Hottest Cars Coming to Paris Motor Show 2012
But first the numbers. As far as we can tell, Frankfurt 2011 was the biggest show in the past few years, with about 930,000 visitors. After that, Detroit came at the beginning of 2012, followed by Geneva, with about 850,000 and 700,000 visitors respectively. But all these shows will be eclipsed by Paris 2012. How do we know? It’s because two years ago, 1,265,000 million journalists, enthusiasts and regular folks attended, and it’s reasonable to expect even more this year.
No less than eight pavilions, tens if not hundreds of companies, hundreds of new and exciting cars and millions of camera flashes from the first press day to the last visitor coming out the doors on October 14th. Oh yeah, it’s going to be hectic.
The autoevolution team will do whatever it can to cover every corner of the event, bringing all the debuts to your computer or handheld screens. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to tally up the most important cars expected in Paris. Let's get stuck right in!
BMW’s New Front Runner, the 1-Series GT
Mercedes has a new A-Class, while Audi offers both VW Polo and Golf sized cars with front wheel drive. BMW can’t win the war without doing the same. The answer coming to Paris is called the 1-Series Gran Turismo, most likely to be shown as a pre-production version or a concept first.
BMW fans will surely criticize the company for making a FWD hatchback, as they also did when they started making SUVs, and more recently switched to turbocharging. But that doesn’t mean it won’t sell, and sell well. In fact, the main reason people respect MINI is because it comes with BMW qualities.
The 1-Series GT will be a mini-MPV shape, to boost interior space and practicality better that that of the regular 1-Series. This is a certainly a better choice than the sub 100-horsepower version of the RWD car they’re making.
BMW 3-Series GT, the First New Body in a Long Time
In Paris, it will arrive as a lightly disguised concept car, basically showing it in the best light possible. The production version will most likely come next spring of by the end of the first half of 2013, as Leipzig prepares for the new GT.
The 3er GT will be known as the F34 and will employ the same design philosophy as the 5-Series GT, meaning a higher roof and a heavily angled tailgate. A slightly longer wheelbase will also translate into increased legroom, something that should appeal equally to families and business buyers.
Jaguar Phoenix, the F-Type
Jaguar is aiming this car at the Porsche Boxster, Mercedes SLK and BMW Z4. The body is made from aluminum and the engine is brand new, a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 380 hp.
They’ve also confirmed a powerful supercharged V8 for the R version, and the F-Type might also become the company’s first ever hybrid-electric. We see it as Jaguar’s phoenix, helping them rise from the ashes to become a global brand.
New SEAT Leon: Last Ditch Effort?
However, VW has not given up on SEAT and are throwing all their latest kit into the next Leon hatchback, a car which will debut at the Paris Motor Show. It’s got the latest MQB platform, better styling, efficient TSIs and TDIs, MacPherson strut front suspension as well as enhanced ergonomics. If this doesn’t work to revive SEAT, nothing will!
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