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The biennial Paris Motor Show usually sees the debut of some radical concept cars. Here are the top three.
1. Renault Trezor
As with many of the more interesting concept cars at the Paris Motor Show, Renault’s Trezor runs on an all-electric drivetrain, boasts next-generation autonomous driving technology and smartphone-style touchscreen controls, which should provide a huge hint as to what direction the auto industry is heading in.
But don’t move along just yet, because Renault has yet again delivered a stunning concept car. Embodying the “classic attributes of a GT", the Trezor features a long, exaggerated bonnet and a truncated tail. Ingress and egress is provided for by a clamshell glasshouse that Renault says resembles the lid of a jewellery box, which is fi tting, because the car’s name means ‘treasure’ in French. Further reinforcing the appropriateness of its name are its ruby-red windows, a colour that’s echoed in its upholstery. Its dashboard, too, is coloured a vibrant red hue and made of laminated ash.
2. Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ
Sporty SUVs are bang on trend, and so are electric vehicles (EVs), so it should stand to reason that Mercedes-Benz should want to throw its figurative hat into the ring.
Just how important the all-electric segment is can be seen in how Mercedes-Benz has seen fit to make Generation EQ its first dedicated EV, resting on its own modular platform. Mercedes-Benz says the new platform is scalable and flexible, which has huge ramifications for its future EVs, because it can, in the future, electrify pretty much anything, from an SUV to coupes and saloons.
On a less serious note, Generation EQ gives the world a preview of what Mercedes-Benz has in store in the exterior design department. It looks like a station wagon with an elevated ride height. Against current-generation offerings, Generation EQ’s sheetmetal is less figured, and instead plumps for a cleaner look. Aside from its electric drivetrain, another point of note is its advancements in autonomous driving.
It features high-resolution maps from map-maker Here, in conjunction with an enhanced interplay between the car’s on-board sensors and Carto-X communication (it can ‘talk’ to transport infrastructure and other vehicles to exchange data). Mercedes-Benz says this means Generation EQ can adjust the car’s handling and speed to get its occupants there in the most comfortable way possible. If Generation EQ can live up to its promises, you can pretty much bet Mercedes-Benz’s future is going to look, well, electric.
3. Lexus UX
There’s a conspicuous gap in the Lexus line-up for a coupe-SUV to challenge the likes of the BMW X4 and Range Rover Evoque, though that could change in the very near future when the production version of the UX concept goes on sale.
Appropriately enough, the four-seater UX that debuted at the Paris Motor Show was designed in Lexus’ design centre in the south of France. Its design idiom is typical of a modern Lexus, with plenty of hard edges and angles, including exaggerated wheel arch flares. A rearward bias to its cab placement and a long bonnet adds to its sporty pretensions, making the UX look like a jacked-up version of the Japanese carmaker’s RC coupe.
The biggest news, however, comes in its interiors, with sculpted door panels echoing the car’s exterior, a design philosophy Lexus calls an “insideout approach". The UX also has a cockpit worthy of a science fiction movie, with its dashboard, steering wheel and switchgear comprised entirely of touchsensitive switches.
Of course, the wilder elements of the UX concept will be toned down for mass production.
Elements such as the reverse-hinged rear doors, polycarbonate fi ns on the A-pillars and hammock-like bucket seats with ‘cushions’ made of synthetic spider silk will very likely not see the light of production day.