Your roving reporter at the Paris motor show 2012 | CAR Magazine

Your roving reporter at the Paris motor show 2012

Published: 27 September 2012 Updated: 26 January 2015

It’s the Paris motor show international media day – and here’s your chance to play sleuth at the world’s busiest motor show. CAR reporter Ollie Kew is at the Mondial de l’Automobile and is at your beck and call. Send us your questions and Ollie will be you roving reporter on the ground. Add your comments at the foot of this page, or Tweet him @OllieInGear, and he’ll do his best to dig out answers to your questions. The more colourful and offbeat the better. Just remember this is a vast exhibition area and he can’t be everywhere at once! This page will be updated throughout the day with the newest questions and answers at the top of the page.


Q @TimPollardCars what’s the new VW Golf Mk7 like in the metal? Is it a leap forward or a bit bland?

A One of the most important new cars at the Paris motor show 2012 is the new seventh-gen VW Golf. It’s like the crisp folded-paper designs of Giugiaro’s Mk1 and there’s something wholesomely safe and high-quality about it in the metal. We’re impressed by news of an 85g/km Bluemotion Golf too – and later today we expect to see the Golf GTI concept. We’ll see how accurate Georg Kacher’s scoop from earlier this year was!


Q From Terry Lavers, via email: Do manufacturers still sniff all over each others’ new products? I bet there’s loads of espionage at motor shows!

A Good point, Terry. We spotted these enginners from a nameless Asian car maker poring all over the new Mk7 VW Golf. Packs of rivals were swarming all over it, measuring hinges, photographing underneath and blatantly filling in documents in full public view. It’s the first time many car makers will have seen their nemeses and they’ll soon now how much catching up they have to do.


Q From James Owen, via email: What does the Vauxhall Adam look like in the metal? Finally a desirable small GM car?

A It’s a fine effort. Ignore all the yoof street theatre on the Opel stand and you’ll find a desirable small car to challenge the 500/Mini set. The personalisation programme is mind-blowing: 30,000 combinations – you can even spec the colour of your rear-view mirror and change the colour of your headliner for £100. Just a shame it makes the Corsa so dowdy overnight. Will we see a Citroen DS3/C3 balance swing with Vauxhall’s smallest too? 


Q @hagertyuk: #Paris12 are any manufacturers using classic or heritage cars as part of their display?

AYes! Land Rover have a mk1 RR alongside the new L405 model, and Honda are showing an original Civic next to the angular new car.


Q @thepetermorris: Does the Panamera shooting brake look as good in the metal as it does in photographs? Are Porsche are expected to build it?

A Yes, it’s how the Panamera should always have looked. The 918-style front end bodes well for next year’s Panam facelift too. It’s prettier, cooler, and more practical – why would anyone buy the normal hatch Panamera? Porsche tell me it’s ‘strictly a concept only’, but it’ll bolster the range of the Mk2 Panamera that’s due in a few years.


Q @MatthewBird14: Paris looks mega! What do you make of the Adam? Think I like it…

A Despite myself, I reckon the Adam looks the business in the metal, and its interior feels higher quality than a Fiat 500 and less silly than a Mini. Only problems I can see are the name, a lack of badge pulling factor and a slight suspicion that a poverty spec car without big rims and natty paint might spoil the look. One more thing: a city car with heated seats, heated steering wheel, touchscreen nav and a built-in bike rack. When did we get so spoiled?!



Q @jminchew: is there any pretty, pretty Alfa Romeo cars in paris12?

A It’s easy to forget Alfa only have 2 models on sale at the moment: the Mito and Giulietta. There’s no 4C concept or 8C supercar here, but that doesn’t mean there is a total absence of sexy models on the Alfa stand…



Q @tomhlord: The Citroen presser at 11am your time…..Loeb retiring from #WRC, or Abu Dhabi sponsorship or a new fast road DS3 edition?

A Loeb Champion 2011 edition was present as Loeb and new boy Hirvonnen
confirmed their involvement in Citroen WRC (and drowned out the press
conference backing track with a parp from the DS3 WRC exhaust. Abu Dhabi partnership has also been settled. Good for the sport, or just another death throe? Tell us your thoughts in the comment



Q @IanParry_:  that awesome guys. 2013 rangie, how many veneer options is there. Website list three, some report seven

A There’s three veneers currently available on the new Rangie, but that’ll rise to eight on the next year. Add on the different contrast
leather combos for dashboard and seat and there’s 28 interior possibilities, before you’ve even looked at stitching or infotainment toys. And then there’s the contrast roof and natty alloy wheels…



Q @skyhussar: @ollieingear Hi Ollie, please can you show us a photo of the bit of an F-Type that makes it worth 20k more than a Boxster?

A For many, I suspect it’ll be the looks, and at long last, the F-prefix name. It’s a pricey machine, the F-type, and dynamically it’ll have to be superb to challenge the 911 and Boxster and justify that monster price tag. The base V6 car is cannily priced between Boxster and 911, so we’ll have to wait and see which it’s closer to dynamically to judge the value.

At £79.5k for a V8 it looks very pricey, plus if Jag go down the Porsche route of offering lots of cost options (like the carbonfibre trimmed wheels) on one of the show cars, it’ll be dangerously expensive. The £100k Ftype? It’s possible



Q From Benjamin Gray, by email: What’s the new McLaren P1 like?

A Alas, the McLaren hypercar isn’t unveiled until 5.45pm tonight French time. It’s currently hiding under this teepee – fittingly bang opposite the Jag F-type on a small but highly charged McLaren stand. Full news story on the McLaren P1 due the moment the covers are whisked off.



Q Ollie, how many hostesses have you asked out to dinner???

A (Un)fortunately, there is no need to seek dinner companionship. The manufacturer stand food is so good no-one need worry about popping out for a bite in Paris!



Q What’s the car star at Paris motor show (major attention from all kind of people, media, car engineers, car designers, …)?

A So far, it’s got to be the Golf. The McLaren P1 or Peugeot Onyx may draw big crowds all at once but for sustained interest and countless tap’n’twiddle tests being carried out by envious competitors, the mk7 Golf is king.



Q What’s the best brand stand in Paris motor show, and why?

A Renault. They’ve created a hilltop landscape with comfy pebble cushions for tired journos to rest weary legs. Oh, and the cars? Mercifully, Renault cleverly predicted the Clio might spark a moderate bit of interest, so provided at least 20 Clios to pour over and clamber through.cannily they’ve only picked high-spec models, but at least there’s not a Glastonbury toilets sized queue just to get inside and rapp the dashboard with your knuckles. Comfy and practical, like all the best French cars. Renault gets my vote for the best stand.