The outlook at Paris’s Motor Show 2012 may have been described as ‘gloomy’ this year reflecting the ‘doom and gloom’ surrounding the European market, but the sun still managed to set on the line-up of astonishing new creations from Bentley, Jaguar, McLaren, and Nissan. Outlandish concept cars and cars modelled like vans gave manufactures the excuse to go a little mad and gave audiences a chance to preview cars that could one-day join the ultimate ‘boy toys’ list.
The Bentley boys may not be renowned for making delicate sport cars, but were still out to prove that they were serious about their ambition to become the ‘king’ of the world’s racetracks with their lighter model design. Based on Bentley’s continental GT Speed coupe – the fastest ever road car, the luxury concept wore wide fenders, a massive rear spoiler and plenty of carbon fibre parts to improve aerodynamics. Pair this with some new number plates for ultimate kudos.
The all new Range Rover, produced by Jaguar, wowed the crowd with its all-aluminium sleek body (the only all-aluminium SUV in the world). It was showcased in an impressive water feature which highlighted its huge weight loss of 420kg – compared to its predecessor.
McLaren’s ‘Ultimate car’ the P1 was rarely seen without crowds surrounding it, ‘ooing’ and ‘ahhing’. McLaren previewed its car as a ‘design study’ but stated that 95% of the exterior look will be retained when they unleash a production version.
Nissan was all about showcasing its futuristic vision with its Terra which could have easily been called the Nissan e-Terra. The ‘daring’ concept car had an ipad styled tablet serving as an ‘intelligent key’ and controlled all functions of the vehicle.
Fiat’s entry to the 2012 show, the new Panda 4×4, looked tiny and rugged but was said to have the ability to gambol up the meanest of mountains! The Panda has a permanent four-wheel drive system, managed by an electronic control unit that can distribute the proportion “homogenously and proportionally” depending on the road conditions.
A vast amount of cars that modelled themselves on vans or car-van crossovers also left audiences suitably impressed. The Ford Tourneo Connect was certainly more a family friendly small van than a car. Aimed squarely at families that do a lot of hauling, the car featured sliding doors, a full size panoramic roof and the option of five or seven seats. The Tourneo Connect is scheduled to go on sale in Europe during the second half of 2013 and is probably the only car from the show likely to save you money with its cheap running cost combined with Cheap Van Insurance from Autonet.
The Townspod – a mix of a car and a van was ‘quirky’ in style and displayed its very own futuristic features, allowing drivers to ‘customise’ the car to his or her exact needs. Inside, the concept features a low flat floor for convenience, a small joystick to head forwards and backwards and mounted touchscreens showing battery charge level and a sat-nav option. Outside the car featured van-like split rear doors to ease loading and boost access.
Finally the Peugeot concept van, which was a surprising guest to a car motor show, attracted the wrong type attention with its prominent snout like front. This is one van that had a somewhat confused identity and could have indeed passed as scarily huge silver foil wrapped pig!
Written by Suzanne Jordan