Photos and commentary by Brett Patterson
Steppenwolf concept - The Steppenwolf allroader concept was a surprise debut
for the Paris show. It shows a bold development of the geometric themes seen
already on the TT and A2, and the continually developing Audi 'face' expressed
in the lamp and grille shapes. One of the most noticeable form features is the
strongely offset wheelarches which seem to be 'extruded' from the curved fender
forms, and which may be seen in production Audi's in the near future. The vehicle
also featured a swing-out tailgate, with spare tire on a slide out tray housed
in the rear bumper
|BMW Group Mini - BMW Group says the Mini is not a retro design car, but an evolution of the original - 'how the Mini would have evolved' had it been continually developed over the years.The cabin pillars are hidden behind the glass, giving the impression of a continuous window extending all round the car. Inside, the design is a modern interpretation of the simple and straightforward look of the original Mini, with its characteristic centre speedometer. On some models additional instruments are in front of the driver, with the central screen used for the navigation display.The headlamps and grille are integrated into the wrapover hood, so the entire front end swings up dramatically to reveal the engine bay.|
Carrera GT concept - Another surprise debut for Paris, the Carrera GT
has typical Porsche design elements, combined with influences seemingly
from Italian exotics. Overall a very powerful, elegant design with flowing,
muscular forms and technical details, such as the formed mesh engine covers.
The Porsche Carrera GT features a 558-horsepower, V-10 engine. Top speed is
330 kph. "Today, this is still a concept car," said Porsche Chairman Wendelin
Wiedeking. "In the year 2003, it may become a reality."
|Citroen Osmose concept - Osmose is a symbol of user-friendly vehicle design, a passenger car initiating a new form of relations between pedestrians and motorists. The Osmose design allows for new forms of car sharing, with communication systems and features to optimize shared use "by people who have nothing in common apart from the fact that they happen to be going in the same direction".The interior theme puts the focus on nature, with a color scheme in green and brown, and a leaf print on the translucent roof that throws shadows onto the floor of the vehicle.The forms, materials and colors are strongly influenced by European architectural and industrial design, producing a fresh, 'non-automotive' approach to vehicle design.|
Mondeo - The new Ford Mondeo echoes the latest Ford 'family' look, with
sleek, distinctive lines providing a crisp, poised and modern appearance. Strong
shoulder forms and sharply defined wheelarches give the vehicle a solid, quality
feel. Projector-style headlights add to the car's presence, while the sedans
rear lamp design is graphically bold and elegant. Overall it's a much more convincing
design than the previous models, something Ford had been missing in this segment.
Corsa - The new generation Opel Corsa is an evolution of typical Corsa
styling cues accentuated by Opel's new technically oriented form language
of crisp lines and simple, taut surfaces. The tail-lights located high in
the tailgate blend harmoniously with the rear window, forming a bold new
styling element.This 'grown-up' Corsa picks up some influences from the
Astra range, with a sharply defined bodyside shoulder, and A-pillars blending
smoothly into the hood form. Also of note is the semi-wrapover hood. The
face of the car appears more agressive and dynamic, with more sharply defined
lamps and grille graphics.
C coupe - While based on the C-class sedan, Mercedes-Benz is presenting
the C-class sports coupé as a distinct model. The coupé design has a steeply
raked beltline, a high rear end with integrated spoiler and a dark tinted panel
between the rear lights.The new 2-door features an optional "panoramic" sliding
roof that's about a third bigger than a conventional sunroof, and which can
be operated by remote control. The glass panel in front of the sliding roof
flips up to act as a wind deflector.
|Renault Laguna - Renault is presenting the new Laguna hatchback and estate as two distinct designs. "These two new Lagunas have a Latin flavour, which they combine with a Germanic rigour in the treatment of their design" explains Patrick le Quément, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design. This expressive and structured aspect is most notably seen in the taut shape, the incisive lines and the wide-shouldered upper body side sections. The front-end design seeks deliberately to emphasise the car's width.The hatchback no longer has the Renault typical rear quarter windows and wrap-around of the rear hatch. It is a back end which is also notable for the wide horizontal lamp clusters and for the largely visually undefined upper section of the hatch. The short rear overhang allows the "propulsive" aspect of the car to be emphasised. "The feeling of a 4-door coupé" adds Patrick le Quément.|
Nea concept - The Nea is Lancia's vision of the future luxury, middle class.
Described as a 'tripmate' or travelling companion, it uses the latest computer
and communications technology that makes information, communication and entertainment
resources available at all times, with intelligent safety and guidance systems.Integration
of the cabin glass area with the front and rear lamps, and the continuous flow
of the roof pillars around the car, give the Nea a unique character.
|Nissan Fusion concept - Nissan designers set out to develop an innovative style which adds emotional involvement to the technical strengths of Nissan's products.Their answer is a monosilhouette shape that smoothly encompasses hood, cabin and boot."Imagine a car," explains Stéphane Schwarz, studio chief designer at Nissan Design Europe, "a familiar, practical car, but imagine it covered in snow. Think about how the snow softens the lines of the car and distorts its shape, no matter how familiar that shape might be. That is what we are trying to achieve with Fusion. A four-door sedan is the most familiar shape of all. Fusion is our challenge to that orthodoxy. It says we have the confidence to reformulate even the most established of forms."The roof features two large glass areas that bring light into the car during the day. After dark, the mood inside the car can be altered using a coloured fibre optic system on the underside of the central roof panel.|
Prométhée concept - The Prométhée is a concept for a small sporty people-mover,
with an innovative door layout, featuring a pillarless opening. The bodyside
has influences from the Peugeot 402 estate 'Woody', but with the door inserts
this time in satin aluminium. The rear of the vehicle has an agressive and mechanical
theme, which contrasts with the more organic, friendly front, which appears
to be a further development of the Peugeot family 'face'.
|Peugeot City Toyz concepts - As part of the launch of the Peugeot Design Contest at the Paris show, Peugeot have created four concept vehicles under the title 'City Toyz': Vroomster, E-doll, Bobslid, and Kart Up. Shown here is the Vroomster, a tandem vehicle with the fuel tank between the drivers legs.|
206CC - The 206CC is a 2+2 with a retractable rigid roof. CC stands for
Coupe Cabriolet, but also for "Coup de Cour", or favorite.
|Smart SportCoupe concept - This sporty two-seater is based on the smart roadster which was presented at the 1999 Frankfurt Autoshow, and also has a Suprex turbo engine, rear-wheel drive, and sequential six-speed manual transmission.As with the Smart Roadster which will come on the market in 2003, the main focus of the study is also on the modular design which is unique to Smart. The overall impression is thus above all characterized by the typical Smart two-tone, which particularly emphasizes the Tridion safety cell as a design element.|
S60 - Combining sporty good looks with practical everyday needs, the low
sloping roofline of the S60 echoes that of the C70 Coupe while the new Volvo
family identity is immediately obvious. The protruding 'egg-crate' grille, the
hood form which leads back into the cabin, pronounced rounded shoulders, short
rear overhang, and distinctive tail lamps, mean that the stylish S60 could never
be mistaken for anything other than a new Volvo.The bodyside of the S60 has
a pronounced 'coke-bottle' form, which emphasizes the the wheels and adds to
the sporty feeling."With the Volvo S60, we believe we have succeeded in combining
the classic elements of Volvo design with a strong sporty influence in a very
efficient package. With the S60 we wanted to create a piece of sculpture, a
dynamic work that looks like it's moving even when it's standing still," comments
Volvo's Design Director Peter Horbury.
|Honda Civic - The Civic 5-door's styling is fresh and innovative with a strong sense of solidity and refinement. Closer to a 'one-box' design than previous generations, its distinctive front end is characterised by the short nose, and unique recessed grill form. The arching roofline defines a large glass area that ensures excellent visibility, but while roof height has been increased, visually it is not excessive and falls midway between standard C-segment hatchbacks and compact MPVs.|
C5 - Designed at Citroen's Styling Centre at Vélizy, near Paris,
the C5 is a fluid design, with strong integration of the hood and cabin
forms. The emphasis is on the exceptionally spacious layout, with a long wheelbase,
wide track and exceptional height.Huge, laid-back headlamps frame the bold new
grille design, which strongly emphasises the Citroen logo.
Kalos concept - The Kalos concept car is aimed at Toyota's popular
Yaris subcompact and it's looking for a production slot two or three years
in the future. The Kalos is a five-door hatch that might spawn a four-door
and a three-door. Dark plastic panels are used almost excessively on an
otherwise clean and strong design.
Neos concept - Neos (for New Evolution Open Sports Car) is a dramatic
new concept from Hyundai. The Neos isa butterfly-doored, four-cylinder-powered
speedster with 250 hp and an F1-style sequential six-speed gearbox. The front
end is dramatically agressive, which contrasts with the more retro, rounded
|Volkswagen Passat update - The new Passat looks more purposeful from the front than the model it replaces, with a new front end that gives the car a more dynamic and refined appearance.The rear has distinctive redesigned light clusters and a new boot opening, while a chrome protection strip runs around the body and chromed window surrounds add an upmarket touch on certain models.|
Photos - Copyright©2000 Car Design News, Inc.