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2005 Geneva Motor Show, Part VIII

March 5, 2005

2005 Geneva Motor Show Index by TCC Team (2/28/2005)


BMW 3-Series

TCC has driven the completely renewed BMW 3-Series, but the model’s official debut for the public didn’t happen until Geneva. The fifth generation of the highly successful compact sports saloon offers more interior space and better driving dynamics that its predecessor. The four- and six-cylinder engines are more powerful and fuel efficient. BMW expects to set new records with the 3er, of which the 320i, 325i, 330i, and the 320d arrived on the European markets this week. U.S. sales begin this spring. In September the 318i and 318d, and 320d will follow in Europe as well as the Touring, the station wagon. We expect the Convertible to arrive in the course of next year and the M3 will probably be available at the end of 2006.


BMW 7-Series

2006 BMW 7-Series

2006 BMW 7-Series

The BMW flagship 7-Series underwent a serious face lift to stay as competitive in the second half of its life cycle as it has been in the first. TCC also drove the 750i right before its world premiere in Geneva. As impressive as before and with a lot of comfort and —even more important for the BMW driver — a lot of power and torque, the big 750i has been smoothed out and trimmed down. With a freshened look including a toned-down rear end, with new or renewed engines and a simplified iDrive system the 7-Series is now fit to compete with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class that will bow in September at the IAA in Frankfurt. Expect the 2006 BMW 7-Series to arrive in North America this fall.



2006 BMW M6

2006 BMW M6

The M6 is the performance version of the 6-Series and is equipped with a 5.0-liter (4999 cubic centimeters) V-10 with 507 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The engine boasts a high max engine speed of 8250 rpm, which means that the pistons cover a distance of about 20 meters, or 787 inches per second. The V-10 is teamed to BMW’s Sequential M Gearbox (SMG) an automated manual transmission. BMW is the first manufacturer that offers such a seven-speed transmission and Drivelogic. The latter provides both a manual gearshift and an automatic function. The performance 6er should provide all the qualities of a super sports car, with its sport suspension and engine performance. The Integral IV rear axle is made almost completely of aluminum and has been adapted for the high performance levels. Like the M3 and M5 the M6 also comes with a variable, speed-sensing M Differential Lock for optimum stability and traction.

High-performance brakes with double-piston calipers are carried over from motorsports and should provide excellent stopping power. A sensor determines brake pad wear and transmits data to the DSC control unit, which forecasts the lifespan of the pads.

The M6 is equipped with 19-inch forged aluminum wheels; the front tires are 255/40s and the rears are 285/35s. The M6 is expected on the North American market by the end of this year.


Hyundai HED-1

2005 Hyundai HED-1 concept

2005 Hyundai HED-1 concept

Hyundai presented the HED-1 concept, an evolution of the small minivan E3 (Cube) that debuted a year ago in Geneva. The Korean car manufacturer wanted to test public reactions to this concept for a new mini-MPV. It may be Hyundai’s answer to newcomers such as the Renault Modus and the Peugeot 1007. The HED-1 is 162 inches long, 71 inches wide, and 60 inches tall. The concept car is equipped with front seats that can be swiveled around 180 degrees, while the rear seats have power adjustment. It is not yet certain if such seats will make it into the small car that has to compete in the low-end price segment.


Hyundai Grandeur

2005 Hyundai Grandeur

2005 Hyundai Grandeur

Hyundai’s Grandeur replaces the XG luxury sedan and with this model Hyundai wants to challenge Lexus. Overall, the Koreans want to increase European sales by more than 20 percent to 430,000 units. To do so Hyundai will import cars from South Korea and India, and also from the new plant in Slovakia, where subsidiary Kia should be able to build cars, after it opens at the end of 2006. The Zilina plant has a capacity for 300,000 vehicles and will build 200,000 a year for Kia.

The Grandeur is longer (at 193 inches), wider and taller than the XG and will offer more interior space. Nevertheless, according to Hyundai the weight did not increase. The Grandeur will be available with a 3.3-liter V-6 with 233 hp and a 2.2-liter four cylinder common-rail diesel with 145 hp. Standard equipment should include dual climate control, leather seats, and a power adjustable steering wheel. Front airbags, side airbags for both rows of seats, and curtain airbags will be standard, as well as active head rests and ESP.


Mercedes-Benz B-Class

2005 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

2005 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Mercedes-Benz came to the Geneva Show with the new B-Class, which will have to compete in the segment of the midi-MPVs, or crossovers, with models such as the popular Renault Scenic and the Golf Plus. The 168-inch-long B-Class has a flexible interior with a passenger seat and rear seats that can be folded down, or taken out. Customers will have a choice of engines with 96, 115, 136, and 193 hp and two diesels with 109 and 140 hp. A 2.0-liter turbo engine with 193 hp is expected later. The B-Class will go on sale in the course this summer.


Spyker Wins U.S. Approval

In January in Los Angeles, Dutch car builder Spyker displayed the C8 Spyder and the C88 Double 12S, the street version of the 2003 Le Mans car. In Geneva the Dutch car builder presented the new Spyker C12 La Turbie.

To commemorate the win in 1922 of Dutch nobleman Hugo Baron van Pallandt with his standard Spyker C4 Tourer in the hillclimb held on the Mont de La Turbie near Monte Carlo, the new 12-cylinder Spyker bears the name La Turbie. It is the first Spyker model powered by the 6.0-liter W-12 engine from Audi, and has a power output of 500 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque teamed to a six-speed gearbox, which will have paddle shifters, Formula 1-style. Acceleration from zero to 60 mph takes 3.7 seconds and the car reaches a top of 202 mph.

The car features a lightweight aluminium space frame with integrated roll cage, a limited-slip differential, ABS, and double twin exhausts. Prices include a hard top and start at 290,000 euros, excluding taxes and factory charges. The equivalent is at the moment around $328,000.

Spyker also announced that it has obtained approval for its C8 short-wheelbase models in the USA by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The certification of the long-wheelbase models, the C8 Double 12 S and Double 12 Spyder is expected this summer. The company is wating for the final approval by the NHTSA of two waiver applications, upon receipt of which the cars will be fully U.S. road-legal.


Bizzarrini Name Revived

Italian contractor Giorgio Viti is the man behind VGM Motors. He already put a spectacular motorbike on the streets, and in the meantime bought the name Bizzarrini. Mr. Bizzarrini was not in Geneva for the presentation of the new model that bears his name and which was accompanied by the legendary original version.

VGM presented the reincarnation of the Bizzarrini in the modern form of the GTS 4.4 V. The sportster has a 4.4-liter V-8, the BMW Alpina B7 powerplant with 530 hp and 524 lb-ft of torque. The V-8 works together with a ZF sequential six-speed automatic transmission. The GTS should be able to sprint from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and to reach a top speed of 224 mph.

The GTS has a wheelbase of 112 inches, is 184 inches long, 79 inches wide, and 48 inches high. It is equipped with 20-inch wheels with front 335/30 tires and 385/30 rear tires. VGM hopes to have a homologation for the GTS within half a year and be able to start production by the end of 2006. A price was estimated at 500,000 euros, or $656,500.



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