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There are so many awesome cars available in Europe that aren’t sold in North America, it’s a crying shame!
The biennial Paris Motor Show just rubs salt into the wound because it gives us yet another opportunity to ogle the products we can’t have. In no particular order, here are 10 of our favorite forbidden fruits on display this year.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic
Making its global debut here is the Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic, a new entry-level high-performance model. This small hatchback is pumped up with 306 horsepower courtesy a 2.0-liter turbo-four. All-wheel drive ensures it has the grip to reach 100 kilometers an hour – that’s 62 miles an hour – in a claimed 4.7 seconds! The U.S. will get a sedan A-Class but not the hatch, so it’s unlikely we will get this A 35 hatchback.
The Q3 is Audi’s smallest crossover sold in the U.S., but drivers in other markets can get something even littler. Their Q2 competes in the segment below, bringing bold design to a burgeoning segment of the luxury market. But making its debut here in Paris is the SQ2, a high-performance version of this vehicle, one packing 296 horsepower under its truncated hood, enough to deliver 100 kilometers an hour – that’s 62 miles an hour – in less than 5 seconds.
Also making its official debut here in Paris is the Peugeot e-Legend concept. This classically beautiful two-door is a modern take on the brand’s 504 coupe. Despite its old-school looks, this design study is purely modern – both fully autonomous and all electric. Its interior is also loaded with 16 display screens including a 49-incher on the dashboard! All four wheels are powered, shredding the pavement with 590 pound-feet of torque and 456 horsepower.
Even though it didn’t debut at this show, the Suzuki Jimny is so damn cool! Think of it as a Jeep Wrangler that’s been miniaturized by the Japanese. This off-road-focused utility vehicle features a ladder-type frame with coil springs at each corner. There are also live axles and a four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing. But sealing the deal, all this mechanical goodness is wrapped in boxy, retro-inspired styling. What’s not to love?
Next on this Top 10 list: diesel, any sort of diesel because they’re rarer than hen’s teeth back home. In Europe, practically every vehicle can be had with, like, eight different oil-burning engine options. And in the pantheon of automakers, BMW unquestionably builds some of the best-compression-ignition powerplants in the business. And we’re pissed none of ‘em are offered in ‘Murica.
SEE ALSO: Complete 2018 Paris Motor Show Coverage
Citroën DS 3 Crossback E-Tense
Nope, you can’t buy a new Citroën in the U.S., but that doesn’t stop us from wanting one. The French automaker’s upscale sub-brand is introducing some interesting models these days, including the DS 3 Crossback, which is now being offered in EV form. The E-Tense variant features a 136-horsepower electric motor and a 50-kWh lithium-ion battery. Driving range is estimated at 450 kilometers or 280 miles on the NEDC test cycle. As for acceleration, it should hit 100 km/h in a respectable 8.7 seconds.
Škoda Vision RS
One interesting concept car that debuted here at the Paris Motor Show is the Škoda Vision RS, a hot-hatch with an eco-friendly plug-in hybrid drivetrain. This comely five-door features a 148-horsepower 1.5-liter engine and as well an electric motor that brings an extra 100 ponies to the party. Combined, that’s enough to push this car to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds. Running solely on its 13-kWh lithium-ion battery it can travel up to 43 miles.
3. Hyundai i30 N Fastback
Sure, we’re getting a high-performance version of the Hyundai Veloster, but that’s not enough to keep us from wanting the South Korean brand’s new i30 N Fastback. This car should share the same basic underpinnings and 2.0-liter turbo engine as its asymmetrical stable-mate, but it’s got a more bulbous rear end thanks to a body that’s been elongated by about 115 mm or 4.5 inches. The car also features 19-inch wheels and a limited-slip differential for enhanced dynamics.
Kia Ceed GT
Another bit of forbidden Parisian fruit is the 2019 Kia Ceed GT. This hatchback looks more aggressive than its plebeian stablemates thanks to mild styling tweaks and a suspension drop of 5 millimeters. Power is provided by a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 201 horses, enough power to deliver 100 km/h in about 7 seconds.
Now, how awesome is this?! The Alpine A110 is a mid-engine, rear-drive sports car, sort of a boutique Porsche Cayman competitor from France. This beautiful little thrill machine features a 1.8-liter turbo-four and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. With 252 brake horsepower on tap, 100 km/h can be yours in as little as 4.5 seconds.