Paris Motor Show preview: Audi e-tron, Mercedes-AMG A35, Ferrari Monza and more
From all-electric SUVs to exclusive supercars, here are the cars debuting next week
The world’s biggest carmakers are gearing up to unveil their latest and greatest production cars at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.
The event, which runs from 4 to 14 October, is one of the most significant dates in the automotive world’s calendar, featuring a winning combination of hi-tech concept cars and mass production models that sell in the thousands.
As fans book their tickets to the Paris showcase, held on alternative years to the Frankfurt Motor Show, experts are predicting which models will make their world debuts in France.
Here are the top cars tipped to be unveiled the 2018 Paris Motor Show:
Audi is gearing up to showcase its first mass-production electric car at the French motor show.
Audi claims the new mid-size SUV can travel up to 250 miles on a single charge thanks to its 95kWh battery pack. The near-instant torque provided by an electric powertrain also means the e-tron should be quick off the line, with Top Gear quoting a 0-62mph time of under six seconds.
Official pricing and a confirmed release date are expected when the e-tron debuts next week.
Audi’s new A1 hatchback may not make its public debut until the Paris show but the carmaker has already released official images of its latest and smallest model.
The Volkswagen Polo-based city car looks very different from the outgoing A1 model, adopting the same aggressive grille and LED headlights as the company’s newer models. The front bumper also gets a trio of small air inlets, a feature that Evo says was inspired by Audi’s UR Quattro that dominated rallying in the 1980s.
The new A1 will hit showrooms in December, with prices starting at around £16,500, WhatCar? reports.
BMW 3 Series
BMW’s product offensive doesn’t stop at the new Z4 - a next-generation version of the 3 Series saloon is also tipped to appear at the Paris show.
Described by CarBuyer as “one of the most important debuts of any motor show this year”, the new 3 Series uses a lightweight production platform that has been designed to improve fuel consumption.
There will also be a choice of low-emissions engines, including a potential plug-in hybrid, which should help meet the EU’s stricter emissions standards that come into effect on 1 September, the car reviews site says.
Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2
Ferrari’s vintage-inspired Monza SP1 and SP2 supercars [pictured top] are expected to stun showgoers in Paris next week.
The impressive duo - the first releases from the new Icona range - are based on the same platform as the Italian marque’s new 812 Superfast and feature the same 789bhp naturally aspirated V12 engine that powers the front-engined supercar.
The SP1 takes the form of a single-seater supercar, with a large metal sheet covering the area where you would normally find a passenger seat. The SP2, meanwhile, comes with a more conventional two-seat configuration.
Both the SP1 and SP2 come with price tags of roughly £3m, a significant premium over the £260,000 cost of an 812 Superfast.
Mercedes has taken the wraps off its new AMG A35, a speedier version of the A-Class premium hatchback launched in April.
The hot hatch features sporty design tweaks that set it apart from the base car, including carbon winglets on the front bumper and a small wing perched above the boot lid.
Under the bonnet sits a “uniquely tuned” 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 302bhp and 295lb-ft of torque, says Autocar. The A35 also gets a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard and a four-wheel drive system.
At the back, Mercedes-AMG has equipped the A35 with a bespoke dual-exit exhaust layout, the magazine continues. This exhaust is fitted with an electronic valve, allowing drivers to adjust the volume and tone of the car’s engine note.
In the cabin sits the latest version of the German carmaker’s hi-tech MBUX infotainment system, which can be controlled using either touch or voice commands, reports Auto Express. And drivers can change the characteristics of the car’s handling through a number of sports-focused handling modes.
The A35 will make its public debut in Paris on 4 October, before going on sale later in the month, with prices from around £36,000, the motoring mag reports. A £45,000 A45 model offering 400bhp is expected to follow in early 2019.
Porsche 911 (992)
The arrival of a new Porsche 911 is always a special moment in the motoring world, so expect all eyes to be focused on the German car’s stand when the motor show’s doors open on 4 October.
Given that the 911’s silhouette has barely changed since the first example arrived in 1963, Porsche isn’t expected to dramatically overhaul the historic sports car with this year’s 992-generation model.
The marque hasn’t shared details of the car’s engine specs yet, but Autocar says the company may offer a hybrid system on the sports car for the first time. This system may be a tweaked version of the hybrid unit found in Porsche’s Cayenne SUV and Panamera saloon.
After years of concept cars, and leaked images of the production version covered in camouflage, Toyota may finally take the wraps off its new Supra in Paris.
Sharing its platform with the new Z4, the Supra is inspired by Toyota’s FT-1 concept that first debuted in New York four years ago and may resemble the company’s Supra Racing prototype [pictured above] that appeared in Geneva in March, says Car magazine.
The Supra will be powered by a turbocharged straight-six engine producing around 350bhp, the magazine adds. The new sports car won’t be cheap, with an expected price tag of around £50,000 when it goes on sale in early 2019.
Skoda Kodiaq vRS
Skoda has a history of releasing performance-orientated vRS versions of its cars, and the company’s seven-seater Kodiaq is expected to be the latest to get a sporty makeover.
The Volkswagen-owned carmaker is keeping quiet about the rumoured crossover but says a concept version set a lap time of nine minutes and 29 seconds at the Nurburgring - a world record for a seven-seater car around the 12.9-mile track, in Germany.
The speedy SUV is powered by an uprated 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine, which produces 236bhp 369lb-ft of torque.
According to Top Gear, the Kodiaq vRS also gets sharper looks and a new paint job.
Buyers are expected to be offered an optional metallic blue paint scheme, while the five-spoke wheels appear to have been taken from the Octavia vRS saloon.
And as expected, Skoda will fit a host of vRS badges both inside and out.
Given that the Kodiaq’s sportier trim level, called Sportline, comes with a price tag of around £36,500, the vRS version is unlikely to “fall far below the £40,000 mark”, says CarBuyer.