Brawn, beauty & batteries at Paris Motor Show

Volkswagen ID
Volkswagen IDPHOTOS: AUDI, BMW, HONDA, LAND ROVER, NISSAN, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN
Nissan Micra Gen5
Nissan Micra Gen5PHOTOS: AUDI, BMW, HONDA, LAND ROVER, NISSAN, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN
Audi RS 3 Saloon
Audi RS 3 SaloonPHOTOS: AUDI, BMW, HONDA, LAND ROVER, NISSAN, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN
Porsche Panamera
Porsche PanameraPHOTOS: AUDI, BMW, HONDA, LAND ROVER, NISSAN, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover DiscoveryPHOTOS: AUDI, BMW, HONDA, LAND ROVER, NISSAN, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN
Toyota C-HR
Toyota C-HRPHOTOS: AUDI, BMW, HONDA, LAND ROVER, NISSAN, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN
Honda Civic Type R Concept
Honda Civic Type R ConceptPHOTOS: AUDI, BMW, HONDA, LAND ROVER, NISSAN, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN
BMW ConceptX2
BMW ConceptX2PHOTOS: AUDI, BMW, HONDA, LAND ROVER, NISSAN, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN

Here are eight highlights at the ongoing Paris Motor Show

Despite recent terror attacks, the City of Light has not dimmed one bit as far as cars are concerned.

This year's Paris Motor Show, which runs till Oct 16, is underscored by a huge display of brawn, beauty and batteries, despite the notable absence of some big names such as Ford, Mazda and Volvo.

Here are a few highlights at the event, which demonstrate an intent to do away with tailpipes even as carmakers chase sleek lines and more muscle.

•The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.


1) VOLKSWAGEN ID

One of the show-stoppers, the Volkswagen ID concept is the first of a fleet of tailpipe-less models in VW's plan to produce up to one million electric cars in a decade.

Scheduled for launch in 2020, the practical five-door hatchback can travel between 400 and 600km on a single 15-minute charge.

The 125kW car will come with an autonomous drive system by 2025.

The ID shared the limelight with two other electric cars: the outrageous Renault Trezor concept racer and the second-generation Renault Zoe micro-mini.


2) NISSAN MICRA GEN5

Nissan's stand comprises only its fifth-generation Micra in various colours.

Faithful to the Sway concept car first seen at last year's Geneva Motor Show, Nissan says the cabin is among the biggest in its class.

It features Active Ride Control to enhance ride comfort and Active Trace Control to reduce understeer and sharpen handling.

A 900cc turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel both developing 90bhp are the engine choices for now. A 73bhp 1-litre normally aspirated petrol engine will follow.


3) AUDI RS 3 SALOON

The RS 3 Saloon is the first compact Audi saloon to wear an RS badge since the RS4 10 years ago.

It sports a five-cylinder 2.5 TFSI engine last seen in the RS 3 Sportback, but its horsepower has been bumped up by 33bhp to 400bhp.

It is the most powerful five-pot engine in the world.

Torque is 480Nm, facilitating a zero-to-hundred sprint of 4.1 seconds. The heady output is transmitted to an all-wheel-drive system through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.


4) PORSCHE PANAMERA

The second-generation Panamera makes its public premiere at the motor show.

Launched in 2009, the four-door coupe now looks more like the stretched Porsche 911 it always intended to be.

The car is bigger, but cuts a sleeker silhouette.

The engines are a 4-litreV8 in the Turbo, a 4-litre V8 for the 4S Diesel and a 2.9-litre V6 in the 4S.

The 4E-Hybrid joins the range with a 2.9-litre V6 engine and an electric motor producing a combined output of 462bhp and 700Nm.


5) LAND ROVER DISCOVERY

The fifth-generation Discovery now sports the avant-garde styling of its siblings.

Touted as a highly capable premium off-roader, it has seven full-sized adult seats.

The seating layout can be reconfigured via an In Control Remote smartphone app, switches in the luggage area or the touchscreen display.

It uses Jaguar-Land Rover’s Ingenium 2-litre four-cylinder diesel with either 180bhp or 240bhp.A3-litre V6 diesel or petrol power plant will also be available. All are paired with an eight-speedZF gearbox.


6) TOYOTA C-HR

Toyota’s Coupe-High Rider or C-HR is a new crossover.

It is a marriage of arches, indentations and lines which blend to produce a beefy and eye-catching sport utility vehicle with coupe lines faithful to the concept version.

It is powered by a 1.8-litre hybrid powerplant producing 122bhp and 142Nm of torque or a 116bhp1.2-litre turbo engine with 185Nm of torque.

Cars for Singapore will have a continuously variable transmission.


7) HONDA CIVIC TYPE R CONCEPT

The Type R Concept hints at the next Type R to be unveiled next year.

Based on the 10th generation Civic hatchback, it is a five-door Civic on steroids. Wide muscular wheel arches, aggressive bumpers, a huge rear spoiler and three functional tailpipes add to the occasion.

Honda is silent as to the engine and drive train, but the next Type R should still feature a 2-litre four-pot turbo unit and six-speed manual gearbox from the current model, and should have in excess of 300bhp.


8) BMW CONCEPTX2

The BMW ConceptX2 also made its world debut in Paris. The X2 is expected to go into production in a couple of years to complete the Xseries from 1 to 6.

The ConceptX2 should look close to the production model, sans the big wheels and tractor thread tyres.

BMW design head Karim Habib says: “This is a sporty vehicle with a bold character and it allows us to open up some fascinating new design possibilities for the BMW brand.”

No engine details were revealed, but expect the current four-cylinder turbo charged engines in the BMW portfolio.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2016, with the headline 'Brawn, beauty & batteries'. Print Edition | Subscribe