We won’t know for sure until 10.30am, when the Renault press conference kicks off – but the word is that, contrary to some reports, there will be no surprise concept car from La Regie.
The whole stand is devoted to the new Clio, and the big unveiling will be the Renaultsport Clio 200. Renault sources say that design boss Laurens van den Acker didn’t want anything stealing the limelight from his first production design for his current employer, or taking the focus of the million show visitors away from a car that must sell over here, and sell strongly.
Makes a certain conservative kind of sense, I suppose. But it still seems odd that the company isn’t demonstrating its confidence and ambition to a home crowd with a show-stopping concept. Laurens is still only halfway through the cycle of seven design studies he’s using to reinvent the public perception of the Renault brand, and if you ask me, he’s missed a massive opportunity to win friends and influence people here – especially considering that Paris remains Europe’s best-attended motor show.
We’ll apparently see the next two of those show cars at Geneva, and one of them’s likely to give us a very clear indication of what the new Alpine A110 will look like.
Promising. But for me, it’s the biggest omission of the lot for French show-goers and the French car industry this autumn. With the economic outlook bleak and job losses mounting, they badly need something to look forward to.