- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Audi to Citroen -- 240K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Chrysler to Hyundai -- 204K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Honda to Jeep -- 176K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Kia to Nissan -- 220K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Opel to Porsche -- 186K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Renault to Suzuki -- 307K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Toyota to Volvo -- 348K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Suppliers show off their innovations -- 148K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Delphi and Valeo -- 112K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Autoliv, Siemens, Webasto and HBPO -- 176K PDF download
- 2005 FRANKFURT GUIDE: Hybrids and Continental -- 144K PDF download
Concept car: Prototype previewing the second-generation TT is likely
Production cars: The Q7, face-lifted A4 cabriolet
At 5086mm long, Audis Q7 premium SUV is bigger than its upper-premium A8 sedan and larger than its rivals, the Mercedes M class and BMW X5. The Q7 needs to be big because its main market will be the US, where customers like their vehicles large. The car offers seven seats in three rows. Prices start at E48,900 for the 233hp, 3.0-liter, V-6 diesel version. The face-lifted A4 cabriolet is the latest Audi to get the automakers new single-frame grille.
Technology: Audi will debut a 14-speaker, 1,100-watt sound system from home entertainment specialist Bang & Olufsen in an A8 sedan. Audi is B&Os first partner, but the Danish company aims to work with Germanys other premium carmakers.
Unlike some of its SUV/crossover competitors, the Q7 performs well off road because of a descent-assist program for going downhill. It also has optional air suspension to give the car extra ground clearance plus Audis all-wheel-drive quattro system, which sends 60 percent of torque to the rear tires.
Not shown: Audi is one of the Volkswagen groups success stories. To keep up the momentum, lots of new models are coming – among them are: a smaller SUV likely to be called the Q5, A6 and A4 versions with Audis all-wheel-drive quattro system, an A4 coupe, and a supercar based on the Gallardo sports car from its Italian unit, Lamborghini.
Bentley, Volkswagen groups British luxury brand, will beat arch rival Rolls-Royce to market with a top-of-the-range convertible. Based on the Arnage, the new Azure convertible will be Bentleys flagship – just like the original Azure introduced in 1995. The four-seat Azure will resemble the Arnage Drophead concept car unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March. The Azure will be introduced early next year. Rolls-Royce plans to launch its convertible version of the ultra-luxury Phantom, likely to be called the Corniche, in 2007.
The Z4 coupe likely will go on sale next summer as BMWs answer to the Porsche Cayman S, which debuts at the IAA. The Z4 coupe will be built at BMWs US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, alongside the Z4 roadster.
The coupe will be powered by a 260hp, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder gasoline engine. M versions of the car get a 360hp variant of the M3s 3.2-liter I-6 gasoline engine.
BMWs X3 hybrid is equipped with super capacitors that BMW calls supercaps. These provide short, high-energy bursts of power to an electric motor during standing-start acceleration, adding torque and power but saving fuel. Supercaps are lighter than a full hybrid powertrain, and can be stored in the door sills.
Production cars: 3 series station wagon
BMW says the fourth-generation 3 series station wagon, which it markets under the name Touring, was developed in parallel with the 3-series sedan but as a different model. Although its front looks identical to the sedans, BMW gave the station wagon a coupe-like appearance back from the A-pillars.
The station wagons luggage capacity is boosted by 25 liters to 460 liters. By equipping the car with run-flat tires, BMW has been able to add a storage box beneath the luggage compartment floor. The car is 42mm longer, (4520mm), 78mm wider (1817mm) and 9mm taller (1418mm) than its predecessor. The wheelbase is stretched 35mm to 2760mm.
General Motors wants Cadillac, its US luxury marque, to become a global brand. That is why GM developed the BLS lower-premium sedan just for Europe.
This baby Cadillac is designed to appeal to European consumers tastes for cars smaller than the beefier Caddys favored by US buyers. Although based on the Saab 9-3, the BLS has Cadillacs bold, edgy look.
GM will build about 10,000 units a year of the BLS at Saabs plant in Trollhättan, Sweden. The BLS will go on sale next March.
To compete with Mercedes AMG and BMW M, the two German carmakers high-performance divisions, Cadillac will bring V versions of the STS sedan and XLR roadster to Europe early next year. Those cars are powered by supercharged versions of the Cadillac Northstar 4.4-liter, V-8, gasoline engine. The STS-Vs engine has 476hp, the XLR-Vs has 448hp.
Technology: The BLS will be the first Cadillac to be sold in Europe with a diesel engine – a 150hp, 1.9-liter common-rail unit from GM Powertrain. It will have three turbocharged gasoline engines – two 2.0-liter units with 175hp or 210hp and a 255hp, 2.8-liter, V-6 unit sourced from GMs Holden subsidiary in Australia.
Production cars: Aveo
Chevrolet Europe adds the Aveo four-door sedan to its lineup. Chevrolet parent General Motors touts the Aveo as its world car. It will be built by GM Daewoo in Korea, China and South America and sold in more than 120 countries. Europe will get Korean-built Aveos next spring. Prices will start at E12,000. Chevrolet Europe CEO Hardy Spranger believes the Aveo has great potential in central and eastern Europe, where buyers prefer sedans.
Technology: The Aveo will be sold in Europe with 1.2- and 1.4-liter gasoline engines. Next year it likely will get a 1.5-liter common-rail diesel powerplant that GM Daewoo will start building at a new engine plant in Kunsan, Korea, under license from the Italys diesel engine specialist VM Motori.
Not shown: The launch of Chevrolets new S3X SUV will wait until the 2005 Geneva auto show because sister brand Opel debuts its all-new Frontera at the IAA (See Opel entry, Page 27). Both SUVs will be built on the same architecture in Korea.
Citroen continues to present futuristic-looking concepts at the IAA.
Two years ago the C-Airlounge design study previewed the French carmakers new C6 flagship executive sedan that debuted in March.
This time Citroen shows the striking yellow C-SportLounge. Based on the C5, the concept is inspired by airplane design with sweeping, aerodynamic exterior looks to reduce drag and a cockpit-style integrated drivers seat and console inside. Citroen calls the concept a 2+2 coupe but it has two small rear doors with reverse opening for easy access to the back seats. Its not clear which future production models the concept will inspire, but with the current C5 is in its fifth year and needing replacement in 2007, the concept could hint at the way Citroens next upper-medium model will look.
Production car: C3
The radical design of the C3 marked a return to Citroens traditional quirky design philosophy four years ago. For the IAA, the small-segment car gets a minor face-lift that mostly upgrades the cars interior features.
Production car: 300C diesel
Chrysler will debut its 300C with a diesel engine and the name CRD. The 300C CRD uses a Mercedes-Benz 3.0-liter, V-6 turbo-diesel engine. The diesel unit produces 218hp and will be available in the sedan and station wagon. The 300C diesel goes on sale shortly after the IAA. Prices start at E36,000.
Concept cars: Caliber, Nitro
The Chrysler group has big plans for its Dodge brand in Europe. Dodge sold 176 units in western Europe in the first seven months, according to JATO Dynamics. By 2010, Chrysler aims to sell 50,000 Dodge-badged vehicles annually in western Europe.
Chrysler executives expect most of those sales to come from the Caliber lower-medium hatchback. A near-production version of the car debuts in Frankfurt. The car goes on sale in Europe in March or April 2006. Chrysler hopes the Calibers striking design features – a high roof, bulging bumpers and prominent, distinctive cross-shaped grille – will appeal to young Europeans.
The Nitro medium SUV, which has similar bold styling, is expected to go on sale in early 2007. In Europe, the US-built Dodge cars will be sold through an expanded Chrysler-Jeep dealership network.
Chrysler will position Dodge as an affordable brand in Europe, with prices up to 15 percent below those charged by competitors.
Technology: The Caliber will be the first Chrysler group car available with all-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission. European automakers including Volkswagen, Ford Europe and Fiat have rejected CVTs in favor of automated manual transmissions, which are smaller, lighter and cheaper to produce.
The Caliber will get Japanese supplier JATCOs second-generation CVT, which Chrysler says offers better fuel economy and performance than the suppliers first-generation unit.
The five-door hatchback will be the first DaimlerChrysler model to get the so-called world engine, a new four-cylinder gasoline unit that D/C developed with Hyundai and Mitsubishi. The engine debuted on the Hyundai Sonata. The Calibers 136hp, 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine (for Europe only) will come from Volkswagen.
The Caliber is underpinned by a new platform that Chrysler jointly developed with Mitsubishi.
The D-Compact 4x4 will be the successor to the aging Terios small SUV. The new model will be much larger than the current Terios, which has been on the market since 1997. It will share parts but not a platform with the new RAV4 medium SUV from parent Toyota. The new RAV4 debuts at the IAA. (See Toyota entry, Page 29).
The Terios successor goes on sale early next year. The HVS is a hybrid sports car concept that combines a 1.5-liter engine with a rear electric motor.
Production model: Punto
Fiats new small car has a big challenge – save the carmaker. If Fiat can sell about 360,000 Puntos annually, parent Fiat Auto will be able to post an operating profit next year, its first for six years.
If the Punto misses the target, its hard to see how Fiat can recover from its current sales slump and widening losses. The struggling automakers crisis will become a catastrophe.
Fiat group and Fiat Auto CEO Sergio Marchionne says the Punto is crucial to Fiats plan to return to profitability because it represents 25 percent of Fiats production.
To help meet European Union pedestrian-safety regulations that come into force October 1, Fiat made the new Punto 190mm longer than the current model. This allows more crash-absorption space between the hood and the engine and radiator.
But Fiat says supersizing the Punto also allowed it to offer class-leading interior space. Details about the cars interior features are being guarded until the car is unveiled in Frankfurt.
The first-generation Punto, introduced in 1993, turned around Fiats fortunes. At its peak in 1996, Fiat built 666,705 units of the car. Fiat plans to build 360,000 Puntos annually. Last year Fiat made 320,761 Puntos.
Italdesign Giugiaro styled the sporty-looking third-generation Punto. The independent design house also penned the cars first generation. The second-generation Puntos design was done by Fiat.
Punto sales start September 24 at a base price of E11,000 in Italy.
Fiat will continue selling the current Punto after the launch of the new version. Renault is doing the same with the new and old Clio, and Peugeot will sell the 206 alongside its successor, the 207, starting next year.
Technology: Fiat cut development costs for the Punto by basing the car on a common architecture developed with Opel. General Motors German subsidiary is using the architecture for its new Corsa, which debuts at the Geneva auto show in March 2004.
Not shown: Fiat will launch its Sedici small SUV at the Bologna auto show in December, alongside a Panda SUV-style crossover to be called the Monster.
The Sedici will be built alongside a Suzuki small SUV at the Japanese carmakers plant in Esztergom, Hungary.
The Iosis design study for a coupe-like four-seat sedan will play a critical role at Ford Europe.
The Iosis carries the design DNA of future Ford models for the region, starting with the next-generation Mondeo upper-medium sedan in early 2007.
This vehicle is to show you, in a quite exaggerated way, the design language of all future Ford cars, Ford Europe CEO Lewis Booth said at a press preview of the concept at Londons Canary Wharf on August 30.
The Ford brand has lost considerable market share in Europe over the past decade. When he rejoined Ford from Mazda two years ago, Booth was convinced Ford needed a new design direction.
Booth persuaded Martin Smith, then head of design at GM Europe and the man who led the team responsible for the look of the latest Opel/Vauxhall Astra, to switch to Ford to lead its design renaissance.
The Iosis concept is not abstract thinking on the part of Ford Europe, Smith said. The study embodies all the design elements of the next generation of Ford cars in Europe.
The Iosis has dynamic lines, muscular wheel arches, flared door sills and an inverted trapezoidal grille.
Production cars: Galaxy, Focus ST, plus Fiesta and Fusion face-lifts
Ford will show a production version of its Galaxy large minivan. The seven-seat minivan will be built on Fords C1 Plus architecture making it a stretched version of the Ford Focus. A Ford source said no final decision has been made to call it the Galaxy. For the past 10 years, Ford designed, developed and manufactured the Galaxy in partnership with Volkswagen. The VW version is the Sharan. Both cars were made at the Autoeuropa factory in Setubal, Portugal. The new Galaxy will be produced at Fords factory in Genk, Belgium, starting in March. It was developed exclusively by Ford.
Also making its debut will be the Focus ST. The performance hatchback will come with a 2.5-liter, 225hp, five-cylinder engine derived from Volvos five-cylinder unit. This will be the first time Ford has re-engineered a Volvo engine to Ford requirements.
Ford also will show face-lifted versions of the Fiesta small car and Fusion small minivan.
Production model: Civic, Civic hybrid
With the eighth generation of the Civic, Honda is making a sharp visual break from the past.
The new Civic, like its predecessors, is a model of space efficiency. And buyers will have several choices from Hondas menu of highly regarded powertrains, including a new 140hp 1.8-liter gasoline engine.
But all of those typical Honda attributes are wrapped in dramatic styling meant to stand out from rivals.
The five-door Civic to be displayed at the IAA is only slightly changed from the concept car shown last spring in Geneva. The production version keeps the concepts wide stance, rear door handles mounted at the back of the window opening and the clear plastic lens above the bumper that connects the headlamps. It goes on sale in January 2006.
The new Civic is 35mm shorter and lower than the previous model, but also 65mm wider.
Honda hopes the new styling will appeal to younger buyers – the current average Civic buyer is 50. Honda will build the Civic in Swindon, England.
Technology: In addition to the 1.8-liter engine, buyers can choose from a 83hp 1.4-liter gasoline engine or a 140hp 2.2-liter diesel. The diesel has a six-speed manual transmission. Gasoline engines can have a six-speed manual or six-speed automated manual. Honda will show a four-door Civic with a new-generation hybrid powertrain. It goes on sale in January.
Talking point: Honda is launching the new Civic around the world this year. The platform is global, but each region has different body styles, including three-doors and five-doors exclusive to Europe.
Not shown: The new Civic three-door will appear at next years Geneva auto show.
The HND-2 three-door concept previews Hyundais next-generation Accent. Europe will get the production version of the lower-medium hatchback from Korea starting early next year.
The Portico sport wagon concept makes its European debut at the IAA. After its world premier at the Chicago auto show in February, Hyundai North America recently killed plans to build a new large minivan because it wants to make a car similar to the Portico instead.
Hyundai hasnt decided whether to offer Europe a vehicle derived from the Portico, which is design to accommodate a hybrid powertrain.
Production car: Getz face-lift
Hyundais best selling model in western Europe gets a face-lift. The new look includes rounded headlamps and a bigger, bolder grille.
Another part of the cars mid-cycle upgrade is the addition of a new diesel engine. Customers in Europe have bought 266,000 of the 550,000 Getz models Hyundai has built since the car was introduced in 2002.
Technology: The restyled Getz will use Hyundais more powerful and more efficient 1.5-liter turbodiesel. The inline four-cylinder engine replaces the outdated 1.5-liter I-3. The new unit has two power levels, 88hp and 110hp, up from 76hp and 82hp offered with the old engine. The I-4 burns 9 percent less fuel than the I-3.
The Jaguar XK is one of the most important introductions in the British firms long history.
Jaguar has struggled financially for a long time. It badly needs the new car to sell well and reinvigorate interest in the brand.
The XK will be the only sports car the company makes at the moment. As such, it becomes the symbol of Jaguars sporting heritage.
The automaker calls the latest XK the most technically advanced Jaguar ever built. But it is really an evolution of the aluminum monocoque design launched in 2002 on the XJ sedan.
The XK production car is derived from the Advanced Lightweight Coupe concept that debuted at the Detroit auto show in January. Design director Ian Callum led the team that styled the car.
Jaguar says the XK features a tauter, more athletic look than the previous generation, which was introduced in 1996. Jaguar claims the car will be more reminiscent of earlier XKs and the C-, D- and E Type models rather than the previous generation.
For more than 100 years British monarchs and royalty around the world have been chauffeured in Daimlers. At the IAA, Jaguar revives its Daimler ultra-luxury sub-brand after a three-year absence. It is launching the Daimler Super Eight, a long-wheelbase version of the XJ sedan.
Exterior and interior features that distinguish a Daimler from a Jaguar include a different grille, plus wood trim and leather to rival Rolls-Royce.
The Super Eight is expected to be priced well over E100,000, making it Jaguars most expensive sedan. Jaguar has not said whether the Daimler name will return to North America.
Technology: The new XK is built on an all-aluminum monocoque structure similar to the current XJ sedan. The body is 31 percent stiffer than the current XK, which was introduced in 1996.
Jaguar cut the cars weight to 1,595kg from 1,660kg by using aluminum.
The XK is powered by Jaguars naturally aspirated 4.2-liter, 300hp AJV8 engine. Top speed is electronically limited to 250kph.
The engine is mated to a new six-speed Jaguar Sequential Shift transmission. Jaguar will drop its famous J-gate shifter. The new system features a sport mode and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, the first ever for the brand.
The XK will get Europes first application of a pop-up hood system designed to meet new pedestrian safety rules (See story, Page 33).
Talking point: When the name Daimler appears on a Jaguar, its pronounced DAME-ler, not DIME-ler, as in DaimlerChrysler. Both names derive from the same man – auto industry pioneer Gottlieb Daimler. Jaguar bought the Daimler brand in 1960 and has used it since for its most exclusive sedans.
Jeep Compass Rallye
The Chrysler group will show two very different concepts as part of its plans to expand its Jeep off-road brand.
The boxy Patriot has Jeeps traditional rugged looks and four-wheel-drive capability. The Patriots front end resembles the Jeep Wrangler while it has the square overall looks of the Cherokee. It is expected to go on sale in Europe and the US starting 2007.
The Compass Rallye, the second Jeep concept, likely will go on sale starting in late 2006. This study has a low-slung sporty design more suited to European tastes and it could be seen as a Toyota RAV4 rival.
Chrysler also hopes the cars softer design and on-road driving capability will attract first-time and female buyers to the brand. Both the Patriot and Jeep Compass Rallye are planned as entry-level Jeep models.
They share their architecture with the Dodge Caliber lower-medium model that Chrysler will launch next year.
Kia joins the growing number of automakers considering building minivan/SUV crossovers. Its Multi-S crossover concept is based on the Carens medium minivan but, at 4545mm, the concept is 52mm longer than the Carens. Kia calls the Multi-S a next-generation cross utility vehicle, or CUV.
Production car: Second-generation Magentis
Kia is giving the second-generation Magentis what it needs to compete in Europe: a diesel engine. The large sedan adds a new, 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder common-rail turbodiesel. The 135hp engine joins a powertrain lineup that includes two gasoline engines: a 2.0-liter I-4 and a 2.7-liter V-6. Because they are more fuel efficient than gasoline engines, diesel versions are particularly sought after in larger cars. The new Magentis also is 5mm longer (4735mm) and 70mm taller (1480mm) than the model it replaces.
Technology: The Picanto is the first minicar from South Korea to offer a diesel engine. The new 75hp, I-3 unit was created by removing a cylinder from the new 1.5-liter I-4 engine used by Kia and its parent Hyundai. At 1.1-liters, the Picanto has the worlds second smallest diesel engine. Smarts 799cc I-3 is the smallest. The Picanto diesel goes on sale at the end of the year.
Talking point: Kia doesnt want to give up any capacity at its assembly plant in Zilina, Slovakia. The factory will have a capacity of 200,000 units a year, but can grow to 300,000. Kia parent Hyundai planned to use the additional 100,000 units. But Kias sales are booming in Europe. Kia expects to sell 336,000 units in Europe this year, up from 218,000 in 2004. By year-end, Kia expects Europe to be its most important export region, passing North America.
Production car: Gallardo Spyder
The Spyder is the convertible version of the Gallardo, which has been the most popular Lamborghini model in years. The cars powered roof stows in a compartment behind the seats.
The Spyders zip comes from the same 5.0-liter V-10 used in the Gallardo coupe. The engine is rated at 500hp. The Spyder goes on sale in early 2006, with a price around E160,000. Lamborghini expects to build about 4,000 Spyders in 2006.
Concept car: LF-A
Lexus shows its supercar concept, the LF-A, which debuted at the Detroit auto show in January.
Production cars: GS450h, SC430
Lexus is using hybrid technology from parent Toyota to distinguish itself from Europes premium-segment leaders – BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
The GS450h makes its European debut at the IAA. The BMW 5-series competitor combines a 3.5-liter, V-6 gasoline engine with an electric motor to offer 340hp.
When it goes on sale in early 2006, the GS450h will be the second Lexus to offer hybrid technology, joining the RX400h, which made its market debut in Europe this summer. A hybrid version of the upper-premium LS sedan is expected in spring 2007.
Lexus also will show its face-lifted SC430 for the first time in Europe. The updated version of the luxury coupe-cabriolet gets adaptive front lights, a feature already on Lexus RX, GS and LS models, and a six-speed automatic transmission. SC430 sales start in November.
Production car: 57S
For customers not satisfied with the 550hp, 5.5-liter, V-12 engine in the Maybach 57 sedan, DaimlerChryslers ultra-luxury brand will offer a more powerful version. The Maybach 57 Spezial has an AMG-tuned 612hp, 6.0-liter, V-12 engine that goes from 0-100kph in five seconds. The 57S is due to go on sale starting in November. It will cost about E417,600. The standard 57 costs E365,400.
The Sassou is meant to give hints about Mazdas future plans for the Mazda2, its small-segment car. Sassou means dashing or elegant in Japanese.
The concept is a three-door hatchback that was designed by Mazdas styling studio in Ober-ursel, near Frank-furt. Among the features are a key that uses a universal serial bus (USB) port and rear seats that can be moved.
Mazda says the Sassou is the first of three concepts designed at its regional studios. Madza says all three cars maintain a Mazda identity. A concept from the Yokohama studio will be shown at the Tokyo auto show in October. A concept from the Irvine, California, studio will be shown at the Detroit auto show in January.
Mercedes S class
Interest in hybrid powertrains is high – driven by rising fuel costs and consumers positive response to the technology. Mercedes-Benz will show two varieties of hybrids at this years IAA. The redesigned S class likely will be used to show a powertrain with a V-6 engine combined with two electric motors. At low speeds, the system can propel the vehicle on battery power only. Mercedes has been working on a
gasoline-engine version for Japan and North America, and a diesel engine version for Europe. The CLK class will be used to show another fuel-saving powertrain. This one mates a V-8 engine with a starter-generator. The starter-generator stops the engine when the car comes to a stop. It quickly restarts the engine when the driver releases the brake pedal.
One other treat: The engine in the CLK hybrid is a new, four-valve-per-cylinder, 4.6-liter V-8 rated at 388hp. It debuts in the new S class this autumn and will be available for the CLK in spring 2006.
Production cars: S class, R class, ML63 AMG
Frankfurt is the official coming out party for the redesigned, eighth-generation S class. But Mercedes already has released pictures and technical details, and allowed journalists to drive the car. The new S class is 33mm longer and 29mm taller than its predecessor. The wheelbase is stretched 70mm. Under the hood is a new generation of engines with four valves per cylinder, as Mercedes switches from its three-valve design.
A short-wheelbase version of the R class, designed for European driving conditions, makes it world premier. Mercedes trimmed 235mm from the cars length – it measures 4922mm compared with the long-wheelbase R class. The R class shares its platform with the M class and the next-generation G class SUVs. The top end of the M-class range, the ML63 AMG, also will be on display. AMG, Mercedes in-house tuning specialist, has developed a 510hp, 6.2-liter, V-8 gasoline engine for the SUV. Eventually the engine will be available in other AMG-badged Mercedes models. It is designed to go under the hood of any Mercedes, except for the A class and B class.
Technology: The redesigned S class is loaded with technology. The braking system uses forward-looking radar sensors that measure the distance to the next vehicle and will automatically activate the brakes if a crash is imminent. The cars crash-preparation system, called Presafe, now inflates chambers inside the seats to help position and cushion occupants. It also automatically closes the side windows and sunroof. An infrared night vision system is optional.
Inside, Mercedes adds a control knob to the center console to control the COMAND multimedia unit.
But learning from BMWs experience with iDrive, Mercedes also includes buttons to activate most common audio and ventilation controls.
Talking point: The S class will be a crucial test for Mercedes-Benz. Can the automaker successfully launch the technology-laden flagship while avoiding the electronics-related trouble that damaged the last E-class launch and tarnished the brand? If there are troubles, it will add more urgency to new Mercedes Car Group CEO Dieter Zetsches need to make changes at the Mercedes.
Mitsubishi Concept Sportback
Concept car: Concept Sportback
The striking shark-like mouth on Mitsubishis Concept Sportback likely will feature on the Japanese brands future production vehicles. The concept was created in Mitsubishis European design center in Trebur, near Frankfurt. It previews a new range of models planned by Mitsubishi over the next three years including an SUV to be developed with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Mitsubishis successor to the Lancer lower-medium car.
The prototype is Mitsubishis first use of its flexible lower-medium segment architecture developed with the Chrysler group.
Nissan adds two new models to its European lineup. The first, the Note small minivan, closely resembles its platform sibling, the Modus, which is built by alliance partner Renault.
But the Notes 2600mm wheelbase is 118mm longer than the Modus. This gives the Note more interior cabin space than the Modus. Outside, the Note has vertical taillights and similar headlights to the Nissan Micra. The Note goes on sale next spring.
The Micra C+C is the coupe-cabriolet version of the Micra small-segment hatchback. The C+C is 90mm longer than the Micra hatchback at the back to provide extra room to stow its two-piece folding hardtop roof.
Nissan plans to make about 26,000 units of the E16,000 to E17,000 Micra C+C. Sales start in November.
Talking point: Production of the Note starts in Nissans Sunderland, England, plant in January. The factory also will begin building the P32L crossover in December 2006. The P32L is based on the Qashqai concept, which was shown at the Geneva auto show in 2004.
Opel Astra TwinTop
Opel is preparing a new generation of the Frontera – one that moves the SUV away from its truck roots. The concept will be a lightly disguised variant of the production design.
Gone is the body-on-frame platform from the Isuzu Rodeo. The new Frontera will use General Motors Theta unibody architecture. This platform is also used for Chevrolet Europes S3X, and the Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Torrent and Saturn Vue in the US. Also missing is a low-range transmission case. The Frontera and S3X will be built by GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Co. in South Korea. The engine lineup is expected to be a 2.2-liter four cylinder, a 3.2-liter V-6 and Opels 1.9-liter diesel four cylinder in 120hp and 150hp versions.
Production cars: Astra TwinTop, Vectra OPC, Vectra Signum, Zafira CNG
The four-seat Twin Top is the fourth body style in the Astra line. But Opel says that 70 percent of the TwinTops bodywork is new.
The cars three-section steel roof, supplied by Car Top Systems, stows in the truck. Opel says dividing the roof into three sections keeps about half of the trunks 440 liters of space open for cargo with the top stowed.
A push of a button raises the stowed roof in the trunk by 25cm to make it easier to reach cargo. The top can be raised or lowered in less than 30 seconds.
The Astra TwinTop will be built at Opels plant in Antwerp, Belgium. The change displaces contract manufacturer Bertone, which had built the previous Astra convertible in its factory in Italy.
Opel Performance Center is the automakers move to compete with the Ford ST and Volkswagen GTI and R high-performance series.
The Vectra OPC is the second high-performance vehicle in the Opels lineup, following the Astra OPC earlier this year. The Vectra OPC is powered by a 255hp, turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6 engine. OPC versions of the Zafira and Corsa are expected over the next several months.
Vauxhall versions carry the VXR designation.
Opel also is launching the second generation of its compressed-natural-gas-fueled Zafira. Four storage tanks mounted in a steel box near the rear axle give the vehicle a range of about 540km. The vehicle also has a 14-liter gasoline tank as a backup if a CNG refueling station is not near.
Opel sold 20,000 units of the first-generation CNG Zafira. The new version goes on sale in spring 2006. The Vectra and its long-wheelbase derivative, the Signum, get a mild face-lift to make the car look more like the new Astra and Zafira.
Talking point: How will Bertone cope with the end of its Astra production contract, the only assembly work the Italian company had booked? There has been talk that Bertone may build a small run of Astra convertibles for the US market, to be sold as Saturns or Chevrolets.
Peugeot 20Cup (above) and 407 coupe
20Cup is a three-wheel, two-seat roadster whose front-end previews the design of the 207 small car, which succeeds Peugeots best selling 206 next year.
The Moovie, an egg-shaped two seater, is the work of Portuguese design student Andre Costa, who won a global competition held by the French carmaker to design futuristic-looking Peugeots.
Production cars: 407 Coupe, 206 sedan, 1007 RC
The upper-medium 406 Coupe penned by Italian design house Pininfarina was widely regarded as one of the most elegant car designs in recent years. Peugeot turned to its own styling department for the 407 Coupe. IAA visitors will judge whether Gerard Welter, Peugeots design manager, and his team have created a worthy successor to the 406 Coupe. The 407 Coupe is built at PSA/Peugeot-Citroens plant in Rennes, western France. The car goes on sale after the IAA with a base price of E30,000.
Rather than copy rival Renault and design a car specifically for emerging markets, Peugeot is adapting its 7-year-old 206 small car for those markets. Developing countries will get a sedan version of the 206. At the IAA, Peugeot will debut the three-box, four-door 206 that will be assembled in Iran by Peugeots local partner Iran Khodro, the countrys largest carmaker. The car made in Iran will be exported to Russia, Turkey, central Europe and the Middle East. Later, Peugeots subsidiary in Argentina will build a version for South America. Peugeots Chinese joint venture, Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile, will start building the 206 hatchback in China at the end of this year.
The 1007 RC is a sporty version of the 1007, Peugeots small minivan with power sliding doors launched in April. It makes its European debut in Germany in 2006.
Porsche Cayman S
The Cayman S, the first member of the Cayman family of cars, is a coupe derived from the Porsche Boxster.
Slotted between the 911 Carrera and Porsche Boxster S, the starting price of the Cayman S will be E58,529, or about E7,000 more than the Boxster S.
The six-cylinder, 3.4-liter, 295hp engine on the Cayman S is more powerful than the 280hp unit of the Boxster S. Porsche hopes to broaden the sports car makers appeal with younger car buyers – people in their late 30s – by giving the Cayman S a hatch and doubling the rear storage space compared with the Boxster S. The average buyer of the Boxster is 42.
Porsche named the car after the caiman, a species of small crocodilian known to be swift and nimble. At Porsche the letter S denotes a special model. The name Cayman S suggests that Porsche also will introduce a base model with less power.
Coachbuilder Valmet of Finland started production of the Cayman S this summer. A small number also will be built in Stuttgart, Germany.
Porsche will show a face-lift of the Cayenne premium SUV. The German carmaker wont reveal the changes, but one expected difference is sharper angles on the headlights to give the car a more menacing face. The Cayenne needs to look fresh against new competitors, such as the Audi Q7, which shares its platform with the Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.
Not shown: Porsche will build its long-awaited fourth model – the four-door Panamera – but wont reveal it just yet. The car is due in 2009.
The Egeus offers clues about a luxury SUV that new CEO Carlos Ghosn wants Renault to have on the road by 2009.
Renault chief designer Patrick Le Quement calls the Egeus an SUV for town and country, a kind of tall coupe. Renault says the SUVs fluid and soft hood suggests a luxury coupe.
The Egeus could be built in Sandouville, France, where Renault builds its other upmarket vehicles – the Vel Satis and Laguna sedans and Espace minivan.
The concept has a 3.0-liter, V-6 diesel mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Renault expects to tap into partner Nissans expertise in 4x4 powertrains.
The Clio Renault Sport concept is an early look at the high-performance version of the new Clio production model. Its due to go on sale in the summer 2006, replacing the 2.0-liter, 16-valve Clio Renault Sport. The concepts underfloor air diffuser is an aerodynamic device adopted from Formula One racing.
Production car: Clio
The third-generation Clio shares its platform with the Renault Modus and Nissan Micra and Note.
Renault says the new Clio was developed in 28 months, the shortest time ever for a Renault vehicle. The previous-generation Clio took 49 months to develop. Renault credits the shortened development time with limiting the investment in the new Clio to E930 million.
The Clio goes on sale in the middle of September.
Technology: A 2.0-liter diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission is a new powertrain from the Renault/Nissan alliance. It will be used in the Renault Laguna either late this year or early in 2006.
Saabs 9-5 sedan gets a face-lift that will carry it over until a redesign in 2008.
The front and rear designs are changed, along with a refreshed interior. The 9-5s face has headlamps and a grille that resemble the 9-X concept of four years ago.
Under the hood there is a choice of engines. They are: a 1.9-liter diesel rated at 150hp, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder rated at 150 hp and a 2.3-liter turbocharged four cylinder rated at 260hp. But packaging problems keep the 9-3s 2.8-liter V-6 out of the 9-5.
Introduced earlier this year at the Seoul auto show, the SsangYong Kyron is a five-door SUV that seats five passengers.
The all-wheel-drive Kyron is 4660mm long, with a wheelbase of 2740mm and an independent rear suspension. The styling is being credited to Ken Greenley, the Korean automakers creative director.
Power is expected to come from a 2.0-liter, 140hp diesel.
Sales begin in the first quarter of 2006.
Skoda Octavia RS
Skoda has dipped into parent Volkswagens parts bin for a 200hp engine to create the Octavia RS. It will be sold in sedan and station wagon versions.
The turbocharged, 2.0-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder engine is also used in the VW Golf GTI and other vehicles within the VW and Audi brands.
Skodas RS series identifies models with stiffer suspensions and specific bodyside cladding. They compete against other factory-tuned vehicles such as Fords ST models, Opels OPC models and Cupra models from sibling brand Seat.
The 200hp engine pushes the Octavia RS to a top speed of 240kph, making it the fastest Skoda yet.
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Now 7 years old, the Grand Vitara medium SUV looks dated, which is why competitors such as the Nissan X-Trail and Toyota RAV4 have passed it in unit sales. Suzuki will launch a new, bigger Grand Vitara in three- and five-door versions. The third-generation Grand Vitara will offer a smoother ride than the current model by combining a monocoque body with a built-in-ladder frame. Suzuki wants to sell 60,000 Vitaras a year in Europe – about 70 percent of those sales are expected to come from the 1.9-liter diesel version that arrives in the spring. Prices start at E19,690 for the three-door Grand Vitara.
Toyota shows a design study for a two-door, three-seat minicar that features two innovations for drivers living in crowded cities. These are doors that hinge away from the body to save space in narrow parking spots and a shelf-like fourth seat that takes up far less space than a standard car seat. The Endos doors are similar to those on the Opel Trixx concept shown at the 2004 Geneva auto show.
Production cars: Yaris, RAV4
Named European Car of the Year in 2000, the first Yaris is credited with helping Toyota shake its conservative image in Europe, drawing younger buyers to the brand.
The second-generation Yaris is slightly larger than the current model and has a more aggressive front end. It will be offered with 1.0-, 1.3- and 1.5-liter gasoline engines and a 1.4-liter turbo-diesel engine. Styled by Toyotas design studio in southern France, the new Yaris will be built at Toyotas plant in Valenciennes, northern France, where the current model also is made. The car goes on sale in December.
The RAV4, Europes top selling medium SUV, is now coming in its third generation since its original launch 11 years ago.
Larger than its predecessor, the new RAV4 features the revered angle C-pillar that also is used on the Toyota Corolla Verso and Avensis Verso minivans.
The new RAV4 goes on sale starting in early 2006.
Volkswagen Concept C was introduced at the Geneva auto show in 2004.
The IAA marks two important premiers for the Volkswagen group:
1. Wolfgang Bernhards show debut as chairman of the core VW brand
2. The launch of the Eos coupe convertible.
Bernhard, who has avoided media interviews throughout the summer, knows that he and the Eos are expected to help turn around the troubled automaker.
Bernhard has been flying to the Eos assembly plant in Portugal every two weeks for the past three months to check on the cars progress leading up to its launch, company sources said.
One focus has been to ensure that the Eos folding hardtop works perfectly. There was some concern about noise when driving with the roof closed. Webasto supplies the roof.
Bernhard has personally checked on the colors and trim of the Eos models to be shown in Frankfurt.
VW needs a hit with the Eos. In Europe, the carmakers image has been hurt because of bribery and corruption charges. In the US, sales of the VW brand are down 22.2 percent after seven months compared with the same period last year.
The automaker points out that the Eos was developed as a separate model, not just a convertible version of an existing model. But the car does get its powertrain from the Passat.
The name Eos comes from the Greek goddess of the dawn. VW notes that Eos is also the mother of the wind, which continues its tradition of giving sporty coupes wind names – such as Scirocco in 1976 and Corrado in 1998.
The Eos will be built at VWs Autoeuropa plant in Sebutal, 50km southeast of Lisbon. Sales in Europe begin in February 2006, with an expected price of about E30,000.
Sales in the US and Canada will begin next May. About 45,000 units a year are earmarked for North America, which would account for about 32 percent of planned production.
VW also adds the R32 and GT, two higher performance versions of the Golf. The R32 is equipped with a 250hp, 3.2-liter, V-6 gasoline engine and all-wheel drive. The GT uses both a combined supercharger and turbocharger system from Eaton to boost output of the 1.4-liter engine to 170hp. The supercharger provides boost at low engine rpms, then gives way to the turbo at high rpms. The Passat station wagon is a version of the redesigned Passat, which was launched last year. It is marketed under the name Passat Variant. The Jetta is the sedan version of the Golf.
Technology: The standard V-6 engine for the Phaeton luxury sedan and Touareg SUV gets bigger, with displacement raised from 3.2 liters to 3.6 liters. The rated output of the 6.0-liter, W-12 engine available in those vehicles is increased 30hp to 450hp.
The second-generation C70 will be Volvos first coupe-convertible with a retractable hardtop. The previous C70 came in two models: a softtop convertible and a coupe.
The current C70 had its peak year in 2003 with 7,840 units sold. Volvo is hoping to sell 12,000 to 15,000 units of the new model. The four-seat C70 will be made at Pininfarina and Volvos assembly plant in Uddevalla, Sweden. The Italian coachbuilder helped Volvo develop the car.
Technology: The C70 has a new Volvo safety innovation: a door-mounted inflatable curtain airbag that inflates upward when deployed in side-impact collisions. The cars roof is a three-piece retractable design. Volvo started with a coupe design and then made adjustments to make it work as a convertible, C70 design leader Fedde Talsma said.
Volvo will offer the C70 with three, five-cylinder gasoline engines: two naturally aspirated versions producing 140hp and 170hp and a turbocharged T5 rated at 220hp. A 180hp D5 diesel will come in 2006.