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2000 Paris Auto Show, Part Two Page 2

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piechs head

piechs head

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PASSAT PROBLEMS Hilarity ensues, and PR people get very nervous when the Big Chairman is in the house and the show cars don’t work. As VW chairman Ferdinand Piech announced the facelifted Passat (more chromework, slimmer headlamps), it became apparent that the hoods of both display cars were agape. Try as they could, the flunkies couldn’t push them closed discreetly. So Herr Piech gets up from his chair once more, crosses to one car, and slams it shut – with a smile. Breathing begins again. For those paying attention, the Passat gets a more Audi-like nose, with xenon headlamps, clear taillamps, a better grade of finish inside, and available 4Motion all-wheel drive. On the Audi frontier, Piech hinted that Audi’s long-in-development W-12 engine would be ready soon for customers – he’s been driving one for months, apparently – but announced no firm production date.

 

Peugeot Vroomster

Peugeot Vroomster

peugeot edoll

peugeot edoll

 

CITY STREETS SMARTS Probably the coolest vehicles we’ll never see in the U.S. were offered by Peugeot. France’s pride and joy offered a quartet of city vehicles that make the DaimlerChrysler Smart car look dowdy. The better of the four were the frog-green Vroomster, a two-person carbon-fiber vehicle with the uncomforting "gas tank between the legs," as well as a 110-hp four and a large canopy windshield. The electric-powered e-doll, on the other hand, seats three across and also has a canopy roof. The controls are patterned after motorcycles, with twist-grip gas and twin-dial instruments.

 

Peugeot 206cc

Peugeot 206cc

PEUGEOT 206CC A little closer to reality, Peugeot offered the 206cc – not cubic centimeters, but for coupe de Coeur ("of the heart"), which they say is "just a touch rebellious, with its plunging feline bonnet." Ahem. Two-plus-two seating and a retractable rigid roof enliven an otherwise ordinary 206, with a choice of either a 1.6-liter or a 2.0-liter four.

 

Daewoo kalos

Daewoo kalos

DAEWOO KALOS Clearly, Daewoo is not shy about taking Toyota to task. The Kalos concept car is aimed at Toyota’s popular Yaris subcompact (it’d be an ECHO in the U.S.) and it’s looking for a production slot two or three years in the future. The Kalos is a five-door hatch that might spawn a four-door and a three-door. Three four-cylinders would be offered under the grand scheme – that is, if Daewoo survives the coming weeks and another round of international auctions that make a listing on eBay seem a distinct possibility.

 

Hyundai Neos

Hyundai Neos

HYUNDAI NEOS The name says it’s all new, and it’s true – you’ve never seen anything like the NEOS (for New Evolution Open Sports Car) from Hyundai. What they’re saying here is they’ve arrived – and they’re getting there with a butterfly-doored, four-cylinder-powered speedster with 250 hp and an F1-style sequential six-speed gearbox. Of course, there’s no telling when it might reach a showroom.

 

Related Articles

Paris Auto Show Gallery One (Sept. 28, 2000)
2000 Paris Auto Show Index (Sept. 25, 2000)
2000 Paris Auto Show Preview (Sept. 25, 2000)


 
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