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Paris motor show: All the new cars including Mercedes’ Maybach concept, specs and talking points
We’ve been trekking through the many halls of the Paris motor show to find the standout cars. And in no particular order, here they are. The Vision Mercedes Maybach 6 concept car: now this is what you come to a motor show for. A car so phantasmagoric it makes your teeth ache. The bonnet is longer than my bed, the wheels taller than my dog and it drips money so much that the Great Gatsby himself would run an ignition key down the side of the coachwork.
You can’t help wondering if they’d paid as much attention to the original Maybach instead of producing a car that looked as though it was a rejected Eighties Hyundai design, then the rebirth of Maybach might have been a bit more successful.
Mercedes is also using Paris to show its Generation EQ concept, an electric SUV that’s in stark contrast in terms of design philosophy to VW’s smaller, lighter ID concept, but conveys a similar message. The EQ concept is a 400bhp SUV that uses an electric motor on each axle (making it four-wheel drive) that’s slated to go into production in 2019 as a rival to the Tesla Model X, albeit possibly slightly more affordable. It is said to have a range of approximately 300 miles from a single charge.
As with the VW ID concept, the EQ is not just a show car, but a signal of Mercedes building a whole new sub-brand of electric car. The company says that it is aiming to have 10 or more fully electric cars on sale by 2025, accounting for up to 25 per cent of its sales.
Also on the Mercedes stand was the E-class All-Terrain. “It’s a niche, but it’s a valuable niche,” said one company insider. These all-wheel-drive estates with slightly raised suspension might be seen as the thinking woman’s SUV, since they carry more, are nicer to drive, go round corners better and use less fuel. That said, they don’t have the high seating position, which some folk love.
Anyway, where Volvo, Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen have made hay for the last few years, Mercedes-Benz is now venturing with the All-Terrain, which goes on sale next spring. Standard equipment includes 4Matic all-wheel drive, increased ground clearance and rugged styling extensions including bumpers, grille, side skirts and wheelarch extensions.
A driverless vehicle carrying passengers has taken to Britain’s public roads for the first time today.
The trial is aimed at paving the way for autonomous cars to hit the roads by the end of the decade.
The government is encouraging technology companies, carmakers and start-ups to develop and test their autonomous driving technologies in Britain.
‘Today’s first public trials of driverless vehicles in our towns is a ground-breaking moment,’ Britain’s business minister Greg Clark said.
The hope is to build an industry to serve a worldwide market which it forecasts could be worth around £900 billion ($1.1 trillion) by 2025.
Earlier this year, the government launched a consultation on changes to insurance rules and motoring regulations to allow driverless cars to be used by 2020 and said it would allow such vehicles to be tested on motorways from next year.
A pod, like a small two-seater car, developed by a company spun out from Oxford University was tested in Milton Keynes, with organisers hoping the trials will feed vital information on how the vehicle interacts with pedestrians and other road-users.