1999 CHEVY TRACKER BLENDS NEW STYLE, HANDLING AND PERFORMANCE WITH SPORT UTILITY HERITAGE
The name is familiar. But one look at the 1999 Tracker suggests that the Chevy small sport utility has grown up.
The new Tracker -- available in either two-door convertible or four-door versions, in two- or four-wheel drive -- features sporty new looks, more power, nimble handling and a roomier, more comfortable interior. Providing function and sportiness, Tracker also has the agile handling, plus the durability that only a true SÚV can provide.
Tracker's size and price range make it a key player within Chevrolet's portfolio of sport utilities.
'The new Chevy Tracker gives Chevrolet a true market advantage by providing an entry point for the industry's widest range of sport utilities,' says Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet marketing general manager. 'No other manufacturer has Chevrolet's depth in SÚV brands. If a customer wants more power or room, we offer a very progressive set of alternatives.'
Tracker has been redesigned from the ground up; only a few components carry over from previous models.
Following are highlights of what's new for 1999. Exterior Styling
'Chevy Truck Studio designers gave the vehicle a more sculpted, muscular look designed to improve its aerodynamics,' says Margaret Brooks, Tracker brand manager. 'The overall stance, along with the grille, maintains a distinctive sport utility appearance, so Tracker bears a resemblance to the rest of the Chevy sport utility family.' Some of the major styling changes on Tracker include:
A lower roof line and sloping hood that are designed to help improve aerodynamics.
Contoured edges on the front end, doors, 'C' and 'D' pillars (four-door models) and rear end that provide a sporty new appearance.
Sculpted fenders and side panels that add a sporty flair.
A low-mounted spare tire to help improve rearward driver visibility.
A new two-piece convertible top on two-door models. Customers have the option of opening and folding the top, removing only the rear section or doing both. The top fits tightly, and is designed to help reduce vibration and wind noise at highway speeds. Agility and Performance
While the styling of Tracker has changed dramatically, equally dramatic changes were made under the skin.
The independent front suspension on Tracker helps eat up road bumps and smooth out the ride. In addition, the new rear suspension features a five-link design. By adding a lateral locating link to the Tracker rear suspension, engineers were able to make improvements in how the handling feels.
Tread width was increased by 2.4 inches, providing a wider stance. In addition, the recirculating ball steering on the previous Tracker has been replaced by a power rack-and-pinion system that provides more precise feel and better responsiveness.
According to Brooks, new suspension components aren't the only secret to the firm, agile handling on Tracker.
'Únlike some of the new unibody sport utilities, Tracker is built on a full ladder-type frame, just as every sport utility in the Chevy lineup,' says Brooks. 'A full frame helps Tracker improve ride comfort by providing two levels of isolation. The suspension provides one level of isolation, and rubber body mounts between the body and frame provide another level.'
Tracker also features a new 2.0 liter 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine for ‘99. The 2.0-liter engine is standard on four-door models and optional on the two-door convertible.
The new engine features a 34-percent increase in horsepower and provides Tracker with an impressive power-to-weight ratio. Tracker Blends Agility with True SÚV Durability
One of Tracker's greatest strengths is that it lives up to its sport utility heritage with outstanding durability, both on and off road.
'Tracker is an authentic SÚV, built to handle very rugged terrain,' says Brooks. 'That's important, because people choose sport utilities for their ruggedness and durability, even if people go off roading only occasionally.'
Tracker's sturdy ladder frame has the same basic design as other Chevrolet sport utility vehicles. The frame acts as a foundation that supports the body and the powertrain and anchors the suspension components.
Four-wheel-drive models feature a drastically improved four-wheel-drive system for 1999. 'Shift-on-the-fly' four-wheel drive allows the driver to shift into and out of four-wheel-drive high at any speed below 60 mph, on demand. The two speed transfer case features 4-wheel-low, which helps Tracker out of tough spots, on or off road.
New for ‘99 is an anti-flex beam located under the hood (standard with the 2.0-liter engine), which helps stiffen the front suspension and body structure. New Interiors Provide Added Room and Comfort
Both two- and four-door models have more room, refinements, comfort and convenience. Major new interior features for ‘99 include the following:
A wider body provides more room for passengers -- enough for three passengers in the rear seat in four-door models.
The tilt steering allows better articulation of the steering wheel than the previous design.
New storage areas have been incorporated throughout the vehicle -- a sunglass holder in the dash; seatback storage; generous door pockets; and a console featuring cupholders that are square instead of round, accommodating everything from cups to juice boxes to a box of french fries.
Inside the four-door, Tracker engineers improved the way the rear seat is folded and stowed, gaining an additional 2.5 square feet of cargo-floor area in the process.
The two-door Tracker is almost inches longer than its predecessor with a longer rear overhang, which provides an additional 1.3 square feet of cargo-floor area with the rear seat stowed.
The rear compartment on two-door models is more passenger-friendly, with new armrests and refined interior trim.
Two-door convertible offers an optional rear lockable storage compartment that offers added security. It is also removable to provide maximum cargo area with the rear seats folded.
Tracker - Best of Both Worlds
'For customers, the new Tracker provides the best of all worlds because Tracker is not only agile and nimble, but also SÚV durable,' Brooks says. This perfect combination of agility and durability is what sets Tracker apart.'
Brooks adds that Tracker maintains its competitive price position, even with all of its new features and improvements.
'The two-door is one great convertible,' Brooks says. 'If you're looking for a convertible that won't cost a fortune, a two-door, two-wheel-drive Tracker is hard to beat.'
Brooks sums up by saying, 'The all-new Chevy Tracker is nothing like our customers have seen before. With a more powerful engine, improved suspension and GM-led design, SÚV fans will see this new Tracker as a very appealing SÚV and as an integral member of the Chevy sport utility lineup.'Source - GM Corporation