Paris Auto Show Special: Race Cars [Paris 2010]

As part of our coverage of the Paris Auto Show, we decided to throw in some bonus galleries of cars we thought were cool but didn’t quite fit with the rest of our coverage. Paris was the site for a lot of important competition cars from French manufacturers, like the Peugeot HDi LeMans car, the new Citroen DS3 rally machine and the upcoming Fiesta RS WRC. Hit the jump to check out our galleries and information on the cars.

Citroen DS3 and C4 Rally Cars

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Citroen has dominated WRC in past years with Sebastian Loeb winning title after title, and Petter Solberg showing a respectable effort with his privateer C4 WRC. This year’s upcoming entry will be the DS3, based on the DS3 compact hatchback. With the usual equipment like four-wheel-drive, a 6-speed sequential gearbox,  and a 300 hp, 1.6-liter  four-cylinder with direct injection and a turbocharger, the car should continue Citroen’s streak, while looking a lot better than the outgoing car.

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

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The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP is a motorsports pioneer for its use of a diesel engine in high level competition. Winning the 2009 24 Hours of LeMans and other ALMS races, the 908 has consistently challenged the Audi R15 for first place, while it silently storms through the field. The lack of noise from the diesel racers is eerie, but the beautiful lines and wide stance make up for a lack of any audible aggression. The 908 will be rendered obsolete by regulations in 2011, and this is likely it’s final appearance.

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

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Ford’s Fiesta RS WRC takes all the doucheyness of the “Gymkhana” Fiesta and kicks it square in the ass. Powered by a 1.6L Ecoboost four-cylinder, the Fiesta WRC is set to take on the highest echelons of rally, and look good doing it. That’s something we can’t really say about the Monster Green atrocity that Ford insists on promoting in America.

Mazda MX-5 Endurance Car

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How about a break from the European stuff? This Mazda MX-5 Endurance Racer was apparently built as part of a celebratory endurance race held by Mazda at an Italian race track. We say apparently because our French is at a grade school level and we didn’t have anyone on hand to confirm the French information seat. Still, it’s pretty clear from the pictures that this is a real race car. A Mazda branded bucket seat, Schroth harnesses, a full roll cage and carbon fiber interior bits make up the whole package. Check out those nifty humps that go in place of the soft top. Wouldn’t it be nice if Mazda offered that as an accessory. It evokes images of the Porsche Boxster Spyder, and that’s a very good thing indeed.

Renault Megane Trophy

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Got 120,000 Euros sitting around? You can buy a Renault Megane Trophy, but you can’t drive it on the street. With a 3.5L V6 making 360 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque, the Trophy weighs peanuts, and is fully prepped for racing, with a tube frame chassis and fiberglass body panels. The Trophy can compete in a one-make series, and certain Touring Car classes in Europe. We’ll take two.

Renault R30 F1 Car

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This is the pinnacle of motor vehicles. V10 engine spinning to 18,000 rpm. Ceramic brakes, full ground effects, 7 speed gearbox. It’s a Formula 1 car, and that’s all you need to know. This car is piloted by Robert Kubica, likely the best driver you’ve never heard of, who scores points regularly despite not being named “Hamilton”, “Weber” or “Vettel”.

Dacia Duster

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Psyche! You weren’t expecting a Romanian SUV were you? Well, this Dacia Duster actually has a lot more compeition pedigree than certain cars. While Lamborghini has never won a race in it’s life, the Duster recently won the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles du Maroc, which is apparently a rally in Morocco. This particular car came in first place and was piloted by an all-female team.