Highlights from the 2010 Paris Motor Show


Jerry Garrett of the New York Times tells that the organizers of the Paris Motor Show are promising more than 100 world premieres when the doors open at the Paris Expo site on Sept. 30 for two days of press previews. The public show dates are Oct. 2-17.

The growth of the Paris show — at the last event, they tell us that 80 new cars were introduced — suggests that the world’s automakers are increasingly comfortable with the prospect of parading their debutantes down a runway in front of the fashionable French.

By any measurement the number of intros for the biannual show that alternates years with the Frankfurt Motor Show is proving to be hefty. Whether the number is accurate or not is really beside the point — there will be plenty to keep the attendees busy.

Here we’ve selected a group of vehicles we thought our readers would be interested in:


BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT: The new 2nd generation Continental GT with the W12 engine now produces even more power (567 bhp and torque of 516 lb-ft) as well as even sharper acceleration times throughout the range. (Expect a V-8 version in 2012). The luxurious cabin offers increased stowage space, an additional 46†mm of legroom for back-seat passengers and a state-of-the-art 30 GB infotainment system supported by touchscreen technology.

But perhaps most dramatic of all is the 2011 GT’s appearance. This new Continental takes its design inspiration from the original GT which in turn was inspired by the 1950s R-Type Continental but moves the story on.

Signature styling cues remain but the sculptured body is now produced using the latest construction techniques, delivers even crisper, more highly defined feature lines and form to every area of the exterior design. The GT’s new look is bolder and more athletic than ever before. In case you’re interested the new Continental GT will sell in the U.S. for $189,900 plus destination and taxes.


BMW X3: Boasting enhanced dynamics, ride comfort, interior space and versatility, the new BMW X3 is significantly different from its predecessor. And in the efficiency stakes, the two engine variants accompanying the launch likewise set new benchmarks. For the first time the Auto Start-Stop function is combined with a six-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission (excluding the US and Canada).

The new BMW X3 is also the first BMW X model to feature electromechanical Servotronic steering as standard and the option of Drive Dynamic Control. Also unique in this segment are the driver assistance systems from BMW ConnectedDrive available for the new BMW X3, which include Adaptive Headlights, Head-Up Display and the rear view camera with Top View.

BMW CONCEPT 6: Paris is the setting for the world premiere of the BMW Concept 6†Series Coupé. This design study for a premium-class 2+2-seater shows flowing lines and aesthetically sculpted surfaces that define the design where BMW coupé styling cues are given a modern rendition. Among the innovative details featured in this concept study are full LED headlights and a newly designed, freestanding Control Display for the iDrive operating system.


CHEVROLET AVEO: Yet another offering from the global arm of Chevrolet, the Aveo in show car form is sure to carry over most of what you see to production. Longer and wider than its predecessor it will carry a more powerful 115 horsepower 1.6-liter four. Unlike Cruze the Aveo will come with a hatchback for all global markets including the U.S. Aveo compliments both the Cruze and Spark to offer a broad range of small cars.


CHEVROLET CAPTIVA SUV: The new Captiva SUV will be seen for the first time sporting a new front end design, a range of enhancements to the interior and new engines and transmissions. Captiva is Chevrolet's full-blooded sports SUV with a new active on-demand all-wheel drive system that distributes power as needed. At the same time the new Captiva retains the advantages of its adaptable, theatre-style seating in three rows which comfortably accommodates up to seven passengers.

CHEVROLET CRUZE: Chevrolet in Europe will expand its lineup by adding a five-door Cruze, sure to be one of the major draws at the Paris show. The liftback ought to compete nicely with the 2012 Ford Focus five-door, but don't expect GM to offer the more functional Cruze in the United States. "Americans don't like hatchbacks," remember? Maybe Chevy should keep an eye on Ford's Fiesta sales in the U.S. before locking in that decision.

Chevrolet calls the Cruze hatchback a "show car," but in this case, that means that it's somewhere between the stages of concept and prototype. Don't expect the body to change, but we can easily see the front LED light bar and larger wheels being scrapped for the sake of cost-cutting. Chevrolet says it will begin selling the Cruze hatchback across Europe in mid-2011 and pricing will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date.

CHEVROLET ORLANDO: Chevrolet will present the production version of its 2011 Orlando crossover as a world premiere at the Paris Auto Show and will go on sale in Europe in early 2011. Chevrolet announced it will not sell the Orlando in the U.S.

The compact, seven-passenger MPV is based on the Chevrolet Cruze. It has a sweeping low roof line and elevated second and third rows of seating. The interior has a twin instrument panel, as well as a hidden storage compartment with a USB port behind the audio's front fascia that can be accessed by both driver and front passenger. It has three engine choices: a 1.8-liter gasoline engine that makes 141 horsepower and a pair of 2.0-liter diesels making 131 and 163 hp, respectively.


CITROEN DS4: Citroën has released first details for the new DS4, a unique and attractive blend of creativity, dynamism, exclusivity and versatility says those in the know at the PSA brand. DS4 is the second model in Citroën's distinctively-styled DS line.

DS4 brings advanced vehicle architecture with a coupé-like body within a compact 4-door design - 4.27m (l), 1.81m (w) & 1.53m (h). Rear doors with hidden handles, like the Acura ZDX, are integrated into the body's lines. DS4 also benefits from a capacious 370-litre trunk. DS4 comes with a choice of five engines - two HDi diesels and three gas powerplants – including a new to Citroën 200hp gas unit. DS4 will be revealed at the 2010 Paris Motor Show and is expected to go on sale later in 2011.


FISKER KARMA: The California manufacturer of elegantly designed, premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, will debut the first factory-built Karma this week in Paris.

Designed by company co-founder, CEO and executive design director Henrik Fisker the four-door, four-passenger Karma offers luxury car buyers a responsible alternative to traditionally-powered vehicles. "We had a chance to change the premium vehicle segment with a new kind of vehicle and a new brand that appeal to consumers who are passionate about the environment, and who wish to drive a beautiful car that reflects their desire to lead a lifestyle of responsible luxury." Fisker said. "We are very excited to be introducing the first factory-built Karma luxury plug-in hybrid in Paris, a city known for inspiring its own passions."

The 300 kW (403 hp/408 PS) Karma reaches 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph), yet can achieve an annual average economy of 2.4L/100 km (100 mpg) and emissions of just 83g/km.


FORD FOCUS/FOCUS ST: Show-goers will see not only three different configurations of the new Ford Focus global car, but the highly anticipated Focus ST as well. The sporty five-door hatch, sleek four-door sedan and stylish wagon are being revealed in full detail ahead of the car's production start in Europe and North America in late 2010.

Packed with more affordable technologies and features than ever, the new Focus offers the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship along with outstanding fuel economy, and takes the car's legendary driving dynamics to a new level of engagement says Ford.

The three global vehicles will be 2011 models. The ST is scheduled for a 2012 launch and will come as a 2012 or 2013 model both in global markets and the U.S.


HONDA JAZZ:  Known as the Fit in the U.S. this new hybrid version of the Jazz uses the same 1.3-liter VTEC gasoline/electric motor and control system currently found on the Insight and the new CR-Z. The Jazz is meant for markets other than the U.S.

Revised headlamps, a new grille, restyled bumpers and chrome "tailgate garnish" are among the features of the hybrid Jazz. The interior has optional leather trim and a blue-lit instrument panel. It's also available in an eye-catching Lime Green metallic paint color.


HYUNDAI ix20:  Hyundai's next generation B-segment MVP makes its debut. The new model is a striking departure from the boxy minivan' image typically associated with the segment, adopting a more dynamic, sportier profile. Designed and developed at Hyundai's European R&D center in Rüsselsheim, Germany, the ix20 is the second European car, following the ix35 along with the U.S. version of the new Sonata to adopt Hyundai's new 'fluidic sculpture' design language.

Another model making its world premiere at Paris is the new i10. This upgraded version of Hyundai's popular city car benefits from a comprehensive set of enhancements in terms of design, specification and competiveness – including a new 1.0-litre engine with CO2 emissions of just 99 g/km. Hyundai will also showcase the latest developments of its Blue Drive eco-focused program.


LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER EVOQUE: True to its show car LRX the Evoque is small, sporty, thrifty and by any definition still a Land Rover/Range Rover. “This car makes a powerful statement of the Range Rover's brand intent to appeal to a wider audience," said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's design director.

Drivers who drive their Range Rover Evoque off-road will be reassured to know that, in addition to extremely generous ground clearance, the car has aggressive breakover, approach and departure angles. The new vehicle's formidable multi-terrain potential is enhanced by the latest version of the company’s signature Terrain Response system.


MAZDA SHINARI: Unveiled recently in Milan the concept will make its formal debut this week in Paris. The four-door "coupe" concept introduces the company's new Kodo design language that could dictate the new face of Mazda. Shinari looks good enough to stand on its own, but Mazda apparently has no immediate production plans for the four-seater.

Shinari, which means “soul of motion” replaces the Nagare design language that appeared on such recent production cars as the new Mazda3. According to Britain's Autocar Shinari's "prominent, gaping-mouth grille . . . does away with Nagare's 'smiling face.'" The concept's interior, designed in California, features aluminum trim, chronometer-style gauges and leather-covered seats and surfaces, as well as an asymmetric front seating layout plus deep rear buckets.


MERCEDES-BENZ CLS: The second generation of the CLS-Class will debut this week in Paris. This is the first significant redo of the vehicle that set the stage for the four-door coupe segment. True to its origins the CLS retains the key elements while allowing for a new modern look starting upfront with a more upright grille. Altogether it’s a beautiful new rendition.


MINI SCOOTER E: This new two-wheel design study represents the MINI design team’s recognizing the challenges for mobility in major urban areas, and meeting these challenges with the development of stylish, innovative and sustainable future-focused vehicle concepts. The MINI Scooter E Concept comes almost ten years to the day since the new MINI was first shown at the Paris Motor Show.


MITSUBISHI i-MiEV: Expected to go on sale in December, i-MiEV in European trim will debut this week in Paris. Changes versus the Japanese version of the car are minimal. They include revised bumpers to meet European Union regulations, a "rearranged center stack" and "improved interior comfort." The Euro-spec i-MiEV also gets stability control and side and curtain airbags.

Mitsubishi said it expects the car to "remain under" the U.S. equivalent of $38,106 in "a majority of countries it is to be sold in." Those countries include France, the U.K., Germany, Spain and Sweden. The U.S. version which is larger is expected to retail in the $41,915 - $44,455 range before government incentives. It may debut in Los Angeles in mid November.


NISSAN TOWNPOD: As a concept, the Nissan Townpod comes with an impressive design, innovative features but also with an electric propulsion system borrowed from Nissan Leaf. The Japanese manufacturer revealead this MPV concept at Paris, an electric model that comes with interesting frontlights and innovative doors.

At the interior a sliding seat is available for the Japanese MPV concept in order to obtain better space. The Japanese manufacturer did not revealed too many details on this interesting electric concept, but from the official photos we can see what the Townpod concept offers.

The Townpod concept features a touch-screen display able to work together with a PDA. Nissan Townpod concept aligns with the specifications of a future compact model — futuristic design, an electric engine and innovative features both in the interior and exterior.


OPEL/VAUXHALL GTC CONCEPT: While this concept takes the stage in Paris, the new Astra Sport Hatch that is sure to carry the GTC influence can’t be far behind.

Vauxhall/Opel’s VP of Design, Mark Adams, says that a production version will not stray far from the rakish lines of the concept. A four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, with direct petrol injection and Start/Stop technology is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox in the concept and likely to be found in the production version as well. Joining the GTC on the stand will be a new Sports Tourer Wagon.


PEUGEOT 508: 508 replaces the 407 mid-size and the 607 large sedan. Peugeot hopes the 508 will be able to compete against premium cars such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C class.

To lure premium buyers, Peugeot is counting on an exterior design it calls "French chic," a mixture of elegance and timeless lines which could be equally at home in Paris or London, the company said. Inside, Peugeot says is an exceptionally large interior room and a very generous trunk space. The 508 will be offered in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a station wagon. Both models will go on sale at the beginning of 2011 in the Euro zone.


PORSCHE 911 GTS: With 408 horsepower the new 2011 911 Carrera GTS ascends to the pinnacle of the Carrera model lineup. With 23 hp more than the 911 Carrera S, the new GTS – available as Coupe and Cabriolet – narrows the gap between the Carrera S and the 435 hp 911 GT3. The 911 GTS combines the wider Carrera 4 body of the AWD models, including a wider rear track and wheels, with rear-wheel drive, running on 19-inch center-mount RS Spyder wheels, painted black, with high-gloss rim flanges and 305/30 R 19 tires on the rear axle.

The Carrera GTS comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission with the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) available. Acceleration from zero to 60 is 4.0 seconds for the GTS Coupe with PDK and Sport Chrono Package Plus. And the new Carrera GTS will offer fuel economy of up to 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway. In the U.S., the 911 Carrera GTS Coupe and Cabriolet will be available beginning in early 2011 and MSRP will be $103,100 and $112,900 respectively.


SAAB e-POWER: An all electric version of the 9-3 Saab Sport Combi has a projected driving range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) and is powered by a 135 kW/184 hp electric motor giving zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration in just 8.5 seconds. The e-Power is just one of several alternate fuel vehicles that Saab is working on. The company hopes to put 70 e-Power demonstrator vehicles into service next year.


SMART SCOOTER: Daimler-owned Smart has revealed more plans for a plug-in electric scooter. Described as a concept with a possible production future, the traditional-looking scooter is being evaluated as a part of plans to significantly broaden the Smart lineup in coming years to broaden its appeal. Also in Paris Smart is showing a ForTwo with a modest facelift.


SUZUKI SWIFT: The new fourth generation Swift minicar has improved fuel consumption and significantly lower emissions than the outgoing model as well as better safety and driving performance. It is also longer and has a longer wheelbase. It will go in sale in Europe shortly and will not be available in the U.S.


TOYOTA VERSO-S: Small MPVs continue to make a statement in Europe and other global markets and Toyota has given its Verso-S hatch MPV a major makeover which will debut this week at the Paris show.

Reports say upon its launch in the UK in early 2011, the Verso-S will be the shortest B-segment MPV in Europe – the car is less than four meters (157 inches) long. One publication called it, “a sharp little hatch, too, looking like the lovechild of a Honda Fit and a Toyota iQ, the latter of which supplies many of the visual cues seen here on the new Verso-S.”


VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT:  Sources suggest that the restyled Passat mid-size sedan will bow this week in Paris.There's still some question about what engines will be available when the new Passat arrives in Europe, but VW’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is sure to make an appearance, while a new 300-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 will be available in higher-spec trims, along with the normal assortment of diesel mills. A hybrid model has also been confirmed by VW, and soon after the sedan launches abroad, the wagon variant will debut, along with a possible R36 model. 

 Sources: Inside Line, AutoBlog, Automotive News, N.Y. Times