Paris Motor Show 2012: as it happened – Telegraph

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Coverage of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, where some of the world’s most exciting cars were unveiled.


18.31 So that’s the end of press day at the Paris motor show 2012. Thank you for tuning in and don’t forget to look at the Paris motor show section of the website for even more coverage. There’s just one last thing to do before we go and that’s to give you our verdict on the car of the show, for which we’ll hand over to Andrew English :

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18.24 Here’s a quick one before we give the verdict on our star car: a picture of the McLaren P1’s ‘active’ rear wing:

18.02 The verdict is in, but before we reveal our star of the 2012 Paris motor show, first Andrew English picks out an Audi that perhaps shouldn’t have been there at all.

We weren’t the only ones slack jawed at this moon-buggy style concept and several senior motor industry designers found it equally hard to look at. OK, it might be an amalgam of high-tech aluminium, carbon-fibre and glass-fibre, with a hybrid drivetrain containing two electric motors and a 1.5-litre three-pot petrol engine. Yes, there might be hints of the new A1 in there, but honestly, what was Audi thinking?

Our worst car of the show award goes to the horrible Audi Crosslane Coupé Concept.

17.26 The mid-engined McLaren P1 uses a development of the MonoCell from the MP4-12C called the MonoCage, which is a carbon-fibre monocoque and roof safety cage. Body panels are also carbon-fibre. The P1’s bodywork consists of just two large clamshells front and rear, plus a front bonnet, the two doors and two access flaps in the rear.

McLaren is saving any details about the P1’s powertrain until next year.

17.20: McLaren also boasts that the P1 produces more downforce than any current road car, with 600kg (approximately five times as much as the MP4-12C) achieved below maximum speed. The car will also have a power-to-weight ratio of about 600bhp per tonne and a Formula One-style drag reduction system to increase straight line speed (rather than featuring a moveable flap in the rear wing, the whole wing’s pitch is adjusted). Simon Lacey, Head of Vehicle Technology for McLaren Automotive, explains the results of this technology:

On the race track, the McLaren P1 would display similar levels of performance to a Le Mans sports racer, thanks to its aerodynamic shape,’ he said. ‘It would have a level of racetrack performance never before seen in a series production road car’

17.09: There’s a bit more information emerging about the new McLaren P1, particularly in regard to the car’s ‘active’ rear wing. A press release just issued by McLaren states:

The large rear wing adjusts automatically to boost downforce and optimise aerodynamics. It can extend rearwards by up to 300mm on a racetrack, and by up to 120mm on the road. The pitch of the rear wing can increase by up to 29 degrees.

The double element rear wing profile has been developed using exactly the same methods and software as the current McLaren Formula 1 car.

17.05: At this year’s Geneva motor show meanwhile, Andrew English’s star car was the Toyota FT-Bh . a 0.77 ton, 1.0-litre, two-cylinder petrol-powered car that could deliver 134.5mpg on the EU Combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 49k/gkm.

17.01 It’s not quite the end of press day in Paris yet, but thoughts begin turning to what can claim to be the star of the show. Our own motoring correspondent, Andrew English . tends to opt for quirky, lightweight options. Speaking of which, earlier he tracked down his star of the 2011 Tokyo motor show (pictured below), which is also making an appearance in Paris:

As for the charming lightweight concept called Regina and renamed G70, it is still under consideration as a premium A-class car. At last year’s Tokyo Show it was our star car. Let’s hope it doesn’t get buried under a welter of crossovers

16.53 Do you remember the Bentley SUV concept from the Geneva motor show earlier this year? Our quick online poll revealed that Telegraph readers weren’t convinced by the idea of the EXP 9F luxury SUV, with 61.69 per cent saying that Bentley shouldn’t put it into production. However, Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s new chairman and chief executive, still hasn’t ruled such a model out. At the Paris motor show today, he said:

I do think we have a huge chance for Bentley to produce a luxury SUV, it would fit perfectly with the brand.

16.16 Toyota has launched its new Auris in Paris, and is exploring options to increase production at its plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, where the car is built, reports Angela Monaghan . the Telegraph’s Industry and Property Correspondent:

Didier Leroy, the head of Toyota in Europe, said at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday, where the new Auris was unveiled, that the company would explore options to increase production at the plant, where the Auris is exclusively built.

Mr Leroy said Toyota builds around 180,000 cars a year at the plant, where he said efficiency had been greatly improved.

15.57 Have hot hatches taken over from green cars at the Paris motor show this year? There are versions of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renaultsport Clio and Peugeot 208 GTi, a car that will be cheaper than some had expected, as Andrew English reports:

Peugeot UK is the main driving force behind the new GTI – it’s even commissioned a batch of specially tweaked cars from Peugeot’s special projects department, with spiffy upholstery, huge amounts of kit and breathed on suspension. There’ll be 29 of them to mark 29 years since the original Peugeot 205 GTi and they’ll cost £20,445 compared with the standard GTI cost of £18,995.

15.41 Ford’s also been busy putting together a new video to promote the Focus ST at the Paris motor show. It features beatboxer Killa Kela and the ST’s Active Sound Symposer. A good combination?

You decide.

15.24 Andrew English attended Ford’s pre-Paris briefing a couple of weeks ago, so there weren’t any surprises in store on how day. Not even the styling of the new Ford Mondeo.

Henry did most of its Paris stuff two weeks ago in Amsterdam, so the new Mondeo was the least surprising car at the show. Do we have to do the Aston Martin jokes all over? OK, so the grille and some of the details look like an Aston I’m on the floor.

This big, non-premium saloon/hatch market is pretty much on its knees, but if you cut your cloth right there’s still money to be made and that’s what Ford is hoping with this new ship of the motorway, which goes on sale next autumn. There’s a redesigned rear suspension, new electric power steering and roughly the same footprint as the outgoing model. Perhaps the biggest news is that Ford plans to fit its tiny Ecoboost 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine.

Now it does produce 125bhp and goes like blue blazes in the Focus, but is this a step too far for this tiny mill? We’re driving it in April so we’ll let you know.

15.02 The new Golf isn’t the only VW Group family car being launched at Paris. There’s also the new Seat Leon, as Erin Baker reports:

Using the same modular VW Group platform that underpins the new Golf and Audi A3, Seat’s all-new Leon is on the stand at Paris. As is Seat’s way, you get VW engineering at a lower price; in this case, the Leon should undercut the Golf by about a grand, and the A3 by about £1,200.

The show model has sharp lines and that beaky company nose that the jury’s out on; it looks fussier than the Golf that sits just across the hall at the show, but you pays your money and takes your choice.

There will be a frugal Ecomotive model and a hot hatch version, but somehow, having seen the understated and incredibly smart new Golf, we are distinctly underwhelmed. First deliveries are expected in March.

14.56 Andrew English admires the innovative materials used in the construction of the Peugeot Onyx concept car:

I’d always thought the idea of this high-density paper came from William Gibson’s 1993 novel Virtual Light, but apparently Gilles Vidal, Peugeot’s head of styling, got it from last year’s Milan Furniture Show

14.41 As well as admiring all of the new cars at the Paris motor show, don’t forget to read Andrew English’s brilliant overview of the industry . Here’s a taster:

Sure, most European car-makers have downsized, but estimates of European overcapacity range from 20 to 30 per cent, so there’s still cutting to be done. Income is the key here; without a level of disposable cash, the public are reluctant to buy new cars, yet the Euro crisis continues to dog income growth and in southern Europe you’d be lucky to sell a rusty Seat with a puppy on the bonnet.

14.27 You can find out about the standard version of the Renault Clio in Andrew English’s news story . but what about the hot hatch Renaultsport? Well, that features a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine (replacing the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit) and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (replacing the six-speed manual). It’ll also be a five-door rather than three-door car, but maintains an identical level of power at 197bhp, plus an additional 19lb ft of torque (the total is now 177lb ft).

14.11 Suzuki is showing a new concept at the Paris motor show called the S-cross. Andrew English reports:

Industry jargon would call Suzuki’s S-cross a C-seg crossover. For the rest of us that means something Focus-sized (4.23m long) with four-wheel drive (or not, depending on your pocket). What about the SX4? That’s the Suzuki/Fiat crossover currently on sale in Britain.

Suzuki says its existing cooperative deal with Fiat might or might not be renewed, but the S-cross, which will be Suzuki’s own when it appears at the end of next year, could still be called the SX4. Sleek, but a bit front heavy, this Hungarian-built car will use Fiat’s 1.6-litre turbodiesel, but Suzuki’s own petrol engines.

13.46 More on the Vauxhall Adam from Andrew English :

It was William Blake who wrote about holding infinity in the palm of your hand, but the Opel/Vauxhall stand is attempting to prove the point with just a handful of the almost infinite combinations of Adam boutique A-class cars available. There is even a Blake connection there, though in this case it was artist Sir Peter Blake who has made a Fifties pop-art version of the new tiddler. Sadly Sir Peter was unable to make conference, but the car looks great.

Adam, which is at heart a cut-down Corsa with a bishop’s skull cap on, goes on sale in the UK early next year from £11,255, going up to about £14,000 and a lot more if you fill your car with optional extras. One of which will be the new Intellilink (nasty word, interesting idea), where the entire contents of your phone will be displayed on the dashboard screen.

13.41 Auto Express’s Steve Fowler has also been on the Peugeot stand, and it’s not just the company’s range of cars that’s been impressing him:

13.36 What Car?’s Chas Hallett has been admiring Peugeot’s concept car, the Onyx:

13.13 And here are the Porsche and Peugeot in question:

13.11 Erin Baker has been checking out Porsche’s new concept, the Panamera Sport Turismo:

It might be here in Paris as a concept, but the Panamera Sport Turismo looks for all intents and purposes on its stand like Porsche’s long-awaited shooting brake in the flesh. The show rumours are that Porshe will introduce the new model alongside the next-generation Panamera.

The concept carries an ‘e-hybrid’ badge and Porsche claims that the plug-in hybrid model (using a 3.0-litre supercharged V6) produces 410bhp. The hybrid system is a development of the one used in the current Panamera and Cayenne hybrid models. It’s an obvious development, and a sexy name for a shooting brake; just a shame they are showing the concept in such a boring silver.

Peugeot’s fluorescent 2008 concept shows how these things should be done.

13.04 Lexus and Infiniti both have smart-looking concepts at the Paris motor show. The Lexus LF-CC Concept is a hybrid two-plus-two showing off the company’s latest design language and features a 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor. Meanwhile, the all-electric Infiniti LE Concept four-door is described as a ‘production intent’ concept.

12.51 Here’s Citroën’s DS3 Cabrio at the Paris motor show. Thanks to the simplicity of its canvas roof it’s apparently only 25kg heavier than the hatchback. Not sure it does much for the styling though.

12.43 Erin Baker has track down the new Range Rover at the Paris motor show, and is something of a fan:

Ah, there is some corner of a foreign motor show that is forever England. That hallowed turf in Paris today belongs to Range Rover. The interior of this fourth-generation beauty is even more refined, with an uncluttered front centre stack housing just a few big black buttons, the other functions accessible from the touchscreen infotainment system.

Land Rover has got four Range Rovers on its stand, a boring silver one rising from a pool of cascading water centre stage, a wonderful metallic deep maroon job with a horrible bling pale silver roof and strafed black wood interior, and a static silver model with a splendid Autobiography cabin composed of cream leather, dark wood and deep purple carpets and leather touches. It also has the Executive Class seating package in the rear, which replaces the middle seat with a central squab housing controls for climate control and summoning the butler from the boot.

The real difference will be in the driving, given the drastic weight loss the new Range Rover has undergone, but if the cabin is anything to go by, it’s yet another winner from the unstoppable force that is Jaguar Land Rover.

12.35 Lamborghini has updated its Gallardo with styling cues taken from the V12 Aventador. The new Gallardo LP560-4 doesn’t get any more power than before, but there is a Styling Package that picks out elements of the bodywork in gloss black.

12.20 The Concept Active Tourer might wear a BMW badge, but it will also underpin the next Mini . says Andrew English .

All hail the new Mini. Well that’s the undercover story of this interesting compact SUV concept from the Munich engine works. Concept Active Tourer sits on the underpinnings of the new front-drive Mini due at the end of 2014, plus it previews the next generation of BMW 1-series chassis (also front driven) due in 2017. It will also be launched in its own right alongside the new Mini.

Codenamed ‘der Unter Klasse Limousine’, this is an interesting car, which contains just enough BMW cues to please enthusiasts and no, it isn’t a replacement for the X1, or X3. It also previews BMW’s new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder, modular engine, which shares huge amounts with its forthcoming four- and six-cylinder sisters. The three-pot will be built at the company’s Hams Hall plant in Britain.

12.00 Andrew English has been discussing the new Ferrari Enzo with the owner of a McLaren F1:

It isn’t often you get to meet someone who can actually afford a supercar, so we stuck to McLaren F1 owner Jürgen Siemowski like a lamprey while he examined the carbon-fibre chassis of next year’s Enzo replacement at the Paris motor show .

Fixed seats with adjustable steering and pedals, looks to be the configuration of this racing-style tub, with what look like top hung gull wing or at least scissor doors. The rumoured V12 engine will be bolted to the firewall, with the front suspension hung off the tub using bonded bobbins. It looks to be a small and highly compact car.

“If you want to go fast you have to be small and lightweight,” said Siemowski with a grin.

Apparently Ron Dennis, McLaren’s boss, withdrew his full specification press pack for the P1 launch here when he realised the Ferrari would only be showing the bare tub of its new supercar. We have heard that the P1’s engine will be an adaptation of the MP412C’s Ricardo-built V8, however, but with all the stops pulled out.

So, with three and maybe four supercars from Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren all hitting the market next autumn, where does your heart lead you to? We asked Siemowski.

“Ah, this is difficult,” he said casting a lingering eye on the Ferrari’s chassis. “I like this Ferrari very much, but there might be a shortage as Ferrari restrict European sales in favour of China and the far east. One thing I do know is that I will keep my [McLaren] F1. It is a very special car, especially because of its BMW engine.”

So the jury (of one) is still out.

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11.19 Last but by no means least for Jaguar F-type pricing is the V8 version, as Andrew English reports:

The 5.0-litre V8 will cost £79,950, although a targeted range of options in ‘packs’ will get you comfortably close to £90,000. There’s a lot of buzz behind Ian Callum’s design. We’ll be driving it next April.

11.16 Still no sig of the new McLaren P1 just yet:

11.15 Erin Baker has been examining two new versions of the Volvo V40:

Two good-looking derivatives of Volvo’s svelte V40 hatch are on display at the Paris motor show. The racy (all terms are relative) R-design version goes on sale in January for about £21,000 with the Cross Country model costing about £22,000

10.59 Nissan’s 370Z has been given a not-so-extensive facelift in time for the Paris motor show. The changes amount to new bumpers, LED daytime running lights and red brake calipers on the outside, and a couple of bits of upgraded trim on the inside.

10.54 Here’s Bentley’s new racer, the Continental GT3, on film:

10.47 So let’s consider those Jaguar F-type prices for a moment against what are likely to be its main rivals, both of which are built by Porsche. The base model Jag is £58,500, has 335bhp/332lbft, which delivers 0-60mph in 5.1sec, a top speed of 161mph. The closest Porsche Boxster in terms of performance figures is the S, which will provide 315bhp/285lb ft, 0-60mph in 5.1sec and a 173mph top speed, all for £45,384.

Or you could go for the cheapest 911, the Carrera 3.4, which has 350bhp/288lb ft, 0-60mph in 4.8sec and a top speed of 179mph – yours for £71,449. In terms of price, Jaguar has very much taken up the middle ground between the Boxster S and 911, although for the headline performance figures it’s beaten by both. Has it shot itself in the foot?

We’ll have to wait until we can drive the car in order to answer that.

10.34 Speaking of the Jaguar F-type, see the moment is was revealed to the press at the Paris motor show in our video . with an introduction from the car’s designer, Ian Callum

10.31 Prices have been announced for the Jaguar F-type. The base model will cost from £58,500, but go for the V6S and it’ll be £67,500

10.27 Over at the Ford stand there are new versions of two of its most important cars, the Fiesta and Mondeo:

10.20 Here’s Alexei Sayle’s impression of the biannual French motor show extravaganza:

When I visited Paris in the 1970s one of my lecturers at art school would always ask me to bring her back as many packets as I could of a brand of white pill-like mint that was only available from vending machines located on the platforms of the Metro. The name of the mint was Mental Blanc.

Several times while attending the Paris Motor Show this week I was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things to see, the distant halls filled only with caravans, car stereos or displays of tyres, that I wished I had several hundred of those mints, so that I could erase my overloaded memory and begin again with a complete mental blanc.

These remote halls at the Porte de Versailles have numbers such as 9.2 while even Jaguar Land Rover, which launched the F-type and the new Range Rover were in 5.1 and faced a French sports car maker called Exagon, whose stylish two-door was named the Furtive E-GT.

Hall 1 though is at its heart a French affair. In the middle Peugeot-Citroën faces Renault across the central aisle like two rival gangs, eyeballing each other. Renault has brought Dacia and Nissan along for support and has arranged all its cars in shades of red through orange to yellow so that its display of Carmine Clios gathered on a sort of mound looks like a clutter of cheerful little fire engines.

Across the way I was shown round the cute new Citroën DS3 Cabriolet with its folding roof in a wide range of groovy fabrics. This is displayed on a revolving turntable, which gave me a chance to do my Marcel Marceau walking-into-the-wind impersonation right behind the boss of Citroën, who was being interviewed live on French TV.

Even if it is in Paris, this is an international show and sadly there is an absence of white-faced mime artists and accordion players, but what there is is tons of cars and even the humblest hatchbacks look jewel-like parked under the hot lights while new models such as the F-type are exciting to see for the first time.

Some doubt the purpose of motor shows in the age of the internet but one and a half million people will come through the doors in the next few days and leave in need of a mind-wiping mint.

10.20 Read more about Kia’s new Carens in Erin Baker’s latest update . in which she also assesses the brand’s transformation:

Kia is currently the fastest growing car brand in Europe, and next spring also marks the arrival of the facelifted Procee’d, the company’s good-looking three-door hatchback, at which point design director Peter Schreyer’s successful reinvention of the brand will be complete

10.05 Erin Baker is impressed by the number of British success stories at Paris. For more about how the UK automotive industry contributes to the economy read James Foxall’s analysis: the UK car economy in numbers

10.00 Andrew English has been trying to find out more about McLaren’s successor to the F1 supercar, although details are still few and far between:

It’s what we don’t know about the British McLaren P1 that is proving to be the most intriguing aspect of this good looking car. So no details on the driveline, transmission, or any of the hardware except to say it will have a resin transfer moulded carbon-fibre body, with alumiumium alloy subframes to hold the suspension and driveline. Prices will be about £800,000 in the UK and the production total will be less than 500

9.46 As part of the build-up frenzy for the unveiling of the F-type at the Paris Motor Show 2012, Jaguar staged a “secret” unveiling of the car at the beautiful 18th century Musée Rodin, Paris.

Telegraph Motoring was far too busy gathering industry gossip from across the French capital to rub shoulders with celebrities, but we hear singer songwriter Lana Del Rey performed a new track which was, naturally, inspired by the F-type.

Titled Burning Desire . the songstresses’ paean to the two-seater sports car will feature on her next album and is the soundtrack to a short film being produced in association with Ridley Scott Associates.

Bet it’s not as memorable as Little Red Corvette . Or Mustang Sally . Even Alexei Sayle’s Hello John, Got A New Motor? talking of which, read our columnist Alexei ’s thoughts on the Paris motor show madness here very shortly.

09.16 Is building a new two-seater sports car the right move for Jaguar . Have your say in our poll.

09.14 Porsche’s Paris motor show surprise is this Panamera Sport Turismo concept car. The new 928?

08.59 More from Erin Baker . who has made her way over to the VW stand to track down the a concept version of the Mk7 Golf GTI

08.45 Erin Baker . Telegraph Motoring Editor, is on the ground in Paris and Tweeting furiously. First up, she’s tracked down Vauxhall’s new Adam, but isn’t entirely convinced by the marketing.

08.42 Andrew English . the Telegraph’s Motoring correspondent, has been on the Dacia stand at the Paris motor show.

Renault’s Romanian brand is going from strength to strength with its mix of no nonsense vehicles based on old-model Renault models remember when the company was known for 101 uses for a Renault 12? Designed for emerging markets, Dacias are hitting the spot for impoverished European buyers as well. So along with the 4×4 Duster model, there’s a real head of steam behind next year’s Sandero, which is by no means a bad looking supermini hatchback.

It’s going to put a lot of pressure on the new Clio despite that car’s more prestigious badge and more sophisticated underpinnings.

08.20 Good morning and welcome to press day at the Paris motor show 2012. Stay with us throughout the day and we’ll bring you news, pictures and video of the latest new cars, starting with Jaguar’s new F-type . which was revealed late last night.

Suzuki Colleda CO
Suzuki Colleda CO

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