2005 Geneva Motor Show Index by TCC Team (2/28/2005)
Last week Audi celebrated the 25th anniversary of the quattro with the unveiling of the new RS4 at their headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. During quattro night, Audi showed its famous rally cars; many of the drivers that brought the quattro to the podium places were there, such as the world rally champion Walter Röhrl and the first female world rally champion. The new RS4 has the latest generation of quattro all-wheel drive, combined with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), which prevents body roll and dive and squat. Under the hood is the high-revving FSI direct-fuel-injected V-8 with 420 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, of which 90 percent is available between 2250 and 7600 rpm. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes 4.6 seconds, and the RS4 reaches a top speed of 155 mph.
Also in Geneva, Audi had the TT quattro sport with more output and less weight than the regular TT. This special version is only built for Europe and especially for Britain, the largest market for the TT. In the TT quattro sport Audi uses the 1.8-liter turbo engine that has been souped up to 240 hp and 236 lb-ft. The weight has been reduced by some 165 pounds and the result is that the quattro sport version accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. The weight reduction has been achieved by eliminating the rear bench and using special Recaro bucket seats. Also the air conditioning has been left out, but customers who want that can order it at no extra cost.
The third Audi in Geneva is the single-frame grille for the A8. It is the same grille that until now has only been used on the V-12 version. The nose lift of the A8 can be combined with dynamic cornering lights, adaptive lights and daytime driving lights as an option. All Audi A8s worldwide will from now on have the single-frame grille.
Ferrari F430 Spider
2005 Ferrari F430 SpiderEnlarge Photo
Luca de Montezemolo, the charismatic leader of Ferrari, unveiled the latest addition to the Ferrari model range, the new F430 Spider. In just over a year, Ferrari has launched the 612 Scaglietti, the F430 and the Superamerica, and now there is the new F430 Spider. With them the make wants to continue its success from 2004, when over 4900 Ferraris were sold. Combined with the Maseratis sold last year (prior to the deal that sent Maserati to Fiat), a consolidated turnover has been reported of 1.5 billion euros.
Ferrari came to Geneva with the drop-top version of the F430. The Pininfarina-designed Spider is powered by the new 4.3-liter V-8 with 490 hp; it is exceptionally light and has a specific power output of 114 hp per liter. The performance is stunning: the Spider sprints from 0-60 mph in four seconds and has a maximum speed of 193 mph. The Ferrari Superamerica that was unveiled in Detroit joined the F430 Spider, for its European debut.
Pininfarina Maserati Birdcage
2005 Pininfarina Maserati BirdcageEnlarge Photo
Maserati is also celebrating its success in Geneva with the Quattroporte that has been sold out in 2004. But there was also a concept car on the Maserati stage: the Birdcage, a concept designed by Pininfarina and equipped with new Motorola technologies that transform the car to an intelligent moving network that interacts with the passengers and that keeps them in touch with aspects of their lives outside the car. The Birdcage 75 is a design study based on the Maserati MC12 and shows the design direction that Maserati might take.