TCC's Auto Show Index by TCC Team
Our coverage of the world's major auto shows, year to year.
2005 Frankfurt Auto Show Index by TCC Team (8/10/2005)
The trickle of Frankfurt Auto Show teasers is growing into a steady stream, with an even further upmarket sedan from Jaguar, confirmation of Audi’s allroad replacement, a new small coupe/convertible from GM Europe, Honda’s next generation Civic for Europe, new trim and technical add-ons for Maserati’s Quattroporte, a new iteration of Fiat’s Punto hatchback, and the fastest-ever production Skoda.
Dashing Daimler revived by Jaguar
Jaguar range-topper for all markets except the U.S. follows the pattern of the
company — which we shall now have to learn to stop describing as
“Coventry-based” since production has now officially ceased at the Brown’s Lane
factory — in carrying the Daimler badge. For most people, the Daimler name
causes confusion because of the fact that it is part of Mercedes tradition.
There’s no confusion in
In the early days of the last
century it was already a completely British operation, and in the first half of
century it built a fine reputation for luxury cars and counted the Royal family
among its most regular customers. After the Second World War it lost impetus and
in 1960 it was bought by Jaguar, who wanted Daimler’s
Daimler’s own designs did not last long under Jaguar’s ownership, succumbing to a bad attack of the “not invented here” syndrome on the part of Jaguar’s engineering staff. In the 1970s the Daimler nameplate was taken over for the top of the range Jaguar sedans, and that was the way it stayed until the introduction of the latest aluminium-bodied XJ range, when a Daimler version was notably absent from the lineup.
Now, after seven years, the Daimler label is back, in the shape of the Daimler Super Eight, a car that, like other Jaguar-built Daimlers, takes the most luxurious full-size Jaguar sedan and adds an even more luxurious interior. It will also have the traditional mark of a Daimler, the fluted top to the radiator grille. This design feature goes back to Edwardian times, when Daimlers had prominent cooling fins on the radiator. The fins became a recognition feature, and they were maintained as a styling element when the radiator disappeared under a grille in the late Twenties.
Every Daimler since then has had
the flutes, and this is the only Daimler feature to have made it across the
The Daimler Super Eight will have all the traditional luxury features: extra box-wood inlays in the dash and door veneers, picnic trays (more likely to be used for a laptop these days, but heritage requires the old description) and even more sumptuous leather.
Power comes from the supercharged
4.2-liter V-8, producing 400 hp, and the chassis is the same as the
well-received new generation XJ sedans with their advanced aluminium
construction. The combination of power and lightweight technology means the
Super Eight will cover the 0-60 mph sprint in 5.0 seconds, which isn’t bad for a
royal barge. The car will go on sale in Europe and the Far East, but not in the
Allroad again for Audi
2006 Audi allroad
The new car will closely follow
the lines shown in the allroad concept shown in
GM’s Tin-top Coupe is a Twin Top
2005 Opel Astra Twin Top
Power will come from 1.6-, 1.8-, and 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines, the latter turning the Twin Top into a real sports car thanks to a power output of 200 hp. GM says that the car was designed from the outset as a convertible, making the body more rigid than convertibles that have merely been “chopped” from the basic sedan bodyshell.
Honda’s Civic: Old Name, New Car
2006 Honda Civic
Power for this European-built car will reflect local tastes, with two diesel engines (1.4-liter 83 hp and 2.2-liter 140 hp) and a 1.8-liter 140-hp gasoline unit. Honda claims the Civic will be the first car in its class to offer a six-speed manual gearbox. The company is aiming the car at the top end of its market segment, and equipment levels will be set accordingly.
At a time when each new car tends to be bigger than its predecessor, it may come as a surprise that new Civic is smaller and lower than the current model. Overall length is now 167.3 inches (1.4 less) and overall height 57.5 in (1.4 less). But in order to create a more dynamic silhouette and a better handling car, Honda has increased the overall width to 57.5 inches (2.6 more) and the front and rear tracks to 59.2 inches (1.3 more) and 59.5 inches (1.8 more), respectively.
Currently, the Civic is produced
in eleven countries and sold in approximately 160 countries. The new
eighth-generation model will be built at Honda’s European car plant, in Swindon,
Wiltshire — with the five-door exclusive to
Maserati Upgrades the Quattroporte
2006 Maserati Quattroporte
Fiat’s Fight Back Continues
2006 Fiat Punto
2006 Skoda Octavia vRS