10 Cars We're Excited to See at the Paris Motor Show

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande
Honda Civic Type-R Concept Photograph: James Lipman +44 7803 885275

Did you know that bananas grown in Africa but sold in America grow and ripen on the trees in plastic bags? Bananas grown there and sold domestically don’t and frankly they taste a heck of a lot better for it.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about forbidden fruit. Sometimes we miss out on the best stuff a segment has to offer because someone else decided it isn’t fit for this part of the world.

Same goes for the updated Civic Type R concept that will be on display in Paris this week. We won’t get a crack at buying them in the U.S. and that’s a darn shame because Honda committed to stealing the front-wheel drive Nurburgring lap time record from Renault. Testing is currently ongoing at the Green Hell and we would be whooping and hollering if Honda ever chose to bring it Stateside.

We don’t know very much right now about the small, style-focused crossover that Toyota is planning to showcase in Paris later this week. The company says it is meant to introduce a new “diamond architecture styling” that will influence its future road vehicles. With little else to go on, the C-HR concept could turn out to be a styling exercise for the brand that serves as little more than a preview of its future designs, but we’re hoping for more than that.

After all, it’s supposed to have a hybrid drivetrain under the hood, so could this be the Prius of crossovers?

The all-new Volvo XC90 R-Design

No it isn’t the most thrilling car to debut en Paris this year, but it’s exciting when you consider that this is the first of a new wave of Volvo products. The safety-loving Swedes re-thought every inch of their crossover and we’re stoked to poke around.

Infiniti presents Q80 Inspiration: Infiniti's vision of category-breaking, supreme luxurious driving – a top-of-the-line, four-seat fastback that rises above the crowd.

Much like Cadillac, Infiniti is girding its loins in preparation to take on the likes of Mercedes venerable S-Class and the button-down BMW 7 Series. Infiniti calls it a “1+1+1+1.” Figure that one out… The concept is a hybrid, although Infiniti has yet to offer more detailed powertrain information.

Jaguar finally unveiled its answer to the BMW 3 Series on September 8, but the Paris Motor Show will be its first “auto show debut.” Thousands of potential customers will have the chance to look at the company’s new compact luxury sedan in person. Will this be the car that pushes Jaguar into the mainstream position they want so badly?

Based on a new lightweight aluminum platform it weighs hundreds of pounds less than a comparable BMW. Plus, it’ll also launch a new era of turbocharged 4-cylinder engines for the brand.

Rumor has it Audi is planning to bring a four-door concept car that will sit under the TT nameplate. Amid reports that the company wants to diversify the TT beyond its current status as a sports It would hardly be the first time for Audi to show a re-imagination of the TT a

Details about the car that Lamborghini is planning to debut this week are still scarce but here’s what we know for sure. Lamborghini released a teaser of a silhouette that makes the car look like it could possibly have more than two seats. The roofline looks longer and underneath the image, there is a caption saying “once perfection is achieved, you can just double it.” Nobody knows what Lamborghini really means by that, but it certainly sounds like a 2+2 seating configuration.

If theoretical Italian exotic cars are tiresome to you, Ferrari will seem refreshingly straightforward. Rather than releasing a series of confusing teasers, it announced last week that it will show the convertible brother to the 458 Speciale first seen last year in Frankfurt. It’s called the 458 Speciale A (the “A” stands for Aperta, or open in Italian).

All of the red-hot excitement is still intact including Ferrari’s cutting-edge SCC side-angle slip control system that is supposed to make the car even more capable of driving at its limit. The naturally aspirated V8 – one of quickly dying breed for Ferrari – still spins out to 9,000 RPM and makes 605 hp at that speed or 398 lb-ft of torque at 6,000 RPM. In fact, the only differences are that there is now an aluminum top that opens, meaning there also isn’t a glass panel to turn the engine bay into a display case. That’s the cockpit’s job now.

Now, now. Hold on. Yes, there’s a C63 sitting higher on this list than the Ferrari and the Lamborghini, but bear in mind that this thing is relatively affordable compared to those cars and it also uses the latest in V8 engine technology from Mercedes-AMG. Just like the new GT and GT S, this car gets a 4.0-liter Biturbo V8 that makes up to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque that kicks in by 1,600 RPM according to MB.

But if carrying extra seat capacity and the weight associated with it doesn’t seem like fun to you, there’s also the new Mercedes-AMG GT. It serves as an indirect replacement to the SLS AMG and sources power from a very close relative to the engine in the C63. Despite being slightly different from an internal perspective, they still offer the same specific output.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes AMG GT Revealed

Of course, this is a dedicated sports car and much more of a head turner.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Cars of the NY Auto Show

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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  • Mark S Mark S on Sep 30, 2014

    The XE is crucial throw of the dice for Jaguar and Tata. If they get it right, they will stir up the segment even more than the ATS did. The XC 90 sounds interersting, especially their engine developments - last I read though the pricing was moving (or keeping) Volvo in the luxury side of the market. Always cool to see a Lambo anything!