The gloomy European market outlook and a worsening price war were the dominant topics of discussion at last month's Paris auto show, but the Mondial de l'Automobile – as the French call their home show – also delivered a number of significant new products.
Here is an alphabetical listing of the 10 designs/design elements that captured my attention.
Audi Crosslane: The crossover concept stands out because of its sharp lines and for showing the evolution of Audi's distinctive single-frame grille. The new grille, which is intended for future crossovers of the Q family, is more three-dimensional and puts more emphasis on the four-ring logo.
BMW Active Tourer: The first concept based on BMW's new front-wheel-drive architecture tries to do something that is nearly impossible: make a people mover look sporty from the side. Audi tried this in 2006 with the Roadjet concept, which it decided not to build. Mercedes-Benz introduced a completely different, dedicated visual identity for its compact minivans with the first- and second-generation A class. Maybe BMW should give its design team another try before freezing the production model?
Citroen DS 9: I grew up as a passenger in the back of Citroen's original DS models so it's painful for me to see the DS badge on an uninspired large sedan. Retro design has been a hit for BMW with the Mini, and also for Fiat with the 500 and for Volkswagen with the Beetle. Porsche's 911 continues to honor the look of the original car. Why doesn't Citroen offer a flagship that is a modern reinterpretation of the original DS design and concept – a true sofa on hydro pneumatic suspensions?
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