2004 Ford auto show logo
2004 Paris Auto
Show by TCC Team (9/20/2004)
lights of the City of Light take the stage.
When the Mondial de l’Automobile in
Paris opens its doors to the public on
September 25, the public will know what new cars to expect. As has become
best-practices for the major auto shows, most of the major debuts have already
been announced by the companies set to push them on stage over the two press
days, Sept. 23 and 24. As usual there will be some surprise debuts on the press
days — but we know for sure the following vehicles will make the trip to the
Lights . Now if you’ll pardon us while you read,
we’ll be brushing up on our French:
Porsche Boxster will bow in
Paris with its proven 2.7-liter flat-six
engine, now with 12 hp more than before for a total of 240 hp. The 3.2-liter
six-cylinder in the Boxster S version develops 20 hp more and has now 280 hp.
Porsche says the mid-engine Boxster sprints from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while
its top speed is 158 mph. The Boxster S needs 5.5 seconds to sprint to 60 mph
and has a top speed of 167 mph. The five-speed gearbox has been revised and the
S will get a new six-speed manual transmission.
The second-generation Boxster’s chassis has been retuned
on a wider track, larger wheels add to the stance of the new body, and the nose
now clearly shows a family relation with the 911. There is also new lighting
with separate main headlamps and front lamps with integrated fog lamps. There
are also larger rear air vents, bolder door sills and a larger glass area. The
new Boxster is the first roadster that offers head airbags in combination with
2005 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz has already given us the details of the second-generation
A-Class. In Europe, the small Benz (at just 151 inches long) will be available
with a choice of three gas engines, ranging from 95 to 136 hp and three diesels
with power output ranging from 82 to 140 hp. The 193-hp A200 Turbo will be
available later in 2005. Mercedes will not (yet) bring the A-Class to the North
will probably have to wait
for the longer B-Class crossover that is expected next year.
2005 Ferrari F430
successor of the 360 Modena will be one of the
eye-catchers of the Paris show. The Ferrari F430 has a V-8 with 490
hp and 343 lb-ft of torque, with which it will be able to sprint from zero to 60
mph in 4.0 seconds. New are the electronic differential and a system to adjust
suspension settings from the steering wheel. It originates from Formula 1, where
it is called marinetto. The transmission also
originates from F1 racing and can shift gears in 150 milliseconds.
2006 Volkswagen GTI
Volkswagen showed the Golf GTI as a prototype, but later this month we will see
the production version in
. It will be the fifth generation of the
godfather of all sports compacts. Thanks to VW chief Bernd Pischetsrieder the
new GTI will be a true sporty version. Earlier this year, Mr. Pischetsrieder
said in an interview with an English car magazine that the GTI was nearly killed
because of marketing strategies. The latest version is lowered by 0.6 inch and
the suspension is sport-tuned. Under the hood is a brand-new 2.0-liter FSI turbo
engine with 200 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. The four-cylinder is teamed to a
six-speed gearbox. With this driveline the new GTI reaches a top speed of 146
mph and should be able to sprint from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds. With the new DSG
transmission this should even be 6.7 seconds.
Compared to the prototype, the exterior of the
production version of the GTI has not been changed. With big bumpers front and
aft, a black radiator grille with red rim, and black trim at the lower part of
the body the GTI is easily recognizable, as are the rear wing, double exhaust
tips, and 17-inch wheels.
The interior of the GTI is
finished with sporty accents, such as sport seats with the GTI logo in the
headrests, a three-spoke steering wheel, and aluminum pedals and shift knob.
Also, the instrument panel has been redesigned. The fast Golf will have standard
climate control, a tire-pressure monitoring system, fog lights, and a rain
2005 Kia Sportage
unveil its new Sportage SUV in
Paris, and it will be the first model from the
South Korean automaker to carry the same name in every market where it is sold.
The former Sportage was introduced on several markets in 1994, but led a rather
anonymous life. The new Sportage is destined to be more prominent. It is built
on the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson. The new Kia is 171 inches long, 71
inches wide, and 67 inches high. In
Europe, there will be a choice of three engines: a
2.0-liter four-cylinder with 140 hp, a 2.7-liter V-6 with 171 hp and a 2.0-liter
CRDi common-rail diesel with a power output of 100 hp. The Sportage seats five
and will be available with 2WD or 4WD and a five-speed stick shift or a
four-speed automatic transmission.
Opel Astra GTC
2005 Opel Astra GTC
the new Astra has been well received.
And in Paris
the three-door version, dubbed GTC, will debut. GTC stands for Gran Turismo
Compact, a new name for the old-fashioned two-door hatchback. The sporty Astra
will be available with engines ranging from 90 hp (1.4-liter) to 200 hp
(2.0-liter Turbo). Compared to the five-door Astra the GTC has been lowered a
half-inch. The new Opel is equipped with a SportSwitch-button to change shock
damping and to have a quicker-reacting throttle. Opel estimates that 15-20
percent of the Astra sales will be GTCs, of which 70,000 will be built yearly in
Skoda Octavia Combi
2005 Skoda Octavia Combi
, station wagons are still very popular and Skoda
joins the pack with a wagon version of its compact Octavia. The new Octavia
bowed this spring as a hatchback with a luggage compartment of 19.4 cubic feet.
That of the Combi has 20.5 cubic feet and can even grow to 57.2 when the seats
are folded. There will be a choice of three petrol engines and two diesels. The
latter will be available with the new DSG transmission.
Peugeot 907 concept
2004 Peugeot 907 concept
Peugeot will unveil three concept cars, of which the 907 is
the most spectacular. The 907 represents the vision of the French marque of the ultimate sports
coupe. The designers put a lot of effort in the exterior and in the
interior that is equipped with luxury leather and Alcantara, while wood is used for the
steering wheel and the shift knob. More spectacular than its shape is the
500-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 engine, teamed to a sequential six-speed gearbox.
Peugeot Quark concept
2004 Peugeot Quark concept
Just like the Toyota Fine-S concept car, the
sci-fi-styled Quark sports a combination of a fuel cell and electric motors. The
Peugeot Quark has four of the latter to provide torque to each wheel. The
Peugeot Quark has a range of 80 miles and measures only 93.7 inches and is 59
A V-8 for Volvo
Volvo will present its
first vehicle with a V-8 engine. The XC90 will get such a powerplant to be able
to keep up with the competition in
North America. The
4.4-liter V-8 has 315 hp and will be teamed to a six-speed automatic
transmission. Volvo says that this engine is the first V-8 that meets the Euro V
emission standard. The XC90 V-8 will be able to sprint from 0-60 in less than 7
seconds. Volvo hopes to sell 15,000 XC90 V-8s worldwide. New is the electronic
AWD drive system and its Instant Traction, a new technology that Volvo will
introduce as a world first. The AWD system has also been upgraded to handle the
power of the V-8. Maximum short-term torque at the rear wheel has been increased
by 50 percent.
Toyota D-4D Clean
Toyota will show a D-4D
180 Clean Power concept car. The car will be equipped with the new 2.2-liter
D-4D Clean Power concept engine with around 180 hp and about 295 lb-ft of
torque. The NOx and particle emission will be respectively 50 and 80 percent
below the Euro IV emission standard. The production version of the engine will
be introduced in 2005.
Mazda5 is based on the MX-Flexa concept that debuted in
in March. European
buyers of the Mazda5 will have a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines, of
which the specs have not been released yet. The crossover MPV has two sliding
doors and seats seven.
2004 Ford Focus
Ford takes its new Focus to the French capital and will soon offer it
on the European markets in three body styles: a three-door hatchback, a
five-door hatchback, and a station wagon.
The Focus shares its platform with the Volvo S40/V50 and
the Mazda3. Its wheelbase grew just short of an inch, but its overall length
increased from 164 to 172 inches. Width and height increased 1.6 and 0.8 inches
respectively, while the content of the luggage compartment has increased by 1.2
cubic feet to 13.6.
The new Focus will be equipped with six airbags,
cornering lights, and keyless entry. The new 1.6-liter Duratec VVT engine that
bowed in the C-Max will be available for the Focus together with a range of
engines between 1.4 and 2.0 liters. It is expected that by the end of 2005 Ford
will introduces the sportier ST and RS versions.
2005 Audi A4
unveil the A4 with the new family look and its controversial grille. The
facelift will not be applied to the Convertible, but only to the sedan, S4, and
Avant. In Europe
, Audi will also offer four new
engines, so that the total will be nine. New is the 3.2-liter V-6 FSI with 255
hp and the 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged FSI (it’s the same engine found in the
new Audi A3). 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel engines will also be offered. Audi has
updated the suspension with parts from the A6 and S4.
2004 Toyota Prius GT concept
unveiled its Prius GT last
weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in
, the prototype will be in
as well. The GT is
based on the production Prius and has been developed to show the versatility of
TheHybrid Synergy Drive
system, a combination of the 1.5-petrol engine and an electric
motor, has been tuned and delivers 147 hp. Acceleration from 0-60 mph should
take 8.5 seconds. To match the increased power, the suspension has been tuned as
well; the Prius GT has the same tires as the Celica.
2005 Toyota Land Cruiser
Another new model at the
stand will be the updated Land Cruiser. The 3.0-liter D-4D diesel
engines in the 2005 version gets a new common-rail injection system, a revised
turbocharger, and a completely new swirl control system. Torque increases to 303
lb-ft at 1800 rpm with 90 percent available from 1500 rpm. Maximum power has
been increased to 164 hp. Also new is the standard six-speed manual
transmission, a brake booster for improved brake feel, and a dual-stage seatbelt
fastening reminder for the front-seat passenger.