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2005 Geneva Motor Show, Part V Page 2


The brand's emphasis at the top of its range has always been ride comfort and smooth progress rather than sporting characteristics, and the C6 continues the trend. The running gear uses multi-link suspension at front and rear, while the suspension system features electronically controlled springing and damping. As a result, Citroën says, the C6 sets new standards in comfort, road-holding, and driving pleasure. To complete the comfort equation, the interior of the car has been designed to reflect modern interior design principles. On the show stand, the C6 was an interresting newcomer to the segment; to see how it behaves on the road, we will have to wait until late autumn, when journalists will get to try the car ahead of its appearance in Citroën showrooms.

 

Rolls-Royce Phantom LWB

2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom LWB

2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom LWB

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Geneva the town has always been a good market for Rolls-Royce, and it was fitting that the company chose to unveil the latest take on the massive Phantom here. The latest iteration is even more massive, with a healthy 250 mm  (9.84 inches) added to the wheelbase and the length of the rear doors. More than just a stretch job, the lengthening procedure involves the use of different elements in the aluminum spaceframe body, thus making the car a more coherent structure than a standard monocoque with a section welded in.

The pictures issued ahead of the show were encouraging, making the car look longer and more elegant, so the question was — would it look better in the metal? The answer was yes, so long as one stuck to the side view. The front of the Phantom remains as ugly as ever, with its mismatched lights and Grosser Parthenon grille stuck in a frontage that seems to have been designed to prove that with a big enough engine, no car needs to worry about aerodynamics and airflow. The rear compartment, however, is now even more spacious and will provide even more luxury for captains of industry and millionnaire rappers. And from inside the car you can't see the front end.

 

Peugeot Coupe 407 Prologue

2005 Peugeot Coupe 407 Prologue

2005 Peugeot Coupe 407 Prologue

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Peugeot used the show to gain reactions to the coupe it will add to its 407 range at Frankfurt. The stalking horse is called the Coupe 407 Prologue, and when the German show comes round in the fall we won't see much difference between the Prologue and the Production. Which is a shame, because this is one of those rare occasions when the new model doesn't look as good as the car it will replace.

The current 407 Coupe carries a Pininfarina badge, as many past Peugeots have, and it is one of the smartest cars in series production anywhere in the world today. It's no great performer, but it is very elegant, and the introduction of the new version will convert all the current 407 Coupes into instant collector's cars. The Prologue, which is the work of Peugeot's own design team, looks fine enough, but it's no Pininfarina.

The car has inherited the big low-slung grille of the sedan, and that's a mixed blessing. The egg-crate mouth looks fine in pictures, but somehow it doesn't translate too well to the real world of the road. The coupe designers have added 'gills' ahead of the front wheel arches that recall Bill Mitchell's Mako Shark Corvette dream car, but while Mitchell's gills were part of a complete design theme, the Peugeot's look like add-ons.

From the back, the car looks good, and the interior has a nice performance/personal car feel to it, but with current 407 coupes being offered at hefty discounts in some of Peugeot's markets, now could be the time to buy the old one.


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