With Ford Motor Co. planning to raise the fuel economy of its sport-utility vehicles 25% by 2005, the automaker may be kicking off a new mileage race to rival the days immediately after the last energy crisis?

Can Ford meet its target? Will other automakers follow? And has the automaker given ammunition to critics in the environmental movement, who may demand even bigger increases in fuel economy be legislated into law? In a special edition of TheCarConnection.com , the Web's Automotive Authority says one thing is likely: consumers will come out ahead with vehicles that could shave up to $2,400 off their fuel bills.

Also check out TCC's automotive edition of Chuck Shepherd's, "News of the Weird." See what happens when you try to stuff 80 pounds of marijuana in your gas tank ... and discover that men aren't the only ones who won't ask directions. (Philadelphia police officer Margo Grady nearly got to Newark, NJ, before she finally admitted she had taken the wrong turn to her stationhouse.) Shepherd's stranger-than-fiction reports will become a regular feature on TheCarConnection.com .

Check out our weekly car tips. Get more maintenance help from our On-Site Mechanic. You'll find all this and more at TheCarConnection.com , including buying, selling, and leasing tips; and a wide range of news, views, and reviews from the automotive world's top columnists and correspondents. TCC will help you find the right price for new and used cars - and give you the tips you need to be a smarter shopper or seller. Whatever you're interested in, we've got everything automotive on the Web's Automotive Authority, www.TheCarConnection.com .

Web users can also access The Car Connection by going to the PR Newswire site www.prnewswire.com.