2004 Paris Auto Show, Part V

September 24, 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.

 

Alfa Romeo 147

2005 Alfa Romeo 147

2005 Alfa Romeo 147

Alfa will unveil the successor of the successful 156 in the fall of 2005 and by the end of the year they will present the new GTV. In Paris, Alfa Romeo brought the facelifted 147. A new nose with a larger and lower grille and new headlights enhance a more aggressive look. New taillights have been fitted as well and 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 gets a 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.

 

Fiat Stilo Michael Schumacher

2005 Fiat Uproad

2005 Fiat Uproad

Special versions of the Panda and the Stilo contributed to the very stylish atmosphere at the Fiat stand. The Panda is already quite successful in Italy and other European countries embrace the Italian minicar as well. At Paris Fiat displayed a 4x4 version and a special Michael Schumacher sporty edition, as well as a Panda in colorful Alessi trim. The Italian design house had some clever ideas for the interior, such as writeable sun visors, and came up with another color scheme. Of course, the Fiat Group is proud of their Formula One world champion and they show that with the special Stilo, of which only 3500 will be produced. The car is equipped with a 170-hp 2.4-liter five-cylinder and has 17-inch wheels, while the body has been enhanced by tuner Zender.

One of the new versions of the Fiat Stilo is the Multi Wagon Uproad. The Uproad has a lot of black accents, 17-inch wheels, and a somewhat raised body. If it gives you the impression that this version has 4x4 as well, that is not the case.

 

Lancia goes B-Kini

2005 Lancia Musa

2005 Lancia Musa

At the Lancia stand there were two Ypsilons in “B-Kini,” which sounds better than it looks. The limited edition Italian compacts are simply painted two-tone. The interior is fitted with special “Glamour Cloth” leather in colors that match the exterior. The two Ypsilons are not the same in their somewhat different color scheme. Lancia also showed a Thema painted in two-tone beige/brown, to test the reaction of the public.

New is also the Musa. The compact minivan is the twin brother of the Fiat Idea, but in a more sophisticated trim and with a better equipment, such as the Bose sound system, automatic climate control, and the DFN (Dolce Far Niente) semi-automatic transmission. 

 

Pininfarina Nido

2004 Pininfarina Nido concept

2004 Pininfarina Nido concept

Next year, Italian design house and coach builder Pininfarina will start production of four new models for different car manufacturers. We know already that the Volvo design team of the S40/V50 design team of Fedde Tjalsma is working together on the development of the new coupe/cabriolet of the S40, possibly named C. Andrea Pininfarina said they will start production in Sweden in the fall of 2005. Pininfarina will also build three new models in Italy. We asked if that will be the Ford Focus Vignale, the hardtop convertible Ford unveiled yesterday and that will presumably be on the market by the end of 2006, but Mr. Pininfarina does not comment on any production model. What is already confirmed is the production of the Mitsubishi Colt Convertible.

In Paris, Pininfarina shows the Nido concept car that shows all aspects of design and engineering combined in a small and safe model. Nido shows Pinin’s solutions for a better future. Of course, Pininfarina also had the Ferrari F430, for which it designed the body.

 

Lexus HLS

Next year, Lexus wil unveil a new model, the HLS, High Luxury Sedan, which will be positioned above the LS430. The HLS will have to compete with cars such as the Mercedes-Benz CL and S-Classes. Also in the pipeline is the new IS, that will definitely get a 180-hp diesel engine, which will give it a better chance for success on the European market. We think this will be the D-4D Clean Power engine that Toyota unveiled in Paris in the Avensis Clean Power. Lexus did not bring anything new to Paris, but the GS300 and the RX 400 hybrid made their European debut.

 

Toyota Avensis Clean Power

2004 Toyota Avensis Clean Diesel concept

2004 Toyota Avensis Clean Diesel concept

Clean is not only the future of the gas engine: diesel powerplants will be much more environmental friendly too in coming years. Although most manufacturers are cutting particle emissions by equipping diesels with particulate filters, emissions of NOx is the next point of focus. Toyota says its 2.2-liter D-4D Clean Power diesel engine is the most powerful and most environmental friendly in its class. The engine delivers 180 hp and has 295 lb-ft of torque. NOx and particle emissions are well below the Euro IV emission standard. The Avensis concept car has a mesh grille and air intakes in the bumper.

 

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki showed its new Swift in Paris. The small car shows that such a model still can offer enough interior space for two adults and two children in the rear. With a length of 146 inches it is the ideal city car and will compete with the Toyota Yaris and others. Although small, it’s not slow: with a 91-hp 1.3-liter, a 105-hp 1.5-liter and a 1.3-liter diesel with 70 hp, the Swift will be more than able to provide transportation for commuters. Its top speed is 109 mph. The new Suzuki is built in Hungary.

 

Subaru Forester and Legacy

The Japanese brand is looking forward to unveil their version of the big SUV next year, which is a joint project with Saab. Until then they have to do with two new versions, one of the Legacy and one of the Forester. The Legacy 3.0 R Spec B Touring Wagon is the top version of the Legacy and is equipped with a flat six with 245 hp and 219 lb-ft of torque. Also the sedan will be available in Spec B trip. The Forester has a new variant: the 2.5XT AWD, that has a 2.5-liter turbo engine with 210 hp and a maximum torque of 236 lb-ft.

 

Venturi Fetish

Venturi Fetish

Venturi Fetish

The small French car manufacturer Venturi presented its first sports car 20 years ago. It was a 161-inch-long coupe that was produced until 1996 and was offered with a 2.5- or a 2.8-liter engine. At the same time Venturi also built a convertible variant. In 1992 Venturi unveiled its more spectacular 400 GT, followed in 1995 by the Atlantique 300. Now, Venturi has shown a completely different car, the Fétish. The new model is powered by an electric engine with 245 hp and a maximum torque of 162 lb-ft. With a weight of only 1773 lb, of which 772 lb are taken by the batteries, the Fétish can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, while it reaches a top speed of 106 mph. The range is 217 miles.

Venturi used mainly carbon fiber and aluminium for the 153-inch-long Fétish, which will be built to order beginning in November and which will be shown in the U.S. at the L.A. Auto Show that opens to the public on January 8, 2005. Buyers will have to pay $480,000 or the equivalent in Europe; a U.S. price hasn’t been set.

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