The Paris Motor Show is the biggest motor show of the year and it certainly did not disappoint with a number of audacious concept cars and official reveals of upcoming models. There were a range of cars making their European debuts as manufacturers gave everyone a glimpse of what cars we can expect to see from them over the next twelve months.
As a french manufacturer, the Paris Motor Show is home turf for Renault and they revealed a couple of new vehicles to add to their existing range.
Five months after it was revealed at the Beijing Motor Show, the Renault Koleos made its European debut. The Koleos is the new large SUV to rival the Nissan X-Trail and will be available in front-wheel and all-wheel drive. It will be one of the longer models in the Renault range, 221mm longer than the Kadjar in fact, which Renault claims to produce 'record-breaking interior space'. The Koleos also features optional interior mood lighting as seen on the newly designed Renault Megane while Renault's R-Link 2 infotainment system is also available on an 8.7" touchscreen.
The Koleos wasn't the only new vehicle debuted by Renault in Paris. They also revealed the Alaskan pick-up truck which is essentially a production version of the Alaskan concept vehicle from 2015. Like the Koleos, the Alaskan will be in direct competition with a Nissan equivalent, the NP300 Navara. The Alaskan represents Renault's first entry into the lightweight pick-up truck sector.
Alongside releasing new models, Renault also announced a significant upgrade to their EV model, the ZOE. Capable of travelling up to 250 miles between charges, the new ZOE Q90 significantly beats the range of rivals such as the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf and is only 17 miles short of the pioneering entry-level Tesla Model S. Renault's new battery is no heavier or larger than the one currently deployed in its ZOE model, but has almost double the capacity. Rather than adding more battery modules, the storage capacity has been optimised by increasing the energy density of individual cells. The ZOE Q90 will go on sale in November 2016 and looks set to quell so-called range anxiety.
There was only one new vehicle revealed by Nissan and it was a simple redesign of the Micra model that has been present in the market for 33 years. It's fair to say that the Micra has never been the most exciting car in the Nissan range, especially when the Qashqai and Juke were added to it; however, the all-new Micra is a different proposition.
Previously the Micra has been content with challenging the likes of the Toyota Yaris and Suzuki Swift without ever looking to the well-established market-leaders such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo. This is now not the case. The all-new Micra has been given modern proportions and dynamic styling to ensure that it can compete with the best.
Adopting the Sway concept that won approval at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, the all-new Micra features a short bonnet, lower floating roof and more raked windscreen for a more expressive style. Nissan have also looked to capitalise on the trend to customise cars with a choice of ten exterior body colours and three interior designs to produce a total of 125 colour variations.
Similar to Nissan, Citroën only had one new production car on show in Paris - the new C3. Details for the redesigned hatchback have been previously released by Citroën, but this was the car's first public appearance.
The new C3 is set to go on sale in the UK in January 2017 with new owners expected to make the most of its highly customisable features. You have the choice of nine different body colours and three roof colours as well as further colour choices for the wing mirrors, fog lamps, rear C pillar graphic and Airbumps®. The Airbump technology® has been copied over from the popular C4 Cactus, but the new C3 is also available without it.
The revamped C3 receives a vastly more modern design, but also new technology. The most significant piece of new tech on the C3 is ConnectedCam™ which is a fully integrated two-megapixel, GPS enabled camera that is able to safely capture images and videos with a single click of a button. This feature can be used to upload content to social media profiles but is also very helpful in the event of an accident. The ConnectedCam™ will store the preceding 30 seconds and following 60 seconds of any impact on the C3.
The last of the French manufacturers in this list revealed three new production cars as it begins to strengthen its position in the SUV market. Firstly, the 2008 compact SUV comes to market available in four trims including the new 2008 GT Line. It brings sharp design and forward thinking technology with it for an instinctive driving experience.
The Peugeot 3008 SUV is larger than the 2008 and is set to be released in January 2017. This model has been updated with a more striking design that is evident in its new assertive front grille. The 3008 offers class-leading technology including the newly revitalised Peugeot i-Cockpit and an automotive first by having factory fitted FOCAL® technology.
Finally, Peugeot unveiled the new 5008 which takes Peugeot one step further in the SUV category. It will offer seven individual seats that can be folded and removed in order to provide extra space; once removed, the 5008 offers a record 780 litres of boot space. Combining style and practicality, Peugeot have introduced a beautifully crafted seven-seater SUV into the market.
Italian manufacturers Fiat and Abarth both debuted new vehicles in Paris at different ends of the spectrum. Fiat introduced their new pick-up truck, the Fullback, whereas Abarth displayed their new 124 Spider.
The Fullback is designed to be a workhorse that you can rely on with a load capacity of over four tonnes and a towing capacity of up to 3.1 tonnes. Although it is primarily going to be used for work, the Fullback's interior has been designed for comfort with ergonomic seats and air conditioning. The cabin is also packed with state-of-the-art equipment so that you are able to stay connected with your business and your customers wherever you are.
The Abarth 124 Spider is proof that good things do come in small packages. For optimum weight distribution to ensure performance and agility its weight is concentrated within the wheelbase. The Abarth 124 Spider offers unparalleled handling and achieves 0-62mph in sub seven seconds. It comes complete with a 1.4 litre MultiAir turbocharged engine developing 170hp.
Unlike Fiat and Abarth, Dacia didn't reveal any new models to add to their existing four; rather, they have updated the Sandero, Sandero Stepway and Logan MCV. All of these models have had a facelift for 2017 that includes new headlight clusters with LED daytime running lights, a restyled front bumper and a new, more prominent front grille. As well as updates to design, Dacia have also added a new 74bhp 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine to the range which they claim will be the most environmentally friendly and fuel efficient engine on offer.