We bring you all the highlights from this year's Paris motor show
2 October 2008

The Paris motorshow begins today, and this year it plays host to more new car launches than any other we can remember.

Autocar.co.uk will be live on the show floor all day, bringing you regular blogs, videos and news updates on all the key models.

Our coverage has already begun after images of the sensational new Lamborghini Estoque leaked on to the internet.

We’ll know more about Lamborghini's rival for the Aston Rapide and Porsche Panamera when we see it in the metal later today but, on early evidence, it could steal the show.

There’s plenty more to see, though. Audi is due to reveal its four-door A1 Metroproject city car concept. It’s being billed as a potential Mini rival and the production version should be on sale by 2009. The new Audi S4 super saloon will also take pride of place on the stand.

We’ve seen BMW’s new premium compact crossover, the X1, in pictures already. Tomorrow we’ll find out if its controversial looks are any better in real life, when the baby SUV is unveiled for the first time on BMW’s stand.

The X1 is still being referred to as a concept by BMW, but we understand that production is less than six months away.

Citroen seems on top form when it comes to creating inventive and exciting concept cars. Early pictures of the Citroen Hypnos - a sleek looking C5-based crossover - caused quite a stir when they came out last week. The Hypnos has a new hybrid drivetrain, and the front-end is meant to be a preview of Citroen’s future design direction.

Elsewhere Chevrolet will be unveiling a host of important new models, most notably the production version of the groundbreaking electric Volt.

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We've already had a sneak preview when one picture of the Volt leaked onto the web. Then many commentators weren’t impressed its styling, which is conservative compared with the concept car. We'll be interested to see what the Paris show crowd makes of the Volt when the covers come off.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet’s new family saloon the Cruze will make its debut on the same stand. And so will the Chevrolet Orlando MPV. Both models are based on GM’s new Delta platform, which will underpin the next Vauxhall Astra.

Ferrari will be at Paris in force as the production version of the California is making its debut. Even though its been knocking around for a while, Maranello’s V8-engined coupe-cabriolet is sure to wow the crowds.

And at the other end of the new car spectrum, Ford will be launching its funky new Ka. Undoubtedly one of the most important new cars of the year, the new Ka shares its platform with the Fiat 500 and replaces the original model after 12-years on the market.

Honda plans to reinforce its green credentials with a cut-price, Prius-rivalling hybrid that revives the Insight badge. The Japanese giant is so confident in the Insight that it's already said it will be more affordable and more efficient than a Prius when it goes on sale worldwide.

Budget Korean brand Hyundai is launching the i20 supermini, a replacement for the successful Getz. It may not be the most alluring looking car at the show, but it’s likely to represent excellent value and should be well-made. A hybrid version of the Santa Fe 4x4 will also share their stand.

Luxury marque Lexus is unveiling a new convertible version of its big selling BMW 3 Series rival, the IS. Lexus will also preview the facelifted version of the standard IS on its Paris stand.

And, sticking with the Japanese brands for a moment, Mazda will show us its Kiyora concept - a preview of the baby Mazda 1 city car. Plus the facelifted version of the ever-popular MX-5 roadster will also be on Mazda's stand.

The Germans are in town, too. Mercedes-Benz will reveal the ConceptFascination, which is essentially the forthcoming CLK replacement's front-end shunted together with the rear of an E Class estate. The result is much more elegant than it sounds and this concept is meant to signal a change in image for the E Class range.

Nissan’s unveiling a new city car called the Pixo based on the recently released Suzuki Alto.

Meanwhile native Peugeot will show the world its sleek-looking RC Concept for the first time at Paris. This four-door, four-seat coupe ushers in a new and more exciting styling direction for the Peugeot range, which we'll see on forthcoming models like the 607 and 407.

Renault is also keen to make an impact at its local motor show. It’ll have a challenging-looking hybrid concept MPV called the Ondelious and the new Megane and Megane Coupe will be on display at its stand.

Seat will launch its new Exeo family saloon – essentially a reworked version of the last generation Audi A4. We’ll also get to see the hot Ibiza Cupra hatch for the first time.

Meanwhile,Toyota will debut the production version of the conservative-looking Avensis for the first time, which it hopes will can shake up the large family car market.

And finally, Volkswagen will unveil the sixth-generation Golf and new Golf GTI to the public for the very first time.

Like we said, more new car launches than we can remember. We’ll have details on them all, and more, here tomorrow.

Join the debate


1 November 2008

I have just been reading Steve Cropley's column concerning the Paris Motorshow and his compring it with the U.K effort at Excel. I thought this years show was a terrible disappointment and this was mainly due to the fact that many manufacturers stayed away. i don't know what it is about London but from what I have read elsewhere, BMW, VW etc stated that the event was just a day out for people and that the expense is not justified.

I think this is due to the wow factor being lost. I remember the old Earls Court show as a kid. It had everything from Classics to exotica, was publicised with an hour long special on the t.v. The attiude of the manufacturers to kids was different then too. I used to come away with carrier bags full of brochures and it was this that nurtured the passion for cars that I have today. At the last show I saw many kids get brusque treatment from show staff and no literature was available at all even for serious buyers. The only good thing in my opinion was Peugeot and Citroen offering instant test drives although the course meant i couldn't get out of second gear. I think the Paris show is successful (and Geneva too) because it has kept the pizzazz that our show has lost. It has also become very much the case that it is not socially acceptable to be a car enthusiast in Britain anymore thanks to a lot of left wing hysteria, maybe this political climate has also got something to do with Excel's lack of sparkle?

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