Yesterday the Paris Motor Show opened to the press, and if early impressions hold true, concepts and debuts from Lamborghini, Jaguar, and Lotus could set the tone for a groundbreaking show.
Lotus alone brought a quintet of concepts showcasing a new design direction that cements its aspirations to become a legitimate maker of exotics. Jaguar surprised by unveiling a stunning range-extended electric supercar, and the highly anticipated (and teased) Lamborghini concept met with much… well… confusion.
All the details and pictures after the break!
Let’s begin with the Jaguar pictured at the top of the story.
The C-X75 concept features four electric motors producing 195 horsepower at each wheel, along with two gas turbines that charge the batteries. Range is projected at 560 miles, and top speed is 205 mph. While the C-X75 remains just a concept, I think it would be a wonderful successor to the infamous XJ220.
Even without that classic “Jaguar” look, I think this car is absolutely stunning, if not as breathtaking as Porsche’s soon-to-be-produced 918 Spyder.
Lamborghini took the sheet off its Sesto Elemento concept, and my first impression is: Hmm. The Lambo looks like a jet fighter that crash-landed after being shot out of the air. There’s just so much happening between the body creases, sharp angles, and air intakes. Oh, but Lambos aren’t meant to be judged on looks alone. It’s the specs that truly impress:
Lamborghini kept the curb weight to 2,202 pounds with the help of a whole lot of carbon fiber. The entire car, from the frame and panels to wheels and suspension, is made from lightweight materials. Combined with the 570-hp V10 that sits behind the cabin, the Sesto Elemento does the 0-60 sprint in a ridiculous 2.5 seconds. Top speed, though, is “only” 186 mph. Any more than that and the car probably would take off and crash.
Lotus just might be the biggest story so far, with a product blitz of five cars: Elan, Eterne, Elite, Elise, and Esprit.
Here’s a quick preview of each:
The Elan has a 450-hp supercharged 4.0-liter V6 engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. That’ll be enough for a 0-62 run in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 193 mph. The Elan will debut in 2012 and sell for $118,500.
Believe it or not, this is a hybrid-optional sedan that looks more like an Aston Martin Rapide. Power comes from a 620-hp 5.0-liter V8 and will be available in both rear- and all-wheel drive. The Eterne will sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 4.0 seconds on its way to a top speed of 196 mph. Cost should be around $190,000, and production could happen by 2015.
Due in spring 2014, the Elite is a rear-drive 2+2 with an optional KERS hybrid system. Under the hood will be a front-mounted 5.0-liter V8 rated at 620 hp. Look for a sticker price of about $180,000.
At least one Lotus will remain affordable. The next-generation Elise will feature 320 hp from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual or an optional paddle-shifted automatic transmission, and a 2,409-pound curb weight. The supercharged model can hit 62 in 4.3 seconds. Price should come in at a respectable $55,000.
The new Esprit should hit the market in the spring of 2013. The concept uses a mid-mounted supercharged 5.0-liter V8 producing 620 horsepower and accelerating from 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds. From there it’ll rocket to a 205-mph top speed. Cost? Look for $175,000.
There’s lots more to come from Paris, so stay tuned! Which car looks best to you so far?