Whatcar.com covered the seven major motor shows in 2014. Remind yourself of all the highlights below.
The motor show season kicked off for another year in Detroit, where the star of the show was the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The BMW 3 Series rival brought with it a fresh new look inside and out, and the promise of economical diesel engines. Elsewhere, Volvo previewed the upcoming XC90 with the Concept XC Coupe, and there was a glut of sports car concepts from some unlikely sources, including the Toyota FT-1 and Kia GT4 Stinger.
Europe’s first major motor show of the year was one for small cars to shine. There were debuts for the new Mazda 2, Renault Twingo and the Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108 trio, BMW launched its first front-wheel drive model with the 2 Series Active Tourer compact MPV, and the Audi TT coupe returned for a third generation. Innovation came from the Citroen C4 Cactus hatch, Ford face-lifted its big-selling Focus range, and Maserati had the star concept with the Alfieri sports car.
New York is the smallest of the three major motor shows held in North America, but it still plays host to some significant new car launches. This year’s show star was the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept, which previewed an expanded range of Discovery vehicles, the first of which being the Discovery Sport we’d see later in the year. Elsewhere, BMW launched a new niche model, the X4, which is a coupe version of the X3 SUV.
China is now the world’s largest market for new car sales, and its motor shows, which alternate between Shanghai and Beijing each spring, are growing in prominence. SUVs were the star attraction in Beijing this year, where Lexus entered the booming compact SUV market with the NX, and Volkswagen gave its big Touareg SUV a face-lift, something Mini also did to the Paceman. Sports cars also starred in Beijing, none more so than new range-topping GTS versions of the Cayman and Boxster.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed has now become Britain’s unofficial motor show and with each passing year more and more manufacturers are choosing to launch new models there. Performance cars were the star attractions at Goodwood, the Jaguar Project 7 chief among them. The Project 7 is a modified and performance version of the F-type, and is the work of Jaguar Land Rover’s new SVO division, which creates high-performance and exclusive models. The Range Rover Sport SVR, the fastest Land Rover ever and also the work of SVO, also starred at Goodwood.
Alternating with the Frankfurt motor show each autumn, the Paris motor show is where French manufacturers try and steal the headlines. But the home makers were upstaged by a whole host of important new models, including the Volvo XC90, Skoda Fabia, Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Passat and Hyundai i20. It was also another big show for Jaguar Land Rover, where the Jaguar XE finally made its public debut and the Land Rover Discovery Sport arrived to replace the Freelander.
The last major motor show of the year, LA saw the reveal of the new Mazda CX-3, one of several new Nissan Juke-sized SUVs to be revealed in 2014. The Jaguar F-type range expanded with the addition of a manual gearbox option and all-wheel drive, and the Maybach name returned on a plush, range-topping version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The luxury theme continued with the unveiling of the Bentley Grand Convertible, a close-to-production open-top version of the Mulsanne.