SHOW MUST GO ON

Fewer brands turned plenty of heads at Europe’s ma­jor mo­tor expo

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page - JOHN CAREY

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.

BMW

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

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