The Good and Great of Geneva 2017

Our A-Z of what to see at this year’s Geneva Motor Show

The Geneva International Motor Show is one of the biggest highlights of the automotive calendar. It always provides a unique blend of innovation and dazzling design, alongside the year’s most anticipated reveals, with a little bit of Swiss eccentricity thrown in for good measure. This year’s spectacle comes to a close this Sunday, so here are our highlights so far.

Alpine are making a return to the stage with their mid-engined, rear-wheel drive A110. As you can see in the video below, it has already taken on the alps to get to Geneva, with a 1.8 litre turbo more than adequately powering it along the way.

Bentley on the other hand, stuck to big and bold, unveiling the latest incarnation of the Continental Supersports. The most powerful and aggressive Bentley to date, it offers near enough 700bhp, will be past the 60mph mark in 3.5 seconds, and go on to 209mph if you have the gumption. With new front and rear bumpers, and a carbon diffuser and splitter, you’ll be able to leave the crowd behind and still stand out from it too.

Black and red Bentley Continental Convertible at the Geneva motor show

The Cadillac Escala (Spanish for “scale”) reflects the company’s design evolution, and is a true study in style.

For David Brown Automotive, it’s all about style too, with their Speedback GT and its iconic 60s look eschewing the spirit of classic Aston DBs of the same era.

Bavid Brown Automotive Speedback GT - in blue, at Geneva Motor Show.

Another blast from the past, at least styling wise, comes in the form of Eadon Green’s Black Cuillin. With design cues hinting at the Bugatti Type 57, but also the Alfa 8C 2900 convertible, the result is something refined, elegant, and powerful. It will undoubtedly feel at home driving across Europe in the GT tradition as intended.

For something a little more layman, there is the new Ford Fiesta ST. With a 3-cylinder turbo-charged engine, plus the latest Ford in-car technology, it’s a package that promises to punch above its weight.

Ford Fiesta ST at the Geneva Motor Show

With no ‘G’ represented by manufacturers, we’ll settle for letting you know that the Geneva Motor Show is considered a ‘level playing field’ by manufacturers, given that Switzerland has no major auto industry or agenda of its own to push. Swiss neutrality, as important a national stereotype as odd-shaped chocolate.

Honda revealed their new Civic Type R, seen by some as a step away from the hot hatch power race, as they refocus on chassis, behaviour, and feel. But will it be at the cost of outright performance?

Infiniti’s Q60 Project Black S hints at an Energy Recovery System, or ERS, as seen in F1, to boost its green credentials. As a showcase of what’s possible as well as a way of gauging interest in a sportier offering, it also boasts carbon fibre accents, a rear wing, a splitter and diffuser, and 21-inch wheels.

 

Jaguar were another manufacturer keen to show their commitment to alternative fuel and power, in the form of the I-PACE concept. With 400PS, and 0-60mph in around 4 seconds, it brings the thrill of Jaguar performance to the electric vehicle stage.

Kia were more about old-school performance in the Stinger. GT in spirit, it packs some muscle too in the shape of a 365bhp turbocharged V6 engine.

Undoubtedly though, the car everyone has been talking about has been Land Rover’s Range Rover Velar. Sitting above the Evoque but below the Sport, the midsize SUV also hints at the technology and platform it may have in common with the already mentioned I-PACE.

The new Range Rover Velar, driving through a desert.

The Mazda MX-5 has been a firm favourite at GForces for some time, so we’re especially excited to see the stunning RF also revealed at Geneva.

Grey Mazda MX-5 RF in studio photoshoot.

No motor show is complete without a sprinkling of super cars, and Nobel provided their M600 Speedster to placate our cravings.

Opel displayed their Insignia Grand Sport in the metal too. The four-door, coupe style design offers a more upmarket replacement to the outgoing model.

If the change in focus towards alternative vehicles and greener credentials wasn’t obvious by now, Peugeot’s Instinct Concept goes even further. With a responsive i-cockpit, the car can connect to the user’s cloud to learn and adapt to their lifestyle based on what it learns. Not only that, but it offers a choice of autonomous driving modes, and advanced plugin hybrid electric vehicle technology housed in the unique shooting brake design. The times, they are a changing.

Peugeot Instinct Concept in Blue

Hammering that point home even further is the Quant 48 Volt, a prototype for a new generation of both electric vehicles and power cells, boasting supercar performance and EV running costs.

In stark contrast, RUF have recreated a former masterpiece. The 1987 CTR, aka Yellowbird, is one of their rarest and most legendary cars. Now, it has been reborn in a new iteration sporting their first ever RWD carbon fibre single-frame chassis. Capable of 223mph, and reaching 62mph in 3.5 seconds, the 710hp monster is already an icon in the making.

RUF CTR 30th Anniversary Yellowbird

Skoda have chosen Geneva to unveil their most powerful Octavia ever, in the guise of the vRS 245. Available in both saloon and estate, it sets a new benchmark for the brand’s focus on practical performance.

Revealing what they are describing as their first connected car, Tata announced the Tamo Racemo. A potent combination of small proportions and sporty performance will make it a potential rival to the Mazda MX-5.

For ‘U’, we’ll look at some of the show’s underdogs, like the Suzuki Ignis compact 4×4, and the new Toyota Yaris – great little cars perhaps in danger of being outshone by bigger, louder announcements.

Volkswagen have also gone retro in their future offering. The appearance of a microbus based design in the I.D Buzz concept has gone down a storm and may even lead to a new family of electric vehicles. With autonomous driving, a flexible 8-seat cabin, an augmented heads-up display, and even a removable tablet that controls the car’s functions, you can expect to connect with this car more than just emotionally.

VW I.D Buzz Concept Microbus

For ‘W’, we’ll point you in the direction of the official website for the 87th Geneva International Motor Show, and all the premiers announced.

And for ‘X’, how about the BMW 530d and 540i xDrive touring models? Yes, we know it’s a reach, but bear with us. ‘Y’ you may ask? Because we couldn’t think of anything for that either.

Zenvo’s TS1 GT is the latest model to join the rather elite 1,000bhp club, with 1,163bhp stored up in its twin-supercharged 5.8-litre V8. It’ll also hit 250mph, giving it entry to another club scant of members. The car marks a new era for Zenvo, who will be announcing a new dealer network in Europe, the UK, and US to support sales of this 10th anniversary model.

Zenvo TS1 GT 10th anniversary edition

What’s clear, is that innovation, lifestyle, and a user-orientated focus are becoming increasingly influential on vehicle manufacturers, and the cars we’ll all be driving tomorrow. This year’s show featured new technology that could power our cars more efficiently, and make electric vehicles more viable than ever. From the luxurious and elite, to the humble and everyday, there was less focus on driving and more on the drive to make life a little easier. But there’s still enough interest in heart-pumping performance to keep everyone happy…for now. Whatever the future holds for car and driver, it seems they’ll be more connected than ever before. Which, being something of a specialty of ours, is something we’re all for.

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Author: Luke Phillips (40 Articles)