2016 Paris Motor Show: The Lowdown
The Paris Motor Show 2016 at the Porte de Versailles Parc des Expositions is under way, chock full of new cars and concept cars from some of the biggest car manufacturers on the planet, and everyone from The Daily Telegraph to Auto Express is excited to see what the Mondial de l'Automobile brings us this year.
One of two major Auto shows in Europe along with March's Geneva Motor Show, Paris alternates every year with Frankfurt to host, and gives a chance for the home manufacturers such as Citroen, Renault and Peugeot to show off their wares up against the likes of Asian giants Toyota, Kia, and Nissan (amongst others.)
What WON'T we be seeing this year?
A handful of car manufacturers, including Ford, Aston Martin, Mazda, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Volvo, aren't making an appearance at the Paris Motor Show this year, with the declared reasons that they are cutting back on the amount of money spent on exhibitions and Auto Shows and using the money saved to find other ways of reaching customers.
For companies such as Volkswagen still reeling from bad press such as the emissions scandal, it is no wonder that they are trying to cut costs to cover fines levelled over their underhand activity (both supercar brands Bentley and Lamborghini are part of the VW Group), and it seems that smaller and more targeted events will be used to attract customers. This may also see a smaller number of competitors there.
Whether or not we will see the number of car manufacturers at Motor Shows vary depending on where the show is - The Paris Motor Show is dominated by the French car manufacturers - and on the target market and the offerings too, is up for conjecture, or this may just be a blip created by the aforementioned emissions scandal. It is an interesting question that Wes Raynal, editor of Autoweek, discusses here as he looks at not only the future of Auto Shows but car promotion as whole as car manufacturers pull their financial horns in.
What CAN we expect to see this year?
Abarth will be once again showing off their 595 range and very sporty and powerful Abarth 124.
Alfa Romeo will be showing off their new Giulia Veloce.
Audi's new Q5 mid-sized SUV makes its debut, looking like a younger sibling of the Audi Q7 with updates, and they'll also be showing off a five-door A5 Sportback and S5 Sportback of the Audi A5 coupe, along with more exclusive models such as the TT RS and R8 Spyder.
BMW are using the Paris Motor Show to present the new BMW X2, even though it won't be getting anywhere near a forecourt or road until late next year. Unsurprisingly sitting between a BMW X1 and a BMW X3, it is said to be sporty and sharp, but we will find out more next year (and in Paris!)
Paris is home to French car manufacturer Citroen who will be displaying their all-new C3 supermini, a C3 WRC car and a redesigned C4 Cactus, as well as their large plug-in hybrid saloon car concept that they are calling the Citroen CXPERIENCE - more about that later this week.
Ferrari are assuming the usual anticipation for their revealing of a LaFerrari Spider - available next year but only 150 of them.
Honda not only has a concept version of the next Honda Civic Type R on display, but also a big reveal of the new, 10th generation Honda Civic, which will be available with two new engines - turbocharged 1.0 and 1.5 VTEC petrol motors - with both diesel and hybrid to follow.
Hyundai will be showing off their facelifted i10 as well as debuting their new family hatchback the Hyundai i30 which is seen as direct competition for the Renault Megane and the ever-popular Vauxhall Astra.
Kia have revamped the Kia Rio, and this will be the main attraction on their stand. We will have more details later this week. They also have a new Soul 1.6 T-GDI to show off.
The new Land Rover Discovery will be on show following its official launch a week or so before, prior to availability early on in 2017.
Lexus has somehow kept full details of its UX concept under wraps with little known about the car except, as Auto Express revealed, that "it has dimensions similar to the Audi Q2" and that “the interior combines traditional craftsmanship with high-tech manufacturing techniques.” Will be an interesting reveal alongside the Lexus Kinetic seat concept that is alleged to revolutionise car seating.
Mercedes has revealed that its new Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and faster AMG GT C Roadster will both be on show in Paris, along with its new E-Class All-Terrain and new AMG GLC 43 Coupe. We will have more on the GLC 43 later this week.
MINI's new John Cooper Works Clubman will be on show with a 228bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol and four-wheel drive.
Mitsubishi have focused their attention on a new mid-sized hybrid SUV that they have named the Ground Tourer PHEV Concept (or GT-PHEV) with the aim of filling a space between the ASX and the Outlander.
Nissan finally reveal their new and 'radically-redesigned' Micra.
The new Peugeot 3008 has its first public debut in Paris where we get our first proper look at a car that Peugeot see as rivals to the Kia Sportage and the all-conquering Nissan Qashqai. We will also get to see the new seven-seat Peugeot 5008 that will be available next year as a rival to the Renault Grand Scenic.
Porsche has already launched the all-new Panamera, but Paris sees its full public debut alongside the first public appearance of the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid.
Another Paris home star is Renault who debut their new Alaskan pick-up and a Renault Clio facelift. They may have a few more surprises too.
A new SsangYong Rexton is to be previewed via a concept car that they have called the LIV-2 concept, which will give a good idea of what the car will look like once it hits production next year.
The next Suzuki SX4 S-Cross crossover with a new pair of Boosterjet turbo petrol engines and a 1.6-litre diesel option will be on show in Paris, alongside a supermini model called the Suzuki Ignis.
Although yet to be confirmed, it seems that Vauxhall are likely to finally be unveiling its all-new Insignia.
And finally it is believed that Volkswagen will be letting the world see its yet-to-be-named all-electric hatchback concept with a range of nearly 250 miles on a full charge.
Despite the absence of some top car manufacturers, most of the usual suspects are there in Paris, and it looks like it's going to be the usual success.