Last month's 75th Geneva auto show was as eclectic as expected, with production models and concept vehicles covering the gamut from pickup trucks to exotic sports cars.
Group enjoyed one of the most significant unveilings with the Dodge Caliber concept vehicle — a peek at Chrysler's planned radical departure from the sedan template for the next-generation Neon. Based on the C-segment platform jointly developed with Motors Corp., the Caliber also plays a pivotal role in Dodge's European expansion plans.
Motor Corp. unwrapped the MX-5 (Miata), the replacement for the 6-year-old drop-top. It's the first new-from-the-ground-up version of the roadster since 1989.
The all-new, larger MX-5 employs the same 2L 4-cyl. used in the Mazda6 and Mazda3, but tuned for the MX-5 to develop around 160 hp, roughly a 20-hp hike. It uses the 6-speed manual transmission from the RX-8, again modified and tuned. Job One should be in May.
parent Motor Co., with its SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle) Concept, takes the first step toward a new Ford of Europe design language. The SAV will slot between the Ford Galaxy large multi-purpose vehicle and Mondeo sedan.
's Lagonda Ltd. debuts the new V8 Vantage, a 2-seat coupe that may challenge Porsche's 911. The V8 Vantage's mid-mounted 4.3L DOHC V-8 generates 375 hp and 302 lb.-ft. (410 Nm) of torque at 5,000 rpm. The engine is hand-assembled and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The car has an all-alloy structure, and goes on sale in the U.S. at the end of the year in the $100,000 range.
Corp. highlights its upscale Saab Automobile and Cadillac intitiatives. Saab expands its sparse lineup with a new body style for the 9-3 family: the 9-3 SportCombi hatchback slated to go on sale this fall in the U.S. and Europe. Making its debut on the high-performance Aero SportCombi is a new turbocharged all-aluminum 2.8L DOHC V-6.
GM's commitment to establishing Cadillac as a global luxury marque grows with the BLS compact sedan, which will go on sale in Europe next year. Based on GM's front-wheel-drive Epsilon platform and built by Saab in Sweden, BLS is available with four engine options: a turbodiesel and three gasoline units.
Motor Corp.'s Lexus Div. unveils the all-new Lexus IS sport sedan, which goes on sale at the end of this year. For Europe, Lexus showcases a new, all-aluminum, 2.2L common-rail turbodiesel from Toyota's successful D4 engine family. At 172 hp, Lexus claims it is the most powerful engine in its displacement category. The new IS is 3.5 ins. (9.0 cm) longer and 3.0 ins. (7.5 cm) wider than its predecessor.
Meanwhile,uncovers the important Aygo subcompact, which results from Toyota's collaboration with Peugeot Citroen to build entry-level passenger cars for the European market.
Production of the Aygo (“I go”) at Toyota and Peugeot's joint venture plant in the Czech Republic began in March. The Aygo will make up 100,000 units of the plant's annual output. Toyota's plant in Walbrzych, Poland, will build the 1L gasoline engine for the vehicles. Peugeot will supply the 1.4L diesel engines.