Category: New cars

First Date

2023

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First Date
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EXHIBITIONS, SALONS: PARIS-2004

Perhaps there are few cities that, like this one, tune in with one name to a romantic wave. How many places to rendezvous in Paris! The Champs Elysees, the avenues of the Garden of Luxembourg, the Seine embankments, Montmartre, where it seems so that Modigliani or Hemingway, countless cafes of the Boulevard Montparnasse seem to come out of the lane until late at night … But we are waiting for a date in a completely different place: near the Port de metro station Versailles, under the guise of Mondial de l'Automobile. This fall there are several dozen newcomers …

BURDEN OF POPULARITY

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Among the journalists there were those who dubbed the new Ford Focus too … new and less original than the old one. Probably, a long wait had an effect, because they had been talking about the new product for almost a year. But it’s also a matter of perception - what yesterday seemed like a revelation today seems commonplace.

Yes, it’s not easy to be popular - there are high demands on them. However, those who defended the turn to sit in the new product and looked at it as an early purchase, Focus, it seems, liked it because they remained themselves, and the facetness in the exterior and interior was reduced. Not risking a revolutionary change in the appearance of the model, which has already circulated around the world with a six-million circulation, marketers and designers are most likely right.

But the engine lineup was noticeably updated: the minimum 1.4-liter engine is now 80-horsepower (5 "horses" more than the previous one), the most powerful 2-liter gasoline engine develops 106 kW / 145 liters. with., and a diesel engine of the same volume - 100 kW / 136 liters. with. But surely there will still be a “sharpened" sports version. It seems that the second “Focus” was a success …

The main, from the point of view of the mass buyer, premieres of Volkswagen and Opel have already taken place. Therefore, in Paris they proposed to evaluate, as they say now, niche versions. Such are the "Opel Astra Caravan" and "Astra-GTC" - a three-door version with sports trim and powerful, up to 200-horsepower engines. Volkswagen responds … That's right, the famous GTi modification. The engine, like that of Opel, has a capacity of 147 kW / 200 liters. s., well, the whole entourage of a sports car is evident.

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A couple of Bavarian players entered the field of golf-models popular in Europe, and more and more widely acclaimed in Russia: BMW first series and Audi A3 Sportback (ZR, 2004, No. 10). But, of course, under the roofs of Paris, the French energetically intervened in the struggle of the German giants. The noticeably refreshed Citroen C5 was chosen this year as one of the official cars of the exhibition - it was instructed to carry honored guests between the pavilions. The company, which in its long history more than once surprised with original solutions, this time seems to have broken a record for … the size of the brand name. Now it is formed by the hood and bumper. Seen, indeed, a mile away.

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But this feature fades next to the steering wheel of the Citroen-C4. To check whether only the rim really rotates, and the middle with the buttons is motionless, they came in whole groups, and the one who tested the new product acted as a guide. Of course, the car attracted not only this. The three-door and five-door hatchbacks in the rear are noticeably different, but both are very pretty and cause associations with the original models of the past - from DS to CX. By the way, the index of the latter emphasized phenomenal aerodynamics. And here is a new record in the class: Citroen-C4 has CX = 0.28. The range of engines is also in the spirit of the times: five gasoline and three diesel engines from 65 kW / 90 l. with. up to 130 kW / 180 l. with. It seems that the Quartet also has a burden of popularity.

SEAT, but rather the management of Volkswagen, is again trying to get around the competition from the flank. Following the unusual SEAT-Altea, the Spanish company introduced the new Toledo - also a cross between a station wagon and a minivan. A kind of car trimmed in a sporty style, the "weakest" diesel engine develops 77 kW / 105 liters. with., and the top version is equipped with a 150-horsepower unit.

However, such indicators for other minivans are now the norm. Pretty, like all the Mazda’s of the latest generation, the “five” with a 6 + 1 landing formula (one child seat can be built in the second row between full seats) is equipped with 115- and 145-horsepower gasoline engines, as well as very slightly inferior diesel engines - 81 kW / 110 l. with. and 105 kW / 143 liters. with. The first rendezvous with the Mazda 5 left a very good impression.

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Another interesting date. "Hyundai Sonata" obviously wants to appeal primarily to Europeans. And although the design cannot be called original (SAAB reminded me of the car “from the face”, colleagues called other well-known brands), but it deserves to be called pleasant. And the nature of the car, it seems, will be fighting. Engines to ensure that: a 2.4-liter 161-horsepower and a volume of 3.3 liters with a capacity of 171 kW / 233 liters. with. The latter is offered with new automatic transmissions - four- and five-speed. A little later, the Sonata will also sing with a 2-liter diesel engine. They also promise a six-speed manual. In Russia, the new Hyundai will surely arouse great interest … if it does not overshadow the dates with excessive financial requests.

LITTLE SEEMS

What Paris salon without the tiny cars that are allowed to drive in France without a driver’s license? It seemed, however, that this year there were fewer of them than before. But here was a small world premiere - a new series of Exam cars. Well, everything is like adults! Environmentally friendly diesel, body with aluminum parts, disc brakes with ABS. True, the “maximum speed” is only 45 km / h (there is also a version that accelerates to 78 km / h, but this requires rights), but a 16-liter fuel tank is enough for 450 km! Incidentally, Exam produces more than 10 thousand such machines a year - comparable to the performance of other Russian joint ventures. But still, the weather in the urban compact market is being made by older models.

The Peugeot company, without stinting, put up a good dozen “wagons” of model 1007. But anyway, it was possible to sit behind the wheel only after standing in line. Everyone wanted to “nestle” in the machine surprisingly spacious by pressing a button to close the sliding door and smiling childishly at his own mischief, put an elbow or knee in her path. Stops - checked on yourself!

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The equipment of the Peugeot 1007 will be envied by another car of a higher class. Motors: 70-horsepower diesel, 75- and 110-horsepower gasoline. And next to the cars of cheerful colors - a black prototype with impressive bumpers, leather in the cabin and an RC nameplate. See this one on the street, do not try to compete - the baby is armed with a 140-horsepower engine.

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Peugeot 1007 rivals under the roofs of the exhibition center at the Versailles Gate are many. Mitsubishi trumped the three-door version of the Colt (ЗР, 2004, No. 10), Renault - the high hatchback “Modus” (material about it in this issue). Against their background, the updated Mercedes-Benz A looked quite ordinary, but how long ago had it surprised everyone with extraordinary body lines and technical solutions? Now, in addition to the five-door version, they promise a three-door, and among the new engines, a 75-horsepower diesel engine is particularly impressive. With this, you can drive about 1100 (!) Km on a tank, spending 4.9–5.4 l / 100 km. Returning to the topic of the first date, I want to call the car the future zealous hostess.

CAVALERY ATTACK

Super-efficient cars get along quite peacefully here with vehicles under the hoods of which there are multi-hundred herds. Even a kid with a motor of more than 100 forces (the same "Peugeot 1007 RC") has long been not uncommon, and the BMW M5 has a squadron of 507 goals! The V10 engine accelerates the Bavarian sedan to 100 km / h in 4.7 s, and up to 200 in 15 s. Adjusters from Stuttgart responded to the Munich Mercedes-Benz CLS 55 AMG with a 476-horsepower 5.5-liter unit.

These figures are no less impressive than the 490-horsepower Ferrari F430 engine. However, fanatics of the Italian "stable" will distort this comparison. In part, they will be right: you will see their favorites even in the thickest stream at a mile away. In addition, the Ferrari, unlike many others, does not limit the maximum speed of 250 km / h. The model F430 has almost 315 km / h.

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… And the "Porsche 911 Carrera S" - under 300. 3.8 liter engine with a capacity of 355 liters. with. - new (the 3.6-liter capacity for the 911 Carrera was increased by 4 kW - up to 239 kW / 325 hp). The style, to the delight of fans of the legendary brand, almost did not change. Designers did a great job in the early 1960s!

ACQUAINTED ALL FACES

Firms fired by the main innovations to Paris, offered dates with versions of familiar cars. The European premiere was celebrated by the Nissan 350Z with a roadster body and a 3.5-liter engine rated at 209 kW / 280 liters. with. “Skoda” showed a restyled “Fabia”, which is not too easy to distinguish from the previous one, and the new “Octavia” universal.

AvtoVAZ also celebrated the premiere. Kalina was brought to Paris, not only a sedan, but also a hatchback. The British colors defended the Rover 75 Tourer, a station wagon based on the updated spring model and the Jaguar XJ with a 125 mm longer base and all imaginable amenities.

As always, the greatest concentration of photographers was near Italian stands. And not because, say, the updated Alfa Romeo 147 looks very different from the previous one. True, the engines, gearboxes and suspensions really upgraded, but the masters of photography, of course, were more attracted by dates with long-legged divas. It seems that there were more of them in the "Italian courtyard" than in all other pavilions combined.

PERFECT FAR?

Not at all! The vast majority of Paris concept cars are close enough to mass production.

Two "Mercedes-Benz Grand Sports Tourer" - "Vision V" and an extended "Vision R" - apparently the last step on the road to the new all-terrain vehicle ML.

The pretty Nissan Tone doesn't look like a pipe machine either. And the company’s representatives do not hide the features of the next generation Almeria in it.

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Perhaps, if beauty contests were organized at a salon in Paris, I would give the priority to the Peugeot 907 coupe. Under the long, classic-style hood is a 6-liter 500-horsepower V12 engine. Probably, from the point of view of technology, there are no special obstacles to mass production, the word is for marketers.

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The spectacular hydrogen car BMW will never get on the conveyor. But on the eve of the opening of the cabin, September 19, it set a speed record for hydrogen cars - 302.4 km / h. Window dressing? In part, yes. But, I think, zealous Bavarians are not accidentally investing so much money with such persistence in the development of cars using alternative fuels.

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And again, back to earthly. In my opinion, the Ford Focus Vignale Concept coupe with a retractable roof is also surprisingly beautiful and also not far from mass production - that's why it was very close to the Focus, from which we started a walk along the Mondial de l'Automobile …

The first date often ends earlier than we would like. So the meetings in Paris are already in the past. They delighted some, others partly disappointed. However, it is too early to draw final conclusions: longer meetings and detailed communication are still ahead in order to accurately select a car with which life will be long and happy.

Henrik Nensen

(Henrik Nenzen), President of Ford Motor Company in Russia

- What is the difference between the new “Focus” and the one that is being done today in Vsevolozhsk?

- This is a completely new car. It has a different suspension, other engines, transmission, it differs from its predecessor in design. In more detail about the new car, which will be produced in Vsevolozhsk, we will announce on January 17.

- How will Focus be introduced to the market?

- After January 20, we will begin to take orders. We will stop collecting the current model in April. In May, the production of a new one starts, and in early July, the first cars will go to customers. The release of four-door sedans in Russia will begin only two months later than in Europe. We will start with sedans, since this type of bodywork is the most popular in Russia. Following them, we will launch the entire line: hatchback, station wagon and … Russians will have one more surprise, and maybe two - we will publicly announce them in January. Most likely, it will be a three-door version, and maybe a coupe.

Russians, like Germans, are very demanding customers. They need cars that are modern in terms of dynamics, appearance and driving pleasure. Based on this, it was decided to replace the model at the Vsevolozhsk plant. Obviously, the old Focus would still find buyers, but when a new model is sold in Europe, we found it incorrect to offer "discounted" here.

- Renault plans to launch a low-cost Logan car on the market next year - will it compete with Focus?

- Due to the low price, Logan in Russia is likely to expect success. But it seems to me that your country will still need more expensive, more comfortable and more sophisticated cars - such as the Focus. In addition, there were reports that "Logan" will be sold in Western Europe, but it is not represented at the exhibition in Paris. It seems that its creators understand that “Logan” is “not quite” for the Western European market. But back to the Focus. The new model is larger in size, well adapted to winter conditions and, I believe, will be in high demand among Russians. Surely Opel Astra (the Russian name is Chevy-Viva - ed.), Launched at the JM Em AvtoVAZ joint venture, will also be selling well. The Russian market is very large, and there are niches for Focus, Astra and Logan.

- Will the production volume of the Russian Ford decrease due to the launch of a new model?

- The cars of Russian assembly are still in line. This is both pleasing and distressing: I would not want to make the Russians wait. Therefore, we are now seriously thinking about expanding production, and are in talks with the European branch of Ford. We see the potential opportunities of the Russian market and the prospects for increasing capacity.

Finally, we will determine the volume of output for next year in January, when it becomes clear why expand production. If we do not make additional efforts, we will produce 35–40 thousand cars, which corresponds to the current year. I note this taking into account the development of a new model.

It's too early to talk about the price, but in January I promise to give the most complete information.

- And finally, a question from the realm of fiction. Have you considered the possibility of cooperation with General Motors in the production of automotive components. GM is known to be particularly concerned about the production of modern engines. Is it probably easier for two American companies to agree?

- The issue of joint production with GM was not considered, but we intend to cooperate with GM and Renault in creating a network of common Russian suppliers. High world standards are set by each of our companies - which means that we have a common task to find quality suppliers of components in Russia.

Claude Satine

(Claude Satinet), President and CEO of Citroen

- A year ago, we agreed not to ask you about the construction of a plant in Russia. But when will such a question be asked?

- Indeed, while we do not have production plans in Russia. After all, we supply the whole gamut of our cars assembled in Europe to your market. Citroen sees the Russian market as very serious - we have no right to go out here with any one product or a limited number of them. Therefore, we cannot choose one of the models and start producing it in Russia for the local market. In order not to create contradictions between local and imported models, the company decided to focus only on the import of cars. Perhaps, over time, the strategy will change, and then we will report about it.

- We want to congratulate you on your great success at the rally championship. What is more success - luck or technical superiority?

“No, it's not just luck.” You see, when a large company like ours undertakes a business, it prepares for it thoroughly: a team of specialists is created. On the one hand, these are pilots: Sebastian Loeb personifies youth, Carlos Sainz - experience. On the other hand, we attract experienced engineers who can make great cars. The third component of success is an irresistible desire to achieve victory, to work hard to achieve this goal. In this we are similar to the Ferrari team in Formula 1 races.

- They started talking about the C4 model back in Geneva, where it appeared in the sports version. But now its bright features are visible in the serial model, there is a desire to buy a car. Do you use sportiness to promote your products?

- In the C4 family, in fact, two different cars. The five-door version has more rounded shapes, while the three-door version (we call it the “coupe”) has sharper, sportier ones.

A parallel with the models C2 and C3 is appropriate. The first - with sharper, masculine features, a sports plan; the second is calm, feminine, family. Thus, we provide the opportunity to choose and express ourselves through the car. In the ideal case, our customers, a man and a woman, should argue which of the cars is more suitable for them, but it is important that the argument and choice necessarily concern one of the versions of the Citroen model.

- Your cars have many advanced solutions: a system for stopping and starting the engine at a traffic light, a fixed hub of the steering wheel … It seems that you are ahead of the main German competitors?

- Indeed, we are able to get ahead of German automakers in creating driving comforts. I will add to the named driver warning system when crossing the center line - you will not meet such devices with anyone. Most importantly, they are in demand and really help the driver. These are not devices that only take effect at speeds beyond 200 on an icy road. All our research is conducted within the framework of the useful and necessary for an ordinary driver in completely ordinary situations.

- Together with our colleagues from the French Car Automobile store, we are discussing a project for a rally from Beijing to Paris through Vladivostok and Moscow - possibly at Citroen-S4. How do you feel about this?

- Raids have always been the center of attention of the Citroen brand. And during the 1992 rally, Paris-Moscow-Beijing, the Citroen won. Therefore, your idea is quite viable. True, there were not serial cars, but special ones prepared for rally raids. But it’s all the more interesting to drive the route by production cars.

Frederick Saint-Jour

(Frederic Saint-Geours), President and CEO of Peugeot Cars

- At the Peugeot booth there are new products, from the utilitarian Peugeot 1007 to the avant-garde model 907. What new ideas are filled with the company's philosophy?

- The essence of the Peugeot philosophy is innovation. In one case, it can be technical solutions, in another - design: such is the 407 model, which stands out from the competition. Well, in relation to the model 1007, we have the right to talk about a completely new concept of the car, since no one else has a compact model with a sliding electric door. Peugeot is not a sin to boast of technological innovations. If we are talking about diesel engines, we offered the automotive world a particulate filter that captures the smallest pollution in the exhaust gases. Modern diesel particulate filters for Peugeot 607 engines have a resource of 200 thousand km. And we intend to develop innovative activities in the field of concepts, technologies and design. It is important that Peugeot doesn’t just invent something: as a manufacturer of mass vehicles, the company brings these innovations to a wide range of people and makes improvements work. Вместе с «Ситроеном» мы разработали систему «стоп & старт»; она отключает двигатель при остановке на светофоре и позволяет в условиях города экономить немало топлива. Это устройство будет на нашей новинке « Peugeot 1007 ».

- Новый директор «ФИАТ-Ауто» заявил недавно, что его компания будет ориентироваться в своих разработках на « Пежо » и других французских производителей. Можно считать, что вы захватили лидерство среди европейских компаний?

- Группа «Пежо-Ситроен» действительно выделяется среди автомобильных производителей, включая французских, потому что мы делаем машины иначе, нежели остальные. На основе нескольких общих с «Ситроеном» платформ мы разрабатываем автомобили и модельные ряды, совершенно непохожие один на другой.

- И все же раньше « Пежо » причисляли к автомобильной классике. А что теперь символизирует лев на решетке радиатора?

- Я бы сказал, что « Пежо » - это сплав элегантности и классических форм в области дизайна и инновационности в плане концептуального развития автомобиля и технологий. По-моему, нам удается сочетать классицизм и авангардизм. Мы не производим автомобили, которые нравятся лишь сиюминутно. Наши машины будут нравиться и волновать людей и через десять лет. В этом их классицизм. Но с другой стороны, сегодня они несут много необычного. Мы и дальше будем развивать эти две тенденции.

- Модель «Пежо-907» - это рождение нового семейства или просто пробный шар на стенде?

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