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New cars at AIMS

At least 40 new cars will be unveiled at the Australian International Motor Show, which begins in Sydney in two weeks.

Futuristic concept cars, with designs and features hinting at possibilities for production vehicles, will lead the line-up.

The Mazda Kabura is one such concept. Sitting between the size of an MX-5 and an RX-8, the Kabura features a glass roof that connects to the windscreen, and borrows chassis components and the 2.0-litre double overhead cam engine from the MX-5.

For Nissan, the stand-out will be a concept car by the name of Foria, which was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. The compact coupe has easy access to the rear seats through centre opening B-pillarless doors.

Likewise, Honda's new Sports 4 concept, also revealed in Tokyo last year, will be on display at the show. It features a low centre of gravity and low inertia body and a sports cockpit with futuristic controls.

Over at the Saab stand, the aviation inspired Aero X will be on display in Australia for the first time. With a 298kW, twin turbo V6 engine, fuelled entirely by bioethanol, the Aero X does 0 to 100km/h in 4.9seconds.

An eye-catching feature of this concept car is the cockpit-like entrance, usually found on a jet aircraft.

Straight from the Paris Motor Show, Hyundai's concept car, the Arnejs, is aimed at developing a stronger identity for the brand. Designed in Germany, the Arnejs gives an indication to the upcoming FD-series Elantra, expected here late next year.

While there will be a plethora of eye candy in the concept cars, they won't be the only stars to debut at the upcoming motor show. Production vehicles will also go on display to the public for the first time.

Perhaps the biggest on the list will be the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. But those interested shouldn't reach for their wallets just yet. All models destined for Australia and New Zealand for this year and next have already been sold.

The new Ferrari, which races from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, has a $574,000 price tag for the manual model and costs $600,000 for the model fitted with the F1 superfast gearbox.

Over at Audi, the all new R8 will go on show. It is the company's first attempt at the rarefied supercar segment. With its 309kW 4.2-litre, V8 engine, the Audi R8 has a top speed of 301km/h.

While the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione made an appearance in Australia at the 2004 Sydney motor show, that was merely the concept version. Now, two years later, the 8C will return in production form as a 336kW, 4.7-litre, V8 supercar.

The new Holden Captiva, launched to the media this week, will also go on public display. The Captiva is Holden's attempt to break into the compact SUV market.

Toyota's new V6 family car, the Aurion, will also make an appearance.

Motor show spokesman, Mark Mathot says: "It will be as strong as any motorshow we have ever had and we still have a few surprises in store."

Other new production cars to feature at the show will include the Alfa Spyder, the Mazda CX-7 and the new Audi TT.

* Don't miss the official motor show magazine exclusively in The Daily Telegraph on October 27.


When: Thursday, October 26 until Sunday, November 5

Where: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour

Price: Adults $17, children under 16 $10.50 (under five free), family $42, seniors $10.50

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