While it's not as big as the Geneva Motor Show, the 2014 Paris Motor Show displayed a great mix of sensible, luxury and performance cars. So what better way to spend a rainy afternoon than beginning to plan your all-important next car, fantasy or not?
Audi TT Sportback
Looking to build on the TT's incredible success, Audi has revealed a concept for a 'Sportback' model. The TT Sportback is 29 centimetres longer than the coupe TT and features rear doors and a larger boot. When Audi decides to put the Sportback into production, this model is expected to go down incredibly well with families who were previously put off by the TT's limited practically.
Another brand looking to build upon the success of their flagship model, Fiat have finally lifted the veil on the 500x. The new model will be available with Fiat's numerous personalisation options, including two- or four-wheel drive. Larger and more practical than the 500, and more stylish than the 500L, we think Fiat definitely has a massive seller on their hands here, which is lucky, because they need one.
Officially in concept form here, but with promises to hit the showroom with '90 per cent' intact, the Infiniti Q80 certainly is a stunner. With a 550 bhp hybrid powertrain, emitting just 129g/km emissions, the Q80 will reach 60 mph in under four seconds. The car also features a number of innovative components: HD cameras replace conventional wing mirrors, lasers help you cut through traffic and adaptive transmission lets you feel like
Volkswagen XL Sport
The Volkswagen XL Sport is based on the ultra-economical XL1, but designers have replaced the fuel-sipping diesel engine with a 197 bhp Ducati engine. The new power block revs to an incredible 11,000 rpm and launches the car from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Unfortunately this car is a one-off prototype, manufactured to celebrate the 200-millionth Volkswagen to roll-off the production line.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
Land Rover's Freelander replacement, the Discovery Sport, is everything a Land Rover should be: practical, rugged and well-designed. The Discovery Sport looks like another cash cow, with seven seats, plenty of passenger space, an updated 'infotainment' system and a beautifully designed exterior. The new baby Landy is also a what so many Land Rover's have failed to be before: economic. It will be available next year with a new turbo-diesel emitting just 119g/km emissions.
We've had the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918 but now it's Lamborghini's turn to jump on the hybrid hypercar bandwagon. The Asterion LPI 910-4 combines a 602 bhp V10 with three electric motors to produce a total of 897 bhp, helping the car reach 60 mph in just three seconds. The Asterion achieves 68.9 mpg and produces just 98g/km emissions, not that potential Lamborghini owners care about those stats. Lamborghini doesn't have any plans to put the Asterion into mass production but a limited run seems likely.
Mercedes AMG GT
The SLS is dead, but luckily Mercedes have a (pseudo) replacement lined up, the drop-dead-gorgeous AMG GT. Looking to rival the Porsche 911 Turbo and Jaguar F-Type, the AMG GT houses a 4 litre V8 which produces 456 bhp and powers the car from 0 to 62 mph in four seconds. The interior is just as stunning as the exterior and the design leaves room for 350 litres in the boot, unfortunately prices start around £110,000.
If you want a compact executive car, previously your choice was between Audi, BMW or Mercedes, but now the British are weighing in with the Jaguar XE. With deliveries beginning in May, the XE's price starts at £27,000 and features many familiar Jaguar design cues. The car is economic, affordable(ish) and well equipped so it should be massive hit with company car buyers. Looks like the Germans have a fight on their hands.
Not bothered about going fast and more interested in saving the planet? Well you might be interested in the Renault EOLAB, capable of 282 mpg and producing just 22g/km emissions. It uses a clever hybrid drivetrain, lightweight components and efficient aerodynamics, creating a drag coefficient of just 0.235. The EOLAB is more of an experiment than a production ready car, but expect to see similar technology start appearing in showrooms by 2020!
Supercars are all well and good, but realistically the best car you'll ever own is your first car; enter the Vauxhall Corsa, liberating teenagers since 1982. The all-new Corsa has kept things simple, it retains the basic size and shape that customers liked, and has improved the ride comfort, handling and interior quality. Perfect for impressing members of the opposite sex and doing handbrake turns in a PC World car park.
The MX-5 is Britain's favourite roadster and this new version looks to improve upon Mazda's winning formula. The new MX-5 is practically made for tearing down British B-roads, with sharp modern looks, a smaller, lighter design, more efficient engine and prices starting at £20,000; this embodies pure, simple, joyous motoring.