Porsche Carrera GTClick to enlarge picture

Porsche will produce only 1,500 copies of the Carrera GT, which boasts a top speed of more than 200 mph.

For full show details, see MSN's Europe-based coverage, complete with streaming video, Surround Video and excellent reports.

2003 Geneva Motor Show Photo Gallery

New Porsche Supercar

Porsche took the wraps off the production version of its new high-performance Carrera GT in Geneva. After receiving a favorable response to the concept shown at the 2000 Paris Motor Show and with 1,000 orders placed, Porsche has decided to build a limited number—just 1500—of the new supercar. During the unveiling, Porsche president and CEO Dr Wendelin Wiedeking observed, "It is fair to say the heart of everyone at Porsche is most probably beating a bit faster. The Carrera GT, given its performance characteristics, its design and its unique character and qualities, will write history in the world of the sports car."

The numbers on this car are most impressive: the 5.7-liter 612-horsepower (European rating, U.S. rating not yet available) V10 engine takes the car to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds on its way to a top speed of more than 200 mph. Part of the secret to the Carrera GT's performance is lightweight technology. The chassis is built out of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, providing high strength for an unladen weight of around 3,000 lbs. The first Carrera GT models produced at the Porsche plant in Leipzig, Germany, will be delivered to customers at the end of 2003.

Saab 9-3 Convertible

Saab introduced a redesigned 9-3 for the 2003 model year, and in Geneva the Swedish automaker revealed one of the more popular versions of the 9-3, the all-new Convertible. The 9-3 accounts for almost one in three of all convertibles sold in Europe's premium segment last year, and one in five Saabs sold in the U.S. Peter Augustsson, Saab Automobile's president and CEO said, "In many ways, our Convertible's appeal goes right to the heart of the Saab brand. It expresses our brand pillars—design, performance, control, safety and versatility—in a focused package. It is a sporty, yet surprisingly practical car."

Two different turbocharged engines are available in the 9-3 Convertible, and the car is wider with a longer wheelbase than its predecessor. The push of one button lowers the all-season soft-top in about 20 seconds. The new Saab 9-3 Convertible will be built in a dedicated new production facility at Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik, near Graz, Austria, and will reach the U.S. market in the fall of 2003 as a 2004 model.

Mercedes-Benz CLK Cabriolet

The Germany-based company debuted an all-new CLK Cabriolet in Geneva. The redesigned CLK coupe went on sale last fall, but the last-generation convertible was still for sale pending release of the new open-top CLK. With a roomy interior and seating for four, the CLK Cabriolet features a newly developed soft-top that opens and closes automatically at the touch of a button or by remote control.

In addition to the new CLK Cabriolet, Mercedes showed its latest entry into what seems to be a growing horsepower war. The CL65 AMG is powered by a twin-turbocharged V12 engine that develops an impressive 612 horsepower. The most powerful AMG model to date, the CL65 reaches 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. No word yet on when this high-performance luxury coupe will reach American shores.

Smaller Lamborghini Finally Arrives

It had been the source of rumor in the press for years—a smaller, more affordable Lamborghini Lamborghini. Rumor no more, the Italian automaker revealed its all-new Gallardo. Named for a breed of fighting bulls, the Giugiaro-designed Gallardo has lines very similar to its older sibling, the Murci?lago. Lurking behind the driver is an impressive 5.0-liter 40-valve V10 engine teamed with a six-speed transmission with optional sequential paddle shifters and full-time four-wheel drive. With an output of 500 horsepower, the Gallardo will reach 60 mph in approximately four seconds, topping out around 190 mph. Lamborghini expects the new Gallardo to help it increase its annual production from around 400 cars to more than a thousand.

Audi Nuvolari Quattro

Looking a bit like a TT on steroids, an all-new concept was unveiled by Audi. The Nuvolari Quattro is named for Tazio Nuvolari, a famous driver of the pre-war Auto Union grand prix cars. Styled by Walter de'Silva, head of design for the Audi group, the Nuvolari Quattro is described as "a powerful Gran turismo for tomorrow." Sporting a 600-horsepower 5.0-liter V10 engine, the Nuvolari thunders to 60 mph in approximately four seconds. A less extreme version is likely to enter production within the next three years, and de'Silva indicated that "the Nuvolari Quattro outlines the direction that Audi's exterior and interior design will take . . . "

New Volvo Concept

Twice now Volvo has shown a concept car that has become reality: the Adventure Concept Car became the XC90 and the Performance Concept Car was the basis for the new high-performance S60R and V70R. The Swedish automaker gave the assembled press in Geneva a look at the future of Volvo's wagon lineup with debut of the Versatility Concept Car (VCC). With input from Volvo's design studios in Barcelona, Spain, and G?teborg, Sweden, the VCC features lines reminiscent of the famed Volvo P1800, with a grille descendant from the1968 Volvo 164. The lack of a B-pillar between the front and rear doors offers easier access. However, Volvo was quick to note that this design promotes the display of the remarkable interior, but for safety reasons is not intended for production cars. Other unique features include an ambient air distribution system, illuminated door panels, leather flooring and a semi-transparent solar panel in the roof.

Chrysler Airflite

The latest concept from DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group made its debut at the Geneva show. The Airflite features styling similar to the Crossfire sport coupe, but with the added functionality of a larger sedan. "Airflite is the ultimate expression of functional art," said Trevor Creed, senior vice president of design. "It is designed to offer true functionality in a beautifully designed exterior and interior package that is as exciting and as elegant as any coupe on the road." Although the Airflite would most likely never reach production in its current form, the concept is based on the new LX platform that will serve as a foundation for the next generation of the Chrysler Group's rear wheel-drive passenger cars.

Final Specs for Bentley Continental GT

Bentley released the final specs for its newest model, the Continental GT, which back up its claim that the new model will be the fastest, most powerful four-seat production coupe in the world. The Continental GT has beautiful lines and an elegant interior, but "the heart of any Bentley is its engine." This Bentley features a compact twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 power plant that produces 552 horsepower and—in true Bentley fashion—develops an incredible 479 lb-ft of torque at a mere 1600 rpm. Power is directed to all four wheels through a 6-speed sequential gearbox operated with paddle shifters. The GT rockets to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, and top speed is listed at more than 190 mph. And even more amazing is the price: at $149,000, this car is a bargain—for a Bentley.

For full show details, see MSN's Europe-based coverage, complete with streaming video, Surround Video and excellent reports.

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