Awesome Cars Of The Paris Motor Show 2012 -- ROAD TESTAMENT

Uploaded by drive on 04.10.2012


CHRIS HARRIS: So welcome to the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
And it wouldn't be a Paris Motor Show without some kind
of strange, weird, and wonderful French supercar that
they're never going to make.
And this year we have the Peugeot Onyx.
Its specification reads like it's from the environmental
It's got a 600 horsepower hybrid diesel engine.
And in its construction are used--
wait for it-- newspaper and wood.
The problem is, of course, being a French supercar,
they're not going to make it.
We're going to bring you lots of reports today, lots of
interesting stuff.
Mike Spinelli was on the piss last night, so actually he's
still in bed.
When he wakes up and we can knock some coffee down him,
we'll have a chit-chat as well.
So Peugeot supercar they're not gonna build.
Let's get going.
MIKE SPINELLI: Welcome to "Road Testament." We are in
the bowels of the Porsche booth at the Paris Auto Show.
Chris Harris is with me right here.
Chris, what are the cars we're looking at today in
the Paris Auto Show?
To start with, the Paris Motor Show is not always the best
place for new metal.
But this seems to be-- there's a buzz about it this year.
Would you agree there's a buzz?
CHRIS HARRIS: I don't like coming to motor shows.
But I felt I had to come to this one.
Welcome to Mercedes Benz.

We've got a new McLaren.
We've got a new Jaguar.
We've got a new VW Golf.
We've got a Bentley customer racing car that
we didn't see coming.
We've got all manner of weird, new French stuff.
The Mercedes SLS E-Cell is being launched.
There's more as well, but those seem to be the
highlights for me at the moment.
MIKE SPINELLI: There's a lot of big stuff.
Those are definitely the ones that I'm looking at, too.
Also, while the European auto industry is in a tailspin at
the moment.
So this is actually good news, or they're taking the focus
off of some very serious issues that they have.
So I don't know.
Where should we start?
Let's start with this McLaren.
Because you've had a little look at this.
I've actually had a sneak peek at the McLaren, which by the
time this comes up won't be a sneak peek anymore.
But it's a tremendous car to look at because there's just
so much to look at.
There are ducts and channels and amazing aerodynamic stuff
on that thing.
In fact, I've almost never seen a car that was a
production car that had so much
aerodynamic interest in it.
CHRIS HARRIS: Are they being slightly more cautious and
modest about the way they communicate the car initially?
Because before the MP4-12C came out, there was a lot of--
And I suspect they feel that was the wrong approach
looking back now.
What they're doing is not talking about the engine,
which is one of the things we were hoping they would talk
about a lot.
So they're not talking about the engine.
They're not talking about the suspension, which were two
things about the first car that were tremendous.
What they are showing is the design and
the aerodynamic stuff.
And it was no accident that they showed the first teaser
image was of an aerodynamic map.
So if that tells you anything about that car, that's exactly
the story that they're telling right now.
But they're not doing a lot of that
breast-beating that you mentioned.
CHRIS HARRIS: Interesting, isn't it?
So anyhow, we're going to go to a party tonight and get
completely drunk and look at it.
MIKE SPINELLI: Absolutely.
CHRIS HARRIS: That's professional [INAUDIBLE].

The new McLaren P1 was unveiled about five minutes
ago and we got on the stand.
Have a look at this.
It's extraordinary.
That wing has just disappeared.
When it comes up, it can go into an active aero mode, and
it can then stall.
The level of detail on the car is extraordinary.
Look at that rear diffuser.
It's massive.
600 kilograms downforce at what they call track speed.
So that's not at 200 miles an hour, that's
at less than that.
We're going to be told nothing more about it until Geneva.
There's a bit of a scrum of rich people trying to get
round it, but it's just stunning.
Absolutely stunning.
And much better in the flesh than any picture I've seen.
It's a fascinating thing.
There's some complicated shapes.
It's not what you call classically beautiful, but
Is the F-type too expensive?
In English money, they're telling me a base car is
50-something, 58,000 pounds.
And then the top one is like 70,000 pounds.
I personally think it might almost be a price point beyond
which I can't begin to reach a conclusion about the car,
because that's just so much money.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, it seems like they've slotted it right
in between the Boxster, Cayman, and the 911, instead
of going after either one.
They're sort of looking to maybe get in between that.
But is the car that much better than a Boxster that you
would choose that?
CHRIS HARRIS: So here it is then, one of the big stars of
the show, the F-type Jaguar.
Last night they announced the prices starting at about
58,000 and going up to well beyond 70,000 pounds.
And I have to say I thought they've gone mad.
What are they doing?
So I had a good chat with Mike Cross, which always improves
the situation.
And a bit more understanding the positioning of the car.
It might be quite clever you know--
I'm talking about the UK here.
The 991 Porsche is an expensive car, coming in at
regularly 90,000 pounds with options.
And people aren't buying it, because it's too expensive to
change up from their 997.
I know it always comes back to Porsche, but they dominate
that marketplace.
So the proposition for F-type is, as far as I can see it,
it's more than a Cayman or a Boxster, but it's a bit less
than a 911.
I think that could be really, really clever.
In terms of performance, 380-odd horsepower for the mid
V6, well that is, they reckon, in terms of benchmarking, kind
of 997 Carrera S pace.
And they think that the top level V8 model is going to
be-- well, it's the thick end of 500 horsepower.
So that's more 911 Turbo performance for, well, we're
looking at maybe 80,000 pounds with extras.
So while the positioning needs to be understood, we need to
drive the car first.
We're looking at early next year.
I think it looks fantastic.
We've only waited 30 years for it.
Thank you, Jaguar.
For me, it's a surprise.
It might be clever.
They might have said, do you know what, if we go
head-to-head with Boxster we're gonna take a shoeing.
There's a lot of people out there that think the 911's a
bit too expensive.
Can we just nip in there?
It might yet turn out to be a stroke of absolute genius.
And I hope for them it is.
Well, the car has to be amazing.
It has to be one of the best cars on the--
because look at how competitive that little sphere
that they're operating in--
CHRIS HARRIS: But with a torque converter automatic, is
it going to be that?
MIKE SPINELLI: I don't know.
That remains to be seen.
But the design?
People might be buying it for the design, because it's
Jag-beautiful, and so--
CHRIS HARRIS: If you had a net worth of $10 million, which
you probably do, given the wardrobe that you sport.
MIKE SPINELLI: Absolutely.
CHRIS HARRIS: And you wanted to go and buy a customer GT3
car to campaign, Blancpain, or do FIA GT3,
would you buy a Bentley?
MIKE SPINELLI: It wouldn't have been my first choice.
CHRIS HARRIS: Of the VW brand portfolio group members, which
one do you think is the least likely to make a
customer GT3 car?
Has to be Bentley, doesn't it?
This thing is a right old lump.
It looks incredible.
Quite how effective it's going to be on the race circuit, I'm
not quite sure.
1,300 kilograms, they're saying.
It's still at concept stage.
The road car is 2,100 kilograms.
Quite how you strip nearly 800 kilograms out of a car, I
don't know.
I suspect you use different materials and change just
about everything about it and don't make the
body panels from lead.
It's got some presence though.
At next year's N24, if one of those comes up behind you, you
will get out of the way.
MIKE SPINELLI: I'm amazed to see that all of these, that
Audi, Porsche, and Bentley are now competing head-to-head.
It says a lot about that company.
And it says an awful lot about a certain man called Mr.
Durheimer, who is now, obviously, working at Audi.
He's not officially commented on anything.
There's a hundred-day period where they tend to say, zip
it, don't say anything, get your head round the company.
But a theme of this show is that when you go around some
of the VW group stands, they're littered with projects
he started when he was in those companies.
So the whole hybrid thing at Porsche, the 918 Spyder, the
green calipers, that was all Durheimer.
He then left and went to Bentley, and everyone was
there going, well, we're going to finish this project.
It's a Durheimer project-- we'll finish it.
He goes to Bentley, and what do we see?
We suddenly see a GT3 racing car.
That's absolutely Durheimer.
I can remember seeing him in the 24 Hours of
Nurburgring in 2011.
And he came up for a chat.
And I said, well, why are you here?
Oh, we're just considering a few options.
So he was clearly there looking at the project.
But he doesn't get to see it come to fruition.
It must be so frustrating.
He leaves again, goes to Audi, and they unveil his baby.
But he retains the responsibility overall for
Volkswagen Group Motorsport.
So as long as he's in charge, Volkswagen are gonna be racing
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, I'm amazed at how much weight they
pulled out of the Bentley Continental to
make that a GT3 car.
CHRIS HARRIS: Well, they used alloys instead of lead.
MIKE SPINELLI: I mean, they also took the front diff out,
they took the seats out.
They took basically everything out.
And they lost 2,200 pounds, which in your
language would be what?
1,300 kilograms?
CHRIS HARRIS: That's a lot.
MIKE SPINELLI: It's a lot.
It's an amazing amount of weight from that car.
But I guess that's a race car.
I mean, that's because race car.
CHRIS HARRIS: And they might make 50 in the next year, and
we've spent 10 minutes talking about it.
So we should probably move on.
There is another new launch here which we didn't mention
initially, which is very important for the European
market and really quite important for the UK, and
that's the little Peugeot hatchback, 208 GTI.
Have to say, much anticipated.
I'm a big GTI fan.
I've still got a 285 of my own.
I walked up to it and went, eh.
200 horsepower, 203 foot-pounds of
torque, 26,000 Euros.
In the UK, on the front of it you'll get a sort
of Union Jack flag.
This is the French edition, obviously, with the French
flag down there.
In summary, it looks OK.
It doesn't make me think I've got to drive that car.
And that's a bit of a problem, isn't it?
MIKE SPINELLI: That's one of the cars that we sort of look
to as the hot hatches that we could never get in the States.
And so when I hear that you don't like it, it's kind of
CHRIS HARRIS: It's going to have to drive like whipped
cream with seven cherries on top to overcome just how
boring it looks.
And they're launching it as a special edition.
So there's 43 cars you could buy at 21,000
pounds or a bit less.
And then there's the series production cars and you can
have flags on the bonnet.
You don't see a confident company that's confident about
it's product going about its business like that.
Does Volkswagen launch the Golf GTI as a special edition?
It just says, this is the Golf GTI, it's all the car you'll
ever need, it's brilliant.
And we all go, yeah it is really, isn't it?
Peugeot, special editions, I mean it's too much of that.
Don't get it.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, it's interesting you should
mention, because the GTI, the new Mk VII--
MIKE SPINELLI: --Golf is out, this time.
And it's the Walter Da Silva beautiful--
I mean, honestly, I think that he's really refined that shape
into something really, really nice.
CHRIS HARRIS: Well, you'll see some of the footage of the
Golf, but the attention it's garnering from rival
I mean, you can't get near the things, because they're being
swarmed over by Korean people taking photos, and with slide
rulers and things.
This lady here has got a tape measure, like a metal tape
thing in her hand.
You can see just there.
And she's just from a rival brand, and she's just
measuring everything about this car's
interior, all the textures.
Look at this here.
Look at that.

Getting the thickness of it.

So motor shows are about spying.
Now he's taking a photo under the steering column there.

Pull the [BEEP]
thing off, why don't you?
It looks fantastic.
It's 100 kilograms [INAUDIBLE]
lighter than the previous model.
That's so significant.
And if they're going down that route then they're doing us
all a favor, because they're delivering
performance the right way.
They're saying, we won't give it any more power, we'll take
weight out of it.
So on that note, a heavy car is this SLS e-tron thing which
they're unveiling today.
I saw the numbers.
And I did actually swear in front of someone from
Mercedes, because I couldn't believe some of the numbers.
They're claiming 700 and something equivalent
horsepower from the batteries.
CHRIS HARRIS: It seems to run out of puff at about
150 miles an hour.
It weighs a lot though.
It's like 2,000 kilograms, whatever
that is in your money.
It's a really heavy bit of kit.
But enormous conkers to launch a car like that to the
So we'll go over to the launch in an hour or
so and have a look.
I'm sitting down, I'm feeling a bit jaded.
But please don't mistake my tiredness for a lack of
interest in the vehicle behind me, this new SLS
AMG electric drive.
Its name's just changed from E-Cell.
Maybe that's because they didn't want it to sound like a
Southern African person describing their exit hole.
Work that one out.
This is a remarkable car.
There's so many numbers and new things, I need to read
them off my iPhone.
So here we go.
740 horsepower, 1,000 Newton-meters, 0 to 60 in 3.9
seconds, 0 to 124 in 12.9 seconds.
That's going some.
It runs out of puff at 155 miles an hour,
and it weighs a lot.
2,095 kilograms, so it's a right old lump.
Developed by the clever people at Brixworth who also do the
Mercedes F1 engines.
And finished in a sort of weird metallic blue, which I
have to say leaps out at you.
Is it rational?
Does it compare in performance with the normal SLS?
No, it doesn't.
But as a statement of what's possible without petrol, you
have to say it's remarkable.
And coming from a company as potentially staid and ordinary
and low-key as Mercedes-Benz, it's a remarkable car.
Can't wait to have a go at it.
What else did we have on our list?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, we didn't talk much
about the Sport Turismo.
CHRIS HARRIS: Oh, the Sport Turismo.
CHRIS HARRIS: We just had an interesting discussion with
someone who might present on a rival
YouTube automotive show--
MIKE SPINELLI: Which one is that?
CHRIS HARRIS: Well, uh-- something about trends.
MIKE SPINELLI: Trends and motors.
CHRIS HARRIS: Trends, something trends.
Drag Race UK.
And basically, they were walking around it thinking
what can we drag race this-- no they weren't.
What they were doing is they were saying, do you know what?
I think the Panamera is better looking than this.
And I don't understand it, I'm afraid.
I'm a supporter of the Panamera to the point that
people want to kill me for defending it.
But this is a better looking car, isn't it?
MIKE SPINELLI: It absolutely is.
I've never been a big fan of what the Panamera looked like.
It's a fantastic car, I know.
I'll try not to lash out.
But I think it's a fantastic car.
But I do think that the Sport Turismo, the way that they've
raked it in the back, it just reconciles all that volume
that we were talking about on the side.
And it just looks much better as an estate car, as you say.
CHRIS HARRIS: What do we think to the way that a company like
Porsche now reverse-engineers the process of concept cars?
So it's a concept.
Of course it's not a concept.
They're gonna build it.
The way they do it is they finish the car, and then they
think, right, you take a sledgehammer, smash the
windows off it, that'll make it a concept.
And then someone design a fake door handle that you could
never use in real life.
CHRIS HARRIS: And then someone basically stick an iPad screen
somewhere in the dashboard.
And then they put lots of shiny metal on the seats,
That's another thing they do.
I mean, and that's basically it.
They just take the car, shave it all down, put giant wheels
on it, and it's a concept.
CHRIS HARRIS: Have you been over to the Fiat stand yet?
MIKE SPINELLI: No, I have not.
CHRIS HARRIS: There's several women there that you would
I can't wait to go over there.
Would or could?
Two different things.