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Paris Auto Show report...

Hi Everyone - Just got back from the Paris, where I had a the good fortune
to spend a half day at the Paris International Auto show.  All I can say is
WOW!  I've never been  to a 'real' (i.e. European) show, so I was quite
blown away by the quantity and quality of the machinery.  Over seven halls
worth of stuff - I never even managed to leave the hall of European autos!!

In short, lots of cool VAG stuff, specifically:

1) Big display on th TT - I think there were three in the booth, although I
was in such a frenzy it's hard to remember
2) Way cool S4 Avant in electric blue (inside and out) - garish, but very
fast looking.  With a six speed, if I recall...
3) S8, with the hood open - what a mechanical feast!
4) S6 Avant - my personal choice for hauling around the family.
5) New VW Bora (looks about A4 size, perhaps the 'new' Jetta)
6) Tucked in behind the VW booth was Italdesign showing the new Bugatti
('Une Marqu Du Groupe Volkswagen') W118, a two door coup with an 18 cylinder
motor (6.3 liters, 550 hp at 6800, 650 Nm torque) crammed inside.  They also
had the motor up on an engine stand - looks more like a V12 with an extra
bank of cylinders tacked on at 3 o-clock.  Rumours were flying as to where
this motor would end up - best guess is the new Bentley, since Heir Piesch
will be losing access to the BMW motors for his newly acquired marque.   The
Bugatti brochure has great pictures - I'll try to scan it and post it to my
web site.

Other highlights:
1) New MB S-class - big and expensive looking.  With LED rear brake lights
that illuminate more quickly than incandesant to provide more reaction time
to drivers.
2) New Alfa 166 - sculpture on wheels (my personal favorite)
3) Lots of new Maserati's, to be distributed in the US by Ferarri
4) Lotus Elise - can't wait till they bring this into the US with power from
a Honda V-Tech motor...
5) New BMW Z3 M Coupe - the styling is easier to like when seen in person.
Of course all the M stuff was the full VANOS euro 320+ hp version - not the
wimpy stuff we get in the US
6) Bunches of concept cars - if these are an accurate indication of the
future, then the melted jeallybean shape is dead, and suicide doors are
back....  I want a Renault 'Vel Satis' in my garage!

In short, a sublime experience -  highly recommended for any lover of

John A. Legelis
Needham, MA
97 A4Q