Paris Motor Show 2016
The event which took place in Paris expo Porte de Versailles exhibition last week will be remembered as the event where electric vehicles rose from the background and took the centre stage. For those who attended the event it was hard to imagine a future where electric cars weren’t swarming the roads, with many battery models launched and forecasted.
The other key topic was the SUVs, with Land Rover launching its 5th generation Discovery, Audi a new Q5 and Ssangyong’s LIV2 prototype new Rexton. Many of the new prototypes were electric auto pilot concepts with large open spaces for passengers, designed purely for comfort and easy riding.
These two contrasting themes make it feel like you are standing at a T junction; one direction is going to the new future of electric cars (looking like space ships) and the other direction is going to the bulky SUV’s continuing on through the rough terrain. Eventually however these two routes will merge with the Mercedes Generation EQ concept, which is a fully electric SUV and more models are sure to follow the trend.
Volkswagen promised to put on a show with all eyes looking at its ID electric concept, a car designed to replace its popular Golf model. Instead of just creating an electric Golf it is redesigning the entire model making a completely new and initiative piece of sporty engineering that will populate the roads by 2020. The German company boasted plans of multiple electric designs planned for the future, moving away from diesel and into the electric era by 2025.
(Image by theverge.com)
This show saw the words ‘electric’, ‘battery’ and ‘connected’ scattered across every manufacturer’s show, almost making the car enthusiasts who live for excitement and speed somewhat disappointed (especially with Lamborghini, Bugatti, Aston Martin and Bentley not making a show.)
The future of the car industry is all centred on being as environmentally friendly as possible in order to pass tighter and harsher emissions tests. Questions were asked to numerous manufacturers on whether diesel engineering was going to die. This was answered with mixed responses explaining how the tightening emissions tests will make diesel engines harder and more expensive to produce.
Dr Jens Thiemer, the Mercedes-Benz marketing executive said that “After 130 years, the race begins from zero again,” with every manufacturer fighting to produce the best electric model that will lead the way into this new and rapidly expanding niche.
Mitsubishi revealed its GT PHEV concept, an elegant piece of engineering that looked rather futuristic. It will be a hybrid system with an electric range of around 75 miles but a combined range of 10 times this. It will also contain Mitsubishi’s connective technology informing travellers about route information, weather and terrain data. The inside of the car still remains a mystery but I’m sure it will not disappoint.
The most interesting door design definitely goes to the Renault Trezor concept. A large one-piece powered door that rises forward to reveal two deep and comfortable looking leather seats for when the car is driven or running in autonomous mode. A very sleek design looking almost bullet shaped with smooth aerodynamics decreasing its drag adding to its style. Despite having two large batteries the kerb weight is just 1600kg enabling the car to accelerate 0-60mph in less than 4 seconds.
(Image by hypebeast.com)
Land Rover produced a very impressive looking display with two of their models on a Lego replica of Tower Bridge, in total 5,805,846 Lego pieces were used to create the stand for the new Land Rover Discovery. To prove its power and strength Sir Ben Ainslie towed a full size replica of his Americas Cup boat using the Discovery.
One of the most impressive super cars was the Lamborghini Centenario Roadster, truly a piece of engineering to be proud of. The designers said the Roadster was a “new design direction for Lamborghini accentuated by clean surfaces and superb reflections as ‘form follows function’”.