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Paris Auto Show 2010 Highlights

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While American car shows tend to be big on pickup trucksand SUVs, the Paris Auto Show, which ran October 2–17, emphasizes elegance andstyle, with a focus on smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The big number oneveryone’s mind wasn’t top speed or horsepower but carbon dioxide emissions, asEuropean manufacturers strive to meet stringent environmental standards.

That’s not to say the vehicleson display were all about boring practicality. Concept designs from Jaguar,Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Maserati,Porsche and others offered a peek at the future of driving, while a bevy of newmodels revealed what’s in store for the coming year. Just as intriguing was theopportunity to view cars from companies like Citroën, Peugeot, Fiat, Lotus,Alfa Romeo and Renault that never reach American shores. At the height of urbanchic, meanwhile, were electric versions of the scooters so common on Parisianstreets.

The show’s eight exhibit hallsat the Porte de Versailles, along the city’s southern edge, were rightfullyfocused on the new. But one hall was devoted to the past, offering amuseum-quality display of 44 classic vehicles that was not to be missed.


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