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The pick of Paris

By / 8 years ago / Features / No Comments


The seventh-generation Golf will be home to a wide range of fuel-saving technology, starting with a new and more efficient version of the 1.6 TDI engine in the BlueMotion, which now returns 88.3mpg while emitting 85g/km CO2.

Although it’s not a huge departure from the outgoing model visually, the new Golf uses Volkswagen’s new modular platform, which standardises components across different vehicle sizes to make it easier, and cheaper, to manufacturer more varied model ranges.

Standardising powertrain fitments mean, in time, the Golf will be available as a plug-in hybrid based on the 1.4 TSI engine, and electric Blue-e-motion variant, all built on the same production line. It will also debut cylinder shut-off technology in the 1.4 TSI, running on two cylinders when not under load.

Engine options from launch comprise 1.2 and 1.4 TSI petrols, with the latter featuring cylinder shut-off, and a choice of 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI engines with 103 and 148bhp respectively. The BlueMotion will follow next summer. AG


Audi’s new A3 Sportback is bound to be a major fleet car: with a £620 premium over three-door, and more functionality than ever with a wheelbase 58mm longer than the predecessor and 35mm longer than the new three-door, it also offers 1,220 litres of luggage capacity.

Thanks to ultra lightweight construction the new car is up to 90kg lighter than the one it replaces and engines include a thoroughly reworked 150bhp 2.0 TDI with CO2 emissions of 108g/km. The 1.6 TDI version offers 99g/km.

The infotainment system also gets a major upgrade with the ability to handle better graphics as well as improved online capability. First cars will reach customers in March next year. SM


Ford’s striking new Mondeo was grabbing attention at the event, but European buyers will have to wait until next winter to buy one after the manufacturer delayed its launch to meet North American demand.

New Mondeo will be the first time Ford has had a single platform for its large cars, and sold in North America as the Fusion. But, because the outgoing Fusion is over a year older than the facelifted Mondeo, Ford is prioritising North American markets for its new arrival, saying it would be impossible to meet quality levels expected for a European launch by the original summer 2013 launch. AG


SEAT will be hoping its new Leon can give the firm more fleet sales when it hits the market next year.

The new hatchback, on sale this month, will be priced from £15,670 with first deliveries in March 2013. Low CO2 is one of its major attributes: the Leon 1.6 TDI 105 PS with Ecomotive Technology returns 74.3mpg and 99g/km, while even the most powerful version at launch, the 2.0 TDI 184bhp FR, boasts an average consumption figure of 65.7mpg, with 112g/km CO2.

Tidily, if conservatively styled, the new Leon comes with a lot of kit as standard, including air conditioning, twin halogen headlamps with electric adjustment, an mp3 compatible six-speaker CD player, integrated hands-free phone operation with Bluetooth audio streaming, and a colour touchscreen interface.

Built on the new MQB Volkswagen Group platform that allows for cheaper construction costs and lighter materials, the Leon is shorter than it predecessor, yet is lighter, with a bigger boot and more interior space. SM


For fleets needing off-road capability on a budget, the new Fiat Panda 4×4 – the only four-wheel drive model in the A segment – made its debut at the show.

The successor to a bestseller which first appeared almost 30 years ago, two engine versions of the Fiat Panda 4×4 are available, both with Stop&Start: the new 85bhp 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 75bhp 1.3 MultiJet II diesel. SM


The Countryman has broadened MINI’s appeal into the C-Segment, and its three-door sibling the Paceman should continue to do so. Engines from launch start     with the 112bhp Cooper D, which should offer CO2 emissions of 115g/km, similar to the equivalent Countryman, and range up to the 184bhp Cooper S. AG


The German giant showed off its two most recent mainstream models – the new A-Class and CLS Shooting Brake, as well as previewing a number of electric vehicle innovations, including the limited run SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive, which has 1,000Nm of torque and manages the 0-62mph sprint in 3.9 seconds.

More pertinent to fleets was the Concept B-Class Electric Drive, with the batteries housed under the floor and a 130 mile range. It is likely a production version will go on sale in 2014. SM


Kia unveiled the stunning new pro_cee’d and Carens MPV, continuing the firms run of good form and no doubt cementing a further rise in sales over the next year.

Sitting slightly lower than the five door version, but more adventurously styled, the new three-door pro_cee’d is not expected to be a major seller – around 10-15% of cee’d sales – but it will give the brand that X factor car that gets Kia recognised among buyers who care more for style than value for money. Indeed, it looks like that next year will see a 200bhp hot version to further carry the Kia badge into new markets.

For fleets, the new Carens will be a bigger seller. The last of the “old” models to be replaced by new Peter Schreyer-penned designs, the new MPV will take the place of both the current model and Sedona, and is likely to run the cee’d’s engine. Executives are currently deciding whether to fit the Carens with five or seven seats as standard. The latter is looking favourite. SM


Peugeot has a plethora of new models on the way in 2013, but the 2008 compact crossover is the one it sees as most fleet-relevant, competing in a growing sector against the popular Škoda Yeti, Nissan Juke and newcomers such as the Vauxhall Mokka and Chevrolet Trax. Likely to look very similar to the luminous concept car shown at the Motor Show, 2008 will get the carmaker’s efficiency-tuned three-cylinder engines and e-HDI micro-hybrid diesels and could be the first in its class to dip under 100g/km CO2. AG


Toyota’s second-generation Auris will be available as a Touring Sports version, available with the same hybrid powertrain as the hatchback and aiming for the 25% of mainstream C-segment market where the carmaker has yet to compete.

Designing the Auris hatchback for a hybrid drivetrain from launch has allowed Toyota to package it as neatly as in the Yaris. This means there’s no loss of space in the hatchback, and that the Auris Touring Sports will offer the same luggage and cabin capacity as its conventionally powered siblings.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for the hybrid have not been released yet, but are said to be under the outgoing car’s 89g/km and 74.3mpg. This would put the Touring Sports Hybrid at around 90mpg, adding to the fleet appeal enjoyed by its predecessor. AG


Renault exhibited two new cars, the new Clio and electric ZOE, on its vast stand.

The new Clio is vital for the firm and comes with some super-efficient engines: a new 0.9-litre three cylinder TCe 90 Stop&Start petrol turbo motor offering 65.7mpg and 99g/km, and the 1.5 dCi 90 Stop&Start with 88.3mpg and 83g/km of CO2 being the highlights.

As with all small cars now, it comes with a long list of personalisation options including a selection of roof designs, while in the much-improved cabin, the Clio debuts R-Link, Renault’s new integrated touchscreen multimedia tablet that is connected both to the car and to the internet, with standard features including TomTom navigation and voice command control for use of the telephone and navigation system. SM


Vauxhall is entering the image-conscious end of the A-segment with the ADAM, which goes on sale next February with a claimed 6.5 million combinations of body colours, wheels, interiors and graphics to ensure two need ever be identical.

Pricing starts at £11,255, higher than a Corsa and key rival the Fiat 500, but just under that of an entry-level MINI. There will be three distinct trim levels, and three petrol engines offering up to 99bhp at launch, followed by the first of Vauxhall’s new direct injection turbocharged units and matched gearboxes later in its life cycle. AG


Entering what’s looking set to become a crowded segment, the Chevrolet Trax shares its underpinnings and drivetrain line-up with the Vauxhall Mokka. This means CO2 emissions starting at 120g/km for the 1.7-litre diesel engine, and a choice of two and four wheel drive and manual or automatic gearboxes for this and the 1.4-litre turbo petrol. Chevrolet hasn’t released pricing yet, but could start at around £15,000 matching key rival the Škoda Yeti. AG


The second car to feature the carmaker’s SKYACTIV Technology, which claims to boost both economy and driver enjoyment, the new Mazda6 is open for ordering this month with first cars due to arrive in the UK early next year.  One of the prettiest models in its class, Mazda is targeting a 50% sales uplift Europe-wide during 2013.

The athletic saloon has translated flawlessly into an equally stylish Tourer, which broke cover in Paris. This adds £1,700 to the price, but features a wide rear load area with the ability to stow the cargo cover under the boot floor. CO2 emissions for the new 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel start at 108g/km for the saloon, and 116g/km for the Tourer. Turn to page 26 for our first drive of what should be a key fleet car for Mazda. AG


Paris marked the introduction of Citroën’s entirely logical, very stylish DS3 Cabrio, which will pitch for a share of the Fiat 500C and Mini Cabriolet’s sales when it arrives next year. But DS3 Cabrio will also be the first model to feature Citroën’s new turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engines, which will offer CO2 emissions starting at 99g/km in the C3.

Launched under the PureTech banner, the range will comprise 1.0 and 1.2-litre units with 68bhp and 82bhp respectively, while CO2 emissions will be between 99g/km and 104g/km. DS3 Cabrio will get the 1.2-litre engine, likely to be rolled out in the hatchback as part of a planned subtle mid-life refresh in line with the soft-top’s new styling. Both power outputs will be available in the C3. AG


One of the first mainstream manufacturers to launch an electric vehicle in the UK, Mitsubishi is following the i-MiEV with a plug-in hybrid version of the newly-launched Outlander SUV. Uniquely, not only is this the only plug-in hybrid in its class, but it’s the first car to feature electrically-powered all wheel drive too.

The system uses an electric motor on each axle to drive the wheels, with an efficient petrol engine either working as a generator or assisting the front motor. Mitsubishi is claiming sub-50g/km CO2 emissions and over 170mpg, with performance similar to a V6 petrol and the unique ability to drive off road using only electric power. AG

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