This is our third time at the Paris Motorshow for us. We did it back in 2006 where we first saw our Opel GT and in 2012 just before we took delivery of our MINI Coupé JCW. This time we were there purely for fun with no new car purchase in mind. We concentrated on cars that we could afford or aspire to in the main and yes we checked out the Ferraris and so on but did not linger on those. What follows then is a few cars that caught our eyes in various car sectors and for different reasons. It is not a comprehensive review of the show but the cars we liked that we would probably add to the virtual want list.
This was the first car we set eyes on and frankly it was the show stopper for us. Ok as you know we love MINIs but this was a MINI in a different league for us. We have had an R50 MINI Cooper, which was pretty and cute but not downright gorgeous. Desirable but not jumping out at you with irresistible feline beauty. We have had an R53 Cooper S Works, more manly and aggressive than the Cooper but not beautiful. Then we had a Clubman. Very butch in the way we had it but a long way from gorgeous. Currently we have the R58 MINI Coupé with the baseball on backwards look. A mixture of aggressive yet cute looks wrapped into a frankly gauche package. We love it but it is a marmite car, you love it or hate it. With The Superleggera concept, MINI have finally built a truly beautiful car. Beautiful like a beautiful woman, Italian beautiful like a Ferrari, Beautiful in the way that the Jaguar E-Type is beautiful. It has no bad angles, it just seduces you every which way it can. We just looked at this car and wanted it. We wanted MINI to turn the concept into reality, it would take the brand into a whole new league. Please build this delightful future icon which captures perfectly a concept I call bellisimauto.
Elsewhere on the MINI Stand
The five door MINI had its official launch. Not as awful as I thought it would be, but to be honest do I care? It’s just a small five door hatchback – so many to choose from. However, we did spot some new MINI spotlights which we really liked.
Is the Fiat 500 still King of the small cute car sector?
Well yes I guess it is and the 500 Brand has been busy turning itself into a small sub-brand of Fiat with the 500C, The 500L people carrier/ Countryman challenger and now the Crossover 500X, Countryman / Paceman 4wd challenger. However, everyone else wants a bit of the 500 posh small car market. The Renault Twingo shown below is almost a clone of the 500! The Opel Adam and Eve it, I really actually like a lot. A warm hatch with 150hp is promising but I like the way they have really had a go at doing the small posh car concept. They are fun, funky (well maybe not quite funky but I wanted to use the word) and a bit different. A 500 wannabe but not and they can all be highly personalised when it comes to the spec list. Hell they even got Claudia Schiffer to plug it at the show – kitsch with painful smiles and stilted conversations about the car but hey ho they tried. Yep the Adam was a thumbs up with us.
Late To The Party
Opel tried and got it wrong with our Claudia but at least they tried. Ford meanwhile could not even be on time for the Motorshow. All their cars were hidden under wraps awaiting a Ford big wig. Well Mr Big Wig I am a paying member of the public who paid good money to see your cars, so this did not impress me at all. Then just before said big wig was due to show, the French Ford factory owners turned up demonstrating about poor workers rights and conditions. Sorry Ford all in all a massive FAIL.
Jaguar and Landrover
Obviously we loved the F-Type Coupé and convertible. That goes without saying and we have all seem them in pictures or on the streets. They are Craig Revel-Horwood F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S. The new Landrover Discovery Sport was a handsome chappie and the Range Rover Evoque doing MINI with its red and white livery and array of union jack accessories was actually in many ways showing MINI themselves how to do it. Good effort. The Jaguar XE? Well I’m sure it’s a great drive, it looks ok, nay it looks quite handsome, but I kept thinking Ford Mondeo (and they can’t even get to the party on time). No, we were a tad underwhelmed. Yes it might be a great drive but let’s be honest if she ain’t a beauty do I care if I drive it. And don’t even try to tell me that this car is a great cook! Not a fail but I am not sure if BMW will be making any room for it on their perch. That said, BMW have their work cut out playing catch up in the beauty parlour against the other German powerhouses of motoring. Audis and Mercs are looking so much sexier then the BMWs although the 2 and 4 series ain’t bad. However, look at the 4 series GT (sorry could not even be bothered pointing my camera at it) and you realise it has a long way to go before matching the fast back Mercs and Audis.
A Couple of New 4WDs
The Fiat 500X Crossover is here. Pretty and cute like it’s more petite Mum and with good reviews from the press. But for me the pretty and cute is great on a size 10 but harder to do on a size 16 so to be honest this missed the mark for me really. It is perfectly fine but it didn’t give me that must have feel that the MINI Paceman we now have in our stable did when that was launched.
Now the Jeep Renegade is a different beast altogether. Built in Italy and on the same sub frame as the Fiat 500X but poles apart in looks. A name can evoke so much ( all girls called Alexandra, Amelia, Sasha or Natalia are sexy by definition) Here Renegade suggests so much – an outlaw, a rebel, unprincipled – so already I want one. Macho looks too, which wonderfully ameliorate the worst aspects of my small man syndrome. Yes, this one we liked. Inside it says “Jeep since 1941” on the dash. In your head you read this with a John Wayne accent. yep if I was in the market for a small 4WD now, this could sway me. With this the big man inside would be out!
We have always loved the MX-5 but for me this is the best yet by far. Gorgeous from every angle on a chassis you know will be creamy delicious to drive. If I drove this I would not sulk because I couldn’t afford a Jaguar F-Type. Don’t get me wrong I’m not comparing the two. But if the Jag could only ever be a dream, you would live the dream better with one of these in your life. We loved it.
You are not a real petrolhead until you have owned an Alfa and by that reasonable definition I am still a pretender. However, it is not for want of wishing. I love them. I loved this old Alfa we saw at the show.
But the Alfa we really fancied was the Alfa 4C. Richard Hammond reviewed it and criticised it for being wide. Maybe it is, but it is a beauty and in proportion and both myself and Mrs P loved this car. It would tempt us. it would really tempt us. It would… it would tempt us.
Mrs P was really taken with the Porsche Targa. She liked the Alfa 4C Targa version too. Basically she has become a Targa girl.
One more of the MINI Superleggera because we can.
Still love the Toyota GT86 and the whole Toyota stand looked good.
A sexy Mitsubishi? Hell yes!
Mrs P will you stop photographing that Porsche Targa now!
Hmmm. I decided I wanted to go home in the Maserati because I liked the ruddy great hole at the front!
MINI Superleggera – yes please.
Alfa 4C – yes please.
Porsche Targa – yes please.
Porshe Cayman S – yes please (oops slipped in)
Mazda MX-5 – yes please.
Jeep Renegade – yes please.
Opel Adam – yes please.
Maserati Gran Sport – always.