The Geneva Motor Show, for as long as it’s been running, has been a staple of the automotive calendar. Car enthusiasts everywhere wait with nervous twitches to see what it will reveal, and manufacturers recently have been all too happy to tease the new models they will be unveiling ahead of time.
This year’s event, indicated from the storm of excitement surrounding it, will be one of the biggest yet with approximately 220 exhibitors from over 30 countries showcasing around 900 vehicles.
Here, we’ve gathered all the biggest news stories, launches and unveils from the event for you, so you don’t have to go around looking for what’s what from one of the world’s biggest motor show events.
Bentley EXP-10 Speed 6 Sports Coupe Concept
Bentley surprised us with this beautiful two-seater baby brother to the Continental GT, called simply the EXP-10 Speed 6 Sport Coupe Concept. Exhale. With smaller, tighter dimensions than what we’re used to from Bentley’s sports cars, the EXP-10 Speed 6 is aimed to be a tauter, more driver-focused machine. That swept back stance and smooth curves easily make it the most visually appealing Bentley we’ve seen in, well, maybe ever. And the interior is breathtaking, like other Bentleys, but given a much fresher more modern spin. No details on the powertrain and chassis technology yet, though.
Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 SV
Following the tradition of past Lamborghinis, the SV (or Super Veloce) means a lighter, more powerful, faster, and altogether angrier version of its already fast cars. The Aventador is next in line, and this version honors that tantalizing recipe: at 1525kg, this SV is 50kg lighter than the base car, leaving the uprated 740hp 6.5-litre V12 with less in the way between it and the road, where it puts its power down through all four wheels.
McLaren P1 GTR
After a mere six months since McLaren showed us the bare-bones Design Concept at Pebble Beach, the P1 GTR in its finished form will be on display alongside the Le Mans F1 GTR that inspired its livery, both of which were filmed racing each other on track. The P1 GTR is, of course, a lighter, more powerful and generally more hard-core track-focused version of the already mind-bendingly quick road going P1, whose hybrid powertrain has been optimized to pump out a staggering 986 hp.
Following a rash of leaks, teasers and videos, here’s the next generation R8 as officially revealed by Audi. As predicted, the engine options have shrunk leaving only naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 as an option of one, but available in different variants of tunes: 540hp and 540Nm of torque for the base model or 610hp and 560Nm of torque for the range topping R8 V10 plus model. Audi says 50kg has been trimmed from the previous generation, so there's less to obstruct that extra power. There’s even an e-tron version that will be on display on the Geneva show floor. For the petrol models, Audi’s seven-speed S tronic is the only transmission on offer that sends drive to all four wheels.
Kia Sportspace Concept
We’re hoping nothing changes, as far as the design goes, for this new Kia in the transition from concept to possible production. This is our first preview of the upcoming 2016 Optima from the Korean Automaker and it’s a stunner, especially in this unexpected estate body style. It’s aggressive and has real presence yet not too outrageous to be unfeasible for mass production. Why not? We’re not sure if all or even most of the elements seen in this concept’s futuristic interior will make to the production model, but the touchscreen display and panoramic sunroof stand a good chance.
Audi Prologue Avant Concept
Audi’s Prologue coupe was our first glimpse of Audi’s new visual direction under new design chief Marc Lichte. For Geneva, this Prologue Avant will be on display to showcase what Audi’s future estate and hatchback variants might look like. Powering this gorgeous machine is an innovative 3.0 TDI engine that works in tandem with an electric motor to produce a combined output of 455 hp and 750 Nm of torque. A 14.1 kWh battery means it can travel up to 54 kilometres on electric power alone.
Aston Martin Vulcan
Aston Martin loves its V12s and it looks like the Vulcan is a swansong for an age before its collaboration with Daimler AG sees its new models fitted with AMG power plants. Produced in a very limited run of just 24 vehicles, the Vulcan houses Aston Martin’s V12, albeit one that has been bored from the normal 6.0 litres to 7.0 litres that results in a power increase to somewhere north of 800 hp. It’s poised at going up against other track specials like the McLaren P1 GTR and the La Ferrari FXX K.
Mercedes AMG GT3
Mercedes’ replacement for SLS AMG GT3 is this, the AMG GT3. A welcome change is that unlike the road-going AMT GT it’s based on, powering it won’t be the 4.0 bi-turbo V8 but the thunderous 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 from the outgoing car. It will be competing with, among others, the Porsche 911 RSR, Bentley Continental GT3, Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, and McLaren 650S GT3 in various FIA GT3 races around the world.
Citroen DS5 Facelift
This facelifted DS5 will be showing off its new look at Geneva. The Citroen flagship has been given styling cues that are “expressive and hypnotic”, or so says Citroen. It still looks like nothing else on the road, much like its predecessor, but notably features new a headlamp design and a new grille that replaces Citroen’s classic chevron badge with the DS logo.
Koenigsegg is a hypercar frontrunner – it manufactures only that type of vehicle. Its most recent One:1 was coined a ‘Megacar,’ with 1PS of power to match its 1360kg weight, equalling 1360PS or one Megawatt of power, hence the term. With the Regera, we can only speculate what Koenigsegg has done this year, although we do know they are calling it a Megacar as well. It’s been speculated that the ‘Reg’ in Regera could mean the addition of some sort of regenerative energy system, perhaps even a hybrid powertrain. Regera means “to reign” or “rule” in Swedish, if that’s any indication.
Lexus, having let the world have a good look at its new LF-SA concept ahead of its Geneva unveiling, is crossing into the subcompact-city car space with a vehicle that doesn't easily fit into the norms of that market. The LF-SA is certainly striking, combining elements of crossovers and small hatchbacks with those angular lines that Lexus has been using on their cars as of late. Over here, these cues are very pronounced - its a concept after all. If it does make it to production, it will likely slot in below CT200h in the Lexus range. Of it, they say "conceived as a luxurious, driver-focused vehicle".
Honda Civic Type R
It’s been such an arduous wait but Honda is finally showing us the production version of its newest Civic Type R - the real thing, officially. It'll be rocking an all-new 2.0 liter VTEC turbo petrol engine with direct injection that outputs 310hp and 400Nm of torque. Despite the addtion of a turbocharger, the engine's high 7000rpm redline is sure to get the adrenaline pumping and the six-speed manual gearbox answers the prayers of purists. The sprint from 0-100km/h takes just 5.7 seconds and will go on to a top speed of....wait for it....270 km/h!
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse ‘La Finale’
In a sad but inevitable conclusion to the incredible Bugatti Veyron’s 10 year production run, chassis number 450 will be the last of its kind to roll out of production. Dubbed ‘La Finale’, the final example is a Grand Sport Vitesse that will grace the show floor of the 2015 Geneva Motor Show on behalf of its 449 siblings one last time before it rides off into the sunset. It will feature numerous bespoke details to commemorate the end of its production. Bugatti has said little else on its plans for a replacement for the Veyron except that they will start work on it in the future.
With the QX30, Infiniti has made it clear that it intends to add a new compact crossover to its 2016 lineup. The modern ‘dual wave’ definition lines along the body are cues we’ve seen on other Infiniti models but seem more pronounced and deliberately rugged here. There’s no doubt it’s got a great look, and that it will nudge more people into the crossover market. It shares its underpinnings with the latest Mercedes A-Class, which could mean some overlap in engine choices as well. Should it enter production, we're sure the design would have been subdued although hopefully not by much.
Bentley’s entrance into luxury SUV segment has been very skilfully kept under wraps prior to its 2015 Geneva debut, mostly, and we’re just plain old curious to see what they’ve got up their sleeve. It’s possible that we’ll see Bentley’s 6.0 litre twin-turbo W12 engine in the upper ranges and perhaps even a Bentley tuned version of the VW Group’s 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 in the more base configurations. Underpinning the Bentayga will be the VW Group’s new aluminium platform shared with the next generation of Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, and Audi Q7.
The new Tucson will be going into a very competitive market occupied by the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, but prior to that it’ll be at the Geneva Motor Show where everyone can have a proper look at what Hyundai is bringing to the fight. There are two petrol engine options as well as two diesels, either can be mated to a seven-speed dual clutch or a six-speed manual. The all-new Tucson rests on an entirely new platform and is expected to be on sale in Europe after its Geneva debut.
Built on Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix platform, this new Touran is bigger and wider than the model it replaces but with a substantial 62kg drop in weight. On the exterior, it adopts the harder, more squared lines of the MK7 VW Golf. There are three diesel as well as three petrol engine choices available to go along with either a six-speed manual, six-speed DSG, or seven-speed DSG transmission options.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.