Volkswagen XL Sport concept, 2014 Paris Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Autumn is here, and so is auto-show season.
The 2014 Paris Motor Show this week kicked off the annual global parade of new production cars and concepts, and several notable green cars made their debuts.
They include both concept and production models with hybrid, plug-in electric, and diesel powertrains.
Demonstrating the breadth of green-car technology--and carmakers' need to meet tightening global emissions standards--those powertrains would be found in everything from luxury sedans to small utility vehicles.
All of the significant debuts are listed here. For complete coverage, visit our Paris Motor Show page.
This quirky French utility vehicle uses compressed air instead of electricity in its hybrid system.PSA Peugeot Citroën 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, one with funky "Airbumps" on its sides meant to lessen parking-lot dings.
The Airflow concept's powertrain marries a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels with a hydraulic pump/motor that operates 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 Citroën estimates a 30-percent reduction in overall fuel consumption.
While the compressed-air hybrid Cactus itself isn't slated for production right now, PSA plans to introduce the system on a subcompact vehicle during 2016.
The European version of the Ford C-Max debuted in Paris with revised styling and feature updates.
It now features a sleek front end that matches the faces of the Focus and Fiesta, as well as a full suite of electronic driver aids, including Active Park Assist, Perpendicular Parking, and Cross-Traffic Alert.
While it's only offered as a Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid in the U.S., the European C-Max is offered with conventional gasoline and diesel engines as well, and as the longer 7-seat Grand C-Max.
Those models will remain for Europe only, but versions of the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi with similar updates are expected to arrive here next spring, likely as 2016 models.
This rakish four-door hatchback previews a future flagship luxury model from Infiniti, but also features a hybrid powertrain. A 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 is paired with an electric motor, and the combination produces 550 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.
A production car with some of the concept's styling will likely appear in a few years, while the hybrid system could represent an evolution of the one currently used in the Q50 and Q70 sedans.
The Jaguar XE won't arrive in the U.S. for two years, but Jaguar released more details on the aluminum-bodied small luxury sedan in Paris.
Base models will be offered with a 163-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine from the new Ingenium family--giving Jaguar a competitor to the BMW 328d--while an expanded engine lineup will follow.
Buyers will also get to choose between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
Content could change significantly before the XE becomes available in the U.S., but with diesel power and a lightweight aluminum chassis, it could be Jaguar's most fuel-efficient production car to date.