And that obviously means it’s the Paris Mondial 2018. DTW takes a closer look at some of the offerings.
There appears to be a dearth of new cars this year. Fiat have nothing much to show for themselves. Lancia are again not presenting anything new and nor are MG, Hillman or Rover. Hybrid variants, re-showings of electric cars, tuned models and some facelifts make up the bulk of the products being touted for our delectation. It’s rather telling that I had to nervously snack on five crackers, some Camembert and a glass of vegetable juice before finally forcing myself to write.
Chopping the roof off opens the Smart ForEase to the world, revealing an interior whose nod to show car glamour means excising 35 degrees out of the steering wheel rim. The upper IP is in glare-in-the-windscreen white. I am not sure how serious this idea is: it echoes the 2002 Smart CrossBlade and the 2012 ForSpeed concept though its styling is toned down. The colour and trim people remained on a short leash for this one. Nothing inside is much different to something already on sale somewhere.
While the 2017 Camry is not big news, the Mondiale is part of the model’s triumphant return to Europe so we might as well have a look at the interior.
If that’s too beige there is this version:
That red shape running over the front passenger’s legs doesn’t do much, does it? It is the remains of a form that never existed on the symmetrical version of the IP. There is a plastic strip running from the cup-holders up to the instruments panel which ends abruptly. They are trying though. I think I quite like this even if it doesn’t pass the Rams Test.
And the exterior is a rather long, low, wide vehicle where WakuDoki remains as more of an accent, much better integrated than on the outgoing Avensis (may its name be hallowed).
As an aside I nearly got tripped up and showed the previous Camry:
Is it me or do the two cars look like contemporaries and not two different generations?
Next we swivel, pivot and twirl to consider what many may think of as the big news of the Mondial, the next BMW 3-series:
The evolutionary design carries over such familiar features as box pleats, colour coded centre arm-rest and the traditional three-spoke steering wheel. Floor mats will be available in Spring.
Finally, we turn to Peugeot who have released images of the interior of the eLegend together with interesting photos juxtaposing the concept car with the Peugeot 504 coupe from which is draws its inspiration. The interior has some really groovy head-restraints:
The seating is notable for not looking as much like standard car seating as is normally the case and also not looking like concept car seating either. The pleated sections suggest the 1970s even if you may actually have a hard time finding the precise inspiration for them. Even more striking is the use of rich blue velour which has the wonderful property of reflecting either rich tones of very pale areas, creating considerable optical interest.
I don’t know if such a material can be made with a Martindale value as high as the drab wovens we have been getting for much of the last two decades. The double A-pillar will be familiar to drivers of the Citroen XM, and it creates a very spacious interior ambience while also affording a clearer, less-obstructed view out. Even if the eLegend never makes production in this form, Peugeot say there are many elements that should make production. One of them must be rich velour upholstery.