Our Man in Brazil reckons the 2014 Sao Paulo show was one of the best in the events half century

Our Man in Brazil reckon's the 2014 Sao Paulo show was one of the best in the event's half century

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Attracting over 750,000 visitors in 11 days, the São Paulo motor show saw several locally made and imported new model launches of varying degrees of importance that, together, made this year's event one of the best in the show's 54-year history.

A key launch heralded the return of the Jeep brand, produced in the north-eastern region as it first was over 50 years ago, but this time in a manufacturing plant several times larger built by FCA Group.

The Jeep Renegade becomes the new benchmark in Brazil for compact SUVs due to a range that includes a nine-speed automatic gearbox, its first siesel engine, automatic parking assistant and removable sunroof, and many other features.

Rivals launched in Sao Paulo include the Honda HR-V and Peugeot 2008, albeit lacking off-road capabilities like the Fiat Chrysler product, and all three will go into local production during 2015.

Nissan showed the Kicks (provisional nameplate) its concept SUV compact aimed at the same market and probably out late in 2015. It drew so much attention that the lightly restyled Versa saloon, whose local production just started at the new Resende (state of Rio de Janeiro) plant, was kept to the background.

Chinese brands Chery and JAC showed the Tiggo 5 and the T5 (S3 in China), respectively. Suzuki surprised with its new S Cross.

Confirmation the Land Rover Discovery Sport would be produced here as the British brand’s first locally assembled model was expected.  The Jaguar XE medium-large saloon joined it on the same spot, a clear indication it's also in the plans for the recently announced plant in Itatiaia (state of  Rio de Janeiro, a few miles from Resende) by 2016.

Renault and Fiat displayed different strategies related to their new pickups. While the Duster Oroch was highlighted on the stand as the market’s first double-cab, four-door truck, Fiat chose to disguise its medium-size pickup.

Most observers thought the Italian brand went too far disguising its show car despite rumours suggesting a launch in the second half of next year, before the Oroch arrives.

'Pseudo-adventurers' - SUV looks without the offroad ability -  keep on coming, and Sao Palo saw VW's Cross Up, the Chevrolet Spin Activ, Renault Sandero Stepway and VW Saveiro Cross double-cab pickup.

Hyundai gave a clear indication of how the HB20 design will evolve by displaying the R-Spec concept (there is also a planned SUV compact for 2016, as j-a learned).

Citroën discreetly exhibited in the C4 Lounge the first DI turbo flexible-fuel engine (1.6 litre/170bhp/ethanol) of a high-volume brand, though a similar enging is available in the BMW 3 series.

Many 'firsts' shown at recent world motor shows were also present in São Paulo: Mercedes-AMG GT, BMW i8, Porsche 918 Spyder, Audi Off Road Concept, Lexus NX, Honda NSX and Toyota FCV. The two American brands showed the Ford Mustang (import is 'go' according to good sources) and the Corvette Stingray (still under study).

SAO PAULO SHOW: World premieres

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