2004 Paris Auto Show Preview II

September 12, 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 opens its doors for the public on September 25th, there will be a slew of cars that have been unveiled at the preceding press days. In this second preview we bring more news on what we can expect in the French capital:


Mercedes Sports Tourers

Mercedes-Benz Paris Concepts

Mercedes-Benz Paris Concepts

Mercedes-Benz is indefatigable when it concerns R-Class concepts. Together with the Vision R (the European version of the Grand Sports Tourer), Mercedes will show a new study, the CST Compact Sports Tourer, or Vision B.

The Vision R is simply is the upcoming R-Class that will bow next year, whereas the Vision B will arrive on the market as the B-Class. The Vision R, based on the next M-Class will get a new V-6 turbodiesel engine with 218 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 will be teamed to the 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission and will drive all four wheels. The Vision R has 4+2 seats and will be on the market as R-Class by the end of 2005.

The other Sports Tourer, the Vision B is the concept for the B-Class that is based on the new A-Class and that will hit the market in the spring of 2005. The wheelbase of the A-Class platform has been stretched about 8 inches and the body is 17 inches longer than that of the A-Class. The B will seat five and will offer considerable luggage room. Mercedes will offer the B-Class with a 140-hp four-cylinder engine with a maximum torque of 221 lb-ft,  a 1.7-liter with 116  hp and a 2.0-liter with 136 hp. Also a 109-hp 1.8 diesel engine will be available.


Renault Fluence

2004 Renault Fluence concept

2004 Renault Fluence concept

Renault unveiled a concept of a 4+4 coupe in June in England and will take it to Paris as well. The French have serious plans to get back in the segment that it left when it stopped producing the Fuego. The Fluence indicated the future styling of such a coupe, while the cockpit is equipped with a joystick for the main functions, which will be visible on a screen on top of the dashboard. We think that it is not impossible that Renault will build a Laguna coupe based on the Fluence concept.


Alfa Romeo 147

Alfa Romeo will present its updated version of the 147. The compact model has a new nose with a larger and lower placed grille to enhance a more aggressive look. New headlights and new taillights have been fitted as well. The interior has been upgraded with new materials and a new instrument cluster. The Alfa 147 will get the faster 150-hp MultiJet diesel engine that will replace the same 1.9-liter variant with 140 hp. Also the Selespeed sequential transmission has been revised and the new 147 will get Comfort suspension as well. It will be standard on the 1.9 M-Jet with 150 hp and will be offered as an option for the other versions.


BMW 320 CD Convertible

2004 BMW 320CD Convertible

2004 BMW 320CD Convertible

BMW will show its fast M5 and a 2.0-liter common-rail diesel engine in the X3 in Paris — and it will also display its first topless car with a diesel engine, the 320 CD Convertible. The four-cylinder, 2.0-liter direct-injection diesel engine has proven itself in the 3-Series and is especially popular in France , where 80 per cent of all 3-Series are sold with this diesel powerplant. It has 150 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. In the Convertible this engine is teamed to a six-speed manual gearbox with short, sporty gearing. BMW will bring the 320 CD Convertible to other European markets in the spring of 2005.


Suzuki Swift

2005 Suzuki Swift

2005 Suzuki Swift

Two years ago, Suzuki unveiled its Concept-S in Paris and will now show the production version as the new Swift. Although the bold lines of the concept car have gone, the new Swift has kept the good looks. The small Suzuki measures only 146 inches and offers a choice of two gas engines (a 1.3-liter with 91 hp and a 1.5-liter with 102 hp) and a 1.3-liter diesel engine with 70 hp. The new Swift has been developed mainly in Europe and is aimed at the European consumers. The car will be assembled in Hungary.


Fast Subarus

Subaru brings two new and fast vehicles to Paris. The first is the Legacy 3.0R Spec B AWD Touring Wagon and the other is the Forester XT ASW with a 2.5-liter turbo engine.

Subaru unveiled the Legacy Spec B prototype in Geneva this year and both the production version of that sedan and the Touring Wagon that we will see in Paris will be available on the European market from this fall. The Legacy Spec B is equipped with the 245-hp 3.0-liter six-cylinder boxer engine, teamed to a six speed gearbox. It has Bilstein shock absorbers and fat 25/45 R18 rubber.

The 2.0-liter turbo engine (177 hp) in the Forester AWD will get company from the 2.5-liter turbo model with 210 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.


Honda FR-V

2005 Honda FR-V

2005 Honda FR-V

Honda will unveil a completely new model in Paris, the FR-V. This is a compact minivan with a unique 3+3 seating arrangement. The FR-V for Flexible (or Fun, or Family) Recreation Vehicle will replace the Stream, although that model will be available until the end of 2005.

The FR-V is built on the stretched platform (105.5 inches) of the Civic, which is suitable for a flat floor and can accommodate two rows of three seats. In the FR-V the middle seats on both the first and the second row are positioned slightly rearward from the seats that flank them. They can be moved rearward respectively 10.6 and 6.7 inches. The luggage compartment of 5.5 cu ft can be extended to 37 cu ft, or with the second row completely flat to 56.5 cu ft.

This fall, the FR-V will arrive in Europe with a choice of the 125-hp 1.7-liter SOHC VTEC of the Civic and the 156-hp 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC of the Accord. A diesel engine will follow in the spring of 2005.


Honda CR-V

For the 2005 model year, the small Honda Jazz has had a minor face lift. But the CR-V underwent a more serious update with a new front bumper with fog lamps, a new radiator grille and a revised rear bumper. The rear lights will be covered with clear glass, whereas the spare wheel will get a new cover.

Next spring, Honda will also offer the new 2.2-liter i-CTDi diesel engine for the European CR-V. That engine debuted in the Accord and the diesel version of the CR-V can be recognized by a roof spoiler. New are also the 16-inch wheels and improved brake discs.

There are some small interior changes, but most important is the added safety by means of curtain side airbags, that also deploy when the car is about to roll over, and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control. For the 2005 CR-V a five-speed automatic transmission is standard for all trim levels, whereas a new cam-driven real-time AWD mechanism replaces the previous type on all models, improving acceleration and hill-climbing performance. Integrated keyless remote entry will be standard on all CR-Vs.


MINI Cooper

BMW will show the updated 2005 MINI  with a modified five-speed gearbox, for improved overtaking performance at speeds between 50 and 75 mph. The MINI has added storage space in the center console and door panels and a larger interior rear view mirror and a sun visor on the driver’s side.

A John Cooper Works-tuned Cooper S will also be showed at the MINI stand. This version has add-on components and accessories that are available for all MINI models. Its engine has a supercharger, a modified cylinder head, redesigned filter housing, injection valves with higher flow, a modified engine control unit and a special exhaust system with a special silencer. The result is 210 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. This version should be able to sprint from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 143 mph.


BMW 1-series

2005 BMW 1-Series

2005 BMW 1-Series

The BMW 1-Series will have its world premiere in Paris , although we European journalists have driven the first test vehicles recently. The new ‘small’ BMW is not so small after all and should be a good match for competitors such as the new Audi A3 Sportback. BMW announced that it hopes to sell 100,000 1-Series in 2005, but that there are no plans to bring the car to North America before 2007. As was the case with the new 7- and 5-Series BMW has had criticism of the styling of its new car, as it shares some familiarity with the more radical BMWs such as the Z4. But during our first miles on the public roads, a lot of people showed their approval for the new BMW. The 1-Series shares components with the 3-Series and starts with the base 116i model with a 115-hp engine. BMW offers both gas and diesel engines in its new compact model.


Nissan Pathfinder

2005 Nissan Pathfinder

2005 Nissan Pathfinder

The Pathfinder will succeed the Terrano in the beginning of 2005. The new SUV has three rows of seats, of which the two in the rear can be folded down completely to create a large flat floor. Nissan says that there are more than sixty different possibilities to position the seats.

For the time being the Pathfinder will be offered in Europe with only the 2.5-liter turbodiesel engine. The All Mode 4x4 system is the same as in the X-Trail.

Nissan will also bring the 350Z Roadster and the Murano on the European markets. The European versions will debut in Paris . Nissan claims that the Murano will differ on 1600 points from the U.S. model, but pictures have not been released yet. 


Peugeot 607

Peugeot has facelifted the 607 that came on the market in 2000. The new version will also be offered with a V-6 2.7-liter diesel engine with 204 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. This engine is basically the same that is offered in the Jaguar S-Type. The 3.0-liter gas engine has been updated and the suspension of the 607 has been revised with new shock absorbers for the four-cylinder models and electronically adjustable shock absorbers for the six-cylinders.


Citroën C2 VTS

2005 Citroen C2 VTS

2005 Citroen C2 VTS

Citroën kept the world premiere of the sportiest version of the small C2 for its home town show.  The 1.6-liter engine has 125 hp and the fast version also has a five-speed stick shift and 105 lb-ft of torque. The suspension has a sportier set and the power steering works more directly than in the C2 VTR, the fastest version so far. The C2 VTS is equipped with 16-inch aluminium wheels with 195/45 tyres. ESP is standard.
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