The Paris motor show revealed a number of great concept cars, but far from the flights of fancy usually associated with the term, this year's show showcased concepts that are far nearer production.
Peugeot's Onyx might never go into production, but its 2008 concept probably will. Cars based on the Panamera Sport Turismo and BMW Concept Active Tourer are poised to launch over the next year or two.
Click on the image above to see our favourite concepts from the show.
Peugeot again chose a wild supercar to preview its future design language. Previous similar concepts included the 908. Expect to see elements of the Onyx in upcoming Peugeot models, especially around the front grille.
The concept was powered by the 3.7-litre V8 diesel from the Peugeot’s Le Mans entry. It produces 600bhp, with an 80bhp overboost available through a KERS system. The drivetrain and suspension are bolted directly onto a carbon tub, the latter of which keeps weight down to 1100kg.
This concept from Peugeot is a viable production prospect. Set to rival the Nissan Juke, the 2008 has been inspired by the earlier Urban Crossover and would fit logically above the 208 in Peugeot’s line-up.
A 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine powered the concept. Boosted by a turbocharger, it develops 110bhp.
Peugeot says the 2008 is aimed at young city dwellers. A production variant is set to be built at three plants around the world.
More than any other manufacturer, electric cars suit Smart. The Forstars shows what future electric Smarts could be like, after ten years of experimenting with electric cars.
The Forstars concept uses a brushless electric motor mounted at the rear producing 80bhp and 96lb ft of torque together with a 17.6kW/h lithium ion battery that can be charged via plug-in mains electricity and whilst driving via energy recuperated during periods of trailing throttle and braking.
The Forstars also previews future Smart styling, providing inspiration to the ForTwo and ForFour styling efforts.
Audi Crosslane Concept
Audi continued its relentless push to fill every motoring niche at Paris with the Crosslane Coupe concept. Its appearance will influence an Audi entry-level crossover, the Q2, due in 2015.
The concept was powered by a range-extender hybrid drivetrain. A 116bhp, 184lb ft electric motor and battery pack offer an all-electric range of 80 miles. A three-cylinder, 1.5-litre engine with 130bhp powers the electric motor when the battery pack runs dry, but direct drive from the engine alone is not possible.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
As well as being a styling exercise for that car, Porsche used the Sport Turismo to showcase its new hybrid technology. Called e-hybrid, it uses an upgraded version of the existing Panamera hybrid’s brushless synchronous electric motor, mounted within the forward section of the gearbox housing delivering 94bhp. Even when allied to the current 3.0-litre supercharged V6, Porsche is claiming 80mpg and 82g/km.
BMW Concept Active Tourer
The road-going Active Tourer will be the first of a new range of front-wheel drive cars for BMW.
The pairing of a lithium-ion battery pack and a petrol powerplant from BMW’s new range of three-cylinder engines produced a total of 188bhp in the Active Tourer. BMW claims combined economy of “more than 113mpg”, a CO2 rating of “under 60g/km” and electric only range of up to 18 miles.
BMW has built the Concept Active Tourer using its new UKL1 platform, which will underpin the third-generation Mini and a range of small BMWs.
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