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The ten key cars of the 2016 Paris motor show

Published: 05 October 2016

 The top ten show stars of the 2016 Paris motor show
► Including the Honda Civic Type R and new Nissan Micra
 The most popular concepts, prototypes and production cars

The press events have ceased, the embargoes have passed, the dust has settled and the results are in: these, based on CAR’s analytics, were the hottest cars of the 2016 Paris motor show.

10) Volkswagen I.D. concept

2016 Volkswagen I.D. concept

The reveal of the Volkswagen I.D. concept marked a turning point for the brand, with it shifting its focus to a heavily electric-centric future in the wake of dieselgate. The production version of the I.D. concept is expected in 2020, and the Golf-sized EV is claimed to offer a maximum range of about 360 miles. Meanwhile, on another stand, Renault was busy showing off its updated Zoe – which offers a claimed maximum range of 250 miles and is on sale in November.

9) Hyundai RN30 concept

2016 Hyundai RN30 concept

All-wheel drive, 375bhp and 333lb ft? Sounds like something that’d usually have its name preceded (or followed by) the likes of AMG, RS or R. But no! This hot hatch concept was, in fact, from Hyundai. It previews a production car, due in 2017, from the brand’s new ‘N’ performance subdivision. Admittedly it won’t be anywhere near as lairy as the concept, but the production car’s 2.0-litre turbocharged engine should still punch out around 300bhp – conveniently leaving model for a hotter version later down the line.

8) Audi RS3 Saloon

2016 Audi RS3 Saloon

Five in a row makes this new compact high-performance saloon go, which is a refreshing change from the usual slew of high-output four-pots. It features a host of predictable upgrades, including a wider track, bigger brakes and uprated suspension, and its turbocharged five-cylinder motor puts out 394bhp and 345lb ft. The result is a small saloon that’ll sprint from 0-62mph in 4.1sec. No wonder it proved popular.

7) Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept

2016 Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept

Size still matters, apparently, so despite the Vision 6 being electric – yes – it’s got a bonnet that looks a mile long. That space hasn’t gone entirely to waste, though; the electric powertrain is reputed to put out around 750bhp, while a substantial bank of batteries grants a claimed range in excess of 300 miles. There’s a lot of new interior tech on display in this concept, too, which may well trickle down to production cars in the coming years.

6) Ferrari 70-year anniversary editions

2016 Ferrari 70-year anniversary line

Ferrari will celebrate its 70th anniversary next year, giving the brand’s product planners a quick and easy opportunity to keep those cash registers ringing. Consequently, to celebrate its birthday, Ferrari is producing a series of limited-edition models. The new ‘70 Years’ models – including ‘The Green Jewel’ 488 Spider, above – feature replicas of iconic Ferrari liveries, and a total of 350 will be built. Unsurprisingly, all of them are already sold. Kerching!

5) Honda Civic Type R prototype

2016 Honda Civic Type R prototype

The hot hatch market’s going to get even more hotly contested next year, following the launch of the 10th-gen Civic Type R. Yes, we know, it seems like the current one’s only been around for a few minutes – but the recent launch of the new Civic hatch necessitates an all-new Type R. It’s proving a much-discussed car, in part because of its styling, and also because it’ll be the first Type R to be sold officially in the US.

4) BMW Concept X2

2016 BMW Concept X2

Another day, another niche. That, it appears, is how the likes of Audi, Mercedes and BMW are currently operating their planning departments. BMW’s latest entry into the fray is this, the Concept X2, which appears to offer a thinly veiled look at a production car due in late 2017. It’s a small, low-roofed crossover that’s aimed at those wanting something practical and decent to drive, like seemingly every other crossover currently out there. Check out the M1-inspired roundel location on the C-pillar, though...

3) Nissan Micra

2017 Nissan Micra

Nissan realised that its last-gen Micra was a bit of a damp squib, so it’s pulled out the stops while developing its new fifth-gen Micra. The result is a far more striking and interesting car, and one that was designed solely for the European market. It’s set to go on sale in March 2017 and will be offered with a range of engines, including a turbo triple and a four-pot diesel. Bring on the road tests.

2) Audi Q5

2017 Audi Q5

Yes, we’ve used a picture of the new Audi Q5. Yes, it looks pretty much the same as it used to. There are, however, some notable changes to this, the latest version of Audi’s best-selling car. It’s up to 90kg lighter, more efficient and offered with more advanced tech; given that it’s so popular with customers, perhaps Audi has decided to play this one relatively safe – a carefully considered case of evolution, rather than revolution. 

1) Land Rover Discovery

2016 Land Rover Discovery

The fifth iteration of the much-loved Land Rover Discovery, outside of being the most prominent car at the Paris motor show, was also one of the most discussed. It is reputedly lighter, more economical and more advanced, but its styling and durability remain hot topics. Time will tell as to whether it can fill its predecessors’ boots. 

What do you think about the new Disco, or any of the other cars here? Have your say below. 

Click here for more news and features from Paris 2016

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car

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