Pininfarina/Ford Start Concept
Ford Start concept Frankfurt 2001Enlarge Photo
Italian design house Pininfarina showcased the Ford Start concept at Frankfurt. The car, a 2+2 said to be derived from a Ford car platform, attempts to ask the question of whether or not another 2+2 is a viable product for Ford of Europe, where the current Ford Cougar has not been such a resounding success. At any rate, the car presents an interesting look into the capabilities of Pininfarina, in light of its new partnership with Ford to produce a production version of the StreetKa concept shown a while back. There are currently no plans in place to produce the Start.
BMW M3 CSL
2002 BMW M3 CSLEnlarge Photo
BMW’s M3 is already one of the most admired cars in the world for its superb dynamics. The M3 CSL concept takes this to the next level. It sheds its back seat, radio and a number of other non-essential features and adds 15 hp and a significant boost in capability. While the car is officially only a study, there are said to be plans in place to add the model to BMW’s European range in the next few years. There is also a slim chance such a car may come to the United States.
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and Targa
2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4SEnlarge Photo
Porsche will re-introduce its Turbo-look Carrera 4S model to the United States for the 2002 model year. While it doesn’t pack the visceral punch of the actual Turbo, the Carrera 4S does have most of the visual impact of the much-vaunted Turbo model. Beside the requisite body kit, the 4S gets the Turbo brakes and a unique rear treatment with a band of reflective plastic across the engine cover to differentiate it from lesser models and its big brother the 911 Turbo.
Porsche also debuted the Targa model of the 996 model 911. Now, the Targa has a lift-up rear glass hatch that enables easier loading into the rear seat area, which is basically only usable for cargo anyway, with the exception of smaller human passengers.
2002 Porsche 911 TargaEnlarge Photo
Audi A4 Cabriolet and A4 Avant
2002 Audi A4 CabrioletEnlarge Photo
In addition to the Avantisimo Concept, Audi introduced its much-anticipated A4 Avant and Cabriolet to Europe. The A4 Cabrio will be offered with a choice of a 2.4-liter or 3.0-liter V-6 engine in Europe initially. For the States the 3.0-liter will likely be standard. Initially, only front-wheel drive will be offered in the new four-place convertible. However, at a later date, quattro four-wheel drive will become available.
The new A4 Avant was also introduced. While the car will only account for a fraction of U.S. A4 sales volume, the Avant is a particularly important vehicle for Audi in Europe, given the popularity of such vehicles here at this time.
2002 Audi A4 AvantEnlarge Photo
Ford Focus ST170
2002 Ford Focus ST170Enlarge Photo
The Focus ST170, what is essentially the European version of the upcoming SVT Ford Focus in the U.S. was also introduced at the IAA in Frankfurt along with the revised 2002 Focus lineup. The ST170 gets the SVT’s 170-hp engine however, it gets its own unique 17-inch wheels, Recaro seats, unique bumpers as well as a host of other interior upgrades such as an improved leather covering on the steering wheel as well as upgraded climate control equipment that provides automatic temperature control.
Alfa Romeo 156 GTA
Alfa Romeo 156GTAEnlarge Photo
Alfa’s higher-performance version of its 156 sedan was also unveiled at Frankfurt. The car, referred to as the 156 GTA, in keeping with Alfa’s heritage, is powered by a new 3.2-liter V-6. The displacement increase, which is up from 3.0-liter, comes with a longer stroke. This and other changes to the engine net an increase of 50 hp for a total of 250. Changes to the brakes, chassis and exterior further separate the 156 GTA from the normal 156.