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Geneva Salon, 8 – 18 March 2012

The 82nd running of the annual Geneva Salon took place at its regular venue in the Palexpo exhibition complex, adjacent to Geneva airport. This location must provide the easiest access for visitors of all shows, as apart from being within easy walking distance of the airport, there is a railway station, plus bus services into town. The show attracts all the major manufacturers, together with many niche market low volume constructors, like Artega, Gumpert and Koenigsegg, styling concerns, tuning houses, specialist and trade suppliers for the aftermarket and garage industry and so on. Its prestige is notable within the motor industry, as witnessed by the large number of world and European premieres that it attracts each year, with 2012 being no exception.

There were over 50 world premieres ranging from the Fiat 500L through to the gargantuan Bentley SUV concept. There were a multitude of new cars for the masses, like the quintet of new Audis, Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon, Dacia Lodgy, Ford B- Max, Mercedes-Benz A Class and SEAT Ibizas, to name but a few. The, relatively speaking, low volume manufacturers of high performance cars are always a major attraction at any motor show, as are the concept vehicles produced by the manufacturers in house design studios, and the renowned styling houses like Bertone, Giugiaro, Touring and Pininfarina.

Lotus had an attractive display of three black and gold racing cars fronting their main road car display, an E20 F1 car, a LMP2 car and an Evora GT4, plus they really stole a march on everybody else, by having their new F1 driver signing, Kimi Raikkonen, on the stand on the first press day, which naturally attracted a great deal of attention. Elsewhere in the sports and GT car arena, it was undoubtedly Ferrari that attracted the most attention with the unveiling of the replacement for the 599 GTB Fiorano, the new, simply named, F12 model making its world debut at midday on the opening day. The launching of a new Ferrari always attracts a great deal of attention, but the crowds of photographers lining the perimeter of the stand awaiting the wraps coming off the two cars on the stand had to be seen to be believed! Almost unnoticed, Ferrari also presented a new lighter and more powerful version of the California model, although visually it remains the same. Lamborghini presented the Aventador J, a roadster version of the original model, finished in bright candy red paintwork. Bugatti displayed a trio of Veyrons, including a 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, whilst the Porsche stand was a study in silver, apart from the new Boxster, which was finished in pale gold. Aston Martin displayed the “baby” of the family, the Cygnet, along with the DBS, Virage, Vantage Rapide and limited edition Zagato model.

Pininfarina showed a four door pillarless concept with wood finish to the floor, whilst Bertone had a grey and orange wedge shaped concept car, with a model dressed in matching attire, making for a great combination, but of the concepts it was the Touring Alfa Romeo based Disco Volante 2012 coupe, that was the big hit. Taking styling cues from the original fifties model, it was a thoroughly modern interpretation, that looked stunning in metallic red, with its illuminated “Disco Volante” badge on the nose. It was not only the styling houses that came up with some great concept cars, notable amongst the major manufacturers were Chevrolet with their pair of 1.4 litre turbocharged Youth Concepts, the CODE 130R and TRU 140S, whilst both Infiniti and Lexus had beautiful designs with their EMERG-E and LF-LC respectively. However, if you wanted wild, then you had to look no further than Hamann with their McLaren MP4-12C based memoR and Mercedes-Benz SLS based Hawk, or the offerings from Mansory, including another McLaren MP4-12C based creation in a lurid chrome orangy gold colour! There really was something for almost every pocket and taste at Geneva in 2012.

Ferrari Models on Display
Stand Model Colour Chassis #
California Blue Met’/Cream 186820
458 Italia Grey Met’/Beige 184111
458 Spider Red/Black 184292
FF Pale Gold/Brown-Grey St. 180962
FF White/Red 186818  F12 Berlinetta Red Met’/Beige 186615
F12 Berlinetta Matt Silver/Blue 186617

F12 Berlinetta Mock-up Black Met’ -

Memory (400A based) Black/Black 36639
Spider White/Black 51201***

MJC Garage Digitalprog
599 GTB Fiorano Grey Met’/Red 154015

458 Italia Red-Carbon St./Black 181987

430 Spider F1 Black/Beige 146135


458 Italia Black Met’/Black 172099

***Fitted with carburettor 400 engine

Keith Bluemel