By Rosie Ogden
The bi-annual Paris Motor Show is packing in the punters from all over Europe and beyond, giving the lie to those who say international motor shows are past their sell-by date.
Paris is the choice of many car manufacturers for the global launch of their new models, and also provides a tantalising peek at what is trending in the automotive world, with countless concepts featuring new and upcoming technologies.
The boom in ‘crossover’ vehicles continues, there’s a lot of interest in hybrid technology and fuel efficiency, and the dominant colour this year is blue.
It’s impossible to write about all the cars, but Motor Mail looks at some of the more outstanding exhibits.
Toyota’s new C-HR Concept made its world debut at the show. The new study for a hybrid-powered compact crossover model is featured on the Toyota stand alongside the Fuel Cell Sedan, making its European debut with a production-ready exterior, prior to being launched worldwide in 2015.
Toyota’s technology innovation is further represented by the i-Road all-electric personal mobility vehicle (PMV). This urban three-wheeler is appearing at the show shortly before taking to the road in Europe in a pilot urban transport scheme in Grenoble.
Renault claims 282mpg for its hybrid EOLAB, a very light (less than 1,000kg) vehicle with a three-cylinder turbo and electric drive. It showcases nearly 100 technological innovations destined for production, which will appear on future models by 2020. With a drag coefficient of just 0.235, it is powered by a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine producing 76 PS (75 bhp), paired with a 54 PS (53 bhp) ‘axial flux discoid’ electric motor located in the clutch casing. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a three-speed gearbox. A small lithium ion battery pack provides 40 miles on electric power alone.
The Eolab features two driving modes: weekday, which emphasises low emissions, and an alternative ‘weekend’ mode which uses both power units together to give greater performance and range. The resulting CO2 emissions are just 22 g/km.
The latest addition to the FIAT 500 family is the new 500X, which is also making its world début at Paris. It’s another crossover vehicle, with two versions on offer: one designed to appeal “to those with a fun-loving, spirited, metropolitan outlook” while another, more rugged, version has been designed with “active adventures” in mind. Following the trend for personalisation, there’s a choice of 12 different body colours and eight different designs for the 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Another world premiere is the XL Sport concept being showcased by Volkswagen. A 270 km/h driving machine based on the XL1, VW says it epitomises 'efficiency and emotion.'” width=”150″ height=”150″ class=”size-thumbnail wp-image-34541″ /> Another world premiere is the XL Sport concept being showcased by Volkswagen. A 270 km/h driving machine based on the XL1, VW says it epitomises ‘efficiency and emotion.’[/caption]Another world premiere is the XL Sport concept being showcased by Volkswagen. A 270 km/h driving machine based on the XL1, VW says it epitomises “efficiency and emotion”. At the rear sits a V2 adapted from the new Ducati 1199 Superleggera, the world’s most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle. Thanks to the XL’s minimalist and aerodynamic design, the concept accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, and up to a top speed of 168 mph.
Infiniti signals a clear intent to break into the top tier of the premium saloon category with the eye-catching Q80 Inspiration concept car. The four-door fastback aims to ‘shake up the segment’: at five metres long and two metres wide, it is only 53.1 inches (1350mm) at its highest point.
Portal-style doors open into a tailored interior which aims to ‘pamper the senses’. Four individual leather seats give equal importance to driver and passengers, and the plunging panoramic glass roof creates a light, airy environment inside.
The Q80 Inspiration previews autonomous driving technology and also provides a glimpse into a high-performance and efficient hybrid electric powertrain that is expected to deliver 550hp while returning 5.5L/100km.
After its presentation in Geneva, the preview Alfa Romeo 4C Spider was unveiled for the first time in France. It is the convertible version of the coupé launched last year, with technical and style features specifically designed for this model. It presents some of the features which will be kept for the production version that is scheduled for launch early next year. It is equipped with the same engine as the coupé version, the new 4 cylinder 1750 cm3 Turbo Petrol with a 240hp aluminium bloc combined with the Alfa TCT twin clutch transmission. 0 to 100 km/h takes just 4.5 seconds and top speed is over 250 km/h.
Other world premieres include Audi’s A6 and S6 and A7, the BMW 2 Series cabriolet and BMW X6, and from Dacia there are four new releases: Lodgy Stepway and Dokker Stepway and the limited series Sandero Black Touch and Duster Air.
The Paris Motor Show runs until October 19th.