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2011 Geneva Motor Show: Show Preview - VIDEO ENHANCED

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By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor

AMSTERDAM, February 28, 2011: The upcoming Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva is just a couple of days away. Tomorrow, Tuesday March 1st, the media will have a first look at a slew of new cars that will debut in Switzerland. Today we start with the first part of our overview from A to Z.

Click PLAY to watch the preview video

Alfa Romeo 4C GTA concept car - Thanks to delays in the construction, the 4C GTA concept of the sporty Fiat brand may not be ready to go to Geneva. It is a concept for a lightweight coupe that according to rumours should go into production in 2012. Expect it to have a carbon fiber composite cockpit to keep the curb weight under 1800 lbs. Based on the th X-Bow concept roadster of motor cycle manufacturer KTM, launched in 2007.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage S - The world premiere of the Virage marks the arrival of the seventh model of Aston Martin. It will sit in between the DB9 and DBS, and available as coupe and convertible with a V-12 with 497 hp. It will be joined by the V8 Vantage S, a sporty version of the Vantage with 436 hp

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Audi A3 Concept

Audi - The A3 concept is the first sign that a sedan of this model line is on the way and also gives away styling cues for the next generation A3. Also to be shown in Geneva the RS3, Q5 Hybrid and probably the S7 - the fast variant of the S7.

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Bertone B99 - The struggling Italian design house will make it to Geneva with a design study for a new Jaguar sedan. It is called B99, commemorating its 99th birthday this year. Such a Jag could be aimed at the Audi A4, the upcoming BMW 3 Series and the new Mercedes C-class.. The Bertone design has suicide doors, but they may not likely make it into production.

BMW 6 Series Convertible - The new 6 Series convertible made its world premiere in Detroit and will be up for the European debut in Geneva. Watch the 6 Series video here Also the BMW I sub-brand will be presented with logos and sketches. Another world debut is reserved for the BMW ActiveE, that will be available for tests in megacities. The clean variant of the 1 series has a range of 100 miles. Also the spectacular Vision ConnectedDrive concept car will be presented. Watch the Vision Connect Drive video here

Brabus - The German tuners will present a body kit, developed in the wind tunnel for the second generation Mercedes CLS, as well as an ECO PowerXtra D6S kit, that increases the maximum torque of the 350 CDI BlueEfficiency engine from 620 to 690 Nm (or 457 to 509 lb.-ft). Max power in Sport is increased from 265 to 313 hp.

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback - Chevrolet will bring the hatchback model of the popular Cruze. It will offer lots of practicality and attract customers living in big cities. Watch the video here

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Citroën C3

Citroën - Citroën will show the DS4 and several sustainable solutions such as electric models and micro-hybrid e-HDI engines. Also the DS3 WRC rally car will be presented, as well as the C3 limited Red Black and C6 Noir & Blanc editions.

De Tomaso - In 2004, Italian super car constructor De Tomaso filed for bankruptcy, but five years later was bought by a group of investors among whom is former Fiat executive Mario Rossignolo. The group signed an agreement with Pininfarina to rent one of its plants and they now present the SLC concept, for sports luxury car.

Ferrari FF - The first Ferrari with all-wheel-drive. The FF 4-seater is the successor of the 612 Scaglietti

Fiat Freemont - The first rebadged Chrysler of the much critized move of the Italian manufacturer to sell American models as Fiat or Lancia

Ford Ranger Wildtrak - The completely renewed Wildtrak debuts in Geneva and will be available on markets world wide later this year. The new Ranger will be equipped with ESP, Bluetooth connectivity and a navigation system with voice command. Ford also will show the Focus Ev and hybrid versions of the C-max that bowed in Detroit and are due to arrive in Europe in 2013.

Gumpert Tornante - The German company Gumpert will show a two-seater, designed by the Italian company Touring Superleggera. As Superleggera stands for super light, the Tornante will undoubtedly be made of composite materials.

Heuliez Mia EV - In 2008, the French company unveiled the Wil EV, a model with electric wheel motors from Michelin. Now they will bring the Mia, an electric microbus that is just 114 inches long, weighs 1,366 lbs and seats one person up front and two in the rear. Its range should be in between 50 and 115 miles. In charge of the design team is ex-Volkswagen designer Murat Günak.

Honda Accord - Not all attention at the Honda stand will be going to the EV Concept and the Plug-in Hybrid concept, as the facelifted Accord Sedan and Tourer will also be in the spot lights.

Hyundai i10 - A facelift and update of the small South-Korean made Hyundai i40 cw – With the i40 The Koreans want to introduce a new course for the brand in Europe. The totally new i40 should show that Hyundai transformed from cheap brand to a car manufacturer that gives high priority to quality, reliability, design and excellent fuel efficiency. That is why the i40 will be positioned as a ‘modern premium’ model in the mid size segment.

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Jaguary XKR-S

Jaguar – Again, there will be a lot of buzz at Jaguar’s exhibit stand, just like in Paris during the unveiling of the C-X75. Now, the attention will be going to the new XKR-S, Jaguar’s fastest production car ever. The Supercharged V8 delivers 550 hp and has 660 Nm (487 lb.-ft) of torque, allowing the XKR-S to propel from a stand stil to 92 mph in only 4,4 s. The suspension has been tuned and the body has a new design.

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Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto - The Koreans have come to Switzerland with the new Picanto and new Rio. The first will be more dynamic and the Rio, developed under the guidance of design chief Peter Schreyer, is now a nice and sporty looking hatchback, that should make you forget the old model quickly.

Lamborghini Murcielago - The new Murciélago was already confirmed, but now there are more details. The car will get a passenger compartment of carbon fibre composite and is a monocoque, that works as a frame and body and will be constructed from several parts of a total weight of only 330 lbs.

Maserati GranCabrio Sport - The new model offers better handling, more power and optimized gearratios. With a more dynamic stance thanks to its predecessor of 2009, the GranCabrio Sport will be available in a red that is new for Maserati. It is inspired by the Italian national color that was popular in the fifties for the Maserati race cars. Juan Manual Fango won his fifth F1 world championship with a red 250F in 1957.

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Mazda Minagi

Mazda CX-5 Minagi This concept shows Mazda’s intention to enter the small SUV segment and to take on to the immensely popular BMW X1.

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Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe

Mercedes-Benz - The new C-Class will be showed for the first time in Europe, but marks the world debut of the Coupe. The sedan was unveiled during a private party at the eve of the NAIAS in the Book Cadillac hotel… but Mercedes did not bring it onto the show floor. The Coupe has styling details of the SLS and LED-running daylights in the front bumper spoiler. The retractable hard top can be equipped with a panorama roof panel. Also in Geneva will be the new SLK with its retractable roof that can be equipped now with a panoramic roof panel. The face lifted Mercedes C63 AMG is presented as saloon and estate.

Mini Cooper SD - Again a spectacular concept car at the Mini stand. This time it is the Rocketman, a 3+1 seater with a length of only 135 inches and only 14.7 in. longer than the original model. The Rocketman has a carbon fibre composite space frame and should be able to do 94 mph. The production model will get BMW’s fuel sipping 3-cylinder engine. Watch the video here Also at the stand will be the new fuel efficient Cooper SD diesel.

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Mitsubishi Colt Concept

Mitsubishi Colt concept - For the successor of the Colt Mitsubishi developed a platform for its global small car that is aimed at the Ford Fiesta.

Novitec Rosso - The German specialists have tuned the Ferrari 599 GTO. The V12 bi-turbomotor of the Ferrari two-seater now delivers 888 hp/653 kW and should reach over 211 mph and sprints in just 3.2 seconds from 0-62 mph.

Opel Astra GTC - Opel promises a more dynamic handling for the 3-door Astra that, with a wider track and 210 hp, should be able to compete with the Golf GTI. The top model will be the GTC OPC with 240 hp.

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Pagani Huayra

Pagani - The Huayra, a supercar with 700 hp was unveiled in February at Pirelli’s headquarters in Italy and makes its public debut in Switzerland. Horacio Pagani said that Huayra is built by hand from 4 thousand parts. There is a rumour that the car will cost a million British pounds.

Porsche Cajun - The hybrid Panamera S will be on stage for the first time and will reach the American market later this year. It has the same drive line as the hybrid Cayenne and VW Touareg, based on the supercharged 333 hp 3-liter V-6 combined with an electric motor with 47 hp. The hybrid car will be able to drive in electric mode up to 52 mph. Since the Porsche 918 RSR was unveiled in America, it will have its European debut now, together with the Cayman R and the black edition 911 and Boxster S. Watch the video here

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Renault Wind Gordini

Renault - Renault shows the Captur, a concept car for a new crossover and the second developed by the t eam of Laurens van den Acker. The mixture of a coupe, convertible and off-roader it looks a bit like the Nissan Juke. The Wind will get a sporty Gordini variant, while the Mégane gets a Monaco GP edition.

Rinspeed – As usual Frank Rinderknecht comes to Geneva wit something special. This time it is the BamBoo speedster that takes us back to the seventies in St. Tropez in the south of France. The body has not been painted in salmon and lobster colours but are stickered with StickerFix of AkzoNobel. If Brigitte Bardot had the looks of forty years back she would have matched the car perfectly. Watch the video here

Rolls Royce – The test project of the 102EX has been confirmed. It is the electric variant of the Phantom that will start a world tour in 2011. The results of the long test drive will be important for the company to decide about future models. The 102EX is the first electric concept in the super luxury class.

Saab – The 9-5 SportWagon, the practical estate version of the 9-5 will be a welcome addition to the small model line. Also a concept car is expected to be unveiled. Probably already tonight during a separate media event. Responsible for its styling is Jason Castriota, Saab’s new design chief.

SEAT – The Spanish division of the Volkswagen group will show the IBX concept, a signal that a crossover is on the way. The IBX may be the sister model of the Audi Q3 that will be built in Spain.

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Smart forspeed concept

Smart – The electric Forspeed shares some looks wit the Crossblade, that reached the markets in 2002 in a limited edition. However, the Forspeed is not meant for production, but shows styling details of the upcoming third generation of the Fortwo, that is expected in 2012.

Subaru/Toyota – No more exclusively AWD for Subaru models, since the company has developed a sport coupe together with Toyota, that will get rear wheel drive. Both Japanese companies will get their own model on the new platform. For the time being, the Toyota is called FT-86 and the Subaru is the 216a. Both models will be built in a Subaru plant. Another first for Europe is the Trezia, a small estate based on the platform of the Toyota Verso S.

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Toyota Yaris

Toyota Full Hybrid Yaris concept - Toyota will soon introduce a hybrid model in the small B-segment, where the hybrid Honda Jazz (Fit in the US) was the first and is arriving at dealers throughout Europe. The concept also shows the design of the new Yaris that will be some 4 inches longer than the current model. The width will be the same, but the new model will be 0,8 inches lower and will heave shed some 66 lbs.

Toyota Prius Plus - The seven-seater V-model bowed in Detroit and will be called Plus in Europe.

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Volkswagen XL-1

Volkswagen – Expect a lot of news from VW. The Germans want to show that they are serious in their efforts to beat Toyota as number one car manufacturer by 2015. A reason why the enormous budget of 51 billion euro for R&D and for the extension of production facilities has been approved. One of the concepts is the electric Up, that is not expected before 2013. We will also see the new Golf Convertible and the new Beetle, that will be built on the platform of the current Colg. Furthermore the Tiguan facelift and the XL-1 diesel-hybrid two-seater.

Volvo – With the V60 Plug-in Hybrid, the Swedes show a production ready model. The fuel efficient model has been developed together with electricity company Vattenhall, with whom Volvo has a joint venture since 2087, called V2 Plu-in Hybrid Partnership.

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Zagato TZ3

Zagato – Nothing has been confirmed yet by the Italian company Zagato, but we hope to see the TZ3 Stradale (street model) of the TZ, which, by the way, stands for Turbolare Zagato. Last year, at the Concorso Villa d’Este near Lake Como in Italy, the TZ and TZ2 were presented in honour of the Alfa Romeo brand.