A motor show is the best way to get a global and quick idea of how our passion is evolving. A few meters away we can pass the last little GTI to a new supercar, going through concept models, special versions and sports cars ready to give a lot of war.
We have traveled to the Paris Motor Show, we have kicked and photographed each stand, we have scrutinized every small portion of the latest engine news and now is the time to offer you a global vision, from the most performance perspective, of where the engine is moving.
Lamborghini, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Peugeot, Nissan, Maserati, Lexus … What does sports car racing hold for us? We tell you about it from the Paris Salon 2014.
Sports compacts – many options on the way. Japan claims its place
Honda has presented at the Paris Motor Show a new conceptual evolution of the Honda Civic Type R. We will meet it next year as a production model, but already, from its concept, it promises a very aggressive stamp, with a radical behind. Under the hood it will have a 280-horsepower turbo mechanics and it seems that it has stuck between eyebrows and the record for a front-wheel drive at the Nurburgring.
From Japan they seem to vindicate their relevance in the compact segment. In addition to the Type R we have also found the new Nissan Pulsar Nismo. Conceptual too yes, but apparently also very willing to go into production, sporting, like the Honda, a suit that will not go unnoticed. That front splitter and the red heels …
It is still unknown which engine it will come with, but we can expect it to at least exceed 220 horsepower.
In a display of the most sporty, where the Peugeot 208 has not been missing GTI 30 anniversary, the RCZ R or competition models of the brand, Peugeot has delighted us with the 308 GT, the first sporty production vision of the new French compact.
Yes, the Peugeot 308 R set the bar very high even as a concept, but let’s not worry, this alternative, with 200 horses is a first step, a Peugeot 308 will arrive GTI even more powerful and with an even sportier focus. He RCZ R it is certainly a good mirror in which to look at yourself.
Japanese sportsmanship is not measured only in compacts: Lexus RC F and your extra helping of carbon fiber
Yes, the Nissan Pulsar Nismo and the Honda Civic Type R are very good, but we can’t put the Lexus aside RC F, which has passed through the Paris Motor Show dressed in the Carbon Fiber Package.
Willing to stand up to the new BMW M4 Coupé (which has also been present at the Paris Motor Show) and the Audi RS5, in addition to a hypothetical future Mercedes C 63 AMG Coupe, the Lexus RC F It boasts a 5-liter V8 mechanics with a power of 473 horsepower delivered to the rear axle, a good atmospheric mechanics to accompany a menacing face even more menacing if possible if we add a few brushstrokes of carbon fiber to the formula and that is Japanese firm has chosen a “Carbon Package”, which starts in Spain from 99,500 euros, to act as a perfect claim on its stand … and incidentally take a few curious to see the new Lexus NX.
A little light sports car with a big Italian heart: the Volkswagen XL Sport
One of the great surprises of the 2014 Paris Motor Show has come from the Volkswagen stand. No, we are not talking about the renewed Polo GTI nor the Passat or Golf GTE. We talk about the Volkswagen XL Sport, the sporty reinterpretation of that faired-wheel diesel hybrid that today becomes a true passion machine.
Under that bluish skin with a futuristic and attractive pattern, hides a mechanic signed by Ducati herself. A 1,199 cc twin-cylinder heart, the same engine as the Ducati 1199 Panigale Superleggera, capable of developing 200 horsepower at 11,000 rpm.
Let’s add to that power a weight of only 890 kg since behind that attractive bearing hides a careful aerodynamics “et voilà” the new Volkswagen XL Sport.
Now we can only wait for Volkswagen to decide to bring it into production.
The paradox of Volkswagen launching an atmospheric sports car and Lamborghini a hybrid model: the new Lamborghini Asterion
A few meters from where the Volkswagen turns XL Sport and passing next to the Audi stand where the TT has grown a couple of doors, we find Lamborghini and its first hybrid bet, the Lamborghini Asterion.
Its silhouette reminds us of the Miura, it is simpler than the Lamborghini Aventador and the Huracán, but under its body there is a hybrid framework of 910 horses.
It is still conceptual, yes, but it introduces us to what could well be the next great supercar from Sant’Agata Bolognese, as well as the brand’s good predisposition to incorporate plug-in hybrid technology among its ranks, something that a good number of people already know about. Volkswagen group brands, including Porsche.
Goodbye and welcome: we say goodbye to Montezemolo and welcome the Ferrari 458 Speciale A, which in turn marks the departure of the atmospheric V8
While at the Lamborghini stand the Asterion was welcomed by Stephan Winkelmann at Ferrari, Montezemolo did the same with the Ferrari 458 Speciale A, the most performance alternative to the Ferrari 458 Spider.
Under the hood, the latest atmospheric V8 of the brand carried up to 605 horses, on the outside, new aerodynamic additives and in its cabin nuances in a bluish carbon fiber, alcantara and some backet type seats.
It will only be available in “Livery Yellow”, combined with the blue and white stripe that has already become a hallmark of the Speciale versions.
Its 605 hp at 9,000 rpm for a weight of 1,340 kg are well worth the Ferrari 458 Speciale A (from Aperta) to reach 100 km / h in just 3 seconds.
Luca di Montezemolo has inevitably stolen something of the limelight. It is the last Ferrari of its era, it is his goodbye at the head of the firm. Good way to say goodbye of course.
The other protagonists: Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes …
Of course beyond those mentioned, who have played a relevant role, have been headliners, we have found many more displays of sportsmanship. At the Audi stand, for example, an Audi was not missing R8 LMX accompanied by the new TT, TTS Roadster included.
Infiniti leaves the door open to a sporty-looking coupe with the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration while Maserati continues to walk the Alfieri Concept.
Although we had already had a first approach to the Mercedes-AMG GT weeks ago, the Paris Motor Show was the debut before the public of the new Mercedes sports car, in charge of launching the V8 biturbo that the new Mercedes also boasts C 63 AMG.
What do we have to keep, performance-speaking, of the 2014 Paris Motor Show?
An era at Ferrari, that of Montezemolo, is ending as turbo engines return. Lamborghini hints while the possibility of plunging into another new stage, that of high-flying hybrid engines, something in which McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche are already more than a year ahead, does the Asterion also hint at a new path in certain brand designs?
Mercedes also faces new times, we say goodbye to the 6.3 atmospheric engine to welcome the 4.0. He C 63 AMG Y he AMG GT they already give a good account of it, but of course they will not be the only ones.
Personally, I like Volkswagen’s bet with the XL Spot. Conceptual, yes, but it has managed to get a good smile on our faces for a few “burned-out” who were around, camera on their backs in Hall 4. Now we can only dream of a German who, checking accounts in front of an Excel sheet, comes up with the idea of bringing this small, bluish sports car into production in green numbers.
We still have a lot to tell you about the 2014 Paris Motor Show, many curiosities, many photographs, reflections and first impressions, so don’t go too far.
Your turn, what has been for you “the sports car” of the Paris Motor Show?