Between now and 2010, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Peugeot/Citroen, Saab, and Alfa Romeo will introduce new premium mid-sized sedans. The German three sponge up roughly 86 percent of the market, but the latter three are are planning the kinds of models that could give them their best shot at making a dent. The challenge will be to distract consumers' attentions from the 2009 E-Class, which will bring S-Class technology to the mainstream, the new BMW 5-series, which should be better looking, and the Audi RS6, which will be just plain fast.

Saab will trot out a new 9-5 that is expected to take stying cues from the showstopping Aero X concept car, the top-flight version getting a 2.8-liter turbo V6 with 300 hp. Alfa Romeo's follow up for the 166 will ride on a Maserati platform, and in addition to unique Italian beauty, the high-end model will come with a 3.2-liter V6 with 260 hp. Outside of France, Citroen isn't yet taken seriously in the premium mid-sized sedan class, but the new Citroen C5 will give them another shot at glory, coming with a 350 hp V6 and bowing at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show.

True, none of those offerings could hope to challenge the most brutal offering from the German three, and it is those cars -- the AMG, M, and RS versions -- that give the "lesser" models so much of their cache. But it's a start.

[Source: Auto Zeitung via eGM Car Tech]


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