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2006 Geneva Motor Show Preview, Part I Page 2


 

 

2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

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If you’re looking for the ultimate comfort in a sports car, Mercedes-Benz will be showing the latest iteration of the SL-Class Roadster, which celebrates its fourth birthday with improvements in technology, design, and interior appointments. There are new V-6 and V-8 engines, together with an uprated V-12 powerplant, and the new cars will come with second-generation Active Body Control. The active suspension system comes as standard in the SL500 and SL600 and as an option on the SL350. The entry-level — well, the least expensive — SL, the SL350, with an improved six-cylinder engine, takes 6.6 seconds to reach 62 mph from rest, while the newly-developed 5-5-liter V-8 drives the SL500 to the same speed in 5.4 seconds. The twin-turbo V-12-powered SL600 does the sprint in 4.5, thanks to 517 hp and 612 lb/ft of torque. The V-6 and V-8 models are both available with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

 

 

2006 Peugeot 2007

2006 Peugeot 2007

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Conventional ideas of model succession are being turned on their head by France’s Peugeot. At the Frankfurt show last fall, the company introduced a new model to its top-selling 206 range; in Geneva , just six months later, it is introducing the 207, which might be seen as a replacement if conventional wisdom is applied. But Peugeot doesn’t see it that way. The 207 is not a replacement for the 206 but an extension of the ‘2’ series, which started back in 1929 with the 201 and has enjoyed total sales over 75 years of 13.2 million units. 5.4 million of those have been 206s, and the model has become Peugeot’s biggest-ever seller, currently being produced at eight individual sites on three continents.

So with no intention of fixing something that ain’t broke, the French company sees the 207 as a complement to the 206 and will produce both for some time yet. The main interest in the 207 is the gasoline-engined versions, which are powered by four-cylinder units that are the first fruit of the collaboration between PSA Peugeot Citroen and BMW. Three of the new engines will be available, together with three diesels. A unique feature of the 207 is a perfume distributor built into the dash. It can be refilled from a choice of seven fragrances specially developed by a leading French perfume supplier. That’ll make a change from a pine-tree hanging from the mirror.

 

 

2006 Renault Altica concept

2006 Renault Altica concept

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Renault can always be relied on to turn up at Genevawith an interesting concept car, and 2006 is no exception. This time it is with a new slant on the currently fashionable ‘super station wagon’ theme called the Altica, “an original and futuristic vision of the sporty estate car” in the words of Patrick le Quément, Renault's Senior Vice President, Corporate Design. The lines are fluid and hint at a wagon that has mated with a sports car, rather than an SUV, as many other crossovers do. The car's overall stance — low-slung lines, long bonnet, prominent wings — and proportions express sports car dynamics rather than load-carrying ability, although the spacious interior has more than a hint of SUV about it. The ‘Drive Station’ — driver’s seat to normal folk — is suspended on four profiled rods rather than fixed in the normal manner and moves electrically, together with the pedals, to suit the individual driver.


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