European automakers appear to be operating under the principle that "If we build 'em - no matter what -- they will come."
At the top of the market north of $300,000, the hand-built, two-seat Porsche Carerra GT and gull-wing Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR next year will join a range of ultrapricey cars that already includes the likes of the Maybach and redesigned Rolls-Royce sedans. At the other end, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz will launch superminis and subcompacts with subpremium price tags.
Not that the booming sport wagon segment has been forgotten. BMW and Mercedes will add models and redesign existing vehicles. Land Rover - bucking the sport wagon segment - will introduce three redesigned SUVs in the next three years.
This is the final installment of Automotive News' five-part future product series. Here's a product-by-product description of what Europe's automakers are planning for the North American market 2003 to 2007.
|What will change|
|Here are the major planned changes in the lineup by calendar year.|
|Alfa Romeo||First models appear|
|Aston Martin||AMV8 Vantage debuts|
|Possible Lagonda debut|
|Audi||A8 L restyled, re-engineered|
RS 6 debuts
|Possible debut of Pikes Peak SUV||A6 redesigned|
TT coupe redesigned
|TT roadster redesigned|
Possible Nuvolari debut
|Bentley||Continental GT coupe debuts||Continental GT 4-door debuts||Continental GT convertible could debut||Arnage redesigned (or 2008)|
|BMW||5 series redesigned|
|1 series sedan debuts|
6 series debuts
|7 series reskinned|
Z4 coupe expected
|3 series redesigned|
1 series convertible possible
|Ferrari||360 Modena redesigned|
456GT redesigned, renamed
|575M Maranello redesigned|
|Jaguar||XJ redesigned||XK redesigned||S-Type re-engineered or redesigned|
|Lamborghini||Gallardo coupe debuts|
Murcielago roadster debuts
|Gallardo roadster debuts (or 2006)|
|Land Rover||Range Rover redesigned||Discovery redesigned||Ranger Rover Sport debuts||Freelander redesigned|
|Maybach||57, 62 debut|
|Mercedes-Benz||E-class wagon debuts||C class freshened|
E class freshened (or 2006)
M class redesigned
C class redesigned
S class redesigned
|CL redesigned (or 2008)|
|Porsche||Cayenne debuts||Carrera GT debuts|
|Saab||9-3 convertible debuts||9-2 debuts||9-7 SUV debuts||Possible sport wagon debuts|
Jetta redesigned (or 2005)
Passat redesigned (or 2005)
|Microbus debuts||Possible Passat convertible|
C1 sedan debuts
|S80 redesigned||V70 redesigned|
Possible V90 debuts
The return of Fiat Auto's sporty Alfa Romeo marque to the United States has been delayed three times. The plan is to relaunch the brand here with a four-car range in 2007. But because of Fiat's financial problems, the launch target appears fluid.
The Alfa coupe is expected to be nearly identical to the Brera concept car, an Italdesign-Giugiaro design that was unveiled at last year's Geneva auto show.
Aston Martin's AMV8 Vantage arrives summer of 2005.
The platform will be the basis for all future Aston Martin models.
Aston Martins will feature a body and chassis constructed from aluminum and composites.
The engine block likely will be shared with Jaguar, but the cylinder heads and valve-train parts will be unique to Aston Martin. A supercharged engine is likely.
DB7: The DB9 will arrive in America in summer 2004 in coupe form, and as a convertible at the end of 2004. A 6.0-liter V-12 engine will generate 450hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. It will run on the same bonded aluminum spaceframe architecture as the AMV8 Vantage, but will have a longer wheelbase and overall length. Pricing will be about 10 percent higher than the outgoing DB7.
Lagonda: A four-seat sports sedan is in the planning stages for a 2007 introduction, but only if the market for ultraluxury cars such as Bentley and Maybach holds. Otherwise the car likely will be canceled.
S4: The S4 and S4 Avant will be added to the lineup next month. Both vehicles will be equipped with a 340-hp 4.2-liter V-8. "S" is Audi's performance brand. Vehicles with this designation receive horsepower, suspension, brake and other enhancements.
RS 6: The high-performance RS 6 sedan just arrived with a bi-turbo 4.2-liter V-8 rated at 450 hp. It generates 415 pounds-feet of torque and travels from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, Audi says. The automaker plans to sell about 1,000 RS 6 models here. The RS 6 is considered to be Audi's halo car, much like the TT was when it was first introduced.
TT: The TT finally gets a six-cylinder engine late in the fourth quarter of this year. Audi will combine a 250-hp 3.2-liter V-6 with the Direct Shift Gearbox, which it calls a race-bred automatic transmission.
A redesigned TT coupe will be introduced at the Geneva auto show in spring 2005 and will go on sale in Germany in mid-2005. U.S. sales could begin later that year.
A redesigned TT roadster will be launched in 2006.
Both models will have aluminum bodies.
Nuvolari: Audi is developing a high-end sports coupe expected to be based on the Nuvolari concept vehicle. The concept featured a 600-hp V-10 engine. The car will be developed off the next generation A6 platform. Sales in Germany likely will begin in early 2006. No word on whether the car will be sold in the United States.
Audi's Pikes Peak SUV would be built on the same platform as the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. Sales could start in 2005.
Continental GT: The sleek GT coupe that debuted in Paris last year goes on sale in 2004. A four-door will follow in 2005 and a convertible is likely in 2006, although the ragtop has not received final approval. The GT coupe is powered by a 560-hp 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-12. Expect a price of about $150,000.
1 series: The subcompact 1 series, due to arrive in 2004, will be based on a shortened 3 series platform and will be four-door sedan. A three-door hatchback is planned for Europe, but may not be sold here. A four-seat convertible may arrive in 2006, followed by an M model, BMW's high- performance series.
Look for a price between the top Mini and the bottom 3 series models.
5 series: The redesigned 5 series will debut in September at the Frankfurt motor show. Sales will begin shortly after introduction -- the 530i is first, followed a month later by the 525i and the 545i. The 5 series features extensive use of aluminum in the body and the chassis. A wagon joins the line late in 2004; an M model will debut in 2006.
The 6 series is based on the platform of the new 5 series but will be much lighter thanks to aluminum front panels and suspension subframes.
A high performance M6 is likely in 2005.
X3: BMW's new five-passenger sport wagon is due in early 2004. Based on the 3 series, it will be powered by a choice of in-line six-cylinder engines - a 2.5-liter and a 3.0-liter. The X3 will feature BMW's new awd system, xDrive.
X5: The U.S.-assembled sport wagon receives a freshening this fall and a redesign in 2006. With the redesign, the range-topping X5 4.4i will get a new engine - a 315-hp 4.4-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It also gets xDrive.
Z8: With the pending arrival of the 6 series, BMW has discontinued the roadster. The sleek two-seater went out of production in April.
456GT: The 456 GT/M 2+2 coupe will be redesigned and renamed in 2004 - 12 years after it debuted. Pininfarina was commissioned to do the design. The car will debut at the Detroit auto show in January.
The new car will make extensive use of aluminum, including the space frame and body panels. Power comes from a 48-valve, 6.0-liter V-12 pushing out more than 500 hp. Price? About $225,000.
A redesign likely will come in the 2008 model year, but the platform still is undecided. Jaguar execs have been disappointed with the Ford Mondeo underpinnings, and they are studying whether the XJ architecture can be scaled down - especially the costs - to work with the X-Type.
An R sport edition was killed off due to budget cuts, as were development of coupe and convertible models.
S-Type: Jaguar is looking at least two options: re-engineering the current S-Type platform that it shares with the Lincoln LS, or creating a platform by scaling down in both size and cost the XJ platform. The next- generation S-Type likely will arrive in 2006. Awd will be an option.
XK: The redesigned XK will be offered in coupe and ragtop versions. Despite dealer pleas, there will not be a retractable hardtop version when the car debuts in 2005. Designers are under the gun for a quick redrawing from the design freeze, because an XK styling buck used in the latest James Bond movie was panned by the British press as looking little better than a Chevy Camaro.
Gallardo: While the mid-engined, two-passenger supercar is smaller than its Murcielago big brother, it is fast and furious. The Gallardo packs a 500-hp 5.0-liter V-10. It is on sale in Europe, and U.S. sales begin in 2004. A roadster version is expected in late 2005 or early 2006.
New model: A third car could be added late in the decade. A decision is expected by the end of the year. Whether it would be positioned above or below the other two cars is not clear.
Freelander: The first car-based Land Rover comes in spring 2006 and shares Ford Motor Co.'s new global Ford C1 platform with Mazda and Volvo. The U.S. market may get both an inline-five borrowed from Volvo and a four-cylinder engine.
Defender: The redesign will come in 2006 and retain the rugged off-road vehicle characteristics favored by military purchasing departments. While the current model does not meet U.S. emissions requirements, the new one will.
The redesigned Discovery will have a longer wheelbase and overall length, but it will be narrower and lower in height. While the width will address the narrow streets and parking spaces in Europe and Japan, the added length accommodates a third row of seats.
The redesigned Discovery will be powered by a version of Jaguar's 4.2-liter V-8.
Although the vehicle's structure will be mounted on a ladder frame, its ride gets mellowed with independent front and rear suspension.
Range Rover Sport: While borrowing from the flagship's name, and borrowing many of the styling cues, this vehicle will come from the Discovery platform when it arrives in spring 2005. This model will fit in the $45,000 to $60,000 range between Discovery and Range Rover.
The Sport also will share a version of Jaguar's 4.2-liter V-8. While the B-pillar forward will look like a Range Rover, early spy art shows a rear half that has more in common with a Lexus RX 330, given its steeply sloping rear hatch.
Range Rover: It was redesigned for 2003, and the next major change will be the replacement of the BMW V-8 for the torque-modified Jaguar 4.2-liter V-8 in 2005. Land Rover also is considering a supercharger.
The 400-hp Maserati Quattroporte will be unveiled at Frankfurt next month.
Smart: The Smart supermini planned for the United States will be based on the next-generation Mitsubishi Colt platform. It will arrive in 2006. The U.S. model will be a four-door assembled in Brazil, with different styling than the version planned for Europe. That model will be built in the Netherlands.
CST: The subcompact CST will be a combination sport wagon and mini-minivan. It will debut in 2005 and will be based on the redesigned A-class platform but will have unique styling that is not shared with the European-market A class.
E class: A station wagon joins the line this fall, and a common rail diesel will be added to the line in 2004, the first diesel since 1999. The engine will be used in the E320 CDI sedan; a wagon is not planned. The E class will be freshened in 2005 or 2006.
The car will feature ceramic brake disks, carbon-fiber chassis components, brake-by-wire and a supercharged 5.5-liter V-8 rated at more than 600 hp. Price: $400,000-plus. Only 500 units a year will be build by Formula One partner McLaren.
GST: The station wagon-like vehicle will be launched in 2005. With seating for six passengers in three rows, a tall roofline and high seating positions, it is similar to Chrysler's Pacifica. But there is no sharing of parts, the company says. A V-6 and a V-8 model are expected, both with awd. But it won't be named GST. Like the M class, it will be produced at Mercedes' Alabama assembly plant.
BMW's Mini brand will get a convertible in 2004.
The four-passenger convertible will go on sale in 2004. While a diesel version with a Toyota engine went on sale in Europe last spring, there has been no decision on U.S. sales. Other variants are expected in the coming years - possibly a minivan and small pickup. But no timetable has been given for introduction.
TOP: Porsche's stalwart 911 will be redesigned next year or in 2005. BOTTOM: Porsche's $400,000-plus Carerra GT will be powered by a 5.5-liter, 612-hp V-10.
E2: Porsche is continuing to evaluate whether to expand its vehicle range. Under consideration is a four-passenger coupe, code-named E2A, and a four-door model, code-named E2B. Both cars likely would have awd and use the Cayenne's V-8. A decision on whether to build one or both vehicles likely depends on the success of the Cayenne.
Phantom: BMW officially took over Rolls-Royce in January and shipped the first Phantoms to dealers in June. Only the name is old; the car is all new, developed from a clean sheet by BMW. Production will be limited to about 1,000 cars annually, with about 40 percent of that number aimed at North America. No other vehicles are planned in the foreseeable future.
The first model will be a lightly modified version of the Impreza wagon powered by Subaru's familiar flat-four engines.
The second, a hatchback, will be based on the high performance Subaru WRX.
The 9-2's front-end styling will have a Saab look, but the rest of the car, including the interior, is expected to be all Subaru.
The 9-2 will go on sale next summer. Estimated production is about 7,000 units with a sticker price in the low $20,000s.
The 2004 9-5 Arc model gets a powertrain change: the 3.0-liter V-6 is replaced by a 2.3-liter, turbocharged inline four-cylinder rated at 220 hp.
The redesigned 9-5 will bow in 2006; it is unclear what General Motors platform will be used. A wagon, sedan and an awd model are planned.
9-7: Saab gets an SUV in 2005 based on the GMC Envoy and Chevy TrailBlazer. The truck-based vehicle will have its own exterior and interior trim and extensive chassis tuning, braking and steering changes. The SUV likely would be only sold in North America with an annual volume of between 5,000 and 15,000 units. GM has a similar arrangement with Isuzu to make the Ascender.
Saab is considering a range topping awd car based on the concept shown at the Frankfurt show in 2001.
Volkswagen's fifth-generation Golf is due early next year. It is longer, wider and higher than the current model.
The redesigned Golf will debut here in late 2004. The car is longer, wider and taller than the current model.
R32: VW is aiming to generate a little excitement for the Golf line before it heads to a redesign. The R32 will be VW's top performance sedan when it arrives in the first quarter of 2004. The awd R32 has a 237-hp 3.2-liter VR6. VW is aiming for about 1,500 sales.
New Beetle: The New Beetle receives VW's improved 1.9-liter turbocharged direct- injection diesel engine this year. As for a redesign, VW says it will maintain the New Beetle "three circle design" for many years to come. You just don't mess with that unique, proprietary design, one VW executive says.
The redesigned Passat will arrive in late 2004 or early 2005. A Passat convertible may arrive in 2006.
C1: A new premium sedan will fill the gap between the next-generation Passat and Phaeton luxury sedan. Known internally as the C1, the car will compete with the BMW 5 series and Mercedes-Benz E class starting in 2006.
Phaeton: This is VW's answer to the Mercedes-Benz S class. The price of the awd sedan is expected to start around $60,000 when it goes on sale in September or October. Buyers can choose a 330-hp 4.2-liter V-8 or a 414-hp, 6.0-liter W-12.
V30: Volvo is working on an Audi A3-sized hatchback for the European market that is being developed from the Ford Fiesta platform. The issue for Volvo is whether to sell the V30 here, and move the brand down market in the United States. Currently, the answer is no.
S40: A spring 2004 launch is planned for the redesigned Volvo sedan developed from the platform shared with the Mazda3 and the Europe-market Ford Focus. But the Volvo brand will have the only model that offers four-cylinder and inline-five cylinder engines. The four banger will come from Mazda, while the five will come from the Volvo S60. Volvo also will offer awd. Shortly after introduction, the S40 will offer a T5 turbo engine that boasts 220 hp.
This coupe's styling, Volvo says, will be more along the lines of the legendary P1800 of the late-1960s. The C50 will arrive in summer 2004, along with a convertible.
XC90: The XC90 will get a quick freshening in 2004. More importantly, it will get the first V-8 in a production Volvo as a mid-cycle change for 2005. Details are scarce as far as displacement and power. Insiders say the engine won't come from inside Volvo, but more likely an engine supplier such as Yamaha.
V90: The Geneva show car - called the Versatility Concept Car - showed the potential for a Volvo luxury wagon as a flagship model. Volvo still has not committed to production, but insiders say a 2006 debut is possible.
Staff Reporters Luca Ciferri, Ralph Kisiel, Diana T. Kurylko and Mark Rechtin, and Product Editor Rick Kranz contributed to this report.