This fall brought us the most popular auto event in the world: 2014 Paris Motor Show. The Porte de Versailles pavilions opened their gates on October 2nd only for the accredited press, who had the chance of discovering over 75 world premieres.
Paris Motor Show is the largest and most important European auto event, as its previous edition, held in 2012, managed to claim an impressive number of visitors: 1.2 million in just two weeks. This year, the interest seems to be the same, as almost every important manufacturer brought something interesting at its stand.
We are going to start with the Volkswagen Group pavilion, found in hall 4. Here, the things were a little crowded, the first sign of a French sabotage for its main rival: the German automobile industry.
Audi had an impressive fleet to show, but on its stand hardly managed to squeeze two Audi TT Roadsters, the first variant of the popular and sporty model. The center stage was taken by the Audi TT Sportback Concept, a car that hints at a future rival for the Mercedes CLA. Also on the list was the 2015 Audi A6 facelift, who could be seen also in its most performing version, the RS6 Avant. The car features a redesigned front fascia and the new Matrix LED lights.
Next to Audi stand, we saw the Volkswagen range of models, also overcrowded. The Asian journalists stayed in line for a few photos of the new Passat. The eight generation of the popular sedan was also on stand with a hybrid version, the Passat GTE. Even if it delivers 216 hp, the car can offer an average consumption of just 2 liters/100 km (117 mpg). The Polo GTI with its new 1.8 TSI engine and the Golf Alltrack variant of the popular compact model joined the list of premieres. But the center stage was reserved for Volkswagen XL Sport concept, a sporty version of the most frugal car in the world, the XL1.
Skoda brought us the new generation Fabia and the all-new Fabia Combi model. Both feature impressive luggage capacity at 330 or 530 liters. Next to the Czech manufacturer was the Seat stand, who hosted the launch of the new Leon X-perience model, a true rival for the aforementioned Golf Alltrack.
We now pass on to the more exotic part of the Volkswagen Group. Bentley brought us the Mulsanne Speed, the fastest limousine in its range, equipped with a 537 hp engine that can guarantee a top speed of 305 km/h (189 mph). Porsche was next to Bentley and showcased the facelifted Cayenne. The 2015 version comes with a completely new engine, delivering 420 on the Cayenne S version. “La creme de la creme” was definitely Lamborghini, who managed to attract all those passing by with the Asterion concept. It is the first hybrid Lambo, delivering 910 hp and an average fuel consumption of just 4.2 liters/100 km (56 mpg).
Next to Volkswagen Group pavilion was the number 5 hall, where other premium manufacturers made a statement. One of the most important names was that of the new Mercedes AMG GT, the supercar set to replace the SLS AMG. The car really looks stunning in reality and should be available only in yellow, as this is the color that best suits it. There was also a Mercedes B-Class facelift, but who noticed it?
Smart was also next to its parent with the Fortwo and the Forfour.
One of Mercedes neighbors was Land Rover, who introduced the Freelanders replacement, called Discovery Sport. The car promises to be very capable off-road, while keeping the premium aspirations high.
So with the Jaguar XE, who says that it can run on both circuit and street, both fast and calm. The medium segment saloon will target BMW 3-Series and Audi A4. Infiniti was also here with the Q80 Inspiration model. It is an impressive creation of Japanese designers, set to be unveiled in production form in 2017. Opel was here too. Its main attraction was the new generation Corsa, which in reality it really looks like the old model, except for the front headlights and some gizmos inside the cabin. On the second level of this hall, BMW made public its two-world premiere. One of them is the BMW 2-Series Convertible, while the other is the popular and highly acclaimed BMW X6. The crossover is expected to be sold in higher numbers in emerging markets, where it already became a statement. Across the road, Mini showcased the Superleggera Vision Concept, already popular from Villa D`Este Concours d`Elegance.
Right in the front of the entrance, pavilion 1, the biggest inside Paris Motor Show, hosted all the French stands and some others. One of the most impressive stands was that of Renault, were we could see the new Espace family car. According to Renault, the new Espace is in fact a crossover with a lot of space to offer for the seven passengers. It is futuristic and it was well placed inside the Renault stand.
The Alliance also introduced the new Pulsar compact car, set to steal some clients from the current Golf. Nissan also showcased another model that confirms its sporty intentions: Pulsar Nismo Concept. This should anticipate a future hot-hatch for the Japanese manufacturer. Last but not the least, Dacia had a small stand in Paris. It was enough for its two small premieres: the 2015 Dacia Lodgy Stepway and Dacia Dokker Stepway.
Peugeot made an impressive appearance with the Quartz Concept, while its neighbor, the Citroen brand, established DS premium division as a separate brand with the introduction of the DS divine Concept. Ford managed to get a place inside the first pavilion and showcased the revised C-Max and the new generation S-Max, a family model that comes with lots of innovations in the segment. How about the Italians, you might ask. Except for some new special editions and a 500X that does not surprise anyone, Fiat showed nothing important. Not even Ferrari attracted as many fans as in previous years. This although the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale Spider Aperta looks stunning in its yellow livery. A car that attracted a lot of buzz was the new Volvo XC90 SUV, a new generation with a lot of important safety features.
The Asian manufacturers were grouped together in Hall 3. There you could see the new generation Hyundai i20 along with the new generation Kia Sorento. These were the most important premieres of the Hyundai-Kia group. Mazda showed us again the MX-5 but refused to offer any other details, while the Honda stand made room for lots of important models. Along the new Civic facelift, Honda introduced the Jazz Concept and the Civic Type-R Concept.
For complete in-depth news coverage see 2014 Paris Motor Show news section.