The new faces in Paris 2012
The 2012 Paris Motor Show is currently the place to be if you want you to see how exciting the future of motoring is going to be. You have the usual mix of concept cars, new car debuts, etc. But after looking at what the show has to offer, SOC has come up with a list of cars that stand out more than others.
Lets start with the new Jaguar F-Type roadster. Thanks to the wonderful styling of the C-X16 concept car, and lack of a two-seat Jaguar roadster since the 1960s E-Type, the F-Type easily became one of the most anticipated cars of the year. The F-Type can be had with either a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine (producing 340hp in the F-Type, and 380hp in the F-Type S), or a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 with 495hp in the F-Type V8 S. All cars come exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission. For now it comes in roadster form only, however a coupe version is expected to be released at a later date. First deliveries are expected for mid 2013.
VW Golf GTI concept
Merely a few weeks after VW revealed the seventh-generation Golf, VW has taken this opportunity to unveil the next Golf GTI. Although it is a concept car, we can expect the production version to have similar styling and running gear. As with the previous Golf GTI, it has a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, but produces slightly more power at 220hp. A performance pack will also be available, bumping power to 230hp, and enabling a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. The GTI will go on-sale early next year, available with either a six-speed manual or double-clutch gearbox.
The new Range Rover also made its public debut in Paris, and it comes armed with a good blend of new design elements while still remaining familiar. Land Rover is promising new levels of luxury and performance, and with the Range Rover now weighing 420kg less than its predecessor – thanks to extensive use of aluminium – it should be more efficient as well. It is powered by either a 3.0-litre V6 diesel (258hp), a 4.4-litre V8 diesel (339hp), or a supercharged 5.0-litre petrol engine (510hp) – all of which send power through an eight-speed automatic transmission. A diesel-hybrid option will also be available at sometime in 2013, in the meantime the Range Rover is ready for orders, with prices starting at £71,295 in the UK.
Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 and Edizione Tecnica
Lamborghini revealed a facelifted version of the standard LP560-4, as well as a new variant of the Gallardo called the LP570-4 Edizione Tecnica (based on the LP570-4 Superleggerra). As their names suggest, they come with 560hp and 570hp respectively, meaning they have the same 5.2-litre V10 engine as before. The new Edizione Tecnica comes into the scene with a fixed high rear wing, carbon-ceramic brake technology, and a choice of contrasting colour combinations. The LP560-4 comes with new front and rear bumpers, as well as an optional Style Package that gives it a high-gloss black paint finish on the underside of the front spoiler, as well as the front and rear grilles.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
Porsche have also been stretching their designing muscles, and they have done a good job considering the mostly-positive response their Panamera Sport Turismo has received from enthusiasts and the press. Although a concept for now, it will most likely be the basis of the next-generation Panamera. Porsche is also using this concept car as a means to showcase their development in hybrid technology – this car has a 95hp electric motor (twice as powerful as the one found in their current hybrid cars) mated to a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 producing 333hp, giving a claimed total of 416hp. Porsche also claims that the Panamera Sport Turismo will use less than 3.5 litres of fuel over 100km, and emit under 82g/km of CO2.
Bentley Continental GT3 racer
While many were announcing new cars and showcasing new technologies, Bentley announced their return to racing. Bentley retired from racing after their sixth Le Mans victory in 2003, and now a racing team is busy developing a new FIA GT3-spec racer out of a Continental GT road car. As with many racing teams, information on the car is very limited, they haven’t even said if the car will be using their W12 or V8 engine. Bentley will continue doing development work on this concept car until the end of 2013 when they expect to start competing.
Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive
Mercedes Benz have once gone electric with the SLS AMG, but instead of the famous yellow E-Cell concept car, they have a blue car called the SLS AMG Electric Drive that will available for the buying public. The car will have 1000 Nm of torque and 552Kw (about 740hp) coming from four electric motors, accelerating from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and reaching a limited top speed of 250km/h. The electric motors weigh 45kg each, and they draw power from a 400V lithium-ion battery – charging the car will take up to 20 hours when connected to a normal power outlet. Although the electric motors aren’t placed in the wheel hubs, the car is all-wheel drive, and it also has carbon-ceramic brake discs. The SLS AMG Electric Drive will go on-sale next year for 416,500 euros.
Renault Clio RS
The new Renault Clio RS is yet another highly-anticipated car of the year, and it comes with a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine and a six-speed double-clutch gearbox – the engine produces 200hp and 240 Nm of torque. As one of the most regarded hot hatches, Renault is making a huge gamble by getting rid of the popular high-revving 2.0-litre engine and six-speed manual from the previous generations of Clio RSes, and adopting new-style running gear along with an equally new design. What hasn’t changed is the availability of Sport and Cup Chassis options.
The new Honda CR-V, one of Europe’s most popular small SUVs, has finally made its European debut at the Paris Motor Show. Along with a 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engine, the CR-V will have a new engine option that comes in the form of a 1.6-litre diesel engine (a front-wheel-drive-only option) producing 120hp, while emitting a low 94 g/km. The 1.6 won’t be available until next September though. Another new feature for the CR-V is electric power steering.
The Opel/Vauxhall Adam is GM Europe’s latest offering in the cute little city car segment. Opel/Vauxhall is claiming that the Adam will have over a million specification/trim combinations, and it can be ordered as of now with first deliveries expected for February 2013. Engine options include 1.2-litre (70hp) and 1.4-litre (87hp and 100hp) petrol engines – both of them are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Maserati GranCabrio MC
Maserati revealed the GranCabrio MC earlier this week prior to its public appearance in Paris, and as predicted it comes with a 4.7-litre V8 engine producing 460hp and 520 Nm of torque. However, unlike the GranTurismo MC Stradale on which it is based, it adopts a six-speed automatic transmission rather than its coupe sibling’s automated manual. In contrast to the rest of the GranCabrio range the MC has a prominent boot-lid spoiler that gives it a sportier look. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is 4.9 seconds, while its top speed is 289 km/h (179mph).
The new Seat Leon was another new face from the VW Group’s updated portfolio of cars. Unlike its new VW Golf cousin, its styling isn’t as conservative, instead Seat have decided to give it a very contemporary look rather than taking the discreet evolution approach like VW with the new Golf. The car will be on-sale on 1st October, while deliveries will begin in March 2013. The Leon will be available with a number of VW-produced petrol and diesel engines, with the most powerful version (for now) being a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 184hp and 380 Nm of torque.
We were hoping to get more information on the McLaren P1’s engine and performance come the Paris Motor Show, unfortunately McLaren are still making us wait to give us concrete numbers. All we know now is that the P1 is the spiritual successor of the '90s F1 supercar, that it will have a reworked version of the MP4-12C’s twin-turbo V8 (possibly featuring a KERS system), and that it will have a power-to-weight ratio of 600hp per tonne – significantly more than a Bugatti Veyron’s power-to-weight ratio.
The new Audi S3 is another new offering from the VW Group. The new hot hatch comes armed with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with direct injection, outputting 300hp and 380 Nm of torque. Along with being able to achieve a claimed 40.9mpg (UK), it can accelerate from standstill to 62mph in 5.1 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 155mph. The S3 is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, while a double-clutch S-Tronic transmission is optional.
Kia Pro Cee’d
Finally, we have the new Kia Pro Cee’d. The new Pro Cee’d is yet another example of Kia’s new-found ability to design good-looking cars. Essentially a three-door version of the Cee’d five-door hatchback, the Pro Cee’d has managed to further enhance what was already a decent-looking car to something that is genuinely stylish. The Pro Cee’d will be available with the same range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines as its five-door equivalent.
By Alex Kisiri