10 things we learned from the 2018 Paris auto show

Peugeot E-Legend Concept, 2018 Paris auto show

The 2018 Paris auto show delivered a handful of surprises for American car enthusiasts, albeit l’addition attached to each was mostly weighty.

This year’s most significant reveal for U.S. buyers certainly came from Mercedes-Benz—although which one is debatable. The new 2019 BMW 3-Series was the year’s biggest newsmaker, but what didn’t show was nearly as important.

Here’s our list of surprises, in no particular order of importance:

2019 BMW 3-Series, 2018 Paris auto show

BMW has a lot to prove…

The 2019 BMW 3-Series finally landed after a long season of teases and testing, rumors and speculation. For buyers in the U.S., the 2019 M340i ditches its manual transmission for an 8-speed automatic and the newest 3er may not have an available manual transmission outside of the M3—if it even shows there.

The 3-Series doesn’t offer any new groundbreaking tech or powertrains—at least not yet. “Purists” left the room a long time ago and switched to the 2-Series, so what’s left is a tech-heavy sedan that may have an interesting plug-in powertrain due next year. If the rollout for the 5-Series taught us anything, it’s that the 330e could very well be the new entry-level 3-Series. 

2019 BMW Z4, 2018 Paris auto show

…and the Z4 has even more

The revived BMW Z4 showed in the flesh in Paris and attracted just as many eyeballs as the new 3-Series. The Z4 bowed weeks ago, but it was the first appearance in Europe for the two-seat roadster and its interior attracted far more eyeballs than the exterior.

The collaboration with Toyota had many wondering if BMW’s powertain can save a somewhat compromised interior layout designed to serve two masters.

We know BMW’s turbocharged inline-6 is strong, but is it tough enough to carry weighty expectations for that droptop?

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