Another Paris motor show done and dusted, and suddenly we find ourselves wondering... will there be many, or any, more to come? While this year's show brought us some beautiful concepts and big unveilings, the show seemed... a shadow of its former self. Only time will tell.
Which unveilings won over our team? Read on...
Alborz Fallah, in Paris
Best production car: Ferrari Monza
I mean, do I even need to write anything here? It’s possibly the most gorgeous thing I’ve yet seen in person. A modern day classic. I would pick the two-seater version because I like to share.
Best Concept: Peugeot e-Legend
Just a glorious concept that takes so much from beloved cars like the 504 and brings in all the modern touches you’d hope for. It’s all electric but if it goes into production – and it probably will – it’ll likely offer PHEV versions also.
Biggest Miss: Toyota RAV4
I know it’s not just been unveiled here, but it’s the first time I saw the new SUV in person and ... yuck. What have they done? No one said the current RAV4 was pretty but they didn’t ask for it to be uglier, either.
How can the same company make the new gorgeous Corolla and this at the same time? It looks so awfully confused front and rear. As if designed by a bickering couple. It’s perhaps the most inconsistent design from the Japanese giant in years.
Trent Nikolic, in Paris
Best production car: BMW 8 Series
The BMW 8 Series is a proper return to form for the brand and their entry into the classical GT segment. The 8 Series looks stunning, promises to be as fast as it needs to be, and offers BMW fans a real choice in a segment previously dominated by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Aston Martin. A close run thing with the new 3 Series for mine, but memories of the 840i and 850i from the 90s will persuade many to take a close look at the new 8 Series.
Best concept car: Peugeot EU Live
This might seem weird, but for me, the Peugeot Concept EU Live was a brilliant piece of engineering. Blurring the line between car and scooter, the EU Live is a clever solution for clogged cities, where scooters make more sense than cars. Four wheels, electric motors in the rear hubs, below 70km/h, it's an electric vehicle. Over 70km/h, a Peugeot single cylinder petrol engine takes over. A brilliant future solution.
Biggest miss: The Paris Motor show itself
It had the feel of a show on its second last, or indeed last, rotation. A no-show by some of the biggest brands globally, and a flat feel to the event added up to illustrate why motor shows have been dying a slow death globally. Everything important has been leaked ahead of the show, there's precious little real news to come out of the event, and the public is more happy to read and watch what's happening from behind a screen. The slow decline continues.
Paul Maric, in Paris
Best production car: Audi e-tron quattro
The car that really blew me away at the show was the Audi e-tron. It debuts some pretty awesome video wing mirrors that do away with traditional glass. It also looks pretty damn good for a full electric SUV – it doesn't have a science project look to it, which makes it feel more natural than some of its competitors.
I'm looking forward to it landing in Australia and even more looking forward to having a drive of it. Hopefully it drives as well as it looks.
Best concept car: Peugeot e-Legend
I really liked the look of the Peugeot e-legend concept. Given it's a French motor show, it's only fitting that they wheeled out a seriously cool looking concept car to please the crowds.
It has a sleek and slender design with a retro looking interior with dashes of modern style and features. Nice one, Peugeot.
Biggest miss: Suzuki Jimny
Despite this car winning over everybody that has seen pictures, I was a little disappointed with the Suzuki Jimny in person. It's not hard to see why it scored such a poor crash safety rating. The doors are thin and flimsy and the interior is cheaper than a suit from Target.
It's much smaller than I thought it'd be (yes, I know the original Jimny was small, but this thing seems tiny) and if it hits the ground in Australia with an asking price north of $20,000, it's going to feel like a bit of a rip off. I'm keen to have a drive of one, but won't be holding my breath for its arrival in Australia.
Mike Costello, in Paris
Best production car: 2019 BMW 3 Series
The new BMW 3 Series was the most consequential car to launch in Paris. The sun in Bimmer's solar system may be the X5 today, but a new 3er is still a big deal.
That's why, as an unashamed fan of the brand, I'm delighted at the new model's taut and muscular design language, and its clean, driver-focused interior trickled down from the G30 5 Series. So long as it handles as nimbly as a cat, it'll stay the benchmark.
Best concept car: Skoda Vision RS
The Peugeot e-Legend wins, but at the risk of doubling or tripling up with my colleagues, I'll nominate the Skoda Vision RS. If the company's new proper VW Golf rival (forget the Rapid, it's not hard) offers a similar contemporary aesthetic, then watch out world...
That potent 180kW PHEV drivetrain mating a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor, a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission is cool too. A 70km EV range and 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds? Sign me up.
Biggest miss: The Paris Motor Show
Motor shows aren't what they once were. The thrill of a new reveal has ben eclipsed by online leaks or deliberate early media releases, once-available execs are squirrelled away or media-managed into oblivion, and buzzwords like "mobility" carry the day.
The Paris show this year was flat. A number of brands had meagre presences with no technical premieres or global news (Audi, for example), and a heap just didn't show up at all. Fiat Chrysler (including Alfa Romeo and Jeep), Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Volkswagen and Volvo all saved their money, despite all having big developments to talk about.
Even hometown hero Renault's stand was sparsely populated and devoid of anything particularly interesting. That's a bad sign. I expect this might be my last Paris show. There may be one more at best.
Kez Casey, in Melbourne
Best production car: Peugeot 508 SW
To be very clear the 508 SW's nomination is for its form factor and not its powertrains. Certainly the available engines are fine for the segment with a 168kW 1.6-litre turbo petrol or 224kW plug-in hybrid version of the same, but it's the pumped guards, chiselled front and rear, and chopped-roof styling that really elevate this car.
Plus it's a wagon. It'll likely have to cope with diminishing sales over its lifetime, but as long roof options disappear from market Peugeot's decision to stick by the format is encouraging. As if that wasn't enough, check out the available luxo trimmings in the interior and frameless door glass and its hard not to have a soft spot for the new 508 SW.
Best concept car: Smart ForEase
Almost every Smart concept conveys a sense of fun that rockets me back to the childhood joy of screaming downhill, holding into the reigns of a shoddily built billycart, praying to survive. The difference, however, is that Smarts are much better built and far safer than anything built from leftover and 'borrowed' bits of shipping pallets, school chairs and wheelbarrows.
This one doesn't even have a roof, or most of a windscreen, and its an EV so all you'll be able to hear are the shrieks of excitement from you and your passenger. It's also part boy-racer, part serious roadster, and a little bit goofy bullfrog when viewed from front on. What's not to love?
Biggest miss: DS 3 Crossback
As PSA Group's prestige arm, DS has a lot of potential. The old DS 3 hatch started off on the right foot, so too the larger DS 7 Crossback, but this lumpy, stretched-out, mismatched pile of bewildering styling themes gives me a headache.
The shark-fin detail belongs on the C-pillar, not the B-pillar, the wheelarches look disproportionately small against the high bodysides, while the shapeless headlights don't work with the rest of the car. There's some interior elements that have potential, but it mostly looks like an out-of-date Vertu mobile phone inside.
Rob Margeit, in Sydney
Best production car: BMW 8 Series
I'm a sucker for BMW grand tourers. One of my favourite cars of all-time, probably number two on my list of dream cars, is the old 635CSi which to my mind, is the spiritual forebear of the new 8 Series, if not numerically, at least philosophically.
The 8-Series looks gorgeous from any angle, but especially the rear. And with an M8 version promised, be still my beating heart.
Best concept car: Peugeot e-Legend
Old school styling that harks back to the 504 Coupe, still one of my favourite cars, It also has a bit of 1960s muscle car about it, ironic given its electric drivetrain. But perhaps the thing I love most about it, is the old Peugeot emblem adorning the grille. Nice touch, Design Team.
Biggest miss: BMW 3 Series
It looks like a shrunken 5 Series and that for me, is a problem. Those angles and lines, work on the larger sedan but contracted to fit 3 Series dimensions, they fall short.
No doubt, the new 3 Series will be a cracker on the road, loaded with BMW's latest tech, and maybe it looks better in the metal, but for me I just can't help thinking 'meh'.
Curt Dupriez, in Sydney
Best production car: Porsche 911 Speedster
With so many absentee marques I was compelled to favour a French brand – well, a traditionally French badge at least – in star for the showroom. And failed. But from stupid names (DS 3 Crossback) to daft design (Peugeot 508 Touring), nothing floated my French galleon, not even the “whip it, whip it good” Bugatti Divo.
Given that you could shove GT3 running gear into a rusty bulldozer and you’d win me over, the Porsche 911 Speedster gets my nod even if, much like the rest of the metal parked up at Porte de Versailles, it’s almost virtually surprise free.
Best concept car: Lego Bugatti Chiron
I’ve become so numb to rainbow-powered, self-driving, over-promising, never-delivering conceptual pipedreams that nothing short of plutonium combustion is likely to grab my attention. Or, perhaps, plastic.
The notion of a full 1:1-scale Bugatti Chiron made largely from Lego that actually drives is most likely to capture my eight-year-old son’s imagination the firmest, and that’s good enough for me too. After all, instilling wonder in youth is a large part of concept car