This year's Geneva Motor Show has been a special one, hosting the announcements for an usually large number of special cars — everything from McLaren's P1 GTR to the Koenigsegg Regera, a 1,500-horsepower hybrid capable of chewing up and spitting out virtually everything else on the road. Oh, and the very last Bugatti Veyron was shown here after a ten-year run.Here are some of the highlights.
There's a great irony about the Geneva Motor Show. It's full of super expensive, scarcely attainable cars, but just getting there is enough to bankrupt you (now that the Swiss franc has shot up in value).Read Article >
Still, looking at all those shiny new motors doesn't cost anything, and my time spent inside the Palexpo venue was indeed a visual delight. Hell, even before I could walk in, there was a big, bright yellow Mercedes 4x4 stood atop a massive vertical platform showing off its mountain-climbing capabilities. It was a crazy show, it was a beautiful show, and it featured even more supercars than usual. Check out all our coverage below.
You don't have to be a gearhead to appreciate the beauty and timeless elegance of Italian car design. Whether it's Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, or even Fiat with its diminutive 500, there's a flair and a flamboyance to this nation's vehicles that is rarely surpassed by others. This year's Geneva Motor Show kept up that legacy with the official introduction of two mid-engine supercars from the two racing heavyweights.Read Article >
In the red corner is Ferrari's 488 GTB, a smooth, curvaceous beauty with a twin-turbo beast of an engine inside. Even more extreme is the signature-yellow Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce, which strips out everything superfluous in the pursuit of pure, immediate speed. The Lambo costs more and accelerates more quickly, but this isn't a driving experience test. We want to know which you think deserves to take home the crown for being the most attractive. Is it the Ferrari, with its refined shape and subtle menace, or the unreasoning insanity that is the angular, aggressive Aventador?
You'd think triangles and hexagons would be tired by now. Every gaming PC manufacturer has by now ripped off Lamborghini's violently sharp lines and exaggerated air intakes. The Lambo has become a cliché of design by virtue of how often and how widely it has been copied. And yet, seeing the real thing in its carbon fiber flesh is still a uniquely thrilling experience.Read Article >
Unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the Quant F is an electric car with a difference. It draws its energy from two tanks of differently ionized liquids, relying on the chemical reaction between them to power an electric motor system capable of reaching speeds in excess of 300kmh. These so-called flow cell batteries are so critical to the operation and purpose of the Quant F that they make up the name of its maker: nanoFlowcell AG.Read Article >
The Ferrari 488 GTB is predictable. More power, more speed, more aggressive lines, and even more curves. It's a flowing, organic, aerodynamic shape that seems to have been hewn from some scarlet-red meteor landed near Maranello. It goes from 0 to 100kmh in 3 seconds flat. It has a track-ready 0.06-second response time to the accelerator. Predictable, yes. But boring? Never.Read Article >
Mar 4, 2015
Apart from fashion, I'm not sure that there's any industry that's as insatiably hungry for newness than the automotive world. It's a devastatingly design-focused business, endlessly devouring itself in the name of creating something unique, something you haven't seen before. Even the notoriously iterative smartphone market is cut more slack: Apple can effortlessly get away with slapping an "S" on an iPhone's name and using the body for another year. Cars are different. If you release a new model that looks essentially the same as the one it replaces, you're going to hear about it. People are going to ask questions. I can't tell the difference. It's the same car.Read Article >
There are, as always, exceptions to the rule. Retro-themed vehicles are constrained by the boundaries of the classics they're trying to emulate, and therefore we have an expectation that a Mini will always look substantially like a Mini, a Fiat 500 will always look substantially like a Fiat 500, and so on. And then there's another kind of exception entirely: a car so relentlessly unchanging for so many years that it cements itself as a de facto icon. These cars aren't "retro"-styled, because they never strayed from their roots in the first place: the Porsche 911, the Jeep Wrangler, the Land Rover Defender, the Mercedes Geländewagen.
For someone like me, an event like the Geneva Motor Show can be an alien experience. I'm an electronics geek, more accustomed to reviewing things that fit into pockets, but here I am gazing upon a show floor massed with four-wheeled gas guzzlers. That gap of familiarity is gradually being bridged, however, as carmakers embrace electric motors and produce more powerful and beautiful electric cars than ever before. There are more battery-powered headliners this year than ever, and one of them is Audi's R8 sports car, which now includes an e-tron option.Read Article >
Instead of the V10 petrol engine that can take the R8 to 100kmh in 3.2 seconds, the e-tron model uses only electric power to achieve a 3.9-second 0-to-100 time. That's still some pretty awesome acceleration, but the real innovation of this new electric car is in the density of its battery. Audi has almost doubled energy storage — from 49kWh on its first electric platform to the current 92kWh — and done so without requiring any extra space. Energy density has, as a result, grown from 84Wh/kg to 154Wh/kg. With a few modifications made to the electric version of the car — such as the crazy-looking wheels that appear specifically designed to minimize drag — this combines for a claimed range in excess of 450km / 279.6 miles.
Some are calling Bentley's curvy EXP 10 Speed 6 concept the winner among Volkswagen Group's many announcements here in Geneva this year, if not the outright winner of the entire Geneva Motor Show. That may be a stretch — there are countless beautiful, nigh-unattainable cars here — but it's still pretty easy to make the argument.Read Article >
Ultra-luxe touches come easy at the hands of Bentley designers, but the Speed 6 is next-level: take the gear selector, for instance, which features a solid metal "B" peeking out of the sides from beneath a matte-finished wooden handle. The doors — which just look like normal doors when closed — actually open up at an angle, a little like the scissor doors found on some exotics. The leather that's touching virtually every surface of the car looks like it's from bespoke cows sourced from some supernaturally serene pasture on another planet.
The Bugatti Veyron is the sort of car that you race against jet planes. It's also the sort of car that you buy when having the top-floor corner office just isn't enough. It's the ultimate supercar and one of the ultimate expressions of wealth, but as of this week it's also a historic car. The very final Veyron, only the 450th ever made, has been sold, marking the conclusion of a glorious production run that's given us the fastest supercar in the world.Read Article >
Commemorating the milestone in Geneva this week, Bugatti has brought together the first and last examples of its finest work. The burgundy Grand Sport Vitesse “La Finale," chassis number 450, sits directly opposite the red-and-blue Veyron number one. The differences between the two cars, separated by a decade of development and refinement, appear minor. That's because of a deliberate effort from Bugatti to design the last Veyron as a homage to the original car. One thing the two bookend Veyrons will certainly share is the added appeal of being the ones that started and finished this wild Bugatti adventure.
Koenigsegg is the Swedish word for "crazy." In its two decades of existence, this car company has pushed more boundaries and designed more outlandish automobiles than most others can accomplish in a century. The latest Regera is no different. Debuting here at the Geneva Motor Show, it ratchets up the insanity a few notches yet again, this time starting with the utterly unreasonable headline number of 1,500bhp.Read Article >
The Regera is a hybrid (a plug-in hybrid, no less!) that combines the output of three electric motors (700bhp) with the power of a twin-turbo V8 gasoline engine (1,000bhp) to produce unspeakable amounts of speed. Combined, the drivetrain will propel all 3,131 dry pounds of the Regera from 0 to 400kmh — that's nearly 250mph — in under 20 seconds. Again, for emphasis: that's roughly Mach 0.33 in a third of a minute.
I've seen the future of Aston Martin, and it's every bit as impractical as you might expect from a luxury car brand. The ultra-aggressive lines and massive rear wing of the all-new Vulcan make its purpose immediately obvious: this car has been designed for track use and track use only. In presenting it at the Geneva Motor Show this morning, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer described the Vulcan as the company's most extreme supercar ever.Read Article >
Powered by "the most potent iteration yet" of Aston Martin's 7-liter V12 engine, the Vulcan can produce more than 800bhp. Full performance details will be disclosed when the new car makes its track debut later in the year, but we already know that its body is made primarily out of carbon fiber and that it has a better power-to-weight ratio than cars competing in the FIA’s annual World Endurance Championship.
Mar 2, 2015
Press days for this year's Geneva Motor Show officially kick off tomorrow, March 3rd — but many of the announcements have already started to trickle out. By all appearances, it's going to be a hell of a show.Read Article >
Here's just a small taste of the insanity: Aston Martin will be unveiling its most outrageous production car ever, Lamborghini is showing an even hotter version of the blistering Aventador, and Mercedes-Benz appears to have gone full YOLO with a lemon-lime Geländewagen that's been tricked out with enough offroading hardware to survive the surface of Mars.