Best concept cars at the 2018 Paris Motor Show

We take a look at the weird and wonderful showpieces of the 2018 Paris Motor Show

This year’s Paris Motor Show has been noted for its relative lack of surprises, but also its lack of attendees – industry giants like Ford, Volkswagen, Nissan and the Fiat Chrysler group elected not to show up at the 2018 edition of the show.

Regardless, of that we’ve seen plenty of new metal over the last 24 hours, not all of it destined for showrooms just yet. A handful of new concept cars have broken cover at Paris, some of them directly signalling soon to be realised production models, others acting merely as showpieces for new design or engineering thinking, and some that even motor industry executives themselves have yet to come to a decision on.

Paris Motor Show 2018

While previewing upcoming all-electric models was clearly the main theme for concept cars at the Geneva Motor Show back in March, the clutch of cars at Paris this year makes for a slightly more eclectic mix.

Below, we've put together a guide to take you through some of the most eye-catching concept cars on the stands at this year’s show. Scroll down to see our favourite concept cars from Paris, and get a view on what carmakers think you’lll want to drive (or be driven by) in the future.

Best concept cars at Paris 2018

Peugeot E-Legend

Arguably the star of the show, Peugeot’s E-Legend concept received the warm welcome it was always destined for when it was revealed in the run up to Paris. Penned by Peugeot chief designer Gilles Vidal, the E-Legend is an all-electric, modernised take on the iconic 504 Coupe, and it’s a car that the firm’s CEO Jean-Phillipe Imparato tells us he would love to put into production after 2020, though only if the brand isn’t too occupied with electrifying its essential cars.

You can help make his mind up – an online petition urging Peugeot to put the E-Legend into production has been endorsed by Imparato, and already has over 10,000 signatures.

Skoda Vision RS

It’s another Skoda ‘Vision’ car, though this one is previewing what’s in store for the brand’s RS (known as vRS here in the UK) performance models. The Vision RS is a hybrid hot hatchback using a 1.5-litre petrol four cylinder motor, a 13kWh battery pack and an electric motor, developing 242bhp in total. While we’ll have to wait another year at least to see if that becomes production reality, the Vision RS also previews the brand’s upcoming Ford Focus rival and replacement for the Rapid, which we’ll get to see very soon.

Porsche 911 Speedster

Porsche arrived in Paris with the 911 Speedster Concept, though it’s a concept in name only. This is pretty much a production model, 1,948 examples of which will be built to celebrate Porsche’s 70th anniversary. Based on the current 911 GT3, it uses a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six with 493bhp on tap, and is also a swansong for the current 991-generation 911. The all-new, eighth-generation 911 looks likely to be revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November.

Smart ForEase

While Porsche celebrates its 70th birthday, Smart turns 20 this year. Does that make you feel old? The Smart ForEase celebrates Merc’s microcar brand making it to two decades, and is essentially a heavily re-skinned EQ ForTwo Cabriolet. As such, beneath the usual concept car tinsel it’s a fully functioning electric car and a nod to Smart’s future. The marque has already ditched internal combustion engines in North America, and Smart will go fully electric in Europe from 2020 onwards.

Smart Mobile Disco

The ForEase concept was very nearly upstaged by a surprise guest on Smart’s stand though. Technically, this isn’t a concept car, but it’s still a showpiece on four wheels. The Smart Mobile Disco sees a humble ForTwo coupe mated with a crane arm and crows nest, from which the brand’s resident stand DJ blares out the latest ‘choons.

Audi PB 18 e-tron

It’s not a Paris concept, but the Audi PB 18 e-tron from Pebble Beach made up for a lack of world debuts on Audi’s stand – the new SQ2 was the firm’s only reveal. The PB 18 doesn’t direct preview any upcoming Audi production models. Instead, it stargazes to imagine what an all-electric Audi supercar could look like.

Mercedes EQ Silver Arrow

Similarly, Mercedes brought along its Pebble Beach creation in the form of the EQ Silver Arrow, though not to make up for a lack of new cars. Mercedes headlined the show at Paris with the new GLE, the new B-Class, the A-Class Saloon, the 302bhp A 35 and the new, all-electric EQC to the show, to name a few.

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