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Our Top 13 Favorite Cars From the 2016 Paris Motor Show

Dazzling Debuts from Ferrari, VW, Honda, and More

Dazzling Debuts from Ferrari, VW, Honda, and More

The 2016 Paris Motor Show press days have come to a close, and once again the City of Light dazzled crowds with new product debuts, forward-looking concepts, and radical show cars. Here are 13 of our favorites from this year’s Paris Motor Show.

Renault Trezor

Renault Trezor front three quarter 01

I’m a total sucker for gargantuan dash-to-axle and this GT EV, with motivation cribbed from the team Renault e.dams Formula E electric race car, had more of it than anything this side of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Pebble Beach concept. Hey waitaminit. Did the Renault gang crib this design from their Alliance joint-venture partner? Nah. –Frank Markus

We appreciate that auto shows remain a forum to exercise creative juices. The Renault Trezor electric coupe concept features a long hood reminiscent of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept also on display in Paris. The clamshell hood lifts completely over the top, creating an opening in a car without traditional doors. –Alisa Priddle  

Ferrari 488 Spider “The Green Jewel”

ferrari 488 Spider The Green Jewel front three quarters

Green is tricky. It doesn’t always place nice as a color on a car. So a metallic green Ferrari with gold wheels and a black interior — save for a bright red driver’s seat–sounds like a recipe for disaster. But “The Green Jewel” 488 Spider, painted in one of the 70 iconic color schemes chosen for an extraordinary run of 350 one-of-a-kind Ferraris being built to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary, works brilliantly. The color scheme is an homage to the green-with-gold-wheels-and-one-red-seat 365 P2 Ferrari driven by British racer David Piper during 1965 and 1966. –Angus MacKenzie


GLM G4 Electric Social Supercar front three quarter 02

I love a surprise at an auto show, and this was a big one. None of us had ever even heard of GLM, and I just happened to be wandering by their stand as the press conference for the G4 was starting. The covered concept car looked about the height, length, and width of a stretched Lamborghini Huracan, so I figured at least it would provide good Instagram candy. Then off comes the sheet revealing a cool-looking, low-slung concept car with four gull-wing doors finished to a remarkably high level. Billed a “social supercar,” it struck me as a Lambo Espada for the 21st century. An innovative pair of electric motors provides acceleration to 62 mph in less than 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) and a 260-mile range. It may never reach production, but it made my day. –Frank Markus

Honda Civic Type R Prototype

2018 Honda Civic Type R front three quarters

North America has been deprived of a Honda Civic Type R for far too long, but that ends next year when the newest model is finally brought stateside. Honda showed off a prototype in Paris, and we understand the car we’ll get will look very similar to this winged hot hatch—minus the murdered-out exterior treatment and carbon fiber goodies. Final specs have yet to be announced, but the current Type R sold in other markets makes 305 hp from a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4. –Alex Nishimoto

The Civic Type R is coming to North America next spring as a 2018 model and is previewed in Paris by an unapologetically aggressive prototype. The show car should please those who have been waiting for it to make it to our shores, and we’ll see the production model at SEMA in November. For now, we can wallow in big spoilers, brakes, splitters, and three exhaust pipes. –Alisa Priddle

Citroën CXPERIENCE Concept

Citroen CXPerience concept front three quarters

While not as wild as the Renault Reznor, the Citroën CXPERIENCE concept commands your attention with garish French design and its big footprint. Its proportions are a throwback to the classic CX and its suicide doors open up to a cheery, tennis ball-colored interior. The CXPERIENCE will likely remain a concept, though it could influence styling for midsize models like the C5 and C5 Tourer. –Erick Ayapana

Volkswagen I.D. Concept

Volkswagen I D concept front three quarter 06

As it races to extricate itself from the taint of #Dieselgate, Volkswagen is mounting a full-court press on hybrid and electric vehicle development. The electric-powered I.D. is not auto show eye-candy, but a sneak peek at a production Volkswagen EV that will hit the roads in 2020, offering up to a 370-mile range at an affordable price. The battery pack sits under the floor, and the electric motor is at the rear, driving the rear wheels. That’s not just a hopeful nod to the original Beetle, the car that helped build Volkswagen into an automotive giant, but delivers real consumer benefit. Though the exterior is compact, the interior is impressively spacious. And being rear-drive, it should be fun to drive. –Angus MacKenzie

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ

Mercedes Benz Generation EQ concept front three quarters

Mercedes is following BMW’s lead and forming an electric car sub-brand, and the first vehicle in that lineup was previewed by the Generation EQ concept in Paris. The show car has a high-tech yet soothing interior, and is about the size of a Mercedes GLC but powered by an electric drivetrain boasting an estimated 300-mile range. Mercedes will start taking orders for this SUV in Europe in 2018 and North America in 2019. The EQ brand will have 10 EQ-badged electric vehicles by 2021. –Alisa Priddle

Hyundai RN30

Hyundai RN30 front three quarters

This is the sort of extreme hot hatch show car you’d normally see from someone like Ford or Renault. What’s impressive about the RN30, though, is that it doesn’t look like the Koreans copying an idea and not quite getting the detail right: The muscular RN30 has just the right proportions and stance to set the pulse of any hot hatch fanboy racing. What’s more, the RN30 lays the groundwork for the launch of Hyundai’s performance-oriented N division, which will roll out its first N-badged production cars next year. Toyota and Honda should be afraid. Very afraid. –Angus MacKenzie

BMW X2 Concept

BMW X2 Concept front three quarter 02 1

BMW design has been struggling a bit lately, swinging between anodyne (new BMW 7 Series) and busy (BMW X4), but the X2 concept, which previews the sporty compact crossover to be built on the front-wheel-drive platform shared with the X1 and various Minis, hints at a return to form.

The production version will of course have a slightly taller cabin and slightly smaller wheels, but the surfaces are clean and the graphics strong, especially the greenhouse and the upside down double kidney grille. And it’s refreshing to see BMW avoiding the now clichéd route of simply putting a fastback roofline on an existing SUV to make it look sporty. –Angus MacKenzie

Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta

Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta front three quarter 01

How can you beat dropping the top on a hypercar? This is a 950-hp convertible hybrid with butterfly doors. Not surprisingly, the limited-run car is already sold out. –Alisa Priddle

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery front three quarter

The big brother to the Discovery Sport is much bigger and more impressive in the sheetmetal than in pictures. It has a real presence on the outside and lots of room in the three rows of seats inside. The new aluminum unibody SUV has increased its road clearance with its continued emphasis on off-road prowess. And of course its unveiling here means Disco is back. –Alisa Priddle

Mercedes-AMG GT R

Mercedes AMG GT R front end

Making its auto show debut, the GT R looks especially exotic painted in “AMG Green Hell Magno,” a color inspired by the nickname the GT R earned during its development: “The Beast of the Green Hell.” The GT R gets a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that produces 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, or 74 hp and 37 lb-ft than the AMG GT S that we named our 2015 Best Driver’s Car. In addition, the car features a unique coilover suspension tuned by AMG along with generous helpings of carbon fiber. The car will arrive in North America by mid-2017, and it will be available in this exclusive bright color. –Alex Nishimoto

Audi A5/S5 Sportback

2018 Audi S5 Sportback front three quarter

Audi recently announced it will sell the 400-hp, five-cylinder RS 3 in North America, but for some reason it’s still unsure about having the A5 and S5 Sportback join the American-market party. We guess it’s going to happen. Either way, the S5 Sportback at the Paris show looks more gorgeous in person than it does in photos, and the rear seats have decent amounts of leg and head room. Last week Audi did this awesome thing by bringing back the manual transmission for the Audi A4–let’s hope it does the same for the A5 and S5 Sportback. –Erick Ayapana