U.S. Business: Toronados, Turbos & TV

While Washington talked safety last week, Detroit showed off some stylish new and future wares.

Oldsmobile introduced its racy, 375-h.p. Toronado, first U.S. car with front-wheel drive since the Cord phased out in 1937. Some foreign automakers, notably France's Citroën, also market front-wheel cars. According to Olds engineers, front-wheel drive offers more traction and stability than conventional rear drive; it also eliminates the hump on the floor (because the transmission and differential are up front). Other engineers contend that front-wheel cars tend to oversteer, and that the added weight forward causes greater wear on brakes. The Toronado, a two-door, six-passenger hardtop that...

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