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Paris Motor Show 2018

The hottest new cars at the 2018 Paris Motor Show

The 2018 Paris Motor Show is underway, we’re in the thick of the action, elbowing our way to the front of the stands to bring you the hottest reveals. In truth, you’ll have seen the press photos before the event, but this is our first chance to see many of the cars in the metal. Let us do the walking, so you don’t have to.

BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series

The new BMW 3 Series is proving to be as popular as a half-price TV on Black Friday, and the media scrum here in Paris is just as frenzied. Which is kind of strange, when you think that, very soon, this car will be everywhere. Queuing at the Starbucks drive-thru for a flat white, clogging up office car parks in Reading, Bracknell and Newbury, and generally going faster than you on the M4.

But, give the 3 Series some credit. Since 1975, it has been the default choice in the segment, staying one step ahead of its rivals and cementing itself as the world’s most popular premium exec. We’ll be driving it very soon, by which time our feet may have recovered from pounding the Paris floor.

Porsche Macan

Porsche hasn’t flown the new Martini-liveried 935 over from Laguna Seca, so we were tempted to give its stand a miss. But, while a £750,000 retro homage is certainly special, the 2019 Porsche Macan is more significant for us mere mortals. The 935 is the car your kids will dream about, but the Macan is the car they’ll travel to school in.

The Macan has been an incredibly successful car for Porsche, with some 350,000 sold since its launch in 2014. For the facelift, Porsche has added a 10.9-inch touchscreen, a GT sports steering wheel, LED headlights as standard, a three-dimensional LED taillight strip, new 20- and 21-inch alloys, a tuned chassis and a host of other upgrades. It’s great, but it’s no 935.

Suzuki Jimny

It might be one of the smallest cars on show in Paris, but since when did size matter? What the Suzuki Jimny lacks in mass, it makes up for in off-road ability, and offers a level of charm that is off the scale. Suzuki GB has received more than 3,000 registrations for the fun-size 4×4, but this number will increase before the Jimny hits the road in 2019.

You want one, obviously, but there are two or three question marks hanging over the half-pint off-roader. Firstly, how much will it cost? We reckon something in the region of £17,000, depending on spec. Secondly, how long will you have to wait before taking delivery? It could be months. Thirdly, how much of an issue is that three-star Euro NCAP safety rating? Only you can decide that.

Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2Paris Motor Show 2018

Lamborghini is giving Paris a miss, which leaves Ferrari to hug the Italian supercar limelight. The new Monza SP1 and SP2 models are the first in a new segment called ‘Icone’ and draw inspiration from Ferraris of the 1950s.

The SP1 is a single-seat road car, while the SP2 does away with a tonneau cover and adds a second protective screen to become a two-seater. Each one will hit 62mph in just 2.9 seconds. Predictably, they’re drawing a huge crowd in Paris. Does anybody have any step ladders we could borrow?

Audi E-tron

What you’re looking at is the beginning of Audi’s assault on the EV sector, the first of 12 all-electric cars to be launched between now and 2025. The ‘undirty’ dozen, if you like. A little like the EQC, it’s not what you’d call attractive, but it’s unmistakably an Audi, more cohesive than the Q2 and more interesting than the Q3 and Q5.

It features a 95kWh battery – only the Model X battery is bigger – with Audi quoting a 249-mile range and a 0-60mph time of 6.4 seconds. We’re expecting it to cost around £70,000 when it goes on sale in the UK, although this price will reduce once the Plug-in Car Grant is subtracted. A note about the cabin, which looks less cutting-edge than the EQC’s, but is typically Audi-grade.

Peugeot 508 SW

It’s rather sad that cars like the Peugeot 508 SW are a dying breed, suffocated by the might of the SUV. The fact remains, that while SUVs are undoubtedly practical and well-suited to family life, an estate car will always be better to drive and feature a large loading area. So, please welcome the 508 SW with open arms.

It’s a great looking thing – almost as eye-catching as the 508 saloon – and the boot is large, wide and flat, especially if you fold the rear seats down to reveal a load area of 1,780 litres. Up front, the cabin is visually arresting and rather engaging. Unfortunately, it’s likely to be a niche product when it goes on sale in the UK in January.

Hyundai i30 Fastback N

In the same way that the Hyundai i30 N managed to muscle in on the hot hatch party, the i30 Fastback N is hoping to steal sales from the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4 Series. A tough ask, but if the hot hatch is anything to go by, it deserves to succeed. And, let’s remember, the Hyundai will undercut its rivals and offer a comprehensive five-year warranty.

But the N badge is about so much more than price and warranties. Of all the cars we have driven this year, the i30 N has been one of the most impressive, so we’re itching to try this latest take on the N formula. In the meantime, we’re going to twist a few arms – we rather fancy an i30 N in wagon form.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Mercedes says the new B-Class looks more dynamic than its predecessor, which is true. Then again, a tin of creamed rice pudding looks more dynamic than the old B-Class. Mercedes is also labelling it as a ‘Sports Tourer’, but it’s really an A-Class in an MPV suit.

It might not be exciting to look at, but the B-Class shares its interior with the A-Class, which is a positive, while the infotainment system adapts to the behaviour of the driver. It’s also semi-autonomous and can be equipped with 19-inch rims. Nope, we’re not excited either.

DS 3 Crossback

You might not like the design of the DS3 Crossback – we’ve read the online comments – but up close and personal, it looks every inch a premium compact SUV. There are neat touches, like the bejewelled headlights and Porsche-style rear light bar, while the cabin is inspired by the DS7 Crossback and feels very upmarket.

Of interest is the E-Tense electric version, which received very little in the way of pre-Paris fanfare. With a WLTP range of 186 miles, it could give the Hyundai Kona EV a run for its money, assuming the price is right.

Peugeot e-Legend

Forget Will Smith in I Am Legend because this is the Peugeot e-Legend. It doesn’t preview a post-apocalyptic future – we hope – but it might give us a hint of a future Peugeot coupe. One thing’s for certain, the concept tips its hat to the 504 Coupe of the past.

The 504 Coupe link is evident, especially on the inside, but we can’t help but see a touch of the Lancia Fulvia concept of 2003 when we look at the all-electric, fully-autonomous concept. Sadly, the Lancia never made it into production, but we hope this Pug has a brighter future.

BMW 8 Series

Paris Motor Show 2018

It’s not new – the BMW 8 Series was unveiled at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in June – but this is the first time we have got up close and personal with the GT car. In around a month’s time, the first UK customers will be taking delivery of what must be the best looking BMW in a generation.

What can they expect? Well, the styling, led by Brit, John Buckingham, is a feast for the eyes, while the interior is bespoke to the 8 Series, with a dashboard focused on the driver. Head to the BMW website if you fancy a piece of the 8. Prices start from £76,270, with the M850i xDrive weighing in at £99,525.

Mercedes-AMG A 35

The Mercedes-AMG A 35 packs a 306hp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and can hit 62mph in just 4.7 seconds. Torque is a punchy 295/b ft, while the top speed is limited to 155mph. We tell you this because this is AMG’s entry-level performance car. As tasters go, this one is pretty hot.

Naturally, it’s all-wheel drive – so seeing off a few front-wheel-drive pretenders from the lights should be a doddle – but don’t expect to see the claimed 39mpg if you engage in too many drag races. An A 45 will follow, presumably with 400hp to play with.

Smart Forease

The Smart Forease sounds like a reclining chair you might see advertised by June Whitfield during the ad break on daytime TV. It’s also the name of the concept unveiled to mark the 20th anniversary of Smart, which will become an electric-only brand in Europe from 2020.

Thanks to its shorter windscreen and the absence of a roof, there’s more than the whiff of the Smart Crossblade about the Forease, which suggests it might make it into production, in some form at least. Great in St Tropez, not so great in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.

BMW X5

Paris Motor Show 2018

Here’s another new BMW that has been doing the rounds since the summer, with the X5 already on sale in the UK. It’s noticeably bigger than before, while the interior looks and feels a step up on the outgoing model.

Some 2.2 million X5s have been sold since the SUV was launched in 1999. Yep, that’s 19 years ago. Time flies when you’re having fun. Are we having fun yet?

Citroen C5 Aircross

Here’s the new Citroen C5 Aircross SUV. The line-up will include the firm’s first plug-in hybrid, with Citroen promising up to 31 miles of electric range.

Citroen says that 80 percent of its cars will have an electric option by 2023 and 100 percent by 2025, so the hybrid version of the C5 Aircross is very much the shape of things to come.

Audi A1

If you don’t like the look of the A1 we’re showing you, fear not, because this is the most configurable car Audi has ever built. For the first time, you can mix and match the exterior and interior trim lines until your heart’s content.

It means that you can have the S line exterior with the interior of an SE. This is bad news for Audi dealers, as finalising the spec of each new A1 might be a long and laborious process. Better make sure the coffee machine is working.

Mercedes-Benz GLE

This Mercedes-Benz GLE is so clever, it can read the road ahead and prepare itself for bumps and potholes. It means that it should provide the most comfortable ride this side of strapping yourself to a giant marshmallow and being whisked along on a sea of pillows.

After trekking around Paris, we could do with the GLE’s active air suspension on our feet. Alternatively, maybe we need a long lie-down in the boot, which stretches from 825 litres to over 2,000 litres. Hashtag cavernous.

VinFast SUV

Paris Motor Show 2018

It might sound like the name of a warehouse selling cheap plonk, but VinFast is the first Vietnamese car company to participate in a major international motor show. Stick that in your memory bank for future pub quizzes. The firm is launching two cars, including this: a rather good-looking SUV, designed with a little help from Pininfarina.

In a break from the norm, VinFast gave the people of Vietnam the opportunity to determine the firm’s styling direction, with 62,000 voting when presented with 20 design sketches. Good morning, Vietnam, you did a grand job. Imagine doing something similar in the UK: it would be clad in Burberry, upholstered by DFS and called SUV McSUVface.

Kia Proceed

Paris Motor Show 2018

After the stunning Kia Proceed concept unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt motor show, it’s hard not to be a tad underwhelmed by the production Proceed. It’s nice enough, but having seen the concept, this is a little like being promised a box of Quality Street only to find it filled with green noisette triangles.

Kia also deserves a slap on the wrist with a toffee finger for daring to call the Proceed a ‘shooting brake’. It isn’t. In fairness, the Slovakian-built estate/wagon/tourer looks good, especially in GT trim, and it’ll come with a decent warranty. Kia’s warranty may have been mentioned a few times before.

BMW Z4Paris Motor Show 2018

Many manufacturers have chosen to stay away from Paris, focusing their efforts on their own events and smaller shows. Meanwhile, BMW decided to unveil the new Z4 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, arguably a more suitable location for a sports car designed with sunshine in mind.

Developed in partnership with Toyota – a Supra coupe will follow – the Z4 has a 50:50 weight distribution, a central seating position and a low centre of gravity. Crucially, the folding hard-top roof has gone, ditched in favour of a more traditional and lighter soft-top.

Skoda Vision RS

Skoda Vision RS

Meet the Skoda Vision RS. It’s a five-door hatchback that’s roughly Volkswagen Golf-sized, with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain putting out 250hp for 0-62mph in around seven seconds. It also has a 43-mile electric range, emits 33g/km CO2 and, oh yes, is as practical inside as any good Skoda ought to be. It could be the perfect eco-friendly range-topper for a new and improved line of Skoda family hatchbacks.

Why is Skoda telling us so much about the Vision RS? Because it’s not going to be a vision for long. This car will go on sale in the first quarter of 2019, giving the firm a genuine VW Golf rival for the first time. We’re sure it’s going to do great business for the Czech firm.

Skoda Kodiaq RS

Skoda Kodiaq RS

No seven-seat SUV has driven around the Nurburgring faster than the new Skoda Kodiaq RS, which instantly gives it a certain type of bragging rights. Having Sabine Schmitz behind the wheel helped, but so too did a 240hp twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine, with a huge slug of torque, DSG gearbox and all-wheel-drive traction.

So it goes well. It also looks good, particularly in this metallic blue colour, with those wheels. Sensible, good value family-focused motoring just became a whole lot more exciting.

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Hyundai i30 'N Option'

Hyundai i30 N gets more attitude with ’N Option’ accessories

Hyundai i30 'N Option'

After the critical acclaim for the Hyundai i30 N since launch, what the marque does next with its burgeoning ‘N’ performance line is crucial. We’ve already got a fastback version of the i30 and now, as of the Paris Motor Show, there’s a new N Option performance parts catalogue.

The Hyundai N Option goodie bin contains a carbon rear wing, a vented carbon fibre bonnet, a quad exhaust setup and cast lightweight wheels with semi-slick tyres. You can even drape your car in ’N Option’ matt paint.

Inside, it’s black carbon and Alcantara all-round. The latter swathes the lightweight bucket seats and steering wheel, while the former is on the dashboard, bottom of the steering wheel and around the vents and door handles.

Overall, the N Option parts bin contains around 25 interior and exterior indivi dualisation options. A set of lighter alloys with sticky tyres certainly appeals, as does an Alcantara wheel, although some of the more aggressive body stuff is a bit much. Spec your Hyundai i30 N tastefully. 

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Porsche 991 Speedster

New limited-edition Porsche 911 Speedster debuts in Paris

Porsche 991 Speedster

Porsche has confirmed that the 911 Speedster will go into production next year, joining the new, track-only 935 as a final farewell to the current ‘991’ 911.

A second iteration of the Speedster Concept has just been revealed at the Paris Motor Show. The original was initially presented at Porsche’s 70th anniversary celebrations in Zuffenhausen on June 8 – 70 years to the day since the very first Porsche 356 was produced.

The Paris concept differs somewhat from the Heritage version shown previously, although it’s not without its own unique nods to the past. The most obvious difference is the Guards Red paintwork, intended as an homage to the G-Model 911 Speedster of 1988 – first revealed in the same hue.

The day-running LEDs in the headlights are highlighted in red, presumably for the show car only. Flashes of red also adorn what is quite a spartan interior. The infotainment screen is gone and the Speedster has a manual gearbox only.

Also new are the cross-spoke alloy wheels, inspired by those fitted to the GT3 R and 911 RSR racing cars. The ‘Talbot’ retro mirrors remain, though – let’s hope they make it to the production version.

Underneath, the Speedster has a GT3 chassis fused with a Carrera 4 Cabriolet body, plus bespoke Speedster modifications. That includes extensive use of carbon fibre for the bodywork, shortened window frames, lower top panels, smaller side windows and, of course, the iconic ‘double bubble’ deck panel.

Porsche 991 Speedster

Power comes courtesy of Porsche’s GT department. The seminal 9,000rpm-capable 500hp 4.0-litre flat-six with a six-speed manual ‘box is fitted as standard. As announced back in June, there will be 1,948 units produced, to mark the year of the first Porsche. Production will begin in the first half of 2019.

It’s the most wonderful time in a 911 life cycle. When mad run-out versions of the current model are stopping the presses while near-undisguised prototypes of the next-gen car do the rounds. There’s no word yet on the price of the Speedster, or indeed if the whole run is sold out. Our guesses are ‘a lot’, and ‘almost certainly’…

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Renault EZ ULTIMO

Renault wants to “re-invent life on board” with the EZ-Ultimo robot car

Renault EZ ULTIMO

Renault has unveiled its latest vision for future mobility: the EZ-Ultimo concept. The star of Renault’s stand at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, it’s described by the company as a “premium and shared robo-vehicle”. In reality, that makes it something like an autonomous first-class train carriage for the road.

What is the Renault EZ-Ultimo?

Renault says it wants to “re-invent life on board”, turning the car into a place for work, rest, play or relaxation. Anything we might do at home or the office should be possible on the move. We’re already getting others to do the driving for us, reckons the company, with the rise of lift-hailing apps and services.

Renault EZ ULTIMO

“As consumer trends change and people are enjoying ride-hailing services more and more, a new paradigm for mobility will emerge,” said Laurens van den Acker, SVP of corporate design at Renault.

The EZ Ultimo is the next logical step. It sounds very similar to Volvo’s vision of an autonomous pod, the 360c concept, which was pitched as a threat to the short-haul airline industry.

Funky French styling

Similar in ethos to the 360c, the EZ-Ultimo is also similar in silhouette. It’s very much a carriage rather than a traditional car, but futuristic wheels, angular flourishes and artistic lighting liven up the design. While the Volvo’s clean-cut Scandinavian lines are appealing, the Renault enjoys flashes of French flair.

“Inspired by contemporary architecture, and completely integrated in future smart cities, EZ-Ultimo will provide an exclusive experience for all. With autonomous, electric and connected cars, we are entering a new exciting era in automotive design,” says Renault.

A luxurious office on wheels

When the doors slide to one side, you get your first view of the cabin. It shares more with the living space of a modern apartment than a car. It’s high-class, too, utilising wood, leather and even marble for a “relaxing and enjoyable drive”.

By comparison with the Volvo, it does seem less versatile. There’s no bed for cross-continental overnight hauls, for example. Instead, you have office-style seating and workspaces. That, together with its new Augmented Editorial Experience (AEX), is how Renault aims to “re-invent travel time”.

AEX is what Renault calls a “realist immersive experience which combines personal premium content, multi-media experiences and mobility”. We take that to mean big screens for working and watching on the go.

Renault EZ ULTIMO

Overall, the EZ-Ultimo is a curious take on a future we’re still uneasy about. Nevertheless, such new types of car are giving designers freedoms many before couldn’t have dreamed about, and yielding interesting results.

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Skoda Vision RS

The Skoda Vision RS is the hybrid hot hatch of the future

Skoda Vision RS

Skoda’s vRS performance offshoot has produced some compelling and innovative cars over the years. The old Fabia and Octavia made a strong case for sporty diesels, for instance. Now oil-burners are out of vogue, Skoda is teasing a different kind of fast, eco-friendly future: meet the hybrid-powered Skoda Vision RS concept, debuting at the Paris Motor Show this week.

What is the Skoda Vision RS Concept?

The company says it “envisages sporty Skodas of the future” – and we certainly see potential for a hot Fabia or Rapid here. Big wheels and angular styling mark this concept out even before you clock the ‘RS’ badging and aero details. Up close, a flash of red at the rear, sporty carbon elements, a big splitter and a rear wing make it look purposeful. Jagged LED lights aren’t dissimilar from much of Skoda’s – very handsome – current range.

Inside, it’s typically very sporty and up-to-date. Bucket seats all-round are a fun feature, and the large screen and virtual dials are attractive. There’s Alcantara everywhere, plus quilted leather and ‘Skoda’ splayed out across the steering wheel, giving a very premium look. Vegan materials and recycled carbon fibre fortify the eco appeal.

Innovation under the skin

Skoda Vision RS

The Vision RS is also quite familiar in terms of styling, though. It’s certainly not the most extreme-looking machine in hothatchdom. So where’s the innovation? Under the skin, of course. It joins the 500hp Peugeot 308 concept from a couple of years ago in being a hybrid hot hatch.

Admittedly, it doesn’t pack the Peugeot’s heady punch, but a comparatively measly 245hp sure sounds a lot more realistic. Providing that power is a 150hp 1.5-litre petrol engine connected to a 75kw electric motor. It produces just 33g/km of CO2 and will go 46 miles on electricity alone.

None of this sounds beyond the realms of production possibility. It’s all stuff we’ve seen on other cars, just nothing with a performance pretence. This is a car that could be in showrooms within a year, minus some of the sillier concept garnish. Rear bucket seats, we’re looking at you…

Hybrid hot hatches on the horizon?

Skoda Vision RS

So, should we expect a hot hybrid Skoda? You could be forgiven for wondering why hybrid hot hatches haven’t come to market sooner. Electric power is proven as a viable provider of truly epic performance – see the plethora of Tesla ‘Ludicrous Mode’ videos.

Expense is likely one reason. What’s more, current hot hatches, while being fearsome performance machines, are relatively clean and efficient. A modern Golf GTI is as clean as your average hatchback from 15 years ago. No need for cleaner electric power just yet, then.

But we reckon this Skoda is evidence that hybrid hot hatches are well on their way and, truthfully, we’re as excited as we are concerned. Electric power can mean limitless torque vectoring. On the minus side, it also means lots of weight. If the Skoda packs an extra 200kg of paunch for the privilege of hybrid power, it’ll need more than 250hp to make waves.

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Ferrari SP1

Paris Motor Show 2018 preview: all the must-see new cars

Ferrari SP1

The first International Automobile Exhibition was held on the terrace of the Jardin des Tuileries in 1898, making this the 120th anniversary of the Paris Motor Show. This year, the show is as notable for the list of absentees as it is for the manufacturers in the French capital showcasing their latest metal. But there’s no shortage of debuts to get excited about, as our preview gallery reveals.

Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2

Ferrari SP2

The new Monza SP1 and SP2 models are the first in a new segment called ‘Icone’ and draw inspiration from Ferraris of the 1950s. The SP1 (top) is a single-seat road car, while the SP2 (above) does away with a tonneau cover and adds a second protective screen to become a two-seater. Each one will hit 62mph in just 2.9 seconds. They’re likely to be the biggest draws at this year’s show.

BMW 3 Series

2018 Paris Motor Show

In the real world, this is the probably the most important new car at the Paris Motor Show. Some 14 million BMW 3 Series have been sold since its launch in 1975, making it the best selling premium executive car the world has ever seen. It’s not hard to imagine what it will look like – even in full camo-wear – while the tech will be lifted from the 5 Series and 7 Series. The hours spent at the Nürburgring should ensure it retains the driving pleasure of its predecessors.

Peugeot e-Legend concept

Peugeot e-Legend

The Peugeot e-Legend concept is an all-electric, fully-autonomous show car inspired by the famous 504 Coupe. A fitting tribute for a car celebrating its 50th anniversary, but the e-Legend has its eyes firmly on the future. Powered by 100Wh batteries, the 462hp concept has four-wheel drive, a 136mph top speed and will sprint to 62mph in less than four seconds. It also offers 442 miles of range.

Hyundai i30 Fastback N

2018 Paris Motor Show

The Hyundai i30 Fastback N is another car with countless Nürburgring hours to its name, and we’re confident that it will be every bit as good as its hatchback sibling. It’s the third N model after the five-door i30 N and the Veloster N, and we expect the performance figures to be similar to those of the hot hatch.

Suzuki Jimny

2018 Paris Motor Show

Suzuki is rolling into Paris armed with an antidote to the rise of the needlessly oversized and brutish SUV. The new Jimny tips its hat to Suzuki models of old, featuring the likes of round headlights, independent indicators, rear combination lights and a tailgate-mounted spare wheel. Power is sourced from a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, with two transmissions available. We’ll be driving a new Jimny before the Paris show…

DS 3 Crossback

2018 Paris Motor Show

As the new suggests, the new DS 3 Crossback will be a smaller sibling to the DS 7 Crossback (pictured) and will do battle in the hotly contested compact SUV segment. Although little is known about the new car, we do know that it will use PSA’s small Common Modular Platform and that an electric version is on the cards.

Porsche Macan

2018 Paris Motor Show

Fresh from its launch at the Shanghai Motor Show in July, the new Porsche Macan will be making its European debut in Paris. Sensibly, Porsche has retained much of the original car’s styling, adding a LED light strip across the back, standard-fit LED headlights and a new 11-inch touchscreen infotainment system. There’s also a new range of exterior colours, including Miami Blue, Mamba Green Metallic, Dolomite Silver Metallic and Crayon.

Mercedes-Benz EQC

2018 Paris Motor Show

If looks could kill, the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace could be in for a nasty surprise. Questionable aesthetics aside, the Mercedes-Benz EQC is the firm’s first fully-electric SUV, featuring an 80kWh lithium-ion battery providing a 280-mile range. Alternatively, if you’re not too fussed about overall range, the 408hp EQC will sprint to 62mph in just 5.1 seconds.

Skoda Kodiaq vRS

2018 Paris Motor Show

This is the first SUV to wear a vRS badge, with the hot Skoda Kodiaq powered by a 239hp twin-turbocharged diesel engine, making it the most powerful production diesel in the firm’s history. In June, a Skoda Kodiaq vRS driven by Sabine Schmitz set a record for the fastest time for a seven-seater SUV around the Nürburgring, lapping the famous circuit in 9:29.84 minutes. This should come in handy on the school run.

BMW 8 Series

2018 Paris Motor Show

The new BMW 8 Series isn’t making its debut at the Paris Motor Show – racegoers will have seen it at the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours race – but we’re a little closer to seeing the first cars on the road. It’s based on the same platform as the 5 Series and 7 Series, but BMW has treated the 8 Series to a brand new, bespoke interior. Yours from £76,720.

Kia ProCeed

2018 Paris Motor Show

In common with the five-door Ceed, Kia has dropped the apostrophe (and the underscore) from the Proceed, with Paris our first chance to see the new five-door estate version. Kia is calling it a ‘shooting brake’, but we’re not sure it can live up to such a grand and noble tag. That said, if the 2017 Kia Proceed Concept is anything to go by, it’ll be quite a looker. Ding dong.

Peugeot 508 SW

2018 Paris Motor Show

The Peugeot 508 SW is the estate version of the 508 saloon and inherits all of the good looks of its stablemate. The sleek styling comes at a price – at 530 litres, the boot is 30 litres smaller than the old 508 SW, although this can be extended to 1,780 litres with the seats folded down. It makes the Volkswagen Passat estate look a tad outmoded.

Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid Concept

2018 Paris Motor Show

The Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid Concept will make its global debut in Paris – the first stage in the brand’s ‘energy transition offensive’, leading to 100 percent of the range having an electric option by 2025. The C5 Aircross features Citroen’s Progressive Hydraulic Cushions and Advanced Comfort seats, two innovations we’ve experienced in the new Citroen C4 Cactus.

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

2018 Paris Motor Show

The European-designed and striking Corolla Touring Sports follows the unveiling of the Toyota Corolla hatchback revealed earlier this year. It also heralds the UK return of the Corolla name, replacing the outgoing Toyota Auris. A brand new 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain will be available, along with a 1.8-litre hybrid and a conventional 1.2-litre petrol.

BMW Z4

2018 Paris Motor Show

BMW chose Monterey Car Week to give the all-new Z4 its global debut, but Paris will be the first chance for the European public to cast its eyes over the roadster. Co-developed with Toyota – a new Supra is also on the way – the Z4 has a 50:50 weight distribution, a low centre of gravity and a wide track. We’ll have to wait for the full specs, but the M40i will be powered by a six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine producing 340hp.

Mercedes-AMG A35

2018 Paris Motor Show

The new entry-level Mercedes-AMG A35 is based on the standard A-Class (pictured) and will sit below the A45 in AMG’s bonkers range of cars. Little is known about the A35, but we’re expecting a power output in excess of 300hp, a £35,000 price tag and countless opportunities to tempt Focus RS drivers into an impromptu traffic light Grand Prix.

Lexus LC Limited Edition

2018 Paris Motor Show

Lexus will unveil a new aptly-named LC Limited Edition in Paris, distinguished by its Naples Yellow paintwork which, the company says, is “achieved through [a] painstaking selection of layered paint and primer colours.” But it’s not all Tony Hart, because the LC LE also features the performance and handling features from the flagship LC Sport+ specification.

Audi A1

2018 Paris Motor Show

The new A1 is Audi’s most configurable car ever, making it the ‘pick and mix’ of the supermini sector. “Customers can combine exterior and interior lines however they like,” says Audi. Be prepared for some rather outlandish creations when the new A1 hits the streets.

BMW X5

2018 Paris Motor Show

You’ve already seen the photos, but this will be our first chance to get up close and personal with BMW’s luxury SUV. Predictably, the new X5 is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, which means more cabin and luggage space. It’s available to order now, with prices starting from £57,495.

Audi A4

2018 Paris Motor Show

With a facelifted Mercedes-Benz C-Class on sale and a new BMW 3 Series waiting in the wings, Audi had to do something with the A4. The response: a subtle new look, standard-fit sat nav and a small number of interior and tech upgrades.

Lexus RC

2018 Paris Motor Show

According to Lexus, this isn’t the new RC, it’s the “reimagined” RC. The company has even given the coupe its own hashtag, so you can follow its launch via #SharpYetSmooth, which sounds a little like a tagline for a beer or cider.

Skoda Karoq Scout and Sportline

2018 Paris Motor Show

The Karoq isn’t new, but Paris will be your first chance to see two new trim levels of the SUV formerly known as the Yeti. The SportLine will be offered exclusively with the most powerful 190h 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine, along with 19-inch ‘Vega’ black polished alloys, sports bumpers, black sports seats and stainless steel pedals. Meanwhile, Karoq Scout trades kerb appeal for off-road ability, featuring four-wheel drive as standard and a more rugged appearance.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class saloon

2018 Paris Motor Show

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class saloon boasts a Cd drag factor of just 0.22 which, when combined with a compact frontal area of 2.19 metres squared, makes it the most aerodynamic new car in the world. You can order your new wind-cheating A-Class now, with deliveries expected in early 2019.

Renault Kadjar

2018 Paris Motor Show

“New Kadjar makes progress in all areas. While respecting traditional SUV design codes, it has a more attractive, stylish look, with dynamic contemporary lines,” says Renault. Makes progress in all areas? This sounds a little like a school report written by your French teacher.

Mercedes-Benz GLE

2018 Paris Motor Show

Mercedes-Benz is waging war on being uncomfortable, with a car that delivers “extraordinary” ride comfort. The new GLE features optional active air suspension that can scan the road ahead to counteract bumps before they are reached. A seven-seat option is a GLE first, but if you can live without the extra seats you’ll enjoy a boot that stretches from 825 litres to over 2,000 litres.

Audi E-tron

Audi E-Tron

 

With the Jaguar I-Pace hitting the road and the Mercedes EQC poised to make its debut in Paris, Audi is in danger of being left behind in the electric SUV race. The E-tron is the firm’s first all-electric series production model and will offer a driving range of at least 248 miles. It made its world debut in San Francisco ahead of its European debut in Paris.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Paris Motor Show

“The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class puts the emphasis on the sports part of Sports Tourer,” says Mercedes, with the new car featuring a sharper exterior, along with greater agility and more comfort than before. With safety functions carried over from the S-Class, the new B-Class should be one of the safest cars in its class.

It promises to be a busy show for the German giant. Naturally, we’ll be there to bring you all the latest news and gossip, straight from the show floor.

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Lamborghini

The car firms NOT attending the 2018 Paris Motor Show

Motor show rebels

In case you hadn’t noticed, an increasing number of car manufacturers are choosing to stay away from motor shows, focusing more on smaller events, social media and direct-to-consumer activity. It means that this year’s Paris Motor Show is notable as much for the list of absentees as it is for the cars on show. Here, we guide you through a list of no-shows at this year’s motor show.

Abarth

Abarth

Abarth won’t be in Paris, which means you won’t be able to see the new 124 GT with its carbon fibre roof. But don’t worry, you could always pop down to your local Abarth dealer. According to FCA, the potential sales and publicity aren’t enough to warrant the spend on the show.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo

Which means you won’t find a new Alfa Romeo gracing one of the halls at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. What are you missing? Well, Alfa recently launched a new B-Tech package for the Giulia, Stelvio and Giulietta, and there are rumours of a further two SUVs and a new supercar. Fingers crossed the latter comes to fruition.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin

The chances are, Aston Martin would have used the Paris Motor Show to reveal plans for its next-generation hypercar due for release in late 2021. But, as Aston isn’t in Paris, it announced the details earlier this week, with ‘Project 003’ poised for a 500-car production run. It’ll feature active aerodynamics, active suspension and a hybridised turbocharged engine.

Bentley

Bentley

There will be a big, Bentley-shaped hole in Paris, but that doesn’t mean Crewe doesn’t have anything new to show. In August, Bentley unveiled the limited edition Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner at Monterey Car Week. The car pays homage to the company founder’s personal 8 Litre car, and just 100 will be built.

Fiat

Fiat

Don’t head to Paris in search of the refreshed 500X and the 500L S-Design, because Fiat is staying in Italy. Meanwhile, Fiat Professional has been at the Hanover Motor Show, showcasing the Ducato, Fullback and Doblo. Contain yourself.

Ford

Ford

Back in the 80s and 90s, it would have been unthinkable for Ford to be absent from a major international motor show, especially with such an important car to display. If you fancy a gander at the new Focus, simply head to your nearest Ford showroom. They’re not hard to find.

Infiniti

Infiniti

These days, many manufacturers use more intimate and specialised events to showcase new cars and concepts. The Infiniti Prototype 10 was revealed at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and hints at future design cues from Nissan’s posh arm. Cool thing.

Jeep

Jeep

Jeep is another victim of FCA’s decision to give Paris a miss, which means visitors will be denied the opportunity to see the new Cherokee, revamped Renegade and all-new Wrangler.

Lamborghini

Lamborghini

An international motor show without Lamborghini is like a trifle without a cherry. A picnic without a Scotch egg. Juventus without Ronaldo. A pizza without pineapple. No, wait, not the last thing.

Mazda

Mazda

Mazda has tweaked the 2.0-litre motor in the MX-5 to produce 184hp – 26hp more than before. It means that, cutting a potentially long and wordy review short, the best affordable sports car is better than ever. But you won’t be seeing it in Paris. Unless one happens to drive by when you’re on a romantic weekend away with your significant other.

McLaren

McLaren

It has been a busy year for McLaren. The 600LT made its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Senna was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, before gracing the cover of Forza Horizon 4.

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV won’t be in Paris, but fear not, because it’s already on sale in the UK. Buy one, and impress your friends with some killer stats, such as 46g/km CO2, an EV range of 28 miles and WLTP combined fuel economy of 139mpg.

Nissan

Nissan

Nissan might not be in Paris, but it hasn’t turned its back on motor shows. The Navara Dark Sky Concept, built in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), was unveiled at the Hanover Motor Show. It can tow a mobile astronomy laboratory, which makes a change from caravans and horseboxes.

Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce

This is the Rolls-Royce Dawn Black Badge owned by Benjamin Treynor Sloss, vice president of engineering at Google. He took delivery at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In other news, Rolls-Royce recently opened a new showroom in Leeds, which is the UK’s fastest growing city. Fancy that.

Subaru

Subaru

Subaru might not be in Paris, but earlier this year, the brand returned to The Game Fair as the official sponsor of the Shooting Line, with a Forester offered as the top prize. Feels more authentic than taking a few highly-polished cars to the French capital.

Vauxhall/Opel

Vauxhall

Despite being owned by the French PSA Group, Vauxhall and Opel will be skipping Paris. “We made the decision to put a stronger emphasis on our own events for the upcoming product launches,” a spokesperson told Automotive News Europe.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen

Audi, SEAT and Skoda will be in Paris, but Volkswagen is taking a break. It’ll use the time to celebrate the five-star Euro NCAP safety rating for the new Touareg. The large SUV scored 89 percent for adult occupant safety, 86 percent for child occupant safety, 81 percent for safety assist and 72 percent for pedestrian safety.

Volvo

Volvo

On the subject of motor shows, Bjorn Annwall, Volvo’s senior vice president of strategy, brand and retail, told CNBC: “Why stand in a crammed hall together with all the competitors shouting when you can have a more intimate relationship and discussion with the relevant journalist at home?”

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2016 Paris Motor Show: the best concept cars

2016 Paris Motor Show: the best concept cars

2016 Paris Motor Show: the best concept cars

We love a motor show for the weird and wonderful concept cars – and this year’s Paris show hasn’t disappointed. From near-ready hot hatches to utterly bizarre French sports cars, the concepts at Paris make us genuinely excited about what we’ll be driving in the future.

Volkswagen I.D.

Volkswagen I.D.

We’ll start with one of the biggies: the Volkswagen I.D. is the car that will make us all forget Dieselgate. Maybe. As revolutionary as the original Beetle and Golf, says the firm, the rear-wheel-drive, five-door electric hatch will have a range of 250 to 370 miles when it goes on sale in 2020.

Powered by a 170hp electric motor and based on a new MEB platform, the I.D. is a similar size to the Golf and can carry four people. It also previews a fully-autonomous car that will go on sale from 2025.

Mitsubishi GT-PHEV

Mitsubishi GT-PHEV

This rather cool looking thing is a high-end SUV concept from Mitsubishi. There’s some discussion about what exactly it previews, if anything – a new Outlander, perhaps? Or even a new ASX.

As you might guess from the name, the GT-PHEV is a plug-in hybrid. With three electric motors combined with a 2.5-litre petrol engine, it’s good for 75 miles on electric-only power. It’s also got genuine off-road credentials, and a host of connected technology.

SsangYong LIV-2

SsangYong LIV-2

This incredible concept previews the next SsangYong Rexton. It appears in this list simply for its shag carpets alone. LIV-2 stands for Limitless Interface Vehicle, if you’re wondering, and it previews the next Rexton.

Shag-pile aside, the interior is quite something. Passengers in the rear get individual reclining chairs, while mood lighting creates the air of a backstreet wine bar. Large 10.1-inch screens in the headrests provide entertainment, while a 9.2-inch infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the driver.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

It only feels like yesterday that the current Honda Civic Type R was being revealed. Hype’s only just starting to die down, but here’s the next-generation model. Apparently it is a concept, or a prototype at least, although it looks practically production-ready to us.

Technical stats are hard to come by, but it’s clear Honda wants the front-wheel-drive Nurburgring record back from VW. Have no doubt, this’ll be fast, presumably powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC as the current model, but with power turned up a notch.

SEAT Ateca X-Perience

SEAT Ateca X-Perience

SEAT has beefed up its Ateca crossover by giving it the X-Perience treatment. It’s got chunkier tyres, scuff plates at the front and rear, and cladding along the sills and bumpers. With a Haldex four-wheel-drive system and a choice of driving modes, the X-Perience isn’t all for show.

Except, it kinda is. It’s just a concept, for now. Although it wouldn’t really take much to put it into production – SEAT already sells the Leon X-Perience, after all – the firm says it’s just testing the water for now.

BMW X2

BMW X2

Yet another niche crossover from BMW. The X2 follows in the footsteps of X4 and X6, slotting between the X1 and X3 in the firm’s range. The concept previews a production model, which will follow in 2018.

With its large kidney grille dominating the front end and a (slightly watered-down) Hofmeister kink at the rear, the X2 is unmistakably a BMW. Blacked-out windows suggest there’s a bit of work to be done before it’s production ready, while technical details are also yet to be released.

Renault Trezor

Renault Trezor

Now this is a concept car we can really get excited about. The Trezor is an electric two-seat performance car created by the firm’s design chief, Laurens van den Acker. He’s the man who has made Renault cool again in recent years, using cues from the 2010 Dezir concept.

While the Trezor is very definitely a concept, we could see elements of it appear in production cars in the near future. It looks stunning, with a central carbonfibre spine as its chassis, and power going to the rear from its 350hp electric motor.

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6

This was first revealed at this year’s Pebble Beach, but it made its European debut at Paris. The near-six-metre-long Maybach 6 previews a production car set to launch next year, rivalling the Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Powered by an electric powertrain producing 740hp and capable of more than 200 miles on one charge, the Maybach 6 will hit 62mph in less than four seconds. A clever fast-charge system means you can top it up with an extra 62 miles of range in just five minutes.

Lexus UX concept

 

Lexus UX concept

There are a lot of angles going on here – it’s the new Lexus concept, previewing a production SUV that could replace the unloved CT200h hybrid hatch. The two-door concept SUV features Lexus’s Spindle grille and looks a bit like something out of Star Wars.

That theme continues inside, where there’s a wrap-around dash and a dual-screen infotainment system. Technical details are TBC, but expect it to feature some kind of electric powertrain.

Infiniti QX Sport

Infiniti QX Sport

From one challenging SUV concept to another, the QX Sport previews a potential rival to the BMW X3 from Nissan’s upmarket Infiniti brand. It would replace the poor-selling QX50.

Inside, there are four seats – each offering plenty of room for all occupants. A flat-bottomed steering wheel adds a sporty touch, while a digital screen replaces conventional dials.

Hyundai RN30 Concept

Hyundai RN30 Concept

Hyundai’s N performance brand has been talked about for years – but it’s finally starting to feel a little more real, with the launch of its RN30 Concept. Previewing a hot i30 N, the RN30 features a full aero bodykit – giving it a true motorsport look.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine producing a significant 375hp, transferred to all four wheels via a dual-clutch race gearbox. A limited-slip diff means it should be a beast on track.

Citroen CXperience

Citroen CXperience

We’ll end with a bonkers French concept – the Citroen CXperience. The plug-in hybrid is Mondeo-sized, meaning it could preview a replacement for the now-defunct C5.

Inside, the CXperience puts comfort high on the agenda: how wonderfully Citroen. Seats are covered in memory foam, while extra noise insulation should drown out unwanted road noise. Power comes from a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Skoda Kodiak

Skoda Kodiaq SUV revealed at 2016 Paris Motor Show

Skoda KodiakAfter months of teasing, the new Skoda Kodiaq SUV made its official public debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

Available as a five- or seven-seater, the Kodiaq is the firm’s first SUV and will rival the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento when it goes on sale later this year.

At 4.7m long, the Kodiaq is the longest vehicle to sit on VW Group’s versatile MQB platform, but weight has been kept down to less than 1.5-tonnes in front-wheel-drive petrol form.

The manufacturer says it will trump rivals on space and value – with prices expected to start at less than £25,000. For comparison, the Kia Sorento starts at £28,795.

Czech the techSkoda Kodiak

It’ll be packed with technology – including a bird’s-eye-view camera for low-speed manoeuvring, as well as semi-autonomous functions that activate in the case of a crash.

Buyers will get a choice of a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine (in 150hp or 190hp guises), along with a variety of 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre petrol units.

A six-speed manual gearbox and six or seven-speed DSG automatic ‘boxes are offered, along with the choice of front- or four-wheel drive.

An off-road mode suggests the Kodiaq will have genuine rough-terrain capability, although we’ll find out exactly how much when we test it later in the year.

UK automotive in Paris

Paris Motor Show 2016 LIVE

Paris Motor ShowParis Motor Show exhibitors are welcoming journalists for two press days ahead of the doors opening to the public on 1 October – and we are there.

Follow us LIVE as we report and curate the big Paris event, and also be sure to check out our behind-the-scenes look on Facebook and the stories of the day on Instagram.

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Paris Motor Show LIVE blog by John Redfern