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Shelby Mustang Cobra GT500, Geneva Auto Show, New York Auto Show, Detailers Paradise, Nissan Titan, Porsche 911 Carrera S, Volvo S40
Issue Seventeen
March 28, 2005
2005 Geneva Auto Show
Photo Gallery:
2005 Geneva Auto Show
2005 New York Auto Show
Photo Gallery:
2005 NY Auto Show
Hot Lap with:
Detailers Paradise
Nissan Titan
Porsche 911 Carrera S
2005 Volvo S40

2005 Geneva Auto Show:
Car Shows European Style (continued)

Audi RS4

Radical Concept Car from Geneva

Ferrari F430 Spyder

Visit the:
Geneva Auto Show
Photo Gallery

Official Web sites:
Geneva Auto Show
BMW debuted several new models. What would've qualified for 'most significant'-had a brochure not been "leaked" months ago-was the all-new 3-series. Although modern styling is courtesy of the Bangle-led studio responsible for the 5- and 7-series, this fifth generation of BMW's bread-and-butter car seems less controversial. The comfortable and functional interior is all new, with two different configurations depending on whether iDrive is ordered. Powertrain choices-from 2.5 to three liters of displacement and 215 or 255 horsepower-all should prove fun to drive, despite newfound girth. (It's 2-3 inches bigger in every dimension but height, although the extra 150 lbs. didn't change the perfect 50/50 weight distribution.)

The M6, BMW's 500-horse V10 supercoupe, was also officially unwrapped here. Also shown was the more mainstream 7-series, reworked to ease the typical complaints leveled at this flagship model. Mild restyling brings a more conventional headlight treatment and tones down the funky, notched trunk. The 750i's new V8 makes 360 hp and lb/ft of torque. The iDrive controller is mildly simplified, and suspension and brake tweaks tighten up this already buttoned-down sedan.

Not to be outdone by Audi's A3, BMW has officially decided to bring the 1-series to North America. Although several powertrain combinations and body styles will be available, the Bavarian concern took the opportunity in Geneva to show the top-dog 130i. With the 258-horse inline six from the 3- and 5-series, this diminutive Beemer promises spirited performance and a 0-60 time of about six seconds. Its popularity proven in Europe, the five-door hatchback baby Bimmer-with 30-mpg economy-may become the success the 318ti never was.

The diesel version of VW's next-generation Golf was no surprise. Wearing the same gaping grille as the new Jetta we saw in Detroit, the Golf continues as a de-trunked version of that sedan. The introduction of the new Passat here, however, was a shock-it was supposed to debut in Chicago. Base models will carry the 197-hp turbocharged 2-liter from the GTI, while the 247-horse V6 will be optional. On sale this fall, the new midsizer should help Volkswagen arrest their recent sales slide.

Near-lux Lexus stole headlines with the all-new IS. The sportiest sedan in Lexus' lineup, the US-bound IS will carry a V6 with around 300 horsepower, replacing the creamy inline motor of the previous generation (at Geneva, only a 2.5L, 201-horse version was shown; but we expect a bigger, as-yet-unnamed motor will debut in New York). With styling based upon the LF-S concept, the new IS looks chiseled and far more purposeful than its more sedate ES330 sibling-it should carve serious corners, too.

For the truly well-heeled, a trio of high-end sports cars was unveiled. Lamborghini took the wraps off the topless Murcielago Roadster. Expected in the toniest of dealerships by mid-year, this high-powered hairdryer packs 580 horsepower from its storied V12, channeled to all four wheels through a six-speed manual. None of the raging bull's beauty is lost in the translation to roadster-dom; if anything it looks better. Top speed is 198 m.p.h., although Lamborghini recommends top-down drivers not exceed 99.

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