Carmakers will be keen to show off new green technologies at the Geneva Auto Show, opening this week, as economic uncertainties and waning scrapping schemes make forecasting this year's sales trends difficult.
Here are facts about some of the most important models on display:
* ALFA ROMEO:
-- Launches its sporty five-door car Giulietta.
-- The engines, all of which are Turbo, and the Start & Stop technology combine increased power with reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
-- Uses D.N.A technology which allows three settings which adapt the vehicle's behaviour to the driver's need in real-time.
-- Launches its Audi RS 5 coupe. It has a 4.2 litre V8 which produces 450hp and was produced by hand at Audi. The ultra-powerful eight-cylinder engine averages 10.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.
-- To unveil redesigned sixth-generation 5-series
-- Analysts say the executive model is key for future BMW profitability
-- Unveils its fastest ever XKR coupe.
-- The new XKR delivers a raised maximum speed - up to 280 kph from 250 kph.
-- To show its all-new small Crossover, Juke and its replacement for the Micra
-- Juke to be sold globally, including Europe, Japan & US.
-- Juke will be manufactured in Europe at Nissan's factory in Sunderland, England, and in Oppama, Japan.
-- Shows the new, smaller version of its Cayenne SUV
-- Has a hybrid variant
-- Unveils its second generation Opel Meriva, with new FlexDoors system, with rear-hinged rear doors, giving easier access to the car.
-- The car offers a power bandwidth from 75 to 140 hp and will come with a choice of 5 and 6-speed manual transmissions as well as a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
-- The Opel Ampera extended range electric car prototype will travel to the show from Opel headquarters in Ruesselsheim, Germany, 600km away.
-- The car is fitted with a 16kWh lithium-ion battery.
* PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN:
-- To show the 3008 with hybrid diesel variant, scheduled for 2011
-- Peugeot will also show the 408 specifically designed for the Chinese market. It will be manufactured at Wuhan, China.
-- The figure 4 refers to the size of the car (4.68 m) and its positioning in the medium-luxury family saloon segment. The 0 in the middle signifies that it belongs to the Peugeot Marque, while the 8 expresses the vehicle generation.
-- To show its Fluence, Twizzy and Zoe electric models
-- To unveil its New Megane Coupe-Cabriolet with large folding glass roof and a fully-automatic, electro-hydraulic opening mechanism.
-- Launches its new Polo GTI.
-- Is powered by a 1.4 litre. Can reach a top speed of 228 kph.
-- Emits 139 g/km of CO2.
-- The Polo badge is replaced by a simple 'GTI' version.
Sources: Reuters; Company websites; salon-auto.
(Writing by Carl Bagh, Bangalore Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by David Cutler)