Car mak­ers dis­play style for France

Ler­ato Matebese looks at some of the ex­cit­ing reg­u­lar mod­els un­veiled in Paris

Business Day - Motor News - - COMMERCIAL NEWS ISUZU TRUCKS -

FOL­LOW­ING our re­view last week of the lusty ex­otic cars from the Paris Mo­tor Show, this week we shift our at­ten­tion to the more se­date end of the ve­hi­cles dis­played. Though not quite the stuff dreams are made of, these re­main the in­dus­try back­bone with a univer­sal ap­peal and ac­ces­si­ble pric­ing.

Let us cast our at­ten­tion to the In­gol­stadt man­u­fac­turer, Audi, which un­veiled the five door vari­ant of its forth­com­ing A3, the Sport­back. Longer and wider than its pre­de­ces­sor, the new model is said to bris­tle with tech­nol­ogy as­so­ci­ated with its more ex­pen­sive brethren, but it is per­haps its lug­gage car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity over its three-door si­b­ling that will win it favours with the four ring bri­gade. It boasts 380l boot space — 10l more than its pre­de­ces­sor — that can be ex­tended to 1,220l with the rear seats folded. The cargo floor is said to have 100cm of clear­ance be­tween the wheel wells, mak­ing it eas­ier to carry those cum­ber­some items. En­gines will in­clude TDI diesel and TFSI petrol, the lat­ter cur­rently head­lined by the new 1.8TFSI engine putting out 125kW and 250Nm. Equipped with a front-wheel drive set up and an S-tronic trans­mis­sion, a 0100km/h time of 7.3 sec­onds and a top speed of 225km/h is claimed for this par­tic­u­lar model.

Kia un­veiled its lat­est gen­er­a­tion Pro_cee’d, which looks more up­mar­ket than its pre­de­ces­sor, thanks to the de­sign wiz­ardry of the com­pany’s head de­signer, Peter Schreyer. There was also the third gen­er­a­tion Clarens small MPV, while the Op­tima hy­brid sig­nals the com­pany’s ap­proach to greener mo­tor­ing. Still on green, or per­haps blue in this in­stance, Volk­swa­gen un­veiled the Bluemo­tion vari­ant of its im­mi­nent seventh gen­er­a­tion Golf, boast­ing a 1.6l TDI engine with ul­tra-low emis­sion fig­ures of 99g/km and fuel con­sump­tion claims in the re­gion of 4.9l/100km.

Lexus un­veiled its LF-CC con­cept, a mid-sized coupe that is a likely plat­form to spawn the next gen­er­a­tion IS range, as the cur­rent model is now rather long in the tooth in the wake of its more mod­ern ri­vals. It was also the first Western Euro­pean ap­pear­ance of the updated LS600h F-Sport.

Re­nault’s new San­dero seems to be a more up­mar­ket prospect than the cur­rent model with a host of new en­gines, in­clud­ing a three cylin­der 900cc turbo charged petrol engine mak­ing 66kW and 135Nm. There is also a 1.5l dCi turbo diesel with 66kW and 200Nm, sim­i­lar to that in the Micra, though they have not been con­firmed for lo­cal con­sump­tion.

Suzuki un­veiled the S-Cross con­cept, which will be the com­pany’s foray into the c-seg­ment cross­over mar­ket should it de­cide to turn it into a pro­duc­tion model. Its big­gest draw cards would be space and com­fort, which the com­pany says it will slot in above the SX4 and will of­fer a sim­i­lar 4WD sys­tem to its younger si­b­ling, al­low­ing strong trac­tion on many dif­fer­ent road sur­faces.

Mit­subishi un­veiled, among other mod­els, the updated vari­ant of its ASX cross­over, which boasts an updated face with chrome lash­ings around the grille and front fog­lights and new and im­proved cabin ma­te­ri­als, while the 1.8 DiD turbo diesel model is also likely to join the lo­cal fray.

Toy­ota show­cased its all-new Verso, which, much like the forth­com­ing Auris, sig­nals the com­pany’s new de­sign lan­guage with a sharper de­meanour. Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s re­lease, the main changes are at the front where the new de­sign strat­egy has been adopted to project a fam­ily look that gives the car a strong visual link to the new Auris and Auris Tour­ing Sports (wagon).

The aim has been to re­duce the per­cep­tion of the ve­hi­cle’s height while em­pha­sis­ing its width and length. Among other fea­tures, the new model will also boast LED day­time run­ning lights, while power will be of­fered by re­vised vari­ants of the cur­rent 1.6l and 1.8l petrol en­gines, and the 2.0l D-4D turbo diesel. Six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sions will be stan­dard across the range, while an im­proved CVT (con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion) will be op­tional on the 1.8l model.

Mazda’s new 6, which is char­ac­terised by the com­pany’s Kodo de­sign lan­guage, will go on sale in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets in the first quar­ter of next year, with SA likely to fol­low soon af­ter.

It will be of­fered with both Sky­ac­tiv petrol and turbo diesel en­gines, the lat­ter head­lined by the 120kW and 420Nm 2.2l unit, which should give it enough power to cope bet­ter on the rar­i­fied reef than the petrol model. It is likely to boast ul­tra-low fuel and emis­sion fig­ures too, thanks to the high com­pres­sion ra­tio of the Sky­ac­tiv engine tech­nol­ogy.

This year’s Paris show has con­tin­ued its rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing one of the most hyped up mo­tor shows on the cal­en­dar, and with good rea­son. While greener mo­tor­ing re­mains on ev­ery man­u­fac­turer’s de­sign brief, it is good to know driver en­joy­ment, even in tra­di­tion­ally fam­ily ori­ented ve­hi­cles, has not been left by the way­side.

The Suzuki S-Cross con­cept, above, and the new Mazda 6, top right. The VW Golf 7 in Bluemo­tion guise, right. Left: The new Kia Pro_cee’d.

The new Da­cia (Re­nault) San­dero.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.