PARIS MOTOR SHOW: The top 10 most important cars
25 October 2010
The autumn motor show in Paris is this year's largest European event of its kind, and gives manufacturers a chance to preview their big new products. Paul Barker and Rachel Burgess highlight the big 10 business car models
What is it? The seventh-generation of Volkswagen's upper medium saloon and estate.
Why is it interesting? Massively popular fleet fare, the all-new Passat follows its little brother Golf's route of low-key styling changes rather than a radical new look. Every body panel bar the roof is new, and a fatigue-detection system will be standard on most models, while an auto-braking system that engages at below 18mph will be optional.
When is it on sale? January 2011.
Any other info? There's going to be a 109g/km 1.6 diesel returning 68.8mpg, alongside 140hp and 170hp 2.0-litre diesels.
2. Range Rover Evoque
What is it? The new baby Range Rover.
Why is it interesting? With emissions under 130g/km, 58mpg combined fuel economy and a price tag starting at around £30,000 for the two-wheel drive version, this is the first Land Rover product to offer any serious fleet viability. Power comes from 150hp and 190hp versions of the 2.2-litre diesel engine, with all-wheel drive also offered at 50mpg and 145g/km for the 150hp model.
When is it on sale? Summer 2011.
Any other info? A five-door version was also confirmed in Paris, with more detail promised later his year.
What is it? The French carmaker's bid to offer a viable family saloon
Why is it interesting? Peugeot isn't known for its upper medium cars, but the new 508, available in saloon and estate versions, is a good-looking option for this segment. Emissions are as low as 109g/km CO2 with a 1.6 112hp e-HDI engine that features stop-start technology. There will be a hybrid model in 2012 using the same engine as the newly announced 99g/km CO2 3008 Hybrid4, which arrives in 2011.
When is it on sale? Spring 2011.
Any other info? Emphasis from Peugeot is on the high quality and spec of the 508, which includes four-zone aircon and keyless entry and start-up.
What is it? The second-generation small 4x4 by BMW.
Why is it interesting? BMW has raised the game with lower emissions - a 2.0-litre 184hp diesel engine, which will make up four-fifths of UK sales, emits 149g/km and has official fuel figures of 50.4mpg. BMW says the car will be particularly attractive to fleet buyers thanks to "brilliant CO2 and performance". It's £115 cheaper than its predecessor, at £30,490, yet has leather upholstery, two-zone aircon and colour display as standard.
When is it on sale? November 2011.
Any other info? The new X3 is the first BMW that has start-stop technology mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
5. Ford Focus
What is it? The all-new version of the UK's most popular company car.
Why is it interesting? See above. It's the biggest-selling fleet model in the UK, and the new one takes a big step forward in terms of technology with a raft of features, many of them safety-related, coming to the car for the first time. A low-CO2 Econetic Focus will follow in the second half of 2011, with the 1.6 TDCi diesel set to be the biggest fleet seller at 109g/km and 67mpg.
When is it on sale? Early 2011.
Any other info? Although the Focus has been drip-fed throughout the year at various motor shows, Paris was the first time the hatchback, estate and ST models were all shown together.
6. Audi A7 Sportback
What is it? A hatchback version of the Audi A6 designed to capitalise on the success of the Mercedes CLS.
Why is it interesting? Following on from the A5 Sportback, the new model "discreetly integrates saloon-car versatility and hatchback practicality into an elegant premium coupe silhouette", according to Audi. Two petrol and two diesel engines make up the launch range, with the most fleet-friendly being the 3.0-litre 204hp version at 139g/km and an official 53.3mpg.
When is it on sale? January 2011.
Any other info? According to Audi's maths, this is the 35th member of the manufacturer's ever-expanding range.
7. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
What is it? The estate version of the new Vauxhall Astra.
Why is it interesting? Built in the UK, Vauxhall hopes the new Astra estate will have increased appeal over its predecessor thanks to the more stylish looks. Around 10% of Astra sales are the estate, and most will go into the corporate sector. Boot space is up 30 litres to 500 litres with the rear seats in place.
When is it on sale? November 2010.
Any other info? Vauxhall also revealed a concept version of the three-door Astra. Coming late next year, the car, previously known as Sport Hatch, is likely to switch to the concept car's GTC name.
8. Kia Optima
What is it? Kia's attempt to produce a serious upper medium competitor
Why is it interesting? Kia has enjoyed significant fleet growth, but has nothing to offer corporate customers above the lower medium Ceed hatchback and estate. The saloon Optima will come with a 1.7-litre diesel offering CO2 emissions of 113g/km. Insiders refused to comment on whether an estate model could follow, but acknowledged that 55% of the sector across Europe is taken by tourers.
When is it on sale? Second half of 2011.
Any other info? The striking Optima will be predominantly a corporate product, with Kia predicting that 80-85% of sales will be fleet.
What is it? Chevrolet's new seven-Seat MPV.
Why is it interesting? Smart-looking, if slightly American-influenced in styling as well as name, the Orlando is important for a Chevrolet brand that's now a separate entity having moved from its previous home under the GM UK Fleet banner. A choice of two 2.0-litre diesel engines of 131hp and 163hp will come from launch, both under 160g/km, as well as a 1.8 petrol unit.
When is it on sale? February 2011.
Any other info? Chevrolet is still working on the UK prices, expected to kick off at around £16,500, and is looking for inroads into the user-chooser market in particular.
What is it? The flashier brother of the C4.
Why is it interesting? Citroen has reinvented its DS brand with the excellent DS3, and the DS4 is the next move. A 1.6 110hp diesel engine emitting 129g/km CO2 still makes this a viable fleet option but Citroen says the majority of sales will be retail and user-chooser. Citroen hopes the DS4 will bring down the brand's age profile - a 200hp petrol engine will help - and claims the car is designed to "attract a lot of attention and be a bit special".
When is it on sale? Summer 2011.
Any other info? The upper medium C5 hasn't been forgotten - an updated version with stop-start will arrive in November offering sub-120g/km CO2 emissions