Article and photos by Peter Bleakney
2012 Paris Motor Show
Every two years the City of Light hosts the Paris Auto Show (Mondial de l’Automobile), a sprawling event held in seven pavilions that signals the direction of the European auto industry—which of late has been decidedly downward, at least in the economic sense. All French automakers are seeing big losses, and even Ford of Europe expects to bleed 1 billion euros this year.
Compared to the last Paris show, electrification played a smaller role as advancements in internal combustion diesel and gasoline efficiency continue while the minuscule sales and questionable merit of EVs and plug-in hybrids have cooled the electric hype.
Organizers predict 1.25 million visitors to the show this year.
Here is a selection of some of the vehicles we’ll be getting in Canada, and some we won’t.
Jaguar F-Type. Click image to enlarge
2014 Jaguar F-Type
Jaguar has been the teasing the automotive world for decades with periodic hints of building a spiritual successor to the legendary E-Type sports car.
Fittingly, the new two-seat roadster (a coupe version will follow) was unveiled at Musee Rodin in Paris. Since most of Jag design director Ian Callum’s work can be classified as rolling sculpture, the F-Type looked quite at home among the large Rodin bronzes.
Built on next-gen aluminum architecture drawn from bigger brother XK, the F-Type casts a smaller shadow and doesn’t stray much from the Jaguar C-X16 concept that made the auto show rounds this year.
This is a good thing.
There’s no question this new roadster is a Jaguar. Initial impressions are of a flowing, sensual design that hints to the past but also looks contemporary. Shark-like gills on either side of the forward-canted grille lead the eye to the sweeping flanks that culminate in the classic “Callum” muscular rear haunches that any Jaguar sports car worth its Whiskas must have. The horizontal rear lights are a nod to the E-Type.
Arriving in Canada spring of 2013, the F-Type roadster will come in three different flavours. The base model is powered by an all new 3.0L direct-injection supercharged V6 making 340 hp. The mid-spec F-Type S uses the same engine boosted to 380 hp, and for those seeking a more feral feline experience, the F-Type V8 S boasts a version of Jaguar’s 5.0L supercharged V8 making 495 hp.
All are fitted with a ZF 8-speed auto. S models get active exhaust, limited slip differentials and adaptive damping.
The fabric powered top folds in 12 seconds at speeds up to 50 km/h, and the decklid has a deployable spoiler.
No pricing has been announced, but the F-Type’s US entry point is $69,900.