We take a look back at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and pick some of our favorite cars.
The Paris Motor Show opened its doors to international press this week for the 53rd time in its history. It remains one of the most prestigious auto shows in the world, and brings with it concept and production cars from nearly every manufacturer (except a few).
This year’s event was no different, and we were on the ground to cover all the new introductions that Paris had to offer. With that in mind, we went through and picked some of our favorite vehicles from the show. The big, the small, and yes, even the ridiculous.
We live in interesting times. For decades, American enthusiasts have lusted after the hottest of hatches from Europe and Japan; reduced to getting our kicks out on the virtual circuits of Forza Motorsport and Grand Truismo. But the Civic Type R is coming to America harder than Eddie Murphy. What’s more, it’s joining one-time holdouts like the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS.
It’s not just the fact that we’ll have the Type R that get me excited, though, it’s that the car looks increasingly like it’ll be a fire-breather. The current version of the English-made Honda has a ‘Ring-smoking 306 horsepower (228 kilowatts), and no lack of visual attitude. But even that machine seems tame when compared with the insanity-speed aero package of the Prototype here in Paris, and the diabolical-looking purpose of those blackened wheels. I expect amazing output numbers and circuit times from the eventual production version, and I expect to experience them firsthand in the good old U S of A.
— Seyth Miersma
The new Audi RS3 offers 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) from its tiny 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That’s as much as the first V10-powered Dodge Viper, which is bonkers. The RS3, though, is infinitely better than the geriatric snake because it’s smaller, lighter, has four doors, and packs an all-wheel-drive system that will keep it glued to the road (something the Viper always had trouble with).
The fact I’m talking about a subcompact sedan and a legendary supercar in the same breath goes to show how far the horsepower wars have come, and I thank Audi for pushing the front lines even farther with the RS3.
— John Neff
Yes, there’s a new Nissan Micra — and no, it’s not coming to the United States. Let me briefly explain to you why this is sad. Because it’s a small, stylish, and smart vehicle — probably the best-looking model in the B segment (sorry, Ford Fiesta, you are old and boring now). American customers are not getting it, just because Nissan thinks it would cost just as much as the Versa sedan for less space and less power.
That makes no sense at all. Why, you might ask? First, the Micra is prettier and has a better interior. Second, it's a brand new model based on a modern platform. But most importantly, the new Micra comes with many intelligent driving and comfort features, known from bigger and more expensive cars. And the Versa doesn't have them.
Take for example the Active Ride Control and Active Trace Control systems, which improve handling and reduce understeer. There’s also a super cool Bose Personal sound system with speakers integrated into the front seats’ headrests. Add a super frugal three-cylinder engine, and you get the perfect city car. Good job, Nissan!
— Anthony Karr
I have a huge love for quirky little French cars, and nobody makes ‘em quite like Citroën. I fell in love with the C4 Cactus and its Airbumps a few years ago, but now, it’s this pint-sized C3 that’s stolen my heart.
It looks fantastic, with elements of sportiness and modern design coming together in a tiny-tough package. The contrasting colors work well alongside a single row of Airbumps - this thing looks like a shoe that 21-year-old me would have bought without a second thought. It just makes me smile; cool colors and interesting textures don’t often find their way to modern cars, and creations like the C3 prove that Citroën still knows how to keep it weird while staying competitive.
Plus, in addition to the regular C3, Citroën rolled out a ready-to-rally WRC version that looks like a hoot and a half. Be still my heart.
— Steven Ewing
The Suzuki Ignis is my forbidden fruit. As someone living in the United States, I have no hope of the little hatchback ever being on sale here, but I love the roly-poly crossover from afar. Previously available only in Japan, it’s great to know there’s a chance I might see one in Europe, too.
I’ve liked the Ignis’ design ever since it debuted as the IM-4 concept, and Suzuki left the production model essentially identical. I enjoy the big headlights with LED surrounds because when on they remind me of an anime character’s eyes. Rather than being entirely cute, there’s some muscle around the fenders that suggests the ability to do light off-roading. The faux strakes at the rear are a whimsical nod to classic Suzukis, too.
If the Ignis were available in the U.S., I imagine it would make a capable vehicle for traveling around town. The small size should make parking and maneuvering easy. Plus, my dog would look great in the passenger seat with his head out the window.
— Chris Bruce
Hyundai has already shown it can conquer the mainstream car market and is extending its tenterhooks into the luxury market. Now it’s time for Hyundai to make some serious performance cars — no, the Genesis Coupe and Veloster don’t really count, at least not for me. The new N sub-brand is set to launch a range of sporty cars soon, and this RN30 concept is a promising sign.
It’s a wild, exaggerated hot hatch based on the i30 hatchback. I doubt a production model would look so extreme or offer such crazy performance (380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet), but it’s good to hear Hyundai is open to the idea of such a wild hot hatch. As a lover of all small, affordable performance cars, I’m eagerly awaiting more from the Hyundai N division.
— Jake Holmes
This is not a Ferrari, it’s a piece of art. The 488 Spider “The Green Jewel” honors one of the most iconic racing cars of all time — the legendary 365 P2 driven by the British David Piper Racing team. The green finish, gold wheels, and off-set colored seats may look strange for a 488 — or any Ferrari for that matter — but you best believe enthusiasts will be clambering for this special edition.
It’s one of just five that made its debut in Paris, and though it doesn’t receive any upgrades in the way of power, its 660 horsepower (492 kilowatts) and 203 mph (326 km/h) top speed should be more than enough for some serious open-top fun.
— Jeff Perez
The previous S5 Sportback was already a very pretty car to begin with, but Audi’s designers have made a few subtle changes here and there to make it even more desirable. Well, at least in my eyes, it looks sensational in this Nardo Grey paint under the spotlight of the Paris Motor Show. Beyond the enhanced visual appeal, there are a lot of other things to like about the new S5.
Not only is it lighter than the old one, but it’s also roomier on the inside where it now has that fantastic all-digital instrument cluster. Factor in the new, more powerful turbocharged V6 engine, and you can understand why it’s my top pick from Paris.
— Adrian Padeanu
I’ll be honest: I’m not sold on the new Land Rover Discovery’s styling. It looks too much like the Disco Sport’s big brother, rather than having it’s own distinct identity. And it has an enormous chin. Still, I can live with that because the new Discovery retains the old Discovery’s central appeal: it’s just so useful.
There’s plenty of room for seven, the trunk is vast, it’s stocked with all the gadgets you need, it can tow 7,700 pounds (3,492 kilograms), and will be absolutely unstoppable off-road and relaxing on-road. It is the Swiss army knife of cars — and I love a good Swiss army knife.
— Graham King