The first big international motor show kicks off this week on Thursday until 15th March in Geneva, Switzerland. The Geneva Motor Show is always a big highlight of the motoring calendar as it often features some very exotic and prohibitively expensive dream machines. Here’s our pick of the show:
A huge amount of buzz around the show centres on the fantastical, eye wateringly expensive, effortlessly sexy and powerful cars. But we want to take some time to appreciate the more down to earth cars. Such as the Ford Focus RS, yes, the RS name is back with all wheel drive and 318bhp and a 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine. The Honda Civic Type R finally takes a bow as Honda’s newest and hottest hatchback. A lot has been said about this car and now we get to see it at last. With 300bhp and a turbocharged 2.0 litre engine this should be a nippy little number. Toyota are displaying facelifted versions of the Avensis and the Auris. The third generation of the Honda Jazz is also expected to be there. Vauxhall is reviving the Viva name with a new budget city car that starts from around £7,500 and is said to be ‘full of character’ according to Tim Tozer, Vauxhall MD. Check out the twin blade slashes across the sides and the electronic gizmos to see what he means.
Renault are debuting the Kadjar which they hope will rival the Nissan Qashqai and is their entry into the lucrative C-SUV market. It smacks of the Qashqai at first glance but the wavy design helps to set it apart, although it is built on the same platform. The two cars share a navigation system, boot arrangement, automatic parking system, road sign recognition and reversing camera systems and it is believed that they will have similar engines. The Kadjar is a crossover and it can go off road but don’t mistake it for a Land Rover. This car is very important for Renault as last year one in five cars sold globally were crossovers and the Kadjar could help them get a nice chunk of this market. Renault have a strong global approach with this model as they are building the European market cars in Spain and Renault-Nissan are working with Chinese firm Dongfeng to build the cars for the market in China. The Kadjar will be on sale in the UK in the autumn this year.
Hyundai are pretty busy at Genva. They are displaying the i30 facelift, a turbocharged version with 183bhp. Plus, a i40 facelift, with upgraded engines, a new transmission feature and updated styling. The i20 coupe, a sleek three door version of the i20 is also presented along with the Hyundai Tucson which is replacing the current ix35.
We can’t talk about the Geneva Motor Show without mentioning the luxurious and incredible. Our big favourite is the McLaren P1 GTR, in black and yellow. Sadly it is track only so mere mortals can only look and admire. But there is lots to admire. McLaren tell us that it has 10% more downforce than the P1 road car and goes at 150 mph. It creates 660kg more in downforce than the P1 road car. To get hold of this car you will have to pay shedloads of money and jump through some hoops with McLaren just to drive it on track.
There’s also a huge amount of buzz around the Aston Martin Vulcan which will be unveiled at the show. This is also a track only circuit car worth a cool £1.8 million in the UK. It is said to be ‘the most extreme Aston yet”. It doesn’t look like any previous Aston Martin and indicates a new attitude from the brand. Unlike earlier Aston cars this has a very low nose and slimline headlamps. Aston says of the Vulcan that is has a “design language hinting at the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars”. At 800bhp and 7.0 litre V12 engine it will be pretty fast! James Bond eat your heart out. If Mr Bond does want one he had better hurry up as only 24 have been made.
The Lamborghini Aventador SV with extra power and a top speed of 220 mph is going to be unveiled and we are excited to see this as no one has even caught a glimpse of this yet. Mercedes is going to present a GT3 racing version of the new AMG GT sports car and Ferrari will be debuting the 488 GTB with its 661 bhp turbo engine.
Morgan are being very mysterious about the new sports car they are showcasing at the show. So far all we know is that it is called Aero 8 and they have tweeted a sneak peek of only the rear wing. This teaser plus a previously released official design sketch indicates that the car will have Morgan’s traditional long bonnet and retro look curves. The picture also seems to hint at similarities to Morgan’s Aeromax and Aero Supersports vehicles. We can’t wait to see it.
If you’re interested in concept cars we hear that Bentley will have a GT two seat concept car that hints at their future production ideas. Audi’s Prologue Avant will reveal how Audi are evolving their styling on their estate models. The Nissan Sway is Nissan’s new concept car and is said to preview the new generation Micras. Vauxhall have got the Sport Coupe Concept GTE that offers a look at the next coupe concept.
Although Geneva usually showcases new models and introduces concept cars there is one sad goodbye this year. Bugati will be presenting the 450th and last Veyron hypercar produced and they have dubbed it ‘La Finale’. Recently sold to an unnamed buyer in the middle east it will be displayed next to the first Veyron at the show. The Veyron will be replaced by another car, rumours are that the name will be Chiron but details and times are still unknown.
All in all it looks like there will be lots of different cars on display and much to get excited about. Visit the show’s Facebook page to find out more.