Sexy French retro, a green Czech hot hatch, a German EV racer, a manic Japanese muscle car and a luxury apartment on wheels. Studies in contrast?

It was a pretty flat Paris motor show this year, with a long list of brands sitting it out (Volkswagen, Ford, Fiat Chrysler to name a few) and a number of others more-or-less phoning it in (looking at you, Audi).

But there were some interesting things scattered around – and a motor show wouldn’t earn its name without hosting some cool concept cars. Here are five of the best.

Peugeot e-Legend

Oh my. Thankfully this French brand felt a patriotic twinge and delivered a show-stopper, even if it pulled a Steven Bradbury at the same time.

The style reinterprets the 50-year old Peugeot 504 coupe, and does a bloody fine job of that. But beneath the elements of homage lays a heap of future-facing tech.

Power comes from a twin-motor electric setup making a combined 340kW and 800Nm, delivered to four wheels. It’ll hit 100km/h in less than four seconds. The 100kWh battery is good for over 600km on a charge.

Four drive modes are offered, two autonomous and two ‘human-focused’. The steering wheel retracts when the car is in an autonomous mode, the front seats recline, and a 49-inch screen can entertain.

The seats are trimmed in vivid blue fabric dubbed ‘silk velvet’ by Peugeot, while the door trims and upper dash is finished in renewably-sourced wood designed to evoke 1960s furniture.

Read more here.


Infiniti Project Black S

Get a load of this Japanese Mercedes-AMG C63 S rival. Infiniti is a company in desperate need of sex appeal, and this long-promised ‘concept’ – looks pretty road-ready to us – fits that bill.

The car’s dual-hybrid powertrain blends a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine with a trio of electric motor generator units (MGU), inspired by F1.

One recovers energy through a form of regenerative braking, and two are hooked up to the turbochargers to generate energy from exhaust gases driving the turbines. They feed a 4.4kWh battery pack.

The supplementary power can apparently be used as an electrically-assisted anti-lag system, spooling the turbochargers more quickly. Or it can feed an extra 122kW to the wheels through an electric motor, with the way it’s metered out varying based on drive mode.

Although the hybrid system adds 200kg to the car’s weight, Infiniti says lightweight panels like a carbon bonnet, fenders and roof, help offset this. Also helping with the weight-shedding is a set of forged 21-inch aluminium wheels.

Read more here.


Skoda Vision RS

Skoda’s current small hatch counter to the VW Golf, the Rapid, is not much chop. But the follow-up model previewed here promises to be a heck of a lot more. It’s a looker, right?

There’s also some motor-show trickery on board. The Vision RS is said to use a 180kW plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which pairs a 110kW turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 75kW electric motor, a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a six-speed DSG.

Skoda claims the car can sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds, and hit a top speed of 210km/h. It can also travel 70km solely on electric power, and has a claimed fuel economy rating of 1.4L/100km.

That’s some 21st century hot hatch tech.

Read more here.


Mercedes-Benz Vision EQ Silver Arrow

Daimler’s EV rollout is building steam, led by the feted EQC crossover. It’s also been honing the tech through its dominant F1 team. The stunning Vision EQ Silver Arrow concept has little production bearing, but succeeds spectacularly as a means to sex up electrification.

This nostalgic look at our electric future has a whopping 550kW on tap from two electric motors mated with an 80kWh battery. Claimed range is 400km on the WLTP test cycle.

The body is made of carbon-fibre, finished in a colour dubbed Alubeam Silver, designed to look like liquid metal over the base structure. There are carbon aerodynamic elements scattered around, and plenty of blue highlights in keeping with other concepts from the EQ stable.

That giant rear wing extends at speed, and acts as an airbrake when required, though perhaps the most arresting element of the exterior are the 24-inch front and 26-inch rear wheels. Each consists of 168 individual aluminium spokes, partially obscured by spats.

Read more here. 


Renault EZ-Ultimo

Honestly, we’re a little disappointed in Renault. It didn’t blow us away at its home show. However, as far as radical, far-out concept cars go, this one… technically succeeds.

It’s a self-driving apartment, basically, measuring 5.8 metres long, with seats for three people – one armchair and one two-seater bench.

The “neo-retro” cabin has dark green leather upholstery, marble inlays that are just 30mm thick, and a flat floor covered in walnut wood with a herringbone pattern. The exterior canopy has a white ceramic faceting said to be inspired by Parisian apartment mouldings.

Imagined to be a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, the EZ-Ultimo can drive in urban and highway settings along roads with high-definition road maps, and wirelessly connected vehicle infrastructure, such as traffic lights, toll booths and information services.

According to Renault, the EZ-Ultimo’s drivetrain has an electric motor driving the front wheels, four-wheel steering, and wireless charging. The company hasn’t provided details about the car’s range or performance. That’s because it’s a pipe dream.

Read more here.