We're back from the Paris auto show, a few millimeters of shoe leather shorter, a few Euros poorer and a few Gitanes smokier. Now, it is the time on Jalopnik when we look back on what we've seen and try to make sense of the Euro-focused cavalcade of cars and put the glitz into global context. What better way to do that than by employing the time-honored awards device. We bring you The Jalopnik Paris Show Awards: Paris Show Edition. Try the escargots, and do not tip your waitress (gratiuity is included).
1.) The More Things Change the More They Not So Much Do Award: Mini Cooper
As a matter of chaos theory, BMW says every sheetmetal-inch of the new, new Mini is different from that of the old, new one. But like a butterfly's wings acting on the weather, the Mini appears not to have been affected by the ground-up redesign. That's what we call smart engineering. Runner up: Smart Fortwo.
2.) Hey Audi, Eat a Glow Plug Award: Peugeot diesel V12
Audi showed the auto racing world a diesel engine could win LeMans. Now Peugeot, whose reputation in diesel engine building is unassailable, answers with a twin-turbo V12 of its own. A shift to oil burners would probably have made Steve McQueen punch a wall, but the modern LeMans experience embraces this kind of technological diversity. Next up, racers that run on Coq Au Vin versus rivals pulling mountains of torque from plates of Kalbsschnitzel.
3.) We Tried, But It's Still Basically a Hatchback Award: Volkswagen Scirocco Concept
Let's face it, sexing up a car that's shaped like a half-deflated balloon is a yeoman's feat, and hurling art-school grads at the problem is no guarantee of success. The hatchback construct has always been better suited to drivers than onlookers, but at the Paris show, where every second car is a hatch, Volkswagen's Iroc concept stands out like a Brazilian parade dancer at the Southern Baptist Convention. Runner up: Kia ProCeed concept.
4.) The Detroit-on-the-Seine Award for Most Promising, Unmistakably American Car in Europe: Dodge Avenger
Don't let them fool you with talk about the Kyoto Protocol, train travel and tiny sandwiches; Europeans secretly covet American muscle cars. This year in Paris, Dodge showed off its Avenger midsize sedan as an R/T-flavored concept. Of course, while Dodge's Charger would go over on the next continent like Six Flags Guantanamo, the similar muscularity in the new Avenger's lines might just find consensus enough to succeed. Just like soap. Runner up: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
5.) The McKinsey Memorial Was It Good For You? Award: Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
Alfa Romeo's gone through some sketchy design periods (read: the last 25 years). But the company's most recent production-car line amazingly combines shapes from Alfa's glory days with an artful modernism, making European rivals from Audi and BMW look like they were blasted from a quarry wall. The 8C Competizione — of which 500 will be built — is on another plane altogether. It's the most explicit reinfusion of base sexuality to motoring since, er, we're thinking. Runner up: As if.
More on the Paris show [internal]