Motoring editor Liz Dobson reports from the floors of the Geneva motor show
While the focus has been on SUVs for the past few years, this year’s Geneva motor show has plenty of flash and dash on show.
The first day of European’s prominent vehicle exhibition opened today (Tuesday NZ time) with the first of two full media days before the public could check out the vast products.
Bugatti has used the show to reveal the Chiron, Porsche has had two world premieres, Lamborghini flashed the Centenari, Aston Martin’s DB11 was unveiled, Ferrari had crowds standing on neighbouring brands’ cars to see the GTC4 Lusso uncovered while Koenigsegg patiently explained the Agera final edition to a small group of international media.
The Aston Martin DB11 drew crowds on the first press day of the Geneva motor show. Photo / Liz Dobson
The vehicle manufacturers were out to show that the affects of the GFC were long forgotten and that consumers wanted exotics back on the road – or at least on display to yearn after.
While the 2014 and 2015 motor shows from around the world were highlighting SUVs of all sizes, the Switzerland-based event was about sports cars and definitely family-unfriendly vehicles or luxurious models.
BMW was the first major company to reveal at the show with the beefed up 7 Series, M760Li xDrive, while Mercedes-Benz let the new E-Class sedan and C-Class cabriolet shine on stage.
But the buzz before the show was about the Chiron, DB11 and Maserati’s play in the luxury SUV market with the Levante.
While the Chiron looked straight out of Tron and was outstanding looking, befitting the brand, the Levante was polarizing with its huge concave grille that looked like a whale’s open mouth.
I spotted a Lamborghini senior staff member staring at the Levante, with his arms folded and a critical look on his face, though with that company about to bring out the Urus SUV, he couldn’t be too judgmental.
The New Bugatti Chiron at the Geneva motor show. Photo / Liz Dobson.
Aston Martin’s DB11 drew the crowd while as usual at motor shows, Porsche had the lingering fans at the stand for the world premiere of the 918 Boxster S and 911 R.
Kudos goes to Lamborghini for the Centenario with its innovative look that makes a stand out against the Huracan and Aventador.
While Kiwi superstar Lorde may have sung about Maybach in her song Royals, she was the sound track for Rolls-Royce’s new Black Badge series aimed at younger buyers.
The Rolls Royce Black Badge series unveiled at Geneva. Photo / AP.
She sang a melancholy version of Everybody Wants to Rule the World, that evoked the dark and moody vibe Rolls-Royce was aimed for with the series, with the spokesman telling the media, “the spirit of ecstasy (symbol on the bonnet) is now a dark vamp”.
While the show may have been about exotics and luxury cars, SUVs were still prominent with Kia revealing the new Niro compact crossover.
Audi unveils the Q2 at the Geneva motor show. Photo / Liz Dobson.
The other big European premium player, Audi, had the all-new Q2 on display, a compact crossover based on the A2 platform, and compact it is too.
And if you mocked the Range Rover Evoque convertible then suppress your laugh because Volkswagen has produced its own version of the four-wheel-drive soft-top with the T-Cross Breeze concept.
* We will report on Day 2 of the show and cover some more unusual vehicles on display.