Paris motor show 2018: live reports and updates
Check out all the cars, news and pictures from one of the year’s biggest motor shows
Welcome to Autocar’s live coverage from the 2018 Paris motor show, one of the biggest events of the motoring calendar.
The Mondial De L’Auto, held in Paris’s Porte de Versailles exhibition centre, traditionally features a host of new metal from some of the world’s biggest manufacturers. While this year’s show is slightly quieter than usual, there are still a number of significant new launches, including the new BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, and the Skoda Kodiaq vRS.
We’ll have full coverage of everything that happens at the show, with expanded coverage here on autocar.co.uk. Our team at the show in Paris includes editor Mark Trishaw, editorial director Jim Holder, editor-in-chief Steve Cropley, deputy editor – digital Rachel Burgess and news editor Lawrence Allan. They’ll be charging round the news events and show halls, sniffing out the news and asking difficult questions to the great and good of the car industry.
Meanwhile, deputy editor James Attwood, deputy digital editor Tom Morgan, staff writer Jimi Beckwith and editorial assistant Sam Jenkins are on duty in Autocar Towers in glamorous Twickenham, helping to keep autocar.co.uk and our social media channels full of news, photos and updates. To get into the French spirit, they may break out a baguette and some smelly cheese later.
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While the main press day of the show starts tomorrow (Tuesday), many of the machines have already been revealed by the manufacturers. We’ll run through some of the machines that will be looking all sparkly in Paris here, as well as updating you with news from those Autocar staffer already hard at work in Paris (well, they’ve promised us they’re hard at work, and not taking snaps of the Eiffel Tower…).
Skoda had got an early jump on the Paris fun by revealing two vRS performance models. One is the long-awaited Kodiaq vRS, a high-performance version of the firm’s popular seven-seat SUV. Apparently, it’s already broken the ever-prestigious Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record for a seven-seat SUV.
The firm has also revealed the Vision RS, which previews the firm’s forth Rapid replacement. The new machine is being placed as Skoda’s first true Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf rival in the family hatch class. Intriguingly, it’s being previewed with a hot vRS version, powered by a 242bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain. Nick Gibbs explains why the firm is doing that here.
The French firms are always under pressure to deliver headlines at their home motor show, and Peugeot has unveiled a future-gazing autonomous car concept. The Peugeot e-Legend is styled after the firm’s classic 504 coupe – which is 50 years old in 2018 – and aims to prove that electric and autonomous cars can be stylish and hold substantial driver appeal.
The e-Legend has gone down very well with the public so far – and with many in the Autocar office. Deputy editor James Attwood, who got to see it during a preview event recently, has already thrown his towel down and claimed it as his ‘star car’ for the show (find out what everyone else chooses later this week). Atters has also written about his hopes that Peugeot might be persuaded to put a version of it into production.
Paris motor show: what’s on display
Check out our A-Z guide of the new metal being revealed at the show this week.
The reveal process for the new A1 happened a while ago, but the first in-the-metal look we’ll get at the new Mini rival will be at the Paris motor show.
Audi is updating its 3 Series rival with a sharper look and more standard kit. The car is due to go on sale during the summer, so we can expect it to make its show debut in Paris.
Audi’s Mini Countryman rival gets a 296bhp version of the S3’s turbo four-pot engine, and will do battle with the BMW X2 M35i when sales start early next year.
BMW’s lost some ground to Mercedes-Benz since the C-Class became the country’s — and Europe’s — top-selling compact executive car. The brand will look to the G20 to make up some of the lost pace, despite other car classes being savaged by SUV sales.
BMW has shoved more batteries into the i3 and in the process has upped its range by 34 miles on the WLTP test cycle.
BMW’s X2 M35i is the brand’s latest hot SUV, and is the first M-badged car to come with four cylinders, instead of six. Sales start in March and rivals will include the Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen T-Roc R, but it has beaten both to market.
Speaking of which, while BMW’s rival to the Jaguar F-Pace has already been shown, it will make its first public outing at the Paris show. It’s got a fresh new look, architecture shared with the 5 and 7 Series and it is larger in every direction than its predecessor.
It’s been a long time coming, but the new Z4 will arrive first in Pebble Beach, but also in Paris as the overhauled rival to the Porsche Boxster and Mercedes-Benz SLC. BMW promises a renewed focus on dynamic ability for the new car, as well as a completely different look from its predecessor.
Citroën’s first plug-in hybrid will arrive in 2020, and is closely previewed by the near-production-ready concept set for a Paris debut. It’s also the closest thing to a hot Citroën we’ll get for a while, with 225bhp and 249lb ft on tap. Electric-only range is claimed to be 31 miles.
The DS assault on the plush SUV market continues with the 3 Crossback — a rival to the BMW X1 and Jaguar E-Pace. The electric powertrain in the small SUV shows us where DS is going with the 3 Crossback, which is expected to eventually replace the ageing 3 hatch. Traditional, internal combustion-engined variants will also be sold, however.
We’ve already had a drive in a prototype DS 7 Crossback E-Tense, but the final car is due to make its inaugural apperance in production form in Paris in the coming weeks.
Honda’s first European hybrid SUV is almost here; ahead of an early 2019 on-sale date, the brand has revealed the car’s diesel-rivalling CO2 and fuel economy figures. It’ll also get a debut in Paris.
We don’t know what it’ll look like yet (although educated guesses can be made, based on the existing Fastback, and hatchback N), but we know what it’ll drive like from our drive in a prototype.
Infiniti’s visually dramatic Q60 Project Black S Concept edges closer to production as it’s revealed at the Paris motor show in prototype form. 0-60 comes in under 4.0sec thanks to a performance hybrid system producing 563bhp.
Kia’s Ceed GT tops the Ford Focus rival’s range with 201bhp on tap from a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine.
Exclusive paint and interior design marks out the LC Limited Edition. The name is no exaggeration, either – only ten will come to the UK – five hybrids and five naturally-aspirated V8s.
Due in late 2018, Lexus’s entry-level coupé gets a makeover inspired by the LC coupé, as well as tweaks to improve the handling and ride.
The warm version of Mercedes’ new hatch arrives in early 2019 as a 300bhp understudy to the 400bhp full-fat A45. It’ll rival the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R, while the A45 will be more of a match for the RS3 and BMW M2.
Mercedes-AMG’s latest bespoke model borrows the 369bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine from the S450 and CLS450 models. 168mph and 0-62mph in 4.9sec are claimed.
Mercedes is also taking the A-Class to the fight against the Audi A3 saloon by making a long-booted version. The A-Class saloon’s styling has already been revealed on the Chinese-spec long-wheelbase car, but a slightly different look will be applied to the European car.
Mercedes’ EQC, its first electric car from its EQ sub-brand, broke cover in Stockholm on 4 September. The car’s first public outing, however, will be at the Paris motor show where the Autocar team will be able to gain further detail on the Jaguar I-Pace rival.
Another large luxury SUV set for Paris – the Mercedes-Benz GLE. It’s been overhauled for its second generation (although technically it’s older, given its rebadge from its ML-badged predecessor), with a long-range plug-in hybrid variant and trick suspension.
Peugeot’s saloon has been given a new fastback shape, but what about the estate? Well, that’s been given a sharp new look too, and we’ll get our first in-depth look in Paris.
Peugeot’s e-Legend concept is, predictably, an electric car. Less predictably, it’s a dramatic and simply-designed coupé, with styling paying more than a passing nod to the now 50-year-old 504 Coupé.
Porsche’s smallest SUV has been with us since 2014, so it’s time for a mid-life refresh. We’ve already had a drive in a prototype, so take a look at our first impressions here before first examples hit the road at the end of the year.
The lightest of refreshes to the Kadjar’s exterior styling betrays more comprehensive interior updates, as well as a new 1.3-litre petrol engine and revised 1.5-litre dCi diesels.
Nothing is yet confirmed, but Renault is almost certain to take a concept to its home motor show. Last time around, the brand unveiled the dramatic Trezor concept — an autonomous supercar that previewed the new styling direction of the brand.
Seat’s long-awaited seven-seat SUV will finally bow in at the Paris motor show, with a name decided via a public vote and design drawing from the brand’s smaller SUVs.
Off-roading not your thing? Skoda’s revealing a Karoq Sportline at Paris too, and it’s got an exclusive 2.0-litre TSI engine with 187bhp.
Skoda’s first hot SUV, and what will be the second model in its vRS line-up since the Fabia vRS was canned, is already the fastest seven-seat SUV around the Nürburgring. It has been fully revealed this week in Paris ahead of sales starting at the end of the year.
Skoda’s Rapid hatchback isn’t long for this world, and it won’t be directly replaced. Instead, it’ll be replaced by the production version of this – the Vision RS, which takes its sportiness up several notches and pitches it directly against the Volkswagen Golf. The Golf GTI is in the crosshairs too, with a vRS version following.
Daimler’s city car brand, Smart, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, so is taking a “simple, reduced and pure, yet never boring” concept to Paris, with nods given to the 2002 Crossblade and 2011 Forspeed concept.
The Japanese carmaker has a reputation for quirky offerings, and this year we will see the European debut of the dinky new Jimmy 4×4 before first examples hit the roads later this year.
Suzuki’s refreshed small SUV (yes, another one) gets a new engine lineup and tweaked styling.
The Camry has returned to Western Europe, and the occasion is to be marked by the car’s appearance at this year’s Paris motor show. It’s got a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain under the bonnet.
The Corolla – not Auris – Touring Sports arrives in the UK in spring 2019, alongside the regular Corolla hatchback. It’ll be revealed at the Paris motor show. A third body style, a saloon, won’t be offered in the UK.
The new RAV4 may have been introduced to the world earlier this year at the New York motor show, but it’ll be introduced in Europe at the start of October in Paris.
Missed out on the chance to get your hands on the Yaris GRMN? The GR Sport is the latest car to get warmed up styling based on a sporting badge, with GRMN-inspired flourishes across the car’s exterior.
Source: Autocar Online