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2006 Paris Auto Show Preview Page 2


Hyundai Arnejs

2006 Hyundai Arnejs concept

2006 Hyundai Arnejs concept

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Hyundai's 2007 C-segment car for Europe will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month in concept form. The styling study is called the Arnejs (pronounced Ar-nez), and a production version will go on sale next year as a five-door hatchback. It will replace the current Accent and bosses have already admitted it will get a new name.

The platform on which it's based will spawn other new models, including a compact minivan, wagon and sporty three-door. A coupé cabriolet with a folding metal hard top will follow, but probably not until at least 2008.-Richard Yarrow

Have you seen the Arnejs crossover?

Peugeot Epure Concept

2006 Peugeot Epure concept

2006 Peugeot Epure concept

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This is a thinly disguised version of Peugeot's 207 CC and it will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

The car is officially called the 207 Epure concept, and is also a demonstrator for Peugeot Citroen Group's new experimental hydrogen fuel cell. Producing 20kW of power and with a lithium ion battery, the 2+2 machine has a range of more than 200 miles, can hit 60 mph in 15 seconds and go on to a top speed of 81 mph. The hydrogen cylinders are stored under the trunk floor, allowing space for the folding metal hard top and some cargo.

While no one is expecting a hydrogen-powered 207 CC when the production version arrives in European showrooms next summer, it does hint at where Peugeot's eco-future lies. A range of gasoline and diesel engines will be offered, though the concept's interior - finished entirely in white leather - is unlikely to become a reality. -Richard Yarrow

Citroen C-Métisse

2006 Citroen C-M?tisse Concept

2006 Citroen C-M?tisse Concept

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French manufacturers are well known for the sales success of their small cars, and equally so for the lack of it with their larger ones. But that doesn't stop them trying to go head to head with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes on luxury machines - and the latest to do so is Citroen.

At the Paris Motor Show later this month the firm will unveil the C-Métisse, a concept that proves high performance machines can also be eco-friendly. Top speed is 155 mph, 60 mph comes up in six seconds and there's impressive 45-mpg fuel economy. It boasts an economical 208-hp V-6 diesel engine mated to a pair of electric motors on the rear wheels, capable of developing a massive 295 lb-ft of additional torque. Around town the car can run in zero emissions mode.

The design is classic Citroen, with a long bonnet and almost no rear overhang. It's 4.74 meters long, but only 1.24 meters high. The doors open up and out - not quite gullwing, but not far off - to reveal a four-seat cabin with individual white leather seats. Each passenger gets independent air conditioning controls, individual roof lighting and plenty of space. -Richard Yarrow

Škoda Octavia Scout

2007 Skoda Octavia Scout

2007 Skoda Octavia Scout

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Czech manufacturer Škoda has unveiled an all-new member of the Octavia family car range. Called the Scout, it's based on the standard wagon but with ride height raised by 1.5 inches. The vehicle will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show and go on sale across Europe by the spring.

Equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, the car is most interesting because it appears to be treading on the toes of the already-on-sale Octavia 4x4. The newcomer is half an inch longer, wider, and taller than the older model, and the raised ride height and sump guard will boost its off-road ability.

Under the hood there's the choice of 140-hp, 2.0-liter TDI diesel or 150-hp, 2.0-liter FSI gasoline engines. Both are four-cylinder units and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. -Richard Yarrow

SEAT Altea XL

2007 SEAT Altea

2007 SEAT Altea

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This is the Altea XL, a new model from VW-owned SEAT that will debut at the Paris Motor Show. Slated to go on sale early in 2007, it's a five-seat compact minivan just like the Altea - launched in 2004 - on which it's based.

So what's different? An extra 7.4 inches in the length of the bodyshell means there's the choice of extra cargo capacity in the trunk or better room for rear seat passengers. With the back seat moved forward 5.5 inches, luggage space is increased to a class-leading 22.4 cubic feet. But push the bench rearward and there's an extra 0.79 inches of knee space for the occupants. Roof rails are standard on the car, too.

A range of engines will be available on the Altea XL, but in Europe it's the 1.9-liter and 2.0-liter diesels which will be the top sellers. -Richard Yarrow

Bentley Arnage T

2007 Bentley Arnage

2007 Bentley Arnage

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Even the richest motorists need reason to get excited about a new model year, and Bentley is hoping to hook potential buyers with some significant updates to its top-line sedan. With prices ranging from $220,000 to $250,000, the Arnage is definitely not a car for everyone. But for those who can come up with the cash, the big sedan will get a big 50-horsepower bump for 2007. That means the Arnage T, the most powerful model, now delivers an even 500 hp and a stump-pulling 738 pound-feet of torque. The twin-turbo, 6.75-liter V-8 now mates to a modern six-speed ZF automatic, rather than the old and antiquated four-speed on last year's Arnage. Better yet, the new gearbox has a surprisingly seamless manual shift mode. The Arnage suspension now has a dual-mode Sport setting that allows the nearly three-ton behemoth to be flogged around corners, as TheCarConnection.com learned during a long drive, with surprising grace. As for creature comforts, the Arnage still boasts a small forest full of wood and a range of new leathers and colors for 2007. Last year, Bentley began to update the luxury sedan's electronics with a move to DVD navigation. For the new model-year, the Arnage also gets Bluetooth, allowing drivers to hook up their cellphones for hands-free talks with their stockbrokers.

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