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Europeans to shine at Paris show

Power play: Volkswagen’s focus on electrification will be showcased in Paris with an all-electric Golf-sized hatch concept.

Plenty of futuristic concepts and intriguing production cars expected at Paris show


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27 Sep 2016

DESPITE a number of major brands electing to bypass this year’s Paris motor show, the French auto expo remains a significant event in the global automotive calendar and this year is no different with everything from exotic concepts to production runabouts set to make their debut later this week.

As GoAuto has reported, Lamborghini and Bentley were last-minute withdrawals from the show, while others including Ford, Volvo, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Mazda have all decided to channel their marketing spend elsewhere.

Expect big things from South Korean giants Hyundai and Kia, with the former set to finally reveal its first European-honed N-badged performance model after years of development work.

The RN30 concept will preview the i30 N hot hatch that will go head-to-head with the likes of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI and Renault’s Megane RS as well as Ford’s Focus ST. It will sit alongside the already revealed third-generation i30 hatch and the i10 facelift.

Kia’s big news surrounds the new-generation Rio that introduces a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that is unlikely to make it to Australia, while the slow-selling Rondo and Soul also gain subtle makeovers.

Smaller South Korean brand SsangYong will reveal what is expected to be a replacement for its long-in-the-tooth Rexton with its LIV-2 concept.

Naturally, the top European car-makers will pull out their big guns at Paris, with significant new-model reveals expected from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as the trio of French brands.

Audi will have a massive show, with its all-important second-generation Q5 SUV making its debut later this week after a series of teasers. The new Q5 is expected to carry a sharper design than the current model and will feature cues from the larger Q7, smaller Q2 and show cars such as the stunning Prologue Allroad concept from last year’s Shanghai show.

Audi will also show off its A5 and S5 Sportback following its reveal earlier this month, while a further mystery reveal could be on the cards given Audi’s previous form of pulling out surprise concepts.

Another huge debut will be the seventh-generation BMW 5 Series sedan that is set to showcase an array of new safety and semi-autonomous technology for the Bavarian brand in much the same way Mercedes has done with its latest E-Class.

Some international reports have suggested BMW will also uncover its X2 crossover that is slated to sit between the X1 on which it is based and the larger X3, and feature an X4-like swoopy roofline.

Its sister brand Mini will have its freshly revealed Clubman JCW hot hatch on the stand and there is a good chance the replacement for the ageing Countryman will make its debut this year.

Mercedes-Benz has already uncovered most of its show-stoppers, with the jacked-up E-Class All-Terrain, the go-fast GLC43 Coupe and topless AMG GT C Roadster out and about, but it is also rumoured to reveal an electric SUV concept, based on the GLC.

Continuing the electric theme, Volkswagen will whip the covers off an all-electric Golf-sized hatch concept that it says will be “as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago”.

The concept previews a production model that will be built on the new modular electrification kit (MEB) platform and signals VW’s intentions to ramp up its EV line-up in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal.

Other VW Group brands Skoda and Seat will show off new SUVs, with the already revealed Kodiaq joining Skoda’s stand, while the Spanish brand will showcase its rugged Ateca X-Perience SUV concept.

While Paris will mark the European debut of the Koleos SUV, Alaskan pick-up and the Megane sedan, French car-maker Renault will also rip the covers off a mystery concept that marks the latest iteration of its ‘Life Flower’ design language and showcases future mobility technology.

Citroen showed its Cxperience concept late last month that previews a replacement for a traditional mid-size or large sedan in the form of a sleek, futuristic liftback with plug-in hybrid underpinnings.

Alongside the Cxperience will be the new-generation C3 hatch that is coming to Australia next year and a rally car based on the C3, while the next-generation European-market C3 Picasso MPV could also get an airing in Paris.

Sister brand Peugeot has outed its Paris show offerings – the 3008 compact SUV and the seven-seat 5008 SUV that will replace the unloved MPV of the same name.

Jaguar will be quiet after a busy couple of years on the show circuit, but Land Rover will finally show off its highly anticipated new-generation Discovery, more than two years after the Discovery Vision concept made its debut at the 2014 Geneva show.

While some publications are reporting that Opel will show off its new-generation Insignia, a Paris debut for the car that is widely tipped to form the basis of the first imported Holden Commodore is unlikely.

Instead, GM’s German arm will display its take on the Chevrolet Bolt electric hatch, dubbed Ampera-e, while it might also reveal its Antara (Captiva 5) replacement that will share much with the just-revealed Chevrolet Equinox that will be offered in Australia with Holden badges from next year.

Alfa Romeo’s display will consist of facelifted versions of the Giulietta and MiTo and the new warmed-over Veloce-badged Giulia sedan that is expected in Australia early next year.

Rounding out the Europeans, Porsche will highlight the fuel-saving tech behind its Panamera e-Hybrid plug-in, while Ferrari’s ultra-exclusive LaFerrari Aperta drop-top that features the same 590kW/700Nm hybrid powertrain as the hard-top, will also be on display, even though it is already sold out.

The Prancing Horse brand also has the turbocharged V8 version of its GTC4Lusso four-seater.

Toyota’s luxury offshoot Lexus has announced its UX concept that could preview a future sub-NX small SUV to rival Audi’s new Q2.

Nissan has been teasing its new Micra light hatch ahead of its Paris debut and while little is known, it is expected to grow in size and feature more mature styling than the outgoing model.

Its premium arm, Infiniti, is expected to highlight its new 2.0-litre petrol engines that promise the fuel economy of a diesel engine.

Honda’s European-spec Civic hatch will be on show, while the wild Civic Type R, in new-generation guise, will no doubt be a highlight of the show.

Mitsubishi’s focus on SUVs continues with the Ground Tourer concept that previews a replacement for the Outlander that will move up into the large SUV segment in its next generation in a couple of years’ time.

Suzuki will also have a low-key show with the facelifted version of the slow-selling S-Cross the only car on its reveal roster.

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