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What's New - May 2005

Thu, 05 May 2005 Porsche Cayman S

Porsche has released photos of the new Cayman S model. Based on the Boxster platform, the Cayman S is a closed two-seater coup? with a large rear hatchback and revised styling. The characteristic silhouette of the Cayman S features a pronounced roof profile with a new window DLO and revised side air inlets. At the rear, the car has powerfully sweeping wheel arches and an automatically extending trunk spoiler. The rear hatch opens to provide access to the 260 litre luggage compartment which, in conjunction with the 150 litre luggage compartment in the nose, ensures that this two-seater sports car combines good functionality with a flowing aesthetic form.

The Cayman S is powered by a newly developed 3.4 litre six-cylinder 'boxer' engine with 295ps and a top speed of 171 mph (275 km/h). The basic price for the Cayman S will be 58,529 Euro.

Mitsubishi i

Mitsubishi Motors has decided to christen the latest addition to its Kei minicar range "i". This is a production version of the "i" concept seen at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, but also shares much of its philosophy and packaging from the radical Sero concept shown in Tokyo in 2003, particularly the one-box profile and rear-midship engine.

The new-age car encourages the owner to express him/herself fully (hence the 'i'). 'Innovation' also served as a keyword in the development of the car. According to Mitsubishi, the car is seen as a "next-generation innovative kei" to deliver levels of safety, handling and stability that go beyond the norm for its size class. "i" will be the first Mitsubishi model to employ a rear-midship layout and goes on sale next year.


The new SEAT Leon made its public debut at the Barcelona International Motor Show in May. The Leon is the third model in the new generation of SEAT products based on the VW Golf platform, which also includes the Altea and Toledo. Although similar in style to the production Altea, the new Leon is lower than the sister model and features concealed rear door handles as on the Altea concept of 2003.

The new Leon's face is instantly recognisable as a SEAT with its expressive headlamps, strong hood lines, and grille with central SEAT logo. From the side, the now familiar Dynamic Line can be seen sloping downwards from the front wheel arch, over the doors to the rear wheel. Another distinctive SEAT feature is the windscreen wipers, which sit vertically at rest and sweep with a butterfly pattern, although unlike the Altea, they are fully visible and not hidden in the A-pillars. Dimensions: length: 4315 mm, width 1768 mm, wheelbase 2578 mm, trunk capacity 341 litres.

Volkswagen Polo

The new Volkswagen Polo was unveiled at last month's Leipzig Motor Show. Coinciding with the model's 30th birthday, the new version features a fresh look to the front and rear, plus new colours and trims. Following the new Passat, the new Polo will be the second Volkswagen to display the brand's new 'face'. The completely redesigned front end features a deep grille, forming the point of a V shape, which continues up through the hood to the base of the A-pillars and new lights with a trapezoid shape incorporating a subtle circular highlight that cuts down into the bumper.

The rear of the new Polo has a more dynamic look with revised tailgate and redesigned taillamps, echoing the front end's circular elements, as well as those of recent Volkswagen models such as the new Passat and Golf Plus. New engine options will also be featured in the range.

BMW 3 Series Touring

Details of the fourth generation 3 Series Touring have been released by BMW. The new Touring is faster, more comfortable, roomier and more economical than the outgoing model. Internally and externally the new 3 Series Touring is larger than its predecessor and shares the same 2,760mm wheelbase as the new sedan. Trunk space is also improved with the new model offering 460 litres with the rear seats in place and 1385 litres with the 60:40 split seats folded. Like its predecessor, the new Touring features a split opening tailgate so that small items can be loaded easily through the window. New options include a large Panorama sunroof giving up to 60 per cent more light than a conventional sunroof.


Maybach Exelero concept

DaimlerChrysler unveiled a high-performance show car last week at the Tempodrom in Berlin. The 700ps two-seater 'Exelero' concept with a V-12 biturbo engine is a unique custom model produced for Fulda Reifenwerke, which is using the car as a reference vehicle for a newly developed generation of wide tyres.

The exterior follows the proportions of the Mercedes SLR McLaren, with a very long hood and chopped, tapering glasshouse, reminiscent of the legendary Maybach SW38 of the 1930's. The aggressive appearance is made up of a series of twisting body surfaces, with a long, flowing tail and rear diffuser. Overall length is a vast 5.9 meters. In initial tests on the high-speed track at Nardo (Italy), the unique vehicle reached a top speed of 351 km/h. The Maybach design team developed the custom model with the participation of students from Pforzheim University, while the car itself was built by prototype specialists Stola in Turin.