2008 Paris Motor Show

The biennial two week run of the Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l’Automobile) began this week with a bit of GLOOM (global economy), but still plenty of VROOM (new cars).

As expected, a sizeable emphasis is on the greener side of the automotive industry, with plenty of diminutive hybrids, electrics and other miscellaneous vehicles on display. Fortunately for the enthusiasts among us, there were still enough sporting cars to keep our attention. Here is a quick rundown of some of our favorites…

Probably the most anticipated debut at this show was the Lamborghini Estoque. Their high-performance 4-door has serious presence and will quite possibly be thought of as the best in show.

The Saab 9-X Air convertible was both attractive and innovative in design, with clever rear side panels rising up above the trunk to meet the traditional fabric top. Saab claims 0-60 in about 8 seconds and 47 mpg for this hybrid powered ragtop.

Posing the question “when is a Mini not mini”, the Mini Crossover Concept will result in a production vehicle due next year. A mix of useful and whacky, all the Mini design cues are present and accounted for in this crossover. We are curious to see how this one will sell…

In the category of Hybrids we would own is the Peugeot RC HYmotion4. With a handsome design in the 4-door coupe mold, this GT car uses a gasoline electric hybrid drive to generate over 300 horsepower. 4-wheel drive, 4 seats and 4 doors complete the package.

Other notable viewings were the production versions of the Ferrari California and BMW’s new 7-series, along with concept cars such as the fully electric Nissan NUVU and the Mercedes-Benz ConceptFASCINATION