THE world’s focus may be about to swing to the rising stars of the 2016 Paris Motor Show, but that doesn’t stop you going out and buying an ex-show star.
Here’s our first of two run-downs of the show stoppers unveiled at 2014’s Paris Motor Show that you can go out and buy today.
Audi TT Roadster
This is the second generation of Audi’s drop-top version of the Mercedes-Benz SLC rival. It arrived here last year, impressing us with its unique styling, brilliant dash design, fit and finish and excellent roadholding. Pick one up from $83,905.
Business up front, party out the back. Behind the driver sits a 449kW V10 engine driving all four wheels. The low, wide super-quick Porsche 911 rival is priced from a cool $354,616.
Bentley Mulsanne Speed
Unveiled at Paris in 2014, the Mulsanne Speed adds a dash of performance to a whiff of sporty add-ons to create a serious interstate cruiser. The 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine under its long bonnet launches the Mulsanne Speed to100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, and won’t stop pulling until it hits 305km/h. Yours for a cool $733,387.
BMW 2 Series Convertible
BMW’s 2 Series Convertible launched the compact drop-top into the German luxury brand’s new model nomenclature that gives four-door cars an odd number and the two-door equivalents an even one. The rag-top 2 Series landed here last year and impressed with its muted-for-a-drop-top calmness in the cabin, its driveability and corner-carving fun. It’s priced from $55,900.
Gen two of the fast backed version of the X5 lobbed early in 2015 marking a radical change from the original – at least in terms of interior and exterior looks. Since then, it’s gained a rival: the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. The BMW X6 is on sale from $117,455.
The XL version of the Fiat 500, based on the Jeep Renegade, arrived late last year and lifts Fiat’s small car into the bottom end of the booming small SUV market. It boasts a typically flash Fiat interior, but at $37,000, it ain’t all that cheap.
Honda reintroduced the HR-V badge pinned to this stylish, functional compact SUV late last year. Featuring brilliant packaging and competent dynamics, it came a narrow second to a perennial favourite, the Mazda CX-3. Pick one up priced from $24,990.
Under the bonnet of the Lexus GS-fighting Infiniti Q70 sedan lurks the skeleton of the Nissan GT-R’s supercar-crushing 3.7-litre V6. Before you get too excited, it’s a lot more pedestrian in the Infiniti, which now even includes a hybrid variant. Yours from $68,900.
One thing the India-owned British luxury brand has lacked for some time is a decent BMW 3 Series rival. The XE – a Wheels Car of the Year finalist – is it, and comes damnably close to knocking over the Germans in the refinement and driveability stakes. It’s priced from $60,400.