The 9 Showstoppers of the Paris Motor Show

Oct 08, 2021 - By Chris Weiss

The Paris Motor Show has come and gone (at least as far as the media’s concerned) and there were scores of stunning concepts, big debuts and exciting green cars to numb our writers’ fingers for days on end. In fact, so many so that we couldn’t quite cover them all on a daily basis. So, instead, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorite cars, concepts and wheeled vehicles and thrown them together for your delight. Some of the cars we predicted would steal the show did, but surprisingly, this list is quite distinct from our Paris preview edition. Here are our 9 best in show of Paris.

Exagon Furtive eGT

The Furtive eGT is a plug-in 2 + 2 that combines 340 horses worth of grunt with 500 miles worth of range. Its two electric motors combine to provide about 250 miles of range-pretty solid by any count-and a small, range-extending gas engine kicks in the other 250. Before it ever runs out of battery power, you’ll be hitting 62 mph in an impressive 3.5 seconds. The styling is attractive if not particularly groundbreaking. Had this car been shown by a company with a more solid history of production than Exagon, a French racing company, it might have rode its way higher up the list.

Lotus Eterne

Choosing a Lotus for this spot was particularly difficult after the company’s unprecedented Paris concept barrage; Lotus could have captured half this list. At a show other than the 2010 Paris Motor Show, of course. We picked the Eterne since it’s Lotus’ first sedan and, frankly, we needed something concrete to distinguish it from the other similarly-styled, similarly-speced concepts Lotus launched-they kind of ran together. Plus, packing the same 620-hp pressure-charged 5.0-liter V8 engine as the new Esprit helped the Eterne raise its hand just a little higher than the others.

Renault DeZir

Radical, conceptual masterpieces like the Renault DeZir are why people go to auto shows year in and year out. You think people buy a plane ticket to the city of love to see the 2011 VW Passat? We didn’t learn much about the DeZir in Paris that we didn’t know beforehand, but its reverse scissor doors and candy red exterior are enough to keep us dreaming of next October. Renault powers this all-electric with a 110 kW motor and 24 kWh li-ion battery. Given its lightweight kevlar body, good for a miniscule 1,830 lbs. of curb weight, the motor powers the car to a 5-second 0 to 62 mph and 112 mph top speed.

Audi e-tron Spyder

Had Audi just shaved the top of the R4 e-tron it displayed in Detroit, we would have left it off this list. But, Audi didn’t only give us revised front and rear ends and wraparound glass, it changed the entire drivetrain behind its e-tron convertible. So here she is. The e-tron Spyder drops the all-electric power of past models and uses a hybrid, AWD pairing of a 3.0-liter twin-turbo diesel V6 and two 44-hp electric motors. This pairing gives the car 388-hp, 4.4-seconds to 62 mph of acceleration capability and a whopping 621 miles of claimed range. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that it looks hella sexy while outrunning the crap out of just about every electric and hybrid out there.

Ferrari 599 SA Aperta

When you look at what Lamborghini and Lotus did this year, you’d have to say that Ferrari kind of half-assed it for Paris. I know, I know, automakers can’t go for the winning touchdown at every auto show, but one is hard-pressed not to compare. But even at half-assery, Ferrari hangs toward the top of our list, especially when said half-assery comprises a brand new, top-end convertible. The 599 SA Aperta was so hot, in fact, that it sold out before it even made its world debut at Paris. The 80-model 670-hp soft-top convertible adds a sultry, topless look to the Ferrari line.

Peugeot EX-1

Like the Renault DeZir, except even more radical and impressive, the Peugeot gets a lot of points for being that head-turning concept in the room. It also gets points for the ingenuity used to squeeze every possible ounce of performance out of its two 170-hp electric motors. Everything like thinning out the rear track to give it its odd, teardrop shape, leaving the windshield at the factory and trimming weight to 2,200 lbs. Supposedly, this trike with four wheels can break the 3-second 0-to-60 mph barrier-quite impressive for an electric.

Lotus Esprit

The Lotus Esprit actually took a hit from our preview list where we had it as #1. Perhaps Lotus’ hype going all the way back to June 21 just created too big of expectations; perhaps Lotus just overwhelmed our senses with its very similar family of concepts; perhaps that rumored V10 that never materialized hurt Lotus’ cause; or perhaps, simply, because it is what the Esprit always was and still is-not quite as fast or powerful as a Lamborghini, not quite as sexy as a Ferrari, but a solid, more obtainable supercar.

And let’s be honest, the #3 spot in a list like this isn’t exactly chopped liver. The most powerful Esprit ever is definitely a worthy revival with its 620-hp 5.0-liter V8 engine. Its styling didn’t exactly leave us begging for more, but touches like the windshield-to-glass-roof, glass engine cover and big ol’ rear diffuser with exhaust mounted front and center definitely left an impression. The Esprit is back, and the auto world is a better place for it.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini has officially shattered any image of heavy, over-juiced supercars, and it’s shattered it with one of the most hyped and delivered concepts in Paris. Unlike the Esprit, we feel that the Sesto Elemento not only delivered on its hype, but surpassed it. Granted, it didn’t have a memorable, historical nameplate to revive, but Lamborghini really came through with its 2,200-lb, carbon fiber weapon. The 2.5-second to 62 mph time and 218 mph top speed show that Lamborghini really doesn’t have to compromise much when trading power for lightweight design. Except perhaps for a cush interior.

Jaguar C-X75

The fact that Jaguar’s latest concept jumped right over a brand new Lotus Esprit and a 2,200-lb. Lamborghini concept speaks volumes about what we think of the new Jaguar supercar. Unlike #s 2 and 3, Jaguar didn’t spend any time or energy with pre-show hype; it came, it surprised and it awed. Besides the fact that the C-X75 is the first Jaguar supercar since the shortlived XJ220 of the early 1990s, the car uses a compelling, experimental powertrain consisting of 780 hp and 1180 lb-ft of torque worth of four wheel-mounted electric motors, and two small, range-extending flex-fuel turbines where you’d expect to see a large gas engine. In the end, Jaguar’s pairing pays off in the form of 560 miles worth of range, 3.4 seconds to 62 mph and a 205-mph top speed. While it’s just a rough concept at the moment, there’s some indication that Jaguar is serious about this one.


  1. Posted by The 9 Showstoppers of the Paris Motor Show - : Jaguar News

    [...] The 9 Showstoppers of the Paris Motor ShowMotorCrave.comBesides the fact that the C-X75 is the first Jaguar supercar since the shortlived XJ220 of the early 1990s, the car uses a compelling, …Seat IBe concept car Cars Leave Paris Motor Show Guests in AweManila BulletinWhat a concept!Ottawa CitizenClassic Driver -CNET (blog)all 60 news articles » [...]