Paris Motor Show
Carzone was at the first press day of the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Here's what we saw.
There’s no motor show more glamorous than the Paris event, hosted in the fashion capital of the world in the shadow of the iconic Eiffel tower and Arc de Triomphe, filled with stunning concept cars and beautiful show stand 'hostesses'. But those elements aren’t much of a reflection on the real world; to find that you’ll have to look past the glitz and the glamour for the proper metal, the cars that the man on the street can realistically aspire to.
So although the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo concept car (which is surely a thinly-veiled production model) and the über-expensive Jaguar F-Type are stealing the headlines and camera flashes, we’re here to give you the low down on the rest.
If you do enjoy driving then this seems to be the show of the hot hatches; Volkswagen has revealed a Golf GTI Concept (again sure to hit the showroom soon), Renault its Clio Renaultsport 200 and Peugeot a 208 GTi special edition. Ford has finally unveiled the Fiesta ST in production trim as well.
But for every hot model there’s another regular hatch that should prove just as ground-breaking. The new Renault Clio will only be available with five doors and features a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that emits less than 100g/km in a bid to tempt us out of our diesels. SEAT has jumped on the bandwagon and unveiled its good-looking five-door Leon while promising an even more stunning three-door version in time. And apart from the ST, Fiesta buyers have the choice of six engines that emit less than 100g/km promising fuel consumption lower than 4.3 litres/100km.
Opel chose to reveal its new Adam out on the French streets rather than under the bright lights of the show hall, the diminutive city car exciting Parisians and journalists alike with its mix of cute design, personalisation options and promise of low running costs. It’s not all European manufacturers stealing the limelight at Paris though; Hyundai chose the show to reveal its sleek new i30 three-door model, which is a first for the Korean firm’s family hatchback. And Toyota wants to get customers enthused about its Auris, showing a practical estate model for the first time alongside a complete overhaul inside and out.
Those with larger families aren’t forgotten about either. The long-awaited Ford Mondeo makes an appearance; sharing much with its American counterpart the Fusion, it also uses the Fiesta’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine in 125hp guise for greater economy and efficiency. Mazda is there with its 6 flagship, the new saloon and estate showcasing the firm’s 'KODO - Soul of Motion' design language.
For those that like to venture into the rough stuff once in a while Paris has plenty of choice. Not only is Ford there with its Fiesta-based EcoSport mini-SUV but Suzuki has revealed its S-Cross concept, soon to make it into showrooms in a bid to tempt buyers out of their Skoda Yetis and Nissan Qashqais. The new Range Rover is an undoubted star of the event, but despite shedding over 400kg of weight over the previous model, the price tag will put it out of reach for most. Still there’s no more capable luxury car on the market
.And that’s only the half of it - confirming that motor shows, despite their outwardly glamorous and trendy appearance, are still the place to go to see the new cars that excite and really matter.