S h a r e
The new fleet cars at the Paris Motor Show 2022
While the revolving doors and chaos of our government was unfolding, it was a pleasure to walk through the calmer doors of the Porte de Versailles for the Paris Salon.
While the Geneva Motor Show continues to be cancelled – and then scheduled for Qatar not Switzerland in 2023 – it was a real pleasure to experience the Paris Motor Show. Not least because I could have a black coffee in a Parisian cafe, but also this is the first time we’ve had the event since 2018.
There were plenty of EVs, and the event was notable for President Macron encouraging a buy European stance in the face of a wave of new Chinese car makers entering the European market.
Carlos Tavares (above left with microphone) welcomed President Macron onto the Stellantis stand where there were plenty of exciting new models from the group’s portfolio.
Notable was the unveiling of the all-new Jeep Avenger. The brand has done plug-in hybrids before but this is Jeep’s first-ever fully electric Jeep SUV. This, says Jeep, is just the start of many more battery electric vehicles heading from europe. The Avenger has a 248 mile range.
But Jeep’s not very French. And Peugeot very much is.
So Peugeot gave its 408 fastback coupe its world debut, albeit in a bubble.. An electric version will follow. The highly successful e-208 was also given a boost, with a new more efficient electric motor and a range of over 250 miles, plus there were updates to the DS7 SUV and the latest developments with the group’s hydrogen vans.
Over at the other French brand – Renault – there was also plenty to peruse.
We had our first taste of what the reinvention of the Renault 4 will look like. Nothing retro about the 4Ever Trophy concept, a highly modern take on its predecessor. But look past the lifestyle fixtures and fittings and you get a pretty good idea of what the Renault 4 SUV will look like when it appears in 2025.
Also reinventing the past was the Renault 5 Concept, an all electric hatch that’s due to launch 2024. It’s another retro reinvention following in the tyre tracks of the Fiat 500 and MINI. Looks good, too.
Also on show was the new Renault Austral, which replaces the current Kadjar, and which you can lease from next year. Models include a highly efficient hybrid version.
Renault budget-friendly brand Dacia showed off its new brand logo on, among other cars, this Manifesto Concept. Rugged and no-frills, it embodies the Dacia approach to motoring.
Perhaps more intriguingly was the presence of the Chinese manufacturers, perhaps tellingly present while BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen brand groups were not. Along with Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and so on.
Now, while President Macron might see these new Chinese entrants with an almost protectionist degrees of caution, I welcome this greater diversity that will be coming to Europe and then crossing the Channel to the UK.
The GWM Ora Funky Cat is already here in the UK, but GWM showed us the ‘next Ora Cat’, a swoopy saloon with a high level of finish. In addition there was also the Wey Coffee 01 SUV. No news yet on when this will come to the UK, but I’m sure it won’t be long. Pictured above on the left is the ‘next Ora Cat; middle is the Wey Coffee 01; and right is the Ora Funky Cat.
BYD is another Chinese brand on its way over here. BYD (Build Your Dreams), the world’s leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles (electric vehicles to you and me), showed the BYD Han saloon, the seven-seater BYD Tang SUV and the compact BYD Atto 3 SUV. Also shown was a four door sports saloon called the Seal – date for the UK still to be confirmed. Our photo shows the Han (left) and the Atto 3 on the right.
It’s early days yet, but these new Chinese entrants – and that includes NIO which wasn’t at Paris – demonstrate exciting possibilities with an EV-first mindset and impressive build quality.
Finally, Mercedes-Benz decided to throw a spoiler party at the Rodin Museum in Paris for the unveiling of its EQE SUV model. Rather like a shrunken EQS SUV, the EQE SUV – a rival for the BMW iX – is high-tech and offers over 350 miles of range on a charge depending on the model you decide to choose. It will be available from 2023.
Right, that’s the end of my round up and, I reckon I’ve earned myself a glass of vin rouge in a suitable Parisian brasserie after touring the halls. Sante!
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