2002 Ford C-Max conceptEnlarge Photo
Ford launched a concept version of the successful Focus at past European auto shows; in fact, Ford had a production prototype of a tall Focus wagon ready in 1999, but had to cancel the project as the car did not seat seven passengers, like its main competitor the Opel Zafira. Now at Paris, Ford decided to start again with the platform of the new Focus that will hit the market in 2004. The Focus MAV (Multi Activity Vehicle) will be the first version of that platform. It’s expected to be introduced in 2003 on the European market. We think the C-MAX concept car shows very much what we may expect of the Focus MAV. Although the car does not seat seven, it is clear that not many choose the Zafira because of this possibility and we may well expect the MAV to seat five persons. One key feature of the C-MAX concept car is its long glass roof that consists of two lengthwise panels.
Peugeot 307cc conceptEnlarge Photo
Peugeot introduced a new hardtop convertible concept car called the 3(heartsign)7. The convertible is a strong candidate for production. The folding roof encloses a practical four-seat interior, and a 180-hp engine powers the 3(heartsign)7.
2002 Citroen C3 Pluriel concept
Citroen showed an extremely innovative new production car, the C3 Pluriel, and a stylish concept coupe. The Pluriel starts out looking like an attractive two-door hatchback. A folding canvas roof quickly transforms it into an open-topped car not unlike the old “windowshade” 2CV. However, the car has no B-pillars; the shape is what Citroen calls a panoramic sedan. From there, it is possible to remove the folding roof, rear window and side rails, turning the Pluriel into a full convertible. A further transformation opens the tailgate and allows the Pluriel to function as a stylish micro-pickup.
2002 Citroen C3 Pluriel conceptEnlarge Photo
2002 Citroen C-Airdream conceptEnlarge Photo
2003 Maserati Trofeo
“Our new Maserati is a race car,” explained Luca de Montezemolo, chairman of Ferrari-Maserati. He was referring to the 425-horsepower Trofeo, a special version of the recently introduced Maserati Coupe. The Italian automaker intends to build just 30 of them for use in a new series of seven European races it will sponsor. The Trofeo will be the perfect car for the true weekend warrior, since Maserati intends to manage the vehicles, moving them from track to track and handling maintenance. “This is the first step,” Montezemolo added, “to a comeback on the race track.” Once a dominant force in Formula One and other programs, Maserati may next participate in the GT Cars professional series, though the automaker’s top executive declined to reveal how soon that would likely happen. —TCC Team
2003 Maserati TrofeoEnlarge Photo