Motor shows are largely predictable: we know which cars are coming because the car company PR departments have been drip-feeding us for months. Despite that, there's plenty that happens to make every show unique, and memorable for more than just a list of debuts. Here are the best and worst things about Paris 2010.
Lotus new car insanity
Jaws hit the floor as Lotus unveiled a shock plan so grand that we'd call it 'ambitious' even if Audi did it. Six brand new models (most set to cost six-figure sums) and a handful of A-list celebs to unveil them. We're surprised Mickey Rourke's face didn't melt under the heat of the lights and frantic keyboard action as Lotus went mad. A brilliant motor show circus.
Alfa Romeo stand girls
We don't know who books Alfa Romeo's stand girls, but that person deserves a pay rise. Not because we're shallow, but because of Alfa's uncanny ability to blindside everyone into forgetting it's got no new metal by utilising the show's most stunning hostesses. Paris was no exception.
Junior WRC revival
MINI, Citroen and Ford unveiled new World Rally Championship cars this year, signalling that rallying is about to get interesting again. The cars look the business - all spoilers, scoops and lights - and their 1.6-litre turbocharged engines are production-based. Could this mean we'll soon see fast and fun rally-bred supermini specials for sale in showrooms? We do hope so.
It's not just the Jaguar C-X75 itself, but the whole concept of car makers looking into new ways of propelling us in both a fast and eco-friendly fashion. Who'd have thought that two turbine engines - like those used to propel a jet - would be a great way to charge the battery of an electric car? More of that stuff in future, please.
Car companies often say they'll 'gauge reaction' to a motor show concept before deciding whether to build it. This year's Audi Quattro Concept proves that's not just hot air. The Quattro caused a real stir in Paris, and already Audi has been so overwhelmed that it's all but confirmed it will build the car. It will be light, fast and more exclusive than the R8 but significantly cheaper. Nice.
Porsche and Ferrari may claim special significance for their new chop-top creations, but these limited edition specials go beyond exclusive and into the realms of extortion. Maybe we're just jealous, but £140,000 for what is essentially an open-top Porsche 911 Carrera S is outrageous. Mind, Ferrari has shifted all 80 examples of its £340,000 SA APERTA, so what do we know?
Lamborghini promised nothing before Paris, in fairness, but it did allow us to speculate for some time that the Murcielago replacement would be there; the steady trickle of teaser images suggested something big was afoot. What we got, the Sesto Elemento, was quite cool but ultimately pointless - Lamborghini will never make it. Once the smoke has cleared, that's disappointing.
Is it just us, or have electric supermini concepts been about to revolutionise urban transport for the last decade? Paris this year hosted the Nissan Townpod, SEAT IBE and the Kia Pop among others. Only Citroen had the bottle to put a petrol engine in its small futuristic concept, the Lacoste. Please, stop making concepts and put a viable, affordable electric car in a showroom.
Excess is out
Notable was the lack of proper, old-fashioned excess in Paris. A Brabus Mercedes SLS Gullwing had been rumoured, but didn't show up. In fact, Brabus' only new offering was a body kit for the humble Hyundai i20 - a sign of the times, perhaps? Sensible, yes, but we like our cars extreme at a motor show. Well, maybe not quite Mansory Rolls-Royce levels of extreme.
This applies to all motor shows, though it was particularly bad in Paris - especially at the Lotus stand. Imagine being one of literally hundreds of people, each armed with a camera and all trying to get the same clear shot of the freshly unveiled car so it can be online immediately. It's not pretty, and it's not enjoyable. The things we do for you...