October 1st marks the opening of Mondial De L’Automobile Paris, otherwise known to us Brits as the Paris Motor Show.
Aside from the Geneva Motor Show in March, the event, which shifts to Frankfurt every other year, is arguably the most important car show of the year. It gives car makers a platform to show off which new models they’ll be bringing to market over the forthcoming 12 months.
So what are the biggest cars descending on the French capital this time?
Audi A5 Sportback & Q5
The A5 coupe was revealed in June and naturally, a five-door Sportback version has followed. Its interior will be very similar to that of the A4, which is great news because it’s rather special with its optimised layout, luxury feel and the stunning Virtual Cockpit.
The new A5 Sportback will go on sale in early 2017 with prices starting from around £32,000. They will be joined by the performance-focused S5, with 349bhp unlocking a 4.7 second 0-62mph sprint and more muscular styling.
Audi will also be parading its second generation Q5, which will essentially look and feel like a baby Q7, with styling and technology pinched straight from its big brother. It will be offered with front-wheel drive for the first time too as Audi acknowledges that SUVs aren’t really used in demanding conditions that often. No official pictures of that one yet though…
Land Rover Discovery
We’ve already pondered how the fifth-generation Discovery could shape up and this shot confirms that it will ditch the blocky exterior of the current model in favour of sportier curves like the Discovery Sport.
While we know what the front-end will look like, we’ll have to wait until its pre-Paris reveal on September 28th to see the rest. It’s safe to assume that it will be much lighter than before, with extensive use of aluminium and more spacious inside.
The new Discovery is expected to appear in Land Rover dealerships in early 2017 with a £45,000 starting price.
Again, we’ve already spoke at length about Skoda’s first-ever proper SUV and Paris will be the first chance for the public to form a first-hand opinion of the Kodiaq.
The five- or seven-seater SUV will go on sale in April offering a more spacious and affordable alternative to Nissan’s X-Trail and the Kia Sorento. A high performance vRS model with 233bhp is apparently in the works too.
BMW has been busy filling the numerical gaps in its range for the past couple of years with the 2 and 4 Series. Eventually, the X2 will sit between the X1 and X3 and BMW is expected to bring a near-production ready prototype to Paris. It is set to offer a sportier, more coupe-like profile and a sharper drive than the X3.
The current Civic is still a looker but its elevated pricing has scared potential buyers to go for a Golf or Focus instead more often than not. The new model will be bigger and sportier with new engines, more striking design and a more engaging driving experience.
More exciting is the possibility of a new Type R concept. Rumour has it the hot hatch’s exterior will be toned down, which makes us slightly sad, but power output could be boosted to 340bhp to try and catch up with the 350bhp Ford Focus RS.
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