As McLaren Automotive attended its first international motor show, a huge crowd gathered on the first evening of the Paris show to see Ron Dennis unveil the new P1 for the first time. Reaction from the general public is predictably positive, but designers we’ve spoken to seem to share our opinion that the new form language – derived from the organic shapes of aero-influenced F1 cars – is not as successful as we’d hoped.
The overall form of the car is certainly dramatic and there’s little doubt that the car will make a staggering impression on the road, but on the show stand and in a not-so-complementary metallic burnt orange color and without visible interior or engine, the P1 seems like it’s trying a bit too hard.
The various scoops and cut-outs – especially the lacquered carbon side scoop – seem to distract from what is an otherwise sinuous, sexy, and original volume.
The impossibly low rear end sets it apart from any rivals it might have, while the tail lights that weave their way along the edge of the impossibly curvy engine venting are a great detail. For the most part, the details are the stars of the show here, with this prototype even having a bespoke titanium number plate. Not all are successful, however. The faux DLO graphic in particular is the very definition of form not following function, a far cry from McLaren’s usual no-nonsense approach.
Because the car was shown without access to the interior and engine bay, which meant many blocked-off exhaust outlets and vents, we’re going to withhold final judgement on the car until all is revealed in Geneva next March. Until then, we’ll let you enjoy a few photos and judge for yourselves.
The Lexus LF-CC concept is challenging, perception-challenging, exciting and, above all, distinctive. Take these bewinged projector lamps that bore their way into the distance like some mechanical Jules Verne deep sea monster. More like this please Lexus!
Of course this isn’t really the first time we’ve seen the Ford Mondeo – we saw its stateside twin, the Fusion back in January in Detroit. Interesting to see it in Paris in Euro spec. Most mainstream media is running with the ‘Aston Martin for the masses’ headline thanks to its outline grille. Do doubt Ford is glad of this as it distracts from the fact that the Mondusion (Fusdeo?) is in fact an Audi emulator. Who isn’t currently?
If imitation is the highest form of flattery then the guys in Ingolstadt will be beetroot red.
Its DRL signature is a kink shy of the A6′s, the hatchback’s profile a facsimile of the A7 and the lower mask treatment strikingly similar to the outgoing A3.
Unfortunately the quality of these pre-production cars spoils the illusion. Huge panel gaps (you can actually see into the engine bay on one of the show cars) and poor interior quality (console bin lids stuck open, sharp trim edges) just aren’t good enough. I for one remember the previous generation Mondeo being leagues ahead in terms of perceived quality. It’s little wonder Ford has drafted in Amko Leenarts – the man responsible for turning around Peugeot’s interiors – as its new Director of Global Interiors Design Strategy.
Ford was, at one time, a company very much leading the gaggle in terms of design direction, but the Mondeo feels disappointing in its lack of clear identity.
Carbon, copper, dot matrix displays. The Onyx is yet another strong concept from Peugeot. Video with lead exterior Sandeep Bhambra coming soon.
Just arrived at the Porte de Versaille and looking down the list of confined debutants for this year’s Paris motor show — le Mondial d’Automobile — it’s hard not to feel a little underwhelmed.
Of course the current dire state of the French car industry has a lot to answer for although surely now is the time to show how Gallic design can drag le Grand Trois from the doldrums? New Renault Clio and interesting but irrelevant Peugeot Onyx concept aside it’s a rather sorry-looking prospect.
The Brits are promising a stronger showing but, again, if we’re talking relevance a Range Rover, a Jaguar sports car and a gazillion-Euro McLaren are hardly going to trouble the Top 10 sellers lists.
Predictably it’s the Germans who will offer the true marker in the shape of the seventh-generation Golf, but not before the Japanese continue their resurgence, with the Lexus LF-CC’s arachnid projector lamps aimed at the upcoming BMW 4-Series.
Unless there’s a big surprise we’ll just have to keep waiting for that Citroën DS-style revolution. And by DS I’m referring to the 1955 vintage, not last season’s hatchback with an oversized sunroof masquerading as the new.
Stay here to see how we fare in our hunt for innovation.
By Owen Ready