The 2014 Paris Motor Show opened its doors from October 4 to 19, presenting new production and concepts cars, among them several notable green vehicles. Once again, the animated showroom highlighted a testing center for electric and hybrid vehicles. An indoor path allowed the 1,253,513 visitors to become drivers, who, after a few instructions given by the demonstrator, could test the vehicles inside the pavilion, and then move outdoors to an urban route in Paris. Manufacturers participating in these trials included BMW, Kia, Mercedes, Nissan, Renault, Smart, and Tesla. Here are just a few of the latest green debuts.
Citroen C4 CactusAIRFLOW 2L concept
This eye-catching French utility vehicle uses compressed air instead of electricity in its hybrid system. The company has been experimenting with compressed-air hybrids, and applied the technology to the Citroen C4 Cactus, a vehicle somewhere between a wagon and a crossover. The “Airbump”panels blend quirky style with innovative function, protecting the car from minor everyday bumps and scrapes.
The Airflow concept’s powertrain combines a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels with a hydraulic pump/motor, operating from compressed air stored in two high-pressure tanks under the rear load deck. The Cactus can operate on gasoline only, compressed air only (at low speeds) or both, and Citroen estimates a 30-percent reduction in overall fuel consumption.
This sleek and stylish four-door hatchback not only features a hybrid powertrain, autonomous driving systems, and advanced user interface, but also previews a future flagship luxury model from Infiniti. A 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V-6 nine-speed automatic is coupled with an electric motor, a combination that produces 550 hp. In normal conditions, power is delivered only to the rear wheels, but when slip is detected, up to 50 percent of torque can be sent to the front wheels. Drivers can also opt to keep the car in its all-wheel-drive mode.
Renault Eolab concept
This plug-in hybrid concept houses a powertrain consisting of a 67-hp electric motor that produces 200 Nm of torque (powered by a 6.7-kWh lithium-ion battery pack) paired with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with output of 75 hp and 95 Nm. The designers also focused on saving weight, using light materials such as a magnesium roof panel (weighing just 4 kg), as well as cutting aerodynamic drag as much as possible. Renault says the Eolab can run entirely on electricity for approximately 60 km at speeds up to 120 km/h.
Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid concept-S
The Concept-S powertrain remains quite similar to the production Outlander PHEV, featuring a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor attached, another electric motor on the rear axle, and a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It can operate in multiple driving modes, including electric-only four-wheel drive.
2016 Ford C-Max
The newest version of the Ford C-Max debuted in Paris with revised styling and updates, now featuring a sleek front end that matches the faces of the Focus and Fiesta, as well as additional of electronic driver aids, including Active Park Assist, Perpendicular Parking, and Cross-Traffic Alert. The C-Max is offered as a hybrid and energy plug-in hybrid as well as conventional gasoline and diesel engines, and also the longer 7-seater Grand C-Max.
2017 Jaguar XE diesel
Base models of the Jaguar XE will be offered with a 163-hp 2.0-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder engine from the new Ingenium family while an expanded engine lineup is expected to follow.
Buyers will also get to choose between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. With diesel power and a lightweight aluminum chassis, this is likely Jaguar’s most fuel-efficient production car to date.
Volkswagen Passat GTE Plug-In Hybrid
The Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in hybrid uses the same powertrain as the smaller Golf GTE, which is already on sale. Its 154-hp turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine and 113-hp electric motor produce a combined 215 hp, while the 9.9-kWh lithium ion battery pack provides 50 km of electric range. This latest Passat is lighter and offers more electronic safety features than its predecessor. It’s available in both four-door sedan and wagon versions, both being available with the GTE plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Volkswagen XL Sport
To create this minimalist performance car, Volkswagen added a Ducati V-twin motorcycle engine to its XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid, resulting in a vehicle capable of reaching 270 km/h with less than 200 hp. The basic XL body was also modified to accommodate wider tyres, aid cooling, and produce enough downforce to keep the car from lifting off the road at high speed.