The 28th Edition Concept Cars Exhibition, Paris
This week sees the 28th International Automobile Festival arrive in Paris. Staged at the Hôtel National des Invalides in the 7th arrondissement, 15 concept cars, supercars and prototypes are on show, displaying the engineering and artistic prowess of international designers and manufacturers including Peugeot, Renault, BMW and Aston Martin to name a few.
Innovation, luxury and extravagance are the principle themes seen at this exposition. Italdesign Giugiaro had on display their ‘Brivido’ model, first shown last year in Geneva. The Brivido is a running prototype featuring a hybrid engine, 4 seats, ‘gull wing’ doors, and a built in iPad for the control of all the internal elements of the car. The idea is to provide comfort for all four passengers and support eco-friendly values, while maintaining the performance of a traditional sports car.
In stark contrast to this practical and technically brilliant automobile, we also saw the presentation of the ‘Lady Jag,’ winner of the ‘Grand Prix de l’Art’ of this year’s festival. The Lady Jag, theoretically, is no longer a car, it is simply a shell, beautifully and delicately carved on the outside, furnished entirely with leopard print on the inside. Gone are all the traditional features one would expect to find inside a Jaguar. It is equipped with a queen-sized bed, a mini bar and a dvd player.
Innovation in terms of materials was top of the agenda for Peugeot whose racing inspired car used raw materials to create the structure. The external shell is formed from carbon and pure copper, creating a somewhat spectacular and striking image, while the internal materials include felt, crystal and newspaper wood, produced from recycled paper.
Renault too had on display a new concept car, the Alpine A110-50. This competition car was presented at the Monaco Grand Prix last year and pays homage to the original Alpine A110 that came 50 years before. The two cars are on display together at the festival along with a line of Atelier Ruby helmets to match.
The influence of the past on the present was also clear with the Vintech P550 Tribute, whose aesthetical design stays true to the racers of the 1950’s, but yet using the best of 21st Century technology, reaching top speeds of 182mph.
The festival will be at the Hôtel National des Invalides until the 3rd of February in all its whimsical decadent glory.
by Jessica Saxby
Gloobbi Representative based in Paris