Paris Motor Show: the Knowledge

The Weird

lexus-kinetic

Lexus Kinetic Seat Concept

Citroen Experience. Damn you, Citroen. You show us a sleek, muscular hatchback with a clean cabin and hybrid power… then say it’s just a styling exercise. Not a new C4.

Bentley Bentayga Diesel. Imagine this tri-turbo Audi V8 wearing the flying ‘B’ crest and plumbed into a Bentley’s uber-4×4. Yikes. Claimed 621-mile range, 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds.

Lexus Kinetic Seat Concept. Arachnophobes, look away now. Lexus has made a car seat inspired by spider silk, designed to support your body more effectively. Not catch flies.

Mitsubishi Gt Phev Concept. It looks good, in a bluff, come-at-me-Evoque sort of way. And it needs to, because Mitsubishi is branding its design study a “Ground Tourer’. Sigh.

 

 

 

The Worthy – And Now for Something Real World

Peugeot 5008peugeot-5008

Few people cared about the Peugeot 5003 when it was a van-tike seven-seat MPV (there, have you placed it now?), but the smart money Peugeot’s spent on reimagining it as a geometric crossover with a truly sensational cabin suggests the second coming will be worth a look. It’s a rival for the Skoda Kodiaq, with seven seats and a cabin that’s Iron Man to the Skoda’s Iron Giant, but Pug’s wrapped it up in a stand-out body. Unless you’re paranoid about off-road smarts (which are palpably absent from the repertoire here), Pug could’ve nailed it second time round.

Honda Civic

honda-civic-type-r

Hoda Civic Type R

Yes, it’s still got a spoiler across the back window, but that’s pretty much the only detail translated from the old Civic hatch onto this new one, which doesn’t go on sale over here until spring next year. That’s when we get the new 129bhp 1.0-litre turbo petrol – diesels don’t come until next autumn. While you’re waiting, digest the fact this Civic is massive 250mm longer than a Golf, and gets a huge list of tech as standard, like lane-keep assist, traffic-sign reading, blind-spot assist, reversing camera and adaptive cruise. There’s a Type-R sooner this time.

Hyundai i30hyunday

The new Hyundai i30 will very probably be an excellent car. It’s available with all manner of anti-rash and auto-cruise gadgets, it’s got useful 395-litre boot, and there are flaps in the front grille that close at speed to cut drag. It’ll have a big warranty and a tiny 1.0-litre thirst. But flipping heck, is it dreary to look at, inside and out. Korea has spent two decades chasing the Europeans, and while succeeding, totally forgot to style this one. Here’s hoping the 262bhp “i30 N” hot-hatch version coming soon ups the aesthetic ante.

Kia Riokia-rio

The new Rio looks similar to the old one, but boxier. And angrier. All told, the square-jawed, angry-faced little tyke is kinda handsome. The cabin’s nicely executed too, if a little heavy on the Audi and BMW tributes. Still, if you’re going to copy anyone, may as well be the class-leaders, right? Same goes for the handling, we hope – Kia says its new suspension set-up and choice of 1.0-litre or 1.4 turbo motors will finally give its ‘mini some driving smarts. There’s lots of big-car tech on offer too, like pedestrian-spotting auto braking and lane-departure warning.

 

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