2004 Geneva Motor Show Preview I

February 20, 2004

2004 Geneva Motor Show Index by TCC Team (2/22/2004)


A6 Returns With Nuvolari Style

2005 Audi A6

2005 Audi A6

At the Geneva Auto Show Audi will unveil its new A6 sedan, but in the meantime the Germans have release the first pictures and all the details. With the new generation of the A6 Audi aims at the top position in the segment and as such, brings with it five new engines, advanced transmission technology, and the choice of front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive.

From now on, all new Audis will wear the large grille that debuted last year on the Nuvolari concept car. The A8 W-12 was the first production model with the new look. But apart from the more pronounced front, the design of the A6 is still familiar. The rear has a very small integrated spoiler for additional downforce.

A first for Audi here is the combination of xenon daytime running lights and active cornering lights, which use very little energy and do not have any influence on the fuel efficiency.

The wheelbase of the new A6 has grown 3.1 inches, to 111.8 inches. The length of the car measures 193.7 inches (up 4.7); the width is 73.2 inches (up 1.9); and the height of 57.4 inches is practically the same. The added inches mean extra legroom for the front passengers and rear passengers. Up front the shoulder room is up nearly an inch and over an inch in the rear.

For the new generation, Audi has five new powertrains available, three petrol and two diesel engines (2.0 TDI and 2.0 TDI V-6). The basic petrol version is the 2.4-liter V-6 with 177 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. Then there is the 3.2-liter V-6 FSI with 255 hp and torque of 243 lb-ft. The top version is the 4.2-liter V-8 with 355 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The latter is the slightly reworked powerplant of the S4. The engines are teamed to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The V-8 and the V-6 are available with the six-speed Tiptronic. The Multitronic transmission that debuted in the A6 2.8 in 2000 is also available with and that's new seven shift stages in the Tiptronic mode.

The 4.2 and the 3.0 TDI diesels come standard with quattro all-wheel drive, whereas quattro will be an option on the 3.2 FSI.

Although there were rumors that the A6 would have an all-aluminum body, Audi still uses a steel one. Torsional stiffness of the A6 has been improved by 34 percent, which has advantages for the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) and driving dynamics. To provide excellent driving capabilities Audi uses a multi-link front suspension and the same self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension as in the A8. From 2005 the new A6 will be available with adaptive air suspension with air spring elements and adaptive damping front and rear.

2005 Audi A6

2005 Audi A6

The interior of the A6 has been changed notably. By using an electro mechanical parking brake, the handbrake lever is eliminated and the center console is high and wide. The MMI display is integrated beneath the dashboard cover. A larger leather-covered steering wheel is now used in the A6, which comes standard with climate control and a rain- and light sensor. Adaptive cruise control and a tire pressure monitor will be optional. In Europe the new A6 will be available in May; in the U.S. the car will hit the showrooms later this year. Prices are not known yet. —Henny Hemmes


BMW Tours the 5er

2005 BMW 5-Series Touring

2005 BMW 5-Series Touring

The new BMW 5-series Touring (wagon) will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. From its debut, the new version will be available with a choice of two gas engines as the 525i with 192 hp and the 545i with 333 hp, and with two diesels, the 525d with the 177 hp in-line six and the 530d with the 218-hp six. Later also the 535d will be available with its 272-hp turbocharged engine. All Tourings will be equipped with air suspension in the rear. With all seats in use, the content of the luggage compartment measures 17.6 cubic feet, which can be extended to 58.2 cubic feet. The rear window can be opened separately. The new Touring is also available with run-flat tires. —Henny Hemmes


C-Class, Meet AMG V-8

2005 Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG

2005 Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG

When a Mercedes-Benz gets facelifted or completely redone, you can expect a new AMG version in due time. Now that's the case with the recently updated C-Class.

The C55 AMG, the sportiest C-Class of all time, is available both as saloon and estate. Under the hood is the 5.5-liter V-8 engine with 367 hp at 5750 rpm and 376 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Compared with its predecessor the C32 AMG, the new C55 AMG has 13 hp and 44 lb-ft more torque. In the C55 AMG the V-8 is teamed to the AMG Speedshift five-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted via steering wheel mounted controls. The sedan accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds; the somewhat heavier (132 pounds) estate needs 5.4 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 150 mph.

Mercedes-Benz' AMG division also reworked the sport suspension with new springs, shock absorbers and stiffer bushings, while the front track is 0.55 inch wider and the steering is seven percent more direct. The C55 AMG is equipped with 18-inch wheels with 225/40 tires in the front and 245/35 tires in the rear. AMG also applied its high-performance braking system, including the newly tuned ESP stability system.

On the outside the sporty version can be recognized by its unique front end with a lower hood, different grille, new headlamps and wider fenders. At the rear the chrome-plated twin tailpipes will not escape attention, nor will the AMG styling and a trailing edge on the sedan's decklid.

The interior of the C55 AMG is equipped with new nappa leather covered AMG sport seats with Alcantara inserts at shoulder height, a sporty leather AMG steering wheel, and a new AMG instrument cluster with classic round gauges. The market introduction will start in April this year. —Henny Hemmes


Crossfire SRT-6 is first Chrysler with SRT badge

2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 Convertible

2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 Convertible

For those who aren't familiar with the abbreviation SRT, Dodge uses it to stand for Street and Racing Technology. Now Chrysler is also going to use the SRT badge for the Crossfire coupe and roadster, which will also be the first SRT vehicles available outside North America. Chrysler will present the 2005 Crossfire SRT-6 at the Geneva Auto Show, which opens to the public on March 4.

Unlike the Dodge SRT versions, which have bold looks and extreme performance, the Chrysler SRT vehicles will be understated and feature refined performance. The Crossfire SRT-6 is equipped with a hand-built 3.2-liter supercharged V-6 with 330 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, teamed to an upgraded five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick. The SRT-6 will be able to perform the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. The engine delivers 90 percent of its peak torque in a broad power band from 2300 to 6200 rpm.

For optimal performance, the Crossfire SRT-6 has a sport tuned suspension with increased spring rates and performance tuned damping and ultra high performance Michelin Pilot Sport tires: 225/40ZR-18 (front) and 255/35ZR-19 (rear). Also the ESP is specifically tuned for dynamic driving. Four ventilated disc brakes with dual-piston calipers should stop the fast Crossfire from 60 to 0 mph in approximately 115 feet.

The body of the Crossfire is enhanced with a fixed rear spoiler and a front-fascia chin spoiler. In the interior there is a special instrument cluster with a 200-mph speedo, hinting at its performance bent. Pearl nappa leather sport seats with suede inserts and bolsters and embroidered 'SRT-6' on the headrests provide the sporty look. —Henny Hemmes

DCX Extends Schrempp's Deal
by Jim Burt (2/19/2004)
Bernhard moves to Mercedes as DCX shuffles its execs.

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