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2003 Frankfurt Show, Part III Page 2

As a preparation for next year, when the first R-GTs will be delivered, Reiter Engineering will race the development version of the car in two international GT races, at Estoril in Portugal and Monza in Italy, in October.

Audi Follows on its Race Success

2004 Audi Le Mans quattro

2004 Audi Le Mans quattro

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Audi won the Le Mans 24-Hour race three times between 2000 and 2002, so it’s not surprising that the company’s latest concept car capitalizes on the fact. The Audi Le Mans quattro unveiled in Frankfurt is a compact mid-engined sports car powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-10 producing 610 hp. The body construction follows race-car practice, with wishbone suspension and carbon-fiber body panels, but since this is a road car, it also incorporates Audi production-car principles in the form of the company’s aluminum spaceframe construction. The result is a low overall weight of 1530 kg or 3360 lb. Combine that with a 610 horsepower and the figures are very impressive: zero to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds and on to the German benchmark of 200 kph (124 mph) in 10.8 seconds.

Subaru Takes a Legacy Power Trip

2004 Subaru Legacy 3.0R

2004 Subaru Legacy 3.0R

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Subaru, which announced a new version of the Legacy in Japan earlier this year, has added two new engines to the range. The first is a 2.5-liter, an enlarged version of the 2.0-liter flat-four that is the mainstay of the Subaru range. The second is a new flat-six 3.0-liter that the company claims is the lightest 3.0-liter six in the world. The 245-hp power unit will be the first six-cylinder engine in a Subaru since the SVX coupe went out of production in the mid-1990s. The engine’s extra power and low center of gravity should make the Legacy 3.0R, which will be available, like all the Legacy range, in sedan and wagon form, popular with drivers who want maximum performance plus all-wheel drive in a larger car.

The new Legacy body is stiffer and lighter than its predecessor, and Subaru claims that the light weight and advanced engine technology make a real contribution to the Legacy’s improved fuel consumption. All the new Legacy’s advantages are passed on to another Frankfurt introduction, the new updated Outback. The car that brought the crossover idea to the U.S. back in 1995 will also get the new flat-six.

Peugeot’s Elixir Could Come to Life

2003 Peugeot Elixir concept

2003 Peugeot Elixir concept

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Peugeot bills its Elixir as a concept, but the hints are fairly strong that this is the shape of the next mid-size sedan from France’s oldest car company. The official name, for instance is ‘407 Elixir’, which follows Peugeot’s naming policy that has been in place since the 1930s. ‘40’ is the tag attached to mid-size sedans, and the next in line is ‘407’. In addition, the official launch matrial issued to the press here in Frankfurt describes the car as: “an original concept car full of innovations in styling, architecture and engineering that gives a glimpse into the future trends of the Marque.”

The Elixir is certainly not out of place among the concepts on show here, but if it does go into production it will put Peugeot among the avant garde in terms of design. With smooth lines that give an impressively low drag factor and an emphasised ‘mouth’ at the front, the car, which is shown here as a coupe rather than a sedan, is a tantalizing look at a new direction in Peugeot design.

The company also used the show to unveil the car that will carry its colors in World Rallying next season. In response to marketing pressure, it is based on the newly-introduced 307CC , the four-seat coupe/convertible that Peugeot is hoping will follow the success of its smaller sibling, the 206CC. The 206CC uses the ‘folding metal hardtop’ format pioneered by Mercedes with the SLK and has proved to be a runaway sales success in Europe. Peugeot is aiming to move the success up a segment with the 307CC and has decided to use its successful rally team to promote the car.

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