Hottest Cars Coming to Paris Motor Show 2012

Hottest Cars Coming to Paris Motor Show 2012 1 photo
Every year, we said that auto shows got better and better, that is until the crisis hit and things cooled down a bit. In a few weeks, we’ll be in Paris, the capital of love and… baguettes, but there’s also reason to believe that we’ll be participating in the biggest car event… EVER.
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

BMW is locked in battle with Audi and Mercedes over the luxury car market. Unlike in World War II, where the Germans used only the heaviest and most expensive tank, this car sales war is also fought with the more affordable models.

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

Also to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show 2012 will be the 3-Series Gran Turismo, also a model with increased practicality but keeping with the tradition for RWD. The GT will be the very first new body style for the 3-Series range since the ill-fated Compact from 1994.

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

The world gave up on Jaguar for a while, but Jaguar never gave up on the sportscar. Here’s a company that never stop making coupes and roadsters, even though everybody was buying SUVs… an still is. Their beacon of hope is the brand new F-Type, a two-seater roadster built on a shortened XK convertible platform.

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?

For all their calculated decisions, the Germans also make some bad ones once in a while. SEAT is one of them, a company that’s been losing them money due to what we believe to be a lack of clear corporate image.

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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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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