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Geneva Salon, 06 – 16 March 2014

The 84th Geneva International Motor Show ran between 06 – 16 March, and featured the usual attractions of new models and concept cars from both major manufacturers and niche market brands. The show is also a showcase for the latest technical innovations in the quest for greener forms of transport, whether it be electric, hybrid, hydrogen power, or cleaner forms of traditional petrol and diesel engines, all the latest developments in these fields are represented. Not only is there a constant quest for improved “greener” efficiency, but also for enhanced safety, with sophisticated electronics and electro-mechanical solutions to anticipate and hopefully avoid accidents. Apart from all the latest offerings, this year the show also had a retrospective element, with a special exhibition featuring the history of the Le Mans 24 Hour Race.

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On the new car front, the show featured more than 160 World, European or Swiss market premieres, together with an abundance of minor model alterations that don’t fall into these classifications. Amongst the main stream manufacturer, Citroen introduced the production version of their C4 Cactus model, first displayed as a concept in Frankfurt late in 2013, which remains very close to the original design philosophy. Ford presented the latest incarnation of the Mustang in both coupe and cabriolet forms, for its European premiere, with the announcement that the model would be sold in Europe from 2015. There were world premieres from Honda and Hyundai, the former with its Concept Civic Type R and the latter with its Intrado Concept, featuring ultra lightweight materials and a hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain. From the UK, Jaguar premiered the XFR-S Sportbrake, Land Rover a stretched long wheelbase edition of the Range Rover, and Morgan re-introduced the Plus 4 model in its fourth incarnation. There was a new addition to the McLaren range, the 650S, in both coupe and spider configurations, which is a step up from MP4-12C, with features of the limited edition P1 in its design. Rolls Royce presented a revised Ghost model, featuring a revised radiator grille and headlights as part of the re-design package.

From Germany there was the world debut of the Porsche Macan compact SUV, amd European debuts for the 911 Turbo Cabriolet and Panamera Turbo S Executive. They also displayed there FIA WEC contender for 2014, the 919 Hybrid, alongside the 911 RSR GT class contender. Volkswagen introduced the fifth generation of the Polo, and presented the T-ROC SUV Concept, and there was also the world debut of the Audi S1, the hot version of the A1, boasting 230bhp and 4 wheel drive, a real pocket rocket! The star of the Audi stand was the all new TT, trimming 140kgs in weight from the previous model, and there was also a TT Concept pointing the way to the future for the model. Also from the VW group there was the world premiere of the new SEAT Leon Cupra together with the Mii-Mango special edition micro city car, and Skoda debuted its VisionC Concept. At the opposite end of the spectrum there was the Bugatti Veyron special Legends edition, of which only 3 examples will be built. BMW had European premieres for a number of cars in their range, including the 2 Series Coupe, the 4 Series Cabriolet, the M3 Saloon and M4 Coupe. Over at Mercedes-Benz there were European premieres for the C-Class, GLA45 AMG, S600, S-Class Coupe and S65 AMG, whilst Opel had world premieres of the Astra OPC Extreme and Adam Rocks.

From the USA, apart from the previously mentioned Ford Mustang, there was the European premiere of the Corvette Z06, displayed alongside its racing counterpart, the C7.R. Cadillac presented their ATS Coupe and the fourth generation of the Escalade SUV, together with their luxury car concept, the Elmiraj, and Jeep presented a revised edition of the Cherokee. There were also a number of new cars and concepts from the Far East, including the daringly styled Toyota Aygo city car, where “X” marks the spot, plus their FV2 Future Mobility Concept, then there was the world premiere of the Mazda Hazumi small car, with European premieres for their Concept AR, GC and XR models. Nissan showed the BladeGlider concept and GT-R Nismo in Europe for the first time, whilst if you wanted something with real muscle, there was the Lexus RCF GT3 race car.
Italy was well represented with new models or variations on themes, like the Abarth 695 50th Anniversario, with examples of both old and new models on display. Actually quite a number of manufacturers had examples of their heritage on display, including Alfa Romeo, Honda and McLaren. The Ferrari California T made its public debut, T for Turbo, with revised body styling giving the frontal view a more aggressive stance, with company President, Luca di Montezemolo on hand to launch the latest version of the model. Alfa Romeo launched a spider version of the 4C model, which made its debut at the 2013 show in coupe form, whilst Lamborghini revealed the Huracan LP 610-4, which will replace the company’s most successful model to date, the Gallardo, which found over 14,000 buyers in its nine years of existence. Maerati presented their Alfieri concept car, pointing to future generations of Maserati GT cars, and also showed the Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna limited edition version. Whilst in Modena, let’s not forget the Pagani Zonda Revolucion, totally wild in blue and black carbon fibre with wings and trim tabs in abundance.

There were also a number of really small producers, like Koennigsegg, who displayed their One:1, claimed to be the fastest car in the world at 450kph, and so called because the power to weight ratio is 1:1 (1400bhp/1400kgs). A new arrival on the scene was Nimrod Performance from Slovakia, with 3 wild supercars, the Avanti Rosso, the Katyusha and the Zero. Then there was the Zenvo SV1 from Denmark, plus the resurrection of the Ermini name, together with a wide variety of offerings from styling houses, plus tuning and personalisation companies, like Alpina, Mansory and Hamman.

As mentioned at the beginning of the report, there was a bonus for visitors with a historical interest, as the Le Mans exhibition was a wonderful collection of cars that had competed in the great endurance classic, spanning from a 1923 Chenard & Walcker Sport model to a 2013 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, encompassing examples from every decade of the races existence. This was really the icing on the cake for another great Geneva show.
Ferrari Models on Display

Ferrari Stand
Model Colour Chassis #
California T White Met’/Blue 199978
California T Red Met’/Grey 200763
458 Spider Red/Beige 200848
458 Speciale Grey Met’-Black & White St’s/ Grey-Red 201544
FF Grey Met’/Light Beige 201437
FF Silver Matt/Grey 201600
F12 Black Met’/Beige 201566

California T Blue Met’/Tan 200090

599 GTO Red Met’/Grey 175274
Le Mans History Exhibition
166 MM Barchetta Red/Blue 0014M
290 MM/250 TR Rec’ Red/Black 0606

Keith Bluemel