Top 10 Hybrids of the 2014 Paris Motor Show

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

French automaker Peugeot built a crossover concept for Paris this year that uses a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 500 hp. How can that be? There are also electric motors powering each of the axles to achieve that number.

No, you can’t expect to see a road car like this any time soon, but how could this thing not make the list? Look at it!

Audi owes its recent domination in the 24 Hours of Le Mans to a combination of turbocharged diesel engine technology and electric motors that give the car four-wheel drive capability and allow it to run with a smaller fuel tank than the non-hybrid car it is based on. One of them is sitting in the Audi display in Paris right now and it is not to be missed.

It wasn’t so long ago that the term “hybrid” went hand-in-hand with dull acceleration, but those days are gone. Porsche picked Paris as the city where it would debut the latest product to demonstrate exactly that. The Cayenne S e-Hybrid uses the same powertrain you might already be familiar with in the Panamera.

But just in case you missed it, that means it has a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that in combination with the electric portion of the system, offers a combined 416 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque. It wasn’t the most exciting hybrid at the show this year, but I still wouldn’t complain about spending some time behind the wheel.

No it isn’t new, but Porsche’s absurdly powerful halo car is still something to see. The exhaust pipe design alone is something to drool over, not to mention its stunning overall presence and sheer capability.

Keep in mind that this thing makes 887 hp and can rocket from 0-60 in under 2.8 seconds. It dominated the Nurburgring lap time record a year ago and cemented itself in my mind as a dream car that will be tough to top for any manufacturer.

Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid Outlander crossover is the lynchpin in its future business strategy and so far it seems to be paying off with a positive reception in the global automotive marketplace.

It still isn’t being sold in North America, but that won’t be the case very much longer. And in the interim, Mitsubishi is showcasing the Concept-S as a demonstration of what could ultimately become a more premium trim package for the model currently on the road. After spending some time poking around the cabin, I sincerely hope Mitsubishi sees fit to offering it in this market.

Sometimes the concept cars that companies debut during an auto show are barely more than a rough combination of ideas that might reach production one day. That isn’t the case with Infiniti’s Q80 Inspiration concept. The company says it is already planning a production version that will stay close to the concept preview.

A hybrid powertrain using an aluminum-based 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 offers optional all-wheel drive, but defaults to powering the rear wheels. Mated to a nine-speed automatic, the system makes a combined total of 550 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.

Toyota trotted out a hybrid crossover concept in Paris this year that it says is a combination of the first generation RAV4, the Prius and its GT86 sports car. My brow furrowed too.

But that’s what they’re claiming and here’s what it is: a hybrid crossover with an unspecified powertrain that Toyota promises will be much more efficient. That might be hard to picture clearly, but the company also says its latest concept previews a new styling direction that some of its future products will adopt.

It isn’t unusual for Mercedes-Benz to use the S-Class as a conduit for ushering new technologies into its stable. But at the same time, the especially large German luxury sedan also houses a large, powerful and consequently thirsty engine beating beneath its hood.

So in some ways, the thought of a hybridized S-Class seems foreign, but at the same time the company couldn’t have picked a more logical debutant.

French automaker Renault has something especially fuel efficient and futuristic in its booth this year. They call it the Eolab concept and claim that the car can achieve a shocking 235 MPG. While I certainly can’t speak to the veracity of that claim, the notion of any vehicle capable of stretching a fuel thank that thin is remarkable.

A 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine certainly helps with fuel efficiency, but so does the body’s ability to slice through air like the wing of a plane.

Renault says the powertrain offers 143 hp, which is more than the road-going Toyota Prius offers. Then again, the Eolab lives firmly in theoretical territory.

Lamborghini unveiled a concept car in France this week that it calls the Asterion LPI 910-4. If you’re familiar with Lamborghini nomenclature, you probably already know that LP refers to the engine positioning behind the driver. It literally stands for “longitudinale posterior,” which refers to the longitudinally mounted engine and its bay aft the driver. But there’s also an “I” between the familiar letter duo and digits that denote output and the number of wheels being powered and you might be wondering what that means. It stands for “ibrido” and by now I’m sure you can guess what that means.

Lamborghini calls the Asterion a technology demonstrator, saying the car is built completely of parts that it currently has at the ready. A 5.2-liter V10 creates 610 hp while the three electric motor hybrid system produces an additional 300 hp.

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="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

More by Luke Vandezande

Join the conversation