2014 Paris Auto Show - Preview
2014 was packed with car debuts ranging from compact, fuel-efficient vehicles to powerful sports cars and large SUVs. The Detroit, New York and Geneva auto shows have all played their part this year in giving us some of the most technologically advanced automobiles the market had to offer. As 2014 draws to an end, the spotlight moves all the way to Paris, where a heap of machines are about to be unveiled to the world. As with most important auto shows, Paris will be packed with all kinds of vehicles. Futuristic concepts, sports cars, sedans, hybrids, and luxury SUVs will be featured in all their glory in the "City of Fashion."
Although the Paris Motor Show is usually an event mostly dedicated to French and European cars that aren’t likely to make it to the United States, this year’s edition is of particular importance to North America. France will host numerous debuts that are set to cross the pond, including those of the Ferrari 458 Speciale A, Mercedes AMG GT, Mazda MX-5 Miata or the Jaguar XE. Excited? You should be, because next week will be bringing you a big pile of specs and reviews, alongside numerous photos of the latest vehicles to break cover. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for Europe’s final major auto show for 2014. The party starts on Thursday, October 2nd.
Click past the jump to read more about the vehicles set to debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show
When it comes to futuristic concept cars, the Peugeot Quatrz is the main attraction at the Paris Motor Show. Developed as a preview of the company’s new SUV lineup, the Quartz Concept boasts an aggressive exterior design and a unique interior that brings together materials obtained from recycled plastic bottles, basalt rock textures, and acres of black leather. The vehicle also showcases Peugeot’s new i-Cockpit technology, along with a hybrid drivetrain that cranks out 270 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. Naturally, the Quatrz won’t make it to production in this form, but some of its features will make it into more than just one upcoming vehicle. And that’s reason enough to keep a close eye on this concept.
Citroen is joining the fun on its home turf with a pair of fashion-oriented DS3 concepts. Essentially a couple of production-ready DS3 special-edition models, the two vehicles are loaded with unique styling features on the outside and a sophisticated cabin on the inside. The regular and the convertible DS3 are distinguished by contrasting, two-tone body paints, complemented by 17-inch, diamond-cut wheels and various graphics. Although identical, the cabins boast several custom goodies, including a Granite Blue grained-leather upholstery with white stitching and an Ines Red dashboard and bespoke mats.
Toyota is also bringing a concept at the Paris Motor Show, and although we know very little of the C-HR, we have a hunch the Japanese are readying a crossover the size of the new Lexus NX. Something to go against the Nissan Juke, but we’ll have to wait for Toyota to release more details. What we do know is the C-HR sports a coupe-like design and a new styling language that will eventually find its way onto future Toyota products.
The Divine DS is Citroen’s second concept car for the Paris Motor Show. Developed to preview the company’s plans for the premium DS range, the Divine is the most aggressive DS yet, showcasing slim headlamps and taillights, a large front grille, and matching inlets in the front and rear bumpers. The concept’s roof is particularly interesting, as it was designed to resemble reptilian scales. The pattern covers the entire roof section, but also extends over the rear window for a unique effect. The Divine’s interior is equally artistic and comes with a rectangular steering wheel and a futurist instrument cluster. Both the dashboard and the center console feature a distinct, architectural design, hinting that the Divine DS is under no circumstances hitting the assembly line in this form.
Already busy preparing the stunning Q50 Eau Rouge for production, Infiniti is introducing yet another brand-new vehicle in France. This time around, Nissan’s luxury division is previewing a flagship sedan that will eventually join a segment dominated by the likes of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8. Dubbed Q80 Inspiration, the concept car is downright gorgeous as far as styling goes. The Coupe-like sedan is long and sleek, with graceful lines adorning the sides. The interior is packed with high-grade aluminum and carbon-fiber inserts, as well as loads of high-tech features, while providing comfortable seating for four people. No word on what’s motivating this stunning concept, but we expect a high-performance setup combining a gasoline engine and an electric motor.
Mitsubishi is also previewing a future product of its own. Dubbed Outlander PHEV Concept-S, this clean-looking study is set to prepare us for the next-generation Outlander. The PHEV Concept-S is not as spectacular as the other concepts to be showcased in Paris, but its hybrid drivetrain and the technology around it will provide a proper insight on what to expect from Mitsubishi in the near future.
Moving into supercar territory, something really exciting is about to come Italy. Lamborghini has been acting rather mysteriously about its upcoming Asterion, but most hints point towards a 2+2 coupe to compete against the Ferrari FF. A four-door vehicle is also in the rumormill, but that scenario is rather unlikely considering the company’s first teaser. Either way, stay tuned for yet another raging bull and possibly Lamborghini’s first hybrid vehicle.
Ferrari joins the Paris Motor Show to introduce the drop-top version of its already awesome 458 Speciale. We already know everything there is to know about the 458 Speciale, so we expect for the Spider to provide the unlimited headroom some customers have been demanding ever since the coupe version was unveiled in 2013.
The AMG GT is arguably one of the most anticipated debuts to take place in France. German’s latest sports car was already unveiled in mid-September, but AMG’s followup to the SLS has yet to make a public appearance during a proper event. That will end as soon as the Paris Motor Show debuts and the brand-new AMG GT hits the floor.
Although summer is officially over, BMW is traveling to Paris with convertibles. The first one is the drop-top version of the 2 Series, which was unveiled only weeks before the French event. Sharing most of its styling cues with the 2 Series Coupe, the convertible will hit the U.S. market with only one engine. The turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit hidden under the hood generates 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque and mates to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. As with most Bimmers, the 2 Series Convertible can be equipped with all-wheel-drive, which drops its 0-to-60-mph sprint from 5.7 to 5.6 seconds.
The second BMW-badged drop-top you’ll be able to see in Paris is the M235i mid-range model slotting between the regular 2 Series and the beefed-up M2. Unlike its milder brother, the M235i is motivated by a 3.0-liter, inline-six powerplant rated at 320 ponies and 330 pound-feet of twist. Naturally, the more aggressive Bimmer is faster from 0 to 60 mph, needing 4.8 and five seconds to complete the sprint with an automatic and manual transmission, respectively.
Moving over to more iconic roadsters, the Paris Auto Show will finally give the brand-new MX-5 Miata a proper debut. Though we already know what Mazda’s famed convertible looks like, we’re still short of engine specs, which is why we’re particularly anxious about this reveal. Come on Mazda, give us those power ratings.
Joining the convertible corner at the Paris Motor Show is the Audi TT Roadster. Based on the newly launched third-generation TT, the Roadster will go on sale in Europe shortly after making its debut in France. Unfortunately, we won’t get it in the U.S. before the 2016 model year. In Europe, the TT Roadster has three engine options. The base engine is a 2.0 TDI diesel with 184 ponies and the range-topping unit is a 2.0 TFSI with 310 horsepower.
The Mercedes-AMG GT isn’t the only vehicle Mercedes is launching in Paris. The Germans are also bringing the latest C-Class-based C63, in both sedan and wagon guises. The new high-performance compacts are powered by the same 4.0-liter V-8 engine fitted in the AMG GT, generating either 476 or 510 horsepower, depending on trim level. Besides being powerful, the new-generation C63 is also incredibly fuel efficient, a feat that will surely impress customers looking for a high-performance compact.
Jaguar Land Rover is set to introduce a couple of brand-new vehicles, but the Brits are also bringing a special-edition Evoque to Paris. Dubbed SW1, this Evoque is part of the company’s new "Inspired by Britain" series of models and comes with a multitude of exclusive styling details. The crossover is fitted with a white roof no matter the body colors, Union Jack graphics and 20-inch alloy wheels. Similar graphics are offered in the cabin as well, along with Taurus Ebony leather and Cirrus stitching. The changes aren’t dramatic, but the Evoque SW1 is definitely fancy enough for the Paris Motor Show.
Another special-edition model showing itself in France is the Infiniti QX70S Design. Essentially a stealth version of the XQ70 crossover, the S Design is highlighted by the dark-chrome finish that replaces its body sheen, alongside smoked headlamps and taillights. The treatment continues in the cabin, where the all-black treatment is complemented by purple stitching. Although the drivetrain remains unaltered, the QX70S Design does a great job at being a more stylish proposition for Infiniti’s crossover lineup.
The Jaguar XE is the big news of the compact segment for 2014. Created from scratch as a competitor for the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4, Jag’s new cat promises to be the lightest and the most fuel efficient vehicle in its segment. Design-wise, the XE blends styling cues taken from the larger XF with new, sporty character lines and body features. The driver-oriented interior is packed with high-quality materials, including wood veneers, leather and Alcantara. The brand-new infotainment system that also debuted in the XE will be showcased in Paris.
When it comes to large sedans, Bentley will most likely impress Paris Motor Show audience with the Mulsanne Speed. While the familiar exterior and interior styling remains unchanged save for a few bits and pieces, it’s the drivetrain that brings most improvements. The twin-turbo, 6.75-liter V-8 churns 530 horsepower and an impressive 811 pound-feet of torque, which translates into a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 4.8 seconds. That’s massive for a vehicle of this size, not to mention the Mulsanne Speed can hit a top speed of 190 mph.
Volvo wowed the automotive world with the second-generation XC90 back in August 2014, and it’s about to do the same by introducing the SUV in the metal in Paris. The new XC90 is a massive departure from the first-gen SUV, featuring styling cues that preview the company’s brand-new design language. Packed with the latest Volvo technology and a wide range of fuel-efficient, four-cylinder engines, the second-gen XC90 also received a hybrid drivetrain, a first for the midsize SUV.
Another brand-new SUV to make its public debut on the Paris Motor Show floor is the Land Rover Discovery Sport. The much-speculated hauler draws its design from the Discovery Vision Concept, while borrowing some of the cues seen on the Ranger Rover Sport and Evoque. The SUV comes with the usual amount of Land Rover luxury, a three-row, 5+2 seating arrangement, and a bevy of premium options. Power comes from the company’s familiar 2.0-liter four-banger rated at 240 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. The engine mates to a ZF nine-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system.