The great switchover gathers pace as more electric models make Paris debut



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Like all motor shows these days, Paris is accelerating the advent of our electric futures.

Of course, there are plenty of what we’re now calling traditional cars being launched.

And there are always advances towards autonomous driving.

But most marques are announcing, planning or unveiling an electric version of some sort or another.

Mazda, for example, has confirmed it will have its first two electrified cars in 2020 – one will be a full-battery EV, the other will be a rotary-engined hybrid range extender.

BMW is targeting 2021 as its production date for a new i4. It will build the all-electric model on the 4 Series GT platform using the latest EV tech.

Mercedes, meanwhile, plans to make its EQA electric hatchback at its plant in Hambach, France.

In Paris, but due soon at dealerships, are the likes of the electric Audi e-tron and the Mercedes EQC SUV.

Here’s a quick run-through of some of the main debuts at what many are reporting to be an unusually quiet show this year.

That is due, in part, to the absence of some major brands such as Volkswagen and Ford.

Audi

The e-tron, recently unveiled, makes an appearance. It will have a range of more than 400 km, based on the WLTP driving cycle.

The bigger, more robust A1 is due in the fourth quarter as a renewed rival to the MINI. We have already reported on the revised Q3. The SQ2, a rival for the MINI Countryman, gets a 296bhp engine.

BMW

The new 3 Series is due for March next year. Big improvement in the cabin, new technology and claimed class-leading dynamics. In other words, a good driving car. There is still plenty of room for them. So much so, BMW says it has tuned its compact saloon to “defeat rivals at every level”. Strong words.

The Z4 marks BMW’s return to the roadster market in this segment and shares its platform with Toyota’s revived Supra sports car.

The 8 Series also makes a show debut while the electric i3 gets more batteries and longer range.

The X5 gets a much fresher look and is bigger on all fronts.

Citroen

The new C5 Aircross compact SUV is its first model to get a plug-in hybrid version.

It will have a battery-only range of 50km. Sales in Europe start this autumn, with the plug-in hybrid arriving late in 2019.

The DS3 changes from a 3dr hatch to 5dr crossover, hence DS3 Crossback. It will have a full-electric version with 300km range as well as petrol and diesel engines.

The C5 Aircross Hybrid concept debuts. Due by 2020 with 225bhp and 249lb ft on tap. Electric-only range is a claimed 50kms.

Honda

The CR-V hybrid is due early 2019. Already in Ireland is the 1.5-litre petrol turbo (173bhp). There will be no diesel.

Hyundai

The i30 Fastback N debuts. It’s a performance car at an affordable price, powered by a 2-litre turbo petrol engine.

Kia

The new e-Niro electric car launches with 480km range. It’s a 191-reg seller. The Proceed, latest addition to the Ceed family, has a 5dr shooting brake bodystyle and is lower and longer than the Ceed hatch and SW.

Lexus

The RC gets a facelift echoing the LC coupe, as well as handling and ride tweaks.

Mercedes

Their new B-Class is revealed (on a new, lighter platform) and gets more of a design input. Like the A-Class it majors on driver aids and a high-tech cabin. The automaker also has the EQC electric SUV, the latest GLE SUV and the European version of the A-class saloon. The latter will be a big car for Irish buyers next year. The EQC electric SUV is due here this time next year. The new GLE large SUV will also have a long-range plug-in hybrid variant.

Peugeot

It has plug-in hybrid versions of the 3008, 508 and the lovely 508SW. Their e-Legend electric concept is a dramatically styled coupe and showcases future autonomous technologies as well, of course, as a full-electric drivetrain.

Porsche

The Macan gets a mild mid-life refresh.

Renault

Unveiled electric compact model concept called the K-Ze, on Monday. Will be launched in China and has a claimed 240km range. Expected in Europe by 2021. There will also be a hybrid Clio and a plug-in Captur and Mégane by 2020. The Kadjar gets a minor facelift but lots of work has been carried out under the skin. There is a new 1.3-litre petrol and revised 1.5-litre dCi diesels.

SEAT

The Tarraco was revealed recently, expanding Seat’s SUV line-up to three, joining the Ateca and Arona SUVs as the largest of the trio. It will come with five or seven seats.

SKODA

Revealed two vRS performance models: the Kodiaq (scheduled here in December) and Vision RS. The latter is a replacement for the Rapid and is being shown as a 242bhp plug-in hybrid version to compete with the Golf. The Karoq Scout gets the off-road treatment: four-wheel drive is standard, while the Sportline gets an exclusive 2-litre TSI 187bhp engine.

Suzuki

Showed its quirky but historically popular Jimny, and the Vitara gets a facelift – new engine line-up and a styling tweak.

Toyota

There is a debut for the Corolla Touring Sports, a wagon version of the new Corolla. It replaces the Auris wagon, due early next year. First arrivals of the new RAV4 SUV are expected from the first week in January, while the Camry hybrid with its 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain is due in early April.

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2018-10-04T11:34:02+00:00

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