Friday 30 September 2016

Stealing the show: The big names that are lining up for Paris Motor Show

Published 17/08/2016 | 02:30

Citroën's C3 with its raised bonnet
Citroën's C3 with its raised bonnet
The Honda Civic was a badly kept secret
Renault Alaskan

They are already beginning to talk about the Paris Motor Show in terms of it being the most important for years.

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That's because there seems to be, even at this six-week remove, a lot of interesting models and technologies coming along.

We've already highlighted some but it is a sign of how competitive things are that both KIA and Skoda would resort to the wearisome method of releasing 'glimpses' of their respective models.

They probably reckon it raises awareness and generates interest. I don't agree, but who am I?

The Honda Civic was a badly kept secret
The Honda Civic was a badly kept secret

Anyway, the new Hyundai i30 will be premiered early - on September 7 - before debuting in Paris and then going on sale here next spring. They say it is a car designed, developed and tested in Europe. There will not be a 3dr.

Skoda felt similarly obliged to tease us with hints of how their seven-seat SUV Kodiaq will look. There will be, in total, a choice of five engines and four-wheel-drive will be optional.

Nissan/Infiniti went the opposite route and laid out a new type of petrol engine which it says could spell the death knell for some diesels.

That's because the new powerplant uses variable compression technology. The Nissan engineers say that allows it to choose an optimal compression ratio for combustion at any time.

It is claimed the technology makes possible the performance of turbocharged petrols and the power/economy of diesels and hybrids.

The new Variable Compression-Turbo (VC-T) powertrain is expected to be officially unveiled at Paris and will initially be used in an Infiniti (Nissan's upmarket arm). It is expected to be used in Nissan and, probably, Renault vehicles too.

Renault Alaskan
Renault Alaskan

The turbocharged, 2-litre, 4cyl averages a claimed 27pc better fuel economy than the 3.5-litre V6 it replaces.

Speaking of turbos, Alfa's new Stelvio (rival for the Porsche Macan) will have the same twin-turbo 2.9-litre petrol V6 that drives the Giulia Quadrifoglio.

As we already know Audi will reveal its all-new Q5 in Paris too. It is expected to be 100kg lighter.

We've already seen Citroën's C3 with its raised bonnet, more rounded edges, and a set of Airbumps like on the Cactus.

Ferrari's LaFerrari Aperta isn't certain for Paris but it's rumoured that this open-top version of the discontinued LaFerrari super car will debut.

The Honda Civic is a badly-kept secret with the US-spec car showing little change from Geneva. There will be little change to the European version we reckon.

There's a lot of interest in Land Rover's fifth-generation Discovery. It will look a bit more like the current Discovery Sport as well as having a much more upmarket interior.

Mercedes will show an all-electric SUV concept based on the GLC. The betting is it will make it to production.

MINI will show an even larger Countryman.

Mitsubishi seem to show a lot of concepts; this time it's a take on the Ground Tourer coupé crossover PHEV.

Gone are the looks we've known for so long with the Nissan Micra; the next is quite a departure. Insiders say it reflects a lot of the Sway concept from Geneva 2015. Wow.

Opel is expected to show the next Insignia but it won't be on sale until next year.

Peugeot's new 3008 SUV has featured here before and will officially debut in Paris. It gets the latest i-Cockpit dash technology and new 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre petrols.

It is scheduled to arrive in Ireland by the end of the year.

Porsche's second-gen Panamera makes its public debut at Paris; more headroom and boot space. The Panamera Sport Turismo - estate/shooting brake - will be shown for the first time.

Renault gets into the lightweight pick-up truck market with the Alaskan (based on Nissan's Navara). It is coming to Ireland but when exactly is not clear.

Ssangyong will show a thinly-disguised concept of its next SUV. It will be a rival for the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fé and will have a 2.2-litre diesel.

Suzuki's Ignis is making a return with the small crossover making its European debut at Paris. There will also be a hybrid version.

The Japanese makers will also show the revised SX4 S-Cross crossover.

Indo Motoring

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