Saturday, 02 July 2022

Cars of the future light up Paris

THE Paris Motor Show has always been one of my favourites because unlike some I never

THE Paris Motor Show has always been one of my favourites because unlike some I never tire of the “City of Love or Light, La Ville-Lumiere” — whatever you want to call it.

The Paris show invariably reflects that unique French take on style but is not so shabby on substance either.

And there was plenty of innovative automotive news emanating from the French capital this week at the 2016 motor show (which continues until Sunday).

Take Volkswagen: the German carmaker staged a world premiere of its I.D. electric car, which VW says “starts the countdown to a new era for Volkswagen”.

Volkswagen plans to have its “visionary” I.D. on the road in 2020. So what is the I.D. and how will it be different from current electric cars?

Well, its range for a start. VW says the I.D. “is a highly automated electric car that will cover a distance of 400 to 600 kilometres on a single battery charge”.

The production version of the I.D. is due to be launched in 2020 at a price on a par with a “comparably powerful and well-equipped Golf”.

But there’s more — or will be. Volkswagen says it is “looking even further ahead with this concept car: in I.D. Pilot mode the electric car will be “capable of fully automated driving — this technology should be ready for series production in 2025”.

Volkswagen has also set itself the goal of selling a million electric cars a year by 2025.

Next up in my Paris highlights is the all-new version of the Audi Q5 — the bestselling Audi SUV (sport utility vehicle) worldwide.

This new Q5 is up to 90kg lighter than its predecessor and has a luggage capacity increase of 10 litres, increased interior space, headroom and rear knee-room.

There will be one petrol TFSI and two diesel TDI engines available, with more power.

Plus newly developed five-link suspension and optional adaptive air suspension, with Audi drive select fitted as standard.

Ordering for the new Q5 is expected to open towards the end of this year with first deliveries anticipated in spring 2017. Audi says the all-new Q5’s ground-up reworking “brings with it an intense focus on connectivity, driver assistance, and driving dynamics”.

Audi AG board of management chairman Rupert Stadler said: “With the new Q5 we are setting the bar a notch higher. Among the great innovations are the quattro drive system with ultra technology, highly efficient engines, the air suspension with damper control and a comprehensive line-up of infotainment and assistance systems.”

Meanwhile, my old friends at Maserati were showing saloons, the Ghibli and the restyled New Quattroporte.

Maserati says these cars “feature additional high-tech content in the area of  on-board comfort and driver assistance while offering an even higher degree of customisation thanks to the new Luxury and Sport packages”.

On the Italian company’s stand was the new Levante SUV, with its unique Maserati design features and outstanding performance both on- and off-road, and the GranTurismo and the GranCabrio to complete the range.

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