BMW Concept Active Tourer, 2012 Paris Auto Show
BMW Concept Active Tourer
The Concept Active Tourer may be about the same size as a 1-Series, but it's a fairly radical departure from previous BMWs. For one, it's front-wheel drive, breaking with a long tradition of rear-drive machines from the marque. Next, it uses a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder engine paired with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, for quoted economy of up to 94 mpg.
And finally, although dubbed a 'Concept', it looks remarkably ready for production--as you can see in our live Paris gallery. Meanwhile BMW's i3 concept was also on display in Paris.
Citroen DS3 Electrum
Citroen hasn't sold a car in the U.S. since 1974, but that doesn't stop us being intrigued by them. The DS3 is a popular subcompact over in Europe, rivaling the MINI Cooper, and an electric version plays perfectly into its slightly upmarket image.
Range is relatively short at only 75 miles, but Citroen is pushing the car as a city-biased vehicle, perfect for cruising the streets of Paris for designer gear. There are no solid production plans, but we've love to have a drive.
Lexus LF-CC Concept
You can buy a hybrid version of every Lexus currently on sale, so the company takes its hybrids seriously. So much so that many of its concept vehicles--like the striking LF-CC coupe due at Paris--push that technology from the start.
Likely to be the basis of a successor to the current Lexus IS, the LF-CC previews many of the design elements we've seen on existing production models and previous concepts, including the boldest yet interpretation of the 'Spindle' grille. Power is from a brand-new 2.5-liter hybrid drivetrain, which should offer both high performance and low emissions. Check out a live gallery of the car here.
Mercedes B Class Electric Drive
'Electric Drive' now replaces E-Cell as Mercedes-speak for electric mobility, and save for smart's model of the same name, the B Class is first to use the moniker.
The electric drivetrain makes best use of the B Class's sandwich floor, keeping weight low down in the chassis and keeping the cabin free of intrusions. It'll do 124 miles on a charge, and puts 228 pounds-feet of torque to the road. Also in Paris, Mercedes showed its production electric SLS AMG supercar, and the smart BRABUS electric drive.
It wouldn't be an auto show without another unusual smart concept lurking inside the exhibition halls, and the Forstars is the latest of those. Similar in style to the For-US that debuted earlier in the year, the Forstars is a glass-roofed fastback coupe with--bizzarely--a projector mounted on the hood, for watching films.
It's also electrically-driven, using the same drivetrain you'll find in the third-generation fortwo electric drive, another car likely to be on display in Paris. That means a range of around 87 miles--if you don't drain the battery watching films, of course. Check out our full gallery here.