Geneva motor show hits and misses
The Geneva motor show isn’t famous for its wacky concept cars or crazy modifications of vehicles, instead you can expect plenty of sensible products that would make European fleet buyers happy and a few exotic wheels to keep Swiss billionaires amused.
Unlike the Bangkok and Tokyo motor shows, with their crazy concept cars, Geneva is a reflection of the large European cars companies with a sea of dark suits from the show attendees and a conservation tone.
Some of the major brands, such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Opel, moved away from the statuesque female models in small or tight dress standing next to their products, and instead went to sporty, young men and women who acted more as car dealers.
The Honda NSX. Picture/Liz Dobson.
Show attendee favourites this year were Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin with the brands having queues to enter the glassed off areas, while Porsche attracted the usual devotees with a continuous gaggle of fans eyeing up the products.
There were permanent crowds in front of the Bugatti Chiron while Lamborghini’s large stand had a wall of fans ogling at the Centenari.
While those marques had products that exceeded expectations, the biggest let down for me was Tesla’s Model X that has just gone in to production and also had a long waiting list.
But after seeing the SUV I don’t understand the hype and the design of the vehicle was all wrong. The front doors are normal but the two rear are hinged at the roof, creating wings.
Except the wings extend so high and so wide that I’d be amazed if you could use it in a normal sized single garage and there is no way you could operate them in a compact car park space.
I don’t know how the vehicle got signed off but it’s not a car on my wish list and I can’t see it being a future classic. Future clunker, yes.
But my winner of a future star has to be a concept vehicle from Edag in collaboration with Bosch. The front console was all screen and even includes access to your home security system so you could see someone knocking on your front door.
The Edag concept vehicle, built in conjunction with Bosche. Picture/Liz Dobson.
But best of all were the light panels over the exterior of the car that glowed. Impractical but fun.
And talking of impractical, the cringe-worthy awards of the show go to Fiat for the Kung Fu Panda inspired Panda hatch back that was white with black felt, and Citroen’s all white E-Mehari beach buggy that was styled by French fashion company Courreges,
The Kung Fu Panda. Picture/Liz Dobson.
It looked like a giant Tonka toy due to its rounded edges, but I know that my teenage daughter would love the convertible.
The Citroen E-Mehari beach buggy. Picture/ Liz Dobson.
While the majority of car brands on display stuck to the sensible, a few showed off their sci-fi type concept products, including Citroen’s now standalone brand DS and its Etense, Opel’s GT coupe, Nissan’s IDS and Mazda’s RX-Vision.
The practical and accessible winners of the show were Volvo’s V90 station wagon, the second car to come from the revamped brand, and Alfa Romeo’s sophisticated Giulia sedan.