We obsessively covered the 2014 Paris Motor Show
Attending European auto shows like this week's Paris expo always makes me kind of jealous of the things offered in other markets. Funny little MPVs, hot hatches of all shapes and sizes, and just generally weird stuff are plentiful here, but we'd never, ever see these things in the States. And among the wares not often found in our market that are of particular interest, to me, are lifted wagons, like the new Seat Leon X-Perience on display here.
The French auto brands certainly haven't been afraid to display a plethora of concepts at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. We've seen everything from the imagined future of CUVs to a very weird looking hatchback. Citroën is adding one more to the tally with its C1 Urban Ride that tries to make a European city car look a bit more rugged, highlighting the model's customization potential in the process.
Every time we see a display from SsangYong, Korea's fourth-largest automaker, we're startled at the pace with which it is upping its game. Just a few short years ago, its show stands were littered with discordant designs that bordered on the comical – the original Rodius and Korando still have us biting our tongues. But now look at them – the XIV-Adventure (above) and XIV-Air concept (below) may not be design standouts, but they are perfectly contemporary, with some interesting detai
Sometimes you need a second chance to get things right. Technologically, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a pretty cool vehicle, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and additional electric motors providing more thrust. However, the CUV never really looked the part for all of its innovation. The Mitsubishi designers are taking another crack with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept-S at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and the vehicle shows what a massive improvement some tweaks can make.
In the contest for ultra-high fuel efficiency, France is coming up with a seriously tough lineup of concepts. Both Peugeot and Citroën have concept cars on display at the 2014 Paris Motor Show that blend aerodynamics, low curb weights and cutting edge powertrain technologies to return 141 miles per gallon on the European cycle. And now Renault has just unveiled its fuel-saver to the world's press, showing off the Eolab, a concept hatch that promises to use only one liter of fuel for every 1
Limited-edition, hand-built cars are kind of a bizarre thing. On the one hand, people pay umpteen amounts of money for bespoke cars, with the manufacturer adding that iconic descriptor to all its press materials, but then the company goes and produces 20 of the exact same car and sells them as a "special edition." It seems kind of contradictory.
We had a chance to drive the tiny Opel Adam following the Frankfurt Motor Show last fall, and what we found was a cute little city car that's decently fun, but hardly sporty. But that's about to change, as Opel has thrown a dose of sport at its plucky little runabout, and the finished result, the Adam S, makes its debut here at the Paris Motor Show.
Mini's Superleggera Vision Concept may not be a Paris Motor Show debut, but this is the first time we've seen this stunning all-electric roadster in the metal, having been first shown on the tony shores of Lake Como at Villa D'Este in May. While it's small in stature, it's still big on both presence and detail, from its overall stubby yet sleek proportions to its Union Jack taillamps, Jaguar-esque rear fin and elegant rearview mirrors.
A one-box shape, three-rows of seating, a huge feature set and sliding rear doors: these are the elements that make up what we know as "minivan." That's a category that the Renault Espace has headlined, in Europe, for decades now. Well, until the new generation's launch at this year's Paris Motor Show, where the French automaker has – sort of, kind of – changed up the minivan formula in favor of something distinctly more crossover-flavored.
Venturi almost always cooks up something fresh and a bit crazy for the Paris Motor Show, from the America EV dune buggy to the Eclectic, which lived up to its name. This year at the Mondial de l'Automobile, Venturi is showing off its latest vehicle – a new version of the America EV – as well as the body work for the VBB-3, also known as the Buckeye Bullet, as it takes a look back at 30 years of the company and a decade of working on electric vehicles.
Volkswagen (and many other European automakers) have a storied history of launching products in their home market before bringing those wares over to the United States. Look at the seventh-generation Golf, for example, which just arrived in the US as a 2015 model but first debuted at the Paris Motor Show back in 2012. So while you might assume that the slick new Passat seen here will show up in US showrooms in another year or two, you'd actually be wrong. Sorry, folks – we're missing this
Full disclosure: I love the Citroën C4 Cactus. Really, I just love French automakers. Kudos to them for flexing their design muscles, creating products that compete in the mass market while not looking like anything else on the road. This C4 Cactus, for example – it's a small hatchback that's about the same size as a Ford Focus, designed to take on small crossovers like the (also weird) Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. But it looks radical, what with its funky Airbump door trim (think
The Blue Oval's 'One Ford' mantra has seen rapid commonization of the automaker's products across markets, but North America still has to look from afar at most of the company's Max-branded people movers, including this new S-Max. That's a bit of a shame – we like the space efficiency and above-average driving dynamics of the C-Max models we do get, but seeing this updated seven-seat small minivan makes us want the One Ford initiative to extend even further.
The Paris Motor Show is Peugeot's big chance to show off its newest wares to the home crowd, and the company has a ton of vehicles on display at this year's exhibition. Unfortunately, the Exalt concept is one of the more lackluster of the bunch. With its long, low body, the sedan certainly isn't ugly. However, Peugeot already showed the Exalt at the Beijing Motor Show earlier this year, and it hasn't done too much to change it for the City of Light.
Peugeot is going through a bit of a rough patch recently with Dongfeng and the French government coming to its rescue earlier this year. For the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the company is bringing out everything it can to show strength to the home market. Among the automaker's concepts this year is the high-performance Quartz that imagines a very tough crossover.
Meet the new Divine DS Concept, the future of Citroën's new DS sub-brand and one of the bigger debuts at this 2014 Paris Motor Show. Why, you ask? Well, the current crop of DS cars, like the DS3 and DS4, are basically just slightly restyled versions of the standard Citroën C3 and C4. Park them next to their more mundane counterparts, and the relationship is plain as day.
Another auto show, another Honda "prototype." The brand has made something of a habit of showing very thinly veiled production models at the world's auto shows, ranging from the Accord, to the Civic and Civic Type-R, as well as the CR-V. And yes, this is far from the first time we've railed against this particular trend (it's not even the first time at this auto show). Now, it's time to preview the production-ready Jazz, known to American consumers as the recently released Fit.
With the latest generation of the i20 at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Hyundai continues to shake off its old image in Europe as a maker of cheap, unstylish little penalty boxes. This five-door hatch has to fit into the crowded, compact hatch market over there against popular entries like the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo – a high bar for success. But the Korean automaker claims that its latest vehicle is up to the task because it's designed in Europe specifically with European buyers in mi
The degree of love for the Volkswagen Golf GTI at Autoblog is at or above that for any other hatchback sold in the US market. That's undoubtedly influenced by the fact that what may be the best GTI in the VW stable, the Polo GTI, isn't sold here. Were it, we guess the Ford Fiesta-sized bomber would have a legitimate shot at joining its brother at the top of AB hot hatch heap.
It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here. It's the new Fiat 500X: the rounder, somehow even more retro version of the Jeep Renegade. Joining an ever-expanding Cinquecento lineup alongside the 500, 500C and 500L, the new 500X is – to our eyes at least – the most handsome yet... better looking, at any rate, than the somewhat ungainly Mini Countryman. But despite its more fluid lines, the new 500X is barely any longer than the Renegade and only slightly less tall.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT is an absolute stunner with svelte styling and cutting-edge tech under its skin. However, as a two-seat coupe, it's just not practical for a large swath of people. The German company realizes that, of course, and for customers who want to combine high performance with the ability to carry four people, latest versions of Mercedes-AMG C63 at the 2014 Paris Motor Show should fit the bill nicely.
To say that Ferrari has made some powerful drop-tops over the years would be like saying the Pope has been known to make a couple of blessings here and there. There was the F50, the 575 Superamerica and the 599 SA Aperta, to name just a few. But this is the most powerful Spider it has ever made.
Ford might not have the splashiest booth here at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, but the automaker is showing off quite a bit of hardware that will actually end up on roads across Europe. Parisians are no doubt tickled at getting to see the specifications of the Mustang tuned for The Continent (which has a revised suspension for European roads, and a few visual nips and tucks), in addition to the revised face of the family-friendly C-Max.
The Škoda what now, you ask? The Škoda Fabia, that's what. It may not be offered in North America, but globally speaking, it's the second most successful model from the Volkswagen group's third most successful brand. And Skoda has just revealed the all-new version here at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
Nissan is showing two very different sides of its new Pulsar five-door hatchback (on the right) at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. On one hand you get to see the standard version hoping to take the fight to popular European models like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but also on the stage is our first glimpse at the Pulsar Nismo Concept (above) that demonstrates the vehicle's more devilish side.
There are cars debuting in Paris this year that we've heard virtually nothing about until we showed up at Porte de Versailles, and others that we've hotly anticipated seeing for months or more. The 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT falls distinctly into that second category. Approaching this year's motor-soiree, our only real question was, "Will it be as pretty in the tin as it is in pictures."
Infiniti is among the best of the non-exotic brands when it comes to crafting concepts, with designers who just seem to know how to show a truly wild vehicle with subtle hints at a future model. Just take a look at its latest Q80 Inspiration at the 2014 Paris Motor Show to see what we mean.
Say what you will about the BMW X6 – odd and ugly as it may be, it's actually been sort of successful for the German automaker. BMW has now sold some 250,000 examples of the X6 since its launch, and the company's fastback-crossover-coupe-whatever-thing gets a host of meaningful updates for the 2015 model year while not straying from its original mission.
Eight hundred and eleven pound-feet of torque. Really, that's all you need to know about the 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed. It's the same ultra-luxurious cruiser that we've enjoyed for a few years now, but the crew in Crewe has upgraded its engine to create absolutely astonishing performance.
Is there anything quite so exciting as seeing a brand-new vehicle for the very first time? Part of the allure of auto shows is the chance to see new ideas, just before they're fully baked and ready for public consumption. "Prototypes" you might say, of production models that are just around the corner. Or, in the case of the Honda HR-V, already down the block a ways.
That German automakers seem singularly fixated on filling any white space between their models isn't new – the last decade-plus has seen their showrooms overflowing with niche models, some of which seemingly occupy sub-genres of sub-genres. To our eyes, there's often diminishing aesthetic and utilitarian returns to go along with the heightened price tags that accompany these models, but we're beginning to think Audi is tackling its personal diversity initiative best. Unlike the often heavy
We've seen it in super high-res glory, and we can even build one on the automaker's website, but the Paris Motor Show marks the official coming out party for the new Mini Hardtop 4 Door (which is what it's called in the US, despite this Euro car having "5 Door" badging). It's a stretched version of the third-generation Mini Hardtop, but with an extra set of doors for rear seat passengers. Think of it as a more useful Clubman, but with a lower ride height and less rugged-ness than the Countryman.
Early next year, BMW will offer droptop versions of its entry-level 2 Series. Available in both 228i and M235i guise, the 2 Series Cabriolet will no doubt take everything we already like (and don't like) about the Twoer and add that wind-in-your-hair experience. Of course, taking in all the extra sun comes at a price – $37,900 for the 228i and $47,700 for the M235i, not including $950 for destination. Those prices represent increases of $5,800 and $4,600, respectively.
Despite having the tendency to offer decidedly bland production cars, Toyota occasionally surprises us with interesting concept cars. Such is the case with the C-HR concept making its debut at the Paris Motor Show this week. It's a concept showing forward-thinking design that hints at "a type of crossover vehicle Toyota would like to bring to market," according to the automaker's release, and it rides on an all-new platform and uses a hybrid powertrain.
The weirdest thing happened last night. During the annual Volkswagen Group Night festivities, everyone waited in anticipation for the Lamborghini section of the press conference. It's usually a treat for the senses – cool to look at, backed up by a ferocious sound that bellows throughout the venue. But not this time. There was no music, there were no laser lights, and most remarkably, there was no sound. The Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 drove onto stage under fully silent electric power.
Soon, kids. Soon. The next-generation Honda Civic Type R is finally coming, and we're getting another preview of the hot hatch here at the Paris Motor Show. Of course, this one probably won't be headed to the United States (boo!), but it doesn't mean we can't get excited. After all, we're big fans of little turbo hatches, and from what we know right now, this one sure sounds sweet.
Earlier this year, I spent the weekend with an Aston Martin Vanquish Volante in a particularly interesting shade of green – the same car you see photographed here, for our First Drive. When it was dropped off, I remember just staring at it, taking in all of its lines, the curves, its pronounced hips – all the details. To say the Vanquish is a gorgeous car is a vast understatement. And here at the Paris Motor Show, the already classy range-topping Aston coupe dons an even more gorgeou
Casual motorcycle fans will know Ducati best as purveyors of cutting-edge superbikes and nakeds, but with the market for retro cycles heating up, the Italian manufacturer has finally unleashed its long-awaited Scrambler. First shown earlier this week at the International Motorcycle Fair in Cologne, Germany, the new bike has also been revealed here at the Paris Motor Show adjacent to offerings from its parent automakers Audi and Lamborghini.
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