The 2008/2009 auto show season kicks off this year on the river Seine in the city home to the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Champs-Elysees: Paris. Formally known as the Mondial de l'Automobile, the biannual Paris motor show is the home turf for Citroen, Peugeot, and Renault; and each French automaker is planning several concept and production-car debuts.

Joining them will be the usual complement of automakers from around the world, launching cars that will not only be sold in Europe but in many cases, the U.S. and worldwide as well. Among the highlights will be Ford will rollout of its all-new 2009 Ford Kuga 2.5, Subaru Forester 2.0D, the oddly fascinating ConceptFASCINATION from Mercedes-Benz, BMW's new X1 compact crossover, a concept crossover from Mini, and Mitsubishi's Lancer Sportback, just to name a few.

Right now we can bring you only a taste of what will be on the menu at Paris, but starting October 2, we'll bring you all of the latest direct from the Porte de Versailles show floor as it happens.

2009 Ford Kuga 2.5
2009 Volkswagen Touareg North Sails
2009 Nissan Note
2010 Kia Soul
2010 Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia
BMW X1
Chevrolet Orlando Show Car
Chrysler Grand Voyager 25th Anniversary Edition
Citroen C3 Picasso
Citroen Hypnos Concept
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
Jeep Compass Overland
Jeep Patriot Back Country
Mini Crossover Concept
Mitsubishi Lancer Racing
Mercedes-Benz ConceptFASCINATION
Renault Kangoo be bop
Renault Ondelios
Renault Ondelios
Ssangyong C200

2010 Kia Soul

Right when Scion's popularity is waning among its trend-setting, Gen-Y demographic, along comes the 2010 Kia Soul to steal the affections of aspiring DJs everywhere. Originally unveiled as a concept at the Detroit auto show in 2006, the Korean automaker's xB-fighter is over 6 inches shorter than its Scion competitor, at 161-in. overall, but has a similar width and height of 70-in. and 63-in., respectively. In addition with its wheels pushed out to the corners, at 100-in. the Soul's wheelbase is just 2.4 inches shorter than that of the xB. While Kia will feature three Soul concepts seen previously, the SOUL Burner, SOUL Diva, and SOUL Searcher, Paris marks the official debut of the production model, and with smooth lines and a clean face it represents Kia's new design philosophy, which can also be seen on the upcoming Forte.

With its wide stance and square sides, the 2010 Soul delivers a surprising amount of passenger space for its size. Headroom is a generous 40-in. up front and 39.5-in. in the rear, legroom is 42-in. front, 38.9-in. rear, and even shoulder room comes in at approximately 55-in. for both rows of passengers -- dimensions which are all better than or equal to the larger, heavier Scion. Inside the cabin is simple, but includes design features like a "laid-back" dashboard design and triple dial instrument cluster. Presently the Soul's engine lineup for the U.S. market hasn't been confirmed, although word is it will include the 2.0L four-cylinder from the current Spectra, which is good for 138-hp and 136 lb-ft of torque. Europeans, however, will get to choose from two different powerplant options -- a 1.6L gas four-cylinder making 124-hp and 115 lb-ft of torque, or a 1.6L diesel four with 124-hp and 255 lb-ft of torque, respectively. Both manual and automatic transmissions will be available.

Set to begin production later this year, the Soul will reach European showrooms in the Spring of 2009, continuing on to the U.S. soon after as a 2010 model.



2009 Ford Kuga 2.5

While Ford of Europe fans are no doubt excited about the new Focus RS, the platform underpinning that hot hatch also serves as the basis of another highly-regarded model, the new Kuga CUV. Introduced earlier this year, the Kuga was praised for its "kinetic design" styling, driving dynamics, and high quality interior, yet there was one department where it was wanting - power. Available with just a 2.0L four-cylinder diesel, while this engine averages 36.7mpg while putting out 136-hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, the drive hauler's 10.7-sec 0 - 62mph time won't win any races. So for buyers who prefer a little more get-up-and-go, Ford is introducing a new Kuga variant, the 2.5.

While the 2009 Ford Kuga 2.5 comes with the same Haldex all-wheel drive system and standard 6-speed manual gearbox as the diesel, under the hood Ford has installed a turbo 2.5L Duratec five-cylinder gas engine sourced from Volvo. Good for approximately 198-hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, this powertrain makes the Kuga considerably faster while still averaging 23mpg. In addition the Kuga 2.5 is available with an optional Durashift 5-speed automatic, which includes a manual-shift capability and sport mode that speeds up reaction times for more spirited performance.

The Kuga 2.5 in Paris is also a showcase for the CUV's new optional body kit, consisting of a new front grille with vertical bars instead of horizontal ones, a chrome-lined lower air intake with two broad chrome "scoops" on its sides, a rear spoiler, body-color wheel arch extensions, and 50mm lower bumpers and skid plates. A new set of 20-in. alloy wheels are available as well. Inside Ford is also adding a high-end interior option, which includes two-tone leather seating and high gloss "Piano White" finish on the trim. European families looking for a CUV with more speed and style can pick up a Kuga 2.5 beginning in January 2009.


2009 Volkswagen Touareg North Sails

The Touareg was designed with the help of renowned sailing outfitter North Sails and is built with the sailor in mind. The exterior and interior styling of the Touareg North Sails reflect that of high-end yachts, with the most notable features found in the interior.

2009 Volkswagen Touareg North Sails Interior View

Basic interior features are "Cricket" leather, available in either "Anthracite" or "Latte Macchiato" colors. Stainless-steel doorsill plates with the "North Sails" signature in front come standard, along with the "North Sails" logo coming embossed on the center panels of the front seats. Optional comfort seats are available in Nappa leather with the special "St. Tropez" pattern and white hue. Comfort seats come standard with Volkswagen's V-8 engine option.

The "Latte Macchiato" and "St. Tropez" color schemes feature Aquamarine Blue seams in the seats and interior door trim. Decorative inserts in "Aluminum Engine Spin, Dark" are placed in the instrument panel, door trim panels, and center console. A softer contrast in "Piano Paint, White" can be ordered as alternative decorative inserts, evoking the elegance of luxury yachts.

2009 Volkswagen Touareg North Sails Rear View

The nautical styling of the interior is best reflected with either the paint colors of standard "Campanella White" or optional "Shadow Blue Metallic." Other color choices include "Arctic Blue Silver Metallic," "Atacama Gray Metallic," "Galapagos Anthracite Metallic," "Reflect Silver Metallic," and "Black Magic Pearl Effect." Luxurious chrome accents highlight the special-edition Touareg with the factory-installed "Chrome & Style" design package. On top of the standard 19-in. "Zaragoza" alloy wheels with chrome accents, the package includes two oval tailpipes, a silver roof railing, bi-Xenon headlights including dynamic curve lighting, a vent glass sunroof, tinted rear windows absorbing 65% of light, and "North Sails" decals on the B-pillars.

The Touareg North Sails is the perfect choice for towing, with a towing capacity of 7700 lb for braked trailers. The allowable hitch load is up to 300 lb, with the removable trailer hitch coming standard. Available engine choices come with all six-, eight-, and ten-cylinder engines, ranging in power from 240 to 345 hp.

By Benson Kong


2009 Nissan Note

While in America new families often flock to minivans or CUVs for their transportation needs, Europeans have traditionally made do with smaller hatchbacks such as the Honda Fit, or mini MPVs like the Opel Meriva. Also competing in that category is the Nissan Note, which was introduced in 2004 for the Japanese market and made its way to Europe beginning in 2006. At 160-in. long, 66.5-in. wide, and 61-in. tall, the Note is shorter, narrower, and only a bit taller than a Volkswagen Golf, with a longer wheelbase. But after four years on the market the Note is starting to get a bit long in the tooth, so Nissan is unveiling an updated version that will go on sale as a 2009 model.

Changes to the Note are numerous, including an all-new front end and revised taillights, new 15 and 16-in. alloy wheels, and a new pale green paint option called Cider. In an appeal to buyers who want a little more performance in their compact people mover, Nissan has also retuned the Note's suspension to improve responsiveness and revised its gearbox ratios. Currently the Note is available with four different engines, 1.4L and 1.6L gas units making 87-hp and 108-hp, respectively, along with two versions of a 1.5L turbo-diesel good for 67-hp and 85-hp. For 2009 Nissan is offering two new eco-friendly powertrain options in the form of a new 1.5L dCi diesel and 1.4L gas mill, both with lower CO2 emissions.

Inside the 2009 Note boasts a new instrument panel, center console, as well as Nissan's new Connect infotainment system, which uses a touch-screen interface to control the audio (with USB input), Bluetooth communication, and navigation functions in a single unit. Available as a 2009 model, the revised Nissan Note will arrive in European showrooms soon.


2010 Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia

Inspiration for the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia comes from the brand's trio of first-place wins at the annual Transsyberia Rallye in Russia. This year's race was won by Team France, which, of course, was piloting a race-ready Porsche Cayenne S. Under the hood of the Cayenne S Transsyberia is the direct-injected 405-hp, 4.8L V-8 found in the Cayenne GTS. A Triptronic six-speed directs power to all four wheels through the Porsche Traction Management. Unique on the limited edition will be reinforced air suspension utilizing the standard Porsche Active Suspension Management system. The advanced suspension electronically adjusts shock rebound and damping per conditions, lending the usually pavement-driven (at least in Los Angeles) SUV improved off-road ride.

Also standard on all 600 units earmarked for North America are distinct color and accent combinations. Black with orange accents (air-intake-vent fins, exterior mirror housings, and rear roof spoiler) and crystal silver metallic with orange accents can be had by those wanting a bit of flair for their Cayenne. For a more understated look, black with meteor metallic accents or meteor gray with crystal silver accents are offered as well. A decal livery reminiscent of the Carrera GT3 RS will also be available on the model for no additional cost. An optional off-road package is listed on the spec sheet and includes a lockable rear differential, rocker panels with skidplates, reinforced engine bay and protected fuel tank and rear axle. Cool Hella auxiliary lights also can be had for models without a moonroof. Cabin amenities largely remain the same as the rest of the Cayenne line, although the standard front sport seats and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel are model specific. When the limited edition SUV arrives in the U.S. in spring 2009, it will carry an MSRP of $70,800.


Video Find: The New Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia
Porsche Will Present the New Cayenne S Transsyberia at the Paris Motor Show





BMW X1

The X1 is BMW's latest foray into the crossover market. Following the huge initial success of the X6, BMW has been working on a new crossover based on the 1 Series platform. The X1 is expected to share most of its technical features with the 1 Series, such as the 3.0L inline-six engine producing 230 hp and the twin turbodiesel I-4 making 204 hp, but it's not expected to get the top-level 300-hp twin-turbo inline-six. The X1 is expected to get BMW's X-Drive all-wheel-drive system, though. Transmission choices are expected to be either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

Chevrolet Orlando Show Car

The Chevrolet Orlando Concept making its bow at the Paris show is powered by at 2.0L turbodiesel making 150-hp and 236 lb-ft. of torque. The five-door Orlando, which shares its platform with the Chevrolet Cruze sedan, seats seven. To make room for the extra passengers, the Cruze's wheelbase has been stretched three inches and widened 1.6 inches in the front and 1.2 inches in the rear. The Orlando's second-row seats have a 60-40 split while the third row seats have a 50-50 split. The backs of the seats have metal covers to protect them from the cargo. Both rows fold down for maximum cargo space. The Orlando's dash features a hidden cubby just below the audio, navigation and climate controls for stashing your MP3 player while it's plugged into the stereo.





(Below is the full press release from General Motors)

Chevrolet Orlando Show Car Signals Entry into New Segment for the Brand

* Distinctive SUV-like styling
* Adaptable seven-seat accommodation with flat load floor configurability
* Latest-generation 2.0-liter turbo diesel power

The Orlando show car is a clear indication that Chevrolet is considering an expansion to its portfolio with a seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) with distinctive sport-utility-like design, adaptable seating and impressive interior space.

Based on the recently announced all-new Cruze compact sedan, the Orlando show car carries Chevrolet's signature design language into a new vehicle segment. It explores the potential of combining the versatility attributes of a sport utility, a family van and a wagon in a single execution.

Chevrolet Orlando cuts a distinctive silhouette, replacing conventional monocab proportions with a more defined contrast between the hood and windshield lines. With flared fenders instead of a flat side-body, Orlando has a muscular stance that gives it the appearance of a sport utility vehicle, yet it offers dynamic ride and handling, excellent fuel efficiency and easy entry thanks to its car-based architecture.

Inside, the five-door Orlando is designed to meet the needs of families and those who need plenty of seating capacity with adaptable, theater-style seating in three rows that comfortably accommodate up to seven occupants. Whenever load carrying becomes a priority, the spacious cabin can be quickly transformed into a large cargo area. A generous 2,760 mm wheelbase and wide front and rear tracks provide Orlando with outstanding interior roominess.

Chevrolet's latest-generation, 2.0-liter turbo diesel, developing 150 hp/110 kW and 320 Nm of torque, provides a powerful and efficient powertrain.

Strong Design Statement
Orlando takes Chevrolet's design into the multi-purpose vehicle segment. The front features the brand's signature twin-port grille and the large, sweeping headlamp housings seen on the Cruze. It also incorporates a concave shoulder line that extends along the body into the wraparound tail lights, another design feature from the Cruze that will distinguish future-generation Chevrolet products.

This distinctive look is complemented by the flared fender lines, defining a 'wheels-out/body-in' stance that visually lowers the higher roof line. The ice-blue theme for instrument illumination is also used on the exterior of Orlando in the laser-etched surfacing of the headlamps, tail lights and full-length glass roof.

Inside, Orlando features Chevrolet's 'dual cockpit' design theme, with grained, dark grey accents extending outwards either side of the center stack.

The cabin is designed to meet the demands of families and those who need plenty of seating capacity with infotainment options and navigation. Overhead, a storage compartment extends along the center of the roof, providing useful stowage space for rear passengers. Design details include a center stack recess to hold a personal device/MP3 player when it is connected to the USB or Aux ports. Further storage space is provided inside the floor console, the second row center arm-rest and under the floor in the rear.

The raised roof enables a theater-style seating layout. It provides all occupants, particularly children, with an improved view inside and outside the vehicle, while enabling conversation between all those on board.

Adaptable Interior
A generous 2,760 mm wheelbase, 75 mm longer than that of the new Cruze sedan, and front and rear tracks 40 mm and 30 mm wider, provide Orlando with seating and cargo-carrying space that is among best-in-class for compact MPVs.

It is a true seven-seater, with second and third row legroom of 950 mm and 753 mm, respectively. The reverse faces of these seat backs are covered in a tough, metal finish and can be folded completely flat for easy loading. A range of occupant and load-carrying configurations is provided by 60/40 second-row and 50/50 third-row split folding seating.

"We focused on giving Orlando a strong, robust appearance," says Designer Seungwoo Kim. "It draws on Chevrolet's tradition for honest, simple design, while at the same time extending our new design language into the compact multi-purpose vehicle segment."


Video Find: General Motors Unveils Chevrolet Orlando in Paris

Chrysler Grand Voyager 25th Anniversary Edition

Twenty-five years after it first invented the modern minivan, Chrysler LLC continues to raise the bar and perfect its award-wining formula. The all-new Chrysler Grand Voyager offers all-new interior and exterior designs and more than 30 new or improved features.

Now, to mark the occasion of the minivan's silver anniversary, Chrysler is introducing the "25th Anniversary Edition" special model. This model features new interior premium appointments, such as a Dark Slate Gray color palette, Blackwood accents, satin finishes and new leather seats with French-seamed stitching. Special "25th Anniversary Edition" badging is incorporated inside and out.

Exterior equipment on the 25th Anniversary Edition includes unique 17-inch aluminum wheels, chromed belt and body-side moldings, and a roof rack with cross bars. Underneath the surface, several engineering improvements make the newest Chrysler Grand Voyager even more desirable. The 25th Anniversary Edition introduces improvement in drive quality with new steering and suspension tuning, and the efficient common-rail turbo-diesel engine has been optimized for both fuel consumption and emissions improvements without any sacrifice to horsepower and torque.

The new Chrysler Grand Voyager 25th Anniversary Edition will be available for international markets beginning in early 2009.

Source: Chrysler LLC


Citroen C3 Picasso

Citroen's redesigned C3 Picasso MPV is a new take on the unique styling usually associated with the French automaker. The design language, with its large windows, bigger headlights and taillights, and chevron grille, is expected to be integrated throughout the brand's lineup in coming years. Key to the so-called "baby MPV's" character is its blending of SUV and minivan elements into what Citroen hails as a new, revolutionary type of car. Unique on the car are A-pillars that incorporate a see-through glass element, allowing passengers to have an expansive view of the road ahead. The large, bulbous front windshield, split-rear glass doors, and available panoramic roof also contribute to the light, airy atmosphere.

According to Citroen, the car is "small outside, big inside." Within the cabin, passengers are welcomed by high-quality leather and trim usually reserved for upper-segment cars. An advanced multimedia system complete with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity dutifully keeps occupants entertained. Thanks largely in part to the Picasso's "wink"-shaped cluster, all passengers have access to the center-console buttons. Engineers put much focus on insulating the cabin for a quiet ride to exploit the car's sound system. Under the small front hood is one of four new efficient and low-emission engines developed in conjunction with BMW. Two gas-powered engines (VTi95 and VTi120) and two diesel choices (HDi90 and HDi110 DPFS) will be offered to customers once the car hits Europe next year. No exact power figures were available as yet, but they are expected at the vehicle's Paris show debut.




Citroen Hypnos Concept

Citroen's reputation for creating some of the most unique concepts to hit the auto-show circuit continues with the marque's latest advanced hybrid concept called Hypnos CUV, which blends design elements from a coupe, sedan, and SUV into one long, low-slung and environmentally friendly package. The cabin features a multicolored seating arrangement that, in conceptual form, hardly resembles an interior configuration at all. Officially, the interior space was created to take the Hypnos's passengers "into the realm of pure magic." Now that's something we're going to have to check out. What exactly is under the hood remains largely unknown, but it's understood the car will employ Citroen's latest advanced hybrid powertrain said to appropriately match its futuristic looks. Together with a yet undisclosed fossil-fuel-powered engine, the electric motor is expected to produce around 200 hp and achieve 50-plus mpg. Should a production model make it to the market in the coming years, the French automaker hopes to contend in the midsize luxury-SUV segment against the likes of the newly introduced Infiniti FX and BMW X6.


Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

The Santa Fe Hybrid is another attempt at giving SUV buyers a reprieve from high gas prices. Though sporting few visual changes from a normal Santa Fe, the new hybrid model's gasoline-electric powertrain features a 2.4L engine and 30 kW electric motor under the hood, deriving power from advanced lithium-ion batteries. Hyundai says the hybrid Santa Fe manages an impressive 37 mpg with the help of a six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid will also reportedly cut CO2 emissions dramatically to 0.53 lb per mile. The standard Santa Fe, by comparison, is powered by a 2.7L V-6 engine that gets 22 mpg and emits 0.89 lb of CO2 per mile. Production plans have not been announced yet, but the hybrid is expected to go sale next year. There's no word yet on whether the hybrid will come to the U.S., but it seems likely given the current popularity of fuel-efficient vehicles.


Jeep Compass Overland

The Jeep Compass Overland prototype takes the Compass even more upscale with premium safety, connectivity and audio features, and exterior styling cues from the Overland models of Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Inside are a redesigned interior and unique, embroidered seats designed for additional comfort. The fresh interior includes all-new redesigned instrument panels, center consoles and door trim panels, while added insulation and tuning improvements further reduce noise in the interior. With already high levels of safety, utility and 4x4 capability, the Compass continues to advance the Jeep brand by providing customers with outstanding value.


Jeep Patriot Back Country

When they were first introduced, some criticized the Jeep Patriot and Compass for being based on the same unibody platform as the Dodge Caliber, while others felt they sported overly cheap interiors. Given the concern about high gas prices, Chrysler isn't about to abandon its plan to develop more unibody Jeeps, but for 2009 the automaker is upgrading the cabin materials and level of fit-and-finish in its small CUVs. And to show off these changes, the Jeep stand in Paris will feature two special versions of the soft-roaders, including a Patriot Back Country concept that Chrysler vice president of design Ralph Gilles says "was inspired by the outdoor enthusiast seeking adventure, fun, and freedom."

What this amounts to is a host of additional Mopar accessories catering to "active lifestyle" owners, including a rooftop cargo basket to help haul outdoor equipment, off-road lights to illuminate your campsite, and deluxe splash guards keep the wheelwells clear when you go mudding. Other exterior upgrades are subtle and serve to give the Patriot a cleaner look, including a blackened B-pillar, a platinum chrome light bar illuminating the license plate, and body-color door handles. Inside, the Patriot's new interior is spruced up with the addition of, among other upgrades, satin chrome trim, a wetsuit-inspired urethane material on the seat bolsters, headrests, and steering wheel, and a special "Back Country Edition" logo on the seats.


Mercedes-Benz ConceptFASCINATION

As can be seen, the Fascination, which is powered by a 204-hp, 2.2L BlueTEC diesel engine, has an unusual body style, which is best described as a two-door wagon. Mercedes says it's based on a future E-Class coupe, though given the liberal use of the word "coupe" these days, it's anyone's guess as to what sort of vehicle it will actually be. The Fascination's front end sports the E-Class' signature dual-headlight style -- the lamps are LED units -- melded with elements of the brand's present corporate face. There are also LED foglamps built into the chrome strip in the lower front fascia, which also runs across the car's perimeter. It's a serious possibility that the front end of the Fascination is a hint at what the next-generation E-Class will look like up front. Since the current E-Class is getting quite long in the tooth, that car should arrive before too long.

Inside the cabin, the Fascination is swathed in what Mercedes calls an equestrian-inspired motif -- no doubt conceived to impress your friends at the polo club. The aluminum center console is covered with thick, dark leather, which is also found on the dashboard -- featuring a five-tube instrument cluster and silver dials -- and door armrests. The seats and other interior surfaces, meanwhile, are covered with fine nubuck leather, though the seat center panels are covered with fabric. Walnut and chrome trim pieces are found throughout the interior along with deep-pile carpeting.





Mini Crossover Concept

With the recent debut of the Clubman, BMW-owned Mini has begun its march to expand the Cooper line, and at the Paris motor show, Mini will show a concept vehicle that previews the compact crossover we've heard the company has been considering for some time. Called the imaginatively monikered Mini Crossover Concept, the AWD vehicle has been stretched in all directions. It is slightly longer and wider than the Clubman and rides higher than any other Mini product. The Crossover Concept also offers a host of creative interior features. Running the length of the four-seat vehicle between the seats is a tie-down bar for securing cargo, and most of the roof opens up to let in the sun or haul long items. The roof also has racks for carrying more cargo, and the car will have an optional add-on cargo container that attaches to the rear. On the passenger side, the Crossover Concept has two standard doors, but on the driver side, the rear door slides to allow easier loading and unloading. The rear hatch is a single side-hinged door with a retractable window.

Most of the vehicle's controls are integrated into a unique, touch-sensitive, sphere-shaped interface in the center console, called the Center Globe. It is controlled by buttons and sliding switches on the lower part of the Globe, as well as a keyboard that extends out of the dash for the passenger. The driver also has control of the interface via a trackball on the steering wheel. We hope it's easier to use than iDrive, but we're not counting on it. Difficult-to-describe control interfaces aside, the Crossover Concept is an intriguing vehicle that stretches the boundaries of Mini's vehicle range.



Mitsubishi Lancer Racing

Mitsubishi Racing newest racing prototype called the Lancer Racing is set to take on next year's legendary and dangerous Dakar Rally. But before it can get its tires dirty in the Dakar, the off-roader will take the stage in Paris where it will join its production run brethren.

Although essentially a new truck, the Lancer Sportback based racer is powered by a reworked and more responsive 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 derived from the outgoing competition model. Upgraded turbos have been designed to raise the power upward of 260 hp and 479 lb-ft torque as well as aid in the unit's overall race reliability. A multitubular frame along with carbon-fiber bodywork ensures the Lancer stays strong and light, and at 4188 lb it should have no problem hurtling over anything in its path. Revisions to the engine compartment enhance the diesel's cooling and performance. Joined to the powertrain is a Ricardo built five-speed sequential transmission, limited-slip differential, and the necessary permanent four-wheel-drive system.

Mitsubishi's engineers and drivers under the Team Repsol banner all have high expectations for the beefed-up car and plan on conquering some of the most formidable off-road races around the world. After its engagement in Paris, the Lancer Racing is slated to make its racing debut in late November at the sixth round of the FIA Cross-Country Baja International Cup in Portugal.




Built with the active, urban lifestyle in mind, the Kangoo be bop is an excellent city companion while providing all the necessary amenities for a weekend getaway.

The Kangoo be bop is just 12.7 feet in length, and has a seven-foot wheelbase, enabling it to clear curbs only 31.8 feet apart with its small turning radius. The crossover's maneuverability is enhanced with 16-inch alloy wheels sitting on a MacPherson type suspension with four-wheel vented disc brakes. Anti-roll bars in the front and rear ensure precise handling and cornering stability.

Special exterior and interior features help distinguish the Kangoo be bop from other vehicles on the road. A standard two-tone color scheme highlights the body lines, while semi-circular side windows and a fully glazed, forward-sliding glass roof panel flood the crossover interior with light. There is also a fixed middle glass panel and two front tilting glass panels. The interior features seating for four in a comforting environment, while also affording a luggage storage capacity of 51.63 cu ft with the rear seats removed. Due to the vehicle's unique design, rear seat passengers can either enter the rear through the front doors or through the rear hatch. The Renault also features a host of safety features to keep cabin occupants safe.

The compact crossover is environmentally friendly and has three engine choices. Along with a 105-hp, 1.6L gas engine, the Kangoo be bop has two diesel engine choices: an 85-hp, 1.5L diesel is available, along with a 105-hp, 1.5L diesel. While making less power, the 85-hp diesel engine emits only 138 g/km of CO2 emissions, versus the 105-hp version's 142 g/km.

Renault Ondelios

Named after the French word for wave ("onde") and the Greek god of the sun, Helios, the Renault Ondelios concept was designed specifically to put the French automaker at the forefront of the ever expanding luxury crossover segment.

The gullwinged show car, though, has more than just a made up name and unique design to set itself from the rest. Renault's take on the future of CUVs utilizes a revised version of brand's existing 2.0L dCi diesel hybrid engine assisted by two 20 kW electric motors. The motors, one on the front axle and the other on the rear, use regenerative braking to produce and store energy. When pulling from a stop, the front electric motor gets the Ondelios on its way, while the rear kicks on when a loss of traction occurs. An impressive 51 mpg is said to be attained by the next generation diesel-electric hybrid and only 120 grams of CO2 per kilometer is emitted from its exhaust pipes.

The composite (and recyclable) body work was penned a way that minimizes the concept's wind resistance in order to boost its impressive fuel economy. Extensive use of vents on the natural flax and carbon fiber panels assist in the directing of air around the vehicle once in motion. Twenty-three inch propeller shaped wheels wrapped in low-rolling resistance Michelin rubber draw in passing air to reduce turbulence and cool the massive brakes.

Interior designers continued the high-tech theme and integrated a multi-zone climate control system that is adjustable by each of the six passengers. All three rows of powered seats can be reclined and have access to individual Samsung multimedia systems. In the front of the cabin, traditional dashboard features such as ride info, tachometer, speedometer and hybrid engine statistics have been moved onto button-less active display skins depicted on the windshield directly in front of the driver and passenger.





Subaru Forester 2.0D

Earlier this year, Subaru unveiled the world's first diesel boxer engine, which made its debut it in the European-market Legacy and Outback. The engine is now spreading to other Subaru products, namely the Impreza and recently redesigned Forester. The 2009 Forester 2.0D will feature the 2.0L horizontally opposed turbodiesel engine making 147 hp in the Forester and 150 hp in the Impreza along with 258 lb-ft in both. With a closed-type diesel particulate filter, the Forester and will be even cleaner than the Legacy and Outback, releasing only 0.60 lb of CO2 per mile. The Forester will only be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and power will reach the ground via Subaru's signature all-wheel-drive system and get a class-leading 44.8 mpg combined. Emissions and fuel economy for the Impreza have not yet been released. The Forester Diesel will go on sale in the Europe shortly after Paris, with the Impreza right behind it.


Ssangyong C200

SsangYong, Korea's fourth largest automaker, is revealing its new C200 at Paris, a vehicle it calls an "urban compact" SUV. The C200 employs a front-drive layout with monocoque construction, a first for the automaker. This structural improvement is claimed by the automaker to be a milestone in its model lineup evolution. If you haven't heard, SsangYong is a fan of diesel technology and will implement its 2.0L, 175-hp diesel engine under the C200's hood. Officials claim the engine and six-speed manual transmission combination produces extremely low CO2 emissions, improves fuel economy, and adheres to the stringent Euro V regulations.