We love a motor show for the weird and wonderful concept cars – and this year’s Paris show hasn’t disappointed. From near-ready hot hatches to utterly bizarre French sports cars, the concepts at Paris make us genuinely excited about what we’ll be driving in the future.
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We’ll start with one of the biggies: the Volkswagen I.D. is the car that will make us all forget Dieselgate. Maybe. As revolutionary as the original Beetle and Golf, says the firm, the rear-wheel-drive, five-door electric hatch will have a range of 250 to 370 miles when it goes on sale in 2020.
Powered by a 170hp electric motor and based on a new MEB platform, the I.D. is a similar size to the Golf and can carry four people. It also previews a fully-autonomous car that will go on sale from 2025.
This rather cool looking thing is a high-end SUV concept from Mitsubishi. There’s some discussion about what exactly it previews, if anything – a new Outlander, perhaps? Or even a new ASX.
As you might guess from the name, the GT-PHEV is a plug-in hybrid. With three electric motors combined with a 2.5-litre petrol engine, it’s good for 75 miles on electric-only power. It’s also got genuine off-road credentials, and a host of connected technology.
This incredible concept previews the next SsangYong Rexton. It appears in this list simply for its shag carpets alone. LIV-2 stands for Limitless Interface Vehicle, if you’re wondering, and it previews the next Rexton.
Shag-pile aside, the interior is quite something. Passengers in the rear get individual reclining chairs, while mood lighting creates the air of a backstreet wine bar. Large 10.1-inch screens in the headrests provide entertainment, while a 9.2-inch infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the driver.
Honda Civic Type R
It only feels like yesterday that the current Honda Civic Type R was being revealed. Hype’s only just starting to die down, but here’s the next-generation model. Apparently it is a concept, or a prototype at least, although it looks practically production-ready to us.
Technical stats are hard to come by, but it’s clear Honda wants the front-wheel-drive Nurburgring record back from VW. Have no doubt, this’ll be fast, presumably powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC as the current model, but with power turned up a notch.
SEAT Ateca X-Perience
SEAT has beefed up its Ateca crossover by giving it the X-Perience treatment. It’s got chunkier tyres, scuff plates at the front and rear, and cladding along the sills and bumpers. With a Haldex four-wheel-drive system and a choice of driving modes, the X-Perience isn’t all for show.
Except, it kinda is. It’s just a concept, for now. Although it wouldn’t really take much to put it into production – SEAT already sells the Leon X-Perience, after all – the firm says it’s just testing the water for now.
Yet another niche crossover from BMW. The X2 follows in the footsteps of X4 and X6, slotting between the X1 and X3 in the firm’s range. The concept previews a production model, which will follow in 2018.
With its large kidney grille dominating the front end and a (slightly watered-down) Hofmeister kink at the rear, the X2 is unmistakably a BMW. Blacked-out windows suggest there’s a bit of work to be done before it’s production ready, while technical details are also yet to be released.
Now this is a concept car we can really get excited about. The Trezor is an electric two-seat performance car created by the firm’s design chief, Laurens van den Acker. He’s the man who has made Renault cool again in recent years, using cues from the 2010 Dezir concept.
While the Trezor is very definitely a concept, we could see elements of it appear in production cars in the near future. It looks stunning, with a central carbonfibre spine as its chassis, and power going to the rear from its 350hp electric motor.
Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
This was first revealed at this year’s Pebble Beach, but it made its European debut at Paris. The near-six-metre-long Maybach 6 previews a production car set to launch next year, rivalling the Rolls-Royce Wraith.
Powered by an electric powertrain producing 740hp and capable of more than 200 miles on one charge, the Maybach 6 will hit 62mph in less than four seconds. A clever fast-charge system means you can top it up with an extra 62 miles of range in just five minutes.
Lexus UX concept
There are a lot of angles going on here – it’s the new Lexus concept, previewing a production SUV that could replace the unloved CT200h hybrid hatch. The two-door concept SUV features Lexus’s Spindle grille and looks a bit like something out of Star Wars.
That theme continues inside, where there’s a wrap-around dash and a dual-screen infotainment system. Technical details are TBC, but expect it to feature some kind of electric powertrain.
Infiniti QX Sport
From one challenging SUV concept to another, the QX Sport previews a potential rival to the BMW X3 from Nissan’s upmarket Infiniti brand. It would replace the poor-selling QX50.
Inside, there are four seats – each offering plenty of room for all occupants. A flat-bottomed steering wheel adds a sporty touch, while a digital screen replaces conventional dials.
Hyundai RN30 Concept
Hyundai’s N performance brand has been talked about for years – but it’s finally starting to feel a little more real, with the launch of its RN30 Concept. Previewing a hot i30 N, the RN30 features a full aero bodykit – giving it a true motorsport look.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine producing a significant 375hp, transferred to all four wheels via a dual-clutch race gearbox. A limited-slip diff means it should be a beast on track.
We’ll end with a bonkers French concept – the Citroen CXperience. The plug-in hybrid is Mondeo-sized, meaning it could preview a replacement for the now-defunct C5.
Inside, the CXperience puts comfort high on the agenda: how wonderfully Citroen. Seats are covered in memory foam, while extra noise insulation should drown out unwanted road noise. Power comes from a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.