Index: 2002 Geneva Motor Show by TCC Team (3/5/2002)
“This is neutral country,” noted Bruno Lurati, manager of the Geneva Motor Show. Among the top five global motor shows, the March event is the only one to occur in a country where there is no automotive manufacturing, and Lurati stressed that no particular manufacturer or group of manufacturers gets any special favors. As a result, all sorts of small and sometimes off-the-wall brands turn out on the floor of Geneva’s PalExpo convention center, including the little Ligier. Press day attendance reportedly surged well over previous record levels and show officials are hoping public turnout will also top last year’s all-time high of 780,000.
VW RETHINKING “TOUAREG”
Naming a new car after a tribe of Saharan slave traders may not be the best idea after all. Or so say Volkswagen’s U.S. dealers, who are asking the German carmaker to come up with an alternative name for the new Touareg sport-utility vehicle. The unusual name was announced earlier this year to a less-than-rousing response, especially in the States, where there are few who know who the Touareg are, let alone how to pronounce the word. And many of those who are aware of the Touareg fear the tribe’s historic nature could prove embarrassing in ethno-conscious America. Dealers have hit a responsive chord with VW of America officials, who tell TheCarConnection they’ve asked corporate headquarters to come up with an alternative nameplate, at least in the U.S. That wouldn’t be without precedent: the Golf was once sold in the U.S. as the Rabbit. A decision should be made well before the SUV goes on sale next year.
2002 Skoda Tudor concept
SKODA GETS SUPERB MINUS TWO
Skoda presented a concept coupe that is based on the platform of the new Superb sedan, the largest Skoda to date. Skoda says that there are no plans to build a coupe. Nevertheless, the two-door does look ready for production and the Dutch importer thinks there is a 60-percent chance Skoda will build it. The coupe has front-wheel drive and is equipped with a 2.8-liter V-6 with 193 hp, teamed to a manual five-speed gearbox. It also features an Electronic Stability Program.
2003 Peugeot 807
2003 Peugeot 807
Citroen not only launched its small C3, but also the C8, their version of the minivan quadruplets they share with Peugeot, which markets the MPV as the 807 and Fiat (Ulysse) and Lancia (Phedra). The French variants of the second-generation minivan both got a new name this time. They both are 186.2 in long, about 11.8 in longer than their predecessors. That's why they offer enough space for seven passengers. The interior offers also 30 (thirty!) separate storage areas. Both Citroen and Peugeot will have their C8 and 807 in European showrooms this spring.
2002 Toyota UUV concept
TOYOTA CROSSING OVER WITH UUV
Toyota premiered its UUV concept car, a crossover that breeds a small passenger car and a sport-ute. Toyota says it is in fact a combination of three body types: hatchback, sedan and station wagon. The latter we cannot see, because the 174.4-in long concept car lacks the real roominess in the rear of a station wagon. Toyota's European styling studio signed off on this design. Toyota officials say there are no plans yet to build a car like this.
2003 Renault Espace
RENAULT SAVES ESPACE FOR PARIS…SORT OF
Renault will launch its new Espace in October at the Paris Auto Show, but had to be here in Geneva with some presence for the minivan. The Espace Concept shows how the new French minivan will really look. The body is somewhat lower than that of the existing Espace and carries the new strong looking Renault-nose. The rear is very flat, with high-mounted taillights. The new Espace offers seating for seven and a lot of comfort, which the French designate as "thermical' comfort. The Espace offers a new automatic A/C system that has separate left/right operation and that also offers the possibility to adjust the ventilation speed in the rear doors. The greenhouse is extended by an enormous glass sunroof with sunshade; Renault claims it’s the biggest sunroof ever made.
2002 Mitsubishi Evo II concept
PAJERO POUNDS THE PAVEMENT
Mitsubishi showed a new version of the Pajero Evolution 2 concept car that debuted last year at the IAA in Frankfurt. This time Mitsubishi added two seats and calls it the Evo 2+2. The very sporty looking concept has a 4.7-liter V-8 and new technology such as Super Select 4WD, Active Yaw Control (AYC) and an Active Center Differential (ACD). No word on whether it has ADD or if that’s just our editor.
2002 Bertone Novanta concept
BERTONE CELEBRATES NOVANTA
Bertone celebrated its 90th anniversary with the debut of the Novanta, a concept car with advanced technology. The Bertone company was founded with the opening of a workshop to build and repair horse-drawn carriages in 1912 by the 28-year-old Giovanni Bertone. The Novanta recalls the work of Nuccio Bertone that is still at the heart of the company today. There is no steering wheel, but if you open the door it moves out of the door in front of the left seat. For the control of the major driving systems the Novanta is equipped with the same drive-by-wire systems as lasts year's concept Filo. For this technology Bertone relied on SKF and both companies see this as a re-evaluation of the Filo. A Nokia Communicator cellular phone functions as a data bank, an online resource and a smart access control key. Individual drivers' details are stored on their mobile phones and on approaching the Novanta the phone is recognized, the door is unlocked and the personal settings are automatically adjusted. Housed in the dashboard is a device that scans a fingerprint and once stored, the image becomes a unique password, providing a secure “ignition key.”
2002 Rover TCV concept
TCV TAKES ROVER AFIELD
MG Rover launched the Rover TCV, or Tourer Concept Vehicle. It’s Rover's vision of the modern station wagon, actually more of a crossover since the car has more ground clearance than normal. Inside there is no rear bench, but there are three foldable seats. The middle seat can be replaced with a cooler, computer, entertainment system or child seat. When you open the rear door, there is a double floor. You can get access under the normal floor by folding down the rear bumper. Another option is to remove the upper floor so that you can transport tall items like a dishwasher.
2003 Tata Indiva
2003 Tata Indiva
AND FINALLY, THE SEVEN-PASSENGER TATA
Tata Engineering, the automobile division of the Indian Tata Group, unveiled its Indiva, a seven-seater MPV concept car. It is built on the same platform as the Indica, a small production model that is highly popular in India. The concept car is styled by the Italian styling studio IDEA and has a removable third row. Tata does not confirm they are going to build a car like this, but it is very likely. Tata even hopes the new concept has a wide appeal for the European consumers, but again doesn't confirm any export plans.