What’s not to love about motor shows? Venues packed with the newest models from the world’s top carmakers, glances back in time paying tribute to the classics of years gone by, and a glimpse into the future courtesy of the latest concepts in all their weird and wonderful forms. With that in mind, here are five of our favourite things from the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
Audi’s first ever fully electric vehicle is a real landmark for the German manufacturer. The Paris extravaganza served up the first chance to see the Audi e-tron
in its production form on European soil, ahead of its release in 2019. An SUV that sits in between the Q5
in terms of length and width, it’s lower than both of them thanks to the positioning of the batteries, which brings stronger aerodynamic performance. With cameras for door mirrors – a world first for a series production car – it has a range of around 250 miles and the capacity for high powered recharging.
In a real sign that the time has come for Europe to wade into the premium electric car sector, Mercedes is also launching its first all-electric model. The Mercedes EQC is the product of the carmaker’s $10 billion commitment to electrically-powered, emissions-free motoring. The EQ brand kicks off with an all-wheel drive SUV that’s a similar size to the C-Class Estate
, and will compete with the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace
. The electro look includes design cues such as a new front grille, strips of fibre optic lights and blue flashes throughout, most notably on the wheel spokes.
BMW 3 Series
No electricity when it comes to the powertrain, but there was plenty of buzz around the new BMW 3 Series at the Paris Motor Show. It was a world debut for the hugely popular saloon, which has sales of around 14 million since its launch in 1975. The new, seventh-generation 3 Series headlined the BMW stand at the Expo Porte de Versailles, and while the engine line-up is very similar to the outgoing model, there’s plenty of change elsewhere. The new 3 Series is up to 55kg lighter than the old one, despite being longer and wider. There have been improvements in aerodynamics, while the interior’s received a pleasing overhaul too.
If it’s overhauls you’re interested in, they don’t come much more dramatic than Toyota’s reimagining of the RAV4. You have to stare hard at the latest version of the RAV4 to spot the similarities with the previous model - this is a completely new direction for Toyota and one that had tongues wagging in Paris. Futuristic, edgy and a tougher package than what we’ve come to expect from our SUVs in terms of off-road capabilities, the new RAV4 could become a real hit when it’s released next year.
The 2002 Smart Crossblade was a concept that proved so popular Smart decided to make 2,000 of them. The city car maker has brought the concept back to life this year in the form of the Smart ForEase, an open top two-seater based on the their EQ ForTwo cabrio
currently in production. It’s all about the bare necessities, and the ForEase concept is fully electric, in line with Smart’s pledge to be EV-only worldwide by 2021. If you’re interested in buying a Smart car in the coming years, there’s a good chance it’ll share a very similar design philosophy to this concept.