2004 Paris Auto Show Preview

September 9, 2004

 

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2004 Paris Auto Show by TCC Team (9/20/2004)
The well-loved 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 City of Lights . Now if you’ll pardon us while you read, we’ll be brushing up on our French:

 

Porsche Boxster

The new 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 thorax airbags.

 

Mercedes A-Class

2005 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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 American market. America will probably have to wait for the longer B-Class crossover that is expected next year.

 

 

2005 Ferrari F430

2005 Ferrari F430

Ferrari F430

The 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.

 

Volkswagen GTI

2006 Volkswagen GTI

2006 Volkswagen GTI

Last year, Volkswagen showed the Golf GTI as a prototype, but later this month we will see the production version in Paris. 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 sensor.

 

2005 Kia Sportage

2005 Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage

Kia will 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

2005 Opel Astra GTC

In Europe 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 Belgium.

 

Skoda Octavia Combi

2005 Skoda Octavia Combi

2005 Skoda Octavia Combi

In Europe, 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

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.

 

 

2004 Peugeot Quark concept

2004 Peugeot Quark concept

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 inches wide.

 

 

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 Power

In Paris, 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

2005 Mazda5

2005 Mazda5

The new Mazda5 is based on the MX-Flexa concept that debuted in Geneva 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.

 

 

 

 

Ford Focus

2004 Ford Focus

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.

 

Audi A4

2005 Audi A4

2005 Audi A4

Audi will 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.

 

Toyota Prius GT

2004 Toyota Prius GT concept

2004 Toyota Prius GT concept

Although Toyota unveiled its Prius GT last weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, the prototype will be in Paris as well. The GT is based on the production Prius and has been developed to show the versatility of hybrid technology.
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.

 

Toyota Land Cruiser

2005 Toyota Land Cruiser

2005 Toyota Land Cruiser

Another new model at the Toyotastand 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.
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