2016 Paris Motor Show: Hatchbacks, crossovers and EVs, oh my!
As Dorothy said to Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Car shoppers may soon feel the tectonic shifts underway filter through to their local showrooms as automakers move away from traditional sedans to hatchbacks, crossover SUVs and a new generation of long-range electrics.
Looking to put the stench of its diesel scandal behind it, Volkswagen debuts a show-stopping electric vehicle based on the company’s new modular electrification architecture that promises a between-charge range of 300 miles. This comes on the heels of GM’s announcement that the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV has a range of 238 miles at an effective retail price of about $30,000 after tax credits. Beyond this introduction of a concept of an EV for everyman, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its own electric, a crossover concept called the EQ that blends two of the industry’s top attention getting segments.
Crossover conga line
Many of the cars and concepts unveiled at the show were crossover SUVs, led by Audi’s latest take on its Q5. Volkswagen-owned Skoda is rumored to be mulling its Kodiaq crossover for a possible run at the U.S. market, while Korean maker Ssangyong – also rumored to be eyeing the American market – debuted the LiV2 concept previewing the next generation of its current midsize Rexton SUV. Mitsubishi pitched the GT PHEV Concept, a high-concept preview of the next Outlander, while Lexus unveiled a similarly radical urban-oriented crossover concept dubbed UX, designed to slot between the RX and NX with coupe styling. Meanwhile, Mercedes gave us the production-ready 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe.
Land Rover pulled out all stops in debuting its all-new Discovery, initially shown 18 months ago in concept form at New York. And showing signs that even the French aren't immune to the allure of crossovers, SUVs and pickups, Peugeot showed its 3008 midsize crossover, while Renault presnted the Alaskan, its first pick-up, which is based on the Nissan Navarra, a midsize truck not to be confused with the U.S.-market Frontier.
Liftbacks lift off
A slew of liftbacks also bowed in Paris, many of these 5-door entries bound for our shores. Audi introduced the second-generation of the A5 and S5 Sportback, which we see here as only the A5 and S5 Coupe. This five-door liftback gets an all new skin and will be offered with a choice of 4-cylinder and V6 power when they’re introduced next year as 2018 models. Hyundai launched the redesigned i30 hatchback, a model known here as the Elantra GT. It incorporates many of the styling cues found in the recently redesigned sedan version. And Mini took the wraps off the all-new Countryman, a hatchback 4-door with a bit of crossover flair.
Other hatchback remakes included the all-new Kia Rio subcompact. At the other end of the scale, Porsche used Paris as the official auto-show debut of the redesigned Panamera, showcasing the E-Hybrid version of the liftback luxury sports sedan.
Paris wouldn’t be complete without a little eye candy. We got that in the form of the Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta, a limited run open-top supercar that’s already sold out. Mercedes brought two open-top versions of its AMG supercar in the the AMG GT and GT C Roadsters.
And that wasn't all of it, as you'll see in the pictures below.