Saturday marked the beginning of the Paris Auto Show, one of the most important in the world. The event is a glimpse into the future of the automobile world with exciting ideas from the industry’s brightest minds and most forward-thinking manufacturers. With many new production automobiles and concept cars taking their first spin down the runway, here are a few highlights to hold all of you over until the Los Angeles Auto Show rolls around in November.
The Renault DeZir, which one writer described as a “Tesla built by Nissan/Renault for a price well below that of the Tesla's six figures,” is a stylish vehicle with scissor doors, a Kevlar body, and a tubular steel frame. With a top speed of 112 and a range of 100 miles, the DeZir runs on a 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The three keywords that served as inspiration for this vehicle—simple, sensuous, and warm—also inspired the passion red color of the exterior. Its double wishbone arrangement delivers a high standard of handling precision.
Jaguar C-X75 Concept
The Jaguar C-X75 Concept has a lithium-ion battery pack and uses two small, jet-like gas turbine engines to drive electric motors positioned at the four corners of the vehicle. The C-X75 can run up to 68 miles in pure electric mode after a six-hour charge, but with the turbine engines, the range jumps up to 560 miles. Due to its cutting edge technological features, industry experts are not optimistic that this vehicle will make it into production.
Land Rover Evoque
Land Rover introduced a small SUV, the Evoque, which will go into production in fall 2010. While Land Rovers are usually known for their big powerful engines, the Evoque can produce up to 240 horsepower with a smaller, but turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Though the off-road capabilities are somewhat diminished, the Evoque will still offer a version of the brand's Terrain Response Control. It will start around $45,000 when it goes on sale.
Lambourghini Sesto Elemento
Though still only a concept, it’s likely that the Sesto Elemento will evolve into a full production car. The name means “sixth element,” which refers to carbon, the sixth element on the periodic table. Nearly everything on the Elemento is made of carbon, including the wheels and suspension. The entire car weighs just about 2,200 pounds, which is roughly the weight of the classic Volkswagen Beetle, and is purportedly faster than the Bugatti Veyron and McLaren F1.
Nissan’s Cube has already hit the streets and the Townpad is in the same vein, but a bit more conservative. It is a zero-emissions, electrically powered car designed for the entrepreneur who works and plays. The car features little balls, called pucks, which can be placed anywhere in the cabin, including the dash and in the doors. They work with accessories to hold everything from drinks and a smartphone to a corner desk for the passenger. The Townpad also features hideaway second-row seats, which maximizes cargo room.
The 2010 Paris Auto Show also features numerous discussions and presentations on renewable energies, new and alternative fuels, and green technology in addition to test-drives and collections and museum exhibits from automotive manufacturers from all over the world. The show ends on October 17.