Top 10 Cars From the 2014 Paris Motor Show

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Paris, France is an international gem known for art and culture, fine dining and high fashion as well as its architecture and history. This capital’s biennial auto show is also a major attraction, particularly for gear heads.

Press days at the 2014 Paris Motor Show just wrapped up and was in the thick of it bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage from the city on the Seine. Plenty of major news broke at the event, with automakers from around the globe exhibiting their latest and greatest products.

Like a Parisian absinthe distiller we’ve concentrated the reveals from this show, literally boiling them down to the most essential. So pull up a stool, sit yourself down and enjoy a shot of the Top 10 Cars From the 2014 Paris Motor Show. It shouldn’t cause any hallucinations, though we can’t guarantee.

Apparently Honda performance isn’t totally dead. Hard to believe, we know, but proving there’s at least a little fun-loving spirit left at the company they revealed the Civic Type R concept in Paris.

This little hatchback features a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that spins to 7,000 RPM and puts out a claimed 276 hp. It’s also a member of the new “Earth Dreams” powertrain family. Flipping the bird to current trends this little hatchback comes with a six-speed manual transmission.

SEE ALSO: Civic Type R ‘Concept’ Will Boost Your Faith in Honda

Naturally this is a front-wheel-drive car, it’s a Honda after all, but in a bid to quell torque steer the front end features a dual kingpins arrangement. It also benefits from an adaptive damper system that changes how the suspension performs.

Clearly there’s a lot to like with the new Civic Type R, but I’m sorry my fellow Americans, this one is not likely to make it to the United States.

After nearly a decade and a half on the market Volvo has finally redesigned its XC90 crossover. The latest version of this family-friendly vehicle took a bow in Paris.

Its base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit that’s boosted with both a turbo and supercharger. This combination should provide ample low-end torque without sacrificing high-RPM pull or fuel efficiency. In this application it puts out 316 hp.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Volvo XC90 Receives [Thor]ough Update

Upping the ante, a plug-in hybrid variant of the XC90 will also be offered. It features the same engine as above though it’s augmented with an electric motor. All told this powertrain should crank out 400 ponies.

Pricing and other details are limited at this time but Volvo’s latest crossover should start around $49,000 when it lands on the market next year.

The folks in Stuttgart recently introduced their latest C-Class sedan. The car was totally redesigned for the 2015 model year, gaining all kinds of desirable features plus fresh styling inside and out. Overall it’s an admirable effort, especially in C400 4Matic guise.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Mercedes-Benz C400 4Matic Review

But the model we’ve all been waiting for is the Aufrecht Melcher Grossaspach variant. Satiating our automotive desires the company just revealed a brand-new C63 AMG, though in an apparent bid to confuse everyone the car no longer features a thundering naturally aspirated V8.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes C63 Drops Big Engine, Keeps Rhyming Name

Gone is this free-revving jewel, replaced by a smaller and ostensibly more fuel-friendly 4.0-liter twin-turbo powerplant. With ample boost this new V8 promises to deliver 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. An S model promises even more; try 503 ponies and 516 torques. Does that get your attention?

Jaguar’s latest compact luxury sedan is called the XE. It’s designed to compete with rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Size wise its overall length slots in right between these two rivals, though surprisingly this new Jag is appreciably lighter. It weighs about 100 pounds less than the most basic 3er and undercuts the C300 by about 350 pounds.

SEE ALSO: Jaguar Expands Family with New XE Sedan

Much of this weight savings comes courtesy of an aluminum-intensive architecture, though the car’s electric power-steering system and eight-speed automatic transmission also help cut the fat.

Jaguar will offer some turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the new XE but they didn’t release any information about these units. The only powerplant we know anything about is an available 3.0-liter supercharged V6. It’s expected to deliver 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque.

Audi introduced a topless TT in Paris. The company’s iconic little sports car is ready for fun in the sun, though that can be a precious commodity in Northern Europe.

SEE ALSO: Audi TT Goes Topless in Paris

Riding atop Volkswagen’s MQB architecture, the new TT is about an inch shorter than today’s model, though the wheelbase has grown by roughly 1.5 inches. With a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive the TT clocks in around 2,910 pounds.

‘Murican customers can expect a 2.0-liter, gasoline-burning engine that makes 230 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Customers in global markets will certainly have some diesel options to choose from.

But Audi’s cute-as-a-puppy TT wasn’t the only open-air performance machine to debut in the City of Light. Ferrari unwrapped their 458 Speciale A, a spider with serious muscle.

SEE ALSO: Ferrari 458 Speciale A Makes other Spiders Seem Crude

This car features the brand’s most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine ever mounted in a road-going car. This two-by-four puts out 605 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. It tops out at 9,000 RPM and produces absolutely unholy noises. All told this car can accelerate to 60 miles an hour from a standstill in just three seconds. Regrettably only 499 of these machines will be built.

Mercedes-Benz’s latest sports car is writing some pretty big performance checks, though its greasy bits should be more than capable of cashing them. The AMG GT and GT S bring to mind the larger SLS but without gullwing doors and a cardiac arrest-inducing price.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes-AMG GT Makes Alphabet Soup Sexy

This car is designed to challenge rivals like the Porsche 911 and Audi R8, lofty competition indeed. To keep pace, the “base” model brandishes a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that puts out 456 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. This is enough to propel the car to 60 miles an hour in just 3.9 seconds.

With the GT S model engineers turned up the wick on this engine so it provides 503 ponies and 479 units of twist. This model can reach mile-a-minute velocity in just 3.9 seconds.

Infiniti revealed a dramatic looking “concept” car in Paris, The Q80 Inspiration is motivated by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 that produces 450 hp. This unit is based on a brand new engine family that will debut in the coming years. With this car’s hybrid bits factored into the equation maximum system output totals 550 ponies and 553 lb-ft of torque.

SEE ALSO: Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept Boasts 550 HP Hybrid Powertrain

Under normal driving conditions power is routed through a nine-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels but up to 50 percent of the available torque can be sent forward if necessary. The driver can even manually engage all-wheel drive if they prefer.

Size-wise this is a very large car. It’s a whisker longer than 199 inches; it’s around 79 inches wide. This means it’s ever-so-slightly shorter than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class but a little bit broader.

In an unexpected move Lamborghini revealed a plug-in hybrid concept in Paris. Called the Asterion, it’s a bona fide supercar, featuring avant-garde design and a gasoline-burning 5.2-liter V10. The internal-combustion poweplant is augmented by a trio of electric motors. One sits between the transmission and engine, the other two power the front wheels.

SEE ALSO: Lamborghini Asterion Makes 910 HP, Gets 56 MPG

But what does all of this engineering monkey business mean? Well, allegedly the whole shebang is capable of delivering 910 hp to all four wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

In real-world figures the Asterion can blast from a standstill to 60 miles an hour in just three seconds. But here’s where things get a little suspicious. The company claims it can deliver 56 miles per gallon on the European test cycle; supposedly it can run for 30 miles on pure electricity. Additionally they say the car is constructed entirely of off-the-shelf components so, theoretically, it could go into production, like, right now.

Sometimes the most unusual of combinations can rally work. Pairings like Laurel and Hardy or Sauvignon Blanc and raw oysters can make for an experience that’s greater than the sum of their parts. This is just what the Volks at VW have done with their latest acquisition, Italian motorcycle firm Ducati.

SEE ALSO: VW XL Sport Screams to 11,000 RPM With Ducati Power

In an unlikely amalgamation they dropped a 197 hp, two-cylinder engine from an 1199 Superleggera sport bike into an XL-1, Volkswagen’s hyper-efficient coupe. Thanks to the abundant use of carbon fiber this unusual performance car weighs less than a literal ton and can hit 60 miles an hour in just 5.7 seconds. It looks cools, more than likely drives well and probably sounds like banshee. When can we evaluate one?

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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