Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Japanese-based design company Sivax have used the Paris Motor Show to showcase an eclectic selection of powerful and eye-catching roadsters.

Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Japanese-based design company Sivax have used the Paris Motor Show to showcase an eclectic selection of powerful and eye-catching roadsters.

The famous Italian Trident unveiled a limited-edition Spyder to mark the Italian brand’s 90th Anniversary. The Spyder 90th Anniversary features an all-new Blue Anniversary livery, grey outlining to the frame of the front headlight cluster, a lower front spoiler and dramatic side sills, glistening chrome mesh on the grille and new 19-inch wheels.

Titanium-coloured brake calipers and distinctive oval logos on the bumpers, a tribute to the 250F driven by Fangio in the 1957 F1 World Championship, complete the exterior look.

The most distinctive touch, though, is the carbon fibre rear roll-hoop fairings. The interior also receives special touches such as blue-finished carbon fibre and carbon trim on the centre console, as well as the 90th Anniversary logo on the instrument binnacle.

Already in the public eye as the official safety car of the Formula One world championship, the SLK 55 AMG roadster is claimed to set a new benchmark in terms of power (265 kW), torque (510 N.m) and acceleration (zero-100 km/h in 4,9 seconds) in its class.

Its muscular V8 power unit is mated with the recently developed 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission controlled by the driver using gearshift buttons on the steering wheel.

The SLK flagship is kitted out with an AMG sports suspension, seats and body-styling. Shirle Greig, spokesperson for DaimlerChrysler SA, earlier this year said the SLK 55 AMG was scheduled to become available in South Africa in November.

The new Porsche Boxster looks more like the original 550 Spyder than its predecessor did, and will be available in Europe in November and in right-hand drive markets, such as South Africa, in February. The front end of Porsche's entry-level range has been refined and now has integrated fog lamps and indicators and Cayenne-like headlights, which separate the main headlamps and front lamps.

When viewed from the side, the new Boxster has larger air vents before the rear axle, elaborate door sills, bigger side windows, larger rims and a wider track than its predecessor. The 2,7-litre six-cylinder engine in the Boxster will produce 176 kW - 8 kW more than previously. The Boxster S, which will be fitted with 18-inch wheels, will be launched simultaneously.

The S's power output has been increased from 191 kW to 206 kW, while cubic capacity has remained unchanged at 3,2 litres.

The Boxster is said to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 6,2 seconds, going on to reach 256 km/h and the ‘S’ is claimed to dash from standstill to 100 km/h in 5,5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 268 km/h.

Power is transmitted by a revised five-speed manual transmission in case of the Boxster and a new six-speed gearbox in the S model. Porsche say the shift travel is now considerably shorter for both transmission variants. Both vehicles can optionally be equipped with a five-speed Tiptronic S transmission.

Züffenhausen further claims that the Boxster is the first roadster in the world to secure passengers against lateral impact using head airbags. In combination with a thorax airbag, which is concealed on the outer side of the backrest, the airbag shoots out from the side window rail of the door and provides a very high level of protection for the head, the company says.

Porsche SA spokesman Jessica Baker said the company would start taking orders for the cars very shortly. An entry-level coupé version of the Boxster is also in the pipeline, sources say.

Meanwhile, Sivax displayed the “Streetster” series concept in Paris. The design is based on Japanese anime characters and the main theme is one of overlapping surfaces and bisecting curves surrounding a two-seat roadster package.

A novel feature of the Xtile is the unusual “double axis doors” where the front section swivels 90-degrees allowing the rear section to lie parallel to the car body for easier access. A centre spine swoops down through the cockpit from the rear deck to anchor on the centre tunnel and carries the main controls on its side surface.

The Streetster is four metres long, 1,88 m wide and 1,12 m high. Its wheelbase is 2,4 m long.

Earlier this week, we reported that the star of Ford's La Collection Focus at the Paris Motor Show was the Vignale Concept. To read our feature on the eye-catching coupé-cabriolet, click here.

Original article from Car