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2004 Paris Auto Show, Part II Page 2

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Audi A4

2005 Audi A4

2005 Audi A4

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The facelifted Audi A4 range gains the beyond-large grille already in place on the twelve-cylinder A8 and the new A6 — but that’s not the only improvement for the no-longer entry-level four-ringer. Four new engines are on tap for Europe for a grand total of nine; most important to Stateside Audiheads are the new 3.2-liter V-6 FSI with 255 hp and the 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged FSI. Audi has updated the suspension with parts from the A6 and S4.

Also at the Paris show, Audi chairman Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn announced that the production version of the Pikes Peak concept would be known as the Q7, a naming decision that probably has hackles raised at Infiniti. "The letter Q denotes a new type family within our company, alongside A, S and RS. The 7 indicates that it is positioned between the A6 and A8," explained Prof. Winterkorn in a release, perhaps as an early defense in the seemingly inevitable exchange of legal letters. The five-door, seven-seater Q7 will be Audi’s first SUV.

 

Aston Martin Vanquish S

2005 Aston Martin Vanquish S

2005 Aston Martin Vanquish S

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Fastest Aston — say that five times fast and the new Vanquish S will be gone before you get tongue-tied. Ford’s uppermost brand said on Thursday at the Parisshow that a boost in power to its V-12 supercar pushes it to more than 200 mph. The 6.0-liter V-12 in the Vanquish S now develops 520 horsepower, and gets small revisions to its suspension and steering to handle the newfound capabilities. Aston will still build the “slower” 460-hp version, but the S will assume the topmost spot in the lineup — and will wear some cosmetics befitting its new station in life, including a more rounded grille and a new trunklid revamped for better high-speed air flow. Larger six-piston calipers for the brakes are included. And as always, the price is “if you have to ask…”

 

Volvo XC90 V-8

2005 Volvo XC90 V-8

2005 Volvo XC90 V-8

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In the U.S., some 30 percent of the entries in the premium SUV market have V-8 power. And that made Volvo upset enough to go out and commission a V-8 of its own for the strong-selling XC90. Starting next January, U.S.buyers will be able to pony up to the Yamaha-made 4.4-liter V-8, which has 315 hp and will be teamed to a six-speed automatic transmission. The XC90 V-8 will be able to sprint from 0-60 in less than 7 seconds. Volvo says the new eight will be the cleanest engine of its type — it meets U.S. ULEV-II requirements — and will also be the most compact, as its 60-degree cylinder banks are also staggered for more compact packaging. Volvo hopes to sell 15,000 XC90 V-8s worldwide, with the States getting 75 percent of those models.

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