Sep 28, 2008

Paris Motor Show 2008 : Preview

The world’s oldest and Europe’s biggest motor show opens its doors again in Paris at the end of this week. The Mondial de l'Automobile (or Paris Motor Show) will be center stage for the unveiling of this year's most anticipated car and technology reveals. From supercars to superefficient cars, there will be something for everyone who loves cars in Paris this October.

The show comes at a time when the onus is on efficiency enhancement more than anything else. All car makers are trying their best - to go lighter, downsize in engines while upping the performance quotient, cutting down massively on exhaust emissions and yet managing to make that all important move to prune fuel consumption even further.

Here is a quick look at the highlights.

Audi is to show its second A1 concept in Paris, according to reports on the net. This follows the Metroproject Quattro concept revealed at last year's Tokyo Motor Show and will be a stage closer to the production-ready version.

The A1, due for launch next autumn will be built in Belgium and share much of its underpinnings with the next-generation Volkswagen Polo (and ultimately, the Seat Ibiza and Skoda Fabia), but will be positioned much further upmarket with full Audi-style interior to include the MMI control system.

Audi is said also to be planning an A1 convertible, to be launched a year later and even a mini-SUV.

German car maker of fearsome repute BMW will be showcasing the latest iteration of its full-size flagship luxury car, the 7 Series at the Paris Motor Show.

Besides the choice of one diesel and two petrol engines (the most delicious being the 407bhp petrol), the car has a host of tech-packed firsts like a Night Vision system with individual pedestrian recognition, a front side view camera and BMW’s Lane Change Warning system with a heads-up display.

BMW also seems to have big plans for the MINI brand. The company will be presenting a design study for a fourth variant of MINI’s current range.

Citroen and Sony Playstation3 partner Polypony Digital are pouring the teaser marketing hype very thick.

We see the Citroen GT concept flamboyant air intake scoops on the sides as well as the inward pointing trapezoidal exhaust pipe. Also, a small glimpse of the taillight and rear hatch door with its chevron shaped air vent slats undoubtedly indicating a rear engine layout.

Fiat has announced the new PUR-O2 line which will be available on the 500, Croma and Bravo starting this November.

The PUR-O2 line targets low fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels with Eco Drive, the new ‘Start&Stop’ device developed by Bosch and special Eco Packs that include green tyres, low-viscosity fluids, aerodynamic packages and gearboxes with modified ratios.

Seven seats, bold SUV looks and practical family appeal – the Chevrolet Orlando show car promises to be a sign of things to come from General Motors for Europe and the rest of the world. The car features the GM’s 2.0-litre 150PS turbo-diesel engine, the same as that seen in the Chevrolet Captiva sold in India.

Another sign of the changing times at General Motors - the Volt. It is GM’s ambitious electric car project that looks bring eco-friendly credibility back to the company.

This is a car that Honda has held close to its heart for a very long time. The first Insight which came out in 1999 was a two-seater hybrid coupe - the first mass-produced hybrid car to be sold in Europe.

In its latest iteration to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the 2009 Insight is a 5-door family saloon capable of seating five adults. The car takes many exterior styling cues from the FCX Clarity, Honda’s hydrogen-powered fuel cell car. Honda has promised that its pricing will be cutting-edge competitive – lower than that of any other hybrid vehicle in the market.

Hyundai has a trick up its sleeve, and this car is the all new i20 sub-compact that is due to be unveiled officially at the Paris Motor Show. The car holds special excitement for Indian enthusiasts, since it is slated to make its Indian debut at the end of November this year.

Alongside the eye-catching i20 will be the luxurious seven-seat ix55 sports utility vehicle, and Hyundai's eco-friendly Santa Fe as a Petrol-Electric Hybrid concept.

The Korean car makers, in addition to the previously released Soul urban crossover production version, has just announced three more world premiers at next weeks Paris Motor show. With plans to progressively introduce ‘eco-friendly’ technologies across its model range in 2009 and beyond, Kia will showcase their latest developments which include the Soul Hybrid Concept, cee’d Hybrid Concept and cee’d ‘Idle Stop&Go’.

The Italian car-marque has been tight-lipped about this new car and the only images that is available for the press to see is the one you see right here. This mystery Lamborghini model that is set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show has been an interesting affair.

Going by the predictions of industry analysts and people in the business, this could be a completely new body-shell and a next-generation sportscar to challenge likes of Bugatti Veyron and Aston Martin One-77. Or instead it could be a the much-awaited 4x4 off-roader. Whatever it is, we have no choice but to wait till the show begins...

Maserati has unveiled a new hardcore GranTurismo coupe called the GranTurismo MC Corse which will preview a racing version ready to compete in international GT events.

Based on the GranTurismo S, the power output on its 4.7-litre V8 has been upped by 20bhp to 450bhp. The car's overall weight has been reduced by using composite body panels, synthetic Lexan in place of glass for the windscreens and windows, and by stripping-out all superfluous interior equipment.

Mercedes-Benz has finally announced official production plans for the new S400 BlueHybrid. The S400 uses Mercedes 3.5L V-6 gas engine combined with the 20kW electric motor/generator. Unless someone else jumps in first, the S400 will be the first production automotive hybrid in the world to use a lithium ion battery.

The combination of a modified V6 petrol engine and a compact hybrid module gives the S 400 BlueHYBRID a combined figure of 13 kmpl making it the world's most economical luxury saloon with a spark-ignition engine.

Mercedes has given us a glimpse into its future and it looks fascinating. Called the Fascination Concept, what we have here is basically the next generation E-class due out in production guise at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept is not due to make it into production but its main purpose is to give off hints as to what to expect from the new E-class range.

Peugeot has just released a group of teaser images of the new concept it will be unveiling at the Paris Motor Show in October. The RC whose full name will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show is a four door, four seat coupe that features a hybrid powertrain.

Peugeot's second concept car at the Paris show is the Prologue and, like the RC coupe, it's a hybrid. The Prologue's powertrain develops 200bhp yet emits just 109g/km of carbon dioxide, and can also run in fully-electric mode.

We have already seen half of the line-up Renault are set to unveil at the Paris Motor Show in the Megane Hatch, Laguna Coupe and Ondelios Concept Car. But there are three new arrivals on the way. Two of these models will be new production cars – one of which will be a third variant of the Kangoo range but details of the other model are being kept firmly under lock and key.

Saab is all set to debut the 9-X Air BioHybrid concept at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The car is a follow up to the 9-X BioHybrid coupe, first shown at this year's Geneva show. The convertible swaps the coupe's fixed roof for a "unique canopy top," but leaves most of the original's styling and shape untouched.

The powertrain consists of the 1.4-litre Saab BioPower engine running on E85 ethanol fuel. The engine delivers a sporty 203 PS and does the zero to 100 km/h sprint in 8.1 seconds with projected CO2 tailpipe emissions of just 107 g/km over the combined cycle.

Set to make their Show debuts on 2 October, the Cupra and Ecomotive are highly significant additions to the sharp-looking new Ibiza range becoming the greenest and meanest versions of SEAT's supermini.

The Cupra features a 180 PS 1.4-litre petrol engine, featuring not only a turbocharger but also a supercharger benefiting both power delivery and fuel efficiency. Furthermore, this compact yet potent powerplant is mated to a seven-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) transmission, complete with F1-style steering wheel shift-paddles.

In case of the Ibiza Ecomotive the performance is measured in kmpl rather than km/h which has one of the lowest official carbon dioxide emissions figure of just 99g/km amongst any internal combustion engined-car.

As Subaru celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it is the right time for the company to come at the forefront once again and this time it plans to stay there with its much-acclaimed diesel Boxer engine.

Subaru will unveil the new Forester SUV with the revolutionary 2.0-Litre Boxer diesel engine at the Paris Motor Show. The Forester 2.0D will produce147 PS and 350Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm and 1,800 rpm, respectively.

The highlight at the Suzuki Motor Corporation hall will be the debut of its all-new compact car, the A-Star. The new car is based on the A-Star concept showcased by Suzuki during the 2008 Auto Expo held in New Delhi early this year. This will be the new generation Alto for Indian market and the car will is scheduled to be launched in India sometime next month.

The all-new Avensis saloon will take centrestage at the Toyota hall along with two other models, the ready to be sold city-car iQ and the compact SUV, badged as the Urban Cruiser. The highlight will be once again on green technology and lower emissions along with enhanced power.

Volkswagen AG's stand will be house to the technological marvel that is the Golf BlueMotion concept vehicle. One of the most efficient models from its range of passenger cars, this Golf will return an efficiency figure of 26.3kmpl while emitting just 99 g/km of CO2.

Significant changes have been made to the drivetrain and the aerodynamics of the Golf Bluemotion concept that will further increase its overall efficiency and performance. The tyres on the car are also designed so that they provide lower rolling resistance and the gear ratios in the five-speed gearbox too have been calculated in order to suit the car's efficient power delivery.

...Well, these are just the highlights of the coming Paris Motor Show, lets see how it actually turns out to be at the arena to catch them Live! , starting from 4th to 19th Oct.


  1. I like that Citroen on the picture...
    I wish I could attend this show someday in the future...

  2. That maserati really cool.. Hope to have that one soon.. need more cash first.. hehe

  3. All cars being showcase are great...

    The Suzuki seems very interesting :)

  4. I like the A-star- it looks like an alien.

    Very cool site, btw, and a nice template!