October 2nd will be the first press day of this years Paris Motor show and we’re expecting a surprise from Renault. Surprises are good and without them what’s the point of the show at all? A mild facelift for the Kadjar is obviously not the only thing Renault will announce.
Less of a surprise because it's been heavily touted already, is the Peugeot E-Legend concept car, which draws heavily on the 504 Coupe of fifty years ago.
Trouble is, although crammed with almost nonsense-bordering levels of tech, its part svelte-French, part-American muscle car design serves only to reinforce how perfectly resolved the original car of fifty years ago was. Does it really need 19-inch wheels and LED rear lights like claw marks?
Other than hoping for enough surprises to keep the motor show alive as a concept, we might as well admit it: the show is half collapsed.
No-shows include the entire Fiat-Chrysler Group (Fiat, Alfa, Jeep); Ford; Mazda, MINI; Mitsubishi and even Volkswagen and Volvo. Aston Martin isn’t bothering and nor is Bentley. For the ultra-premium brands, Geneva (and increasingly Pebble Beach or Goodwood) is the only must-attend.
The reason for this motor show disarray is digital marketing, product cycles and the sheer cost of attending, which runs to millions. But as a result, it’s really easy to point out what’s really new this year.
The new BMW 3-Series is really new, even if it will superficially resemble the old one.
The Audi stand is of note: new A1 meets E-Tron SUV meets Mk 2 Q3, all hot-cake tasty.
The DS 3 Crossback is pretty, while the order books will open for the new Lexus UX crossover.
A light remodel to the Porsche Macan will elicit interest if you are part of that tribe.
Over at Mercedes, a world debut for the new B-Class.
Kia is on a roll these days. The Korean maker will show the Ceed GT, the Proceed and GT and the quite remarkably fast Niro EV.
The remaining highlights, or at least talking points, are the Mercedes EQ C electric SUV. It won’t be on the road in the UK until earliest late 2019 and its almost 2.5 tonne kerbweight reflects 650 kgs of batteries. Clean at the point of use, the laws of physics suggest that it is not the last word in efficiency and therefore not quite ‘green.’
Otherwise, Ferrari will show off the Monza SP1 and SP2, the numbers designating seats. Apparently, the absence of a roof and windscreen is ‘key’ to the heavily retro, fifties design.
The other extreme of the show is the Suzuki Jimny. The pint-sized off-roader, originally launched in 1970, reaches its 4th iteration. You’ve seen the pictures but at Paris it’ll be in the flesh. The plucky Japanese company have perfectly executed a design that is 100% junior G-Wagen but at an everyman price.
Practical information about the Paris motor show 2018
Where is the Paris motor show held? 1 Place de la Porte de Versailles, 75015 Paris, France
Paris motor show dates: 4-14 October 2018
Opening times: 10.00am-8.00pm (and until 10.00pm on 4, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 12 October)
How much are Paris motor show tickets? From €9 - €19 on pre-sale (cheaper evening tickets are available)
Children's tickets: Kids entry for €9 (ages 11-17), free for under-11s
Mondial de l'Auto website: http://www.mondial-paris.com/en/visiteur/auto