SHOW MUST GO ON
Fewer brands turned plenty of heads at Europe’s major motor expo
Does the old-fashioned motor show have a new-era future? Some car makers seem to have doubts. The Mondial Paris Motor Show, Europe’s major auto expo of 2018, opened with the long list of no-show brands outnumbering those that opted to attend.
Two of the world’s three largest brands, General Motors and Volkswagen, were not at Paris (though VW Group brands Audi, Skoda and Porsche took part).
Toyota was the only one of the Big Three to put in an appearance. Fiat, Ford, Jeep, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru stayed away, as did Alfa Romeo, Volvo and Maserati. Brands with important models to reveal did so ahead of the opening. In normal times the Audi e-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC would have been major stars — but instead the makers unveiled their new electric SUVs well beforehand in Stockholm and San Francisco respectively.
A new is a major moment for Munich. The larger but lighter seventh-generation sedan will go on sale in Europe from March and will reach Australia soon after. Initially, there will be 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel power, plus a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel.
BMW engineers have thrown every technical trick in their book at it, with the aim of making it the handling hero of its class. It will also have richer standard equipment than ever, including advanced active safety features, infotainment displays and driver-aassist technology.
Thank Toyota for the two-seat, rear-drive sports car. The companies collaborated to create two models that use the same basic set of BMW-designed components. The Toyota Supra coupe and the convertible-only Z4 are technical twins, with important differences.
Due in Australia late next year, the Z4 will