Geneva motor show: Swiss roll out of top cars
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The buoyancy in the motoring industry worldwide has been reflected at this year’s Geneva motor show, with brands not only promoting their electric vehicle range and autonomous driving achievements but also giving an exciting look at cars on sale soon.
The 88th show opened to the media (overnight NZ time) to optimism and excitement, with brands such as Hyundai openly mocking Elon Musk with it’s all-electric compact Kona SUV, while Bugatti gave the crowds something to covet, the all-new Chiron Sport.
Here are our highlights – in no particular order.
Volkswagen iD Vizzion concept
Dieselgate? Nope not a word on that, instead the company focused on the future with its iD Vizzion sedan concept. The company touted its worldwide sales for 2017 (6.23 million) and talked about its future of EVs and autonomous vehicles, with the iD Vizzion the star. And no monkeys were used in the presentation.
Bentley Bentayga hybrid
For the British based company it was a presentation of two halves; first the introduction of the first luxury hybrid SUV, the Bentayga, with its 50km pure EV range. At the other end of the spectrum, the company used Geneva to announce there will also be a V8 petrol Bentayga. You pick which one you’d want.
The German company shook things up a bit by having a movie theatre set up, including popcorn. With the world premiere of the all-new A6, Audi had amateur directors create short films to promote the sedan with the theme, ‘comfort’.
One director just filmed a guy smoking. Hmm, tip to Audi AG marketing … spend the budget on a real filmmaker, or just more popcorn. It also had the prototype e-tron pure EV SUV, a nod to its future. No popcorn machine was included in the prototype.
Porsche GTR RS
The German brand book ended nicely its lineup; starting with the GT3 RS, it’s most powerful naturally aspirated car, then moving to its Mission e cross tourismo concept.
The fully electric SUV can go from 0-100km/h in 3.5seconds and has a range of 100km and is being tested in Europe at the moment. You can imagine which of the two vehicles people wanted to photograph.
Bugatti Chiron Sport
Former Lamborghini (then Audi) boss Stephan Winkelmann is now in charge of the super luxury, extreme sporty Bugatti brand and he was excited to show the Chiron Sport to the media. It has dynamic torque vectoring, is five seconds faster than the Chiron thanks in part to being 80kg lighter.
Just a few months after revealing the Urus super sports SUV to the media in Italy, the luxury brand upped its game with the super sexy Huracan performante sypder. Both of these vehicles would be great in my fantasy garage.
A billboard on the Geneva motor show building, mocking the Tesla boss, set the tone for the Korean brand. It said, ‘Your turn, Elon” with a line up of its electric Kona with the caption “ the first electric compact SUV is here”.
It will go on sale in New Zealand in July this year and I predict with revolutionise our EV market. In a nod to its beginnings, Hyundai also had the concept Le Fil Rouge.
The brand mixed the tough (the G 63) with the starter vehicle (all-new A-Class) and a new model for the GT range, the GT 4-door coupe - their name for it, not ours. (See our separate story on the GT 4-door.)
The night before Geneva motor show, Mercedes held a showcase with experts explaining the amazing artificial intelligence advances of the A-Class. It was spooky (as in 2001: A Space Odyssey) but equally scifi fantastic Mercedes-Benz NZ had better prepare for an onslaught of new customers.
For BMW it was all about the grunt, with the concept M8 gran coupe on display. It’s the sporty face of the new 8 Series and shows that the German brand thinks big is good.
Jaguar Land Rover
It was a double celebration for the brand with the reveal of the stunning iPace electric SUV, and the 1970s shout of with the Range Rover SV Coupe. Both turned heads and both will be winners for the brands.
When you think of this British brand, you think luxury sports cars, but at Geneva the car company is going 'green' with the emission-free Lagonda Vision Concept. Although the concept will be helping lead the brand from 2021 for being an emission-free luxury brand, boy oh boy was the Lagonda big! It nearly needed its own stage
Although Microlino says it little EV isn’t based on BMW’s Isetta, come on, just look at it! It even has flip open front door. The company (which says it’s product is a motorbike, not a car) even includes a micro scooter with the vehicle. Mircolino says it ‘not-car’ can fit 1.2 people (huh?) with luggage in the back and drive 35km on its battery. Top speed is 90km/h.
Next door is another firm favourite, the e-Moke, based on the Mini Moke. It has three versions (my favourite, the BeachMoke pictured here), plus the two-seater Moky and JumMoke off-roader. Good news for Kiwi fans, they are sold worldwide.