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2006 Geneva Motor Show, Part II


 

2006 Geneva Motor Show Coverage by TCC Team (2/19/2006) 

 

BMW Has Carrera Fighter in Z4 M Coupe

 

2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe

2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe

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Faster than the Porsche Carrera, but less expensive than the Boxster. No wonder BMW officials were smiling during the preview of their new Z4 M Coupe on Tuesday. The hardtop version of the Z4 roadster will make an impressive 343 horsepower with its 3.2-liter in-line six. The motor is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels. While final prices haven’t been announced, TheCarConnection.com was told to expect something under $55,000. Meanwhile, a base version of the Z4 coupe will share the roadster’s conventional powertrain, while a 400-horsepower race-ready version will also be launched later this year.

 

 

 

 

Rolls Reaches Ahead with 101EX Coupe

 

2006 Rolls-Royce 101EX

2006 Rolls-Royce 101EX

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More compact and rakish than the massive Phantom, the 101EX concept could become the next entry into the expanding Rolls-Royce lineup. CEO Ian Robertson left the question unanswered during the automaker’s Geneva Motor Show preview. The automaker has already confirmed plans to build the Corniche convertible, and trial production is getting underway, according to Robertson. The 101EX seems a good fit as Rolls seeks to broaden its appeal. The show car was a striking two-tone, with its chromed hood and dark blue fenders and door panels. Like the flagship Phantom, the two-door concept is based around an aluminum space frame, but it is shorter and lower, with a higher beltline. Under that shining hood sits a 6.75-liter V-12 engine. Inside, the 101EX features some intriguing touches, including a “starlight headliner,” into which hundreds of LEDs have been woven. At the touch of a button the lights can be dimmed from bright “to a gentle glow,” noted Robertson.

 

 

Land Rover Outlines Greener Future

 

2006 Land Rover Land_e Concept

2006 Land Rover Land_e Concept

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How do you maintain your off-road chops while being kinder to Mother Nature? The Land_e concept vehicle hints at the direction LandRover intends to go. “Climate change is the biggest single challenge facing the auto industry today,” stressed Lewis Booth, head of Ford Motor Company’s Premier Automotive Group – which includes the SUV brand. But Land Rover doesn’t want to trade off its traditional rugged, off-road capabilities. Land_e suggests it is possible to actually use environmentally-friendly technology to enhance those features. Really just a stylized shell, the concept is wrapped around a dual-fuel diesel engine that could run on a mix of conventional and biodiesel. An Integrated Starter/Generator hybrid, or ISA, can shut the engine off when idling, quickly starting it up when the brake is released.  Recaptured energy can be stored in a battery and used to run motors attached to the rear axle at low speeds without the diesel engine. But electric power can also be fed to all four wheels on a Land_e-based vehicle. And by using a sophisticated electronic controller, that could actually give a future Land Rover product even more traction in rough conditions. These and various other features on the prototype could wind up in production in the near future, Land Rover officials hinted. All told, such technology could allow a vehicle the size of a Freelander to get as much as 50 mpg, noted the brand’s managing director, Matthew Taylor.

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