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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 30, 2010 @ 12:42 am

    Live from Paris: Passat stars among VW Group’s League of Nations

    Michael McAleer

    With a pre-show event this good you would wonder, what is the need for the actual show itself? VW Group flexed its muscles in Paris this evening with a display of their combined wealth and a generous sneak preview into the cars that will make up their Paris showcase.

    In an event that was attended by scores of information-hungry media, the entire VW Group displayed an omnibus edition of their new product range with everything from the green and friendly Skoda range to the beautifully obnoxious new carbon fibre Lamborghini, the new Bentley Continental,the Porsche 911 Speedster and the Bugatti Veyron.

    The VW Group are quietly going about an assault of the market, with more than 5 million vehicles worldwide delivered between January to September 2010. Shown tonight were the SEAT IBE, the Caddy Blue Motion and the E-Octavia. At the other end of the scale, the fireworks and pomp that surrounded the Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti reveals were astonishing.

    The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento obviously grew gasps when it was revealed because this carbon fibre Batmobile-lookalike has a mighty 570hp and takes just 2.5 seconds to get to 100km/h. Although it’s not planned as a production model Lamborghini says the concept previews the patented carbon-fibre-reinford plastic (CFRP) technologies that will be highly evident in the next new models to emerge from the Sant’ Agata factory.

    SEAT showed their IBE concept. Heaven knows if this will amount to anything but it certainly looked good.

    SEAT IBE

    What we do know about this new car is that it is a zero-emission model, with an electric powertrain with 102hp.

    The show-stopper from Audi on the night was the reveal of the Audi quattro concept which was a surprise to most. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the debut of the quattro Audi is showing this futuristic concept of the car with a 408hp, five-cylinder turbocharged engine, a lightweight body and permeanant all-wheel drive. The car features a shortened (-150mm) RS5 platform and this car is primarily made from aluminium. 0-100km/h takes 3.9 seconds.

    Audi quattro concept

    Probably the most relevant news of the evening surrounds the reveal of the Volkswagen Passat which is of course a massive car for the Irish market. The new car is based on the existing platform but every body panel has changed and there are changes to the engine line-up which mean that even more of the models are in the lowest tax band, A. The 1.6-litre TDi will have emissions of 109g/km, but the 2.0-litre TDi will also reside in Band B too, with the Bluemotion model having emissions of 138g/km.

    Volkswagen Passat

    The new Passat arrives in Ireland in December and will reach customers as soon as January 2011.


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