10 Things We Learned From the Paris Motor Show
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  1. #1

    10 Things We Learned From the Paris Motor Show

    As you saw from the gallery of 25 awesome cars at this year's Paris Motor Show, the past few days have provided an abundance of debuts, previews, concepts, updates, and refreshers. Basically, if you didn't have something to show, nobody was paying attention to you. Instead of you guys going through multiple blogs trying to find out what's really important, we figured we'd condense the most important lessons we learned into a simple post. Click through to read about the world's first production hydrogen car, the McLaren P1, the Ferrari Enzo successor, and why the wagon is making a comeback. Here are 10 Things We Learned From the Paris Motor Show.

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  3. #2

    Expensive Cars Are All About Customization

    BMW has kicked off its new line of M Performance accessories and is promising a full line for all of its models. Add this to the four different interior styles on the new 3-series and we're looking at millions of configurations so that the moderately wealthy can feel more like their new, expensive car is a personal expression. This isn't just BMW though, Abarth has announced a customization programe for the Fiat 500 Abarth and Volvo was showing off a variety of new R-Design trims as well. Oh, and the new SRT Viper is said to have up to 150,000 options. Seeing as dealerships make most of their money in accessories these days, expect this to continue.

    The Wagon is Coming Back in Style, Even For the Rich

    The wagon has, in the past, been a vehicle for lower and middle classes. Affordable cars get made into wagons, and luxury cars don't. The SUV craze nearly killed off the wagon, but it's clearly back with a vengeance. Not only were there Mazda6 and Ford Mondeo/Fusion wagons on display at the Paris Motor Show, but Mercedes showed off the wagonized CLS and Porsche stunned the world with the Panamera Sport Turismo.

    Luxury Cars Must Have Massive Touchscreens

    Luxury is now defined by iPads. For whatever reason, the touchscreen has taken over our collective consciousness. Despite the fact that knobs, switches, and buttons are much, much easier to operate while keeping an eye on the road, in-car touchscreens are proliferating like the black death. Just look at the interior of the Lexus LF-CC concept. The car basically is a touchscreen.

    Electric Cars are Getting Fancy

    The Nissan Terra Concept is an off-road, zero-emissions that was dropping jaws in Paris and is ready to push a (personal) favorite like the Juke into new territory. The Terra is set to run fully on fuel-cells, and if it hits market by 2014, will redefine how we think about "treading lightly" through rough terrain.

    The second car that was causing major whiplash was the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive. It's a supercar with zero emissions and is even more powerful than the gas model for goodness sake. Also, it puts to rest ideas that we can't house new, environmentally friendly technology in traditionally elegant bodies. The car will hit 60 in 3.9 and have 740 horses galloping. That's impressive. These two concepts make us believe that electric and real driving can mix.

  4. #3

    Hyundai Has the World's First Commercial Fuel Cell Vehicle

    If you haven't caught wind of the ix35 yet, it is Hyundai's hydrogen fuel cell no-emissions SUV, and it will be the first commercially produced hydrogen car in the world. It will take you 365 miles, but only gets to 100 mph.

    "The ix35 Fuel Cell is the pinnacle of Hyundai's advanced engineering and our most powerful commitment to be the industry leader in eco-friendly mobility," head of Hyundai R&D Woong Chul Yang said in the press release. "Zero-emissions cars are no longer a dream. Our ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is here, and ready for commercial use."

    Hyundai wants to begin production in December of this year and hopes to have at least 1,000 ix35s on the road by 2015. After that, the company is planning a limited mass production, hoping to hit 10,000 total units sold.

    We've Got Euro Envy

    Everything's greener … Sure, sure. Still, can't we please have an Audi S3 hatchback? Or a Peugeot RCZ? Or a Volvo V40 R Design wagon? The list could grow, but you get the point—Europeans are getting blessed with a number of cars we'd love to spin through our local roads.

    CUVs and Small SUVs are (allegedly) the Future

    So many debuts, so many small, compact utility vehicles. It seems that as the global auto world tightens (meaning brands thinking globally about their models), the CUV is the answer to emerging markets and the needs of young urban buyers. We were particularly impressed with Peugeot 2008.

    The Lightweight Ferrari F70 Structure Looks Like This

    How many companies can get people excited about looking at the bare-bones structure of a car? Barely any, but when it's regarding the Ferrari F70, the Enzo successor, everybody gets excited about any news. A carbon fiber structure was on display in Paris, showing off a car that will likely be mid-engined and will have butterfly doors.

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  6. #4

    Bentley Racing Is Back

    This is an obvious lesson, but we can't hide excitement. Bentley was founded on speed and anytime we see the boys from Cheshire giving it their all, we're happy. The Continental GT3 gives the GT Speed a track-ready makeover and will bring Bentley flying back to Le Mans, where the brand won on last appearance in 2003.

    The McLaren F1 Successor Won't Be a Letdown

    The McLaren P1 might be a design study, but reports from Autoblog and a couple other sites are saying that this is a car that's in the 90-percent stages of being completed. With that noted, this car is clearly going to be a beast and it looks fantastic. With the goal of being the best driver's car in the world on and off the track, the P1 is much smaller than many of today's supercars like the Veyron and Aventador.

    McLaren said it will boast 1,320 pounds of downforce before hitting top speed, and it will have the smallest frontal area than any other supercar. Combine its extremely low weight and its 0.34 drag coefficient, and we might be looking at the quickest production car in the world (not exactly the fastest). When the specs on this thing are finally released, you better believe they're going to blow your mind.

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