Hits and bigger hits from Geneva
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Fancy a drone to work? Maybe you are in the market for a hypercar, or is small hatchback more suited to your budget? Then the Geneva motor show had vehicles of all sizes and motilities.
While the Opel sale to PSA, Bretix and Trump dominated press conferences, out on the stands there was a huge array of products and concepts to make the GFC a distance memory for European brands.
While the big names – BMW and Audi – used the opportunity to show new addition to their line up such as a 5 Series wagon and RS5, Mercedes-Benz celebrated AMG’s 70th with the reveal of the GT Concept.
The four-door sports sedan had the most delicious red paint job and its sophisticated styling along with sure performance will see customer demand it sooner rather than later.
McLaren used the show to reveal the 720S supercar that smashes 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds. Day two of the show saw a mix of media and potential buyers mingle on the stands with the British supercar a favourite with wannabe customers. I noted a father and teenage son pair doing some comparative shopping, first checking out Aston Martin’s Vanquish S Volante (yes please), the V8 McLaren 720S and then Ferrari’s stand. I wonder which model the dad finally decided on?
Ferrari had the 815 Superfast 6litre V12 as the hero vehicle of the stand with the supercar having a top speed of 340km top speed and producing 588kW of power and 718Nm of torque.
The highlight for me was Bentley’s concept convertible, the EXP12 Speed 6e Concept.
It's built upon the coupe that Bentley showed off two years ago and now it uses the latest battery technology. Sure, sure, but look at it, it’s fabulous! I loved the wood panelling in the door, the ‘6’ in the front grille and the overall luxury it.
Two small but beautiful cars at the show were Kia’s Picanto and Renault’s Zoe E-Sport concept – both also are more affordable for us regular car buyers.
While the Honda Civic Type R was the star of the stand and the big reveal for the brand, it was actually the NSX that garnered the attention as it has officially gone on sale. All praise the NSX and thank you Honda for letting consumers have a chance to drive the sports coupe again.
Italian company Airbus went the way of the future with an autonomous car that can be picked up by a huge drone and flown to your destination. You miss out on traffic jams, and the hassle of finding a car park thanks to Giant Drone. I trialled the virtual reality glasses, where I ‘sat’ in the car, had a drone pick me up and fly me across a city. Sure, technically there are a few issues to sort out (okay, quite a few issues) but Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer told me that the Airbus drone was one of his picks of the show and it brought back the sense of concept vehicles. I’ll be sure to pick up Andy in my drone car.
Aston Martin used the show to reveal the Valkyrie (no, not named after that Tom Cruise Nazi movie) hypercar. Priced around US$3million, only 175 are to be built and before you pull out your credit card, all of the vehicles have been sold before production starts. The name Valkyrie comes from Norse mythology, where a valkyrie is one of a host of female figures that choose those who may die in battle and those who may live. Wonder if they use a valkyrie to decide to gets to buy one and who doesn’t?
What would a Geneva motor show be without Bugatti making an appearance and having queues of fans and wannabe buyers alike desperate to either have a selfie with the hypercar or do live stream their encounter.