The 11 Coolest Cars From the Paris Motor Show – Wired

Posted: Monday, October 06, 2014

Lamborghini may be synonymous with excess, but its latest concept, the Asterion LPI 910-4, shows the Italians do care at least a smudge about fuel efficiency: This charging bull is a plug-in hybrid electric that delivers a remarkable 75 mpg. Lamborghini

Lamborghini

But it’s not exactly restrained. The combination of three electric motors and a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine produces over 900 horsepower, enough to send this hybrid from a standstill to 62 mph in three seconds flat. Lamborghini

Lamborghini

Jaguar has been on a roll this past year, putting the terrific F-Type sports car on the market and making us shiver with delight at the resurrected racing version of the iconic E-Type. Now it’s making good on its plans to expand into more segments with the XE, an all-new midsize sedan set to compete with the BMW 3 Series. Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover

The most aerodynamic Jag ever, the XE packs a supercharged 3-liter V6 engine that will send it from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. In the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the hood automatically pops up a few millimeters, creating a cushion of air between the relatively soft aluminum and the much harder engine underneath. Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover

France’s Citroen used the home court advantage to reveal one of the craziest we’ve come across in quite a while. Produced for DS, the automaker’s luxury division, the Divine concept will never be built, but comes with a lot of intriguing design details that could make their way onto the road. DS

DS

Don’t expect to see those insane doors on a dealership lot, or the scale-like things (whatever those are) that cover the rear window. But we won’t be surprised if elements of this angular, edgy, near reptilian look creep into production cars, especially since DS plans to double its lineup from three to six models. DS

DS

With the TT Sportback Concept, Audi fills a niche we didn’t realize needed to be filled. It took the small sports car and made it a bit longer, a bit wider, and added two doors. Audi

Audi

The four door result, which Audi deems a coupe, will hit 60 mph from a standstill in under four seconds, thanks to the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood, and the Quattro all-wheel drive system. Audi

Audi

Volvo banks a lot of its reputation on safety, and the renovated XC90 shows the Swedish automaker fully intends to eliminate crash-related deaths in its cars by 2020. The SUV is “semi-autonomous,” and has an industry-first auto brake function that stops drivers from making risky left hand turns. Volvo

Volvo

Inside the XC90, Volvo focused on infotainment, replacing good old fashioned buttons with a touchscreen. As we see it, this is something of a safety hazard, forcing drivers who want to do things like turn on the air conditioning to take their eyes off the road. Volvo

Volvo

Just a month after revealing the latest reincarnation of one of the most beloved sports cars ever, Mazda used the Paris Motor Show to tell us the MX-5 (aka the Miata) will be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, at least in the U.S. Mazda

Mazda

We don’t have any specific power production numbers but yet, but Mazda promises “the fun-to-drive essence that only MX-5 can offer.” We’ll know more before the car hits dealerships mid-2015. Mazda

Mazda

The interesting thing about the Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta isn’t the fact that it exists, or that it’s got an open top that will let the sonic boom from the 597-hp V8 engine flood directly into your ear canals. What matters here is that this will likely be the final iteration of the glorious 458, and the end of Ferrari’s devotion to naturally aspirated engines. Ferrari

Ferrari

Ferrari is preparing a successor to the 458, which means those who love the car—which should be everyone with eyes, ears, or a heart bigger than the Grinch’s—should ogle the Aperta all they can. Oh, and it goes from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds flat. Ferrari

Ferrari

The Paris show tends to focus on the luxury and supercar segments, so it’s nice to see Nissan putting a good old hot hatch on the floor. Behold the Pulsar Nismo Concept. Nissan

Nissan

The Nismo version makes the ordinarily staid five-door Pulsar look like a blast, covered in aerodynamic flourishes, sitting lower to the ground, and equipped with a new suspension to keep it going on track day. Nissan

Nissan

The automotive public may be focused on hybrids and battery-powered electric vehicles to save them from wallet-crushing gas bills, but Toyota sees another way: Hydrogen. The unimaginatively named Fuel Cell Sedan made its European debut in Paris. Toyota

Toyota

The car can drive 300 miles on a full tank of hydrogen, refill in just a few minutes, and the exhaust pumps out nothing but water vapor. But there are downsides the technology: It’s expensive. Hydrogen fuel is hard to find, no cheaper than gas, and its production can produce greenhouse gases, if it’s generated from natural gas. Toyota

Toyota

For Paris, Infiniti trotted out the ambitiously named Q80 Inspiration concept. Infiniti

Infiniti

As a design study, it’s superb. Unfortunately, we don’t expect the struggling luxury arm of Nissan to make a production car that looks anything like it. Infiniti

Infiniti

Two years after buying Ducati, Volkswagen has done something unexpected: It took the motorcycle brand’s 197-bhp V-twin engine, used on the 1199 Superleggara bike, and slapped it under the hood of a car. Thus we have the XL Sport concept. Volkswagen

Volkswagen

That Ducati engine is the world’s most power V-twin. Thanks to the XL’s minimalist and aerodynamic design, it will be enough to send the concept from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, and up to a top speed of 168 mph. Volkswagen

Volkswagen

The 2014 Paris Motor Show, the most highly attended of its kind on the planet, is now open to the public. The world’s automakers spent two days last week revealing more than 100 cars, from the outrageously powerful—and hybrid!—Lamborghini, to the bizarrely angular Citroen concept that works something like an optical illusion.

So whether or not you’re headed to the City of Lights to take it all in, click through the gallery above (and do yourself a favor and use fullscreen mode) to see our picks for the coolest rides from this year’s show.

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