This year’s Paris Motor Show is well underway. Even with three months left, it’s usually viewed as the year’s last big international car exhibition.
That said, there are some notable absentees this year. Ford, Vauxhall, Volvo, Volkswagen, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and McLaren have all decided to stay away this time, preferring to use the cash on promoting their latest and greatest models in other – arguably less traditional – ways.
But there were still loads of great cars worth shouting from the top of the Eiffel Tower about. Here are some of our favourites…
Skoda Kodiaq vRS
Unbelievably, this is only the third model ever to wear Skoda’s vRS badge, following the much-missed Fabia and still-available Octavia.
While the Octavia vRS uses a punchy two-litre petrol engine, the Kodiaq vRS is exploiting diesel power, with a 237bhp two-litre bi-turbo unit under the bonnet.
It’s the same engine you’ll find in the Volkswagen Tiguan, and linked to a seven-speed DSG gearbox, it’s good for 0-62mph in seven seconds dead with a top speed of 137mph.
Skoda has tweaked the chassis and added a sound boost system to amplify the engine’s exhaust note to lend the whole experience a more exciting soundtrack.
The new B-Class was Merc’s big reveal and while the dorky mini MPV has gained a ton of appeal by basically mimicking the A-Class, the GLE was a much more exciting prospect.
Visually, it’s more of what came before albeit bigger, sharper and more practical with an extra 125 litres of boot space (now 825), a dual-screen infotainment system and seven seats as an option. It’ll launch with one petrol and one diesel engine, and a plug-in hybrid option will join the range eventually.
Ferrari 488 Pista Spider
Fans of drop-top Ferraris will love this one because it’s the fastest convertible ever to wear the prancing horse.
With an unprecedented weight/power ratio of 514bhp per ton, it can dart to 62mph from rest in 2.85 seconds with a 211mph top speed. No surprise then that the 709bhp 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine under the bonnet has been named ‘best engine’ for the third consecutive year at the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards.
We covered Porsche’s refreshed Evoque rival in depth a few weeks ago, but it was great to see the facelifted Macan finally on European turf.
Its mid-life update has given it new headlights and a striking three-dimensional LED tail light strip that stretches across the boot lid. Add in some new safety tech, a fancier touchscreen, the 911 GT’s steering wheel and the Macan is undoubtedly fit for 2019.
BMW 3 Series
BMW’s seemingly immortal compact executive saloon is now in its seventh generation and looks like it’ll continue to grapple with the C-Class and A4 as long as roads exist.
As usual, we’ll get the fleet-friendly 320d with its 67.3mpg and 110g/km CO2 emissions, while petrol buyers can have the 254bhp 330i, which is good for 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds.
Its marginally longer and wider than before, and stylistically, it has been brought up-to-date with a single chrome surround on the larger kidney grilles and the striking new headlights.
Which car is your favourite? Let us know down in the comments…