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Far from the madding crowds of Frankfurt, Detroit, and Tokyo, Paris is the auto-show equivalent of a breather. It’s rife with new product introductions, but against the romantic backdrop of Paris in the fall, even the high-revving Ferraris and exotics seem a bit more laid back.
Paris is one of the most significant auto shows of the year, and beginning Sept. 26, TCC will be covering the Paris show with daily updates of concept and production-car launches. Here’s a short preview of what we expect will be announced at Paris — check back for updates and join us on the 26th from the halls of the 2002 auto show:
Peugeot Pulls Out Stops
The French brands use their home auto show for a lot of news. Both will test public acceptance of a small car with a sliding door by means of the Peugeot Sésame concept car. It is the predecessor of the Peugeot 107 and its cousin the Citroën C2. Both are expected by the end of the year. In the C-Airdream concept car, Citroën shows their view on drive-by-wire-technology, which GM will also showcase (see below).
2002 Peugeot H2O conceptEnlarge Photo
2002 Toyota Land Cruiser (Euro version)
Toyota is presenting its new Land Cruiser and the slightly face lifted MR2 and Celica. The Land Cruiser will get the existing 163 hp 3.0-liter D-4D turbodiesel and a new 4.0-liter V-6 engine, that produces 249 hp at 5200 rpm and has a maximum torque of 282 lb-ft at 3200 rpm. The V-6 should propel the Land Cruiser from 0-60 mph within 10 seconds. It has full-time 4WD with a transfer case (for the selection of high and low gearing) and a new Torsen differential with limited slip. The Land Cruiser is the first car equipped with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), a system that senses when the car starts to slide backwards on hills and that brakes the wheels. Thus the sliding will be less and there will be enough torque available to start without problems.
2002 Toyota Land Cruiser (Euro version)Enlarge Photo
2003 Smart Roadster
DaimlerChrysler now thinks there is a market in the U.S. for micro-compact cars such as the A-Class; there is also a chance that the smart will even reach our shores. The company will launch two new versions of the smart in Paris: the sporty-looking roadster and roadster-coupe. Smart wants to grow from a one-model brand to a division with a model line. The roadster has a soft top and a hard top, consisting of two plastic roof panels that can be taken off. The roadster-coupe has a glass rear window. Both versions will be equipped with a three-cylinder turbo engine with 82 hp.
2003 Smart RoadsterEnlarge Photo