At every international auto show it's the concept cars that add spice to the practical, economical and otherwise dull machines that fill the show floor. Join us for a look at our favorites.
Tim StevensFormer editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Watch this: A tour of the best concept cars at the 2014 Paris International Auto Show
Loving concept cars is easy. Sure, they're a bit of a tease -- striking and fascinating but likely never coming to production -- but if anything that only adds to the appeal. This year in Paris there were plenty on display, but we've gone ahead and whittled that down to our top five. Without further ado...
Concept cars of the 2014 Paris Motor Show (pictures)
The name of this one says everything: inspiration. Not likely to ever see production, this concept car exists to let Infiniti designers stretch their legs a little, and to give those of us on the outside an idea of what sort of design cues to expect from future, horizon-looking machines.
The "aggressively proportioned" car features suicide doors exposing a radical interior with dual-HUDs. An autonomous driving system can take over or just give you suggestions on how to improve your own driving, while physical back-seat-drivers will be placated by the bottle of champagne integrated between the rear seats. This is Paris, after all.
A coupe with too many doors seems like a recipe for disaster, but somehow it works here. The Audi TT Sportback is simply a TT with more doors, closer spiritually to the A4 perhaps, but looking great regardless. Laser headlights up front, 400 horsepower under the hood, and that amazing Nvidia-powered virtual dashboard are all highlights. We're in love, but despite it looking like it just rolled off a production line, Audi's saying this one isn't likely for showrooms. Shame.
It's a rough and rowdy crossover 'ute from Peugeot -- ignoring the fact that this concept is largely hollow and glued together, like the rest of the concepts. It still looks striking, if overly menacing. The two-tone paint with bright red highlights makes quite an impression, as do the ridiculously complicated scissor doors and the "holographic" heads-up display inside. Crazy, as concepts should be.
Production viability: Low
Citroen DS Divine
Citroen is spinning up its DS as a separate sub-brand, and to celebrate there's this, the Divine. It's festooned with gemstones and covered with diamond shapes throughout, including louvers that would make seeing out the rear something of a challenge. Thankfully there's a camera. And, yes, a heads-up display, and even a high-definition monitor that'd be just perfect for watching Pink Flamingos.
Production viability: Low
Citroen hails DS line with diamond-studded Divine concept car (pictures)
Asterion was a mythical minotaur, half-man and half-bull, and Lamborghini's Asterion has a split personality too. It's a hybrid, a 910 horsepower hybrid with a V-10 in the back and lovely styling all over. It's also a touch more refined than we've seen from recent Lambos, even with some classical flair. From certain angles you might think Muira, which is a very good thing indeed.
Production viability: Medium (but we want it to be higher)
Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 debuts in Paris (pictures)