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Margin Notes

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Margin Notes
Margin Notes

An example is the new triumvirate of the European supermini Peugeot-Citroen-Toyota. Destination varies greatly. “Our Aygo will be the idol of technogenic youth raised on trance samples and grown on the web” - Toyota’s message. And behind the wheel of the Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 clones, they call the older kids more refined. French people! But this is practically the same car in three persons!

Why do manufacturers try to convince that the car is part of a specific lifestyle? Each new generation of the model strives to be a status higher. Is the image already primary? No, an add-in is an add-in. Just cars need to be sold. And in Europe it’s more complicated. Is it because of subtle positioning that paradoxically accompanies yet another unchanging refrain - universality. Manufacturers have to quickly offer popular types, and then … they also breed them by address. Your business is wonderful, marketer … Fashionable is increasingly consonant with the mass. And the mass, alas, is “consumer goods”. Manufacturers do not like the word "consumer goods", so marketers are piling over their theories of differences.

You look at the recent trio of supermini and the second thought: it really became very crowded. The space of the European market is filled to capacity, all niches are occupied. Everything is invented and thought out. However, manufacturers manage to roll out something “new” - in practice, the emergence of new classes comes down to trying to squeeze chairs between the already existing ones. Or to the wonders of unification.

The third thought - when was the proposal so diverse? Hmm, it’s more difficult for car journalists, and the buyer is expanse. What has changed over the 100 years of the Geneva exhibition, apart from the number of new products? Are newer cars prettier? Others. Maybe more reliable? More difficult. More convenient and perfect? Yes! Although the automotive world has been waiting for a qualitative leap for several years, both from cassettes to CDs. For example, at many stands the “ecological” exposure of hybrids has become traditional. But the bowels have not yet run dry and more interest is in fresh serial ones. And before you read the details about them, we’ll reveal a secret. Supermini Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 can easily be bought by guys raised in trance samples, and Toyota Aygo is a sophisticated Frenchwoman.


It seems that Ingolstadt seriously engaged in the rearmament of the lineup. The grand opening of the diabolical Audi RS4 was reserved until the main event of the year to hit for sure.

And the scarlet shell hit the target. Still would! High-speed 4.2 V8 with 420 hp (a little weaker than what is placed on the RS6), the latest version of the Quattro drive, a suspension reduced by 30 mm and the Dynamic Ride Control system with shock absorbers of variable stiffness from the older model are just some of the trump cards of the sports “four”. Audi offers to forget about frequent gear changes, praising high (up to 430 N * m) torque, almost unchanged from 2250 to 7600 rpm. The design has a lot of aluminum parts (even wheel arches), and the interior is also lightweight - due to light and durable “buckets”, carbon fiber and plastic. In total, it turned out something about 4 kg per horsepower. Great proportion for the production sedan! Acceleration to hundreds takes only 4.8 seconds, and this already translates the RS4 into the category of full-fledged sports cars. The speed limit, of course, is limited to 250.

Representatives answer the question “when?” Unequivocally: no later than the summer the car will go on sale in the main European markets. “Ereska” will drop into Russia in the fall. But … what will be the next RS6? Scary to imagine.

And for those fearless customers who are not averse to show off, the company specially charged TT. Seriously: now the dandy coupe tames the first hundred in 5.9 seconds, even in the 1.8T version. The Audi TT Coupe quattro Sport (this is the full name of the new product) differs from the usual coupe in a two-tone bodywork, an external styling package (modified bumpers, sills, tailpipes painted in black, completely special 15-spoke wheels). Well, of course, with a motor: a supercharged 1.8, brought up to 240 hp, is almost as good as a 3.2-liter VR6 in torque and power, and in overclocking to hundreds, it “brings” the top version of a good half second.

Representatively imposing A8 has a new signature lining. So what? And the fact that this is a 4.2 Quattro, whereas previously a stylish trapeze was the privilege of only 12-cylinder “eights”. Alas (fortunately?), Their stylistic superiority comes to an end. Already this spring, the 6- and 8-cylinder versions will also be decorated with a new trim and the accompanying options like a digital tuner and adaptive headlights.


To say that the Bavarians tightly pushed their booth with prime ministers is to say nothing. A restyled 7-Series, a brand new “treshka”, an incredible M6, Z4 coupe with a 2.0i nameplate, a “one” with a 3-liter engine … And almost all of these days will appear at dealers. It is good that the company satiated the press with information about new products in advance, otherwise there would be no crowding.

I still had to push: there were a lot of people who wanted to personally appreciate the long-awaited Pierre-Carden for the 7th series. A major update is expected in three years, but for now - facelift, designed to spur sales and strengthen the position of BMW in the upcoming battle with the S-Class. Inside, new materials, comfortable and stylish 3-spoke steering wheel; under a huge hood - more powerful and economical engines. All this awaits European buyers in the spring. Like the new 3-series with an extended 35 mm base and a bunch of diverse high-tech. The car will appear on the market in four versions: 330i (the same unit in the nearby 1-series), 325i, 320i and 320d. The database has a good set of safe electronics and a 6-speed "mechanics", no five steps …

A brilliant Z4, nicknamed the "three deuces"? Two doors, two seats, two zero. And with such modest quantitative indicators - quite immodest equipment. Yes, and the strength of two liters was removed a lot - one hundred and fifty. James Bond's girlfriend will love it!


After a spectacular debut in Detroit, the Europeans showed another ML. But he was not the star of the show: Mercedes-Benz offers to evaluate the production version of the Compact Sports Tourer. Rate and compare with … S-Klasse! Especially in terms of the amount of space for the rear passengers - here it is really LOT. The immense inside and the compact outside, the B-Klasse will take to the streets in June.

Its "adult" copy - R-Klasse - in a few weeks will celebrate the premiere in New York. The former Grand Sports Tourer will appear in two versions: for Europe (4 + 2 landing pattern) and America (with an extended base and 7-seater saloon). Future buyers are promised a luxurious interior with aluminum and wood inserts, expensive leather and an option at the level of top MB models.

And in the summer, sales of CLK facelift will start. Externally, the coupe and convertible did not change much, but new, more powerful modifications appeared. The CLK 280 (231 hp) and CLK 350 (272 hp) consume gasoline (the latter is equipped with a 7-band automatic by default), then 320 CDI will join them - for the discerning European taste. This is for those who like to drive fast and spend little: a 224-horsepower diesel engine with a maximum torque of 510 Nm burns in the combined cycle only 7.2 liters of diesel fuel! There is nothing to talk about ecology, everything is on the level.

Motor replenishment awaits other MB lines. Starting from spring, the modified V6 will be put on the C-, E- and SLK-Klasse, almost one third more than the previous ones and more than a quarter more deadlifting.

Dodge Caliber acted as a concept, but what! The production version of this golf grader will replace the Dodge / Chrysler Neon and will be the first "global" Dodge, aimed immediately at all possible markets. Designers tried to cater to customers with a wide variety of tastes: there is a presentable appearance, versatility of an SUV, a modest appetite (there will probably be a 2-liter VAG diesel in the range), and the driving performance of a passenger car. Does it look like a crossover? But the dimensions are small: the platform is Lanser, from Mitsubishi! For Caliber, gasoline engines and a variator, developed jointly with the Japanese, were optionally available.

Buyers with more specific requirements will be offered something richer. The concern is proud of five hundred limousines sold last year - that’s it, because the number of potential consumers of auto products for half a million dollars worldwide does not reach 10 thousand. An enviable market share is held by Maybach. Now DaimlerChrysler has even more chances to count on success: a new version of the Maybach 75 - 75S debuted in Geneva. The letter S in the name means Special. What's so special? Firstly, the 6-liter V12 TwinTurbo from AMG has a capacity of 612 hp. (45 hp increase), which gives out 1000 N * m (!) In the range of 2000-4000 rpm. Secondly, a slightly stiffer suspension modified for dynamic driving - the manufacturer believes that the owner of such a car would not mind sometimes sitting behind the wheel. And even more luxury inside!

Chrysler is also not without surprise. Little 300C 5.7 HEMI? Get a sedan or station wagon with a 6.1-liter monster in the engine compartment. But the SRT-8 is unlikely to be ordered before the fall: it will take months to debug production and certification. But - 425 forces, less than 5 seconds to hundreds, the famous cylinder shutdown system and a maximum speed of 270 km / h. Yeah! Those who are still thinking about buying, have a reason to wait a bit … Not far off is the beginning of the assembly of the 300C in Austria, at the same factory with Grand Cherokee. And in the near future Chrysler plans to expand the “right-handed” assortment for countries with left-hand traffic.

Jeep rolled out on the podium a 3-liter diesel Grand Cherokee - the same one, a new generation. It is curious that the company sees it as an economical alternative … Grand Cherokee HEMI 5.7. This will have to be in place in those countries where gasoline is prohibitively expensive. For example, in the UK.


The new generation station wagon did not violate the old diesel traditions of a powerful concern: three out of five modifications of the Croma 2006 work on diesel fuel. Italians believe that the next creation of maestro Giugiaro will stir up the market. There are at least three trump cards: excellent capacity, comfort worthy of the money paid and undeniably exquisite Italian design.

Take a look at the photo - does a 4.75-meter station wagon look bulky? Rather graceful. Inside is already familiar to Fiat "growth" with the gearbox lever on the dashboard. But how is it designed! A neat, tightly knocked-down console is edged by a dark wood insert. And it does not cause rejection at all, on the contrary. The driver will definitely like elegant devices with a noble silver trim and numerous bells and whistles like powerful xenon, cruise control, expensive "music" …

Alfa Romeo did not lag behind, having arranged two premieres at once. The 159th model will replace the 156th series. The "athlete" was remade the suspension, engines and gearboxes replaced with the latest proprietary developments. “Handsome!” Exclaim the most impressionable natures. Until they come across something even more stunning. Brera Series Coupe, Georgetto's long-standing dream! Common with the 159th Alpha platform, 2 + 2 landing pattern. Four-wheel drive and, of course, the most powerful of the V6 concern's disposal - 3.2. And they promise to prepare a convertible for the autumn exhibition in Frankfurt.


And this exhibit is rather from the category of wonders. With the SAV concept, the company intends to cut through a new marketing niche, no less. SAV stands for Sport Activity Vehicle, a vehicle for active life. Having carefully studied the vagaries of customers, the designers put together in one mechanism the ideas of Europeans about what an ideal single-volume device should be like. Something like this: large and spacious, but maneuverable and not burdensome in parking lots and in traffic jams; with the most convenient and customizable living space; economical (diesel is best) and with a modern, elegant appearance. A production car based on the concept, if any, will appear in the Ford line somewhere between the Mondeo station wagon and the Galaxy minivan.

It would seem, what does the sport have to do with it? After all, the Ford's task was to create a practical family car. So after all, nothing prevents making it sporty inside! If you believe the polls, European buyers are crazy about transformable furniture, and the more operations you can do with chairs, it’s better there. The SAV Concept is just such an option: the central seat of the second row moves back into the luggage compartment, forming an unconventional 2 + 2 + 1 scheme. Then the seats, now in the middle row, are slightly shifted to the center to give riders more space. Everything happens without any effort, at the touch of a button. I wonder if this is so much fun - alone in the trunk? Another thing is if there are only four in the car: the free space in the center of the cabin can be occupied, for example, by a refrigerator. And the cheerful colors of the upholstery will create the desired mood. Active and inquisitive!

General motors

In addition to the 9–3 SportCombi station wagon from Saab and the Chevrolet Matiz / Spark, which we already talked about, the “main engines” showed several updates of the near future. The most interesting thing for us is probably the second generation Opel Zafira, which will be released in July. Having retained the advantages of its predecessor (7-seater saloon and Flex7 system), the minivan was transformed externally and internally. Now Zafira fits better with the current Opel range - and not just stylistically. The latest technical developments migrated here: IDSPlus suspension, bi-xenon headlights that monitor the steering wheel turn (this option is still a curiosity on minivans). And new power units (1.6–2.2 liters, 100–200 hp). And is the panoramic roof one of the largest? For this it is worth overpaying!

A little later, in the fall, sales of “hot” versions of Zafira and Astra will start. Zafira OPC with a supercharged 2.0 (240 hp) will be able to compete with serious sedans: up to a hundred, a 7-seater “lighter” accelerates (without jokes) in 7.8 seconds. Its speed limit is a record among mass-produced minivans: more than 230 km / h. Impressive? Us too. We look forward to an opportunity to try! What to say about Astra OPC? With a lower mass, Astra got the same engine, beating 0.8 seconds in Zafira OPC in a sprint to 100 km / h and 9 km / h of maximum speed.

Those who crave real acceleration, GM offers to try out the Corvette Z06. This is the first familiar rocket in Geneva for visitors to the Detroit Auto Show. The numbers on the plate speak for themselves: 500 forces, less than 4 seconds to 100 km / h and three hundred maximum speeds on a specially equipped track.

And here is another purely American guest. Baby Hammer This time, not as a show car, but with the intention of establishing itself in the European market. H2 met here with a misunderstanding: too big, gluttonous … Hummer 3! To conquer the ambitious mini-tank will begin in the summer. Prices, alas, are not yet called, as is average fuel consumption. They say evasively - they say, "savings of up to 11.7 l / 100 km." We recall how much Hummer 2 eats … it turns out that in the combined cycle the "kid" will spend 20-25 liters of 92-th gasoline. OK, feed!

It turns out that owners of Cadillac sometimes think about fuel economy. Especially for the Old World, GM created a small (by Cadillac standards, of course) BLS. The model will be sold only here in Europe and in some countries of Asia. Front-wheel drive with a length of 4680 and a width of 1762 mm is less than CTS and will become an entry-level model. The company will expose the production version in Frankfurt, but it is now known that lovers of gasoline engines will be able to choose between two supercharged 2.0 and one 2.8. For the first time in the history of the brand, there will also be a 1.9-liter diesel engine.


The Japanese made an updated Honda Legend and a diesel version of the FR-V. This 2.2-liter diesel is already familiar to the local public on the Accord and CR-V models. It is much more important that the same unit was planned for the new Civic - one of the main sensations of the exhibition.

Not a sedan - a hatchback. Yes, this form suits him even more! From some angles, neither give nor take, Murano in miniature. Space ship. Lower the ladder? No, not yet: the real, final Civic will have to wait until the fall, before us is a concept. Honda relies on a compact and inexpensive Civic in many countries, no mistake at all. But it's too late to rush around: they have already announced that the 8th generation will appear in stores at the beginning of next year. So serious alteration does not threaten this stranger, except perhaps minor adjustments … It is not yet clear which gasoline engines will make up the company to a 140-horsepower diesel engine.

They will collect the new one at the British Honda plant in Swindon.


There is a surprise for customers who know a lot about sizes and classes: in the summer, the new XG materializes in showrooms. And not just XG, but with the sonorous postposition Grandeur (pronounced with a solid pronouncement of this kind). The essence of the updates is inherent in the obviously European name: Grandeur - size - greatness! Inside, thanks to the increased dimensions and an elongated base, in fact, it has increased. The Koreans made changes to the suspension and equipment, placed under the hood a new 3.3 V6 (233 hp at 6000 rpm and 304 N * m at 3500 rpm.). In the foreseeable future promise diesel 2.2. According to the status, the 5-band “automatic” relies on by default.

Unlike the current generation of the executive sedan, the new one is fully oriented to European taste - just like the Sonata VI exhibited here. This is especially noticeable in straightened headlights with transparent lenses and a characteristic roof line. The feed is more likely American, but very respectable. Particularly acrimonious journalists have already noticed an influx suspiciously reminiscent of the “duck tail” of the BMW 7-Series.

To beat competitors XG will continue to be worthy of build quality, excellent equipment, novelty and design. Last but not least - at a price traditionally advantageous against the background of the "Europeans".


A gift to all fans of Mazda: the company has declassified the facelift "six". It differs from the source by facing, bumpers (these have become even more aggressive), foglights, new discs and exhaust pipes. Updated some interior details: seat upholstery, door handles, panel trim, changed the instrument lighting … But essentially? The suspension has become stiffer, the body's resistance to lateral loads has also grown markedly. The Japanese reduced noise, especially road sounds, and introduced five modernized engines: two 2.0 MZR diesel engines (121 and 143 hp) and three gasoline engines: 1.8 (120 hp), 2.0 (147 hp) and 2.3 (166 hp) Everything except 1.8 combines perfectly with the new 6-speed manual gearbox, and gasoline 2.0 and 2.3 can be ordered with a 5-band Activematic gearbox (now the “automatic” on the Mazda6 is 4-speed). The list of options has also been enriched: a contactless key, anatomical almost-buckets with settings memory, a rain sensor and much more appeared in the list for picks. Our car should appear in the summer. Mazda5 will be brought a little later.

But the Russians do not shine on the third generation of the fantastic MX-5 roadster: the Japanese seem to be not thinking about official deliveries to our country. It's a pity! Admire this strange, but bewitching mix of retro and neo remains only here in the Palexpo complex.


Familiar silhouette! By the end of the year, sales of the flagship Citroen C6 will simultaneously start in France and Germany. The executive hatchback (this particular body was presented at the exhibition) adopted the new family features of the brand and showed how comfortable and safe a car of this level should be. All the important information in the C6 is projected onto the windshield - the concern is particularly proud of this development, because there are not many similar ones in the world. We ourselves tried a similar system on the brand new BMW 5-Series. Very handy thing! For European roads and European markings, a device has been provided that warns of an involuntary lane change. A little earlier it was shown on the example of C4 and C5. Of course, active suspension and a powerful 6-cylinder diesel engine with two superchargers - a joint development of Ford and PSA, were not without.

The loud premiere of the senior Citroen could not overshadow another joyful event. Peugeot 107, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo are ready for battle! It is supposed to have two bodies (3- and 5-door hatchback) and an uncomplicated choice of gearboxes: either the usual Toyota mechanics (placed on all three models), or a robot one - SensoDrive (for Citroen), 2 Tronic (for Peugeot) and M- MT (for Toyota). Pamper the buyer with the choice of motors are also not going to. Хочешь ездить на солярке - бери машину с 54-сильным дизелем от PSA, но не раньше следующего года. Альтернативой станет тойотовский 1.0 (68 л.с.) с тремя цилиндрами и автоматической регулировкой фаз. Пожалуй, такой вариант устроит и отъявленных экономов: средний аппетит всего 4, 6 литров на сотню.

В стандарте (внимание!): ABS+EBD, две подушки, ЭУР (не для всех рынков), вентилируемые передние тормоза и сильно упрощенная система стабилизации под названием CSC (Cornering Stability Control) - она удержит автомобиль на курсе, если водитель резко затормозит в повороте. А случись ДТП, C1/107/Aygo позаботится о хозяйском кошельке, минимизировав расходы на ремонт. Фары и облицовка радиатора несколько утоплены вглубь передка, и удар в первую очередь примут сменные энергопоглощающие элементы, спрятанные в бампере. Кронштейны фар намеренно ослабили, чтобы те ломались от удара. Все продумано! По желанию машину доукомплектуют кондиционером, электропакетом, восемью подушками, «музыкой» с CD. Еще забавная троица предложит полноразмерную запаску и очень даже взрослую опцию - разрезную (50/50) спинку дивана.

“Small, yes daring” - this is about them. Tiny outside, inside the twin no longer cause emotion. Only four adults will sit down here, but not one of them will complain of cramped shoulders, legs, or a lack of space above their heads. This is due to the long base and specially designed seats. Places, especially for the legs of the rear passengers, increased due to thin backs (only 16 cm). The Aygo interior is pictured in the photo, but the interiors of all three “variations on the theme” do not differ much. Decorated with fantasy. What is one round dashboard with orange backlight. No, it’s hard to call it tidy - it’s more like a “speedometer panel” (we recall where we saw a similar saucer - well, yes, Mini Cooper!). The optional tachometer is mounted on the steering column as a separate module, in the same modern style, the air conditioning control panel and tuner are designed.

The entire trio will go on sale in the summer, prices are “moderate”, according to experts, somewhere around $ 10 thousand.

Of course, these are not all the surprises of Geneva. Nissan put on display the magnificent Zaroot and 350Z Grand Turismo coupe, Land Rover - its unstoppable RR Sport, Mitsubishi - an elegant Pininfarina convertible coupe, Renault - a restyled VelSatis, SsangYong - the latest Rodius, VW - the next generation Passat and beautiful, moderately plump GolfPlus, Skoda - the “snowy” concept Yeti, Seat - an exciting prototype of Leon, Porsche - convertibles based on the 911 Carrera, Subaru - the Tribeca crossover, etc.

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