The Paris Motor Show has grown in fame of late. No, that’s not because it has the best food, after-show wine and smoking areas - it’s that it gets some of the best and craziest concept cars.
This year continues to dish out some brain-baffling designs that give a glimpse at the future of driving. From autonomous vehicles with steering wheels that retract into the dash to motors with their own power generators, this year has it all.
But not everything at the show has travelled back in time from a future utopia - there’s plenty here that you could get your hands-on next year. So with no further ado, here are the coolest cars from the Paris Motor Show 2016.
Toyota FCV Plus
Let’s start with something really whacky. The Toyota FCV Plus doesn’t look like this simply to turn heads, though - it’s been designed to combine the outer dimensions of a compact car with the internal space of a large saloon.
That would be tricky with a dirty old combustion engine, which is why the FCV Plus instead has a lovely, clean and very small hydrogen power source.
As if that’s not clean enough, that dinky generator can also create electricity for your home when it’s parked and will pump it back into your town’s power grid if you don’t need it. Now that’s the kind of selfless eco-thinking that could save this abused planet of ours - let’s hope it’s not too late when the FCV finally launches sometime near 2031.
The Volkswagen I.D. concept car might not look as out there as the FCV Plus, but it will hit roads much sooner - in 2020. You’ll have to wait until 2025 if you want to enjoy the car’s promised autonomous mode, but it’ll be pretty darn cool when it arrives thanks to a steering wheel that retracts into the dash when the car’s driving itself.
Volkswagen reckons the I.D. will be able to manage a respectable 400 to 600 kilometres on a charge with its 125kW motor and batteries. The whole car is built around the battery placement, part of VW’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform, meaning there should be lots more room inside.
And by not focusing the build on a large engine and fuel lines the car can suit the passenger better, so a touchscreen, gesture controls and even haptic feedback features fit in nicely.
Honda Civic Type-R
The new Honda Civic Type-R has been teased at the Paris Motor Show ahead of its planned release in 2017, and it looks better than ever. When it comes to understatements, calling this car aggressive would be like saying Mike Tyson is mild tempered.
Honda didn’t reveal much about the car but simply said it’ll be faster than the current model. Allegedly it will remain front-wheel drive and use the new wider chassis to improve handling and grip.
That new front and rear spoiler-splitter combo should help increase both handling, speed and economy thanks to greater downforce. Expect all that to mean a higher price though.