Every year, the world’s automakers gather in Paris to offer a glimpse into a parallel universe where bigger cars aren’t necessarily better, electric propulsion is a sure bet, and the future of the automobile is almost whimsical. A universe called “Europe.”
Many of the cars and concepts shown this week at the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile (“the world’s busiest car show”) won’t ever make it to American shores, where buyers prefer pickup trucks and crossover SUVs, and long commutes mean modest electrics aren’t for everyone. But Europeans have long favored smaller vehicles fit for city life, and countries like the UK, France, and the Netherlands are moving to mandate the end of internal combustion engines in the coming decades. Which means the quirky cars in the gallery above might be the future of driving.