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by Michael Hines
Supercars were the stars at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
The best part of any auto show is all of the crazy supercar concepts and production models that debut. The 2012 Paris Motor Show is no exception to the rule. The hottest cars at the show also happened to be some of the fastest and most powerful. What makes these supercars so awesome is that many of them weren't created as design studies (the exception being the Peugeot Onyx). No, the majority of the supercars featured here will be built and sold to the public.
Whether the average person can ever afford an all-electric SLS or a McLaren is another issue altogether. Mercedes-Benz showed off its commitment to eco-friendly performance when it unveiled the SLS AMG Electric Drive. The all-electric SLS is powered by four electric motors producing 747hp and 737 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes says the SLS AMG Electric Drive can do 0 to 62 in 3.9 seconds, hit an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph and run for 150 miles. Pricing is set at $550,000.
McLaren did its best to one-up Mercedes-Benz at the 2012 Paris Motor Show when it revealed its upcoming P1 concept. The P1 is designed to be a stud both on the streets and on the track. McLaren has incorporated much of its racing technology into the design of this concept. Nothing is known about the engine, but it's reasonable to expect it to be as powerful, or more powerful than, the MP4-12C's 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8. Expect a KERS hybrid system to boost both mpg and horsepower.
Lamborghini didn't show anything new concepts at Paris 2012, but they did roll out a refined Lamborghini Aventador. New additions to the top-of-the-line Lamborghini include a retuned suspension, stop/start ignition and cylinder deactivation, option 20- and 21-inch wheels and a new carbon fiber package. If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
Peugeot stole the spotlight at Paris 2012 with its Onyx supercar. The hybrid concept features a 3.7-liter twin-turbo diesel V8 with 600 horsepower and an 80hp electric engine with regenerative braking. The most striking feature of the concept is its raw copper side panels. The copper contrasts well with the lightweight acrylic and carbon fiber that makes up the rest of the supercar's body. Interior-wise, the Onyx can best be described as Spartan.