2004 Paris Auto
Show by TCC Team (9/20/2004)
lights of the City of Light take the stage.
When the Mondial de l’Automobile in
Paris opens its doors to the public on
September 25, the public will know what new cars to expect. As has become
best-practices for the major auto shows, most of the major debuts have already
been announced by the companies set to push them on stage over the two press
days, Sept. 23 and 24. As usual there will be some surprise debuts on the press
days — but we know for sure the following vehicles will make the trip to the
Lights . Now if you’ll pardon us while you read,
we’ll be brushing up on our French:
Porsche Boxster will bow in
Paris with its proven 2.7-liter flat-six
engine, now with 12 hp more than before for a total of 240 hp. The 3.2-liter
six-cylinder in the Boxster S version develops 20 hp more and has now 280 hp.
Porsche says the mid-engine Boxster sprints from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while
its top speed is 158 mph. The Boxster S needs 5.5 seconds to sprint to 60 mph
and has a top speed of 167 mph. The five-speed gearbox has been revised and the
S will get a new six-speed manual transmission.
The second-generation Boxster’s chassis has been retuned
on a wider track, larger wheels add to the stance of the new body, and the nose
now clearly shows a family relation with the 911. There is also new lighting
with separate main headlamps and front lamps with integrated fog lamps. There
are also larger rear air vents, bolder door sills and a larger glass area. The
new Boxster is the first roadster that offers head airbags in combination with
Mercedes-Benz has already given us the details of the second-generation
A-Class. In Europe, the small Benz (at just 151 inches long) will be available
with a choice of three gas engines, ranging from 95 to 136 hp and three diesels
with power output ranging from 82 to 140 hp. The 193-hp A200 Turbo will be
available later in 2005. Mercedes will not (yet) bring the A-Class to the North
will probably have to wait
for the longer B-Class crossover that is expected next year.
successor of the 360 Modena will be one of the
eye-catchers of the Paris show. The Ferrari F430 has a V-8 with 490
hp and 343 lb-ft of torque, with which it will be able to sprint from zero to 60
mph in 4.0 seconds. New are the electronic differential and a system to adjust
suspension settings from the steering wheel. It originates from Formula 1, where
it is called marinetto. The transmission also
originates from F1 racing and can shift gears in 150 milliseconds.
Volkswagen showed the Golf GTI as a prototype, but later this month we will see
the production version in
. It will be the fifth generation of the
godfather of all sports compacts. Thanks to VW chief Bernd Pischetsrieder the
new GTI will be a true sporty version. Earlier this year, Mr. Pischetsrieder
said in an interview with an English car magazine that the GTI was nearly killed
because of marketing strategies. The latest version is lowered by 0.6 inch and
the suspension is sport-tuned. Under the hood is a brand-new 2.0-liter FSI turbo
engine with 200 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. The four-cylinder is teamed to a
six-speed gearbox. With this driveline the new GTI reaches a top speed of 146
mph and should be able to sprint from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds. With the new DSG
transmission this should even be 6.7 seconds.
Compared to the prototype, the exterior of the
production version of the GTI has not been changed. With big bumpers front and
aft, a black radiator grille with red rim, and black trim at the lower part of
the body the GTI is easily recognizable, as are the rear wing, double exhaust
tips, and 17-inch wheels.
The interior of the GTI is
finished with sporty accents, such as sport seats with the GTI logo in the
headrests, a three-spoke steering wheel, and aluminum pedals and shift knob.
Also, the instrument panel has been redesigned. The fast Golf will have standard
climate control, a tire-pressure monitoring system, fog lights, and a rain