2012 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris Part One- Abarth to Fisker

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2012 Paris Motor Show

SEE ALSO: Press Pass Coverage - 2012 Paris Motor Show

2012 Paris Auto Show Report – Part One

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel

AMSTERDAM, September 24, 2012; Remember the 2012 Geneva Auto Show? We reported a waterfall of new cars presented in the Swiss city at Lac Leman. And that is only half a year ago. Now we are expecting again a slew of new models to be presented in Paris on September 27th. The organizers scheduled around forty press conferences starting at 07.30 am with 15 minutes slots. That is why we will give an overview of the know unveilings so far in several parts.

This is what right now is know of the upcoming presentations at the this year’s Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris.


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The tuning division of Fiat already came up with the 500 Abarth, but in Paris the attention will go to the new Abarth 695 Fuori, with another 20 more horsepower, bringing the total of the little bomb to 180 hp. The presentation goes together with the introduction of Abarth’s customizing service: buyers can work with Abarth designers and engineers to customize practically every part of their car.

Alfa Romeo

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Alfa has no new models, but tries to get some attention with the celebration of the 5 year relationship with the Superbike championship. Therefore the Italians unveil two special MiTo models. The first is the MiTo Superbike Limited Edition of which only 200 will be built. It is equipped with the 170 hp strong 1.4-liter MultiAir engine of the Mito Quadrifoglia Verde. The other, the MiTo Superbike Special Series, is not limited but just got some body tuning

Aston Martin

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The British sports car manufacturer comes to Paris with the all-new Vanquish, which replaces the DBS. It has a carbon fiber composite body and the reworked 6.0-liter V12 engine with 565 hp, which should propel the Aston Martin from zero to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds.
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For better handling the engine lies nearly an inch lower, while the 6-seed gearbox shifts now 37 per cent faster in Sport mode and the steering gear has a quicker ratio. The Vanquish represents the first of the new generation of cars with a completely redesigned in- and exterior. The V12 Vantage Convertible debuts with the same 517 hp strong V12 that powers the Coupe.
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The topless version will be available on designated markets in limited numbers.

Also expect to see the DB9 Coupe and Volante, which gets a new design and more power.


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Audi’s most important news is the world premiere for Audi of the A3 Sportback. With a nearly 1.5 inches longer wheel base than the 3-door model, the Sportback offers more room for the rear passengers as well as a bigger luggage compartment. The new model is nearly 200 lbs lighter than its predecessor and will also get the new 1.2 TFIS and 1.4 TFSI with COD (cylinder on demand) technology. The 1.4 TCNG power plant, that uses natural gas, will follow in 2013. A year later there will be an e-tron plug-in hybrid.

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Another debut is planned for the sporty S3. The three-door model has a new 2.0-liter TFSI petrol motor with 211 kW/300 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. With a 132 pounds lower weight compared to its predecessor, the fuel economy should go down to 6.9 l/100 km, without compromising performance. The new S3 sprints in 5.1 seconds from 0-62 mpg

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Also the RS5 Cabriolet will have its world premiere in Paris. The four-seater gets a light weight soft top and the 4.2-liter V8 engine with 331 kW/450 hp, good for a sprint from 0-62 mph in less than 5 seconds (don’t lose your top!).

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The Q5 SUV gets a marginal facelift, while the SQ5 TDI Exclusive Concept is limited version by the Audi Quattro division. Limited indeed as only 50 units will be built. They get the same 209 hp 3.0 liter bi-turbo diesel, but will have new exterior and interior details.

With a face lift the R8 does gets a redesigned grille and air ducts and new LED headlamps, as well as new rear lights. The 4.2-liter V8 and 5.2-liter V10 engines get more power: 450 and 560 hp respectively. The 6-speed R-Tronic will be replaced by the 7-speed DKG double clutch transmission

New is the R8 e-tron, the electric variant, of which the weight has been limited to 3,527 pounds. The four electric motors have a combined output of 230 kW. They get energy from a 1,100 lbs lithium-ion battery pack.


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Not much is known yet of the Mulsanne Convertible Concept, apart from the drawings that Bentley sent out a couple of weeks ago, when it was presented in Pebble Beach. Do not expect the new model on the market before the second half of next year.


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BMW comes to Paris with the Concept Active Tourer, which is a study for BMW’s first front-wheel drive production model. With a size that is almost the same as that of the Mercedes B-Class, the Concept Active Tourer will mean BMW’s entrance in the premium compact segment. The Concept has a plug-in hybrid system, that combines a 3-cylinder engine and a synchronous electric motor. The combined output is 140 kW/190 hp, good for an acceleration time of less than 8 seconds. The average fuel consumption is less than 94 mpg (!) and CO2 is under 60 grams. The lithium-ion battery can be charged at a conventional socket. Its capacity is enough for a range of more than 30 km, when operated on electric power alone

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xDrive will be available for the 1 Series for the first time. The market launch will be in the 120d xDrive and the M135i xDrive. Also the new diesel entry-level model 114d will be presented in Paris.

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Of course, the i3 Concept will be presented in Paris. It is making a full year of show debuts, but more news about the production model is expected to be release at the Los Angeles auto show in November. The production version itself will probably celebrate its world premiere at the IAA Frankfurt auto show next year September. Last but not least is the reworked 7 Series. Please read our First Drive of the 2013 BMW 7 Series.


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Not confirmed, but expected is the 2013 Cadillac ATS. With the new model GM’s premium division will make another attempt to get a foothold on the European market.


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Chevrolet enters the small SUV segment with the Trax, the twin brother of the Opel Mokka, which was presented in Geneva in March.
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The Trax will arrive in some 140 countries worldwide and is expected in Europe next spring.

Also in Paris is the Spark facelift and a new 140 hp strong 1.4-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine for the Chevy Orlando, which will be combined with a 6-speed gearbox and a start-stop system.


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DS3 Electrum is the electric variant of the DS3, is new with DS3 cabriolet and face lifted C3 Picasso. The Electrum has two 87 hp electric motors driving the front wheels. The 1.75 kWh lithium-ion battery has energy for a range of 75 miles and recharges in 30 minutes from empty to full in a quick charging station.

The open version of the DS3 will also debut in Paris. Two years after the launch of the DS3, the DS3 Cabriolet has to continue the success of the model, of which 180,000 units have been sold so far. Its roof opens and closes electrically up to 75 mph.

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The C3 Picasso has been freshened up with a minor face lift: only a new front with new fog light including cornering function, two new colors and different material in the interior mark the 2013 Picasso.

Two new sedans will also be unveiled, the C4 L and the C-Elysťe, with which CitroŽn aims at fast growing upcoming markets.


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The facelifted Sandero has to fight the league of the Fiesta, Corsa and the likes. With its low price policy, the new Sandero will be an attractive offer. The new Sandero gets standard power steering, ABS and airbags, a 60:40 fold rear seats and a 320 liter boot. Just like the Sandero, also the Dacia Logan gets the new family features that were introduced on the Lodgy

There is no slot for any introduction of a Dodge at the Paris show, but may be Fiat incorporates some news during its brand presentation. Please stay tuned!

Facel Vega

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The French historical brand returns to the City of Light with a concept car. Facel built cars from the mid fifties until the mid sixties and used engines such as Chrysler’s V8’s. Facel Vega went out of business because of quality issues, especially of the in-house designed four cylinder power plant. The Facel Vega Concept shows the possibility of the return of the old name plate.

Spy photos have been circulation on the Web, but no official news yet from Ferrari. We know that the successor of the Enzo is about to arrive, which is dubbed F70 internally. Rumours are that it uses a hybrid drive train that would propel the new Ferrari to 62 mph in just over 2.5 seconds.


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The Italians will present the new Panda 4x4. In fact, the mini SUV gets a face lift, while two new engines will be available: a new 0.9-liter TwinAir turbo engine with 85 hp and the new 75 hp strong MultiJet II diesel.

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The Freemont Park Avenue, will take the stage in Paris too. The Freemont is a rebadged Dodge Journey. The Park Avenue model will get 19-inch chrome plated ally wheels and chrome exterior trim. Inside we will find among others heated leather seats and a three zone climate control.


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Expected in Paris is the production version of the Fisker Surf. The concept was unveiled last year in Frankfurt and already showed a production ready car. It will get a 2.o-liter 4-cylinder with turbocharger that acts as a generator for the electric power train. Fisker said in Frankfurt that the range would be some 300 miles.

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