2012 Paris Auto Show crowdsEnlarge Photo
The biannual event--the Paris and Frankfurt shows alternate--is a favorite, not only because it takes place in the city of love but also because of all the quirky French cars that are on display.
There was no denying the gloom in the background this year, however, with financial concerns almost certain to have been on the minds of many of the industry folk, particularly those from France. Thankfully, there was also much to celebrate as well, particularly if you’re a fan of British brands.
McLaren, no doubt, had the most eagerly anticipated unveiling, though Ferrari threw its own surprise, as did some of the German automakers. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the dozens of highlights. Cars like the new McLaren P1 supercar, Jaguar’s F-Type roadster, the completely redesigned 2013 Range Rover and so much more.
To help you get up-to-date on all the recent coverage, we've assembled this guide of the show. Also, be sure to visit our dedicated show page, check out all the tweets from @therealma, watch our latest videos on YouTube, and drop in every now and then at our Facebook page and on Instagram at "MotorAuthority."
McLaren P1: Officially, the P1 is a preview of McLaren’s new flagship supercar and successor to the legendary F1. While our own spy shots confirm the shape of the P1 concept will largely stay the same on the production version, many of the finer details will likely be refined. McLaren is keeping most of the key specs secret until the car’s unveiling next year, most likely at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, though we did find out some new details in Paris. McLaren revealed the new P1 would be able to generate more than 1,320 pounds of downforce before reaching its top speed, and that it will be so light that each horsepower the car produces will only need to carry around 3.7 pounds or less.
McLaren P1, 2012 Paris Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz Concept B Class Electric Drive: As its name suggests, the Concept B Class Electric Drive from Mercedes-Benz previews a new electric version of the B Class the automaker has already confirmed for production. It looks identical to the regular gas and diesel B Class models though underneath its skin it's packing an electric motor rated at 134 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. On a full charge of its batteries you’re looking at a driving range of about 124 miles.
Ferrari Enzo Successor (F70) Carbon Tub: Ferrari was never going to let McLaren draw all the glory of this year’s Paris Auto Show. Instead of showing off its upcoming replacement for the Enzo supercar in full, the code-named F70, Ferrari chose to reveal the new model’s advanced carbon fiber monocoque structure. According to Ferrari, the particular design should guarantee the new chassis is some 20 percent lighter than the one in the Enzo, but with an increase in torsional rigidity of 27 percent and an increase in beam stiffness of 22 percent.
The carbon fiber tub of the upcoming Ferrari F70Enlarge Photo
Peugeot Onyx Supercar Concept: One of the few true concepts in Paris will be the Peugeot Onyx, a supercar whose chassis is built almost completely of carbon fiber and whose interior is, believe it or not, made mostly from felt. The vehicle has been built using materials that have been processed as little as possible. There are no plans for production, which is a shame, as the Onyx is powered by a 3.7-liter V-8 turbodiesel matched to a hybrid system and is rated at more than 600 horsepower.
Hit the next page for a look at some of the performance cars, and remember to visit our dedicated show page for all the latest updates.