Paris Motor Show 2012: The Concepts

  • All the concept cars from the Paris Motor Show
  • Peugeot's stunning Onyx to the 2008 Crossover
  • McLaren's P1 provides a taste of the exotica

At every motor show there’s always a variety of new cars, modern technology and futuristic concepts.

The concepts range from outlandish prototypes to the cars that could be pressed into production over the next few years.

In any case, concepts give car designers and engineers the chance to show off what they can really do.

Here are the concept highlights from the Paris Motor Show 2012. To see the rest of the new from the Paris Motor Show click here.


Audi says it is showing a glimpse of future designs for its Q models with the Crosslane coupe concept car. The Crosslane is a dual-mode petrol/electric hybrid with an aluminium/polymer spaceframe construction. It features a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine with two electric motors to deliver 175bhp. It can run at speeds of up to 80mph for up to 53 miles but, more importantly, has the potential for the equivalent to 256.8mpg with CO2 output of just 26g/km. The Audi crosslane coupé sprints from zero to 62mph in 8.6 seconds, and in pure electric mode takes 9.8 seconds. The car’s top speed is 113mph.


Another plug-in electric/petrol hatchback, the BMW Concept Active Tourer promises, like all the others, to move the game forward. But then again, they all do that. This concoction has a three-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, generating a combined output of 190bhp and that’s enough to get it from zero to 62mph in less than eight seconds. Average fuel consumption is 112mpg with CO2 emitting at just under 60g/km. The lithium-ion battery can be charged at a conventional mains socket and you can travel at just over 20 miles on electric power alone.


The distinctive LF-CC certainly turned heads at the Lexus stand. Set to replace the ageing IS, this rear-wheel-drive car is likely to make use of an all-new 2.5-litre hybrid engine the firm has been developing. The stand also featured the new Lexus LS600h in F-sport trim. A sporty interpretation of the large hybrid car, it gets a bodykit along with lower ride height, uprated brakes and an increase in engine volume to dial up the sportiness.


McLaren has unveiled what it describes as the ‘ultimate supercar’ – the P1. This awesome-looking two-seater takes much of its technological and spiritual inspiration from the company’s racing division and the Woking-based firm says it is seeking to build the best driver’s car in the world on road and track. It is expected that the production version of the P1 will sit above the 12C and 12C Spider, in terms of price and performance.


This is the silvery blue electric version of the SLS AMG and although it has a paintjob that’ll induce a trance, the £300,000 pricetag – almost twice that of the petrol version – will be a wake-up call. Maximum power output is around 525bhp and that’ll propel it from 0-62mph in 4 seconds, 0-125mph in 11 seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph. Range is around 130 miles from a one-hour-long fast-charge. There’s also a silvery blue electric version of the B-Class that’ll be launched in 2014. Top speed for the electric B-Class is limited to 93 and the lithium-ion battery ensures a CO2 emission-free range of 124 miles.


The rugged uppercase/lowercase hell that is the TeRRA is a zero emissions, four-wheel-drive concept. It uses a mish-mash powertrain that features electric motors on the wheels and fuel cell technology. Yes, it’s got a Juke look about it, but in terms of what’s under the skin, it’s nothing like the family friendly crossover currently on the UK roads.


The all-singing all-dancing Peugeot Onyx supercar concept is powered by a diesel/electric hybrid powertrain. It sports bare copper panels and lots of carbon fibre to keep the car’s weight down to a manageable level. The interior is crafted from a singular piece of felt.

Bridesmaid to the Onyx supercar at the Peugeot stand is the 2008 Concept. A 4×4 with a garish paint job and a few concepty chrome bits on the front. It has what’s known in the trade as a ‘floating grille’ with a design cut into the metal. It’s powered by a new-generation 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a power output of 110bhp.


This, according to the Porsche press blurb is ‘a conceptual study for the sports car of tomorrow’ but word on the street is that it’ll be an expansion of the Panamera range. It’s set to go on sale in the UK in 2016. The e-hybrid badge on the front wings identify the Panamera Sport Turismo as a plug-in hybrid and that means it can be driven at speeds of up to 80mph without the internal combustion engine and to distances of over 20 miles. At full system power, the driver can access 413bhp and it’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in less than six seconds. Average fuel economy is with 80mpg with CO2 emissions under 82g/km.


The Smart ForStars concept is an electric vehicle with a difference. As well as funky styling and a high-tech powertrain, this car has a projector built-in. It’s a portable drive-in movie and it looks like it’s come from a Manga cartoon. Maximum power is 79bhp and top speed is 80mph.


The SsangYong e-XIV is a range-extender using an electric motor and a one-litre petrol engine that has a potential range of around 400 miles. It features a solar roof to power the car’s electric systems. Inside there’s four bucket seats and a host of features that can be controlled with a smart phone.


The first concept to be unveiled at Paris was at the Suzuki stand. It is called the S-Cross and, apparently, it heralds the company’s next-generation C-segment crossover model. It is the first in an ambitious programme of annual European model launches which Suzuki will be starting in 2013. The new crossover will join the Alto, Splash, Swift, SX4, Kizashi, Jimny and Grand Vitara in Suzuki’s line-up.


Volkswagen’s GTI concept was a major draw and although it’s called a concept there’s no doubt it’ll be very close to the production car, which is due to be launched in summer 2013. It uses a 2.0-litre 218bhp engine (9bhp more than the previous GTI) and it’ll be capable of 0-62mph in 6.6s with a top speed of 153mph. It’s available in three- and five-door forms, with a six-speed manual or the DSG automatic transmission.

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To read more about the other cars at the Paris Motor Show click here.