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Highlights from the Paris Motor Show

The Paris Motor Show is one of the biggest events on the motoring calendar this year, so its no surprise that many of the worlds car manufacturers have something exciting and special to show off on their elaborate stands and rotating plinths, shrouded by swarms of press photographers and very beautiful show girls.

In fact, theres so much on show this year, were only focusing on the production cars that are grabbing all of the headlines and most importantly – matter to you as a consumer the most. So, lets kick things off with

Volkswagen Golf Mk VII

VW Golf Paris Motorshow
The Volkswagen Group may have plenty of stuff on display at the Mondial dAutomobile this year youve got, amongst other things, the new Seat Leon, the face lifted Lamborghini Gallardo and the Skoda Rapid saloon but the car that really matters to Wolfsburgs most famous business is the new Golf.
Whilst you do have to look carefully to notice any major design differences between the new car and the one you can still find at your nearest VW dealership, its inside and under the skin where all the big changes have happened. Build quality is said to have been improved, the longer and wider wheelbase means theres more interior space than before, and the reduction in weight helps improve the ride, handling and perhaps most crucially, especially for the 88mpg BlueMotion model fuel economy.
Volkswagen is also saying that prices are expected to remain roughly as they are for the current Golf so, given how popular the Mk. 6 is, we expect the new one to be a hit when it goes on sale in October. Though you will have to wait a bit longer for the 220bhp Golf GTI to burst onto the scene

Peugeot 208 GTi

Peugeot 208 GTI Paris Motorshow
And now on from one GTI to another, even though it is one weve already seen in concept form at Marchs Geneva Motor Show. And dont worry we expect youre sick to death of hearing about the endless comparisons with that certain hot hatch from the 80s, so you wont find any mention of its name here!
Still, for those who are in doubt that this new car will the worthy successor of the hot hatch which shall not be named, you may want to browse through the spec sheets: the wider front tracks and rather low 1,160kg kerb weight should mean its fun to drive down twisty roads, whilst the 200bhp 1.6 turbocharged motor promises some pretty awesome real world pace. Though we wont know for sure until Peugeot actually releases the performance stats
Peugeot also hasnt revealed how much itll be worth when it eventually goes on sale at the start of the year. However, we hope that theyve been sensible with the pricing slot it into its own unique spot in the market, and the troubled French firms new hot hatch could prove to be, in sales terms at least, the 205 GTis true successo.DAMN IT!!

Range Rover

Range Rover Paris Motorshow
Undoubtedly one of the biggest stars of this years Paris Motor Show (and not just because its longer than the car it replaces), theres been loads of hype around the new Range Rover. The baby Evoque model may have ushered in Land Rovers premium and luxury image, but the new Rangie takes it up to an all-new level altogether!
Inside, the cabin is trimmed in materials that wouldnt look out of place on a Bentley, whilst the increase in the wheelbase length means theres even more space inside (not that it was cramped in the old car), whilst the less bluff front end gives the car a more modern look, whilst still retaining the presence of a Range Rover. You even get quite a few cool gadgets, such as the split tailgate that is all operated electrically from the touch of a button.
But what the Land Rover engineers are really proud of is the fact it weights a staggering 420kg lighter than the current Range Rover, thanks to an-almost complete redesign of the aluminium chassis. Yes, that still makes the Rangie a two tonne-plus car, but perhaps now itll inch the dynamics closer to the standards set by the Porsche Cayenne.
Not that most Range Rover buyers care about the handling of their posh and plush SUV.

Renault Clio

Renault Clio Paris Motorshow
Considering that Renault is one of Frances biggest car makers, its surprising it only had one new offering to the home fans this year. That said, when its something of as paramount importance as the new Clio, and you can sort of understand why La Regie is putting so much emphasis on its solitary new product.
Weve already had a brief look at the stats we currently have on the new C-segment hatch, and its safe to say were quite impressed with it on paper. Well leave you to make your mind up about the way it looks, but theres no denying it looks like a much more upmarket product than the previous car. Which, in a market thats dominated by Audis, BMWs and Volkswagens, could prove to be more crucial than it initially seems.
The big new announcement, though, is the new Renaultsport Clio, which is almost radically different underneath from the current car the powers the same at 197bhp, but theres more torque, the 1.6 engine is now turbocharged and itll only come with a dual-clutch auto. Not exactly the ideal setup for the hard-core driving enthusiasts amongst you, but it is a Renaultsport after all, so dont rule it out for the count just yet

Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero Paris Motorshow
As much as Renault would like us to focus on the Clio, though, theres no denying that the new Sandero from baby budget brand Dacia is of interest as well. And not just because a certain Top Gear presenter will undoubtedly be very excited about it.
Being based on old Renault hardware in order to keep the price down, were told that the new Sandero will promise tempting value for money. However, dont go thinking its a cheap and nasty bit of kit yes, its no VW Polo, but if the exterior is anything to go by, it certainly looks more classy and expensive than its affordable roots would lead you to believe.
But the best bit about the Sandero is that itll be sold alongside the Duster in UK showrooms in the not-too distant future for under 7,000. So, yeah, that makes it worthy of a quick mention in this Paris Show round-up in our books!

Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar F Type Paris Motorshow
As that timeless saying goes, the best things come to those who wait, and now we can round up this motor show summary with what is undoubtedly the star of this years Mondial dAutomobile: the Jaguar F-Type.
As its name implies, the new roadster is the spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type from the Sixties, and the F-Types spec sheets suggests that Jaguars latest sports car will do the spirit of Sir William Lyons proud. After all, its a performance car thats been honed to death around the Nurburgring, and boasts the power of a supercharged V6 with either 340bhp or 375bhp (depending on which version you opt for) or, if youre a bit of a speed junkie, theres also a 493bhp 5.0 supercharged V8.
The only niggle is that, with the most basic cars costing you 58,000, the F-Type certainly isnt cheap, especially when the base model is competing with the vastly cheaper Boxster. However, the more powerful versions are competitively priced against the 911, and – lets be honest – if you were in the market for a 60K sports car, youd consider the F-Type on looks alone, wouldnt you?
So, thats our Paris Motor Show road car round-up done and dusted. Is there anything else that you saw which caught your interest? Do you even think we missed a key car or two? Let us know in the comments section below!
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