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Some swanky cars launched in 2006

December 28, 2006 17:28 IST

Motor shows can bedazzle you because there is so much to see, and the Bologna Motor Show had it all - the best of cars and tracks around which you could drive some of them.

The day started with Ford launching their C Max, which has been a runaway success in Europe but this is not going to come to India. Instead, here you will see the Focus.

Indians are getting spoiled for choice with top-of-the line SUVs like the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7 coming or already in India. But things will real hot up, when Volvo's XC90 wafts in. It's so spacious and the rear seats can be folded to make space for a circus!

Next, there was yet more feast for the eyes - there was the Range Rover Sport and the new Freelander with it longer wheelbase and attitude. While most companies try to keep with the times, as far as looks go, the Land Rover is maintaining the essence of its 1948 original.

Now, to get a more complete experience of how it feels to drive some of these beauties, the car manufacturers had set up these specific courses outdoors to display the strengths of their vehicles. It was sort of like a laboratory to explain terms like hill descent control, dynamic stability control and more.

Toyota was doing their tricks on an off road course with their cars climbing steep inclines, speeding across a 30 degree slope without overturning. It also managed to twist itself through a V shaped course to display torque transfer to individual wheels - this means that when one wheel is in the air, it stops spinning and torque is transferred to other three wheels.

Well, all the foreign car manufacturers showed up at Bologne and India was also there. Tata Motors launched a new pick-up called the Sprint, which looked really cool.

Also on display was the 2.2 litre Dicor, which we can expect to see in the near future. Then there was Mahindra & Mahindra with the Scorpio, which they have rechristened Goa for the European market.

General Motors dominated an entire hall and there was the former Daewoo Matiz, which will yet again be seen in India as the Spark. This little thing is compact but still quite spacious on the inside and the rear seat is nice and high. The interiors will change for India.

So, with so many manufacturers who have set their sights on Indian consumers, things are only going to get more exciting for us.

On the second day, there was still more eye candy to be seen. There was the Audi R8 and their sister company Volkswagen, where the new Touareg was displayed. Equipped with over 2,300 redesigned parts, it looks different from its predecessor with a completely modified front section with crest radiator grill and distinctive headlights.

Modifications to the rear section have been made too. There's a new hatchback spoiler that improves aerodynamics. The rear and brake lights were technically modified and the optional tinted glass of the rear lights has been improved. The designers also have redesigned the lower area of the bumper and exhaust pipes, for a more dynamic look.

Apart from this, a host of technological goodies were added like rollover sensor, dynamic response, ABS and more but Volkswagen launched a new vehicle here - the Cross Touran, which is a vehicle for the family with a sense of adventure.

Then there was a 2007 version of a Beetle close by and was just too much to resist. But the hottest car at the show had to be the Citoen 8 or C8 - she preened like a model - embodying the style of some of the most famous racing cars from the past, including, notably, the 33 coupe Stradale and the Giulia TZ.

The engine is an amazing new 4.7-litre, 8-cylinder 90-degree v unit, capable of delivering 450 horsepower. It comes with rear-wheel drive, and a 6-speed robotic gearbox and the suspension system features deformable wishbones - like those found on racing cars.

Now if that was not enough to satiate you, then there was the Lamborghini LP640, which had its roof down. This Italian beauty flaunted its beauty to one and all and certainly got as much attention.

From the hot and tempestuous to the sedate and stately, that's the Bentley for you. There the Azure and the GT Cabrio were on display. Bentley has been trying to shed its stately image of late, and is getting pretty hot with the below 60 age profile, that it had appealed to earlier.

All in all, these were great machines to be ogling at - never mind owning them!

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