PARIS is a hotbed of hustle and bustle right now. Fashion Week and the Mondial de l’Auto are simultaneously drawing visitors to the city by the thousands, and filling it with as many cameras as people in the process.
But it’s the cars that really matter to us, and anybody fearful about a lack of interesting new metal should be feeling pleasantly at ease. The 2018 Paris Motor Show has delivered a generous helping of key reveals, despite several significant manufacturers choosing to stay home with their feet up.
Wheels is on the ground in the French capital walking the exhibition pavilions to see everything as it happens, so here are five highlights from the 2018 Paris motor show, so far.
Skoda Vision RS
Hybrids make potent performance weapons. Fact.
Those that disagree need only look at the ‘Holy Trinity’ of the McLaren P1, Ferrari Enzo, and Porsche 918 as examples.
However, hybrid performance heroes are often, like the aforementioned trio, the exclusive domain of the ultra-rich.
Enter Skoda, which is hoping to democratise hybrid performance, and make it available to the average enthusiast.
The Vision RS concept is a near-production-ready indication of how it intends to do this, previewing a possible replacement for the outgoing Rapid.
It’s powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor that work together to produce a healthy 180kW.
Porsche 911 Speedster
Revealed in Paris in production form, just 1948 cars will be built – a hat tip to the year Porsche 356 ‘Number 1’ received its operating license.
The dramatic-looking drop-top features an equally inspiring drivetrain, with each 911 Speedster sending power exclusively to the rear wheels.
Wedged behind the rear axle is the 4.0-lite naturally-aspirated flat-six from the 911 GT3, producing 368kW while revving to a sonorous 9000rpm, and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Resale values won’t be an issue, then.
BMW 3 Series
The seventh-generation of the world’s best-selling premium car was revealed in Paris, with the G20 BMW 3 Series appearing in the flesh. More than 50 million 3 Series models have sold worldwide since the E21 debuted in 1975.
This new model is wider, lighter, and designed to be a more enjoyable drivers car, says its maker. We’ve got the full details from the reveal.
Want to know how it drives? We’ve been for a ride in a prototype to get a better understanding.
Retro-inspired concepts have been all the rage for the last few years, and Peugeot has got in on the action with its e-Legende.
Inspired by the iconic Peugeot 504 of the 1960s, the e-Legende looks both to the past and future with its styling.
There are concept car clichés like a fold-away steering wheel and electric drivetrain, as well as beautifully unique blue velour interior trimming.
Ferrari Monza SP1 & SP2
The Ferrari 812 Superfast was already crazy enough for us, with its superb 6.5-litre V12 producing a raucous 588kW and 718Nm.
Well, the good folks at Maranello didn’t want to leave it at just that, producing the Monza SP1 and SP2 twins as a pair of truly unhinged special editions.
The Monza pair draw inspiration from Ferrari’s racing Barchettas of the past, with a radical design that deletes the roof and windscreen and adds a roll-hoop behind the occupants.
Don’t mind us; we’ll just be at the Ferrari stand for the rest of the afternoon trying not to drool too much.
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