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Tour of the Paris trade fair 2012: Paris is worth a trade fair

Markus Stier
Exhibition tour Paris 2012
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H all one, status one. Just mix it up again, they say at Ford. The mini-SUV Ecosport could also be an Isuzu, the new Kuga a Subaru, but the Mondeo is now from Aston Martin. At least it won't get boring. Really exciting is the Formula Ford with a one-liter engine, but Turbo. It has already lapped the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in a record-breaking 7:22 minutes, and the best thing is: it is street legal. Now the bad news: Not to buy.

On the group evening, Martin Winterkorn had invited to a humid and happy end. 'Don't worry, we have seats at the press conference tomorrow.' Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that. Anyone who was not sober and on their feet early was in the 20th row when the new Golf was presented. Out of sheer desperation, some photographers simply shot the action from a flat screen.

Smoke bomb at the VW stand

Racing legend Jacky Ickx and future rally legend Sébastien Ogier are in front. You should say something about your relationship with the GTI. Too bad that Ickx was already driving a Porsche when the first GTI was born, and Ogier doesn't dream of the Golf, but of the Polo, which he has been testing in the rally version all year long, but he won't be serious about it before Monte Carlo 2013

But then the head of development has something really nice to report: The Golf GTI will be available in an even more stringent version with 10 extra horsepower, larger brakes and differential lock. On the Nordschleife it is said to have undercut its predecessor by 13 seconds.

The appearance of some environmental activists, who ignite a smoke bomb at the VW stand and see yellow signs saying 'Volkswagen - climate target missed', takes less than 13 seconds. Hold up until the security forces hold you down.

Cinquecento as a matching handbag

Next door at Porsche is the Porsche boss Matthias Müller, with a worried expression, suggests that the world is facing difficult times, but that they will be met with a model offensive. In times of crisis you have to act counter-cyclically. Who knows what the euro will be worth tomorrow. So better still buy a Panamera quickly, or the 911. It is now available with all-wheel drive, 'in keeping with the season,' as Müller says.

Fiat is also fashion-conscious. The 500 is available for summerSomething that got out of the glue long ago also in size L, but what is new is that you can now get it with a mother-of-pearl cocktail dress. There is now a Gucci version.

At Bentley, however, they have long been prepared for the crisis. The Continental now offers two computer workstations in the rear. The trend is therefore also in the luxury class towards mobile open-plan offices. BMW is just as well positioned. In uncertain times, people have always withdrawn into their caves. It's called Cocoocning, and the i3concept with its fully glazed doors is like a loft on wheels.

The most aggressive blue metallic of all time

What is even more exciting than the glazed car: where do you get it 20 meter wallpaper with the cityscape of Paris hanging on the stand? Next door at Mini, the DIY enthusiast is happy. There you can wallpaper your car yourself with a virtual spray gun.

Otherwise you have the Paceman, which would actually be a very smart device if he hadn't got the bulldog snout from the Countryman.

At Mercedes hangs an SLS on the ramp, the color of which may have been inspired by microbikinis from table dance bars. The most aggressive blue metallic of all time, which was used to paint the Electric Drive palette, looks forbidden on the street, but looks pretty cool as a sculpture on the wall.

Waiting for the Piech couple

In hall four, Volkswagen dominates the action with all of its brands. Opposite the expansive white exhibition stand of Audi and VW, which looks like a landed spaceship, is opposite - also in white and curved shapes - Toyota. And so it is already rumored behind the scenes: Will Toyota now be the 14th brand?

At Audi, the schedule is unsteady. Instead of 10:15 a.m., the press conference doesn't start until ten minutes later. As in Geneva, they wanted to wait for the Piech couple. They only get standing room now because apparently no seats have been reserved for you. The mad ams reporter has been there for half an hour after the sobering VW experience and is sitting nicely in the middle.

Audi boss Rupert Stadler swings dynamically onto the stage as usual, announces that the new A3 Sportback looks simply gorgeous in 'Misano red' The lightness of his presentation is also reflected in the body, which has lost 90 kilos.

The future of the cow family

Stadler promises 'less CO2 consumption'. And when the Vorsprung durch Technik has recently consisted of using carbon dioxide instead of emitting it, it is slowly becoming clear how the VW group wants to take over the world by 2018. But Rupert Stadler goes one better: 'Hold on firmly. We showYou what it looks like. 'As a Taurus, of course, that interests you. A compact SUV coupé rolls onto the stage. It was more likely to mean the Q family.

Chief designer Wolfgang Egger presents this Crosslane Coupé, an SUV 'with urban chic'. Lightweight construction thanks to the spaceframe and carbon hardtop that can be stowed in the trunk. The concept car is supposed to emit just 26 grams of CO2. That is a surcharge with a wildly determined LED look. On the In the mirror, the person in front of the motorway should know who they are dealing with.

The three-meter wheelbase monster

We rush over to the French hosts in hall one, where the king is holding court. Sébastien Loeb is probably the best car driver of all time, a Citroën icon who has just announced that he is actually still not like that can rightly announce what he will actually do in 2013. After all - the Grande Nation breathes a sigh of relief - he will start in Monte Carlo at the start of the rally season. The importance of Loeb's personality is made clear by the fact that the presentation of the rally star takes just as long as the presentation of the most important new product, the DS3 convertible and the notchback sedan C4L combined.

The Numero is a real eye-catcher 9. The study, which will carry future DS elements, is a real awe-inspiring monster with its almost five meters long, 1.94 meters wide and three meters wheelbase. Unfortunately, the device, which was inspired by the Chinese market, will never be sold in this way, and every A8 with a long wheelbase in front of the Mao mausoleum on the Road to Eternal Peace could be made to look old Shouldn't manage to get the sales crisis under control, a possible Plan B is already being presented. Citroen is showing a stylish slot car track, Peugeot has developed a designer piano. Otherwise the 208 is fine, but not really spectacular, unless the R5 rally version with all-wheel drive and 280 hp.

Opel is upside down

At Renault, the Clio has also become quite pleasing, but there, too, the host faction plays rather cautiously. And it doesn't get any more impressive if you put 20 Clio down and want to overwhelm the competition with mass instead of class. After all, when it comes to exhibition stand construction, they are right at the front, or rather: right up there. Renault has built a general hill in hall five, from which one can look down on the opponents. But let's be honest: In the end, a hill like this was of no use to Emperor Napoleon either.

In the end it is time to break a lance: the Opel Adam has become beautiful. Initially disparaged by the mad reporter as a cheap copy of a Fiat 500 with the headlights of an Opel GT, the cuddly Rüsselsheimer looks much better, cooler, fancier and smarter in real life. Andin hall five you can see that it can even run on the ceiling. When looking at the gravity-defying flea, the symbolism offers two alternatives. Some say: Look, Opel is already upside down, others will comment: Now they are about to soar.

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