One of the resounding sentiments at this year’s Paris motor show is that the European automotive industry is not doing well. Of course you needn’t attend a motor show to know this, but seeing the once triumphant, ostentatious and exuberant show whittled down to only a few cars worth mentioning tends to put things into perspective.
The Paris motor show is a chance for the French automakers to strut their stuff, but this year the spotlight was a bit broader. That said, and though there were fewer show cars than in years past, the automakers clearly did not hold back on the quality of concepts shown. Here are a few of our highlights.
Peugeot Onyx concept
The Peugeot Onyx concept was unreservedly the star of the 2012 Paris motor show. With its innovative material use on both the exterior and interior, the concept is indicative of the company’s design prowess. We spoke to exterior designer Sandeep Bhambra and interior designer Julien Cueff to find out more about this amazing concept.
Once you get over the name, you can clearly see the diminutive vehicle’s raison d’être. People are moving to more heavily populated areas and want a vehicle they can easily maneuver around the urban environment but also one that shows their personality and character. Watch our video with the exterior, interior and color and trim designers on the project to find out more on the Adam’s design.
Smart ForStars concept
Want to watch movies from your car? Who doesn’t? But that’s only part of the story behind the Hollywood-inspired ForStars concept. This is the precursor to a new design language and a larger Smart set to be launched in a few years time. We spoke to Mercedes-Benz Head of Advanced Design, Steffen Koehl, and Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design, to get the back story.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo concept
We’ve never been big fans of the Panamera. But we like the Sport Turismo. A lot. Perhaps it’s just our penchant for beautifully proportioned, low-slung wagons? We tracked down Mitje Borkert, Porsche’s general manager of Advanced Design, to chat about the new design and walk around the concept.
Nissan Terra concept
The Nissan Terra wasn’t the prettiest concept at the Paris motor show. Designed in Japan with input from the company’s global design centers, the fuel-cell SUV concept did, however, showcase a number of interesting elements. We spoke to concept car manager Tatsuya Shiosaki about the concept’s design in our video interview.
If you want to see more of what was unveiled, here’s a selection of photos from the show.