2005 Frankfurt Show Preview, Part II

August 10, 2005

2005 Frankfurt Auto Show Index by TCC Team (8/10/2005)


Volvo C70


2007 Volvo C70

2007 Volvo C70

At the IAA auto show in Frankfurt this September, Volvo will unveil its new C70 coupe convertible. The Swedish car manufacturer has released the first details and pictures of the car that will be available in the spring of 2006. Volvo is following the trend of abandoning soft tops and developing retractable hard tops for its open-air cars. In the case of the new C70, the hard top consists of three parts. The development and production of the coupe convertible is the result of a new joint venture with Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina.


Over the past few years, Fedde Talsma, the C70's design manager and a team of designers and product development engineers have visited Pininfarina to oversee the project. The 2006 C70 will be the first car in the premium segment with a retractable hard top and room for four adults. Volvo has paid a lot of attention to the safety of its new topless version. The body has extremely high torsion stiffness: twice that of the current C70. With the roof closed, this increases by another ten percent.

The new C70 has a new Inflatable Curtain (IC) airbag system that is hidden in the door. It is part of an extended safety system that should offer good protection during a side impact collision. The IC is placed in the door and inflates upward. Furthermore, the curtains are extra-stiff, so that in an emergency they stand upright and protect the heads of the passengers. As the air is deflated slowly, the IC also protects the occupants during a rollover.


The new Volvo will be available with five-cylinder engines, two normally aspirated with a cylinder capacity of 2.4 liters and with either 140 hp or 170 hp. A 2.5 T5 turbo engine with 220 hp will be available. Later in 2006, there will be a diesel engine with 180 hp for the European market. The Volvo C70 will be built in Uddevalla, Sweden.


Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder


2005 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder concept

2005 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder concept

Lamborghini will unveil the Gallardo Spyder in Frankfurt. This is the convertible version of the impressive small Lambo that was developed together with Audi. As a side note, the Belgian designer Luc Donckerwolke, who was responsible for Gallardo and the Murcielago, has left Lamborghini to succeed Walter de’Silva as design chief at SEAT, another sister division of Lamborghini within the Volkswagen Group.


Other news from Italy is that Lamborghini decided to build the Concept S Roadster in a very limited edition. The design study of the Concept S, which is based on the Gallardo, was presented at the Geneva auto show in March. The car will be called Gallardo SE, and stands out with a two-tone color scheme: black for the roof, front and rear spoilers, rear view mirrors, along with a transparent engine cover. There are six colors available for the other body parts. The SE will be equipped with special Callisto wheels.


For the SE, the 5.0-liter V-10 engine and the six-speed manual transmission have been retuned. Horsepower increases from 500 to 522 hp, while the first five gears are shorter than in the standard Gallardo. Also, the steering is more direct in the SE.


The Special Edition will be available this fall at a price of 141,000 euros. At this moment it is not know if Lambo will export the SE to the U.S. According to Automotive News Europe Lamborghini will build only 80 to 90 SEs; other sources speak of 250 cars.

Mitsubishi Concept-Sportback


2005 Mitsubishi Concept-Sportback

2005 Mitsubishi Concept-Sportback

Mitsubishi has released bare details and sketches of the concept that will be the centerpiece of its stand in Frankfurt . The Mitsubishi Concept-Sportback gives the first indications of the company’s vision for its next generation of C-segment cars and hints at its design inspiration for a new European five-door sports hatchback.


Mitsubishi Motors’ future design direction is said to be readily apparent in what is described in designer-speak as “a sporty wedge-like profile, sharply chiseled lines, an assertive stance born from long wheelbase/wide track proportions, and a very expressive high-shouldered rear end.”


The Concept-Sportback also shows off a brand new Mitsubishi Motors-developed platform. The platform is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of derivatives and, as a result, will spawn a range of new models over the next three years. Mitsubishi says they will range from SUVs to family hatchbacks, a fact that has major strategic importance for the company.

VW Golf Cabriolet


Volkswagen is also preparing a new Golf Cabrio with a retractable roof made of glass and aluminum for the Frankfurt show. The glass panel can also be used as a sliding sunroof. According to rumors, this new version will be called Sun, but that has not yet been confirmed. The convertible will be built on a mix of the Golf and Passat platforms. That means the topless Golf will not only be longer than the Golf, but also be wider.


VW will also present the Beduin concept car at the IAA auto show. This is the predecessor of a new production model that we expect to be presented in Detroit and that will hit the market in 2007. This Golf SUV will not have two doors like the concept, but four, and it will also be equipped with a chrome grille like the new Passat, but somewhat more rugged. The car will be offered with both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive (4Motion).


Another interesting model at the VW stand will be the Golf GT with its very special 1.4-liter engine. With the aid of both a turbo and a supercharger it has 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The Golf GT will make its market debut in the beginning of 2006.


2006 Volkswagen Golf R32

2006 Volkswagen Golf R32

VW Golf R32

Volkswagen is ready to field a successor to the most powerful Golf ever — but as of yet, the company has no plans to import the car for U.S. fans. In Frankfurt , VW will bring a Beduin crossover concept and a Golf GT with a turbo and a supercharger — but the powerful news will be the new Golf R32, the fastest version of the new-generation Golf.

The performance Golf will be equipped with a 250-hp, 3.2-liter V-6 and 4Motion all-wheel drive. Instead of the six-speed gearbox, customers can choose the DSG dual-clutch transmission. Acceleration from zero to 60 mph will take the manually shifted version 6.5 seconds, whereas the DSG will reach 60 in 6.2 seconds.

The front end of the R32 is marked with a large aluminum grille and large air intakes. The lower part of the bumper has an extra spoiler lip. Side skirts connect the front with the rear bumper, which features an air diffuser between the two stainless-steel exhaust pipes on each side. A rear spoiler adds down force. Eighteen-inch wheels with 225/40 rubber are standard, as well as a performance brake system and a 20-mm lowered sport suspension. The Golf R32 is badged with R32 on the grille and the rear hatch.

The sporty interior has a unique instrument panel, sport steering wheel, sport seats, aluminum pedals, and a special R32 shift knob. The Sport-Golf comes standard with automatic climate control, a tire pressure warning system, ESP with brake assist, six airbags, and bi-xenon headlights.


Opel Vectra OPC

2005 Opel Vectra OPC

2005 Opel Vectra OPC

Before the sporty version of Opel’s Astra and Zafira arrives on the market, Opel will present a third OPC ( Opel Performance Center ) version at the Frankfurt show. The Vectra OPC has a 2.8-liter V-6 turbo engine with 255 hp — the same engine that will also be used in the Opel Signum and Saab 9-3 Aero. In those models the V-6 will put out 250 and 230 hp respectively. The Vectra OPC, peak torque will be 262 lb-ft, enough to propel the car from to 60 mph in less than seven seconds. Contrary to unspoken arrangements among the German car manufacturers the Vectra OPC will exceed the 155-mph limit to reach a top speed of 161.5 mph.


A six-speed stick shift comes standard, as well a performance brake system with exclusive OPC blue calipers and exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels. To match the power of the V-6, also the chassis has been retuned and the Vectra OPC is GM’s first production car with the second-generation IDSPlus chassis control with CDC, Continuous Damping Control.


The OPC’s looks have been tweaked too, with a black mesh grille and trapezoidal exhaust pipes. Inside there are leather/cloth Recaro seats and different pedals and a leather steering wheel.

2005 Peugeot 407 Coupe

2005 Peugeot 407 Coupe

Peugeot 407 Coupe


Peugeot had already released pictures of the 407 Coupe, but the car will make its debut in Frankfurt . Nothing has really changed compared to the Prologue concept car that bowed in Geneva in March. The two-door model of the highly popular 407 will arrive by the end of the year on the European markets. The Coupe was designed in-house, contrary to its predecessor, the 406, which came from Pininfarina. The Coupe seats four, with individual seats in back rather than a bench.

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