2015-geneva-motor-show

Earlier this week the 85th Geneva Motor Show kicked off and sent the motoring world into a frenzy. With jaw-dropping premieres left and right it was a motor show not to be missed. Previous Geneva shows have always been crowd pleasers with a surprise or two on hand. This year’s show was no exception. Perhaps the biggest star this year was Koenigsegg’s mental 1800bhp/1323kW Regera hypercar. There were no hints or clues about the Regera before its launch, which was unusual in a time full of “leaks” and sneak peaks.

Along with real show stopping bedroom poster concept cars were more down to earth cars such as the new Focus RS, Civic Type R, and Skoda Superb. As the Geneva Motor Show is one of the earlier shows in the motoring calendar it also gives manufacturers the opportunity to show the world a glimpse of what to expect from them in the coming months. Companies such as Audi, Suzuki, Aston Martin, Volkswagen, Lexus, Nissan, and Mitsubishi showed off concepts which hint at what the next generation of their lineups will look like. Some might even make it on showroom floors by the end of the year. So brace yourself as here is a quick and brief round-up of some of the new metal at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

Aston Martin: DBX Concept, Vantage GT3, & Vulcan

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Aston Martin did a clever thing with the three new cars they had on show. Leading up to their official debuts at Geneva, Aston released photos of the Vantage GT3 and the Vulcan to keep everyone occupied. This gave them the perfect opportunity to throw a curveball at us in the shape of the DBX Concept.

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It’s part GT coupe part SUV and previews the possibility of Aston Martin expanding it’s lineup in the future. Hey, if Porsche, Maserati, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce can have a crack at a crossover then why not Aston? Interestingly the DBX isn’t powered by a V8 or V12, it’s a pure EV. Hmm…

Audi: R8, Prologue Avant Concept

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Speaking of EVs isn’t the Audi R8 e-Tron one cool looking thing? If you weren’t convinced of the second generation R8‘s styling before then perhaps the e-Tron version might change that. The changes may not be that different to the petrol power R8 but the new grilles, different sideblade designs, and new wheels give it the all important sci-fi look an EV needs.

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Also on the Audi stand is the Prologue Avant Concept. This shares the same 3.0 TDI hybrid powertrain as the Q7 e-Tron which has a combined output of 455bhp/334kW, not bad for a diesel hybrid. The Prologue also hints at what Audi’s high end cars such as the A6, A7, and A8 will look like when their replacements hit the market.

Bentley: EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept, Facelift Continental GT

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The EXP 10 was another surprise at Geneva. No one saw this coming, a drop-dead gorgeous Bentley two-seater set to take on the best supercars out there. There’s even rumours it could even be a hybrid. No, it hasn’t been confirmed to go into production, yet, but if it does it’ll be sold alongside the Continental GT. It won’t replace it and it won’t be a less expensive version either. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Speaking of the Continental GT it’s also received a mild facelift. Now it looks more aggressive than before though maybe it’s just me but does the front bumper have a whiff of Volvo R-Design about it?

Bugatti: Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale

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With all the Bugatti photos on the interweb you’d be forgiven for thinking there were about a couple thousand of the damn things around. Especially since production started way back in 2007. But no, the 450th Veyron was on show at Geveva before its Middle Eastern owner takes delivery of it. The very last Veyron is a Grand Sport Vitesse and is aptly named La Finale, The Final. So that’s that then, the end of an era. We wait with high hopes for what Bugatti will come up with next. If what rumours suggest are true their next car will be a development of the Veyron project as opposed to a completely new car. Chances of it being a hybrid are high. Here’s hoping they make it a bit prettier this time around.

Ferrari: 488 GTB, F12 Berlinetta Lusso by Touring

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No need to worry about that on the Ferrari stand. Pretty cars galore. The 458 Italia’s replacement, the 488 GTB, is arguable even prettier than the car it replaces. Like a lovechild of the LaFerrari and 458, the 488’s design is so good you can forgive it for ditching the naturally aspirated V8 for a smaller, turbocharged V8. Still, with 660bhp/485kW who bloody cares about natural aspiration.

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Not officially a Ferrari but based on the awesome F12 is the Lusso by Touring. Touring are the same people who gave use the Alfa 8C based Disco Volante, which was a masterpiece of design. Now they’ve turned their attention to the already good looking F12 and made it classically beautiful. Ferrari GTs of old have clearly inspired the designers because this thing just screams Riviera glamour. Well, that and it also screams power. The F12’s 6.3-litre 740bhp/544kW V12 remains unchanged.

Ford: Focus RS

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For first time in the Focus RS’s three-generation history it’s now gone AWD. In other words this is the Escort Cosworth all over again. Except this has something the old Escort Cossie never had; Drift Mode. Forget smart watches, Drift Mode is the must-have-gadget of the year. It’s pretty straightforward, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It directs torque and power from the Mustang-sourced 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine to the rear-axle for some oversteer action. With “in excess of 320bhp//235kW” on tap there should be lots of opportunities to take advantage of Drift Mode. Those looks, that engine, and Drift Mode, the new Focus RS will surely win over the hearts of every man and child.

Honda: Civic Type R

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That is, unless they prefer the new Civic Type R. More than a riced up Civic this is one serious performance machine. It’s just broken the Nurburgring lap record for a front wheel drive car. It managed a 7:50.63 around the Green Hell, or around 4 seconds quicker than previous record holder the RenaultSport Megane 275 Trophy-R. That’s thanks to a new 2.0-litre turbo VTEC engine that develops 310bhp/228kW and 400NM of torque. Top speed is, as Honda claims, a class-leading 270 km/h. All this in a front wheel drive car. But as this is Honda and not some deranged serial killer there are some clever bits and pieces to keep those front wheels from exploding. Something called the Dual Axis Strut Front Suspension is said to help reduce torque steer while the Adaptive Damper System continuously enables independent control of each wheel.

Koenigsegg: Regera

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If you want power though, you’ll have to get a Koenigsegg Regera. Only 80 will be made and each one will cost an eye-watering amount of money. But the numbers do speak for themselves, and they pretty much sell the car too. Powering it is a 5.0-litre twin-turbo V8 which develops 1100bhp/808kW and is mated to three electric motors producing a total of 700bhp/515kW. Combined that gives a total output of 1800bhp/1323kW and 2100NM of toque. 0-100 km/h in 2.7 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 12 seconds, and 0-400 km/h in under 20 seconds. Additionally, 150 km/h to 250 km/h is done in 3.2 seconds. Top speed is estimated to be around 410 km/h.

Lamborghini: Aventador LP750-4 SV

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If the Aventador was lacking anything, power and dramatic looks weren’t it. That hasn’t stopped Lamborghini from giving it a 50bhp increase and even crazier styling. Power is now up at 750bhp and 690NM from the 6.5-litre V12 engine. That means performance figures of 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of over 350 km/h. As with other SV Lambos weight is down by 50kgs to 1525kg. Then there’s the styling. Aggression and aero seem to be the theme here. There’s an angrier front bumper, deeper side sills, and a new rear bumper/diffuser combo to die for. Oh and that mad fixed rear wing too. Yes, this is the quintessential supercar poster.

Land Rover: Range Rover Evoque Facelift

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So the Evoque has been given a facelift brining new LED headlights, new front bumper, new grille designs, and new wheels. Inside there’s a new 8-inch screen with a new infotainment system, new seats, and door casings. Though I can’t spot any differences.

Lexus: LF-SA Concept

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I’ll have whatever Lexus’s designers are on. If the LF-SA Concept doesn’t catch your eye then I don’t know what will. It looks part deep sea creature, part prop of a sci-fi film. If you ever though Lexus were a bit bland, this thing is full of wasabi zest. It features a new take on the now signature Lexus spindle grille as well as some new found surfacing on the body. This points towards a smaller hatchback to rival the likes of the Mini, Citroen DS3, and Alfa MiTo. If it does go into production and if Lexus’s past concepts are anything to go by then it should look pretty much like this. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is another story.

Lotus: Evora 400

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The new Evora 400 is 22kgs lighter, has a new aluminium chassis, and a new supercharged 3.5-litre V6. As the name suggests the engine now produces 400bhp and 410NM of torque. That means the Evora 400 can get from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and all the way to 300 km/h. A 6-speed manual with a limited slip differential or a 6-speed automatic will be available. As good as all this is, where’s all those new Lotus concepts we promised back in 2010? Where’s the new Esprit, Elan, and Elise? How long can Lotus continue making the same cars?

McLaren: 675LT & P1 GTR

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The 675LT is a 650S with more power, less weight, a larger ‘Longtail’ airbrake. Like the old F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ the 675LT is also 100kgs lighter than its siblings, now weighing 1230kg. The weight reduction has been achieved by extensive use of carbon fibre and removing any unnecessary equipment such as air conditioning. As the name suggests the 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 now produces 675bhp, 25 more than the 650S and suspciously more than the 488 GTB. That gives the 675LT a power-to-weight ratio of 549bhp per tonne. Get in.

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Also on show is the McLaren P1 GTR. A 1000bhp track weapon that speaks for itself better than any words I could ever type. Mega, mega awesome car.

Mercedes Benz: G500 4×4-2 Concept, S600 Pullman Maybach, & AMG GT3

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Say what you will about Mercedes Benz, but you can’t say they’re not diverse. They showed off three new cars, all of which are very different. The G500 4×4-2 Concept takes what Mercedes learned from the G63 AMG 6×6 but put into a more practical four-wheeled package. Instead of a massive AMG 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 there’s now a more practical 4.7-litre bi-turbo V8 packing 420bhp. It’s all very practical. Except for the estimated $400k price tag.

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If that’s not expensive enough for you then the S600 Pullman Maybach me be the solution. The last word in German luxury the S600 Pullman Maybach echoes previous luxury German limos such as the 600 Pullman and Maybach 62. Prices for the Pullman Maybach “start from half a million euros”, around NZ$740,000 and for that you do get quite a lot of car for the money. 6.5 metres worth of car to be exact. You get two seats in the front, four in the rear and unparalleled levels of luxury in between. Powering this palace on wheels is a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 with 523bhp/390kW and 830NM of torque Lots of power for the rich and powerful.

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But if it’s power you want then perhaps the AMG GT3 is for you. Essentially it’s the FIA GT3 spec version of AMG’s new GT Coupe but instead of a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 (Mercedes sure do love their bi-turbos) it has the SLS’s old 6.2-litre V8. The AMG GT’s good looks with the SLS’s legendary V8, for me car’s couldn’t get more perfect.

Mitsubishi: L200 & XR-PHEV II Concept

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Mitsubishi showed off to very different utility vehicles. The new L200/Triton bears Mitsubishi’s new design language in an attempt to be more civilised. It’s powered by a new 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine. It’ll go on sale in NZ on April 1 with prices starting from $34,790.

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Don’t expect to see the XR-PHEV II in Mitsubishi showrooms anytime soon though. This is a follow up to XR-PHEV Concept we saw at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. This time it has a more look closer to production, perhaps hinting at the next generation ASX.

Nissan: Sway Concept

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Nissan, for the love of god please make this. It’s a very good looking hatchback, there’s not much else more to it than that. Nissan calls it a design exercise to see how their new design language would look on a European hatchback. We’ve already seen this new look on the new Nissan Murano and Nissan Maxima. The large ‘V’ shaped grille, the pronounced creases on the body, and the kicked up C-pillar echo those found in the larger American-market cars. Let’s hope they make their way to Nissan’s global cars too (looking at you Micra, Juke, Note, Pulsar, Almera, Altima, and Pathfinder).

Porsche: 911 GT3 RS & Cayman GT4

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Hardcore doesn’t even begin to describe the new 911 GT3 RS. It now has 500bhp/368kW of power and 460NM of torque. 0-100 km/h is over and done with in 3.3 seconds. It’s 10kgs lighter than the 911 GT3 (now 1420kg). The widebody comes from the 911 Turbo and utilises lightweight materials in its construction. The roof is made of magnesium and the wings and lids are carbon fibre. There’s a longer front splitter and of course the rear wing is hard to miss. Overall it looks suitably badass. Porsche claims it’ll lap the Nurburgring in under 7 minutes and 20 seconds. In other words quicker than a Carrera GT. Who cares if it’s PDK only now.

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If you must have a manual with your Porsche GT car then may I introduce you to the new Cayman GT4. It might not have the same headline numbers as the GT3 RS but 385bhp/283kW on tap it has more than enough go to match the show. Personally, I think the GT4 is best looking Cayman ever. And as a package it could very well be the best driver’s car Porsche makes.

Renault: Clio RS220 Trophy EDC

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Following the success of previous RenaultSport Trophy cars is this new Clio RS220 Trophy. With an extra 20bhp/15kW and 40NM of torque (now 220bhp/161kW and 280NM) under its belt, the Clio RS220 is poised and ready to take on anyone who questions it for not having a manual gearbox option. The EDC paddle shift transmission has been tweaked to give up to 50 percent faster changes than before. It also sits closer to ground, has a stiffer chassis, and faster steering. Expect these to be sold in limited numbers. Your move Fiesta ST.

Skoda: Superb

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Okay, a far cry from the Aventador SV or the Bentley EXP 10 but you have to admit this isn’t a bad looking thing. It’s full of clever tech such as adaptive cruise control, full LED headlights, and even Apple’s Car Play system. As it’s based on the versatile MQB platform it shouldn’t be bad to drive either. No it won’t tempt executives away from their 5-Series or E-Class but it will keep taxi drivers happy.

Suzuki: iK-2 Concept & iM-4 Concept

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Suzuki have been in no-man’s land for a while. For the life of me I can’t remember what they have in their current lineup, except for the sweet little Swift Sport. But with these two new concepts previewing a small crossover and a Fiesta-sized hatchback, it seems Suzuki have found their way back home. They look good don’t they? Let’s hope they hit showrooms relatively unchanged and with the fun found in the Swift.

Volkswagen: Sport Coupe GTE Concept

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This is Volkswagen’s vision at taking on the likes of the Mercedes CLS, BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, and Audi A7. This wouldn’t be the first time VW has tried taking on established players in the executive arena, anyone remember the Phaeton? This time they’ve stepped up the design steaks. The GTE Concept, ambitious as it is, is quite a handsome looking thing. Not only does it preview the possibility of a four-door coupe from VW but it also points to where VW’s designs are heading. Power comes from a 3.0-litre TFSI V6 mated to an electric motor. Total output is rated at 380bhp/279kW and 500NM of torque.

So that’s Geneva done for another year. It’s shown us some great new cars and given us something to look forward to in the next few months.

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