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General Motors' Hy-Wire concept is the first driveable fuel cell and drive-by-wire vehicle in the world.

MSN is the show's Official Online Partner and is providing exclusive coverage of the show, as it did for the last Paris Motor Show.

More than 50 vehicles were unveiled at the 2002 show, however only a fraction of those will find their way to American shores. Here are some of the vehicles and concepts that debuted in Paris and are of significance to the American market:

General Motors

Easily the most innovative vehicle to ever come out of General Motors is the Hy-Wire concept that made its debut in Paris. Built on the AUTOnomy platform introduced at the Detroit auto show last January, the Hy-Wire is the first driveable fuel cell and drive-by-wire vehicle in the world. The foundation of the Hy-Wire is an 11-inch thick "skateboard" chassis. This houses all propulsion and fuel-cell components for the vehicle, allowing for extreme freedom in designing the body and style of the vehicle. Larry Burns, GM's vice president of research and development, explained that there are just ten attachment points for connecting the body to the chassis, with one docking point for the electronic connection.

The Hy-Wire uses a driver interface called X-Drive. Very similar to the operation of a motorcycle, acceleration and braking are accessed via hand controls on the steering wheel. With no requirements for housing engine, fuel, or exhaust systems, there are no restrictions on the interior design. Burns described sitting in the Hy-Wire as being like sitting in an easy chair in front of a large picture window. With no engine or transmission, the driver is given a clear view through large floor to ceiling windshield. According to Burns, GM plans to have "compelling and affordable fuel cell vehicles on the road by the end of the decade."

Chrysler

After a sneak peek at the Pebble Beach Concours earlier this summer, Chrysler unveiled its latest take on the popular PT Cruiser at the Paris show. The California Cruiser is a modern interpretation of the classic surfer wagon, complete with the "woody" look, however in this case fashioned from aluminum. The eight-panel glass roof can be retracted at the touch of a button, and the doors and quarter-light glass dropped to make a virtually all-open freeway cruiser. With the rear window down there's room to pile the surfboards in the back. With the four individual fold-flat seats lowered, it becomes what Chrysler VP Jim Schroer describes as "a hotel room for two"—just like the classic camper van. And if you're wondering if this concept will reach production, "An expert surfer will tell you they are after the NEXT wave, not the one in front of them," Jim Schroer said. "Chrysler California Cruiser is a concept that might be that Next Wave—with us, you just never know."

Porsche

After more than a year of spy photos, dropped hints and minimal photography and specs, Porsche has finally taken the wraps off its first entry into the SUV market. A sport-ute from Porsche seems like a contradiction in terms, but of course, this is no ordinary sport ute. Cayenne is powered by a 350-horsepower 4.5-liter V8 engine in the S trim, while the Turbo adds twin-turbochargers to the V8 for a maximum rating of 450 horsepower. Porsche claims the Turbo is capable of reaching 100 km/hr (62 mph) in just 5.6 seconds, which is pretty impressive for an SUV that weighs more than 5,000 lbs. Keeping the power on the ground is an all-new four-wheel drive system called the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system. The Cayenne is produced in an all-new factory in Leipzig, Germany. Production has already begun in anticipation of the new SUV going on sale this December in Germany. Sales will be phased in around the world, with the Cayenne's arrival in the U.S. expected in spring 2003. Click here for more on the Cayenne.

Audi

The German automaker debuted its redesigned flagship A8. The luxury sedan features aluminum-intensive construction, a powerful V8 powertrain and of course Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system. Sharing the display were the next generation S4 sedan and S4 Avant, both based on the new A4 that went on sale in 2002. And while it's unlikely to come to the states (unfortunately), a sporty little yellow S3 hatchback was also on display at the Audi stand.

Bentley

As of September 19, 2002, Bentley Motor Cars is a new company, separate from Rolls-Royce—the first time in more than 70 years. And what better way to celebrate becoming a new company than with a new model. Shown in early photos as the GT Coupe, the Continental GT was unveiled in Paris, helping to launch the new company in an all-new direction. This Bentley is slightly smaller and less expensive that previous models from the prestigious marque, but there is no question that it is a Bentley of the classic tradition—a genuine Grand Tourer, now with supercar performance. The Continental GT will provide a thrilling ride for its four occupants with a 500-horsepower 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine under the "bonnet". Power is controlled via a 6-speed paddle-operated gearbox and for the first time in a Bentley, distributed to the road via all-wheel drive. Pricing is expected to be around $150,000 when it arrives in America next year.

BMW

This fall, one of the models to start the roadster craze in America is moving on to its second generation and getting a new name. The Z4 made its official debut in Paris, and will replace the popular Z3 when it goes on sale in North America this fall. The new roadster features edgy new styling similar to the X-Coupe and Z9 concepts that may be as polarizing as the controversial 7-Series design. Powertrains remain unchanged; however a Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) which allows very quick shifting via steering-wheel mounted paddles will be available later in the model year.

Ferrari

Named in honor of the Italian automaker's founder, the Enzo Ferrari debuted in Paris and is the latest special edition supercar to come out of Modena. Past limited-run Ferraris have included the GTO, the F40 and most recently the F50 which celebrated the automaker's 50th anniversary. While the initial plan was to build only 349 examples of the Enzo, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo announced that 50 additional Enzos would be built for a total of 399. Pricing has not been announced, but it doesn't really matter—the entire run has already sold out. The Enzo is powered by a newly designed 6.0-litre V12 engine based on Ferrari's vast Formula One experience. Output is rated at 660 horsepower with peak torque of 657 Nm. The powerplant is teamed with an F1-style transmission, which makes it possible to shift gears in a mere 150 milliseconds. Claimed time from a standstill to 62 mph is 3.65 seconds, with a top speed of more than 200 mph.

Jaguar

Jaguar showed its seventh-generation XJ Sedan, which will go on sale in the U.S. next spring as a 2004 model. The English marque calls this the most technologically advanced Jaguar ever built, however it will still stay true to its traditions and history. "I believe it is the ultimate expression of Jaguar luxury saloon car engineering," said Jaguar's Director of Design, Ian Callum. He adds, "Its proportions, stance, and obvious dynamic quality clearly display that all important Jaguar DNA, capturing the essence and style of the classic XJ lineage, but with a thoroughly modern idiom." The new Jag features an aluminum-intensive structure which is both lighter and more rigid. Larger and roomier than its predecessor, the '04 XJ will be available with a new family of V6 and V8 powerplants.

Mercedes-Benz

This year Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its performance arm, AMG. To commemorate this event, the German automaker introduced two new AMG models—the E55 and the C30 CDI—and showed off the 2003 S-Class and CL-Class. Both the S and CL feature PRE-SAFE, which is designed to detect an impending collision and help to protect the occupants before the crash occurs. The flagship S-Class sedan is also now available with the 4-Matic full-time all-wheel drive system. With a 34 percent horsepower increase over its predecessor, the current generation E55 will be the most powerful E-Class ever sold. Power comes from a 5.5-liter supercharged V8 engine producing 476-horsepower teamed with a 5-speed automatic transmission. In a bit of a departure for AMG, the high-performance division has performed its magic on a diesel engine. The C30 CDI is being called the "first diesel sports car in the world" by Mercedes, powered by a turbocharged diesel engine produces an impressive 231 horsepower. However there are no plans to bring this diesel to America. Other AMG models coming out for 2003 are the S55 and CL55, both sporting supercharged V8 engines that produce a whopping 500 horsepower.

Mazda

While Mazda did not debut any models that are coming to the U.S. right away, there is hope that one of them will make it. A concept based on the Mazda6 (which does go on sale in America next spring replacing the 626), is called the MPS and it has some pretty impressive stats. Featuring what Mazda calls "Sophisticated High Performance", the Mazda6 MPS gives an example of what a top-of-the-range Mazda6 could be. The MPS sports a new version of Mazda's five-pointed grille, an enlarged front bumper, flared wheel arches and 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Power comes from a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine producing 280 horsepower and is driven through a full-time all-wheel drive system.

Subaru

While Subaru's new Impreza and specifically the WRX have received great reviews, one of the common complaints has been that the headlights were not terribly attractive. For 2003, the European version of the Impreza gets a facelift with revised headlights and tail lights. It has not yet been confirmed when (or if) this change will come to America. Former World Rally Championship (WRC) Tommi Makkinen was in attendance to show off his new WRC car, which also features the new headlight treatment. Horsepower has been increased in both the WRX and STi models for Europe. Again, no confirmation on plans for the American market, however Subaru has said that the more-powerful STi will go on sale in America in the near future.

Volkswagen

The German company is certainly branching out—it's not just Beetles and Jettas anymore. In the next year there will be a new SUV arriving in America from Volkswagen. The Touareg was developed and shares a platform with the Porsche Cayenne. However the Touareg will be less expensive and features distinctive body styling (which many say is considerably more attractive) as well as a completely different set of powertrains. Boasting a sophisticated, permanent four-wheel drive system joined by three differentials and a central differential lock as standard equipment guarantees that this SUV will be at home on- or off-road. The top-level trims will also feature air suspension, which will allow the driver to vary the ride height according to the terrain. The Touareg goes on sale in Europe this fall and arrives in North America as a 2004 model in the second half of 2003.

Volvo

The Volvo brand has always been associated with being the safe and logical choice for a family sedan or wagon; however, the Swedish brand introduced a new model in Paris that moves away from that image—the S60 R / V70 R. Sporting the most powerful engine in the Volvo lineup, the R models boast 300 horsepower and 400 NM of torque! Based on the Performance Concept Car shown in Paris two years ago, the R models are faster than anything shown by Volvo before. Hans Nilsson, R Car Line Manager, referred to it as a "sports car combined with a family sedan." The R has all the credentials of a sports car: electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system, Brembo brakes with 4-piston calipers, as well as Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC). To help handle the extreme power, the R is built on an "Active Performance Chassis" with Four-C technology. The Four-C system processes information from sensors throughout the car and adjusts the suspension, braking, and power to keep the car in control. The R goes on sale in the spring of 2003.

For more details, check out MSN's complete and exclusive coverage of the 2002 Paris Motor Show, featuring streaming video, Surround Videos and plenty of photography.

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