2006 Paris Auto Show Preview

September 10, 2006

The Paris auto show is a couple weeks away yet, but TheCarConnection's list of new vehicles due at the September show continues to grow. The introductions due for the show include:

Volkswagen IROC Concept Prefigures Scirocco

The clue is in the name. This is the VW Iroc, known until now simply as the Concept S. But here's the trick; put the S in front of the Iroc and it starts to make sense, previewing a sports coupe in the mold of the legendary Scirocco. There's another link to the newcomer's famous predecessor - this vibrant color is known as Viper Green, and exactly the same shade was available on the 1976 model range.

Size-wise, the Iroc is 1.4 inches longer and 1.6 inches wider than the Golf hatchback. And check out that nose; it could be the shape of things to come for VW front ends as the official line is that this is "a face that's not yet common to other vehicles in the range."

Inside there are four seats plus a 10.6 cubic foot trunk space, which can be increased with the rear chairs folded down. Bucket sports seats are fitted up front, as well as integrated five-point race harnesses. The instrument cluster is dominated by two large round ice-blue dials. They appear to the driver as cylinders with 12 illuminated bars creating a 3-D effect.

Under the bonnet, the car features VW's ground-breaking 210-hp TSI gas engine which has both a turbocharger and supercharger. It's recently debuted in the Golf in Europe, and will spread to other models soon. The concept rides on 19-inch alloys.

The Scirocco made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show 1973 and was a huge success for VW. Styled at Italian design studio Giugiaro, it was launched the following year and more than half a million were sold. A second generation model followed in 1981 and went on until 1993. -Richard Yarrow


Dodge Avenger Concept GivesParisPause

2006 Dodge Avenger concept

2006 Dodge Avenger concept

2006 Dodge Avenger conceptYou knew it was coming-the Dodge twin to the Chrysler Sebring shown this year, and the next step in Chrysler Group's plan to boost worldwide sales. The twin arrives at the Paris auto show next week as the Avenger Concept, and as far as concepts go, this one's fairly production ready. The D-segment sedan is anything but boring: like the Sebring it has unconventional proportions and a rear pillar lifted straight from the Charger sedan. A big spoiler and 19-inch wheels put the concept squarely in the American-car idiom, but the concept vehicle's 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine seems suited perfectly for the Continent.


Ford's Paris List: Mondeo, Ranger, Galaxy

2007 Ford Mondeo

2007 Ford Mondeo

Ford's showing at next week'sParis auto expo will be filled with new product-European product, at least, not destined for the U.S. The highlight of the display likely will be the Mondeo, the mid-size sedan that now shares much of its architecture with the new Ford S-Max MPV and another Paris attendee, the company's new Galaxy minivan. The Mondeo will be shown as a wagon, in near-production form, with heavily evident influences from the Iosis concept shown at the Frankfurt auto show. The new Mondeo will spawn other body styles, Ford promises. Powertrains will range from a 2.0-liter turbodiesel to a 2.5-liter turbocharged gas engine.

Also on Ford's list is the new Galaxy minivan, which no longer shares anything with the VW Sharan; the production version of the left-drive Focus Coupe-Cabriolet; and a new Ranger pickup for Europe, unrelated to the U.S.truck, outfitted with a new 2.5-liter diesel engine with about 140 hp.

TheCarConnection previews the Paris show


2007 Volkswagen Touareg

2007 Volkswagen Touareg

VW Touareg Reskin Coming for Paris

Volkswagen's lightly reskinned Touareg will have its first public viewing at the Paris auto show. The updates include slight changes to the headlamps and taillamps, an updated interior with a new navigation system, and revisions to the mirrors. Beneath the metal, the Touareg has a revised anti-lock/stability control system with new anti-roll programming as well as an uprated range of engines. A 3.6-liter V-6 with about 260 hp will come to the U.S., while three diesel engines will for now be limited to other markets. A six-speed automatic is now standard.

Check out Volkswagen's rocking IROC concept coupe

Kia Pro-Cee'd

2006 Kia Pro-Cee'd concept

2006 Kia Pro-Cee'd concept

2006 Kia Pro-Cee'd conceptKia has released the first pics of the concept it will show in Paris. The pro_cee'd (could you get any more punctuationally difficult, guys?) is essentially the three-door version of the cee'd crossover which goes into production later this year. The big wagon, which made its debut as a concept at the Geneva motor show and will be shown in production form at the Paris show, will take on the name of the concept (pronounced seed), Kia says, in homage to its roots: CE for "European Community" and ED for "European design." The new mid-size hatchback will be built in Kia's plant in Slovakia and is set to go on sale in December of this year across Europe. The three-door concept is expected to head into production also.

Hyundai Arnejs

2006 Hyundai Arnejs concept

2006 Hyundai Arnejs concept

Hyundai's 2007 C-segment car for Europe will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month in concept form. The styling study is called the Arnejs (pronounced Ar-nez), and a production version will go on sale next year as a five-door hatchback. It will replace the current Accent and bosses have already admitted it will get a new name.

The platform on which it's based will spawn other new models, including a compact minivan, wagon and sporty three-door. A coupé cabriolet with a folding metal hard top will follow, but probably not until at least 2008.-Richard Yarrow

Have you seen the Arnejs crossover?

Peugeot Epure Concept

2006 Peugeot Epure concept

2006 Peugeot Epure concept

This is a thinly disguised version of Peugeot's 207 CC and it will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

The car is officially called the 207 Epure concept, and is also a demonstrator for Peugeot Citroen Group's new experimental hydrogen fuel cell. Producing 20kW of power and with a lithium ion battery, the 2+2 machine has a range of more than 200 miles, can hit 60 mph in 15 seconds and go on to a top speed of 81 mph. The hydrogen cylinders are stored under the trunk floor, allowing space for the folding metal hard top and some cargo.

While no one is expecting a hydrogen-powered 207 CC when the production version arrives in European showrooms next summer, it does hint at where Peugeot's eco-future lies. A range of gasoline and diesel engines will be offered, though the concept's interior - finished entirely in white leather - is unlikely to become a reality. -Richard Yarrow

Citroen C-Métisse

2006 Citroen C-M?tisse Concept

2006 Citroen C-M?tisse Concept

French manufacturers are well known for the sales success of their small cars, and equally so for the lack of it with their larger ones. But that doesn't stop them trying to go head to head with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes on luxury machines - and the latest to do so is Citroen.

At the Paris Motor Show later this month the firm will unveil the C-Métisse, a concept that proves high performance machines can also be eco-friendly. Top speed is 155 mph, 60 mph comes up in six seconds and there's impressive 45-mpg fuel economy. It boasts an economical 208-hp V-6 diesel engine mated to a pair of electric motors on the rear wheels, capable of developing a massive 295 lb-ft of additional torque. Around town the car can run in zero emissions mode.

The design is classic Citroen, with a long bonnet and almost no rear overhang. It's 4.74 meters long, but only 1.24 meters high. The doors open up and out - not quite gullwing, but not far off - to reveal a four-seat cabin with individual white leather seats. Each passenger gets independent air conditioning controls, individual roof lighting and plenty of space. -Richard Yarrow

Škoda Octavia Scout

2007 Skoda Octavia Scout

2007 Skoda Octavia Scout

Czech manufacturer Škoda has unveiled an all-new member of the Octavia family car range. Called the Scout, it's based on the standard wagon but with ride height raised by 1.5 inches. The vehicle will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show and go on sale across Europe by the spring.

Equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, the car is most interesting because it appears to be treading on the toes of the already-on-sale Octavia 4x4. The newcomer is half an inch longer, wider, and taller than the older model, and the raised ride height and sump guard will boost its off-road ability.

Under the hood there's the choice of 140-hp, 2.0-liter TDI diesel or 150-hp, 2.0-liter FSI gasoline engines. Both are four-cylinder units and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. -Richard Yarrow


2007 SEAT Altea

2007 SEAT Altea

This is the Altea XL, a new model from VW-owned SEAT that will debut at the Paris Motor Show. Slated to go on sale early in 2007, it's a five-seat compact minivan just like the Altea - launched in 2004 - on which it's based.

So what's different? An extra 7.4 inches in the length of the bodyshell means there's the choice of extra cargo capacity in the trunk or better room for rear seat passengers. With the back seat moved forward 5.5 inches, luggage space is increased to a class-leading 22.4 cubic feet. But push the bench rearward and there's an extra 0.79 inches of knee space for the occupants. Roof rails are standard on the car, too.

A range of engines will be available on the Altea XL, but in Europe it's the 1.9-liter and 2.0-liter diesels which will be the top sellers. -Richard Yarrow

Bentley Arnage T

2007 Bentley Arnage

2007 Bentley Arnage

Even the richest motorists need reason to get excited about a new model year, and Bentley is hoping to hook potential buyers with some significant updates to its top-line sedan. With prices ranging from $220,000 to $250,000, the Arnage is definitely not a car for everyone. But for those who can come up with the cash, the big sedan will get a big 50-horsepower bump for 2007. That means the Arnage T, the most powerful model, now delivers an even 500 hp and a stump-pulling 738 pound-feet of torque. The twin-turbo, 6.75-liter V-8 now mates to a modern six-speed ZF automatic, rather than the old and antiquated four-speed on last year's Arnage. Better yet, the new gearbox has a surprisingly seamless manual shift mode. The Arnage suspension now has a dual-mode Sport setting that allows the nearly three-ton behemoth to be flogged around corners, as TheCarConnection.com learned during a long drive, with surprising grace. As for creature comforts, the Arnage still boasts a small forest full of wood and a range of new leathers and colors for 2007. Last year, Bentley began to update the luxury sedan's electronics with a move to DVD navigation. For the new model-year, the Arnage also gets Bluetooth, allowing drivers to hook up their cellphones for hands-free talks with their stockbrokers.

2007 MINI Cooper

2007 MINI Cooper

2007 MINI Cooper

Last month, TheCarConnection brought you the first drive of the new MINI Cooper. But at the time, MINI engineers were reluctant to show the final details of the new hatchback's face. Now, MINI has sent out the first official pictures of the new Cooper, which will make its world debut at the Paris auto show in September. The new MINI is wider and gets a new four-cylinder engine, as well as a revamped interior.

Preview: 2007 MINI Cooper by Henny Hemmes (7/31/2006)
Evolved in a gradual way.


Renault Nepta


2006 Renault Nepta concept

2006 Renault Nepta concept

Renault’s convertibles are popular in Europe, but this concept could take things to a whole new level. The Nepta is the sort of luxury four-seat cabrio that the firm has never had, and it will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Powered by a 420-hp twin-turbo V-6, the car will hit 60 mph in under five seconds, and comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The rear overhang is the longer of the two, harking back to what Renault calls ‘the golden age of automotive styling’. There’s LED front lamps that including a daytime running feature. Access to the cabin is through gull-wing doors, revealing bench seats front and rear. DVD screens with folding protective covers are fitted into the headrests. -Richard Yarrow

Kia Picks Cee'd

2006 Kia cee'd

2006 Kia cee'd

A new Kia crossover vehicle will adopt the unlikely name of cee'd when it goes into production later this year. The big wagon, which made its debut as a concept at the Geneva motor show and will be shown in production form at the Paris show, will take on the name of the concept (pronounced seed), Kia says, in homage to its roots: CE for "European Community" and ED for "European design." The new mid-size hatchback will be built in Kia's plant inSlovakia and is set to go on sale in December of this year across Europe.

Citroen C4 Picasso

2007 Citroen C4 Picaso

2007 Citroen C4 Picaso

French firm Citroen has revealed first pictures of the all-new C4 Picasso, a seven-seat compact minivan, ahead of its debut at next month's Paris Motor Show.

Initially it was believed the car would replace the aging but popular Xsara Picasso. But as that's a five-chair model and 12 inches shorter, the company has revealed both will sell side by side for the forseeable future.

The newcomer is based on the C4 hatchback and will battle for sales with the Vauxhall/Opel Zafira and Renault Grand Scenic. Kit will include zonal air conditioning, air suspension at the rear, and soundproofed windows.

The most striking element of the new design is the windshield. The glass goes partially over the front seat occupants, creating a vertical visibility angle of 70 percent. Standard on this car, it's only an option on rivals that offer it.

Inside the designers have created an eye-catching minimalist dashboard and are promising a huge leap forward in cabin material quality. The rear window glass opens independently of the whole tailgate, while a clever feature allows the rear of the car to lower slightly - to aid awkward loading - at the push of a button. Additional technologies include hill-start assist and an innovative parking space measurement system that helps drivers find a suitable bay to leave the car.

Under the bonnet will be 2.0-liter 143-hp gas engine, or 1.6-liter 110-hp and 2.0-liter 138-hp diesels. The car will go on sale in France before the end of the year, and other European countries soon after. -Richard Yarrow


BMW X3, 3-Series Coupe

Honda CR-V and Civic Type R

Hyundai Tiburon

Kia concept

Land Rover Defender and Range Rover Sport TDV8

Peugeot 908RC and possible 908 Le Mans car

Porsche 911 Targa

Subaru Tribeca, facelifted Legacy

Suzuki Swift Sport, Splash

Volvo C30 Sport

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