We say these are highlights to look out for at the 2016 Paris Motor Show but they are more like a road map, with projected milestones. Although there is obviously going to be an amplified buzz about electric propulsion (no bookmaker would take bets against at this point), expect battery-powered cars to be present for the most part in purely conceptual form at this year’s show. This leaves plenty of opportunity for crossovers, coupés and convertibles to generate a current of excitement. Having said that, technological advances in the auto industry are hardly limited to batteries and one particular idea, about the user experience, will be making an appearance at the Paris Motor Show.
A UX Concept
As cars move from being a simple form of personal transportation to potentially being the digital hub of the connected consumer and his or her equally connected home, so too does the definition of its user experience. Its systems have to be as fun and immersive to use as the driving experience is keen.
Therefore the Lexus UX Concept is an aggressively styled crossover on the outside – one that takes the company’s current design language and projects it into the next decade – and a simple-to-use supercomputer on the inside.
Interior of the Lexus UX Concept
The crossover is also the starting point for Mercedes’ show car, an electrified SUV that will be able to compete with the recently launched Model X in terms of luxury, technology and range.
Crossovers for All
As exciting as these models promise to be, it will be conventionally powered, real-world production vehicles that will hog the limelight at this year’s show. And, as the SUV continues on its journey to becoming the car of choice for all motorists, no matter what their transport needs, it should come as little surprise that most of the new cars on show at this year’s event will be of the high-sided variety.
Audi will be showing off the new Q5, BMW will be unveiling the conceptual outline of the X2, a coupé version of its entry-level X1 SUV and Mercedes will be displaying the GLC Coupé AMG 43 4Matic.
There will be more mass-market crossovers on show too, including the Skoda Kodiaq, a long-wheelbase version of the VW Tiguan and the Toyota C-HR.
But the biggest off road-inspired new vehicle will be the Land Rover Discovery. It promises class leading connected technology and benchmark setting all-terrain performance. After all Land Rover is the world’s only mainstream carmaker that deals exclusively in SUV models and it is therefore under the most pressure to raise the bar.
Meanwhile, Mercedes will be showing off the AMG GT Roadster, the convertible take on its current flagship sportscar. Taking things up a gear further will be the world debut of the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T, a V8, turbocharged version of its four-seat shooting brake. There’s also a possibility that Ferrari will use this year’s show to debut the Apperta, an open top version of its Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid hypercar.
Not to be outdone, Porsche will be showcasing the Panamera, its own family sportscar in petrol and hybrid forms and potentially in shooting brake specification too.
The 2016 Paris Motor Show opens its doors to the press September 28 and 29, and the public from October 1.
Will the new 2017 Porsche Panamera be joined by a shooting break version at this year’s event?