Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
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Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres
Geneva Salon ... 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres

Geneva Salon, 03 – 13 March 2016

The 86th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show was held at the Palexpo exhibition complex, adjacent to Geneva International Airport, between 03 -13 March. As has been the case for a number of years, manufacturers, both large and small, view it as an important showcase for their latest offerings, with a large number of world and European premieres taking place. This is probably due in no small part to its ease of access to a worldwide audience due to its excellent transport links, not only by air, but also by road and rail, which is of great benefit to the 700,000 or so visitors each year.

For the 2016 edition there were no less than 42 manufacturers presenting world premieres, a number with more than one new model, plus 14 manufacturers and styling houses giving world premieres to concept cars and modified production cars, then there were also 16 manufacturers with European model premieres, and a number of Swiss market premieres. Thus it can be seen that there was plenty of new metal, or carbon, as the case may be, for visitors to cast their eyes over.

Going “green” has been a major part of most manufacturers programmes in recent years to meet ever more restrictive emission legislation worldwide, and the development progresses with more and more “green” offerings in various forms from major manufacturers and niche market companies. Some manufacturers are turning to smaller capacity turbocharged conventional engines, an example being the new Porsche 718 Boxster S, with the model’s original normally aspirated 6 cylinder power plant, being succeeded by a flat four turbocharged unit, with a nod to the past with an original 718 Spyder on display . Lexus displayed their LF-FC concept car, with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power train, or how about new Chinese manufacturer Techrules GT96 very attractive sports coupe, with its “Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle” (TREV) power plant, with a claimed 2000kms range using just 40 litres of fuel. Then there are full electric powered offerings like the new Tesla X SUV, with its unusual upward opening rear doors a la “Gullwing”, which was presented in concept form at the 2012 edition of the show, but is now in production form. Another electric car was the new baby Quant, the Quantino, for which the manufacturer claims “a vast range”, whilst at the other end of the all-electric scale was the miniscule low budget XS Convertible from low-volume French manufacturer Bee Bee.

There was also an abundance of new and updated offerings from the mainstream manufacturers, with Audi debuting its new smaller SUV, the Q2, together with the RS Q3 Performance model. In the same family group VW had a revised up! model and a pair of variants, the e-up! and the beats up!, plus a Polo beats and a Multivan PanAmericana, together with a small SUV concept called the T-Cross Breeze. Staying with the family, but at the upper echelons of the market, Bentley showed four versions of the new Mulsanne, whilst over at Lamborghini there was a spectacular new limited edition model, the Centenario, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the company founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini. This will be produced in only 20 examples each of an open and closed model.

Over at Fiat they presented the Tipo in both 5 door hatchback and station wagon forms. They also displayed a cute version of the Panda called the Kung-Foo, and their new 124 Spider which shares the same platform as Mazda’s MX-5, with an original ‘60s 124 Spider also on display as a reference point. Across the aisle there were examples of the Abarth version, with signature (of the original model) matt black bonnet and boot lid, together with a rally version in a retro red and yellow colour scheme, evocative of the original works rally cars from the ‘70s. Across the aisle to Abarth was Ferrari, where there was another resurrection of an old model name, well actually the combination of two, with the debut of the new GTC4Lusso, the replacement for the FF model. The new model boasts more power than its predecessor, greater levels of technology with the new 4RM-S system, designed to maximise grip in low-grip situations, and a reduction in the drag coefficient by 6%, together with a host of other improvements, including a completely redesigned cabin to ensconce the occupants in refined luxury. They had two examples on display, one in metallic white and the other in metallic grey, along with a California T and a F12, both in metallic red, plus a silver 488 GTB and another California T in the Atelier showroom part of the stand, finished in gunmetal with dark red stripes. On the press days there was also an F1 car on display, but this was replaced by a black 488 Spider, chassis # 217068, for the public days. Adjacent to Ferrari was the Maserati stand, where the big news was the debut of their Levante SUV, taking the marque into a new market sector.

There were also some Ferraris in other guises around the halls, with Sbarro reworking a 550 Maranello into a spider concept with an unusual sliding boot arrangement. The Mansory stand featured their interpretation of the 488 GTB, called the 4XX Siracusa, which was finished in bright yellow and bare carbon, and had hints of the LaFerrari in its overall appearance. Nimrod Performance had another variation on the 488 GTB theme with their Le Mans model, finished in grey, silver and orange, whilst their Concorde model was 458 Italia based. They also had a wild interpretation of the Lamborghini Aventador, called the AvantiToro, on display.

Going back to the mainstream manufacturers, amongst a plethora of new, updated and concept models, Honda showed the concept for the next incarnation of their Civic hatchback, Renault displayed the latest version of the Scenic, and Alfa Romeo presented the regular version of the Giulia, having previously only shown the top end Quadrifoglio version. Over on the Ford stand there was a new Fiesta FT200 and Kuga, plus it was revealed that the brand’s premium Vignale label would be extended from the current Mondeo models, to include the S-Max and Edge SUV. Tucked away in a first floor area of their stand, they also showed the Ford GT, in both street and race forms. Citroen showed their new Space Tourer and C4 Cactus Rip Curl, whilst satellite brand DS had a face-lifted DS3 and DS3 cabriolet on offer. There were also plenty of other interesting cars from the majority of mainstream manufacturers spread around the halls.

Of course, one of the main attractions of any motor show is the opportunity to see and get close to cars that you don’t see every day, or in some cases ever likely to see again. This is where the supercars come into their own, and apart from those already mentioned, there was a wide variety to choose from. Aston Martin debuted their new DB11, including a bare frame cut-away example, McLaren gave their new 570 GT its world debut, which is essentially a “softer” or more luxurious version of the 570 S model, aimed at a different market sector, whilst also on display was an example of the fully sold-out limited edition P1. Of the styling houses or design studios, the Pininfarina stand showed the GreenGT H2 Speed hydrogen powered concept car, along with their 1969 Sigma F1 safety concept car, whilst Touring Superleggera displayed their Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spider, together with an example of the original 1952 model. There were a number of “real” supercars on display, from the Pagani Huayra, through a trio of Koenigseggs, including their latest offering, the Regera, the Spyker C8 Preliator, Sin with their R1 RS, Arash with their AF8 and AF10, Zenvo SS1, Rinspeed Etos and the Rimac Concept S.

However, the real star of this genre, and probably of the whole show, was the much awaited Bugatti Veyron successor, and it didn’t disappoint! Bigger, more expensive, more luxurious, more powerful and faster than its predecessor, finished in duo-tone blue, the new Chiron was all that one would expect from Bugatti. The figures speak for themselves, a price tag reported to be in the order of £1.9 million (€2.46 million), a power output of 1479bhp from its 8.3 litre quad turbo W16 engine, a speedometer that reads to 550kph, although it is unlikely to ever go off the dial, with an electronically limited top speed of around 415kph. Bugatti describe it as “the world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car” – Enough said!

Model Colour Chassis #

F1 (2016 Livery) Red-White ?
California T Grey Met’-Dark Red St’s/Dark Red 217170
California T Red Met’/Black 217171
488 GTB Coupe Silver-Black/Dark & Light Grey 217070
F12 Red Met’/Tan 217158
GTC4 Lusso Grey Met’/Tan 215654
GTC4 Lusso White Met’/Blue 215655
312 Sigma F1 Concept White-Black-Orange/Black 0011
Nimrod Performance
Concorde (458 Italia) Blue Matt-Silver Stripes/Grey-Beige 190812
Le Mans (488 GTB) Grey Matt-Silver-Orange/Grey-Orange 214592
4XX Siracusa (488 GTB) Yellow-Carbon/Black ?
550 Maranello “Spider” Red Met’/Black 120146
Amstutz Products
458 Challenge Red-Red &Black Chequer Stripe/Red 179906

Keith Bluemel

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