Paris Motor Show
The first automobile show in the world was held in Paris in 1898 at the Tuilleries Gardens. Only a handful of the new-fangled "automobiles" were exhibited at the outdoor location. To prove the validity of this new mode of transportation, exhibitors had to drive their vehicles from Versailles to Paris.
The 2004 Paris Motor Show brought out some of Europe’s biggest names and there were a number of important debuts from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. At the Audi stand, the German automaker unveiled two important new cars. The 2005 Audi A4 showed off a new face and a new engine as it geared up to compete against the fully redesigned BMW 3 Series. The 2005 Audi A3 hatchback highlighted the German automaker’s push for less expensive cars that still delivered Audi style and performance.
BMW was eyeing the low-cost market, too, as it introduced its entry-level 2006 1 Series at the Paris auto show. Shown in hatchback form, the 1 Series will eventually expand into the sedan and coupe segments as well. A little higher on the price scale was the 2006 BMW M5. Its 500-horsepower V10 engine promises blistering performance that few sedans on the planet can match. If the M5 is tops for performance, then the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG looked like it had the style crown wrapped up. With 476 hp of its own it wouldn’t be far behind the M5 in a race and it would look great doing it.