Electric Wins Over Luxury As Automakers Scale Back at Paris Motor Show

The 2016 Paris Motor Show is seeing a lot more electric car announcements than high-performance luxury this year as automakers respond to emissions scrutiny and cutbacks on the cost of attending auto shows.

This year has seen fewer marque displays than ever in modern auto shows as automakers reroute marketing and dollars spent to other channels like social media, according to a Bloomberg report. The Paris show has been the largest in the world, with 1.25 million attending in 2014. Those attending this year are expected to be disappointed by several brands disappearing and less emphasis placed on luxury cars (especially cars with diesel engines).

Volkswagen and Daimler are using the Paris Motor Show to grab attention for its electric concept cars, but several automakers decided to not show up; or in the case of BMW, the company chose to have its executive leadership stay in Germany to debate the future of its plug-in electrified vehicles (PEV) strategy.

Bloomberg outlined the increasing importance of PEVs in the European market at the biennial auto show’s show floor displays. Crossover models are finding their way into PEV concepts.

“Crossovers and vehicle electrification are again expected to be key reveals at the event,” said Ian Fletcher, the principal analyst for IHS Markit. “The key trends are being determined by a combination of consumer demand – in terms of the number of crossovers being revealed – and legislative emissions factors, through a focus on electrification.”

As for those automakers deciding to sit this one out, the list is surprising: on the luxury side. Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Maserati, Cadillac, McLaren, Genesis, Lamborghini, and Bugatti are skipping the show altogether. Mass market brands such as Ford, Mazda, and Volvo, among others, decided not to attend, either.

BMW i8.

BMW i8.

While light on staff attending, BMW is showing the new electric i3 and i8 Protonic Dark Silver special edition model. You can view the i8 special edition in the photo below. The German automaker said it will begin production of the BMW i8 Protonic Dark Silver Edition in December and in early 2017, but it will be in limited production; that’s similar to what happened with its previous Protonic Red Edition.

BMW is also showing its new 3 Series Gran Turismo four-door, a C evolution e-scooter, and the X2 Concept SUV that is expected to go into full production late next year.

SEE ALSO:  BMW Execs To Skip Paris Motor Show to Work on EV StrategyVolkswagen has been one of the stars of the electric car show with the unveiling of the I.D. concept car. It’s the first of 30 PEVs the company says it will bring to market by 2025, and represents the beginning of its new phase following “Dieselgate.”

VW Up!

VW Up!

VW will also be showing a redesigned concept of the Up!, which you can see in the photo above. The “mini city car” will comes with the company defines as exceptional sound quality delivered by 300 watts premium audio system produced. It’s likely VW will roll out an electric version of the Up! smaller city car in the future.

VW’s Porsche brand is rolling out the second-generation Panamera that will include a second-gen plug-in hybrid version. Porsche said it will be more powerful than the current Pananera plug-in hybrid and will have longer electric motor driving range. You can view the Panamera photo above, featured as the lead image in this article, to get a good look at the Panamera’s refreshed design.

Mercedes will be showing off a few high-performance models in its lineup: AMG GT R, AMG GLC43 Coupe, GLC350e Coupe, AMG GT and GT C Roadster. The German automaker is also revealing its PEV concept that the automaker calls “a concrete vision of a totally new generation of vehicles with battery-electric drive.” It’s expected to be a crossover based on the GLC.

Parent company Daimler’s Smart brand will reveal the new electric drive variants of its ForTwo, Cabrio, and ForFour models.

Lexus LC 500H.

Lexus LC 500H.

Tesla Motors will be displaying P100D editions of its Model X and Model S for European markets.

Lexus will show the UX SUV concept it that the Japanese automaker leaked photos of last month. The SUV is expected to have 3D driving and hologram components that would be new for the Toyota-owned brand. Lexus is also showing the LC 500h, which you can view in the photo above. The automaker says it will be getting a brand new Multi Stage Hybrid System engine, combining a 3.5 liter V6 engine with a “powerful electric engine,” a lithium-ion battery, and “a revolutionary automatic transmission delivering the sensations of a 10-speed gearbox.”

The company will also be showing the Toyota FCV Plus, which will be shown for the first time in Europe. It was revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Owners will be able to produce electricity directly from hydrogen coming from an exterior source – to power something else beyond the fuel cell car. (See photo below.)

Toyota FCV Plus.

Toyota FCV Plus.

Ferrari will be attending to represent classic, high-performance luxury brands. Ferrari will show the LaFerrari Aperta (aptera translates to “open” from Italian), which is an open-top version of the $1.1 million, limited-edition LaFerrari hybrid. Ferrari said that the entire production line has already been sold out, for an undisclosed price. The new GTC4 Lusso will also be shown off at the Ferrari display.