Paris isn’t the largest auto show around but these companies still did it big.
The 2014 Paris Motor Show proved that smaller stages don’t mean dimmer spotlights. The world’s automakers stormed the City of Lights like (insert World War II joke here), revealing some of the most exciting and intriguing cars of the year. The predictable big brands all made splashes, but other automakers, such as domestic powerhouse Peugeot and German giant Volkswagen, found ways to steal the spotlight as well.
Remember the time someone crammed a Suzuki Hayabusa engine into a Smart Car? Volkswagen did something similar for Paris, putting a 197-horsepower Ducati engine into the hyper-miling XL1 to create the XL Sport. The XL Sport weighs in at 1,962 pounds and can hit a top speed of 168 mph. Oh, and it’s also the 200 millionth car built by the VW Group. Just another day at the office for the folks at Volkswagen.
Automotive purists likely shed a tear when the Lamborghini Asterion was revealed to the world. The plug-in hybrid features a V10 that kicks out 610 horses along with three electric motors that contribute an extra 300 horsepower. All told the Asterion tops out at 199 mph and does 0-62 in 3.0 seconds. Should you want to save the environment you can switch to all-electric mode where the top speed is 77 mph and max range is 31 miles.
Ferrari didn’t debut (another) hybrid supercar at Paris, but it did show the 458 Speciale A. The convertible sports an aluminum roof that gets up and off in 14 seconds and an engine capable of doing 0-124 (why stop at 62?) mph in 9.5 seconds. Those with deep pockets will want to get in line now as the Ferrari 458 Speciale A’s production run is capped at 499.
The all-new Jaguar XE was arguably the most significant reveal of the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Described as THE driver’s car in the global mid-size sedan segment, the XE marks a new era for the British carmaker. Sporting a dynamic design, three performance-oriented engines and a double wishbone suspension for precise handling, the entry-level Jag sedan has finally arrived and looks set to give the BMW 3 Series a serious run for its money.
Those who prefer to ogle cars they’d likely only ever drive in video games will love the AMG GT. They’re lightweight, easy on the eyes, and fast. The GT variant kicks out 456 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque with a top speed of 189 mph. The GT S is good for 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 193 mph.
Honorable mentions go to the Peugeot Quartz, a speedy hybrid that would likely do better in an art museum (next to Paris 2012’s Onyx concept) than on the road; the Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster S and Vanquish Coupe Carbon Black; and Mercedes' other big reveal in the form of the C63 AMG, now called simply the Mercedes-AMG C63.