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The best cars of the 2018 Paris Motor Show

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The Paris Motor Show shines, somewhat, when the Germans are resting. Specifically, the Paris Motor Show takes place in even-numbered years, when there is no Frankfurt Auto Show. Frankfurt operates in odd years. Frankfurt in a bad year is bigger than Paris in a fabulous year, and this year’s Paris show was sweeter. Yet when BMW unveils the latest generation of the best-selling luxury sports sedan of all time, the 3 Series, you know Paris can’t be too bad.

Here’s our take on the best cars from the 2018 Paris Motor Show, held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris. As well as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and electric vehicles from Audi and Mercedes, it was French automakers Renault, Peugeot, DS and Citroën who, unsurprisingly, stepped in to fill the void for the show. local team.

The star of the Paris Motor Show was the seventh generation 3 Series compact sedan. Prices in the United States will start at $41,195 for the 330i with a four-cylinder turbo, which sounds like a lot, but the very first 320i from 1977 is $36,000 at today’s prices. The new one is about the same size as the outgoing Series 3. There will be plenty of standard tech and more available at premium prices with very high levels of performance. (Example: surround-view cameras, which almost everyone offers. BMW adds clearance indicators showing proximity to hazards with green, yellow, or red spacer bubbles.) Infotainment will work with an expanded set of conversational controls by BMW, and BMW is planning its take on Siri to be usable at home. If Apple thinks it can build cars, why can’t BMW build natural language interfaces, and why shouldn’t BMW charge you for using Siri in your car, probably $80 a year ?

The 3-series headlights will be LED. Aimable laser headlights are an option.

The first cars in early 2019 will be the rear-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive 330i with the turbo four producing 255bhp with an eight-speed automatic. (No 3-series manual transmission except on M3. It’s dead. 10% acceptance rate worldwide, much less in the US.) The M340i, not the same as an M3, gets a 382hp (up to 65) turbocharged inline-six. A 330e plug-in hybrid will be released in 2020. There will also be an M3. There’s an outward chance we’ll see a diesel 3-Series, but it’s more likely plug-in hybrids will be BMW’s high-mpg game.

As the 3 Series grew chubtier, Club BMW fanatics flocked to the 2 Series instead. BMW says improving performance was a priority when designing the 2019 G20 (codename) 3-Series. Weight is down about 125 pounds; the once steel bonnet is now aluminum. The new 3 Series has to be good because the competition from the Audi A6 (new for 2016) and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2014) is fierce.

Vinfast Design Director Dave Lyon, Miss Vietnam 2018 Tran Tieu Vy and David Beckham at the launch of VinFast at the Paris Motor Show at Parc des Expositions.

Beckham and Miss Vietnam present a new brand of car

Almost as interesting as the cars themselves was to find out which British newspapers sided with the “dead year for Paris but still not bad” faction, and which declared Paris “deader than a door-nail”, as the Daily mail, which simply had to be there, however, since:

a) former footballer David Beckham was present,
b) Beckham’s thinning hair (a DM story) looked much thicker when he stood next to
c) Miss Vietnam Tran Tieu Vy in a tight dress as they
d) help launch Vinfast, a luxury car manufacturer from Vietnam
e) whose first vehicles will arrive on the market in 2019, and
f) Wasn’t it interesting that Beckham had just beaten a speeding ticket (59 in a 40 zone in a Bentley) on a technical point?
(g) but only his lawyer was present in court and instead
h) Beckham and his wife Victoria were in Paris “to celebrate[ing] over £1,300 [$1,700] bottle of French wine.

The British arrive at the essence of auto shows.

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