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2002 Paris Show Preview II


2002 Paris Auto Show logo

2002 Paris Auto Show logo

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2002 Paris Auto Show (9/15/2002)

With the opening of the Paris Auto Show just over a week away, more manufacturers are issuing details of cars that will make their debut at the most important international show of the second half of the year.

2003 Renault Megane

2003 Renault Megane

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Naturally, it’s a major platform for the French manufacturers, and Renault, Peugeot and Citroen all have new production cars and concepts to unveil. Renault has already issued details of the new version of its Mégane family car, but Paris will see the car’s first major show appearance.

 


2002 Renault Ellypse concept

2002 Renault Ellypse concept

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Alongside the Mégane will be a new concept, the Ellypse, that combines advanced styling with technology that is not too far from production readiness. The styling isn’t radical for a Renault, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t radical when put against other manufacturers’ efforts. The Ellypse follows the Renault trend of ‘one-box’ design that has been a part of the company’s production car program for some years now. The main feature is the ‘bow-window’ at the rear, which is a major styling feature of the new Mégane. The concept car has obviously been designed to get the public used to the styling feature ahead of the Mégane’s entry into the market.  Technically, the Ellypse features a new low-emissions diesel engine and ‘by-wire’ technology that replaces hydraulic actuation of the brakes, steering and gearshift. A 42-volt electric system is used, which means that components such as power steering and air conditioning can be electrically driven. The 42-volt system will be commonplace on future mass-produced cars, but it is taking some time to reach production. The concept has been designed following principles that Renault is following in its current and upcoming models, with end-of-life recycling a major consideration. Inside, the Ellypse has all the usual electronic driver aids, but it is notable for two features: the rear doors have the rear-hinged ‘suicide’ format that is increasingly popular with designers today, while the slim-line seats retract into the floor then set into the ‘sleeper’ position.

2003 Peugeot 206 GTi

2003 Peugeot 206 GTi

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Peugeot will be showing six concepts and forty-one production cars, including a new high-performance version of the little 206 sedan that is currently the car to beat in World Championship rallying. With 180 hp on tap, the 206 GTi has a top speed of 143 mph and will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in seven seconds.


2002 Peugeot 307CC concept

2002 Peugeot 307CC concept

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The 307CC is a coupe/convertible version of the 307 sedan that won’t take long to enter production. Peugeot has had a major sales success with the coupe/convertible format – which features a retractable metal hardtop that operates on the same principle as does that of the Mercedes SLK – on its 206 model, and the move upwards in the range is a logical step.

The other concept that closely foreshadows a production car is the Sésame, a boxy little car that is a pointer to the replacement for the smallest Peugeot sedan, the 106. It features electrically operated sliding doors – although they may not be electric in a production version – and compact overall dimensions that would make it ideal for Paris traffic.


 
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