Expo Concept Cars 2018

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs are shown after the text of the article.

Paris – Festival Automobile International 2018

At the end of January, Paris is home to the “Festival Automobile International“, an event that was held for the thirty-third time this year. It has roots in the “Festival Automobile de Chamonix“. Rémi Depoix and Franz Hummel revived the “24 Heures de Chamonix” in 1985 and the Festival in the following year , intended to reward those who had excelled in the activities relevant to motorsport (organizers, photographers, journalists etc). Later it was decided to introduce a prize for the most beautiful car of the year, and then to extend the awards to the personalities that had played a decisive role in the evolution of the car, both in sports, commerce, or industry.

From 2001 the Festival became international and moved to Paris, first at the Ritz Hotel, then at the Grand Palais and finally at the Hotel des Invalides. In 2008 the Festival developed again, introducing its first “Exposition de Concept-Cars“, and thus becoming one of the most important events in the field of “Car Design”.

But what exactly is a “concept-car“? In fact, this generic definition encompasses a whole series of projects aimed at exploring a more or less near future. In the first place we could put the “show-cars“, heirs of the “dream-cars” of the 1950s and 1960s, definitely futurist and not expected to ever be put into production, for example the  Renault RS 2027 Formula 1. Next there are the real “concept-cars“, that is cars that anticipate the styling of future models from a manufacturer without being exactly what will be put into production, for example the Land Rover Discovery Vision. Another type of car is the “prototype“, that is a vehicle with most of the features of a future production car but which may differ in detail to the final production version often because they are used to show of future vehicle Tech which is not yet ready for everyday use. An example of this is the Citroen C-Aircross Concept. Another category is “demonstrators“, cars which already in production but fitted with  experimental features based on new technologies such as the BMW H7 Clean Energy. Finally,  we have the one-off “coachbuilt bodies” usually a unique vehicle fitted to existing mechanics showing off the work of stylists and body builders, an example is  Pininfarina Ferrari P4/5 for James Glickenhaus.

Now in its eleventh year, the “Exposition de Concept-Cars et Design Automobile” was set in the  evocative Place Vauban. Exhibited were a series of cars aimed at illustrating the various facets of the “Concept-Car“, and in parallel a fine celebration of the French contribution to design, both at home- Delahaye by Figoni & Falaschi; and abroad- Paul Bracq with the Mercedes 230 SL).

This is an event that helps push the boundaries of imagination about the future of the car whilst paying homage to the visions of the past,

Paris Expo Concept Cars 2018

BMW Z4 concept 2018

Citroen C6 G cabriolet 1931

Delahaye 135 roadster Figoni Falaschi

Jannarelly Design 1 roadster 2016

Kia Niro concept 2013

Kia Proceed concept 2017

Lamborghini Terzo Millennio concept 2017

LandRover Vision Discovery concept 2017

Ligier JS P4 concept 2017

Mazda Vision Coupé‚ concept 2017

Mercedes-Benz Maybach 6 cabriolet concept 2017

Peugeot Instinct concept 2017

Renault RS 2027 Formula 1 concept 2017

Renault Symbioz concept 2017

Talbot Lago T26 Record coach Figoni Falaschi 1948

Voisin type C15 record 1930 Yacco replica 1929

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