All of the hot faves and the ‘mate, what the?’ moments from this year’s motor show in the City of Love.

Another Paris motor show done and dusted, and suddenly we find ourselves wondering… will there be many, or any, more to come? While this year’s show brought us some beautiful concepts and big unveilings, the show seemed… a shadow of its former self. Only time will tell.

Among the highlights this year were the exceptionally retro 911 Speedster, Peugeot’s heart-starting e-Legend concept, and the big preview of things to come for Skoda, the Vision RS.

Which unveilings won over our team? Read on…


Alborz Fallah, in Paris

Best production car: Ferrari Monza

I mean, do I even need to write anything here? It’s possibly the most gorgeous thing I’ve yet seen in person. A modern day classic. I would pick the two-seater version because I like to share.

Best Concept: Peugeot e-Legend

Just a glorious concept that takes so much from beloved cars like the 504 and brings in all the modern touches you’d hope for. It’s all electric but if it goes into production – and it probably will – it’ll likely offer PHEV versions also.

Biggest Miss: Toyota RAV4

I know it’s not just been unveiled here, but it’s the first time I saw the new SUV in person and … yuck. What have they done? No one said the current RAV4 was pretty but they didn’t ask for it to be uglier, either.

How can the same company make the new gorgeous Corolla and this at the same time? It looks so awfully confused front and rear. As if designed by a bickering couple. It’s perhaps the most inconsistent design from the Japanese giant in years.


Trent Nikolic, in Paris

Best production car: BMW 8 Series

The BMW 8 Series is a proper return to form for the brand and their entry into the classical GT segment. The 8 Series looks stunning, promises to be as fast as it needs to be, and offers BMW fans a real choice in a segment previously dominated by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Aston Martin. A close run thing with the new 3 Series for mine, but memories of the 840i and 850i from the 90s will persuade many to take a close look at the new 8 Series.

Best concept car: Peugeot EU Live

This might seem weird, but for me, the Peugeot Concept EU Live was a brilliant piece of engineering. Blurring the line between car and scooter, the EU Live is a clever solution for clogged cities, where scooters make more sense than cars. Four wheels, electric motors in the rear hubs, below 70km/h, it’s an electric vehicle. Over 70km/h, a Peugeot single cylinder petrol engine takes over. A brilliant future solution.

Biggest miss: The Paris Motor show itself

It had the feel of a show on its second last, or indeed last, rotation. A no-show by some of the biggest brands globally, and a flat feel to the event added up to illustrate why motor shows have been dying a slow death globally. Everything important has been leaked ahead of the show, there’s precious little real news to come out of the event, and the public is more happy to read and watch what’s happening from behind a screen. The slow decline continues.


Paul Maric, in Paris

Best production car: Audi e-tron quattro

The car that really blew me away at the show was the Audi e-tron. It debuts some pretty awesome video wing mirrors that do away with traditional glass. It also looks pretty damn good for a full electric SUV – it doesn’t have a science project look to it, which makes it feel more natural than some of its competitors.

I’m looking forward to it landing in Australia and even more looking forward to having a drive of it. Hopefully it drives as well as it looks.

Best concept car: Peugeot e-Legend

I really liked the look of the Peugeot e-legend concept. Given it’s a French motor show, it’s only fitting that they wheeled out a seriously cool looking concept car to please the crowds.

It has a sleek and slender design with a retro looking interior with dashes of modern style and features. Nice one, Peugeot.

Biggest miss: Suzuki Jimny

Despite this car winning over everybody that has seen pictures, I was a little disappointed with the Suzuki Jimny in person. It’s not hard to see why it scored such a poor crash safety rating. The doors are thin and flimsy and the interior is cheaper than a suit from Target.

It’s much smaller than I thought it’d be (yes, I know the original Jimny was small, but this thing seems tiny) and if it hits the ground in Australia with an asking price north of $20,000, it’s going to feel like a bit of a rip off. I’m keen to have a drive of one, but won’t be holding my breath for its arrival in Australia.


Mike Costello, in Paris

Best production car: 2019 BMW 3 Series

The new BMW 3 Series was the most consequential car to launch in Paris. The sun in Bimmer’s solar system may be the X5 today, but a new 3er is still a big deal.

That’s why, as an unashamed fan of the brand, I’m delighted at the new model’s taut and muscular design language, and its clean, driver-focused interior trickled down from the G30 5 Series. So long as it handles as nimbly as a cat, it’ll stay the benchmark.

Best concept car: Skoda Vision RS

The Peugeot e-Legend wins, but at the risk of doubling or tripling up with my colleagues, I’ll nominate the Skoda Vision RS. If the company’s new proper VW Golf rival (forget the Rapid, it’s not hard) offers a similar contemporary aesthetic, then watch out world…

That potent 180kW PHEV drivetrain mating a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor, a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission is cool too. A 70km EV range and 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds? Sign me up.

Biggest miss: The Paris Motor Show

Motor shows aren’t what they once were. The thrill of a new reveal has ben eclipsed by online leaks or deliberate early media releases, once-available execs are squirrelled away or media-managed into oblivion, and buzzwords like “mobility” carry the day.

The Paris show this year was flat. A number of brands had meagre presences with no technical premieres or global news (Audi, for example), and a heap just didn’t show up at all. Fiat Chrysler (including Alfa Romeo and Jeep), Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Volkswagen and Volvo all saved their money, despite all having big developments to talk about.

Even hometown hero Renault’s stand was sparsely populated and devoid of anything particularly interesting. That’s a bad sign. I expect this might be my last Paris show. There may be one more at best.


Kez Casey, in Melbourne

Best production car: Peugeot 508 SW

To be very clear the 508 SW’s nomination is for its form factor and not its powertrains. Certainly the available engines are fine for the segment with a 168kW 1.6-litre turbo petrol or 224kW plug-in hybrid version of the same, but it’s the pumped guards, chiselled front and rear, and chopped-roof styling that really elevate this car.

Plus it’s a wagon. It’ll likely have to cope with diminishing sales over its lifetime, but as long roof options disappear from market Peugeot’s decision to stick by the format is encouraging. As if that wasn’t enough, check out the available luxo trimmings in the interior and frameless door glass and its hard not to have a soft spot for the new 508 SW.

Best concept car: Smart ForEase

Almost every Smart concept conveys a sense of fun that rockets me back to the childhood joy of screaming downhill, holding into the reigns of a shoddily built billycart, praying to survive. The difference, however, is that Smarts are much better built and far safer than anything built from leftover and ‘borrowed’ bits of shipping pallets, school chairs and wheelbarrows.

This one doesn’t even have a roof, or most of a windscreen, and its an EV so all you’ll be able to hear are the shrieks of excitement from you and your passenger. It’s also part boy-racer, part serious roadster, and a little bit goofy bullfrog when viewed from front on. What’s not to love?

Biggest miss: DS 3 Crossback

As PSA Group’s prestige arm, DS has a lot of potential. The old DS 3 hatch started off on the right foot, so too the larger DS 7 Crossback, but this lumpy, stretched-out, mismatched pile of bewildering styling themes gives me a headache.

The shark-fin detail belongs on the C-pillar, not the B-pillar, the wheelarches look disproportionately small against the high bodysides, while the shapeless headlights don’t work with the rest of the car. There’s some interior elements that have potential, but it mostly looks like an out-of-date Vertu mobile phone inside.


Rob Margeit, in Sydney

Best production car: BMW 8 Series

I’m a sucker for BMW grand tourers. One of my favourite cars of all-time, probably number two on my list of dream cars, is the old 635CSi which to my mind, is the spiritual forebear of the new 8 Series, if not numerically, at least philosophically.

The 8-Series looks gorgeous from any angle, but especially the rear. And with an M8 version promised, be still my beating heart.

Best concept car: Peugeot e-Legend

Old school styling that harks back to the 504 Coupe, still one of my favourite cars, It also has a bit of 1960s muscle car about it, ironic given its electric drivetrain. But perhaps the thing I love most about it, is the old Peugeot emblem adorning the grille. Nice touch, Design Team.

Biggest miss: BMW 3 Series

It looks like a shrunken 5 Series and that for me, is a problem. Those angles and lines, work on the larger sedan but contracted to fit 3 Series dimensions, they fall short.

No doubt, the new 3 Series will be a cracker on the road, loaded with BMW’s latest tech, and maybe it looks better in the metal, but for me I just can’t help thinking ‘meh’.


Curt Dupriez, in Sydney

Best production car: Porsche 911 Speedster

With so many absentee marques I was compelled to favour a French brand – well, a traditionally French badge at least – in star for the showroom. And failed. But from stupid names (DS 3 Crossback) to daft design (Peugeot 508 Touring), nothing floated my French galleon, not even the “whip it, whip it good” Bugatti Divo.

Given that you could shove GT3 running gear into a rusty bulldozer and you’d win me over, the Porsche 911 Speedster gets my nod even if, much like the rest of the metal parked up at Porte de Versailles, it’s almost virtually surprise free.

Best concept car: Lego Bugatti Chiron

I’ve become so numb to rainbow-powered, self-driving, over-promising, never-delivering conceptual pipedreams that nothing short of plutonium combustion is likely to grab my attention. Or, perhaps, plastic.

The notion of a full 1:1-scale Bugatti Chiron made largely from Lego that actually drives is most likely to capture my eight-year-old son’s imagination the firmest, and that’s good enough for me too. After all, instilling wonder in youth is a large part of concept car .

Biggest miss: Attendance

In the most literal sense, the biggest miss was how many marques failed to front up. A close second place is the Renault EZ-Ultimo, a perfect storm of tired and clichéd concept car ideas – right down to the obligatory dumb name – to the point of being as forgettable as, well, whatever else attempted to pull a similar stunt last motor show.


Scott Collie, in Melbourne

Best production car: Porsche 911 Speedster

I know, it’s another expensive (probably) Porsche special edition, but just look at it! It’s just downright stunning, from the headlight detailing to those stunning, racy wheels. Couple those looks with a GT3 powertrain – and no roof to muffle the sound – and you’ve got my Paris winner.

Best concept car: Peugeot e-Legend

Everyone else has probably picked this too, but original thought is overrated – sometimes. This is retro design done right, full of tasteful nods to the car it’s based on, but with a presence and focus all of its own. I’m a sucker for the blue velour seats, too. Build it Peugeot.

Biggest miss: Renault EZ-Ultimo

Want to get people excited about autonomy? This isn’t the way to do it. Looks like a coffin on wheels, which doesn’t bode well for a vehicle the driver can’t actually, you know, drive. Try again, Renault.


Adam Morris, in Sydney

Best production car: Porsche 911 Speedster

It was a hard call between the Speedster and the BMW 8-Series and while the world probably doesn’t need yet another 911 variant, just look at it. Those new wheels, the mirrors, the headlights, the rear clam shell. Magnifique.

Other cars at the the show are undeniably more important for the motoring industry as a whole but a sexy, topless, GT3 engined 911 Speedster is the car that butters my baguette.

Best concept car: Peugeot e-Legend

There’s a tired old Peugeot 504 Coupe that parks outside my local Cafe on occasion and I genuinely lose my mind every time I see it.

Use that beautiful old thing as the inspiration, make it more angular, aggressive and more stylish, throw in an electric drive train and you have yourself a winner.

Biggest Miss: BMW 3 Series

Maybe it looks better in the metal but for me, it just doesn’t work from a visual perspective. From the busy front end to the contours and angles towards the rear, it looks like they’re trying to squash too many styling features into a small package.

I’m sure it will be a great car and will no doubt impress from an engineering and technology perspective but as for the looks, as Rob said, ‘meh’.


James Wong, in Melbourne

Best Production Car: 2019 BMW 3 Series

I have never been much of a BMW fan but something about the new 3 Series really speaks to me. I really like the more angular lines, and it still retains its own character to an extent when compared to the designs of the larger 5 Series and 7 Series.

Furthermore that new interior is a big step up – probably my biggest gripe with the current model despite its age – it’s classy, tech laden and looks to be trimmed in really high-grade materials. After seeing the M Performance accessories, I’d love to deck the cabin out in red leather and carbon-fibre, mmm. Still not sure about the Lexus booty though…

Best Concept Car: Hyundai i30 N Option concept

Sure, it’s more of an accessories showcase than all-out design concept, but damn this i30 N looks good! Those massive wheels, carbon-fibre bits and swathes of Alcantara trim in the cabin are what (my) hot hatch dreams are made of.

I’d love to see what they come up with for the new Fastback N, stick a big carbon wing on it and some quad pipes and I’ll be lining up to buy one. Please Hyundai!

Biggest Miss: Skoda Kodiaq RS

I feel like I should have known what to expect anyway, but for some reason the Kodiaq RS doesn’t quite match the hype and long run of teasers the company released in the lead-up.

If you discount the new wheels, it looks almost exactly like a Kodiaq Sportline, and the performance figures from the bi-turbo diesel aren’t that impressive when you consider this is wearing an ‘RS’ badge. This should have been fitted with the 206TSI engine like the Superb and been given a more noticeable exterior package – blink and you’ll think it’s just a Sportline.


Melissa Ong, in Melbourne

Best Production Car: Kia e-Niro

Call me a fangirl, but its so exciting to see Kia take on an EV and bring it downunder. It looks great and has still maintained Kias classic styling. They have also implemented the modern shifter that was first previewed in the Niro Electric Vehicle concept car. With an estimated sub-50k price point, the car would be an affordable option for EV buyers. I can’t wait to give this one a drive.

Best Concept Car: Hyundai i30 N Option concept

Alright, we’ve seen the i30 N already and this isn’t really a concept car, but the Hyundai i30 N Option concept is everything I’ve ever wanted… and more. Add 20″ rims, an N sticker pack, carbon fibre panels and microsuede Alcantara interior to the already existing (and perfect) i30 N, and we have ourselves an i30 N dressed up like a Nismo GT-R. The only disappointing this is that it’s a concept. Please Hyundai, make this package an option!

Biggest Miss: Not being there in person

Ever since the technology has allowed, I have glued myself to live-streams of motor show reveals.

If I can get this excited about new cars from my living room, I can only imagine the atmosphere and what it would be like to be there in person – snapping photos, jumping in and out of cars, doing my own live streams… AIMS, please make a come back in Australia. It’s been way too long…


READER GUEST: Ranil

Best Production Car: Peugeot 508 Touring (SW)

For whatever reason, there’s something about wagons that gets car enthusiasts all misty-eyed and stumble-footed, and this one is no different.

It’s gorgeous from every angle and very Peugeot (without resorting to retro), features an interior that is plush but thoroughly modern at the same time and, best of all, is confirmed for Australia. This could be Peugeot’s best wagon since the venerable 504.

Best Concept: Skoda Vision RS

The heart says Peugeot e-Legend, but ultimately, retro design is lazy design. So I’m going to say the Skoda Vision RS. Sure it’s not as ‘out there’ as some other concepts, but it gives us a good idea of what the next iteration of the Skoda design language might look like, and I’m definitely a fan.

It’s clean, classy and functional, but most importantly, seems to confirm that the hideous quad-headlight treatment on the current Octavia might not spread like a disease to Skoda’s other models.

Biggest Miss: BMW Z4

Where do I start with this? First, BMW dropped the bombshell that, despite having no qualms about whacking massive M-badges on its even more massive SUVs, they had no intentions of releasing a Z4M – its purpose-built, RWD sports car. (Wait, what?) Then there’s the design – maybe it’s because we all collectively salivated over the concept, but the production model looks a bit… phoned-in and generic. Then just yesterday, the Project Manager for the new Z4 stuck his boot into the previous Z4 (and its owners) by saying that the new one “didn’t take any inspiration” from the superseded model. No, no and no, BMW.


What do you think of our judgements? Tell us in the comments below, and share you own hits and misses!