Wow what an exciting time at the Paris motor show 2012. Outside the show, protesters were being “calmed” with tear gas as they voiced their fears over planned austerity measures within the PSA Peugeot-Citroen group, while on the inside all the stars of the motor world were there to show off their concept cars and launch the next wave of motoring for the forthcoming year.
The key themes this year were improved efficiency as well as super high performance, and here are my favourite picks from the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
As a mother of 3, of most interest to me was the presence of the Hot Hatchbacks at the Paris motor show this year. The hotly anticipated Renault Sport Clio 4 supermini was launched at the show, and it caused quite a stir.
Out goes the manual gearbox, the Renault Sport Clio 4 comes with a 6-speed dual clutch automatic gear box - which is great news for me as I much prefer automatics for town driving. This little cutie has 5 doors which is a must with kids, and the rear door handles fit sleekly into the rear door windows. Definitely one to go on my wish list for 2013.
Before marriage and kids I had a passion for nippy little minis, I went through 4 mini automatics in my youth including an old banger that cost me £50, I worked with my dad and spent a small fortune rebuilding and personalising it. Aaahh those carefree days of being able to squander my money on my hobbies instead of my little “hobbits”. Despite the practical need for more space, I still have a soft spot for nippy little cars. So the sight of the new cute and chic looking little Vauxhall Adam made me hanker for my youth. Comes with either a 1.2 or 1.4 petrol engine, and there’s the possibility of an electric version coming soon. Also loaded with IntelliLink infotainment systems to keep you informed, and entertained, when sitting in city traffic. On sale in early 2013 with prices starting from £11,255.
And of course I can’t fail to mention the unashamedly retro looking BMW Mini Paceman, which is guaranteed to trigger nostalgia and tug at my heart strings. It comes with an optional 6-speed automatic gearbox, in petrol or diesel, the price ranges from £18,970 to £24,290 and goes on sale March 2013.
But the best fun to be had in my opinion were the electric cars. Take the concept Lumeneo Neoma Roadster. This two seater is a sporty looking convertible with a top speed of 68mph that can travel up to 87 miles on a single charge, and refilling an empty battery takes up to 4 hours. If I had the budget for a fun car, and extra space on my drive, I would really love one of these for popping to the shops, a steal at just £20,000. For family fun I really liked the adorable Mia Rox convertible microvan with its side sliding doors and pop up hatch. With a top speed of 62mph and a range of 78 miles on a single charge, it would be great for family shopping trips, but probably unlikely to make it to the seaside and back. This super cute electric people carrier is very popular in France, and it would certainly turn a few heads in the UK for just £22,000.
And finally to the gas guzzlers ...
Despite my love of fun minis and sensible super minis, even I was impressed by the super outrageous McLaren P1 which launched at the show. Looking like something from a science fiction future, with it’s two-man cabin and it optimisable rear wing, it is expected to be ready for delivery in a year’s time, at the super affordable £800,000 – keep buying those lottery tickets if you want one of these babies.
The convertible Jaguar F-type also made me swoon. A sleek looking machine, I could imagine getting the top down and driving about town in this beauty – always assuming it’s not raining of course. Also something to get excited about, it’s on sale in the UK in May 2013, starting at a much more affordable £59,000 for a super charged V6 up to £80,000 for a top of the range V8.
by Jillian Hinds.
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