Finding the crème de la crème for your viewing pleasure

Paris may have seen several of the major automakers sit on the sidelines this time around, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get an eyeful of some very hot automobiles. The City of Lights played host to all kinds of good stuff for 2016, but we still managed to pick out five of the latest and greatest to kick off this year’s auto show season.

Included in this list is a production car and a race car, but the majority of our picks are actually concepts. And why not? Paris is home to a variety of high-end art pieces, so it makes sense to bring in the rolling sculptures, right?

Long story short, it looks like we’re in for a very interesting season this year, especially when you consider the limited attendance seen in Paris. Read on for our picks for best in show.

Continue reading for the full story.

Best In Show

Honda Civic Type R

2016 Honda Civic Type R Concept
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People are going absolutely bonkers over this thing, and rightfully so. Every angle is tech aggression incarnate, from the deep splitter in the nose, to the hood scoop up top, to that funky spoiler in back, to the center-mounted exhaust in the tail. The H badge has clearly stepped up its hot hatch game, which is impressive considering the brand’s previous offerings in the segment. Of course, all that extra polishing and preening is necessary now, what with high-profile competitors like the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R, and others vying for your max-driving-pleasure dollar

Funny enough, Honda managed to generate a huge buzz around the Type R without even mentioning the technical specs. We don’t even know for sure what’ll be used for motivation, but odds are it’ll be that new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger Honda just revealed, which, in case you forgot, produces 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

The best part of all this? The inevitable comparison tests. Place your bets now.

Read the full review here.

Renault Trezor Concept

Renault Trezor Concept Previews Future Design Language High Resolution Exterior
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The first concept on our list of Best in Show from Paris is the native-born Trezor from Renault, a wild-looking creation that caught our attention thanks to its sleek and stylish aesthetic and the impractical-but-awesome feature ideas it brings to the table.

The first thing that’ll grab you is the way it looks – from tip to tail, the Trezor is exceptionally forward-thinking. The angles are deep, but it’s all smoothed out in a way that gives the car a sort of “coupe of the future” vibe. The stance is low and wide, with attention-grabbing proportions that engage the eye at every level. It’s a really solid piece of design work, which is good news, considering it previews the brand’s upcoming styling language.

But it’s more than just a pretty face – the Trezor is also a showcase of possible future features, like a 350-horsepower all-electric powertrain, autonomous driving modes, and a clamshell roof that rises off the body in a very dramatic fashion. Obviously, some of these features are more production friendly than others, but either way, it’s hard to dislike the direction Renault seems to be headed.

Read the full review here.

Lexus UX Concept

2016 Lexus UX Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Here’s another crazy concept for you, this time around from Lexus. It’s called the UX, and it offers us a preview of the brand’s upcoming compact crossover. Right off the bat, it’s pretty obvious the Lexus designers went to town when drawing this thing up. It’s about as sharp and creased as you can make a car without actually welding steak knives to the fenders, but the result looks pretty good. Hell, I even like the enormous trademark grille, which seems to work with the piercing headlight housings and flared side intakes. Of course, there’s probably a few of you out there who’ll disagree, but you gotta at least hand it to Lexus for pushing the envelope a little when it comes to aesthetics. Just look at those wheels!

The interior is equally weird, with suicide rear doors, a spacey dashboard, and webbed seats that offer one of the most original designs I’ve seen in quite some time.

Like the Renault, it’s doubtful any of this stuff will see the light of day on a model that you can actually buy, but that’s okay – the ideas are there, so we’ll see what squeaks by on the way to mass production.

Read the full review here.

Audi RS3 LMS

Audi RS3 LMS Comes Track Ready with 330 Horsepower on Tap
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Back to the fast stuff. Audi has built a reputation for sportiness thanks to success in high-profile racing series like DTM and WEC, and now, it’s doubling down with a brand-new customer racing car. Based on the updated RS3, this speedy four-door is a cost-effective way to get into a true pro-level touring ride. Made specifically for the TCR International Series, the RS3 LMS features a stripped-out cabin, FIA-approved safety gear, racing suspension, and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s turbocharged to 330 horsepower. Properly applied, there’s enough muscle to push this thing to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds, which might not sound all that impressive, but remember – this thing has enough stick to tear your face off in the corners, especially when all that wing comes into play.

You can get yours for around $145,000, or alternatively, you can opt for the club sport variant for $111,000.

Read the full review here.

Hyundai RN30 Concept

2016 Hyundai N Concept RN30 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Here’s another little speed demon for you – the RN30. While just a concept, this thing looks to preview an upcoming performance machine from the South Korean automaker. The production variant will bear Hyundai’s recently unveiled “N” division branding, and by all accounts, it looks like it’s gonna be good.

Based on the latest version of the i30 hatchback, the RN30 is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine capable of producing 375 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque. The grunt is turned into forward motion thanks a DCT, high-performance AWD system, and electronic limited-slip differential, while curb weight is kept to a minimum thanks to a specially developed high-strength polymer.

Obviously, the RN30 Concept is a track-only special, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to see what’s needed to make it street legal. My guess is Honda, Ford, and Subaru have something to worry about, because there just might be a new player in the hot hatch segment in the next year or so.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

There it is, the crème de la crème from the 2016 Paris Motor Show. What are your thoughts about this year’s debuts? Is there something we overlooked? Are our opinions incorrect? Let us know in the comments below.

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