Paris, je t’aime
WELL, who doesn’t love Paris? Even if you’ve never been, it has an indelible piece of mental and sentimental geography.
Every two years auto icons join that big antenna they have and whatever that art gallery’s called, in demanding tourist attention. It’s pretty futile going for five picks of the Paris Auto Salon, but with the aid of blindfold and pin, we’ve done it.
At first appearance the Onyx concept appears one of those Peugeot traditionally trots out at Paris without the least intention of building. Not this time (maybe). Pug has the wherewithal, and more importantly, the will and direction to proceed with this supercar, with a rear-mounted 191kW 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an 89kW electric motor on the front axle that combine for about 280kW. Le Phew.
What more needs be said of McLaren’s P1? Nothing. It’s a McLaren. So let’s move on.
Audi has a bunch of clever and fast stuff on display, but it’s the A3 that most interests us. With the the new Golf, on which the A3 is based, released at the Paris show, we’re thinking this might mark the moment when the A3 becomes a distinctive car and worthy part of the Audi range. But we could be wrong.
Are we not buying enough Hyundais for the local arm of the Korean brand to bring in the striking three-door i30? Apparently not. Pity. if the Veloster does your back in, this would make a tasty little niche car.
Big call this, but we predict that you will grow sick of SUVs. That’s sort of where concepts such as Nissan’s TeRRa come into play. The cool and vaguely Skoda-looking four-seater with fourwheel drive is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Indeed, while EVs and hybrids have been all the go recently, Paris could see the re-emergence of cars powered by forms of hydrogen – the most abundant element in the universe.
Best in show: clockwise from top, the Nissan TeRRa, Peugeot Onyx, McLaren P1 and Audi A3