As usual, a TGV Duplex also consists of two powered end cars and eight intermediate cars connected to each other by Jakobs trucks. The most striking feature was the new version of the powered end cars with rounded shapes, single-piece end windshield, engineer's control desk arranged in the center, and improved crash protection. The aerodynamic design of the new powered end car nose and the improved transition between the cars resulted now in only a 4% air resistance at a speed of 300 km/h / 188 mph compared to a normal single-level TGV. The intermediate cars are built mostly of aluminum extrusions in order not to exceed the permissible wheelset load of 17.5 metric tons. Many other small details such as seating reduced in weight, wiring with thinner sheathing, hollow wheelset axles, and altered brake disks contributed significantly to maintaining the permissible total weight. With the beginning of the new millennium, the recognition prevailed at the SNCF that in the future TGV trains would be ordered from Alstom only with IGBT-controlled three-phase asynchronous propulsion technology and only in bi-level versions.
In the summer, the SNCF ordered 55 sets of a third generation of bi-level TGV trains as the TGV Euroduplex/2N2. Here the intermediate cars underwent extensive overhauls and now offered a higher level of comfort including a modern passenger information system, accessibility for handicapped people, and wider corridors. These units (801-825, 4701-4730) are all equipped with three-system powered end cars (such as on the TGV POS). However, only the units 4701-4730 are equipped with the signal systems ERTMS-2, LZB-PZB, and Signum for service to Germany and Switzerland. The other 25 bi-level TGV trains (units 801-825) were initially given powered end cars with only the signal technical equipment for French routes. They are given priority to replace old PSE sets on routes with high-volume demand. The powered end cars are however already equipped for the installation of train safety systems for use in Germany and Switzerland as the need arises. Follow-up orders for the construction of up to 71 additional trains (units 826-896) were given by the SNCF starting in the spring of 2012, most of which were delivered recently and which are to replace the TGV Atlantique in coming years.