2004 Geneva Show Preview III

February 25, 2004

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

 

Corvette Convertible Breaks Cover

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Next week, Chevrolet will unveil the Corvette Convertible at the Geneva Auto Show. The big news is that the C6 roadster will be available with a power folding top for the first time.

The Corvette team has really put a lot of effort to make the new Corvette stiffer and, of course, the Convertible benefits from the structural rigidity. Of course, some measures had to be taken for the open version. The structure around the windshield and the door pillar have been redesigned for  improved rigidity in such a way that the ragtop C6 would meet the federal crash test standard for cars with a fixed roof. That is why Chevrolet did not need to apply any roll bars.
Although 15 pounds of acoustic damping material has been applied in the cockpit to reduce noise, the engine lost some weight, so in the end the Convertible is not heavier than the coupe.

The soft top disappears completely under the tonneau cover behind the seats. Underneath the cover are two small luggage compartments. It is for the first time that Chevrolet offers a power folding top, although it is still an option. With a push on a button the top can be lowered or raised in 18 seconds.
The new 400-hp lightweight LS2 V-8 of the coupe, in combination with the six-speed stick shift, also serves as the roadster's powerplant, whereas the four-speed automatic transmission is available as an option. The open Vette should be able to do 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds and should reach a top of  180 mph. It can be expected to go on sale in the fall for a price between $51,000 and $52,000. — Henny Hemmes
 

Benz CLS Geneva-Bound

2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS 500

2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS 500

2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS 500

2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS 500

Next week's Geneva Motor Show is shaping up to be an important launching pad for a range of new Mercedes-Benz products. In addition to the SLK roadster and C55 AMG we've shown you, the CLS concept from last year's Frankfurt Auto Show is also due to appear in production form. The four-door, based on the E-Class, sports coupe styling and slightly more upmarket positioning than the stalwart four-door E sedan. The styling disguises a B-pillar from which the rear doors swing, which means the vehicle isn't truly a pillarless hardtop. Dramatic styling adds length to the front and rear of the vehicle as compared to the E-Class, though they share the same wheelbase. The base model is the CLS350, with a 272-hp, 3.5-liter V-6; the 350-hp, 4.6-liter V-8, and a 400-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 come later. AMG models are planned. The CLS goes on sale in the U.S. next year.

2003 Frankfurt Show, Part II by TCC Team (9/15/2003)
A vision from Benz, an estate from Jag, and a wedgie from Mazda.

 

SLK AMG Ready for Geneva

2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG

2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG

2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG

2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz SLK will bow at the Geneva Motor Show — and this AMG version will be in Geneva as well. The SLK55 AMG has the seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic transmission, 360 hp and a maximum torque of 376 lb-ft. Mercedes-Benz already has 7000 orders for its new roadster.

 

 

Opel Tigra Goes Twin Top

2004 Opel Tigra Twin Top

2004 Opel Tigra Twin Top

GM division Opel will launch a convertible version of its small Tigra sports car. In Europe, coupes with the retractable hardtops are quite popular. The Mercedes SLK was the first of the modern breed with such a roof, but the top hit comes from France. The successful small Peugeot 206 CC for some years is now going to have serious competition. One of the new so called coupe convertibles that will debut in Geneva is the Tigra TwinTop. Just like its cousin the Chevrolet SSR, the Tigra has a retractable hard top that disappears behind the front seats. The result is that the small two seater has some useful luggage space left when the top is down: 8.8 cubic feet. With the top up it’s five cubic feet. “Designwise Opel is going to be more daring than before,” said Michael Burns, the outgoing chief of GM Europe in Detroit. It looks like the TwinTop is the first example. — Henny Hemmes.

 

Murcielago Gets the Roadster Treatment

2004 Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster

2004 Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster

After unveiling the Murciélago coupe it is now the turn of the Roadster to bow in Geneva. Technically the roadster is the same as the coupe with a 580-hp, 6.2-liter V-12. Top speed is about 330 km/h or 205 mph. Word is around that Lambo will produce a maximum of 200 roadsters. The first will be delivered to their new owners in the second half of 2004. Price is not yet known, but will be in the neighborhood of 350,000 euros, which is approximately $440,000.

 

Rinspeed Splash Goes Amphi to Geneva

Rinspeed Splash

Rinspeed Splash

The Rinspeed "Splash" is just the first of the new wave of wacky microbrand cars due at March's Geneva Motor Show. In fact, making waves is what it does for a living — the Splash is an amphicar, a hydrofoil, and a roadgoing roadster. A hydraulic mechanism converts the road car into an amphibious vehicle, while an integrated hydrofoil system enables the "Splash" to cruise about two feet above the water. As a powerboat, the Splash can hit 45 knots. On the road, Rinspeed says the automotive platypus can shoot to about 60 mph in under six second on its way to a top speed of about 120 mph. Stay tuned for more from the Geneva Motor Show, including the new Audi A6.
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