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From James Bond to the eco-friendly: The 2008 Geneva Motor Show

Sunday, March 9, 2008 - 23:00
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The 2008 Geneva Motor Show, which is now under way and runs through March 16, features an array of state-of-the-art vehicles, from the practical to the outlandish.

The 78th international Swiss show features more than 50 new product previews, covering just about every segment of the auto industry, from Indian manufacturer Tata’s $2,500 car to a $2.3 million Bugatti Veyron Fbr, developed in a joint venture with the luxury goods maker, Hermes.

The Ford Fiesta will be featured in four-door form, and Infiniti is displaying its FX50 SUV/crossover, which is expected to reach U.S. show floors in June. Volvo is offering its XC 60 midsize crossover, which, it claims is the safest vehicle the automaker has ever built.


Renault's Mégane Coupe Concept

But the vehicle garnering the most attention is likely the Rinspeed SQuba, a Lotus Exige modified into an actual working submarine. The aqua-car will not be featured in water, according to reports; rather, the car will occupy a fake beach landscape.

Lumeneo's Smera is a single-seat narrow electric car is on display, tailored for those who can’t decide between a motorcycle and an automobile. This scooter-type vehicle can go up to 80 mph and reputedly travels more than 90 miles on a charge.

The Renault Mégane Coupe Concept, featuring "dragonfly wing" doors, also is making an appearance. This car uses a mobile phone to unlock the doors and start the ignition. Toyota’s iQ urban car, which it describes as a Smart car with a third seat, will be targeted toward European drivers.

Britain's WhatCar features The Vauxhall Tigra Illusion, a hard-top convertible with a soft-top look. Fisker Automotive is displaying a four-door plug-in hybrid.

And Mercedes-Benz is featuring the all-new SL, which includes the SL63 AMG sports car.

Many vehicles on display represent the omnipresent “greening” of new vehicles, like Bentley’s announcement that it will slash CO2 emissions and introduce a new powertrain that could boost mileage on some models by up to 40 percent by 2012.

"The green nail that I was hammering on at the last two Motor Shows has now been driven completely home," says Me Luc Argand, president of the Geneva International Motor Show.

For more information, visit www.salon-auto.ch/en/.

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