2005 Geneva Motor Show Preview

February 14, 2005

2005 Geneva Motor Show Index by TCC Team (2/13/2005)

A mini-MPV concept from Hyundai, the first Lexus diesel, an all-new luxury Citroen and the convertible version of the Ferrari F430 are the latest additions to the list of new cars to be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show, which opens to the public on March 3. They join new production cars from Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Mazda, Subaru, and Bentley, plus concepts from Nissan and others yet to be announced, in a flow of introductions that underline the Salon de l’automobile’s standing as the world’s most truly international auto show.


Mazda Miata

Mazda has issued a tease picture of the all-new Miata (sold in Europe as the MX5) clad in the disguise-panels designed to spoil the day of spy photographers such as TCC's Brenda Priddy. The wraps will come off (literally) at a press conference to be held on Tuesday March 1 at the Geneva show. Naturally, TCC will be there to bring news and pictures as they happen over in Switzerland. —Ian Norris




Hyundai HED-1

2005 Hyundai HED-1 concept

2005 Hyundai HED-1 concept

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The Hyundai concept, the HED-1, follows up on themes already explored in the E3 concept first shown last year. Hyundai sees the two styling studies as conversation-starters on the subject of future MPVs designed with city use as a major part of their owners’ lifestyles. Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Hyundai’s European design studio near Frankfurt, said of the concept: “As our customers demand more flexibility, and ever-increasing levels of quality and sophistication, total concept cars such as the HED-1 allow us to prepare for these demands, but also to gauge the reaction of potential future customers.”


Lexus IS

Lexus will bow to the importance of the Geneva show by choosing it for the world premiere of the new IS sedan. It will also show its awareness of the importance of the European market by displaying the car with the first diesel engine to power a Lexus. Led by Mercedes and BMW, European luxury manufacturers are finding that a diesel option is vital for success in the business-car market. Lexus’ introduction of a diesel for its smaller sedan shows Toyota's upmarket arm is able to respond to market forces — although it is among the last of the top manufacturers to offer a diesel.


Citroen C6

2005 Citroen C6

2005 Citroen C6

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The Lexus will face a new competitor in Europe in the shape of the Citroen C6, a new top-of-the-line car from the French manufacturer. Citroen has been without a luxury sedan for some time, but in the year that marks the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the legendary DS series, the company is about to unveil a car that follows the pattern set by its illustrious forebear.

The C6 lacks the radical elements of styling and engineering that marked the DS, but it promises to be a worthy successor as a smooth and comfortable freeway cruiser. Powered by new V-6 engines, a 3.0-liter gasoline unit providing 215 hp and a 208-hp 2.7-liter diesel, both linked to six-speed gearboxes, the car features a new active suspension design with variable dampers. Comfortable cruising is high on the designers’ list of priorities for the C6, and the interior is meant to make the occupants feel at home — Citroen describes the ambience, which is influenced by modern furniture design, as “a rolling living room.” One feature that isn’t from the past is the provision of a head-up display for the driver.

Exterior styling has the family style of other Citroens introduced since the company took the line of returning to its roots and providing cars for individualist. There’s a hint of the DS in the car’s smooth lines and the lack of a trunk as a prominent feature of the overall design.


Ferrari F430 Spider

2005 Ferrari F430 Spider

2005 Ferrari F430 Spider

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The rear end of the C6 is noticeable for a convex rear window, and Ferrari’s new F430 Spider, the convertible version of the much-praised F430 coupe announced last year, also has a different look behind the cockpit. The Spider’s soft top has a rear window that will bring back memories of those used in Ford products on both sides of the Atlantic back in the 1950s and ’60s. Nearer to the vertical than the reverse slope windows found in the Mercury and British Anglia models, it sits close behind the seat backs, leaving room for a glass cover for the engine compartment that leaves the 490-hp, 4308-cc V-8 open to public gaze.
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