2018 Paris Motor Show Archive

  • SEAT Tarraco unveiled – flagship seven-seater SUV

    In just two years SEAT has gone from building no SUVs at all to producing both the Ateca and the smaller Arona. Now, the Volkswagen-owned Spanish brand has gone one better with the larger Tarraco, available in either five- or seven-seat versions.

    Essentially a SEAT version of the Skoda Kodiaq, the Tarraco – named after the Spanish port city Tarragona – hints at the company’s forthcoming design language, with a larger, more prominent six-sided grille. The standard LED headlights retain the trademark triangular lighting signature, but are pushed further into the body to give the car a “more focused appearance.”

    The angular surfacing and the upswept D-pillar kink are as on the Ateca, while the rear features full-width LED tail lights with sequential indicators. The Tarraco measures 4,735 mm long and 1,658 mm tall, making it nearly 40 mm longer and over 20 mm lower than a Honda CR-V.

    Inside, SEAT has ditched the boxy designs of models past with a more contemporary dashboard, with a floating infotainment display atop the centre air vents. The horizontal lines are said to increase the sense of width to the car’s cabin, making it look more spacious and more premium.

    Buyers will be able to specify a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit instrument display, as well as touchscreen sizes measuring up to eight inches. The top-of-the-line Navigation Plus system will get gesture control functionality that will be familiar to Volkswagen Golf owners, a SEAT first.

    The Tarraco rides on the long-wheelbase version of VW’s modular MQB platform, called MQB-A. It will be offered with two petrol engines at launch – a 1.5 litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder unit with 150 PS, a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, and a 190 PS 2.0 litre version paired to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission and 4Drive all-wheel drive.

    On the diesel side, there’s a 2.0 litre TDI turbodiesel offered in 150 PS and 190 PS versions, available either with the manual or the DSG and front- or all-wheel drive (the 190 PS variant is only available with the DSG and AWD). There will also be “alternative powertrain technologies” (i.e. hybrid) available later on.

    Other technologies on board include Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive damping, as well as active safety systems such as standard Lane Assist and Front Assist (autonomous emergency braking) with cyclist and pedestrian detection. A blind spot monitor, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, Light Assist and Emergency Assist are available as options.

    The Tarraco will be built at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant and will make its market debut in early-2019.

  • VinFast to unveil sedan and SUV at Paris Motor Show

    Fledgling Vietnamese carmaker VinFast has its sights set on the global stage with its near-production sedan and SUV concepts, set to debut at the Paris Motor Show next month. The company is aiming high with the two cars – premium models based on BMW platforms and running on Munich engines and drivetrains.

    Both cars share a distinctive design language, with the front end featuring slim, broad LED daytime running lights (separate from the main headlight units lower down) that emanate from the V-shaped emblem. To the right of this emblem, a chrome splint creates an “F” shape that represents the second syllable of the VinFast name and gives the cars an asymmetric flourish. There’s also a hexagonal front grille and large air intakes.

    The two cars betray their rear-biased underpinnings in their proportions, with a long bonnet and wheelbase. The sedan’s short rear end and horizontal lines are said to give the car a “symmetrical, sophisticated and elegant beauty,” while the SUV’s more muscular bonnet and bolder, more purposeful character lines are claimed to give it a sportier look. The tail light graphics echo the ones on the front DRLs.

    VinFast held a public vote on the designs of the cars in Vietnam, with over 62,000 people voting on 20 sketches from ItalDesign, Pininfarina, Torino Design and Zagato. The winning ItalDesign sketches were refined by Pininfarina in Italy, completely eschewing clay modelling and relying on 3D computer-aided design (CAD) to expedite the design process. The cars are being presented just a year after the public vote.

    The production sedan and SUV, the latter a seven-seater, will be based on the F10 5 Series and F15 X5 respectively, and will be powered by BMW’s previous-generation N20 engine – a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder mill that will be offered in 174 hp and 228 hp outputs. A ZF eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels, and there will also be an all-wheel drive option for the SUV.

    After the Paris show, the two cars will be introduced in Vietnam at the end of the year, with deliveries kicking off in September next year.

  • Volvo 360c autonomous concept – a rival to air travel

    Usually when car companies talk about autonomous driving, it’s usually around the context of urban areas as a means to reduce congestion and accidents. Volvo, however, has decided to take on the skies with its 360c concept, which seeks to compete with airliners when it comes to short-haul travel.

    Gothenburg says that with the 360c, you can board your own first-class cabin that will whisk you directly to your destination, without having to bother with airport security, hours of queuing and waiting and noisy, cramped commercial planes. It’s certainly an appealing concept, especially to frequent flyers who are often encumbered by the hassles of air travel.

    Volvo is targeting domestic flight operators in particular, specifically over distances of around 300 km. It sees a lucrative business opportunity in places like the United States, where the domestic air travel industry is worth billions of dollars in revenue with over 740 million travellers last year.

    The company gave the examples of flights from New York to Washington DC, Houston to Dallas and Los Angeles to San Diego, which are more time-consuming than trips by car after taking to account things like travel to the airport, security checks and waiting times.

    But the 360c isn’t only about competing with leading aircraft makers and airliners. Volvo is also envisioning a future in which autonomous driving redresses the work-life balance and shapes the world of travel, city planning, infrastructure and modern society’s impact on the environment, and this rolling technical showcase has been designed to meet those needs.

    Without the need for a driver’s seat and a steering wheel, the interior of the 360c can be reconfigured to become a sleeping cabin, a mobile office, a living room or an entertainment space. As expected, it runs on electric power, although no technical specifications exist – for now, this is all a flight of fancy.

    This is Volvo after all, so safety has also been given a rethink. Autonomous technology is expected to be introduced gradually rather than overnight, which means that fully self-driving vehicles will share the road with other motorists and pedestrians.

    As such, the 360c puts out a vision of a universal standard for autonomous vehicles to communicate with other road users – one that isn’t reliant on the make of individual autonomous cars. It uses a series of external sounds, colours, visuals and movements to indicate the vehicle’s intentions to other road users, crucially without directing or instructing other road users.

    Occupant safety was another area that was looked at, as the adaptability of the car’s cabin could have major implications on safety. A special blanket was introduced that would work as a restraining system just like a three-point safety belt, designed for people lying down while travelling.

    Last but not least, Volvo says that fully autonomous electric travel not only delivers advantages such as less pollution and traffic congestion – and the health and lifestyle benefits that come with them – for urban dwellers, but could also change the fundamental structure of daily life.

    By transforming unproductive or boring travel time into useful and enjoyable minutes or hours on the road, says the company, the flexibility of the 360c would allow users to live outside the city, bringing with it reduced pressure and real estate pricing for more affordable home ownership.

    “People becoming less reliant on proximity to cities is just one example of the impact of removing the burden of unproductive travel time,” said senior vice president of corporate strategy Mårten Levenstam. “The 360c driving office makes it viable for people to live at greater distances from crowded cities and use their time both in a more pleasant and more effective way.”


Browse Stories by Car Maker

  Alfa Romeo
  Aston Martin

  Great Wall
  Land Rover




Latest Fuel Prices

RON 95 RM2.20 (0.00)
RON 97 RM2.65 (-0.04)
RON 100 RM3.08
VPR RM3.35
EURO 2M RM2.18 (0.00)
EURO 5 RM2.28 (0.00)
Last Updated 01 Sep 2018