Fleet News

Paris Motor Show preview: Blitz of new models break cover in Paris

CAR manufacturers have prepared a blitz of new products being shown to the public for the first time at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, which opens today.

There will be a range of key vehicles which will be arriving with fleet customers in the UK over the next few months.

The Alfa Romeo 147 is being shown following its first major revision since it was launched in 2001. The car gains significant front and rear end styling changes to bring it in line with the recently revised 156, 166 and GTV.

The Audi A4 has undergone significant changes, with all new body panels apart from the roof, as well as four new engines – two petrol and two diesels. The front-end appearance follows the lead of the new A6 and A3 Sportback, while the new engines include a turbocharged 2.0-litre FSI and a 3.2 V6 FSI, plus a 2.0 TDI and a 3.0 TDI quattro.

The BMW 1-series is making its motor show debut in Paris, with the latest petrol variant, the 118i, about to go on sale. However, BMW has also decided to launch a diesel version of the 3-series Convertible following the success of the 320Cd coupe.

The new M5, twin-turbo 535d and 630Ci are also expected to be on the stand.

Citroen has two key fleet vehicles being shown for the first time in Paris: the revised C5 and new C4. The C5 gains a new look with bolder styling, new diesel engines and new technology, while the C4 will replace the Xsara, giving Citroen a much-needed up-to-date model in the lower medium sector. The Citroen C3 will also be shown with new Stop and Start technology that cuts the engine when stopped. The technology will be used in other Citroen and Peugeot vehicles over the next few years.

High-performance supercharged versions of the Chrysler Crossfire are being shown in Paris as well as a new version of the Voyager with innovative fold-away seats. The 300C is on show in saloon and Touring form, but the car is still a year away from arriving in the UK.

Ford’s new Focus family is being shown together for the first time, comprising three-door and five-door hatchbacks as well as the four-door saloon and estate. The car has new diesel engines from the PSA-Ford partnership and a hi-tech petrol engine offering 115bhp and low fuel consumption and emissions.

The new Honda FR-V six-seat MPV is making its first public appearance alongside revised versions of the CR-V and the Jazz.

Both the FR-V and CR-V will gain diesel power next year using the 138bhp common rail unit from the Accord.

Hyundai is reviewing its approach to the fleet sector with the launch of the new Sonata at the show. The car will be offered with a diesel engine for the first time and should be a more sensible prospect for fleet operators. Meanwhile the revised Santa Fe will also be on view.

Jeep is showing a revised version of the Cherokee with a new front end and a new version of the 2.8 CRD engine.

Lexus has a European version of the RX400h petrol electric hybrid at the show, which promises the performance of a V8 large SUV with the fuel economy of a petrol family saloon.

Mazda is showing its new Mazda5 mini-MPV for the first time, based on the MX Flexa shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The car will replace the Premacy and is likely to go on sale in the UK early next year.

Mercedes-Benz has two new concept cars that are likely to go into production: the Vision B ‘compact sports tourer’ and the Vision R. Both cars will expand Mercedes-Benz’s presence entering new sectors.

Nissan is showing European versions of the Murano, Pathfinder and 350Z Roadster in Paris. All three will go on sale in the UK in 2005.

Peugeot’s new 1007 – the small car with electric sliding doors – is making its public debut this week as well as a revised version of the Peugeot 607.

SEAT is showing the all-new Toledo, which follows the styling theme introduced with the Altea, while Skoda has the new Octavia estate on the stand as well as the revised Fabia.

Toyota is exhibiting its new D-4D 180 ‘clean power concept’ – a high-performance clean diesel which will go into a production car during 2005, as well as the revised Land Cruiser and the Prius GT prototype.

Vauxhall’s three-door Astra is on display alongside the five-door hatchback and new estate, increasing the range of body styles available with the new car. The estate will go on sale in the UK later this year, while the three-door hatchback will be available in 2005.

Volkswagen is showing the production version of the Golf GTi alongside the rest of the Volkswagen range, while Volvo’s revised S50, V70 and XC70 will also be on display.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee