Paris Motor Show

Paris Motor Show

You can tell just by looking at the Smart Forstars Concept that Smart is diving out of the box with their recent concept offerings. Just like the For-Us Concept that we saw at Geneva , the Forstars Concept is a take on a future urban sports utility coupe that has a chance to appeal to a wide market.

Combining a new style that’s far removed from the conservative nature of Smart with cutting edge technology that we don’t normally see on a Smart, the Forstars Concept is the kind of concept that we’d love to see Smart build as a production model in the future.

Power’s not that much, but Smart has never been one to rely on an excess of horsepower, so it’s not that much of a big deal. In any case, the Forstars Concept is headed to the 2012 Paris Motor Show , at which we’ll see and know more about it.

UPDATE 12/07/12: Smart has released the first official video of the Forstars Concept. We wish they’d release more than just a promo video - we want to see this bad boy in production! - but we’ll take it for now. Click the photo above to check it out!

Find out more about the Smart Forstars Concept after the jump.

At the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Audi will be bringing along a special edition SQ5 TDI model called the Executive Concept.

To be fair, we’re looking forward to seeing this car on the showroom floor for a number of reasons including a unique body color that we haven’t seen before from an Audi. The concept also promises a luxurious interior befitting its "Exclusive Concept" designation.

Other than that, there’s not a whole lot to be excited about when it comes to the SQ TDI Exclusive Concept. (Wait until you hear how much it’s going to cost).

In any case, the car is scheduled to make an appearance in Paris, which, in itself, is worthy of coverage. It won’t be the sexiest or the most eye-popping of the cars headed to France, but we’re still interested to see if Audi can change our minds on our initial underwhelming opinion of this production-ready, limited-run concept.

Find out more about the Audi SQ5 TDI Exclusive Concept after the jump.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer is set to be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, which begins on September 29th and it will debut with some all-new BMW technology. BMW sees the Active Tourer as its way to fit in with the 5-percent annual mpg growth required by the recently passed CAFÉ extension through 2025. Believe it or not, this compact crossover actually shares a small amount of DNA with the upcoming i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, which we will get into later.

The Concept Active Tourer is just as its name alludes to, a concept. However, it is a great glimpse into the upcoming technologies that BMW plans to add to its line up in the coming years. One brand-new item the Concept Tourer bears is the eDrive system, which we’ll describe in more detail later. The second new technology is the first-ever appearance by the much-anticipated BMW 3-cylinder engine.

As with any concept car that we see, we have to ask a few questions. First, is this concept a reality or is it a pipe dream that will likely never see the light of day in its conception form (See: Pontiac Sunfire )? Secondly, can this concept even compete in its market in both price and performance?

Click past the jump to read all about the BMW Concept Active Tourer and get the answers to these questions.

At the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, Mini unveiled the Paceman Concept and soon thereafter, rumors began that the company was preparing the production version. Now those rumors can be laid to rest as Mini has unveiled the production version Paceman, just a few weeks before its official debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.

The new Paceman is the seventh model in the brand family and is also the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe in the premium small and compact vehicle segment. It is a two-door version of the Countryman and will be offered with the same technology and engines as its five-door brother.

This means that customers will have to choose between two petrol and two diesel engines, with power ranging from 112 HP to 184 HP. These engines will be combined with a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic as an option. Mini has also announced that a John Cooper Works is in the works.

UPDATE 09/14/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the new Mini Paceman.

UPDATE 11/28/12: MINI has officially released pricing details for the Paceman. Check out how much a model’s going to cost after the jump

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Mini Paceman.

Nissan’s experimentation into the world of zero-emission, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles is now in concept form as the Terra SUV Concept.

The concept, which will make its debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, provides a glimpse on what a future zero-emissions SUV concept is capable of. This may not be good news to the die-hard gear heads, but rings like music to the ears of environmentalists the world over.

More importantly, the Terra SUV Concept was born from technologies the Japanese automaker has used on a number of its vehicles, particularly the Juke , the Qashqai , and the Leaf .

"Our challenge was to take Nissan’s strength in SUVs and crossovers forward into the zero-emissions era, fuel cells being our new frontier in zero emission mobility," said Francois Bancon, Nissan’s division general manager of product strategy and planning.

"Not big and tough for the desert, the aim was a new approach to SUVs that’s relevant to urban life. The unique diagonal seating layout that offers an exciting driving experience thanks to exceptional visibility that creates a sense of being in control under any conditions."

Find out more about the Nissan Terra SUV Concept after the jump

The new generation Volvo V40 was officially unveiled back in March at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, so it seems fitting that a more powerful version of the hatchback will be unleashed at another major auto show in the same year. The new V40 R-Design model will make its presence known when it rolls onto the Paris Auto Show at the end of September.

The V40 R-Design will be launched in a very cool Rebel Blue and promises to deliver an intense, agile driving experience thanks to its impressive high-performance T5 petrol turbo with 254 HP. When compared to a standard V40, the new R-Design version will be distinguished by a silk-metal framed high-gloss grille, an ironstone diffuser, silk-metal finished details, and twin exhaust tailpipes.

The V40 R-Design was built on a special chassis developed in cooperation with Volvo ’s Polestar Black R team. This chassis can be ordered in a standard "Dynamic" version which adds a rigid body and a low center of gravity or an optional "Sport" version if the customer wants to lower the ride height by 10 mm.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Volvo V40 R-Design.

Next to the "Onyx " supercar concept, Peugeot will also be unveiling a sweet RCZ R at the upcoming Paris Auto Show. This concept car previews an exclusive, dynamic, and sporty range of the RCZ which is already set for production and will be unveiled in 2013.

The RCZ R will be powered by a 1.6 liter THP engine with an output of 260 HP - making it the most powerful production model in Peugeot’s history. This engine will deliver more than 160 bhp/liter, which is also one of the highest in the world for a production vehicle.

Next to this impressive engine, the RCZ R will feature special suspensions and wheels combined with a Torsen limited slip differential to help in the twisties.

The Peugeot RCZ R that will be displayed in Paris will feature a very cool matte black and copper livery, combined with a special exterior signature and interior treatment.

In the past two years Peugeot has been pretty busy testing their new 2008 crossover , but while we were all waiting to see the production version, Peugeot decided to unveil a concept version at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

The 2008 is an evolution of the Urban Crossover concept we have seen earlier this year and will be built as a competitor for the Nissan Juke . The 2008 combines the elegance and refinement of a hatchback with the remarkable versatility and interior space of a SUV. It measures just 4.14 meters long and 1.74 meters wide making it a perfect driving in the city.

The concept to be displayed in Paris is powered by a new 1.2-litre 3-cylinder engine with turbo and direct injection that helps it deliver an impressive 100 HP, but also low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Peugeot 2008 Concept.

In 2011, Ssangyong debuted the XIV-1 crossover concept, but it never saw production. In 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, Ssangyong brought the more modern and convertible XIV-2 , but it still had no release details attached with it. Now, Ssangyong is bringing another variant to the XIV concept lineup in the form of the E-XIV.

The E-XIV, much like its predecessors, has no anticipated release date, but it is expected to debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The E-XIV is a huge step forward for the developing automaker, as it disposes of the traditional gasoline and diesel engines in favor of an electric drivetrain that uses a small gasoline engine to extend its range.

The details are very scarce, but we can tell that the front fascia of the E-XIV is slightly different than that on the XIV-2, as it lacks the air-intake ducts and plastic insert on the front fascia. In the place of the plastic insert are a series of small holes, but we are unsure of their purpose. On the rear en, you can see that there is really no difference between the E-XIV and the XIV-2, with exception to the illuminated “E-VIX” logo on the rear fascia. We also know that it’ll measure in at 163.2 inches long x 70.8 inches wide x 62.4 inches high and have a 102-inch wheelbase.

On the roof, instead of boasting a “convertible” top, the E-XIV features a glass roof and solar panels, meaning that this hybrid would use solar energy too. That would be a huge revolution in the industry, but it may be purely theory now, in the case of Ssangyong.

We’ll just have to wait and see what Ssangyong rolls out on September 29th to see if this solar hybrid is a reality or just another non-production brainchild.

Lexus IS-F

Car manufacturers love nothing more than to get us all talking about their latest concept. It makes them even more happy when there is an aura of mystery around it. Well, Toyota is one that loves pulling this stunt (See: over-dramatized 2013 Avalon release). This time around, Lexus , Toyota’s luxury arm, has chosen to remain even more secretive than its older cousin.

This new mystery for us to solve is the upcoming introduction of a new concept car at the Paris Motor Show. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait the full time to catch a glimpse of the new Lexus, as the luxury automaker has promised to release its first images on September 17th.

If Lexus is anything like its parent company, these images will likely be as nondescript as possible and not really reveal anything. Using our magical speculation meters, we are guessing that this will end up being the concept that the next-gen IS will be based off of. If so, we really can’t wait to find out what’s under the hood, as we are anticipating a nasty twin-boosted V-6 to grace the IS-F’s engine compartment.

Given the next-gen IS is about a year or two away, this makes sense for it to still be a concept car. We’ll definitely find out a lot more when Lexus decides to release some images. Hopefully they are enough to at least clue us in on whether it is the new IS lineup or not.

Stay tuned!


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