Beautiful, exotic super cars always seem to steal the stage at the Geneva Motor Show. A cadre of irresistible sports cars keep that tradition alive at the 2017 edition. While many automakers teased us with pictures in advance of the press previews, there's nothing like an exclusive personal glance at these works of technological art. A who's who of luxury automakers unveiled new models and variants including Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini. But the best part about Geneva are the surprises from automakers that are more obscure to American audiences like Renault and Pagani. Most people will never buy or own these cars that have price tags steep into the six figure range. By design the super cars of Geneva push the boundaries of speed and excess. Geneva is a reminder that an irresistible sports car is always something to behold.
Mar 14, 2017
Behold the Volkswagen Arteon, ostensibly an upgrade over the staid Passat — but let's be honest, a Passat has never looked this sharp and dashing. To my eyes, this new sporty sedan from VW shares more heritage with Audi's A5 Sportback (or its edgy R series) than Volkswagen's own lineup. Bearing the R-Line branding to signify its sportier aspirations, the Arteon is presented as a gran turismo that combines performance with comfort. But still, it's hard to get away from the notion that Volkswagen is going upmarket by borrowing heavily from one of the many brands in its stable.Read Article >
The extended, contoured hood, long wheelbase, and lowered roofline of the Arteon all speak to Audi's pedigree of appealing to a younger audience with a taste for more aggressive-looking and performing cars. LED headlights and taillights come as standard. At its heart, though, this is still just a souped-up Passat, and most of the interior is a direct match for that car. The Arteon has Volkswagen's Active Info digital display, and you can kit it out with surround cameras to feed ambient visuals into your "digital cockpit." Automated parking assistance and a bevy of connected car features are also available for the discerning digital nomad.
Mar 9, 2017
A few years ago, I drove a 2015 Volvo XC60 for a week. It was comfortable, stylish, and an all-around excellent SUV. About the only thing I didn’t like about it was the infotainment system, which had changed little from when the XC60 was first introduced at the end of the Bush administration.Read Article >
It certainly got the job done and, considering that the interior of the XC60 hadn’t changed much for a few years, it was a testament to how good the car was when it was first designed.
Mar 9, 2017Read Article >
Now, our man at the Geneva Auto Show, Vlad Savov, has gotten up close and personal with this mythological machine, so we wanted to give you more pretty pictures. Because let’s be honest: neither you nor I will ever get to drive this thing. The Valkyrie is one of those cars that will remain forever out of reach except for a select few. No more than 150 of these vehicles will ever be made, and they are all already sold out. This is literally as close as you’ll ever get. Relish it.
Bentley wanted to bring a surprise to this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and it certainly achieved its goal by unsheathing a snow-white, all-electric concept car this week: the EXP 12 Speed 6e. I was here in Geneva two years ago to photograph the EXP 10 Speed 6, the previous two-seater concept that helped Bentley gobble up attention and headlines at the show. There’s a lot that the two concept cars share, mostly owing to Bentley’s adherence to signature design touches, but the big difference is that the new one is a battery-powered electric beast of luxurious burden.Read Article >
Tesla’s sporty electrics have come to define the nascent category up to this point, and they did start at the luxury tier, but Bentley believes there’s an extra luxury stratum that is above anything its Californian rival can produce. Hence its introduction of this luxury electric vehicle. The EXP 12 is a car intended to challenge our preconceptions about what we can expect from an electric car, and it endeavors to bring Bentley’s limousine-like qualities of luxury and opulence to a distinctly more compact form than its established Continental and Flying Spur models.
Far be it from me to lay claim to an entire trend, but I did spend my last day at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show admiring two especially pretty red editions of popular cars: the Lamborghini Huracan and BMW's i8. I found both looked even more delightful with their rouge retouching, and it seems that the car world has agreed with my assessment wholeheartedly.Read Article >
What was but a little blip on the color fashion map last year has exploded into an absolute deluge in 2017, with practically every car manufacturer introducing a new car in red. Don't believe me? Let's looks at the gorgeous, crimson evidence:
I was on my way to photograph the new Lamborghini Huracán Performante when I had to stop, set aside the Lambo plans for a moment, and just feast my eyes on the Renault Trezor concept car. It’s impossible to walk by it without being wowed and impressed by its design, which is equal parts Tim Burton-era Batmobile and 1940s touring car. The Trezor is long and low to the ground, and access to it happens by opening up the whole car — both driver and passenger have to hop in, since there are no actual doors to open. Oh, and there are hexagonal flaps on the front hood that lift up to assist cooling.Read Article >
If I had to sketch you my dream car as a kid, it would have looked an awful lot like this Renault. The French company has indulged all the most basic instincts for creating exuberantly masculine lines — though the company’s designers claim the shape is "sensual" rather than threatening — and over-the-top flourishes. I get the feeling that every car designer exhibiting new stuff in Geneva has at some point drawn concepts of this kind, only to "grow up" and do more mature and contemporary stuff.
International Women’s Day isn’t being celebrated loudly (or at all) here at the Geneva Motor Show, but just as I was despairing at the old-fashioned use of attractive young women in short skirts as car decorations, I stumbled upon a ray of gender-balanced sunshine. Liberty Walk, a Japanese company that mods supercars to give them extra performance and even sharper looks, has come to Geneva with a pair of booth models to attract the attention of passers-by: one man and one woman. Both are clad in flamboyantly untraditional kimonos. Neither is playing the role of a sex object.Read Article >
It’s not often that you see a dude wearing orange and zebra-striped Pumas, a camo-patterned belt wrapped around a full-length robe, and a black beret. So when you do, you stop for a second look. And honestly, that’s all these car companies are after: a totem to entice people to stop at their exhibit instead of the countless others. It’s just bewildering to me that most have satisfied themselves with the trite practice of trotting out women in high heels and having them stand awkwardly next to the latest shiny automobile.
The 2018 Volvo XC60 is the company’s newest and safest offering. For a company with such a fanatical devotion to safety as Volvo, that’s saying something.Read Article >
Steering assist has been added to Volvo’s City Safety system, allowing the XC60 to use its steering assist feature to help mitigate head-on and lane-changing collisions. It has available Pilot Assist — a feature somewhat similar to Tesla’s Autopilot — which takes care of steering, acceleration, and braking on well-marked highways up to 80 mph, as long as the driver keeps their hand lightly on the wheel. And, when not decked out in crash test orange, it’s also extremely handsome.
Mar 7, 2017
The Ferrari 812 Superfast is making it clear that speed is still a theme that’s paramount to the luxury Italian automaker’s DNA. Seeing Ferrari’s fastest production car up close at the Geneva Motor Show in alarm-red Rosso Settanta hue is believing. All those luscious curves created at the Ferrari Styling Centre are not for looks — the design is part of the aerodynamic sauce that propels this supercar to its superfast name that harkens back to the namesake 1964 500 Superfast and the lore of the 1969 365 GTB4 Daytona. But there’s no denying that those muscular haunches are menacing, even at a standstill under the staid convention center lights.Read Article >
Its big numbers don’t lie. The 812 Superfast is powered by a monster 6.5 liter V12 engine that cranks out 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque. Engineers tweaked the intake and combustion system to maximize the amount of air flow into the engine, which also improved overall efficiency and set a record of 588 kw at 8,500 rpm. That oomph propels the 812 Superfast from 0 to 62 miles per hour in a 2.9-second flash. It’s also the first Ferrari made with electric power steering.
Mar 7, 2017
The Verge‘s man in Geneva, Vlad Savov, just had a very close encounter with a very beautiful car. This is Lamborghini’s Huracán Performante, which looks exactly like the regular Huracán, which is to say it’s stunningly gorgeous.Read Article >
As we reported yesterday, the Performante is lighter and more powerful than the Huracán, making it one of the fastest production supercars in existence. This demon in Dreamsicle orange recently set a production car lap record of 6:52.01 around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife. That’s fast.
Mar 7, 2017
Airbus just announced a new conceptual car-and-drone project called Pop.Up. And I know. I know! This feels like the 100th car-drone concept we’ve shown you in the last few years. (Hell, it’s not even the first one announced at the Geneva Motor Show.) But this time, the car is the drone. The drone is the car. And, in Airbus’ fantastic future world, you can seamlessly transition from car to flying car to train all without lifting your butt off the seat. Okay, I’m listening.Read Article >
Pop.Up revolves around a small, Smart Car-sized monocoque (or “passenger capsule,” as Airbus calls it) that can be used in multiple modes of transportation. The conceptual video, seen above, shows a woman summoning the capsule to her home in self-driving car form. It takes her to a parking garage where a giant quadcopter scoops the capsule up to fly her the rest of the way to her destination. Later in the video we see a row of the capsules embedded inside a sort of train (or hyperloop), too.
In spite of all its glistening sheen and modern technology, the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show today feels almost primal. Its exaggerated, dominant front end is like a neanderthal’s oversized jaw, grinning a toothy radiator smile. The designers aimed for and indeed accomplished "extremely muscular proportions," and they painted this show car in a most enigmatic warm color that’s never quite certain if it’s red, orange, pink, or yellow.Read Article >
Speaking with Mercedes representatives here in Geneva, I was told that this four-door concept is very close — somewhere in the range of 90 percent — to the eventual Mercedes-AMG sports car that will be released at some point in the not too distant future. Beside looking all kinds of aggressive and awesome, this is also a hybrid, borrowing some technology and inspiration from the dominant Mercedes Formula 1 team. That breaks slightly with the AMG tradition, but the tons of power and performance contained within are right in line with what is typically expected of the brand.
At first glance, McLaren’s new 720S supercar would seem to have massive headlights, but look a little closer. The headlights themselves are each a thin 17-LED strip, and the big cutaway surrounding them is actually an air intake. I got to see this happy, shiny new car at a press preview ahead of its unveiling today and the lasting impression it leaves is that it was designed purely for the sake of optimizing air flow through and around it.Read Article >
Aerodynamic efficiency of the McLaren 720S — the ratio between downforce and drag — is more than double that of the 650S, the car it is replacing in the McLaren Super Series. The teardrop-shaped vents on the hood redirect air so it doesn’t get caught up in the "gutter" where the windshield wipers reside, and the doors have air scoops and ducts, too. The automatically adjusting full-width rear wing works in concert with a rear diffuser to complete the design and, more importantly, keep exuberant drivers on the road.
I've started each of the past four years in the same way: covering the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, then Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, followed by the Geneva Motor Show in its eponymous city. I've used the same camera, laptop, even backpack at each of them, and I've had the same connectivity frustrations in each city. But don't let that lull you into thinking these three events are identical. Geneva is a showcase unlike any on the consumer tech calendar.Read Article >
CES and MWC, for all their variety, ultimately boil down to mass-market companies currying favor with either fellow mass-market business partners or the eventual consumers of their products. Whether it's the latest Huawei smartphone, Samsung smart fridge, or Sony headphones, the news at such events are almost exclusively about things the majority of us can afford or at least aspire to.
This is the Mercedes AMG GT Concept. It’s a four-door version of the AMG GT sports car, and Mercedes-AMG says it’s a preview of a real car it’ll release down the road. And damn, does it look good.Read Article >
Unlike the current AMG GT lineup which is focused on gasoline-fired power only, the GT concept offers a hybrid powertrain inspired by the Mercedes-AMG Formula One cars. Total system output, from the electric motor and the 4-liter twin-turbo V8, is 805 horsepower. AMG calls it EQ Power+ (also a name borrowed from the F1 car), branding that will be applied to all performance hybrids from the company going forward.
The Lamborghini Huracan is a fantastic supercar. But, like many great things, it can be made better — and that’s what the engineers at Lamborghini have done with the new Huracan Performante.Read Article >
The Performante is 40 kilograms lighter than a standard Huracan coupe. It’s also more powerful, producing 640 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque from its 5.2-liter V10 — up from 610 hp and 413 pound-feet in the standard Huracan. Back in October, the Performante set a production car lap record of 6:52.01 around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife. Zero to 62 mph happens in 2.9 seconds. Top speed is nearly 202 mph.