The 2012 Paris Auto Show kicked off September 27th, giving us a glimpse into the future of the auto industry.
With a slew of brand-new concept and production cars, this year's show certainly did not disappoint. We had a couple of our best Autoblog editors on hand to take in all the sights, offering unmatched coverage and original photography.
We've compiled a gallery of some of the most memorable vehicles from this year's show, with a little bit of info about each of them. Click through to see the future of cars, both here and abroad. While some are simply reserved as design concepts, you'll start seeing a few of these on the road and in dealership lots very soon.
Jaguar finally has its much anticipated – and much leaked – new sports car. Revealed at the Musée Rodin Museumin Paris ahead of the Paris Motor Show, the rakish convertible picks up the long-dormant mantle of the legendary E-Type.
The new all-aluminum Jaguar F-Type is a strict two-seat affair, none of the leather-wrapped and seatbelt-equipped parcel shelves of the XK here. Available in three trims, F-Type, F-Type S and F-Type V8 S, the baby Jag will offer one of three powertrains, a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 (380 hp / 339 lb-ft.), or a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 (495 hp / 460 lb-ft).
Jaguar F-Type Info
Jaguar F-Type Photos
When we first saw the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf in the manufacturer-provided stock photos, we were a little let down. In a word, it looked... droopy. But now that we've seen Volkswagen's new global hatch in person, we have to say, it's a handsome little thing.
Perhaps the most remarkable fact about the new Golf is that it's a full 220 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. That's all thanks to the new MQB platform that underpins the compact VW, which uses lightweight, high-strength steel in droves.
Volkswagen Golf Info
Volkswagen Golf Photos
Audi Crosslane Concept
Audi has lifted the sheet on its newest concept car at the Paris Motor Show, a vehicle called the Crosslane Coupe Concept that hits just about every concept car meme that we know of. The angular Audi is, at once a coupe, a convertible and a crossover; it is a two-seater and a 2+2, it has a hybrid powertrain with a small, efficient gasoline engine and no less than two electric motors; the whole structure is made from advanced materials. As a matter of fact, the car's interior – usually a showplace for concept car "stuff" – is perhaps the tamest sector of the Crosslane.
Audi has used an exotic mix of aluminum, carbon fiber-reinforced polymer and fiberglass-reinforced polymer to create the concept's "multimaterial" space frame. The result is a vehicle that offers a rigid, yet lightweight structure. The total weight of the Crosslane is a reasonable 3,064 pounds.
Audi Crosslane Info
Audi Crosslane Photos
Lexus LF-CC Concept
Wider and lower than it appears in the press photos, the Lexus LF-CC concept is an exceptionally crisp evolution of Lexus' L-Finesse design language – in fact, once away from the oversized spindle grille, just following the lines of the coupe leads one to think of origami. The coupe takes pointers from the LF-LC concept shown earlier this way and is said to show the way to the aesthetics we'll see on the next-generation IS. Details like the front end that appears to be mostly intake, those uncovered LED headlights, Baroque mirrors and tail lights will almost certainly disappear into the good night, but the overall body shape coated in Fluid Titanium hue is sleek, well defined and ready for the road.
Inside is Lexus' next stage in touchscreen interiors, the Human Machine Interface this time broken into an upper "Display Zone" and a lower "Operation Zone." That latter area contains a "touch tracer display" behind the shift lever where the driver can alter his environment with a fingertip.
Lexus LF-CC Concept Info
Lexus LF-CC Concept Photos
Volkswagen GTI Concept
If you're looking for thinly veiled production models from the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen has you covered. The German automaker showed off its GTI Concept alongside a smattering of other Golf variants.
A prototype in name only, the concept gives us a glimpse of what the MkVII GTI will bring to the table in terms of aesthetics. Volkswagen says the next-gen GTI will boast an 18-percent bump in fuel efficiency, which could see the sports hatch top 36 miles per gallon highway on the U.S. scale. Not too shabby, especially given the machine should retain its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Volkswagen GTI Concept Info
Volkswagen GTI Concept Photos
Destined to be one of the splashier events of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the unveiling of McLaren's newest supercar, and successor to the intimidating F1 legend, went off beautifully today. Despite being a design exercise, the P1 concept here in Paris clearly paves the path forward for McLaren, with the company's stated goal being to produce a car that is superlative both on the road and on the track.
While the stunningly orange-and-black P1 concept is not the final product, recently exposed schematic drawings from McLaren reveal that this design is probably very close to what the company is planning to put on the road in a few years. In fact, our own man-on-the-ground, Matt Davis, reported yesterday that the P1 is "97-percent final."
A close inspection of our gallery images of the P1 reveal, using human beings for scale, that the P1 is a delicately sized sports car. We're told that the new Mac will have the smallest frontal area of any car in the segment, while still delivering something like 1,300 pounds of downforce at 125 miles per hour.
McLaren P1 Info
McLaren P1 Photos
Honda has failed to set the world on fire with its seemingly sporty hybrid coupe, but it's not entirely for lack of effort. And for 2013, the Japanese automaker is refining its CR-Z with a host of updates designed to pin its dynamics a bit more on the side of sporty performance. And, as you can see above, it's now 100-percent more purpley than before.
The European-spec 2013 CR-Z features more power than last year, though its 1.5-liter engine and electric motor combo are just as clean and fuel efficient. A new engine computer and revised variable valve timing conspire to bump horsepower from 114 to 121. A lithium ion battery pack – a first for the CR-Z – and revised electric motor add another 20 horses, up from 114 in 2012.
Honda CR-Z Info
Honda CR-Z Photos
Nissan Terra Concept
Nissan already has the Xterra, but from the looks of it, its new Paris Motor Show concept vehicle could be called the eTerra. In reality, Nissan's new off-road-ready, fuel cell concept is known simply as the Terra Concept, and while it sounds like there are no plans to build such a vehicle just yet, it doesn't hurt to dream.
The Terra Concept has a style that instantly reminds us of the Juke and of the 2009 Qazana concept utility that previewed it – but its tall stance shows that it means business on the trail. As an electric four-wheel-drive vehicle, the Terra uses three separate motors, with the front wheels being driven by the same system currently used in the Nissan Leaf and the rear wheels driven by two motors powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The benefit of such a system means that in everyday driving, the front wheels can do most of the work, and when added traction is needed, the rear motors can kick in to power through whatever terrain it comes across.
Nissan Terra Concept Info
Nissan Terra Concept Photos
Volvo fans that have dreamed of having the convenient size of a small wagon or hatchback with the trendy styling of a crossover are today one step closer to living in automotive paradise. After recently releasing every bit of granular detail about the model, Volvo has gone ahead and pulled the curtain back on its V40 Cross Country.
We must say that, as far as exercises in extending a single model go, we think this Cross Country is pulled off fairly well. The basic V40 goodness is, of course, baked in, with the added benefit of standard all-wheel drive for the models sporting Volvo's lively T5 turbocharged engine. Add to that – as well as a full range of five engine options, including three diesels – a set of menacing black and silver wheels and a beefy body kit, and we're almost onboard with this higher capability V40.
Volvo V40 Info
Volvo V40 Photos
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric
The folks at Mercedes-Benz must have a guilty conscience when it comes to the SLS AMG supercar. Why else would the German automaker follow up the snarling V8-powered debut of the modern gullwing with the SLS AMG E-Cell, and now the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive? While the retina-searing E-Cell was a merely prototype, the vehicle you see here is a production version, and can be yours for a cool half a million bucks.
Mercedes-Benz says this electrified gullwing is the most powerful vehicle in the AMG stable. With four electric motors – one at each wheel – producing a combined 740 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque, the SLS Electric Drive can rocket to 62 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds. For reference, the conventionally powered SLS AMG GT puts out 583 hp, but can do the 0-60 sprint in 3.6 seconds.
If you can afford the €416,500 ($537,930) entry fee, throwing down the extra dough for a wall box should not be an issue. Mercedes-Benz calls the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive "the most exclusive and dynamic way to drive an electric car." With the blue chrome finish, we would also add "eye-catching," to that description.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Info
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Photos
Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake
While it might seem like the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake was revealed a long time ago, truth is, this is our first time seeing the swoopy four-door coupe-gone-wagon on the auto show circuit. Ever since we first laid eyes on the shooting brake concept at the 2010 Beijing Motor Show, we've been waiting to see how the lines of the production car would all come together to form a cohesive, sleek package. And trust us, dear readers, pixels alone cannot convey just how attractive this beast is.
In Europe, customers will have a choice of five engines. On the diesel side, there's the CLS250 CDI with a 2.1-liter inline-four and the CLS350 CDI with a 3.0-liter V6, and as for petrol power, buyers can choose from the 3.5-liter V6-powered CLS350, 4.6-liter twin-turbo-V8-powered CLS500, and the range-topping (and supremely badass) CLS63 AMG with Merc's 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8. Depending on configuration, both rear- and all-wheel drive are available.
Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake Info
Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake Photos
The all-new 2014 Mazda6 Wagon has officially bowed under the lights of the 2012 Paris Motor Show along with its fresh-from-Moscow twin, the Mazda6 sedan. Both machines now boast a full suite of Skyactiv efficiency technologies for the first time, and as such, are lighter than their predecessors.
The wagon debuts with a 173-horsepower 2.2-liter Skyactiv diesel engine in two power configurations, both of which conform to Euro 6 emission standards without the burden urea injection. Mazda isn't saying exactly what sort of fuel economy we can expect from the wagon, but earlier estimations put the diesel sedan in the 43-miles-per-gallon highway range. Expect similar from the five-door.
Though the French automaker is clearly on the top of its game with all of its offerings for the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Peugeot's Onyx concept is its definitive highlight.
A masterpiece in matte black paint, Onyx's most striking features are the two huge swathes of polished copper that adorn both sides. Each side is made from a single piece of copper and, other than extensive polishing, the material is unprotected from the elements. The goal here, says Peugeot, is that the copper panels will change and evolve over time with oxidation.
The lightweight concept car – all of the body panels are made from carbon fiber and the car weighs just 1,100 kilograms (2,425 pounds) – is propelled by an aggressive hybrid powertrain. At the heart of the propulsion is a 3.7-liter V8 that's good for a whopping 600 horsepower, and it's modulated via a six-speed sequential gearbox. The conventional engine is augmented with lithium-ion battery-powered electric system that adds another 80 horses to the mix.
Peugeot Onyx Info
Peugeot Onyx Photos