Paris Motor Show 2004 - Review

Held biennially, the Paris Motor Show is a chance for the French manufacturers to really show the world what they can do. It’s also one of the world’s most accessible venues, in the most romantic city on the planet, so why not take the chance to be a little flamboyant and flaunt your latest supercar? Like Ferrari’s F430.

On the mass production front the big news at Paris was Ford’s latest version of the Focus (together with a Vignale concept convertible of same). Citroen had a new C4, and VW’s much-trumpeted Golf GTi MK V was making its first appearance. In Classic Driver territory there was an opportunity to see Ferrari’s aforementioned in all its glory, as well as Aston Martin’s mega-performance S version of the Vanquish, the revamped Porsche Boxster and open-top Lamborghini Murcielago.

Rolls-Royce was giving the Phantom its Parisian debut, while Porsche also had the latest 911 that will be delivered to customers worldwide this autumn. On the Italian front Alfa Romeo were again showing their 8C (together with a re-styled 147), while Maserati had the Spyder 90th Anniversary car on their stand. It was also the first chance for the world to see Audi complete its ‘bearded’ grille family line-up with the introduction of the latest A4 as well as the stretched, 5-door, A3.

Mercedes were one stage further down the line to productionising its Vision concepts, the larger GST likely to appear sooner than its smaller brother, the Vision B, while the company also had the amazing Giorgio Armani CLK Convertible and Continent-crushing CLS 55. On the model-variation front, BMW had announced a 3-Series diesel convertible, while Bentley was showing the Mulliner upgrades to the Continental GT.

Top motor industry photographer René Staud was on hand to record the action...

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Text: Classic Driver
Photos: René Staud


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