The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2008 Geneva Motor Show - General Motors Introduces Three World Premieres and Seven European Premieres

2009 3 Door Chevrolet Aveo

Geneva 04-Mar-2008; General Motors’ focus at Geneva encompasses pro-environmental propulsion technologies with the presentation of the GM HydroGen4, the World Premiere of the Saab 9-X BioHybrid and the European debut of 9-4X BioPower Concept.

The highlight of Chevrolet Europe is the World Premiere of the new three-door Aveo, available in Europe from June 2008.

Opel unveils the Meriva Concept five years after the launch of its first version and presents new range of engines for its Zafira and Agila models.

Cadillac Provoq Fuel Cell, Cadillac CTS Coupe and Hummer HX concepts are also on display on the General Motors’ stand at the show.

GM Press Release:

General Motors presents the rich diversity of its brands, mobility concepts and design expertise at the 78th International Motor Show in Geneva (March 6 – 16, 2008) with numerous world and European premieres. In addition, the GM-Forum displays the mobility of the future with the GM HydroGen 4 – the fourth generation of fuel cell technology. The HydroGen4 has evolved significantly compared to its predecessors, boasting additional dynamics, system durability and everyday suitability. The HydroGen4’s fuel cell stack consists of 440 series-connected cells. The entire system produces an electrical output of up to 93 kW. With help from a 73 kW/100 hp synchronous electric motor, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes around 12 seconds. The HydroGen4 has a tank system with three, 700-bar high-pressure tanks made from carbon-fiber composite material, which can hold a total of 4.2 kg of hydrogen. This provides an operating range of up to 320 kilometers.

Overview of most important new models from each brand:

Chevrolet : World premiere of new dynamically styled three-door Aveo

The highlight of this year's Chevrolet Europe presentation at the Geneva Motor Show is the new three-door Aveo, which will be shown to the public for the very first time. It underlines Chevrolet's firm intention to quickly extend its successful compact class family, as the new five-door model is due to go on sale in March. The most significant features of both models are their striking exterior, high-quality interior and new, even more efficient gasoline engines. The dynamically styled three-door Aveo will reach European showrooms in June 2008. Buyers will have a choice of two gasoline engines: a 1.2-litre unit with an output of 84 hp and a 1.4-litre unit with 101 hp.

One year ago, the Geneva Motor Show saw the official birth of “Young? Creative? Chevrolet!”, the pan-European contest aimed at stu-dents of applied arts schools. Today, twelve months later, auto show visitors will be able to see one of the fruits of this successful initia-tive: The hostesses on the Chevrolet stand will wear the outfit that won first prize in Fashion, one of five disciplines covered in the con-test. The dresses were designed by 20-year-old Léa Schindler, a student at the ESMOD International Fashion School in Lyon, France. For more information on the contest, please visit

Opel: Monocab initiative with Meriva Concept, new engines for Zafira, new Agila

Opel’s motor show debuts highlight the brand’s monocab expertise. The Meriva Concept hints at how the small monocab segment bestseller, which established this segment in 2003 and has led it ever since, could be further developed. The concept shows an innovative approach for even greater flexibility in Opel monocabs. The Meriva Concept’s character is accentuated by design features that create a light and airy interior, such as the U-shaped windshield that extends into the roof and the distinctive sweep of the side windows level at the B-pillar. These design elements also increase the feel-good atmosphere in the interior and highlight the concept car’s practicality.

As the epitome of flexible seven-seaters, the Zafira is ready to go with fresh design accents and an expanded range of ten engines. Three new units – the entry-level 1.6-liter gasoline (85 kW/115 hp) and two 1.7 CDTI common-rail turbo-diesels (81 kW/110 hp and 92 kW/125 hp) – ensure improved efficiency. Compared to the predecessor units, the new engines offer up to 10 hp more, correspondingly improved driving performance and up to five percent less fuel consumption. This is all reason enough for the Zafira to have a more confident look, which is expressed perfectly by its wide front chrome beam with integrated Opel logo – just one of several subtle sporty enhancements. The European market leader’s monocab range is completed by the new Agila, which will have its market launch shortly after the Geneva Motor Show.

Saab: A Brand On The Move with World and European Premieres

At GM Premiere Night, March 3, Saab will have the world premiere of an entirely new concept car which shows a further step in its con-tinuing product range extension.

In addition, Saab will also show the 9-4X BioPower Concept which was introduced in Detroit. A statement of Saab’s intention to enter the growing Crossover segment, it majors on progressive design and responsible performance aligned with the cutting-edge Saab XWD system.

Innovative load-carrying solutions include a unique ski equipment stowage system, developed in co-operation with mountain sports spe-cialists Salomon. Optimized for bioethanol (E85) fuel, the four-cylinder, 2.0-liter BioPower turbo engine demonstrates Saab’s commit-ment to rightsizing by delivering 300 hp and maximum torque of 400 Nm, together with substantially reduced CO2 emissions.

Cadillac: Provoq Crossover Concept, CTS Coupé Concept, CTS-V and Escalade Hybrid

Cadillac continues its model initiative with two striking concept cars. Both premiered at the recent Detroit Motor Show and now make their European debut in Geneva. The production version of the CTS-V high-performance sport sedan also has its European premiere here in Switzerland. The innovative Provoq Fuel Cell Concept points into the future of luxury transportation – a hydrogen fuel cell crossover. The Cadillac Provoq Fuel Cell Concept is the latest example of GM’s groundbreaking E-Flex propulsion system, combining the new fifth-generation fuel cell system and a lithium-ion battery. With sleek, signature Cadillac bodywork, the Provoq Concept redefines luxury crossovers, offering uncompromising passenger and cargo space.

Additional vehicle features include a solar panel integrated in the roof to help power onboard accessories, such as the interior lights and the audio system, brake-by-wire technology, as well as front grille louvers that close at highway speed to enhance aerodynamics and open at low speed to provide maximum cooling to the fuel cell stack. Like the exterior, the Provoq’s interior blends style with function. It seats five and incorporates the comfort, convenience and infotainment features Cadillac customers seek. Most importantly, the fuel cell powertrain does not intrude on passenger or cargo room.

Having earned critical acclaim, industry awards and brisk sales, Cadillac CTS has moved into the vanguard of contemporary design. In doing so, Cadillac designers faced the question of what to do next. Their answer celebrates that design legacy with the exhilarating Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept, which premiered at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The CTS Coupe takes Cadillac’s acclaimed Art and Science design language and adds more of both. More expressive, more technical and very personal, the CTS Coupe extends the dramatic design of its sedan predecessor with all-new sculpted bodywork aft of the front fenders. The CTS Coupe Concept has a classic 2+2 interior layout with no B-pillar, highlighted by black leather and microfiber trim. It is designed to accommodate a range of engines for the global luxury market, including Cadillac’s popular 3.6-liter direct Injection V-6, as well as a new 2.9-liter turbo-diesel currently in development. The production version of the CTS-V, which will be launched outside North America at the end of 2008, offers even sportier handling. It boasts the driving performance of a purebred sports car thanks to its 550 hp (SAE) V8 engine. More than just power, CTS-V also includes a comprehensive suite of technical and design enhancements, including Magnetic Ride Control, an industry-first Performance Traction Management program and the addition of a new automatic transmission with paddle-shift control.

An additional European premiere is the Escalade Hybrid, the world’s first fuel-saving hybrid applied to a large luxury SUV. Powered by an innovative, fuel-saving 2-Mode Hybrid system, Escalade Hybrid will deliver more than a 50 percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving – all while delivering the same distinctive style, segment-leading features and full-size capability that have made the Escalade an icon. In the US, the Hybrid goes on sale in summer 2008, a decision regarding potential sales in Europe is expected within the next few months. Escalade Hybrid is available in 2WD and 4WD configurations. In city driving, its Two-Mode Hybrid system enables Escalade to start and drive low speeds on electricity alone. As additional power is demanded, the system blends output from the battery and gas engine smoothly. GM’s patented Two-Mode Hybrid system consists of an advanced electrically variable transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS). These systems work in concert with the standard 6.0-liter V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM).

Corvette: ZR1 enters the world of supercars

Corvette has been the American sports car icon for over 50 years, and the new ZR1 is expected to rival the world’s supercars in performance. The heart of the Corvette ZR1 is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 620 hp (SAE). The coupe’s excellent power-to-weight ratio - the ZR1 weighs just over 1500 kg – is a key factor in achieving the expected driving performance figures, such as a top speed of over 320 km/h. Extensive use of carbon-fiber components, such as for the front fenders, hood and roof, kept the car’s weight to a minimum. The fastest car ever produced by GM is expected to be available in Europe at the end of 2008.

HUMMER: HX Concept is extremely versatile off-roader

The HUMMER HX Concept is compact, youthful and extraordinarily versatile. The uncompromising off-roader makes its European debut in Geneva following its premiere at the North American International Auto Show. Its body can be adapted to passenger requirements within a few minutes. Via removable roof panels and rear roof assembly, the HX can be quickly transformed into a pick-up or cabrio. For even more fresh-air feeling, the doors can be removed - a feature appreciated by many serious off-roaders. The fender flares can also be detached quickly for additional trail/rock clearance. The concept car features an E85-powered 3.6-liter V6 FlexFuel engine.