2008 Paris Auto Show: Green Preview

Every two years, thousands of car enthusiasts and journalists flock to see what’s new at the Paris Auto Show. This year however, it’s more than just about what’s new. It’s about what’s green. And as the event takes place through the first two weeks of October, more than a dozen green vehicles—both production and concept—will make appearances. Here are a few we should pay close attention to, as they are either slated for the US marketplace, or at least rumored to be.

The Chevy Cruze

The Chevy Cruze

The first car to consider is the 2010 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan. This stylish little car promises great drivability and a choice of three efficient powertrains, making it an attractive commuter. It should be stateside by July 2010, but the Europeans will have it by next year.

The new Insight hybrid is Honda’s secret weapon for taking on Toyota’s flagship Prius. It is a four-door gas-electric sedan which touts comparable fuel economy, a lower price, and better handling dynamics. This one arrives in April.


Smart is expected to give a quick peek of its most recent electric-powered Fortwo. This tiny tot aptly combines super small size with a zero-exhaust power system. And Smart plans to outfit this car with the latest lithium ion batteries. When will it come to the US? No answer on that one yet, but 2012 is a good guess (considering the US is about three to four years behind on the Smart curve.)

The Ford Ka

The Ford Ka

Another ultra-mini mover is the Toyota iQ. If this one heads to the US, it will be a direct competitor to the Smart Fortwo. It’s a little larger than the Smart, and offers two rear seats that can accommodate small children—barely, that is. Regardless, its minute size and superior efficiency could be well-received in certain American cities. And with Toyota’s reputation and brand recognition, the iQ has the potential to become the more popular choice versus the Smart.


Finally, the Ford Ka makes its appearance as a hipster city car. It’s powered by a choice of two miniscule powerplants: a 1.2-liter gas-engine rated at 69 horsepower, or a 1.3-liter turbodiesel with 75 horses. Ford has alluded to bringing the Ka to the US, but it would be renamed for the American market. No time frame has been given.

Obscure vehicles to be unveiled at the show include the Nissan-Renault Nuvu and the Bollore Blue Car electric car.

More Hybrid News...

  • Bryce

    Can’t wait. All these new reveals are getting me excited for this show. Too bad I can’t go there and admire them for myself. : (

  • Lequisha

    How come the Europeans get the Chevy Cruze before the American people do? It doesn’t make sense!!!

    I’m angry!

  • i_kon_man

    I think there is more demand for green (efficient and smaller) car in Europe. GM is not ‘there’ yet.

  • Bryce

    The 1.4L turbo that GM keeps saying will be used in the Cruze here in the USA needs to be developed and fine tuned in their new powertrain development facility they just put up in Ohio, so it will be a year later. In laymans terms, the engine needs to be invented. : ) GM would love to put this thing on market tomorrow cuz it would definetly sell, it just needs another year to take car of the engine. This will probably work out nicely that way the Europeans can figure out and fix all of the kinks in the car for us. : )

  • Civic Hybrid

    The comment “choice of two miniscule powerplants: a 1.2-liter gas-engine rated at 69 horses,” bugs me. I also own a 1973 Saab Sonett and it only had 67hp in it’s little v4. I had a Vanagen Diesel and it only had 48hp. Both of these cars were fine for me. What is the problem with sub 100hp power?

  • Reese

    I honestly think Europeans have been living in the “REAL” world of energy awareness, efficiency, and cost for quite some time and the US has been franticly feeding on fear marketing of monster vehicles. Germans have asked me why we have so many V8 engines when most of the speed limits were 55 mph. I used to own a Geo Metro <1000cc - 3 cylinder. My daughter drove it across the US and back. It was normally used only for urban driving. It was snappy and it could speed along at 70 mph without any problems. A small car is definitely the answer as the second car in my family.

  • Jeff

    Where is the story in Ford’s High milage deisel?


    Bring it on.

  • Bryce

    Engines have grown more advanced in the past decades so engines now with the same displacement as they did in the 70’s say will now produce much better HP and fuel economy. This 140 HP 1.4L is amazing, especially considering that amount of HP was only for the region of V6 engines back in the day.

  • schlitzycarnival

    all these cars are useless – green, indeed! – just use public transit!!!

  • Bryce

    lol……public transit….you are funny. As someone that has had to ride public transit for the last few years…..it sucks. Late, slow, and annoying as hell. Would rather hang out at the DMV all….ALLLLLLLLL day then ride public transit for even an hour or two. (except for BART, I like it…..probably because I have never had to ride it for more than maybe half an hour to get across the bay or something) If the bay weren’t so inaccesible to cars and the roads and gas so ridiculous, I would just be driving my car around here, but alas, it sits at home in SoCal. : (