GV

The list of standard features includes show-stoppers like a cigarette lighter, hubcaps, and four-that’s right, four-individual headrests. Well, what do you expect for $3,990, a hot tub? The Yugoslavian manufacturer didn’t make any major changes for 1987, which means the Yugo GV still costs about a thousand smackeroos-that’s right, a thousand-less than any other car on the market. The (relatively speaking) upscale Yugo GVX, featuring a larger engine and a (relatively speaking) host of other options, is supposed to debut in the spring.



Saab 9000S

The 9000S is the only new car in Saab’s ’87 lineup, and it’s really nothing more than a normally aspirated version of the turbo-charged 9000. But hey. Saab doesn’t undertake change lightly: when the 9000 was introduced in 1985, it was the company’s first brand-new car in seventeen years. The 9000 series is as big and luxurious as Saab gets.



Mercedes-Benz 300TD Station Wagon

So you’ve got a family of seven but you don’t think a VW van would look right in your Highland Park driveway. If you have $43,000 to spend, a 300TD station wagon might solve your problem. The turbo-charged, diesel-powered wagon has the capacity to seat five and carry 76.8 cubic feet of Neiman-Marcus presents. And from the front, it looks exactly like a Mercedes.



Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

When you see all those Mercedes-Benzes lumbering along Oak Lawn, straddling both lanes and stopping at yellow lights, it’s easy to forget that the German automaker used to produce the fastest cars in the world. The successor to that high-performance tradition is the 190E 2.3-16, a limited-edition $40,000 baby Mercedes with a 16-valve engine that produces 167 horsepower and O-to-55 times of a shade under seven seconds.



Mazda 626 Sedan

The versatile 626 four-door sedan gives you a mixture of luxury and performance at a reasonable price starting at about $10,000. Refinements rather than revolutionary changes are the rule for 1987, as the car gets a new four-speed automatic overdrive transmission and several new cosmetic options. Although Mazda has hitched its star to the rotary engine, the 626 is equipped with a conventional internal combustion job.



Subaru XT Turbo

This car’s for everyone who’s ever been torn between the practical and the sensational. The $15,000 XT Turbo is both. It’s a sleek two-door coupe, yet it’s got a spacious trunk. It comes with a peppy 1.8-liter tur-bocharged engine, yet it also has four-wheel drive. Even the looks of the XT are uniquely Subaru-either striking or otherworldly, depending on your taste.



Honda Prelude Si

The Prelude Si is as good as it gets in a Honda, and that’s pretty good. The roughly $15,000 automobile is equipped with a twoliter engine that produces 110 horsepower- 10 more than the standard Prelude-and oodles of standard luxury features ranging from a power moonroof to alloy wheels. It’s clearly the best-looking Honda, and to many eyes, it looks better than its hoity-toity cousin, the Acura Legend.



Porsche 944S

Like fine wine, the Porsche 944 continues to improve with age. What makes 1987 a particularly impressive vintage is the new S model, which houses an engine outfitted with 16 valves rather than the two-valves-per-cylinder power plant found in the standard 944. The result is 188 horsepower-up 28 percent-and a top speed of 142 mph at a price of about $28,500.



Acura Integra

The Acura family consists of two siblings. The older brother, the Legend, handles all the upscale, luxury-conscious customers. The younger brother, the Integra, handles everybody else. It’s sleek, nimble, and-with a high-revving 113-horsepower power plant loosely based on Honda’s awesome Formula One engine-peppy to boot. The Acura Integra comes in both three- and five-door configurations, and sticker prices start at $10,000.



Audi 4000S

Subdued and well-integrated are adjectives that accurately describe the 4000S. The exterior of the $16,000 four-door sedan is trim and purposeful, while the interior is much larger than it would seem to be from the outside looking in. Although the 4000S isn’t a high-performance car, its 1.8-liter, 102 horsepower can reach nearly 110 mph. Creature comforts include power everything as standard equipment.

lsuzu P’UP Value Package

The newest of Isuzu’s economical pickup trucks is the Value Package version of the standard model. Designed for the man or woman who wants a little style in a truck- you know who you are-the Value Package includes a bright grille, chrome front and rear bumpers, white spoke wheels, double-wall cargo box, and carpeting. You get all these goodies for less than $7,000.



Renault Alliance

The Alliance is Renault’s Everycar. There’s a two-door sedan, two-door convertible, three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and five-door hatchback ranging from about S6.500 to $12,000. You can get all but the convertible and five-door in base, L, and DL configurations, and you can get the three-door in a GS configuration. There’ll be a pop quiz on this at the end of the article. The standard engine is 1.4 liters, but a 1.7-liter job is also available.



Volvo 240-Series Wagon

This station wagon will look as unstylish ten years from now as it did the day you bought it. On the other hand, it will probably run as well, too. The 240-Series comes with a 2.3-liter fuel-injected engine and more than seven feet of cargo room if you remove the rear seat. Prices start at $15,175.



Toyota Supra Turbo

A Toyota with 230 horsepower. 0-to-60 times a shade over six seconds, a top speed of 150-plus. Yeah, right. And Odessa is a fun place to spend the summer. Well, it’s no lie. Originally little more than a duded up Celica, the Supra was redesigned to general acclaim last year. This year, it gets a turbo that turns it into a beast. And if you turn the wick up too high-and you’re willing to shell out some $25,000 for all the goodies-you’ve now got an anti-lock braking system to slow you down.



Nissan Sentra GXE Wagon

The Sentra line got a face lift in the offseason to give it a sleeker shape based on Nissan’s upscale Maxima. Although the wagon naturally isn’t as sporty-looking as the coupe, its sloping rear window and generally trim appearance make it a visually appealing automobile. It comes equipped with a 1.6-liter, 70 horsepower engine mated to a five-speed transmission. A three-speed automatic is also available. In top-of-the-line GXE trim, the wagon sells for about $10,000.



Alfa Romeo Graduate

A mere $14,000 will get you into an Alfa Romeo sports car. Okay, so it’s the bottom of the convertible line and it doesn’t have power mirrors. Actually, it doesn’t have all that much power, period. But, Mama Mia, that body! Those are some seriously sensuous curves. Pininfarina sculpted it nearly two decades ago, and it still looks better than virtually any other car on the road.

Newsletter

Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.

Comments