Automotive

Home field advantage: French automakers awe in Paris

Home field advantage: French a...
French automakers in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
French automakers in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot updates the EXALT concept for Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot updates the EXALT concept for Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The "shark skin" that makes up the Exalt's rear isn't as visible as on the Beijing version, but it still sets up a visual contrast with the hand-formed bare steel (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The "shark skin" that makes up the Exalt's rear isn't as visible as on the Beijing version, but it still sets up a visual contrast with the hand-formed bare steel (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Two shades of grey (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Two shades of grey (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The EXALT concept is powered by a 340-hp hybrid (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The EXALT concept is powered by a 340-hp hybrid (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The EXALT follows the Onyx concept in providing Peugeot's vision of an imposing, aggressive sports car (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The EXALT follows the Onyx concept in providing Peugeot's vision of an imposing, aggressive sports car (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot's AE21 bike has a front-mounted electric motor and a versatile frame that stores the battery, laptop bag and ABUS bike lock (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot's AE21 bike has a front-mounted electric motor and a versatile frame that stores the battery, laptop bag and ABUS bike lock (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot first showed the 308 R concept at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot first showed the 308 R concept at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot continues its multi-tone design theme with the 308 R concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot continues its multi-tone design theme with the 308 R concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot 308 R is powered by a 270-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot 308 R is powered by a 270-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot readies for its press conference (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot readies for its press conference (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot mountain bike (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot mountain bike (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot 308 R concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot 308 R concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot 308 R concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot 308 R concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Renault EOLAB uses a comprehensive materials and aerodynamics package for ultra-efficient driving (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Renault EOLAB uses a comprehensive materials and aerodynamics package for ultra-efficient driving (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The EOLAB boasts 235-mpg (1L/100 km) efficiency, according to Renault's estimates (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The EOLAB boasts 235-mpg (1L/100 km) efficiency, according to Renault's estimates (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The EOLAB saves 400 kg (882 lb) with its lightweight design techniques (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The EOLAB saves 400 kg (882 lb) with its lightweight design techniques (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Inside the Renault EOLAB at the Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Inside the Renault EOLAB at the Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot-Total is preparing the 2008 DKR for next year's Dakar Rally (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot-Total is preparing the 2008 DKR for next year's Dakar Rally (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2008 DKR has a 3.2-liter diesel V6 hooked to the rear wheels (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2008 DKR has a 3.2-liter diesel V6 hooked to the rear wheels (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2008 DKR has wishbone suspension (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2008 DKR has wishbone suspension (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The DKR rides on 37-in Michelin tires (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The DKR rides on 37-in Michelin tires (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot gives the Paris Motor Show crowd a look at its rugged rally machine (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot gives the Paris Motor Show crowd a look at its rugged rally machine (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot 2008 DKR has 340 hp on tap (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot 2008 DKR has 340 hp on tap (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot 2008 DKR (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot 2008 DKR (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot opted for 2WD to save weight and take advantage of structural enhancements like short overhangs (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot opted for 2WD to save weight and take advantage of structural enhancements like short overhangs (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2008 DKR looks ready for its January debut (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2008 DKR looks ready for its January debut (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot reveals the QUARTZ concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot reveals the QUARTZ concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ blends the lower body of an SUV with the cabin of a sedan (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ blends the lower body of an SUV with the cabin of a sedan (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot QUARTZ concept in the sheet metal (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot QUARTZ concept in the sheet metal (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ is powered by a 500-hp AWD hybrid drive (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ is powered by a 500-hp AWD hybrid drive (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ concept follows the 308 R and EXALT in its contrast rear quarters (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ concept follows the 308 R and EXALT in its contrast rear quarters (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot QUARTZ concept stands on 23-in wheels (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot QUARTZ concept stands on 23-in wheels (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot QUARTZ concept makes its debut in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot QUARTZ concept makes its debut in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot QUARTZ provides a look at a possible direction the future SUV may take (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot QUARTZ provides a look at a possible direction the future SUV may take (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot QUARTZ concept makes its debut in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot QUARTZ concept makes its debut in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ is based on Peugeot's EMP2 platform that underpins the new 308 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ is based on Peugeot's EMP2 platform that underpins the new 308 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ uses LED lighting (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ uses LED lighting (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot QUARTZ concept makes its debut in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot QUARTZ concept makes its debut in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ measures 177.2 in (4.5 m) in length by 81.1 in (2.06 m) in width (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ measures 177.2 in (4.5 m) in length by 81.1 in (2.06 m) in width (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The bold QUARTZ concept makes some noise in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The bold QUARTZ concept makes some noise in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ has an all-electric range of 31 miles (50 km) (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ has an all-electric range of 31 miles (50 km) (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ has a split rear spoiler (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ has a split rear spoiler (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The QUARTZ is a four-seat SUV concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The QUARTZ is a four-seat SUV concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot's door frames are milled from a solid block of composite, then colored red (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot's door frames are milled from a solid block of composite, then colored red (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Prepared exclusively for the Paris Motor Show, Citroën's C1 Urban Ride Concept highlights customization (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Prepared exclusively for the Paris Motor Show, Citroën's C1 Urban Ride Concept highlights customization (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Urban Ride is customized with SUV-inspired elements (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Urban Ride is customized with SUV-inspired elements (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Urban Ride has the new Airscape roof (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Urban Ride has the new Airscape roof (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Citroën C1 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Citroën C1 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Citroën C1 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Citroën C1 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Divine DS was one of the wilder concepts at the Paris show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Divine DS was one of the wilder concepts at the Paris show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Citroën's new premium DS brand makes its presence known with the Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Citroën's new premium DS brand makes its presence known with the Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Divine DS has a number of highly distinctive features, including its grille (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Divine DS has a number of highly distinctive features, including its grille (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Citroën's new premium DS brand makes its presence known with the Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Citroën's new premium DS brand makes its presence known with the Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Divine DS concept has a 270-hp turbo engine (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Divine DS concept has a 270-hp turbo engine (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Divine measures around 13.8 x 6.6 ft/4.2 x 2 m (L x W) (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Divine measures around 13.8 x 6.6 ft/4.2 x 2 m (L x W) (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
A peek at the "hypertypage" interior concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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A peek at the "hypertypage" interior concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Probably the most unique part of the Divine's exterior is its scaly back (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Probably the most unique part of the Divine's exterior is its scaly back (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Inside the Divine DS (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Inside the Divine DS (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 diesel-electric cutout display (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 diesel-electric cutout display (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The all-new Peugeot 208 Hybrid Air demonstrator is the latest application of gas-compressed air hybrid technology (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The all-new Peugeot 208 Hybrid Air demonstrator is the latest application of gas-compressed air hybrid technology (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot's Hybrid Air powertrain pairs a 1.2-liter engine with a compressed air drive (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot's Hybrid Air powertrain pairs a 1.2-liter engine with a compressed air drive (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot estimates the 208 Hybrid Air's fuel economy at 2L/100 km (81 mpg) (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot estimates the 208 Hybrid Air's fuel economy at 2L/100 km (81 mpg) (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot takes a break from auto display to extend its two-tone design ethic to a piece of furniture (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot takes a break from auto display to extend its two-tone design ethic to a piece of furniture (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Revealed at Milan Design Week earlier this year, the Onyx Sofa melds carbon fiber and Volvic volcanic lava stone (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Revealed at Milan Design Week earlier this year, the Onyx Sofa melds carbon fiber and Volvic volcanic lava stone (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot EXALT (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Peugeot EXALT (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
A peek inside the the Peugeot EXALT (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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A peek inside the the Peugeot EXALT (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 4H Automobiles Locust was easily the strangest car we saw in all of Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 4H Automobiles Locust was easily the strangest car we saw in all of Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Locust earns its name by appearing like a cross between an EV and a robotic insect (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Locust earns its name by appearing like a cross between an EV and a robotic insect (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 4H Smera is a tiny, 880-lb (400-kg) electric 1+1 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 4H Smera is a tiny, 880-lb (400-kg) electric 1+1 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Smera's 6-kWh battery powers speeds up to 47 mph (75 km/h) and distances up to 50 miles (80 km) (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Smera's 6-kWh battery powers speeds up to 47 mph (75 km/h) and distances up to 50 miles (80 km) (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
According to a brochure we picked up at 4H, the Explora can travel up to 62 miles (100 km) on a charge of its 4.8-kWh battery (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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According to a brochure we picked up at 4H, the Explora can travel up to 62 miles (100 km) on a charge of its 4.8-kWh battery (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
According to a brochure we picked up at 4H, the Explora can travel up to 62 miles (100 km) on a charge of its 4.8-kWh battery (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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According to a brochure we picked up at 4H, the Explora can travel up to 62 miles (100 km) on a charge of its 4.8-kWh battery (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Aixam Mega builds stripped down cars that are actually classified as quadricycles and legal for driving under an AM moped license (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Aixam Mega builds stripped down cars that are actually classified as quadricycles and legal for driving under an AM moped license (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Aixam Crossline on display at the 2014 Mondial de l'Automobile (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Aixam Crossline on display at the 2014 Mondial de l'Automobile (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
While Aixam is small and efficient, its Mega brand is better known for the V12-powered, all-terrain Mega-Track GT back from the 90s (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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While Aixam is small and efficient, its Mega brand is better known for the V12-powered, all-terrain Mega-Track GT back from the 90s (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Aixam Crossline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Aixam Crossline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Ligier EZ10 Easy Mile autonomous electric vehicle
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Ligier EZ10 Easy Mile autonomous electric vehicle
Ligier at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Ligier at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Ligier at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Ligier at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Like the Coastline, the PGO Cevennes C is powered by a 181-hp 1.6-liter BMW turbo (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Like the Coastline, the PGO Cevennes C is powered by a 181-hp 1.6-liter BMW turbo (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The PGO Automobiles Coastline debuts in Paris
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The PGO Automobiles Coastline debuts in Paris
PGO Automobiles Coastline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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PGO Automobiles Coastline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Coastline is a special car inspired by the sea (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Coastline is a special car inspired by the sea (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The PGO Coastline has an Alcantara and leather interior (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The PGO Coastline has an Alcantara and leather interior (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
A peek at the Coastline's 1.6-liter turbo engine (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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A peek at the Coastline's 1.6-liter turbo engine (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
PGO Hemera (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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PGO Hemera (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Shown here at this year's Paris Motor Show, the Courb C-Zen electric vehicle made its production debut at the 2012 Paris show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Shown here at this year's Paris Motor Show, the Courb C-Zen electric vehicle made its production debut at the 2012 Paris show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Citroën C4 Cactus Airflow features a host of aerodynamic improvements (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Citroën C4 Cactus Airflow features a host of aerodynamic improvements (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The C4 Cactus Airflow uses the Hybrid Air technology also seen on the Peugeot 208 Hybrid Air (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The C4 Cactus Airflow uses the Hybrid Air technology also seen on the Peugeot 208 Hybrid Air (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
It's not hard to find the "airflow" on the Airflow concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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It's not hard to find the "airflow" on the Airflow concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The active wheel shutters help to achieve the Airflow's 20 percent aerodynamic boost (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The active wheel shutters help to achieve the Airflow's 20 percent aerodynamic boost (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The C4 Cactus Airflow debuts in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The C4 Cactus Airflow debuts in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Like Peugeot's 208 Hybrid Air, the C4 Cactus Airflow comes with an estimated 2L/100 km fuel economy (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Like Peugeot's 208 Hybrid Air, the C4 Cactus Airflow comes with an estimated 2L/100 km fuel economy (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
French automakers in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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French automakers in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Courb C-ZEN cut-out in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Courb C-ZEN cut-out in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Courb C-ZEN cut-out in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Courb C-ZEN cut-out in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Courb C-ZEN (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Courb C-ZEN (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Peugeot EXALT interior uses "newspaper wood" for effect
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The Peugeot EXALT interior uses "newspaper wood" for effect
Inside the Peugeot EXALT
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Inside the Peugeot EXALT
A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
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A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
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A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
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A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
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A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
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A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
Peugeot transportation served three ways (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot transportation served three ways (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot's AE21 bike has a front-mounted electric motor and a versatile frame that stores the battery, laptop bag and ABUS bike lock (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot's AE21 bike has a front-mounted electric motor and a versatile frame that stores the battery, laptop bag and ABUS bike lock (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot mountain bike (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot mountain bike (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Peugeot-Total is preparing the 2008 DKR for next year's Dakar Rally (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Peugeot-Total is preparing the 2008 DKR for next year's Dakar Rally (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Citroën's new premium DS brand makes its presence known with the Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Citroën's new premium DS brand makes its presence known with the Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Revealed at Milan Design Week earlier this year, the Onyx Sofa melds carbon fiber and Volvic volcanic lava stone (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Revealed at Milan Design Week earlier this year, the Onyx Sofa melds carbon fiber and Volvic volcanic lava stone (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
A peek inside the the Peugeot EXALT (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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A peek inside the the Peugeot EXALT (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Locust earns its name by appearing like a cross between an EV and a robotic insect (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Locust earns its name by appearing like a cross between an EV and a robotic insect (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
PGO Automobiles Coastline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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PGO Automobiles Coastline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
PGO Automobiles Coastline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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PGO Automobiles Coastline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
PGO Hemera (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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PGO Hemera (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
French automakers in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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French automakers in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

With introductions like the Renault EOLAB and Citroën C4 Cactus Airflow in the days leading up to the 2014 Paris Motor Show, it became obvious that the French had big plans for their home show. French automakers, big and small, didn't disappoint, showing a multitude of highly stylized, tech-heavy concepts and vehicles during the show. They had such a strong showing, in fact, that we thought it appropriate to give them a dedicated space separate from our main Paris wrap-up. Here's what the French have to say about modern vehicle design.

Divine DS

Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Divine DS concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

The most interesting thing at Citroën's booth wasn't the new Cactus Airflow concept, but a little concept car from its new premium spin-off brand DS. From afar, it looked like a standard-enough compact hatchback, but once we got closer, the wild details leapt forward.

Those details include the scale-like facets running down the roof and tailgate, the shimmering mesh grille, and the multi-textured "hypertypage" interior with its passenger-embracing drape. The reptilian back scales completely eliminate the rear windshield of the concept, but pop open to give the rear-view camera a fix on the road in back.

If you're scratching your head and futilely Googling "hypertypage," you're certainly not alone. We had absolutely no idea what it meant when we first read it, and DS' description of "three interchangeable interior universes, each with a unique and compelling personality" wasn't all too clear. It wasn't until we dug up the full, unabridged Divine press kit that we found a more lucid description. In short, DS uses the interior to take customization to the next level, highlighting three highly distinct packages that can be swapped out in 15 minutes' time.

A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"
A closer look at the three ambiances of DS "hypertage"

The "Male" interior treatment combines glazed, burnished leather with carbon fiber for a strong, masculine feel. "Parisienne Chic" travels in the opposite direction, emulating the more feminine world of haute couture fashion with ivory-colored leather, pleated silk satin and embroidered crystals and beads. "Fatale Punk" creates an ambiance similar to a late-night rock club with deep-black padded leather, studded crystals and shimmering Swarovski Crystal Fabric door panels.

The Divine DS gets power from a 270-bhp 1.6-liter turbo engine. Its LED headlamps are augmented by laser diodes, providing a lighting boost at speeds over 37 mph (60 km/h). The lasers automatically adjust based on camera detection of other vehicles, preventing one from blinding fellow drivers.

Peugeot Exalt

The EXALT concept is powered by a 340-hp hybrid (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The EXALT concept is powered by a 340-hp hybrid (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Peugeot first revealed the stylish, two-tone EXALT concept at the Beijing Motor Show back in April, and it mixed up the concept's dress for the Paris show. The exterior still features a mix of bare steel and "shark skin," only the latter is colored gray instead of the red clay of the original EXALT car. We prefer the pop of the red, but the subtle transition of the multi-material design on the Paris show car still looks pretty good.

Inside, the updated EXALT loses the ebony wood of the Beijing car in favor of "newspaper wood" material throughout. The recycled black-and-white pages find a brilliant second life as a visually-enhancing trim.

The Peugeot EXALT interior uses "newspaper wood" for effect
The Peugeot EXALT interior uses "newspaper wood" for effect

The new EXALT still pulls power from the 340-hp HYbrid4 system featured on the original. The car also includes a separate power system – the small powertrain on the HYbrid-Kick concept scooter stowed neatly under the trunk floor. The folding scooter is imagined as a solution to "last mile" travel, providing a means of getting around the city.

PGO Automobiles Coastline

PGO Automobiles Coastline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
PGO Automobiles Coastline (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Major French players PSA Peugeot-Citroën and Renault weren't the only French marques with something new to show. Some of the most interesting cars came from smaller, lesser-known brands like PGO Automobiles. Having not been all too familiar with PGO, I found all the cars at their exhibit quite intriguing, but the stand-out was the Coastline, a nautically-inspired special edition prepared for the Paris show. The car's oceanic inspiration is apparent in its colors, teak trim and open-air design. PGO lists the price at €60,000 (about US$76,130) with a 181-hp, 1.6-liter BMW engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.

4H Automobiles Explora

Some French offerings came across as off-the-wall, none more so than the designs at 4H Automobiles. The brand had a display of small electric vehicles, including the aptly named Locust and the go cart-like Explora. The latter is an open, sit-atop electric designed with work applications in mind. The 485-lb (220-kg) vessel travels up to 62 miles (100 km) by way of a 4.8-kWh lithium-iron phosphate battery and 9- or 15-kW motor.

Courb C-ZEN

Shown here at this year's Paris Motor Show, the Courb C-Zen electric vehicle made its production debut at the 2012 Paris show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Shown here at this year's Paris Motor Show, the Courb C-Zen electric vehicle made its production debut at the 2012 Paris show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

My first experience with the funky, electric Courb C-ZEN came outside the show, where I saw it parked next to the media building. Its small, distinctive design made me curious enough to cross over and take a look at what it was. A day later, I came across the Courb booth inside the show and studied it a bit more closely.

The diminutive, 1,572-lb (713-kg) C-ZEN was launched at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The car's 15-kW electric motor drives the wheels for up to 75 miles (120 km) with power from a 12.1-kWh lithium-ion battery. The "classic" version starts at €25,000 (US$32K).

Be sure to take a look at some of the show's other French stand-outs, in the photo gallery.

4 comments
BigGoofyGuy
I think that is good coverage of the event. There are great photos. The one called Locust seems rather odd looking, IMO. The one called Smera seems just the opposite. It is really neat looking, IMO. It looks like it would be a lot of fun to drive.
Grunt
Oh no! Not the squared off steering wheel again. British Leyland went down that route way back in the last century (1970's) with their Quartic wheel on the Austin Allegro. It wasn't popular. Otherwise, the French seem to have some very interesting ideas, as usual.
Alexander Lowe
The square steering wheel isn't the worst design cliché to do the rounds. Centreless wheels are a favourite with automotive design students, especially on 2-wheelers. And every kind of concept vehicle is subject to the currently fashionable angly-jangly bling thing.
Esteban Sperber Frankel
Is Peugot the only french car manufacturer?, where are Renault and Citroen car manufactrers?.