Ford's compact C-Max people mover gets a fresh new exterior look along with interior upgrades and an expanded range of available technologies and driver assistance systems. Inside, Ford says, there are fewer, more intuitive controls and switches as well as new black satin trim and chrome detailing. Additional storage capacity results from a redesigned centre console. Newly available features include automated perpendicular parking, cross traffic alert and park-out assist, as well as adaptive cruise control and active braking. A new 1.5-litre diesel engine will be offered in Europe, along with two variants of Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost gasoline engine. In North America, the C-Max is currently offered only in hybrid or plug-in hybrid form. The updated C-Max will go on sale across Europe in early 2015. No word yet on when it will arrive in North America.
The second generation of BMW's big hatchback crossover gets a major facelift with mostly new sheet metal, and a revised interior. It shares its hood, grille, and headlight design with the X5 SUV and its fastback rear-end with its smaller X4 sibling. It will be available for the first time in rear-wheel-drive sDrive35i form as well as all-wheel-drive xDrive35i and xDrive50i configurations. The 35i models are powered by a 300-horsepower, 3.0-litreTwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine, the xDrive50i with a 4.4-litre V-8. An M Sport package that includes an aero kit with bigger front intakes, side skirts and a rear diffuser is available on all models and new options include a self-parking system. The new X6 models will go on sale before the end of this year.
Mercedes-Benz's B-Class line, available in Canada but not yet in the U.S., is getting its first update since the second-generation model made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Styling changes encompass new front and rear fascias and some interior upgrades, including a larger infotainment display. The biggest news is the addition of three new trim lines, Style, Urban and AMG Line, along with the availability of all-wheel-drive and an all-electric model that may be offered in the U.S. Canadian B250 models are expected to continue use of a 208-horsepower , 2.0-litre four cylinder engine and 7G-DCT seven-speed automatic transmission.
Revealed earlier in a simultaneous three-city global launch, Mazda's fourth-generation MX-5 (Miata/Roadster) made its public debut in Paris. Approximately 100 kg lighter and more than 100 mm shorter than its predecessor, it incorporates Mazda's full range of SkyActiv technologies including, in North America, a 2.0-litre SkyActiv G four-cylinder gasoline engine. No power figures have been released but in the Mazda3, that engine is rated at 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed SkyActiv-MT manual transmission will be standard with a six-speed SkyActiv-At automatic optional. The new MX-5 will go on sale in mid-2015.
Replacing the LR2 in the Land Rover lineup, the seven-seat Discovery Sport echoes the styling theme of the highly successful Range Rover Evoque. Initially it will be powered by the same 240 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as the Evoque, although it will probably share a version of JLR's new 'Ingenium' line of engines as their production capacity increases. Standard features include a nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive and Land Rover’s Terrain Response off-road technology. Options include an Autonomous Emergency Braking system that detects and responde to objects in the vehicle's path that could cause a collision. It's expected to go on sale in North America early in 2015.
Volvo's all-new XC90, which was revealed earlier in Stockholm, made its public debut in Paris. Intended to compete with the likes of the Acura MDX, Audi Q5 and BMW X5, it's the first vehicle to be built on Volvo's all-new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), which is also expected to underpin the next generations of S60, V70, XC60 and S80. A range of Volvo's new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E engines, both gasoline and diesel, will be offered globally. The top-of-the-line powertrain, called Twin Engine, combines a supercharged and turbocharged gasoline engine with an electric motor to generate "around 400 horsepower." The XC90 is scheduled to go on sale in North America early in 2015.
For the first time in its 55-year history, Mini is adding a 5-door (four-door hatchback) to its already extensive lineup. With a wheelbase that's 72 mm longer than the 3-door's and a 16-mm longer overall length, the 5-door offers more interior room for both passengers and their cargo. It also, in theory at least, increases rear seat accommodations to three passengers, within the same overall width. The familiar Mini profile remains, albeit with a longer and taller roof that also improves headroom for all occupants.
The all-new Mercedes-AMG GT and GT S coupes, officially unveiled last month, made their public debut in Paris. Their long-hood, short-deck styling continues the profile of the SLS and the original SL, without the gull-wing doors, and their bodyshell is constructed almost totally of aluminum. Under the hood there's an all-new, 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V-8, with the turbos mounted in the engine's vee. The GT version is rated at 462 horsepower and the GT S at 510 horsepower. Expected to be a direct competitor for the jaguar F-Type and Porsche 911, the GT S will go on sale around May, 2015, with the GT scheduled to arrive later.
Kia's third-generation Sorento is longer, lower, wider and roomier than its predecessor and more upscale in its appointments. Visually, it echoes some of the design cues of the 2013 Kia Cross GT concept. Two- or three-row seating, for up to seven, is available depending on market and model. Depending on the market, available ‘active’ safety technologies include adaptive smart cruise control, lane departure warning, front collision warning, blind-spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. Five engines will be offered globally, including two diesels. The only one likely to make it to North America is a 2.4-litre gasoline direct injection (GDI) powerplant. The new Sorento is expected to go on sale in Canada and the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015.
Jaguar's all-new XE sedan had its global premiere earlier in London but Paris was its first auto show appearance. The all-aluminum compact luxury car is intended to compete directly with the likes of BMW's 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz's C-Class. The most aerodynamic of all Jaguar sedans, it will be powered by the brand's new range of 'Ingenium' four-cylinder engines and feature Jaguar's InControl information and entertainment system, centred on an 8-inch touchscreen interface. Unfortunately, the XE is not scheduled to arrive on the North American market until calendar year 2016.
Like its coupe sibling, the new BMW 2 Series Convertible is a replacement for its former 1 Series counterpart, adopting BMW's new model line designations. Bigger than its predecessor, although built on the same platform, it will be offered in 228i, all-wheel-drive 228i xDrive and M235i models. The two 228i versions are powered by a 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, while the M235i gets a 320-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six. The latter features a six-speed manual transmission, the former and eight-speed automatic. As with other BMWs, there will be an extensive option list when the convertible goes on sale in the first half of 2015.
Although it shares its 500 designation with the mini-Fiat, the all-new 500X is a sister vehicle to the Jeep Renegade and will be built on the same platform as and alongside that vehicle at Fiat's Melfi plant in Italy. More rounded in form than its Jeep counterpart, it has a definite Fiat 500 cuteness. In Europe, both gasoline and diesel engines will be offered, along with five- and six-speed manual gearboxes, a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, a nine-speed automatic and front- and all-wheel-drive drivetrains. When it arrives in North America – date still undetermined – it's likely to be offered with the brand's familiar 140-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-litre Multiair four and Chrysler's 184-horsepower, 2.4-litre Tigershark, four.
Roadster versions of the third generation Audi TT and TTS will join the coupes introduced at this year's Geneva auto show when they come to market next summer as 2016 models. Forgoing the quasi-rear seat of the coupe, the Roadster incorporates a power operated fabric roof that can be raised in just ten seconds with the car moving at speeds of up to 50 km/h. Like the coupe, the roadster features a fully digital instrument cluster and is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine rated at 230 horsepower driving the front wheels. The TTS features a 310-horsepower version of the same engine and Quattro all-wheel-drive.
Exotic and concept cars may be the popular eye candy of the Mondial de L’Automobile – otherwise known as the Paris Motor show – but the debut of several important production models is the serious business of the show. They're the ones people can actually buy, in the near future if not now. The list of world premieres includes such significant models as the Audi TT, Jaguar XE, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mazda MX-5, Kia Sorento and Volvo XC90 among many others.
Here's a quick look at some of these near-term production cars.
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