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First look: New Subaru Outback

Frankfurt foursome: The Subaru Outback (top), Daewoo Lacetti hatch (bottom left), Citroen C-Airlounge and Mazda Kusabi will be among the debutants at the Frankfurt motor show.

The Subaru Outback cross-over leads the new metal charge at Frankfurt

14 Aug 2003

THE motoring extravaganza that is the Frankfurt motor show is just weeks away and, as has become traditional, the world’s manufacturers are already offering a sneak preview of their new metal. Here’s some of what has already been announced.

SUBARU OUTBACK
THE all-new Subaru Outback cross-over will be unveiled at Frankfurt, with its Australian launch – along with the new generation Liberty – later in September. Outback will initially be available locally with a 2.5-litre horizontally opposed engine. The 3.0-litre H6 will arrive late this year. Liberty will be launched with a choice of 2.0 and 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engines and a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.

CITROEN C-AIRLOUNGE
THE much anticipated Citroen C6 luxury car gets its latest preview in Frankfurt, courtesy of the curiously named C-Airlounge.

Apart from the lithe styling effort which boasts a 0.26 coefficient of drag, Citroen’s main claim in the preview material is new interior lighting technology that allows passengers to select the mood of lighting thanks to fibre-optics and “video projectors within the carpets and armrests”. There is also a modular seating system for four or five. The C6 will be launched in Europe in 2005 and in Australia in 2006.

DAEWOO LACETTI HATCH
THIS is the five-door hatchback version of Daewoo’s Lacetti, the replacement for the Nubira small-medium car that has been a cornerstone of the South Korean company’s range here. But while the sedan version - revealed last year - goes on sale in Australia on September 1, the hatch will not be seen until late in 2004.

While the hatch and the sedan share the updated J200 platform, they look quite different. That’s because Pininfarina styled the sedan and ItalDesign did the hatch.

MAZDA KUSABI
WILL this diesel-powered two-door sports coupe make it into production as is? Unlikely, but as it is a concept produced under the control of Mazda’s relatively new design boss Moray Callum, it does give indicators to the company’s future styling directions.

Kusabi is a Japanese word which means “wedge” or “making way for something new” and the car’s combination of sharp lines, large wheels and pronounced fenders certainly deliver on both counts. There is also a new take on Mazda’s five-point grille.

Technical features include a 1.6-litre common-rail diesel engine and what Mazda calls a “a revolutionary tailgate mechanism”.

HYUNDAI COUPE-CABRIO
BASED on the Hyundai Tiburon coupe this prototype adds an electrically operated glass-roof. Developed with the help of cabriolet specialist Karmann, the car transforms itself by the touch of a button from cabriolet to targa and then to a coupe. This new model is a follow-up to the Clix design study exhibited two years ago.

Hyundai says public response will determine whether the vehicle goes into production.

MITSUBISHI i
THE i is Mitsubishi’s take on a mini-car concept, complete with 1.0-litre MIVEC engine, CVT gearbox and a stop-start function that cuts the engine during idling.

The company says it has placed a lot of emphasis on maximising interior space and crashworthiness, despite the car’s small dimensions.

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