It won't be devoid of trucks by any means, but this year's New York International Auto Show (April 3-11) is shaping up to be very much a passenger car exhibition, with no fewer than a half-dozen new models slated for world debuts.

Starring on the light truck half of the slate will be General Motors Corp.'s '00 GMC Suburban and Chevrolet Tahoe sport/utility brutes. The revamped GM sport/utility vehicles are the first built off the new GMT800 pickup chassis. Mazda Motor Corp. will show off its all-new MPV minivan.

On the car side of the ledger will be the '00 Ford Taurus, Infiniti I30, Pontiac Sunfire, new Saturn LS, Mitsubishi Eclipse, BMW Z3, Legacy GT sedan and wagon and '01 Oldsmobile Aurora. Saab Automobile will launch its 9-3 Viggen Coupe.

North American debuts will include the Aston Martin Vantage, Kia KMS4 small car concept and Mercedes CL coupe.

Among concepts taking bows will be Isuzu Motors Ltd.'s VX-02.

Ford Motor Co. is expected to focus on safety innovations in the new Taurus, one of the best selling cars in the U.S. market, including an advanced restraint system that uses sensors to control the level of air bag deployment.

The Infiniti I30 will feature new styling and more power. Its 6-cyl. engine will generate at least 222 hp. BMW AG's '00 Z3 will display all-new rear end styling and new wheels. Mazda, which did not offer a '99 MPV, will debut a '00 model that carries over only the name of its predecessors. The '00 MPV has a smaller 2.5L engine that is more powerful and offers better fuel economy than previous MPV engines. An industry first for the MPV is dual sliding doors with roll-down windows. The new Aurora gets its first remake and will go on sale in spring 2000. It will offer a 4L V-8, as well as its first V-6, a version of the “Shortstar” engine already offered in the Intrigue. Sources say Olds is targeting Aurora sales at 40,000-60,000 units annually.

The new Mercedes CL replaces the S500 and S600 coupes in the German importer's lineup. It goes on sale during the first quarter of 2000 and may be offered initially as a '01 model.

Subaru of America Inc.'s '00 Legacy GT will feature an all-new suspension that drops MacPherson struts. The '00 model is more European looking and will offer side air bags in the LTD model. Another Legacy first is 6-way power seats. The third generation Legacy goes on sale in July.

The Aston Martin Vantage will be powered by a 420-hp Cosworth supercharged V-12. Aston Martin has built only 15,000 cars in the 86 years it has been in business. Ford purchased 75% of Aston Martin in 1987 and bought the company's remaining shares in 1994.