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The appearance of the previously revealed Audi e-Tron and the Mercedes EQC signalled that the ‘Tesla or nothing’ EV era is really over, especially since the I-Pace is only just starting to appear in numbers. Life is going to start being very different now. More evidence of this greeted the unveiling of the latest all-new BMW 3 Series – an impressively, competently derivative car, for all the noise they made about its new face. Once upon a time, a new compact Beemer was a national event. It now comes under the heading of ‘Quite Interesting’, but an electric Merc is much more so.
The only supercars of note were Ferrari’s twin V12 retro roadsters, SP-1 and SP-2, dubbed part of a new Icona series to mark the fact that they’re so hideously expensive no one’s quite willing to name the figure. Oh yes, and David Beckham turned up to unveil the new car range from the Vietnamese Vinfast firm, BMW-based and a good deal more promising than a start-up in a country with a meagre car-making heritage might sound.
In all, Paris was very interesting, busy and a good day out, even without upwards of a dozen marques participating. Despite these absences and having to cope with the effects of the latest in a line of Parisian mayors clamping down on cars, this show looks likely to endure because locals have always attended in big numbers. As I was told constantly, at Mondial de l’Auto the footfall is exceptional. Long may it continue to be.
Paris motor show 2018: as it happened
Autocar had full coverage of everything that happens at the show, with expanded coverage on autocar.co.uk. Our team at the show in Paris included editor Mark Tisshaw, editorial director Jim Holder, editor-in-chief Steve Cropley, deputy editor – digital Rachel Burgess and news editor Lawrence Allan. They charged round the news events and show halls, sniffing out the news and asking difficult questions to the great and good of the car industry.
Meanwhile, deputy editor James Attwood, deputy digital editor Tom Morgan, staff writer Jimi Beckwith and editorial assistant Sam Jenkins were on duty in Autocar Towers in glamorous Twickenham, helping to keep autocar.co.uk and our social media channels full of news, photos and updates.
Tuesday October 2 17:00
Press day at Paris is drawing to a close, so there’s just time for a round-up of today’s major announcements. The BMW 3 Series was easily the biggest launch of the show, and it showed in the number of comments on the Autocar Twitter feed, and the number of you reading our comprehensive launch stories here on the website. Skoda’s Kodiaq vRS proved popular, too, suggesting there’s an audience for a hot seven-seater SUV after all. If there had been a prize for design, Peugeot would have won it with the e-Legend concept, but it was Renault that went big on forward-thinking concept cars: the K-Ze electric SUV is closest to production, while the luxury autonomous EZ-Ultimo limo occupied the opposite end of the price spectrum. For all the details on these cars and more, scroll down through the live blog.