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Concept cars steal the show, first morning in Paris

Concept cars steal the show, first morning in Paris

The first morning at the 2006 Paris Auto Show has been a riot of concept-car unveilings.

Chevrolet's muscular WTCC Ultra concept, whose design was inspired by Chevy's rally ventures, kicked off the proceedings: packing a 2-liter diesel engine capable of 190 horsepower, the angular Ultra is a message from Chevy that it means to create for itself a new global image to appeal to markets outside of North America.

Chrysler, meanwhile, sought to continue its aggressive lineup profile with the unwrapping of the Avenger: DaimlerChrysler executives said that the car was a "Dodge sedan with attitude" and that the Avenger concept on display was a "strong indication" of the eventual production model.

Across the hall, Citroen was busy unveiling its C-Metisse hybrid, a stunning diesel-based performance concept that has a top speed of more than 150mph and can also run in full electric mode for in-town driving.

Not to be outdone, Peugeot is also featuring in the super-concept-car showcase with its 908C, a V-12 diesel-powered limousine that uses the same engine as Peugeot's Le Mans Race Series car. We'll keep bringing you the news--including details of more concept releases--as the show unfolds.