After a 4 month summer break, automakers return to the show circuit for the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The Paris Motor Show always brings something new and interesting for the world to see. Dozens of world debuts were shown. So many new concepts and production ready models were shown that we had a hard time narrowing down which to feature. We did manage to narrow the list down to ten of what we feel are the most interesting or significant.
We start off with the new Volkswagen Polo GTI. This scaled down Golf is about the same size as the Ford Fiesta and would compete with the Fiesta ST nicely if it were offered in the US. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Our friends across the pond will enjoy the 189 hp available from its turbo charged 1.8L 4 cylinder engine which should be ample power to make this a potent little machine. The rally version of the Polo has been dominating WRC the last couple of years but will this new Polo GTI dominate the sub-compact, hot hatch market?
Ferrari came swinging hard with their new ragtop version of the 458 Speciale. This yellow pony uses the same drivetrain as the hardtop with its 597 hp 4.5L V8 making this the most powerful Ferrari spyder to date. 0-62mph is claimed to take just 3.0 seconds. This 458 Speciale A, as it is known, has a stunning blue carbon fiber interior to match the blue stripe on the hood. If you are thinking of buying one you’d better contact your Ferrari dealer fast because Ferrari will only build 500 of these and they are likely to sell like Carlo’s Bakery’s cannolis. Unveiled a few weeks prior, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT made its first public appearance at the Paris Motor Show. The baby SLS as it has been called will be anything but a baby. It is powered by a 456hp or 503 hp 6.2L V8 depending on the trim level. 0-62 times are a claimed at 3.9 and 3.7 seconds respectfully. Were you thinking of buying a Jaguar F-Type Coupe? You may want to reconsider. At first, this new Jag looks like any other four door Jaguar. This is the new XE. Jaguar says the car is aimed at the like of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C Class. In other words, it is the new version of the X-Type. There will be a few engines available ranging from 4 cylinders to the V6 from the F-Type. Let’s hope it is more exciting than the old X-Type. Expect it to hit the US sometime in 2016. Infiniti has had some very elegant concepts in the last few years. The Q80 Inspiration is no exception. The Q80 is just a design study for now but is what Infiniti imagines their Mercedes S-Class fighter would look like. It is said to feature a 3.0L twin turbo V6 and an electric motor combining to make 550 hp. It also features autonomous driving and two separate HUDs for the driver and passengers. The interior was shown in a different idea of two-tone, the front was dressed in black while the rear was wearing white. It also sports rear suicide doors much like the Rolls-Royce cars. Volkswagen brought a fun toy to Paris in a new version of their XL1. If you aren’t familiar with the XL1, it is a 1700lb hybrid powered by an 800cc turbo-diesel twin cylinder and a small electric motor combining to make 77hp. The idea is to be as aerodynamic and fuel efficient as possible. This though is the XL Sport Concept. It ditches the gas sipping drivetrain for something more sporty, a 1200cc v-twin from the Ducati 1199 Superleggera which is good for 197 hp and a claimed top speed of 168 mph. With nearly three times the power as the XL1 and weighing less than a first gen Mazda Miata it should be a spritely car. For now it is just a concept, we say build it! Speed and Bentley are two words you don’t typically think of together but don’t tell Bentley that. This is the new Bentley Mulsanne Speed. The looks are mildly revised for this luxurious ride but looks and luxury are not what is most interesting about the latest from Crewe. Chew on this, 811 lb/ft of torque at 1750rpm. That is what this 6 3/4L V8 is capable of, that and 530 hp. That’s full size towing truck torque numbers! This new found torque allows the Mulsanne Speed to scoot to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds which is remarkable considering the thing weighs three tons. The Mulsanne Speed should hit showroom floors this winter. And if you have to ask how much it cost, you can’t afford it. Audi has gone TT crazy this year showing a number of different versions of the new TT ranging from the droptop to an Allroad version. Now they are previewing a Sportback version. For the first time, we see a TT with 4 doors and lines similar to an A7. This new Sportback is surprisingly not much bigger than the 2016 TT Coupe, only a foot longer and is actually 1.2 inches lower. The TT Sportback is powered by a 2.0 turbo 4 making 400 hp. Audi says it should hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds when paired with their dual-clutch 7 speed S-Tronic transmission. The car that brought the most buzz at the show was Lamborghini‘s first hybrid. What you see here is called the Asterion LP910-4. The Asterion swipes the V10 from the new Huracan combined with an electric motor to make 910 hp. The electric motor alone can power the car up to 78 mph with a range of 31 miles. Top speed is said to be 199 mph and 62 mph should arrive in 3 seconds flat. Stylistically, it doesn’t shout Lamborghini though, we think it looks like someone slapped an Aventador nose on a C7 Corvette. Lamborghini boss, Stephan Winkelmann, says the Asterion is just to show the public what a Lamborghini hybrid could look like and that their focus right now is the Urus. Hopefully it won’t end up like the Estoque and remain a one-off. Honda came with their latest version of the Civic Type-R. This little hot hatch sports a 2.0 turbo 4 making 276 hp and Honda says it is faster than any other Type-R model they have produced. That is saying something considering the NSX is included in that list. It will also feature a +R button, a glorified “Sport Button,” which will sharpen up the steering, stiffen the suspension, and alter torque mapping. As is the case with all Type-R models though, the likelihood of the car coming stateside is very slim. That will wrap up our coverage of the Paris Motor Show. The next big shows will be SEMA from November 4th-7th and the Los Angeles Auto Show from November 21st-30th. Photos: Drew Phillips via Autoblog