2006 Geneva Show Preview, Part II Page 3

February 20, 2006

 

 

 

 

Chevrolet Epica

 

2006 Chevrolet Epica

2006 Chevrolet Epica

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In Europe the Chevy brand has truly been revived. With strong sales last year, Chevrolet will use the Geneva stage for the world debut of the Epica. The South Korean–built Epica will go on sale in the spring with a 2.0-liter straight six or a 2.0-liter common-rail-diesel in-line four. Other engines will follow later this year. Both engines will be available with a five-speed manual or a new five-speed automatic transmission. The interior will set new standards for Chevrolet passenger cars in Europe.

The second debut at the Chevrolet stand will be the Captiva, a mid-size SUV that will also hit the market this spring. The Captiva will have to compete with SUVs such as the Kia Sorento.

 

 

Rinspeed zaZen

 

For over a decade, Rinspeed Design has brought notable concept cars toGeneva. This year the Swiss company commanded by Frank Rinkderknecht will show the zaZen, a design study that has been developed together with Bayer MaterialScience, one of the largest plastics producers in the world. The zaZen is a showcase for future plastic technology as well as gimmicks. It sports a transparent backlight that turns into a luminous holographic area. The third brake light seems to shine out of what looks like a floating transparent hardtop made of high-tech Makrolon polycarbonate. The shape of the roof is possible through the use of a plastic “sandwich” that is much lighter than glass.
Bayer says that the novel lighting system represents a small step in the way to building the car of the future. Both Rinspeed and Bayer MaterialScience have no intention of building a car like the zaZen, but their goal is to get people thinking about the car of tomorrow.
The name zaZen reflects the concept’s thesis: you only get somewhere if you are prepared to give up conventional ideas. The zaZen’s interior also has lots of transparent elements, such as the plastic seat shells made of Makrolon and fitted with Technogel upholstery. The seats were produced together with Recaro. The concept is equipped with a 355-hp six-cylinder boxer engine from the Porsche 997 Carrera S. It has a top speed of 182 mph and accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 sec.

 

 

Sportec

 

Swiss tuner Sportec may cast a shadow on the new Porsche GT3 and 911 Turbo that will also bow in Geneva. The Sportec SPR1 is based on the Porsche 911 and has a chassis that can be changed by the driver with a button on the dashboard. Horsepower hasn’t been disclosed, but Sportec promises zero-to-60 times of 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 236 mph. Sportec has revised the drive axles and the brake system so that it takes just 118 ft to stop from 62 mph. Sportec delivers the car with a custom interior, so that each car will be unique. It will be very exclusive as well, as the company plans to build only 10 SPR1s.

MINI Geneva Concept

This year MINI will celebrate the birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, the designer of the original Mini. In Frankfurt, Tokyo, and Detroit the brand presented a series of concepts, and likewise the Geneva show will get its own MINI concept this year. The theme for Geneva is the Rally of Monte Carlo, as in the years of 1964 to 1967 in which the Mini was unbeatable in the famous Rally. The new concept is equipped as a service car for a rally team and wears rally badges, while the badge in the grille celebrates Issigonis’ birthday. The engine is taken from the Cooper S; at the rear there are twin exhausts. The luggage space has a flexible Cargobox, with a rear panel that can slide backwards to help loading or unloading. The lid can move upwards to create a division between the cockpit and the luggage space.

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