Tuesday 23 January 2018

Quelle surprise . . . Paris had quite a few on show

The new Lotus Elise turned some heads
The new Lotus Elise turned some heads
The VW Passat was a stalwart of the practical side of the show
Ranger Rover is expected to unveil their five-door Evoque in November
The exotic look of the Jaguar C/X75 attracted attention
Nissan revised their sleek-looking Townpod

SURPRISE, surprise, there were a few – surprises, that is – at the Paris Motor Show 2010, which opened on October 2.

The cars all reflected the various moods and outlooks from the manufacturers at a time of economic gloom.

As ever it was a mixture of the practical, such as the new Ford Focus and VW Passat; to the exotic, such as the Jaguar CX75.

But in all cases the evidence was there of boundaries being pushed back like never before on technology and design.

So let’s run through the main players.

In an impressive line-up, Audi showed its stunning Quattro 30th anniversary concept as well as the E-tron Spyder concept and the production A7.

Bentley showed its all-new Continental GT with its new V8 twin-turbo.

BMW unveiled what most saw as a 6-series concept, and there was the production version of the new X3.

As we previewed last week, Chevrolet displayed its new Aveo, Cruze Hatch, Orlando and a Captiva SUV facelift.

Again, we knew in advance of Citroen’s C4 and DS4 models, and the new DS3 WRC caught a lot of attention. The Lacoste concept was also on display.

Our Ferrari SA APERTA pictures caused a big reaction last week, and no wonder – it is stunning. Apparently it is already sold out.

Of course, the new Ford Focus range was a major element of the show, with the ST standing out beside the hatchback, saloon and estate. And there was the Fiesta WRC contender.

The Honda Jazz hybrid also made an impressive debut – there are high hopes for it.

Two new production cars, the ix20 mini MPV and a facelifted i10, made up Hyundai’s main offering, with the i20 Sport causing a bit of a stir.

Without doubt, Jaguar grabbed a lot of spotlight with its C-X75. This jet-powered supercar will almost certainly influence the next series of sports cars. What a prospect. We used the picture of this car last week and it was stunning in the flesh too: Kia’s all-electric Pop concept could be the basis for its next city car. The Optima saloon also debuted.

Range Rover’s Evoque 3dr was another highlight. Expect to see the 5dr version at Los Angeles in November. The CT200h hybrid hatchback from Lexus is an important new motor and will surely be a 2011 seller here.

Also there were facelifts to the IS and IS-F. Lotus revealed a plethora of new models – the Elise, Elite, Eterne, Elan, Esprit and City Car and two new Evoras.

The Maserati Granturismo MC Stradale was another eyecatcher. Mazda rolled out its facelifted ‘2’, while celebrating the 20th anniversary of the MX-5.

We’ve seen so much of the new Mercedes CLS now but it is a wonderful-looking car and always worth another viewing.

Nissan’s revised GT-R and Townpod concept were on display.

But one of the best-looking cars at the show was Opel’s Astra GTC concept.

There were strong hints from Peugeot of how its next 208 might look. Also there were production versions of the new 508 and 3008 diesel-hybrid, both reported on here recently.

Porsche had two more 911 variations: the Carrera GTS and the Speedster. While Renault’s DeZir concept grabbed a lot of attention, as did the Zoe concept, believed to hint at the next Clio. There were also facelifts for the Laguna and Espace.

SEAT rolled out a new version of its electric IBE concept. And Skoda had its first electric concept – the Octavia Green E Line – while also revealing the next-generation Yeti and Superb Greenline versions.

Toyota showed its Yaris-based Verso S mini-MPV and confirmed it will make a Yaris hybrid.

And the new Passat saloon and estate made their debuts – these are big, big cars for the Irish market.

Volvo’s S60 and V60 got the R-design sporty treatment. And that was that.

Another show on the road.

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