Europe's coachbuilders are reinventing the roadster. At the Geneva auto show, Pininfarina, Italdesign and Bertone will introduce three roadsters that can easily be converted into another body style.
Italdesign will introduce a concept car based on the Chevrolet Corvette. Pininfarina will unveil a car that doubles as a roadster or racecar. And Bertone will debut a roadster based on the BMW Z8. Italdesign's homage to the Corvette is called Moray. It is slightly longer, wider and much taller than the Corvette, but its most striking feature is the glass bubble roof. The glass behind the a-pillar can easily be removed, transforming the coupe into an "almost-roadster."
Bertone will display a still-unnamed concept car based on the BMW Z8. Although the car is built on the Z8 chassis, Bertone has extended the wheelbase by 300mm. The coupe's roof slides down over the trunk lid, transforming it into a true roadster.
The project gave Bertone an opportunity to demonstrate its ability to assemble aluminum-body cars. Bertone also will introduce two significant production vehicles: the exterior of the Fiat New Small car, and the Alfa Romeo GT coupe.
Pininfarina's concept car Enjoy is a two-seat barchetta with a trick feature. To convert the roadster into a racecar, one detaches the front and rear fenders. Pininfarina declined to reveal Enjoy's powertrain or platform. Pininfarina also will display four production models.
The redesigned Alfa Romeo Spider and GTV are having their world debuts in Geneva. Pininfarina did the face-lifts and will assemble both models.
Meanwhile, the redesigned Daewoo Nubira sedan will make its European debut. The Nubira is Pininfarina's second project for the Korean automaker.
Pininfarina also will display a production version of the Streetka, which it will assemble in Italy for Ford. Pininfarina plans to build 45,000 units through 2005. Designed by Ford's Carrozzeria Ghia studio in Turin, the StreetKa originally debuted as a concept car in 2000.
Fioravanti will showcase updated versions of two concept cars - the Yak and the F100r. The Yak will feature LED-based headlights, while the F100r roadster will be painted in traditional Ferrari red.
French coachbuilder Heuliez will present a Peugeot 206 CC with a "deflectop" system. When the car's retractable top is folded down, the deflectop acts as a windbreaker to prevent buffeting. Heuliez also will display an Espace with a customized interior. Both vehicles are making world debuts.
Stola will unveil the Stola GTS concept, an interpretation of a Porsche. The Turin-based engineering company did not release any details about the GTS, which will make its world debut. This will be Stola's first exhibit in Geneva.
Carcerano, the I.DE.A. Institute, Karmann, Matra, Magna Steyr and Zagato are not expected to exhibit new cars this year.