Concept cars are the draw of any major Motor Show, as manufacturers showcase the incredible possibilities of design and technology in the industry. Some concept cars remain as concepts and some enter mass production, but all provide a very visceral experience of what may one day be the future of motoring.
With the 2016 Paris Motor Show now in full swing, we take a look at the incredible concepts that have been unveiled and which hope to be the cars of the future.
One debut that is likely to enter full production is BMW’s X2 compact crossover SUV concept.
With the signature front grille, large air takes and large wheels the X2 concept is still recognisable as a BMW X series model – but it’s the car’s proportions that make the X2 an interesting concept.
The X2 takes inspiration from the other X range models in BMW’s SUV offering, but visitors of the show will be sure to respond to its ambitious design which features an extended wheelbase, stretched roofline, compact overhangs and forward-slanting C-pillar. These features contribute to the X2’s sportier and urban feel that make it stand out in the ever-growing SUV market.
Although currently a concept, it’s expected that the BMW X2 will go into production in the next year and is scheduled for a 2018 release.
The 2016 Paris Motor Show was already an exciting prospect for Honda fans with the global debut of the all-new Honda Civic. Now they have another reason to be excited after they also handed a global debut to a prototype for the next-gen Honda Civic Type R.
This is another concept that will enter full production, with the final version expected to be unveiled next year. For now, we’ve been given an insight into the new styling of the upgraded Type R, which is quite breathtaking. It shares the same low and wide stance as the new Civic, but its aerodynamic performance is enhanced by sporty and muscular modifications that are synonymous with past Type R models.
These modifications make for an impressively striking aesthetic, but Honda will surely have one eye on reclaiming its 2015 front-wheel drive record at the Nürburgring track.
Continuing the coupe-like SUV theme is the Lexus UX concept which aims to showcase new technology and connectivity possibilities.
Its sharp and angular exterior design, which seamlessly flows into the futuristic cabin, immediately makes for an extraordinary concept.
And judging by the interior, it is clear that Lexus have designed a concept which is imaginative and driver centric. There are no door mirrors, but rather cameras facing backwards and the cabin’s driver display and infotainment system are presented in “hologram” form.
Additionally, Lexus have included a new seating concept in the UX called Lexus Kinetic Seat Concept. This innovative new method of seating involves web-like front seats which adjust kinetically in order to stabilise the head, whilst adding to the overall driving comfort.
If ever we needed any more evidence that the future of motoring is electric, than this year’s Paris Motor Show provides it in abundance. Mercedes-Benz have announced an entire series of all-electric cars starting with this ground-breaking concept model which is scheduled for a 2019 release.
This all-electric crossover SUV concept features a futuristic exterior design which comprises scarcely visible body panel joins, concealed windscreen wipers, cameras instead of exterior mirrors and an absence of conventional door handles – all contributing to its seamless appearance.
Mercedes have also been incredibly imaginative with the Generation EQ’s interior which is packed with innovative technology, driver assistance programmes and ambience lighting.
With a total output of up to 300 kW from its two electric motors and maximum torque of up to 700 Newton metres, "Generation EQ" can achieve a 0-62 mph speed in less than five seconds. Equally as impressive is its range of over 300 miles between charges.
It’s a busy show for Mercedes this year with another all-electric concept for visitors to feast their eyes on. This one is the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, which measures almost six metres in length.
The exterior of this new super-luxury concept is bold and ambitious with its huge wheels, extremely long bonnet and a rear that is comparable with a luxury yacht.
But it’s the interior that is arguably the most striking aspect. The cabin is incredibly high-concept and is filled with a plethora of innovative car technology and an all-digital display which is integrated with the vehicle’s luxurious leather upholstery in order to optimise comfort among many other functions.
It’s not just Mercedes that that are using this year’s Paris Motor Show to set the standards within the EV market. Volkswagen have unveiled their own near-production ready EV in the form of the Volkswagen I.D. concept – making the 2016 Paris Motor Show a real watershed moment for the German brand.
Volkswagen have already released all-electric vehicles in the form of the e-up! and the e-Golf, but the I.D concept features a brand new design language and is the first Volkswagen to be based on the newly developed Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) – a new vehicle architecture that allows electric technology to be used across all vehicle types in Volkswagen’s future generation of cars.
The I.D. is powered by an electric motor with an output of 125 kW and has a range of around 250 and 375 miles on a single battery charge. Its practical and futuristic interior comes with state-of-the-art car technology with an emphasis on smartphone integration, so that customers will be able to open and even start the car using their phones.
We can expect to see the I.D. on our roads within the next four years, and its fully automated driving mode should be rolled out by 2025.
These extraordinary concept cars are sure to make the 2016 Paris Motor Show one of the best major shows in recent years. Be sure to keep updated on all major car shows and news here on the Jardine Motors Blog.