Every fall, the Paris Auto Show kicks off the major auto show season. Automakers come out in full force to show off their best wares for the 2011 and beyond model years, and set a tone for the rest of the auto show season. We followed the debuts closely, and built a list of vehicles you just have to see from the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
2011 Bentley Continental GT
Cool Features: You mean aside from the 567-horsepower 6.0-liter W12? How about an 8" touch screen with Google Maps, all new styling and a price tag that rivals many people's mortgages.
Bottom Line: There's nothing finer when you're looking to treat yourself.
Concept Kia POP
Cool Features: Designed to sit three passengers (no double dates), the all-electric POP concept is intended to drive up to 100 miles with a top speed of 87 mph.
Bottom Line: One of those futuristic concepts you'll never see on the street.
2015 Lotus Elise Concept
Cool Features: Designed for the driver, the Elise concept packs all-new styling and a 320 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, all under 2,500 lbs.
Bottom Line: The future of Lotus looks bright.
2011 Porsche 911 Speedster
Cool Features: It pays homage to the classic 1950's 356, so naturally only 356 2011 Porsche 911 Speedsters will be produced. Hope you got your order in on time.
Bottom Line: It's fitting that Porsche would unveil its hunchback so close to Notre Dame.
2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
Cool Features: The Coupe starts at $103,100 while the convertible starts at $112,900. Better start saving your pennies now, it goes on sale early next year.
Bottom Line: Coupe or convertible, automatic or manual, the rear-wheel-drive only Carrera GTS fills a tiny spot in the 911 line-up.
BMW 6 Series Coupe Concept
Cool Features: While technically a concept, it would be safe to assume we'll be seeing something almost identical to this as the 2012 6 Series. It's completely redesigned inside and out, but expect it to feature power plants similar to those currently employed in the 5 Series.
Bottom Line: Long live the 6 Series.
Saab 9-3 Electric
Cool Features: Seventy of these are being given to families to test in Sweden. Saab plans to take what it learns with this program and apply it to a high-performance electric vehicle. Yes, please.
Bottom Line: The beginning of electric vehicles for Saab.
Volvo S60 R-Design
Cool Features: As if the regular S60 wasn't gorgeous enough, the R-design adds aggressive front fascia, larger wheels (18's), and more new sport seats. It isn't all cosmetic, as suspension upgrades are intended to drive the sport home.
Bottom Line: Somehow Volvo managed to make the sexy S60 look even better.
2012 Ford Focus ST
Cool Features: The all-new ST packs a 247 horsepower turbocharged 2.0 4-cylinder engine under the hood. Best of all, it's going to be available stateside in early 2012.
Bottom Line: We finally get the Focus we should have gotten from the start.
Mazda Shinari Concept
Cool Features: An evolution of the "Nagare" design that brought us the uber-happy MAZDA3. Mazda claims this concept is a glimpse of future Mazda styling. The new styling has a name: Kodo.
Bottom Line: An example of the design Mazda should have used in the first place.
Cool Features: Eye-spy rear door handles, aggressive styling, and a neat motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster. It'll be offered globally, with the U.S. version being produced in Michigan.
Bottom Line: The Aveo finally becomes competitive.
Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback
Cool Features: A Cruze with the versatility of a hatchback is the thing that practicality dreams are made of. Not so cool fact: it's currently not slated to come to the U.S.
Bottom Line: Another hatchback we have to admire from afar.
2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS
Cool Features: All-new design features a lot of aluminum, reducing weight and bringing the coefficient of drag to a soapy .26.
Bottom Line: Mercedes-Benz toughens up its 4-door coupe.
Land Rover Evoque
Cool Features: It's packing a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder under the hood producing 240 horsepower with a standard full-time all wheel drive system. It goes on sale globally next fall.
Bottom Line: The small luxury crossover segment has an all-new contender. It might just be a knock-out.
Lotus Eterne Concept
Cool Features: One of five all-new vehicles Lotus showed in Paris, the Eterne is the greatest departure from the norm. Four doors, 620-horsepower, and an optional hybrid drive train based on Lotus's Formula 1 system.
Bottom Line: Lotus is ready to be more than a three car show.
You may also be interested in...
Nissan, Smart Teaming Up for New Small Car in 2012
2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata MPG is Tops in Its Class
New 2012 Volkswagen Eos to be Unveiled at L.A. Auto Show
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class New Magic Sky Control Roof
10 Things You Should Know About the 2011 Cadillac CTS
GM to Revive High Performance Division