Index: 2002 Geneva Motor Show by TCC Team (3/5/2002)
2002 LigierEnlarge Photo
“This is neutral country,” noted Bruno Lurati, manager of the Geneva Motor Show. Among the top five global motor shows, the March event is the only one to occur in a country where there is no automotive manufacturing, and Lurati stressed that no particular manufacturer or group of manufacturers gets any special favors. As a result, all sorts of small and sometimes off-the-wall brands turn out on the floor of Geneva’s PalExpo convention center, including the little Ligier. Press day attendance reportedly surged well over previous record levels and show officials are hoping public turnout will also top last year’s all-time high of 780,000.
VW RETHINKING “TOUAREG”
Naming a new car after a tribe of Saharan slave traders may not be the best idea after all. Or so say Volkswagen’s U.S. dealers, who are asking the German carmaker to come up with an alternative name for the new Touareg sport-utility vehicle. The unusual name was announced earlier this year to a less-than-rousing response, especially in the States, where there are few who know who the Touareg are, let alone how to pronounce the word. And many of those who are aware of the Touareg fear the tribe’s historic nature could prove embarrassing in ethno-conscious America. Dealers have hit a responsive chord with VW of America officials, who tell TheCarConnection they’ve asked corporate headquarters to come up with an alternative nameplate, at least in the U.S. That wouldn’t be without precedent: the Golf was once sold in the U.S. as the Rabbit. A decision should be made well before the SUV goes on sale next year.
2002 Skoda Tudor conceptEnlarge Photo
SKODA GETS SUPERB MINUS TWO
Skoda presented a concept coupe that is based on the platform of the new Superb sedan, the largest Skoda to date. Skoda says that there are no plans to build a coupe. Nevertheless, the two-door does look ready for production and the Dutch importer thinks there is a 60-percent chance Skoda will build it. The coupe has front-wheel drive and is equipped with a 2.8-liter V-6 with 193 hp, teamed to a manual five-speed gearbox. It also features an Electronic Stability Program.
2003 Peugeot 807
2003 Peugeot 807Enlarge Photo
Citroen not only launched its small C3, but also the C8, their version of the minivan quadruplets they share with Peugeot, which markets the MPV as the 807 and Fiat (Ulysse) and Lancia (Phedra). The French variants of the second-generation minivan both got a new name this time. They both are 186.2 in long, about 11.8 in longer than their predecessors. That's why they offer enough space for seven passengers. The interior offers also 30 (thirty!) separate storage areas. Both Citroen and Peugeot will have their C8 and 807 in European showrooms this spring.
2002 Toyota UUV conceptEnlarge Photo
TOYOTA CROSSING OVER WITH UUV
Toyota premiered its UUV concept car, a crossover that breeds a small passenger car and a sport-ute. Toyota says it is in fact a combination of three body types: hatchback, sedan and station wagon. The latter we cannot see, because the 174.4-in long concept car lacks the real roominess in the rear of a station wagon. Toyota's European styling studio signed off on this design. Toyota officials say there are no plans yet to build a car like this.