September 27, 2010 11:20
The 2010 Paris Motor Show kicks off Thursday at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles with some 50 car manufacturers and 330 parts makers participating, and at least 30 new models will make their world premiere. To meet the theme "The Future, Now," much of the focus will be on sophisticated eco-friendly models, but 10 automakers including Citroën, Peugeot, Renault and Alfa Romeo will also showcase historic models.
◆ High-End Models to Dazzle Viewers
Several new luxury European cars are slated to hit the market from the end of this year, including Mercedes-Benz' updated four-door coupe CLS, which will debut in Paris. Introduced in 2004, the CLS is known for breaking the design mould at Mercedes. The latest model was designed by Hubert Lee, the head of Mercedes' advanced design studio in California.
Audi will unveil its all-new five-door A7 Sportback coupe, while Bentley will reveal a revamped version of the Continental GT coupe which first debuted eight years ago. The show also will exhibit the Ferrari 599 Roadster, the new Range Rover Evoke by Land Rover which boasts CO2 emissions of less than 130 g, and the V60 wagon version of Volvo's sleek new S60 sedan.
◆ Fierce Competition in Small, Mid-Sized Segments
The show will also reflect the heated competition in the small and mid-sized car segments, which account for over 80 percent of total car sales in Europe. Hyundai Motor will debut its new ix20 multi-purpose vehicle based on the Kia Venga, which Hyundai hopes will boost its European market share. GM will release the face-lifted Chevrolet Captiva (sold as the GM Daewoo Winstorm in Korea), the seven-seater Orlando MPV, the Chevrolet Cruze (GM Daewoo Lacetti Premier) five-door hatchback, and the new Chevrolet Aveo (GM Daewoo Gentra). Volkswagen's latest Passat will also make its debut.
◆ Eco-Friendly Models
The green auto trend has been growing for the past several years but recently it seems to have polarized, with practical ultra-small electric vehicles or scooters on one end of the spectrum and pricey electric sports cars on the other. In Paris, Hyundai will showcase five new models of its Blue series with much greater fuel efficiency than previous models like the i10 and ix35 (Tucson). Kia will roll into the show with its three-seater POP electric car targeted at young drivers.
Honda will debut a hybrid version of its Jazz compact, while Peugeot will launch the world's first full-diesel hybrid, the 3008 HYbrid4. Also to be unveiled are the CT 200h, Lexus' first-ever full-hybrid hatchback, and the Renault DeZir electric sports car.
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