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2014 Paris Motor Show Recap, Past Podcast Hosts Return

We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #400 this evening. We'll be joined by former Autoblog editors Zach Bowman and Sam Abuelsamid to celebrate the 400th episode of the podcast, and Steven Ewing will recap the Paris Motor Show. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern

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Honda just took the wraps off of its thoroughly updated 2015 CR-V for the US, with a touch more style and improved powertrain to provide more torque and better fuel economy. In our First Drive, we found that all of the changes really focused the CUV even more towards the desires of its audience of mostly families. European crossover shoppers don't have to wait too long to see these tweaks for themselves and get a few exclusive upgrades of their own.

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Škoda may not get the bulk of our attention, but it's hard to argue with the nearly 1 million vehicles it moved last year. In terms of sales volume, that makes Škoda the third biggest division under the Volkswagen Group umbrella (after VW and Audi). The Octavia accounted for over a third of that, but despite having been introduced back in 2007, the Fabia remains its second most popular model worldwide. Good thing it's got an all-new model on the cusp, then.

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UPDATE: More details and live images are available in our live-from-Paris post, here.

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Well, this certainly looks like a concept, doesn't it? From the wide, portal-esque door opeings to the boattail rear window design, there's just so much about the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration that looks like it would never actually reach production that we're impressed the automaker had the gumption to put the machine together and show it off at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

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The reveal of the next-generation Honda Civic Type R has been a gradual one. First Honda showed us a camouflaged prototype, then let us drive one at its Japanese proving ground and followed up with a concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Now with the Paris Motor Show looming on the horizon, it has revealed yet another concept to keep hot-hatch enthusiasts on their toes.

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At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Kia showcased a new diesel hybrid powertrain. And at the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show, it will present that new technology in the Optima sedan concept you see here.

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The first purportedly leaked images from an Italian magazine of Lamborghini's new vehicle for the Paris Motor Show are on the web, and they closely echo the model's silhouette from the teaser. However, there's no official mention of a name to confirm that this is being called the Asterion, as rumored.

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We all know that the letters GT stand for Gran Turismo, but tacking on another letter can evoke a different meaning altogether. GTO for Ferraris (or Pontiacs), GT-R for Nissan supercars, GTA for high-performance Alfa Romeos (or car-theft video games, or metropolitan Toronto)... The list goes on and on, but few are as familiar with the idea as Volkswagen, which uses the letters GTI for hot hatches, GTD for their diesel counterparts, and most recently, GTE for plug-in hybrids.

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For roughly the past 30 years, the Renault Espace has been among the definitive European minivans, but the rising tide of crossovers has put that streak to an end. The French automaker has released the first three images teasing the next-gen model, and it has confirmed the van's transformation into a CUV to debut during a press conference at the 2014 Paris Motor Show led by company CEO Carlos Ghosn.

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Let all of the speculation finally end because the convertible version of the Ferrari 458 Speciale is here. However, the Prancing Horse isn't calling it a spider; instead it's dubbed the 458 Speciale A, which stands for Aperta or "open" in English. It's also limited to a scant 499 cars, a few more than the 458 first rumored.

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The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is getting a baby brother at this year's 2014 Paris Motor Show in the form of a new Golf Alltrack. Like its larger sibling, the little wagon is supposed to offer light-duty off-road driving ability combined with a more rugged look to show it off.

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The TT may be first and foremost a coupe, but in presenting the third-generation model, Audi has toyed with all sorts of body-styles. There's been the prototypical coupe, of course, but also shooting brake and crossover concepts. The one thing it hasn't shown us is the convertible model, but that ends today as Audi takes the wraps off the new TT Roadster and TTS Roadster.

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Say hello to the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63. That's right, it's no longer the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG – its a formal Mercedes-AMG product, just like the GT that just launched earlier this month. Coincidence? Hardly. The new C63 packs the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 and features some of the same new-age tuning that AMG used in creating its new Porsche 911-fighting coupe. And boy, are we excited to drive this one.

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With the alternating main European auto show landing in Paris this year, French automakers won't miss the opportunity to unveil lots of new metal on their home turf, and that includes Citroën. So far, we know that the Chevron marque is rolling in to Versailles this year with the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L, a pair of specials done with fashion designer Ines de la Fressange, and the Divine DS concept from its newly emancipated luxury division. But that's not all – it's also lined up the littl

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A little over a month ago, Infiniti hinted at a new concept car it was apparently lining up for the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Then a few weeks ago it showed us a little more. But now, we're getting our best look yet at the new showcar.

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Volkswagen uses a number of performance badges on different models. Depending on the market, buyers can get a Jetta GLI, a Scirocco R, a diesel Golf GTD and of course the most iconic hot hatch of them all, the GTI. And those are just the front-drive models. But though it's the performance Golf that wears those letters exclusively in the US market, overseas it's not the only one: So does the smaller Polo GTI, and now Volkswagen is introducing a new version.

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The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is rumored to finally come to the US next fall as a 2016 model. In the meantime, the Japanese brand is showing off a concept for an Outlander plug-in at the Paris Motor Show in October with a massive improvement in styling and material quality that the automaker calls the "Sporty and Sophisticated" design theme.

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General Motors makes plenty of performance machinery, but it isn't huge in hot hatches. The closest you can get Stateside is the Chevy Sonic RS, and, while a perfectly reasonable vehicle in its own right, let's just say it doesn't quite keep pace with its European and Japanese rivals. GM does make hot hatches, it just usually leaves them up to its Opel division to sell overseas. Like the new Opel Adam S.

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Last week, Toyota previewed an upcoming concept called the C-HR and promised it would debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. It didn't say much more or give us anything beyond a silhouette and the shape of the lights, but here we have the first images of the finalized form.

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Lamborghini had us seriously stumped when it released its teaser (above) for a new vehicle that'll debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. The image seemed to depict a fastback GT somewhat reminiscent of Lambo's earlier 2+2 models like the Espada, and was accompanied by the sentence, "Once perfection is achieved, you can just double it." We're still not entirely sure what the means, but a possible leaked logo for the car might offer some big hints about its powertrain.

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