This morning the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre opened its doors for the opening day of the Mondial de l'Automobile or Paris Motor Show. The biennial event always attracts most of the major manufacturers, who try their best to impress in the 'city of lights'. Perfectly suited to that occasion is no doubt the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive, which is the most powerful electric production car. It features four electric motors, one in each wheel, which produce a combined 740 bhp. The SLS Coupe nevertheless has a range of 250 km. Over at rivals Audi, most eyes will be on the Crosslane Coupe show car. Constructed from lightweight materials, this small cross over is powered by a sophisticated hybrid drivetrain that consists of a purpose-built petrol engine and two electric motors. A little closer to production ready is the Volkswagen Golf GTI Concept. Based on the recently introduced seventh generation Golf, the upcoming GTI model will include all the familiar elements like the DSG gearbox and the turbocharged four cylinder engine, now good for as much as 230 hp. One of its rivals will be the all-new Renault Clio R.S., which for the first time also uses a dual clutch gearbox. This is mated to a 1.6 litre turbo engine that produces a tat under 200bhp.
Italian sports car manufacturers Lamborghini and Maserati did not have brand new models in Paris but instead revealed extensively revised products. The former launched a face-lifted Gallardo, complete with a new front and rear end and many more detail changes. Maserati will expand the line-up with the GranCabrio MC, combining performance underpinnings with a glorious open body. In a vaguely familiar announcement, the company also disclosed plans to increase production to 50,000 cars per year with a new models including the Ghibli being added to the range in the near future.
Hyundai underlined its intention to return to rallying with this i20, which is ready to compete in the World Rally Championship. Local heroes Peugeot, meanwhile, took the wraps off the 208 R5, due to replace the popular 207 S2000 for use in local and regional events.

Enjoy the links:

2012 Audi Crosslane Coup - Images, Specifications and Information

2013 Hyundai i20 WRC - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 Maserati GranCabrio MC - Images, Specifications and Information

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 Peugeot 208 R5 - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 Renault Clio R.S. EDC - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 Volkswagen Golf GTI Concept - Images, Specifications and Information