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2012 Paris Motor Show Preview

2012 Paris Motor Show Preview

By Jeff Youngs, September 18, 2012
On September 27 and 28, 2012, auto manufacturers from around the world will converge on the eight pavilions at the Paris Expo to display their latest products for the European and global vehicle markets. Based on preliminary information provided by automakers, J.D. Power and Associates takes a look at the concept and production vehicles that are the most likely to impact future vehicle purchase decisions for U.S. consumers.

Audi A3 Sportback
Audi introduced its redesigned A3 3-door hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012. In Paris, the automaker will debut the A3 5-door Sportback version. Announced powertrains that are likely to come to the United States include small-displacement, turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines, as well as a new hybrid model.

For the United States, Audi is planning a 4-door sedan variant of the new A3. No announcement has been made concerning whether the new 5-door Sportback will return to U.S. showrooms after the current model is replaced.

Audi RS 5 Convertible
If Audi elects to sell a convertible version of the performance-tuned Audi RS 5 Coupe now on sale in the U.S. for 2013, this new RS 5 Convertible will be equipped with a 450-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 engine.

BMW Concept Active Tourer

Get ready to wrap your head around the idea of a front-wheel-drive BMW. The BMW Concept Active Tourer is a 5-door hatchback aimed at the Mercedes-Benz B-Class in overseas markets, and its new front-wheel-drive platform is expected to underpin numerous next-generation BMW and Mini models.

Similar in concept to the new Ford C-MAX, the BMW Concept Active Tourer is a 5-passenger vehicle with compact dimensions and tall seating positions. It features a new plug-in hybrid powertrain that reportedly generates 195 horsepower.

The production version of the BMW Concept Active Tourer might not come to the United States, but its underlying engineering is predicted to impact future models offered in U.S. showrooms.

Jaguar F-Type
The Jaguar F-Type is a new rear-wheel-drive, 2-seat sports car that will arrive in U.S. showrooms next spring, first as a convertible and then later with a hardtop roof. Jaguar says positive consumer reaction to the Jaguar C-X16 Concept accelerated development of the new Jaguar F-Type.

The F-Type benefits from extensive aluminum construction, which keeps vehicle weight to a minimum. According to industry reports, there will be a choice of two supercharged V-6 engines with either 340 or 380 horsepower or a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8. An 8-speed automatic transmission and automatic start/stop technology will be standard equipment.

Land Rover Range Rover
The Land Rover Range Rover has been redesigned for the first time in 10 years. Lighter by more than 925 pounds due to extensive use of aluminum in the SUV's construction, the new fourth-generation Range Rover was designed to achieve four key design directives, according to the automaker: luxury, sustainability, relevant functionality, and desirability.

Highlights include a new Terrain Response 2 traction system, an Adaptive Dynamics suspension, triple-zone climate control, premium audio system with touch-screen control, an available panoramic sunroof, and what Land Rover calls "the finest leathers and veneers." Initially, the Range Rover offers a 375-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine and permanent 4-wheel drive.

Mini Paceman
The Mini Paceman is a new 3-door hatchback version of the Mini Countryman. It rides on a lowered suspension, but, like the Countryman, offers an available ALL4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Available models include the 121-horsepower Cooper, the 181-horsepower Cooper S, and the Cooper S ALL4 with AWD. A performance-oriented John Cooper Works variant is expected to go on sale after the model's initial launch.

Porsche 911 Carrera 4
Last year, Porsche introduced a redesigned 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S in coupe and convertible format. For 2013, new 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4S models arrive, with all-wheel drive, flared rear fenders, and more.

Porsche is also introducing new features for the 911 lineup in 2013, including adaptive cruise control, Porsche Active Safe technology, a sunroof option for 911 Coupes, and an optional rev-matching feature for models with a manual gearbox and the Sport Chrono Pack.

Porsche Panamera Wagon Concept
Porsche plans to use the 2012 Paris Motor Show to gauge public reaction to a conceptual station wagon version of the Porsche Panamera. The company says customers have indicated they want a Panamera with greater versatility than the existing model. If Europeans like the Panamera Wagon Concept, Porsche may approve it for production.

Volkswagen Golf
The Volkswagen Golf is completely redesigned, and is lighter, roomier, and more fuel-efficient than the model it replaces. Among the seventh-generation Golf's new features are an 8-inch touch-screen navigation system and a multi-collision braking system that brings the car to a stop after a crash, with the intent of avoiding additional collisions with other vehicles.

The all-new VW Golf is coming to the United States as a late 2014 or early 2015 model, according to the company.

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