The Renault Twingo concept is the French automaker's pitch to the younger driver. The compact hatchback is powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged engine, endowing the supermini with 100 horsepower. Like Hyundai's Arnejs, the Twingo has no B-pillar and a panoramic sunroof, which give the car an uninterrupted flowing side profile. A production version of the Twingo is due to go on sale in spring 2007. Inside, the Twingo is geared up to appeal to tech-savvy occupants: a USB port and an auxiliary input jack give digital audiophiles the chance to import their own tunes, while a retractable 15-inch monitor hooked up to a PC enables the car's occupants to get online--and to use the the Twingo's built-in Webcam--when the vehicle is stationary.
Another Renault concept, the Nepta is a four-seater cabriolet that combines a sporty design with some serious performance credentials. The Nepta's gull-wing doors give access to the interior, while its gull-wing hood reveals its 3.5-liter 420 horsepower V-6 petrol engine. This is mated with automatic seven-speed transmission, which is controlled via steering wheel-mounted flick-shift controls.
The C-Metisse is powered by a diesel-electric hybrid engine that combines a V-6 diesel-injection engine with two electric motors. The two propulsion sources form a "full hybrid" system, enabling the car to trundle around solely on battery power or to haul its carbon-fiber carcass up to 155mph, depending on who's driving.
Kia's pro_ceed is a three-door concept version of its five-door cee'd, which also gets its debut at this year's Paris Auto Show. With a lower roofline than the cee'd, and larger, 19-inch wheels wearing low-profile tires, the pro_ceed is a teaser of a production model due for release in 2007. Kia reps told us that the model on display bears a very close resemblance to the production model.
Volkswagen's lean green mean machine is an echo of its past and a conceptual vision of the future. The Iroc gets its name from the Scirocco, a VW hot-hatch from the 1980s; a production model of the car on display in Paris is expected to go on sale at the end of 2008. The concept version of the Iroc is equipped with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of 210 horsepower.
Hyundai says that the interior of the Arnejs is also inspired by waves. There are very few corners or straight lines in the cabin as the dashboard blends into the door. The instrument panel consists of a blue-trimmed peanut-shaped pod, and all other cabin controls are located in a large center stack, housing a navigation screen surrounded by hard buttons.
Following on the heels of Hyundai's HED-2 Genus concept, this a stylish five-door hatchback that is based on the development plans for Hyundai's FD production vehicle. The Arnejs combines sporty elements such as a squat stance, 19-inch low-profile tires, and an imposing hexagonal grille, with some elegant styling cues. The lack of a B-pillar and a panoramic glass roof are designed to add to the car's flowing, wavelike deign, although car's huge compensatory C-pillar will make for significantly reduced visibility if this design is retained for the FD production model. The car on display in Paris is equipped with a 2-liter diesel engine.
The original Honda Civic hybrid may have been eco-friendly, but it wasn't very attractive. For the Paris show, Honda decked out the existing infrastructure with some sporty trim, including seven-spoke alloy wheels, a huge air dam, body skirts, and a pair of chrome-tipped exhaust pipes. The age of the egg-shaped hybrid is coming to an end.
The Koleos a sign of Renault SUVs to come. Powered by a 2-liter diesel engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, the Koleos transports four people, who get a decent view of the road and the sky above through the panoramic glass roof. Inside, the Koleos features a navigation system, as well as systems for monitoring atmospheric pressure, compass bearings, altitude, and gradient. A production version is due out in the first half of 2008.
The 908 RC is loaded with tech, from its LED brakelights to its many cabin comfort and entertainment features, including GPS navigation, MP3 player, and quad-zone climate control. Interior systems are controlled via the car's touch screen, which Peugeot calls Man/Machine Interface (MMI), a moniker that will sound pretty familiar to Audi.
Peugeot's 908 RC concept is a real crowd-puller this year in Pa is: a four-door limousine sports car, the 908 RC is a sleek, low-slung coupe with interior room for four people.
The car shares its 5.5-liter V-12 diesel engine with the competition version of the 908, which will represent Peugeot in the 2007 Le Mans racing season. The diesel engine contains two particulate filters, which reduce the level of harmful emissions produced by the diesel engine.
Like most concepts, Citroen's diesel-hybrid C-Metisse is a little fantastical in its styling: four gull-wing doors, an impossibly long and low body, retractable airfoils, gaping air vents in the front fenders, and huge, 20-inch wheels sitting in aggressive haunches mean that it wasn't built to go shopping in.
Chrysler seeks to continue its aggressive lineup profile with the unwrapping of the Avenger, a d-segment concept vehicle that DaimlerChrysler executives described as a "Dodge sedan with attitude". They said that the Avenger 2-liter turbo diesel concept on display was a "strong indication" of the eventual production model.
One of the first concept cars to be unveiled in Paris was Chevrolet's muscular WTCC Ultra, whose design was inspired by Chevy's rally ventures, Packing a 2-liter diesel engine capable of 190 horsepower, the angular Ultra is a message from Chevy that it means to create for itself a new global image to appeal to markets outside of North America.
According to GM, the interior of the WTCC Ultra is "as ergonomic as a production-line Chevy". However, there are few Tahoes on the road with unpolihsed metal- and carbon fiber cabin accents, and even fewer with a rubberised-paint coating on their upper dash. Apparently, the later feature of the WTCC Ultra was inspired by the movie "Batman Returns".