You could say the 2018 Paris Motor Show is as notable for what isn’t there as what is there. Absentees include Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ford, McLaren, Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen and Volvo, among others.
That said, those who are in attendance have taken the opportunity to reveal some significant and exiting new models. Below we’ve selected our five star cars of the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Do you have a favourite?
Ferrari SP1 and SP2
The Monza SP1 and SP2 are the first cars to be launched under Ferrari’s new ‘Icona’ series, in which it will reinterpret some of the most famous models from its back catalogue for the modern day.
In this case the inspiration comes from the 750 and 860 Monza racing cars of the 1950s, which Ferrari says are reflected in ‘a respectful yet un-nostalgic homage to the past’. Production is limited to 499 cars, with only Ferrari’s best customers getting a look in.
Anybody lucky enough to make the cut will be able to choose between single seat or two seat configurations, both of which use a ‘virtual windscreen’ to direct airflow over the driver’s head. In that regard Ferrari says the SP1 and SP2 have been designed to be like modern single seaters, while the carbon-fibre bodywork keeps weight to a minimum.
Power comes from a version of the 812 Superfast’s 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12, now producing 799bhp (at 8,500rpm!) and good for a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds.
Peugeot e-Legend concept
Sadly, the Peugeot e-Legend isn’t even close to a production reality, but instead demonstrates the French firm’s vision of what an exciting car could look like in the future. It is perhaps odd, then, that it draws so much inspiration from the past, the e-Legend’s basic form being based on that of the 504 Coupe that was launched exactly 50 years ago.
This being a concept it is of course fully autonomous, electric and connected, although Peugeot says that a driver can still take control manually. Inside meanwhile is a 49-inch screen upon which the car’s occupants can watch videos or even just shots of the road ahead. Why you’d do that rather than look out of the windscreen, however, is not entirely clear.
As far as the drivetrain is concerned, Peugeot says the e-Legend’s 100kWh battery sends power to all four wheels, giving a 0-62mph of less than 4 seconds and a range between charges of more than 350 miles.
BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series is one of the most important cars in production, so when a new model arrives it’s worth paying attention. The latest G30 3 Series is longer, wider and slightly more spacious inside than the car it replaces and features an upgraded interior with plenty of new technology.
Among the highlights are the availability of a 12-inch customisable digital dial display to go alongside the new touchscreen infotainment system, as well as a virtual assistant with natural speech recognition.
The engine options closely resemble what’s on offer in the current 3 Series, with the 2.0-litre diesel in the 320d likely to remain a favourite among those who want good performance with low running costs.
Read more about the All-New BMW 3-Series
To recap, DS is the relatively newly formed luxury division of the PSA Group, which also includes Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall. Its aim is to give PSA a premium brand to rival the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, where design, craftsmanship and comfort can shine through.
We’ve already seen evidence of such qualities with the arrival of this year’s DS 7 Crossback, which is now being followed by this new, smaller DS 3 Crossback.
Designed to take over from the current, Mini-rivalling DS 3, the Crossback moves DS’s smallest car into SUV territory, and will be available either with conventional petrol and diesel engines, or as a fully electric car. The latter will use a 50kWh battery to give a range of around 150-200 miles between charges.
As with the larger DS 7, it is likely that comfort will be a major factor in the DS 3 Crossback’s dynamic behaviour, while extensive use of leather and metal trim should ensure a luxurious driving environment.
Skoda Kodiaq vRS
Skoda’s range of vRS models expands with the arrival of perhaps the most unlikely candidate yet: the Kodiaq. What we have here is a large SUV from a company renowned for building practical and sensible cars, but with a 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine under the bonnet.
Skoda says it’s taken this beast around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 9min 29.84 seconds and that this, apparently, is a record for a seven-seater. Who knew? Perhaps more relevant to buyers are the vRS-specific features such as the inviting sports seats, new bumpers with gloss black detailing, and 20-inch alloy wheels, or the fact this particular Kodiaq will get from 0-62mph in 7 seconds.
As standard the vRS comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, all-wheel drive, adaptive dampers and a sound booster to enhance the engine note. Clearly this is not your average Skoda, as will be reflected in a list price of around £40,000.
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