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Geneva Show – March 2019

The Geneva Show has been an important fixture in the automotive calendar for a long time. Of the major international shows that are held in Europe, it is the only one that takes place on an annual basis, those of Paris and Frankfurt taking it in turns and happening in alternate years, as has been the case for a very long time, and as Switzerland is a country without its own domestic car-making industry, it is always seen as a neutral place rather than one which will be dominated by the local producers. It has been the launch venue for a vast array of new models over the years. But there are signs that things are changing. In 2018 one of the European big names, Opel, and a few of the smaller ones, including Infiniti, MINI and DS, chose not to participate, and although they did not say so in quite so many words, all of them made it clear that the massive costs of participating did not justify the return, as they focused their spend elsewhere. For the 2019 Show, the list of absentees swelled to around 15 manufacturers, with Ford (who said that they were at the wrong point in their launch cycle, or some other sort of implausible excuse) creating the largest additional space to fill, but also absent were Cadillac and Chevrolet, DS, Hyundai, Jaguar, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lotus,  MINI, Renault-Alpine, Tesla, Volvo and a number of the specialist and after-market providers. That meant there was a certain amount of juggling around of the stand layout and rather more space allocated to coffee bars in the main halls than has been the case in previous years. Even among those manufacturers who did choose to attend, there was something of a lack of new models that were unveiled in the days leading up to the Show, many brands preferring to drip-feed all their teaser, launch, and first drive stories over a period of months when they hope that there is no distraction of a rival grabbing all the attention. That said, there is still a lot to see at this event, spread out over 7 halls, and there were plenty of people doing so. I went during the week, to try to avoid the challenge of the weekend crowds, and even so found there was a period in the middle of the day when it felt very busy which made it hard to get photos and harder still actually to get in the cars. It did empty out from mid afternoon, suggesting that not everyone stays for a whole day, so I can present in excess of 1300 photos covering pretty much everything that was on display.

Before getting into the show itself, though, there are usually a few exhibits in the concourse which connects the airport and railway station to the PalExpo exhibition complex, and on this occasion, two caught my eye. A Lego version of a Bugatti Chiron would have taken quite some time to construct  and Skoda had an example of their new and vitally important Scala family hatchback, several more of which I would see inside the show.

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ABARTH

2019 is an important year for Abarth as it is the 70th anniversary of the brand, and there will be a range of activities during the year to celebrate. News had already filtered out that all the cars sold during the year would feature special 70th Anniversary badging and minor revisions to the trim and equipment, but we were promised that there would be something else for Geneva. And so there was with a new version of each of the 595 and the 124 revealed for the first time. They constituted the only two cars on a stand which was very obviously just a corner of the Fiat one, as opposed to be completely separate as it had been in previous years.

The 595 Esseesse (the Italian pronunciation of “SS”) sees the return of a badge which was used on the early Abarth 500s of ten years ago, and which is inspired by the legendary 1960s tuning kit. This latest one will sit at the top of Abarth’s 595 lineup as it’s equipped with the brand’s most powerful engine, the 1.4-litre turbo-four rated at 180 PS (178 hp). It features performance-enhancing standard equipment including an Akrapovic exhaust system, Brembo front braking system with perforated, ventilated front brake discs and oversized red brake calipers, BMC air cleaner, as well as Koni FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) rear suspension. The latter is said to improve cornering abilities. On the tech front, the 595 esseesse gets the 7-inch Uconnect HD touchscreen infotainment system that includes Abarth Telemetry, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility. It will be relatively easy to spot, as it features several white details including the 17-inch Supersport alloys, Abarth side stripes, and mirror caps. Specific “esseesse” badging and 70th-anniversary logos complete the exterior package. Inside, there are  “Sabelt 70” sports seats with carbon rear shell and carbon pedals.

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Abarth’s second Geneva Motor Show debut is the motorsport-inspired 124 Rally Tribute special edition. Celebrating the 124 rally car’s 2018 triumph in the FIA R-GT Cup, the 124 Rally Tribute packs a number of unique features that should make it a collectible. You’ll recognise it when you’ll see it thanks to the specific commemorative badge on the front wings and the numbered metal plaque inside. It will be available in only two exterior colours, Costa Brava Red and Turini White, both combined with matte black bonnet — a reference to the historic Abarth 124 Rally which adopted this solution to reduce sun dazzle for the driver. Other exterior details include the gunmetal grey or red mirror caps and bumper details. There are no major mechanical changes, with the 124 Rally Tribute featuring a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo-four making 170 PS (168 hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb/ft) of torque. However, the limited edition model does feature a Record Monza exhaust with dual mode system, Brembo brakes, and ultralight 17-inch alloys in Racing White. The rims contribute to a weight reduction of 4 kg (8.8 lbs).Standard convenience features include heated leather seats, Alcantara trim, Abarth mats, automatic climate control, and the Radio Plus Pack which includes a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and Bose stereo. Just 124 cars will be built.

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They were not the only Abarths in the event, though, as there was a splendid display of historic models presented in their own area in a place that would in previous years have been occupied by brand new cars. Sourced mostly from the private collection of Engelbert Möll, who lives elsewhere in Switzerland, and augmented by cars from FCA Heritage, this stunning array of cars showed how the brand evolved from 1949 through to its acquisition by Fiat in 1971. It was definitely one my highlights of the whole Show.

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1949 Abarth 205A: Carlo Abarth began working on the 205 A immediately after he left Cisitalia. Michelotti designed the coupe’s curvaceous body, while coachbuilder Vignale manufactured it out of aluminium in order to keep the car’s weight around 1750 pounds. It was powered by a Fiat-sourced, 1.1-liter four-cylinder engine that Abarth upgraded with a redesigned intake manifold, two Weber carburettors, and an exhaust system designed in-house. The modifications increased the four’s output to 83 horsepower, which was impressive for such a small engine. In 1950, Guido Scagliarini drove the original 205 A to a first-place finish in the 1100-cc category of the Coppa Intereuropa held on the Monza track. The car participated in other competitions during the early 1950s, including the Mille Miglia, and it turned heads at the 1950 Turin Auto Show. The 205 A cost as much as a Ferrari with a 2.0-litre engine, so sales were low. Abarth only built three examples of the car, including an upmarket variant that Carlo daily-drove. Surprisingly, the three cars managed to survive 70-year beating of road and track use.

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1956 Abarth 600 Record Car Designed by Bertone. Though powered by a tiny, 600cc engine adapted from the Fiat 600, this one-off was clearly inspired by the aeronautical industry, which was a common inspiration for car designers during this era. There were two prototypes constructed, and between them they set 10 high-speed world records at Monza.

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1957 Abarth 500 Coupe: Abarth and Zagato envisioned the 500 Coupe as a cheaper, less powerful alternative to the emblematic 750 with the famed double-bubble roof. Both cars looked a lot alike, but the 500-powered model received a smooth roof panel, and its smaller engine didn’t require extra air intakes on top of the deck lid to breathe. Its wheels kept the 500’s wide bolt pattern, which was one of the few visual links between Fiat’s mass-produced, entry-level model and this hand-built, race-ready coupe. The rear license plate light housing was another. Power came from an Abarth-tuned version of the 500’s 479-cc, two-cylinder engine. The air-cooled unit made 26 horsepower, a massive increase considering buyers of the 500 settled for only 13 hp in 1957. Abarth’s record keeping was approximate at best, but most historians agree about four examples of the 500 Coupe were built during the late ’50s. In contrast, the number of 750s built lies in the hundreds. The 500 Coupe is largely forgotten in 2019, though Abarth and Zagato paid a vague homage to it in 2011 when it unveiled the Fiat 500 Coupe by Zagato during the Geneva show.

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1957 Abarth 750 Zagato Spyder: While the race-winning 750 remains one of Abarth’s best-known classic models, the Spyder version of the car is as unknown as if it had never existed. Abarth and Zagato built approximately six drop-top 750s during the late 1950s in a bid to reach a wider audience. The hardtop 750 was built to race; the Spyder was more of a celebrity-friendly boulevard cruiser with the soul of a race car. It received a more stylish design with mini tail fins cribbed from much bigger American convertibles, more chrome trim for an upmarket look, and a better equipped interior. Like the 750, the Spyder was based on the 600. It used a 747-cc evolution of the 600’s water-cooled, four-cylinder engine whose output grew from 23 to 44 hp. British magazine Autocar tested a 750 Spyder in 1958 and reached the hair-raising speed of 95 mph. Historians disagree on why Spyder production remained in the single digits. Some claim Zagato struggled to keep up with demand for the hardtop 750 and didn’t have the production capacity to make more convertibles. Others believe Carlo Abarth didn’t like the Zagato’s design, which would explain why he later handed the task of making a top-less 750 to Allemano.

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1958 Abarth 500 Record: In the 1950s, Abarth saw no limit to the pocket-sized Fiat 500’s performance potential. The firm tuned the standard model a few months after its introduction and sent it straight to the Monza track, where the records it set helped kick the car’s career into high gear. It quickly turned it into the aforementioned coupe, but the most extreme 500-derived model was the streamlined, single-seater record car designed with input from Pininfarina. The 500 Record shared precious few components with the humble 500; it was built on a tubular chassis. Pininfarina put a tremendous amount of effort into making the body as light and as aerodynamic as possible. The driver entered the tight cabin through a front-hinged hatch that incorporated a wrap-around windshield for improved visibility. Pininfarina drilled holes through the hinges to keep weight in check, and it installed covers over the four wheels to reduce turbulence in the wheel wells. Engineers achieved a 0.25 drag coefficient, which places the car nearly on par with a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq (0.24). Abarth installed a 500-sourced, 479-cc two-cylinder engine rated at 36 hp, which was a lot considering the Record weighed a scant 815 pounds. Sent to Monza, the Record covered 28,000 kilometers (about 17,000 miles) in 10 days at an average speed of 116.38 kph (about 72 mph). This was an incredible feat for Fiat, Pininfarina, and Abarth.

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1961 Abarth 1000 Spider:

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1961 Abarth 1000 Bialbero: With the introduction of the Abarth twin cam 982cc engine came the 1000 Biabero. It used many of the same design principles from the 750 Record Monza and 700 Bialbero models which were produced in earlier years. These were specially built race cars that employed Fiat components and were tuned for motor sports. The car’s engine was a derivative of same found in the Fiat 600, but with an enlarged bore and stoke. Added to this was a special DOHC cylinder head that used hemispherical combustion chambers and an increased compression ratio. Along with an improved intake and exhaust the 1000 Bialbero could produce 91 bhp – nearly 100 bhp per litre.

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1963 Abarth-Simca 1300GT: Abarth made a name for itself by tuning small, rear-engined Fiat models, but it also worked with other car manufacturers, including Simca. The fact that Fiat still owned part of Simca at the turn of the 1960s facilitated the collaboration. Henri Theodore Pigozzi, the man who helped Fiat create Simca and ran it for decades, allegedly contacted Abarth in the months leading up to the 1000’s release to ask for two high-performance variants of the car. The first one needed to be a hotter version of the regular-production model. The second one was a coupe based on the production car, but fitted with a racing-specific body, and upgraded with a wide array of mechanical modifications. The Simca-Abarth 1150’s promising career was cut short when Chrysler began buying into Simca and Pigozzi quit. However, Abarth received a shipment of bare 1000 chassis to turn into race cars. After experimenting with a 1.0-litre engine, Abarth adopted a 1.3-litre that delivered 128 hp thanks in part to a pair of big Weber carburetors. The four shifted through a Simca-sourced four-speed manual transmission, but clients could order an Abarth-designed six-speed manual at an extra cost. Abarth entered four 1300 GTs in the 1962 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. One car finished 14th; the other three dropped out of the race. The model fared better in 1963, when it stunningly earned 90 first-place finishes at a wide variety of events, including the 12 Hours of Sebring.

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1965 Abarth 2400 Allemano Coupe: In the late 1950s, Abarth mostly made small, high-performance cars either based on an existing Fiat model, or built using Fiat-sourced components. The company also quietly dabbled in stately grand tourers, like the 2400 Coupe, that were equal parts quick and luxurious. Like the firm’s smaller models, the 2400 Coupe started life as a Fiat. It traced its roots to the high-end 2300 Coupe. Abarth raised the straight-six engine’s displacement from 2279 to 2323 cubic centimeters to obtain 157 horsepower. The brand also installed three Weber carburettors, lighter pistons, and a brand-new exhaust system. Michelotti designed an elegant, well-proportioned coupe body that could nearly pass as a member of the Ferrari family, and Allemano handled production. Abarth’s records indicate a few dozen 2400 Coupes were built. They were hand-made, so no two cars were exactly alike. The aluminium-bodied example in Engelbert Möll’s collection was Carlo Abarth’s personal car. The grandiose coupe illustrates a rarely-seen facet of the Abarth brand, one it later gave up on to focus entirely on flat-out performance.

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1965 Abarth-Simca 2-Mila: Abarth’s bet had paid off. Even with little support and almost no enthusiasm from Simca, the 1000-derived 1300 GT had become a force to be reckoned with on race tracks around the world. The company’s ambitions didn’t stop at the 1300-cc category. In 1964, it stuffed the OT 2000’s 177-hp, 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the engine bay, and made the coupe more stable at high speeds by extending its rear end and integrating a spoiler into the decklid. The modifications transformed the 1300 GT into a monster of a race car that required serious driving skills to tame. Abarth named it 2 Mila, a name which means “two thousand” in Italian, and refers to the engine’s displacement. Brave and determined customers could order a 192-hp version of the engine, and the 2 Mila’s output later grew to 202 hp thanks in part to bigger carburettors. Simca severed ties with Abarth in 1965, and it ultimately founded an in-house racing department which created the race-winning 1000 Rallye. Abarth continued building—and racing—Simca-based cars for several more years, however.

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1965 Abarth 2000 OT Periscopica: Following Simca’s acquisition by Chrysler, the new owner  had no interest in any continuation of the previously successful Simca Abarth and Abarth Simca high-performance car collaboration, which meant Carlo Abarth found himself with a quite a stock of what were basically unused  Simca 1000 chassis floor pans, upon which the Abarth Simca 1600s and 2000s had been based. The popular legend is that it was upon these unused Simca platforms that Abarth then founded his 1300cc class Gran Turismo design for 1965 – the OT 1300. Abarth’s technical team under Mario Colucci had developed a boxed pressed-steel chassis structure on the modified Simca 1000 floor pan to which all-independent suspension was attached with componentry drawn from the Fiat 850 shelves. The Abarth OT 1300 then emerged, to race for the first time as a prototype in the September, 1965, Nurburgring 500-Kilometre classic. Driver Klaus Steinmetz hammered the new Coupé home to a fine third-place finish overall and the OT 1300 was up and running into the record books, becoming one of the most successful – and also one of the most distinctive – models that Abarth & C ever produced. The OT 1300’s rear-mounted all-Abarth engine was overhung – in best Carlo Abarth-approved style. It was a 4-cylinder unit with twin overhead camshaft cylinder head. With two valves per cylinder and a 10.5:1 compression ratio, the engine breathed through two twin-choke Weber 45DCOE9 carburettors. Ignition was by two plugs per cylinder, fired by single distributor. Dry-sump lubrication was adopted and the power unit produced a reliable 147bhp at 8,800rpm. This lusty engine, perfected by Abarth’s power-unit specialist Luciano Fochi with five main-bearing crankshaft, drove via a five-speed and reverse Abarth transaxle. Wheelbase length of the OT 1300 was nominally 2015mm, front track 1296mm and rear track 1340mm. It featured moulded glassfibre clamshell-style opening front and rear body sections moulded by Sibona & Basano in Turin, and this pert-nosed Coupé became a familiar sight dominating its class for three consecutive years. Production of the OT 1300 began on May 15 1966 and ended on March 30, 1966, by which time the minimum production number of 50 required by the FIA for homologation as a Gran Turismo model had (allegedly) been achieved. The most distinctive single characteristic of the OT 1300 Coupé, apart from its huge International success within its class, was its adoption of the Periscopica air-cooling intake on the rear of the cabin roof. Casual onlookers would assume that the periscope-like intake fed intake air into the rear-mounted engine, but this is absolutely not the case. Instead, the water and oil-cooling pipe runs through the cockpit area heated-up the cabin to what was generally considered to be an unacceptable level for endurance racing, and the periscope intake merely blasted cold air down into the cabin to cool the driver himself. From the OT 1300 Mario Colucci developed the OT 2000 Coupé using the 1946cc 4-cylinder power unit perfected by his colleague Luciano Fochi and with some 215bhp at 7,600rpm. The larger engined model was capable of exceeding 165mph in a straight line.

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1966 Abarth OT 2000 Coupe America: Abarth tried replicating the success of its 500- and 600-based models by releasing hotter variants of the Fiat 850 introduced in 1964. The strategy should have worked, especially because the coupe and convertible variants introduced by Fiat in 1965 gave Abarth a full catalogue of volume-produced models to build on without having to knock on a coachbuilder’s door. One of the most extreme 850-based models was the OT 2000 presented during the 1966 Turin show. Based on the 850 Coupe, it received a 185-horsepower version of the 2 Mila’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with more torque to make it more usable on public roads. The four spun the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission, and it sent the 1500-pound OT 2000 to a top speed in the vicinity of 150 mph. It looked like a 150-mph car, too. Abarth added wing flares to cover the wider wheel and tyre combination. It also re-located the radiator from the engine bay to the front boot, which required stuffing the spare tyre horizontally in a storage compartment chiselled into the front end. The long, straight exhaust pipe that extended the car’s length by a few inches removed any lingering doubts about its identity. It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill 850. Abarth’s 850-based models weren’t as successful as the company’s earlier cars. In hindsight, they were too expensive, which alienated many potential buyers, and their mechanical components—which often came straight from the pit lane—were too delicate to withstand the hustle and bustle of life off the track. Only five examples of the OT 2000 were built.

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1968 Abarth 1000 TCR Radiale GR. 5: On paper and in the metal, the Abarth 1000 TCR Radiale stands out as the most extreme evolution of the Fiat 600, a model introduced in 1955 to put Italy on wheels. The 108-hp, 1285-pound TCR was built to compete in the Group 5 category, where relatively loose regulations allowed a wider scope of mechanical modifications. Abarth took advantage of the permissive rules by dropping the engine to lower the car’s center of gravity in order to improve handling. The 1.0-litre four-cylinder received a head with hemispherical combustion chambers (so, yes, Mopar fans, that thing’s got a hemi). It was developed in-house by Abarth, and it wasn’t found on any series-produced Fiat model. Given a long enough stretch of tarmac, the TCR could reach a top speed of about 124 mph. Suspension modifications helped pilots make the most of the engine’s grunt while keeping the front end pointed in the direction of travel. Registered in Venezuela, the 1000 TCR Radiale displayed in Geneva won the 500-kilometre race held on the Nürburgring in 1968.

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1970 Abarth 595SS Corsa: Abarth introduced the 595 as a homologation special at the 1963 Turin show. Starting with a Fiat 500, a car that was anything but sporty in its standard configuration, the firm fitted a 594-cc engine (hence the name, rounded up) rated at 27 horsepower, a nearly 50-percent increase over the regular-production model. It could reach 74 mph, which surprised more than a few Alfa Romeo and Lancia drivers on Italy’s autostrada. The SS variant released in 1964 boasted an 80-mph top speed thanks to a 32-hp evolution of the twin. Abarth built its first 500-based models by purchasing complete cars from Fiat and modifying them in its workshop. Starting in late 1963, Fiat agreed to provide Abarth with partially-assembled cars. The deal streamlined the production process. Customers could either buy a finished 595 from Abarth, or purchase wooden crates containing all the parts needed to turn a homely 500 into a hot rod. Production of the 595 ended in 1971.

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1969 Abarth 2000 SE 010:  By the late ’60s, noting a dramatic decline in sales of its vehicles, Carlo Abarth decided to focus on the production of sports cars for sale to private entrants. To encourage them with a purchase, he created this car, the 2000 Sport Tipo SE 010. The engine was a four-cylinder 2 litre with two Weber 58 DC03 carburettors that generated 250 hp and gave a maximum speed of 270 km/h. There was a five-speed manual transmission. The chassis frame was of a tubular type made of steel. The front suspensions consisted of oscillating trapezoids, coil springs, stabilizer bars and telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers, while the rear ones had oscillating arms, coil springs, stabilizer bars and telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers. Driven for the first time in the uphill race at Ampus, in France, the 2000 Sport obtained numerous victories and placements, including claiming the first three positions in the 500 km of the Nürburgring in 1968 with Shetty, Ortner and Merzario.

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1971 Abarth 2000 SE 021: During the Sixties, Abarth with the involvement of Vincenzo ‘Enzo’ Osella produced cars with the motor more midships and both these and the overhung engines became well developed and successful in racing and hill climbs. When Abarth sold out to Fiat in 1971, becoming the latter’s competitions department, the racing team was purchased by Osella. Following his takeover of Abarth’s racing assets, he worked with designer Antonio Tomaini to produce the Abarth-Osella SE 021 that won the European 2-Litre Championship in 1972.

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1970 Abarth 3000 SE 022: One of the last cars that Abarth built and raced before its acquisition by Fiat in 1972 was the 3000 SE022. Fitted with a 3 litre V8 rated at 375 hp and a 180 mph top speed, this 3000 SE022 won the European Hill Climb Championship in 1971.

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ABT

This tuning concern specialises in the products of the VW Group. Mostly it is Audi models to which they turn their attention, but VW and now Cupra do not escape their interest, either.

Audi launched a new A6 range last year and the ABT Sportsline team have been working on how they would enhance the appeal of a new  A6 Avant. Starting with the 3.0-litre diesel engine, they fit their own Engine Control Unit. As a result, the TDI’s output has increased from 286 PS (282 hp) to 330 PS (325 hp). Not bad at all, considering the only work done concerned the ECU. ABT claims that the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) has been improved by two tenths of a second , down to 5.5 seconds from the stock model’s 5.7 seconds. For the exterior, the tuner chose a Glacier White paint that’s contrasted by a few glossy black accents. They also installed a front apron, rear skirt add-on and matte black tailpipes, 89 mm (3.5 in) in diameter. ABT dropped the standard rims for new, big 9.5×21-inch ones finished in Mystic Black and wrapped in 255/35 Continental tyres. Greeting driver and passengers upon opening the doors are the ABT integrated entrance lights. The interior is pretty much stock, apart from a specific push-button cover.

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Most conspicuous car on the stand was this RS4+.When the car was first announced, images showed a Misano Red example, but the Geneva show car is rocking Viper Green, so you really can’t miss it.  Its 2.9-litre twin turbocharged V6 engine now makes a proper 510 PS (503 HP) and 680 Nm (502 lb-ft) of torque, up from its standard of 450 PS (444 HP) and 600 Nm (443 lb-ft). Other changes include height-adjustable sport springs, carbon-look quad exhaust tips, 20-inch wheels and carbon aero package.

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Following a rather timid first attempt last year, ABT Sportsline is giving the Audi Q8 a proper styling and performance upgrade, with an aerodynamic kit and performance boost, aimed at enhancing the Q8’s sporty side. Design-wise, the after-market company has made significant changes inside and out that will surely be noticed this time. On the outside, the Q8 gains a front skirt add-on with front blade and air inlet panels, a rear skirt set including add-on and fins, as well as a rear wing. All are available in a glossy black finish, as is the ABT lettering. The tuner also fitted the SUV with 10×22-inch ABT Sport GR wheels with concave rim base. The massive alloys are available in matt black with a diamond-polished surface or in glossy black with diamond-polished rim flange. New 23-inch rims are an option. For the cabin, the tuner offers a carbon fibre covers for the gear lever and surround, as well as the seat frames. Furthermore, customers can have the start-stop switch cap in a metal finish as well as ABT integrated welcome lights that project the company logo onto the asphalt when the door is open. To ensure the Audi Q8 gets a performance boost worthy of the styling upgrades, the 3.0-litre TDI engine received the ABT Engine Control (AEC) unit that unlocks 330 PS (325 hp) and 650 Nm (479 lb/ft) of torque from the V6 unit. Those are respectable gains over the stock Q8 50 TDI’s 286 PS (282 hp) and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) of torque. We’re not told how the added power and torque improve performance, though. Besides the chip tuning, the after-market company fitted the Q8 with the ABT Level Control that enables electronic lowering of the standard air suspension for better cornering abilities and a more aggressive stance.

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Also here was an ABT interpretation of the Cupra Ateca.

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AIWAYS

Shanghai-based startup Aiways wants to become the first Chinese automaker to sell electric vehicles in Europe, and this U5 electric crossover is the car they hope to sell. The first vehicle of its kind to be launched by a Chinese brand in Europe is a midsize SUV that promises a 460-km (286-mile) driving range as per NEDC. Aiways says the U5 will offer premium build quality, connectivity and safety thanks to its aluminium-steel More Adaptable Structure (MAS) platform. The company has invested €1.7 billion ($1.91 billion) in the Shangrao plant in Jiangxi Province where the U5 will be manufactured. Initially, the factory will be able to produce 150,000 cars a year but the second phase of expansion will double its capacity.

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ALFA ROMEO

One of few true surprises at the show was a concept which will eventually become Alfa’s first-ever compact SUV. Dubbed ‘Tonale’, the concept utilises a hybrid system and, like the Stelvio, is named after a mountain pass in Northern Italy. According to Alfa, the Tonale Concept is inspired by the “beauty and nuances associated with human forms, and the organic movement of light resulted by pure lines and volumes.” In other words, you might call it stylish. The front end features Alfa Romeo’s signature “Trilobo” light graphic as well as the distinctive “Scudetto” grille. The rear meanwhile comes with an enveloping window design, complemented by the suspended wing and a special light graphic that’s said to be reminiscent of a hand-written signature, rather than a more traditional optical lighting element. As for the wheels, they measure 21-inches in diameter and are said to create an “honest and impactful execution of the circular theme”. Step inside the Tonale Concept and you’ll find a driver oriented layout, surrounded by rich materials such as aluminium, leather and Alcantara. Features include translucent backlit panels, the DNA drive mode selector, a 12.3-inch fully digital cluster, plus a 10.25-inch touchscreen central head unit. The infotainment system has two new functions in ‘Alfista’ and ‘Paddock’ – where the former is described as an immersive Alfa Romeo Lifestyle experience, providing users with a fully connected interface with select Alfa Romeo clubs and Community events, like gatherings, drives and meets. The in-vehicle app also allows the driver access to live news and updates regarding Alfa Romeo, while providing the opportunity to win VIP access to special events. The ‘Paddock’ function on the other hand is all about purchasing the latest interior and exterior performance upgrades and equipment, letting you scroll through the latest offerings of Alfa Romeo merchandise and apparel. Alfa avoided giving out specific technical details, but it said the concept is motivated by a hybrid engine, most likely a variant of the plug-in hybrid unit introduced in the Jeep Renegade, while the SUV is likely based on a modified version of Fiat Chrysler’s front-wheel drive compact platform, instead of a shorter version of the rear-drive Giulia and Stelvio architecture. In the Tonale, Alfa Romeo’s drive modes now implement specific energy management functions. Dynamic mode for example evolves into ‘Dual Power’ and offers the maximum output from the two engines – the electric and ICE units. By pushing the E-mozione button on the touchscreen you can then fiddle with specific throttle settings, make the brakes sharper and gain a more direct steering response. Then there’s Natural mode, which is all about maintaining the best optimization between electrical and internal combustion engines, while the Advance E mode handles performance while operating just under battery power. I think it looks fantastic and hope that this will finally finally finally be the car to bring Alfa the sales volume the brand so desperately needs.

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A duo of cars you would be hard pressed to miss were the Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio ‘Alfa Romeo Racing’ limited edition models, built with some help from Sauber Engineering. The Formula 1 outfit provided assistance with designing the exclusive carbon fibre Aero kit worn by the two vehicles, and then provided two F1 drivers to pose next to them in 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen and 2019 rookie Antonio Giovinazzi. The changes aren’t just cosmetic, apparently, as they actually improve the aerodynamic performance of the two family cars by increasing downforce and enhancing their overall dynamic qualities. Other mods include the carbon fibre exterior details (including the roofs), Sparco leather and Alcantara sports seats with carbon shell, oversized brakes with carbon-ceramic discs, and custom Akrapovic titanium exhaust systems. Altogether, both cars weigh about 28 kg (61 lbs) less than their standard counterparts. Oh and the paint scheme? That’s a tribute to the new Alfa Romeo Racing C38 F1 car. Not only are these two models lighter than before, but they also have more muscle underneath the bonnet, where the output figure now stands at 520 PS (512 HP), an increase of about 10 horses for their twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 engines. Just ten of each model will be produced.

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The Giulia and Stelvio are now established models and there were some minor changes to the regular range also announced here. First off is an updated Stelvio Ti model, with new burnished rear light clusters and wider use of carbon, including the mirror caps and the “V” of the front cloverleaf. Other content includes 20″ alloy wheels combined with the yellow sports brake callipers, exterior window frames and tailpipes in gloss black, and the dark “Stelvio” and” Q4″ badges and privacy glazing. No changes were made under the bonnet where power is provided by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 276hp (280PS) and 295lb-ft (400Nm) of torque. Paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the Q4 all-wheel drive system, the four pot allows the SUV to reach 62mph (100km/h) in 5.7 seconds. The Giulia also debuted a Veloce Ti version, which combines the same 276hp turbo-four powertrain with more aggressive Quadrifoglio-derived styling details.

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The Giulietta has not been forgotten, and there are some styling and equipment updates for the 2019 model year. Those who expected big design tweaks will likely be disappointed. New for 2019 are the Visconti Green exterior paint, new 18-inch alloys, and special upholstery. Alfa Romeo has also reshuffled the range into five trim levels: Giulietta, Giulietta Super, Giulietta Sport, Giulietta Executive, and Giulietta Veloce. Additionally, there are six accessory packages that further individualise the Italian hatchback labelled Business Pack, Convenience Pack, Carbon Look Pack, Red Racing Pack, Yellow Racing Pack, and Tech Pack. All the engines in the lineup now comply with the Euro 6d-TEMP standard. The range includes a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol four that makes 120 PS (118 hp), a 1.6-litre Multijet turbodiesel that delivers the same power output, and a 2.0-litre Multijet turbodiesel rated at 170 PS (168 hp). The latter replaces the 1.75-litre turbo petrol unit in the Giulietta Veloce. The range-topping engine comes equipped with an Alfa TCT six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard, while the lower-powered diesel offers the auto as an option. The driver can modify the TCT transmission shifting logics using the Alfa DNA driving mode selector which also adjusts the car’s engine response, brakes, Alfa Q2 electronic self-locking differential, ESC control system and the ASR traction control.

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ALPINA

One car stood out above the others on the Alpina stand, the B4 S Edition 99. It is available as both a Convertible as well as a Coupe, with the latter being the version on show here, in a dual-tone Fire Orange and grey liveried exterior. As its name suggests, the car is strictly limited to 99 units and if you stick with the Coupe, you can also have all-wheel drive, while the Convertible is RWD-only. Additional paint options are available, like Alpina Blue, Sapphire Black and Mineral White. The design of the B4 S Edition 99 is based on the successful BMW Alpina race cars of the 1970s, which is why the German tuner offers a Fire Orange exterior with a Heritage Design option where selected body panels are covered in an Anthracite wrap, just like on the Geneva show car. As for the Alpina Classic wheels, they have a Ferric Grey shine and measure 20-inches in diameter. Inside, you’ll find either Alcantara Anthracite or Carbon Leather trim, matte black paddle shifters, a hand-finished Alpina Lavalina sport steering wheel with contrast stitching, hand-finished floor mats, stainless steel production plaques with limited edition numbering and electrically adjustable sports seats. Alpina installed a revised Sport Plus Suspension to improve driving dynamics, while body reinforcements both at the front and rear increase torsional stiffness and sharpen up chassis response and feedback. The Edition 99 features a lightweight titanium exhaust system developed together with Akrapovic, while its 3.0-litre straight-six bi-turbo engine produces 452 PS (445 HP) and 660 Nm (486 lb/ft) of torque. Flooring it from a standstill means you’ll be hitting 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds if you get the xDrive version, that also has A 303 km/h (188 mph) top speed, or 4.2 seconds for the rear-wheel drive that, however, maxes out at 306 km/h (190 mph). Either way, performance is excellent, and both rear- and all-wheel drive models can be paired up with a limited slip differential.

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Also here were a trio of other models, with the B5 Touring joined by the latest B7 and the XD4 version of the second generation X4. The B7 BiTurbo is an extensively remodelled version of Alpina’s flagship, with the latest visual changes from the facelifted regular BMW 7 Series, an enhanced drive train, improved assistance systems and better connectivity. The 4.4-V8 Bi-Turbo delivers 608 hp and 800 Nm torque at 2,000 instead of 3,000 rpm, covers 0-100 km/h in 3.6 s and has a top speed of 330 km/h.

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ARCFOX

There were a crazy number of all-electric vehicles present at this year’s Show, from urban-friendly family cars to genuine hypercars that don’t require a sip of petrol in order to fire up whatever insanity lies underneath. BAIC’s Arcfox-GT is one such car, powered by four electric motors generating a whooping 1,020 PS (1,005 HP / 750 kW). Thanks to its lightweight construction and staggering power output, the GT is able to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.59 seconds, which is Bugatti Chiron territory. The best part about the Arcfox GT is that there’s actually two of them. The “entry-level” model is the one you just read about. It’s called ‘Street Edition’ and it’s a big part of BAIC’s plan to assert itself outside of China. However, customers looking for a more track-focused solution can opt for the flagship ‘Track Edition’ version of the GT, which you can see here rocking a very light shade of blue. It uses the latest Formula E technology, putting down a whooping 1,632 PS (1,609 HP / 1,200 kW) and 1,320 Nm (973 lb-ft) of torque. “Arcfox is a beam of light that the BAIC Group presents to the world with its innovation and this beam of light is illuminating the way for us to move forward,” said company chairman Mr. Heyi Xu. The Arcfox GT is a product of BAIC’s high-performance vehicle R&D centre in Spain. As for how it compares to that Arcfox 7 Concept from 2016, well, we’ll let you work that out for yourselves. We will however point out that the Arcfox-7 was nowhere near as powerful as the Arcfox GT.

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Also here from BAIC BJEV’s sub-brand Arcfox is this ECF Concept. Presented for the first time here, it’s been sketched by the famed Walter de Silva. Volkswagen Group’s former chief designer is the man responsible for some iconic cars such as the Lamborghini Egoista, first-gen Audi R8, Alfa Romeo 147 and 156, Volkswagen Scirocco and Audi A5, to mention just a few. De Silva’s vast experience in car design has led to the creation of a very minimalistic-looking vehicle, with clean and continuous lines that run across its length, merging into the body panels seamlessly. The ECF proudly wears its backlit name in the lower part of the front and rear bumpers, and on the C pillars. The company’s logo and the ‘Arcfox’ lettering are also backlit at both ends, and taking the role of the traditional taillamps is a very thin light strip. The cockpit follows the same simple and modern design trend. The dashboard has a black and white look, there’s a U-shaped steering wheel with buttons on each side that control different functions, and the gear selector is positioned in front of the armrest. Speaking of which, the latter stretches from the front all the way to the rear individual seats, thus separating the front and left sides of the car. The ECF has a 2,900 mm (114.2 in) long wheelbase, uses an electric powertrain with more than 600 km (373 miles) of range, and is equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving, which means that drivers can take their eyes off the road, yet they need to be ready to intervene from time to time. The ECF also provides a first look into Arcfox’s future design language and is thought to serve as a preview of their upcoming electric SUV.

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ASTON MARTIN

Last year, Aston Martin moved into the stand area vacated by Opel, giving them a lot more space, and they were in the same place this year. With a mix of production cars and two spectacular concepts which were for many the Stars of the Show, they had plenty to display. Access to the stand was restricted, as is the case with most of the very high end marques, though it seemed that if you queued up patiently, you would eventually get on. I waited, at a quiet time, but was politely declined, for some reason, even though they seemed to be letting just about everyone else on for a closer look. I am not quite sure why they thought I was not worthy of their cars.

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This is the Aston Martin Vanquish Vision Concept, unveiled at the Show and previewing the British automaker’s upcoming mid-engine supercar. The new Vanquish will slot below the Valkyrie and 003 hypercars in Aston’s range and take the fight to the likes of the Ferrari F8 Tributo and McLaren 720S. Aston Martin is keeping many core details of the Vanquish Vision Concept under wraps but has confirmed that it will feature a version of the marque’s new V6 which is set to premiere in hybrid turbo form in the 003 hypercar. Limited details are known about this V6 but in order to match or exceed the 710 hp outputs of the McLaren 720S and Ferrari F8 Tributo, it will likely use some form of hybridisation or twin-turbochargers. Aston did say that the Vanquish Vision Concept ditches the carbon fibre monocoque chassis of the Valkyrie and 003 and instead uses a bespoke bonded aluminium chassis. This platform will be cheaper and easier to produce than a carbon fibre alternative and allow Aston Martin to price the vehicle at a similar level to its rivals. “The model will see the return of the Vanquish name. “Synonymous with our series production flagships, it felt entirely appropriate to attach it to such a significant car”, Andy Palmer, CEO has said. “The Vanquish Vision Concept marks another pivotal moment in Aston Martin’s history, and another critical step in delivering the Second Century Plan. Our first series production rear mid-engined supercar will be a transformational moment for the brand, for it is the car that will propel Aston Martin into a sector of the market traditionally seen as the heartland of luxury sports cars.” The design of the Aston Martin Vanquish Vision Concept shares an obvious resemblance to the Valkyrie. This is particularly evident at the vehicle’s front-end where there are similar oval-shaped headlights to the Valkyrie as well as a similar aerodynamic front bumper and sculpted front splitter. At the rear, the supercar includes a pair of tailpipes exiting high up the fascia.

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The second concept making its debut here was called the AM-RB 003, formerly Project 003, and is a limited-run hypercar which it is planned will go on sale in 2021. It’ll have a twin-turbocharged V6 with hybrid assistance, and an electrified front axle to make it four wheel drive. Limited to 500 units, the informally-named ‘son of Valkyrie’ will likely cost  £1m.

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Production cars featured, too, with the recently released DB11 Volante and Vantage joining the coupe version of the DB11 and the new DBS Superleggera.

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AUDI

As ever, Audi had a vast stand, and it got very busy right from the outset. Easiest cars to examine and to photograph are the ones given star-billing on display plinths at the back of the stand. The three models selected for this show a clear direction for the brand, both in styling terms and also mechanically. Making its world debut here was the Q4 e-Tron concept. It shares many styling traits with other ‘e-tron’ badged models in Audi’s range, but also has enough unique characteristics. At the front, the Q4 e-tron concept features a large silver faux front grille and a set of angular air intakes. There’s also a glowing e-tron badge in the lower part of the bumper and a pair of slim headlights which appear slightly softer than the aggressive lights found on other Audi models, including the Q8. Being a concept, it sits on a set of massive wheels and tyres which probably won’t make their way into production. The rear end is dominated by a pair of taillights with a mixture of sharp lines and curved edges connected with an LED light bar stretching the width of the rear. A second glowing e-tron badge is also found at the rear, sitting just above a diffuser. Interestingly, the Q4 e-tron concept doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the existing Audi e-tron SUV with rear-view cameras and instead uses traditional wing mirrors. Powering the Audi Q4 e-tron Concept are a pair of electric motors that deliver a combined 301 hp of power. Of that, 150 kW (201 hp) and 310 Nm (228 lb-ft) comes from the rear electric motor, while the e-motor up front delivers 75 kW (100 hp) and 150 Nm (110 lb-ft). Thanks to the dual electric motor setup, the SUV features quattro all-wheel drive and thanks to the instant torque can accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a brisk 6.3 seconds. The vehicle’s top speed sits at an electronically limited 180 km/h (112 mph). Apart from straight-line performance, however, potential customers will care about its range, too. Fitted with an 82 kWh battery pack, the SUV can exceed 450 km (279 miles) on a single charge a per the WLTP cycle. Moreover, the battery can be charged to 80 per cent of its capacity in 30 minutes. Audi says that the Q4 e-tron Concept is technically positioned in the upper third of the compact class due to its dimensions. However, the generous 2.77-metre (9-foot) wheelbase puts it into a class above in terms of interior space. The airy cabin is particularly roomy thanks to the lack of a traditional transmission tunnel required by an equivalent ICE-powered SUV of this size. Speaking of the cabin, Audi has outfitted the concept with its latest Virtual Cockpit as well as a 12.3-inch touchscreen that is used to operate all infotainment and vehicle functions. The centre console also includes a generous storage space with a mobile phone charging cradle. The Q4 e-tron Concept will reach the production line at the end of 2020 and will be Audi’s fifth electric model. While the production model will look a little different, the German automaker says the visual changes will be minor. Which, given how good the concept looks, is a very good thing indeed.

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Although the e-Tron GT Concept made its debut at the Los Angeles Show back in December, it was only left on display for the press, and then removed. No such issues here, where it was the second of cars on the display plinth. It measures about the same as an A7 Sportback, while looking a lot more aggressive. The concept measures 4.96 m (16.2 ft) in length and 1.96 m (6.43 ft) in width, which as previously stated, are A7 Sportback numbers, something we don’t mind at all. As for its height and its wheelbase, we’re dealing with 1.38 meters (4.5 feet) and 2.90 meters (9.5 feet) respectively. The e-tron GT Concept was born out of a direct collaboration between Audi Sport and Porsche, beginning with the platform (same one used on the Taycan), and including the battery pack. While an exact range hasn’t been specified, the fully electric e-tron GT is expected to travel for over 400 km (248 miles) on a single charge, and can be charged to 80% of its capacity in around 20 minutes thanks to its 800-volt system, for a range of about 199 miles (320 km). When it comes to straight line performance, the e-tron GT should give Audi RS models a proper run for their money, thanks to a total power output figure of 434 kW, which translates to 590 PS (582 HP). Audi expects the production version of the dual-motor e-tron GT to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in around 3.5 seconds, before reaching 124 mph (200 km/h) in just over 12 seconds. Top speed will be limited to 149 mph (240 km/h) for EV range purposes. Now, if the performance figures aren’t exciting enough for you, then know that there will be very few visual differences between this concept car and the production-ready model coming in 2020. The front end design is extremely aggressive, with a strong hexagonal grille, Matrix LED headlights with lightning bolt-like graphics and a sporty-looking bumper design. Moving along the sides of the car we spot large 22-inch alloy wheels with 285/30 tyres, as well as side skirts and absent door handles, although if the Porsche Taycan is anything to go by (and it should), regular door handles could appear on the production car. Also, the reason why it has those large air intakes is to ensure proper cooling of the battery pack. As for the rear end, it’s more coupe-like than the A7 Sportback’s, while light stretches the entire length of the fascia. To say that this is by far the most dynamic-looking four-door Audi ever built, would not be an understatement. A look inside the e-tron GT reveals a very minimalist cabin, where most surfaces feature some type of touchscreen functionality, except of course for the gauge cluster, which is probably just fully digital. The screens are however oriented towards the driver, who can also operate the car via an intelligent voice assistant. Other features include the Alcantara steering wheel, new materials, a drive mode selector that helps change the car’s behaviour, and a four-seat layout, although a fifth person could squeeze in the middle if they had to. When it comes out, expect this car to boast Level 3 autonomous functionality, as well as high levels of connectivity for mobile devices, app usage and so on. While the e-tron GT will go into production by the end of 2020, initial deliveries won’t be made until early 2021.

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The third car on the display plinth is one you can buy now, the e-Tron 55 quattro, which was launched last autumn, and sales of which have just started. This is Audi’s riposte to the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X. It looks set to give them both the proverbial bloody nose. There was another example elsewhere on the stand.

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Yet to become a familiar sight on our roads, the new A1 has recently gone on sale. It comes as a 5 door only and has edgier styling than its predecessor.

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This may turn out to be the last major show for the A3, as a new model is rumoured to be waiting in the wings. Sportback and Cabrio versions were here.

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From the middle of the range were the mildly updated A4 Avant and the RS5 Sportback.

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Audi displayed no fewer than four new plug-in hybrid models here namely the Audi A6L 55 TFSIe Quattro, A7 55 TFSIe Quattro, A8L 60 TFSIe Quattro, and the Q5 55 TFSIe Quattro. The quartet are confusingly named, but they do represent some of the most enticing variants of each respective model. Powering the Audi A6L 55 TFSIe Quattro, A7 55 TFSIe Quattro, and Q5 55 TFSIe Quattro are powertrains outputting 363 hp and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. Lesser ’50 TFSIe’ models will also be offered for the A6, A7, and Q5. These models have 295 hp and 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) of twisting force. All models use a 14.1 kWh battery and have an all-electric range of 24.8 miles (40 km). Perhaps owing to the A8’s larger size and position in the market, it uses a powerful 3.0-liter V6 paired with a synchronous electric motor to offer up 443 hp and 516 lb-ft (699 Nm) of torque. Like the A6, A7, and Q5 models, it can recover energy under braking. There are three driving modes offered in the four vehicles. The first, dubbed EV mode, runs the vehicles solely on electric power. Switch over to Auto mode and the system intelligently uses the electric motor and combustion engine for maximum efficiency. Last but not least is Hold mode where the powertrain operates in the most efficient way to maintain the charge status of the battery. In addition to these modes, four additional models dubbed Comfort, Efficiency, Auto, and Dynamic are available through Audi’s familiar drive select dynamic handling system.

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There were examples of the SUV family here, too not all of which I managed to photograph. The big-selling Q3 was refreshed late last year and is starting to appear on our roads, and there was a couple of the new second generation model here.

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If the petrol-powered SQ5 is too thirsty for your taste, then Audi may have just the right vehicle for you, the new SQ5 Diesel. Unveiled for the European market, it’s powered by a 3.0-litre V6 TDI, with a mild-hybrid system and an electric powered compressor (EPC). The latter was first introduced in the SQ7 TDI and makes torque available immediately, with no turbo lag, while also keeping revs low and improving fuel consumption. The V6 diesel produces 347 PS (342 hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque. It’s married to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission and permanent Quattro all-wheel drive. The self-locking center differential can distribute up to 85 percent of the output to the rear axle, or up to 70 percent to the front, but under normal driving conditions, it has a 40:60 front-to-rear ratio. The 2019 SQ5 Diesel has a five-link suspension at the front and rear, and can be ordered with the optional sport differential for the rear axle, which actively distributes the torque between the rear wheels during dynamic cornering. Dynamic steering is another optional extra, along with the 21-inch wheels (20″ standard), several driving assistance items and technology features. Audi’s new sporty SUV has revised bumpers, a grille with double aluminium slats and contrasting trim elements, and S logos on the outside. It also gets standard LED front and rear lights, dynamic turn signals and an exclusive colour called Panther Black. The cabin has a dark-tone look and adds the exclusive S logos, illuminated door sills, leather and Alcantara sports seats with contrast stitching, stainless steel pedals, aluminum-look for the paddle shifters, brushed aluminium inlays and others. Clients can also upgrade to Nappa leather with rhombus pattern, wood applications or carbon inlay. In Germany, the new SQ5 TDI will have a base price of €67,750 and will arrive at dealers this summer.

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Completing the array of Crossovers was an example of the Q8, a model which sits at the top of the range, and is aimed at those who want a dose of style without the challenging looks of the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe.

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Appearing here for the first time were the facelifted TT RS Coupe and Roadster, which follow in the footsteps of the regular models with a few design updates. The revised RS features revised styling at the front and rear, joined by larger lateral air inlets and a new fixed rear wing with side winglets. The facelifted TT RS now has LED headlights as standard, and matrix units with matrix OLED reversing lights that put on a small show whenever the ignition is being switched on, as an option. Clients will have eight colors to choose from, including the model-specific Kyalami Green and the new Pulse Orange and Turbo Blue. Additionally, they can spec the car with the Matte Aluminium or Gloss Black styling packages that highlight the front blade and rear wing. The latter option adds black Audi rings and TT RS logos, while the Roadster gets a black fabric roof. New colour touches adorn the cabin as part of the new RS Design Package, which adds red or blue trim throughout the interior, while the Extended RS Design Package offers contrasting design elements on the seats and central console. The MMI Navigation Plus is optional and includes voice control, free text search and a Wi-Fi Hotspot. Connecting a smartphone to the infotainment system requires using the USB port. and the 680-watt Bang & Olufsen premium sound system provides a special experience to audiophiles. No revisions have been made to the engine. Thus, the 2.5-litre five-pot still has an output of 400 PS (394 hp) and 480 Nm (354 lb-ft) of torque. The five-cylinder is connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive and allows the TT RS Coupe to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), but can be lifted to 280 km/h (174 mph). Pricing for the Coupe starts at €67,700 in Germany and the Roadster can be had from €70,500. The first units will arrive at dealers this spring.

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Final Audi that I photographed was an example of the R8 Spyder, Audi’s supercar.

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AURUS

This is the Aurus Senat, a Russian-made luxury vehicle which incorporates a number of Rolls-Royce styling cues and were prominently featured during Vladimir Putin’s inauguration last year. The most notable is the armoured limousine which reportedly measures 21.7 feet (6,630 mm) long and has a massive 14.1 feet (4300 mm) wheelbase. Those dimensions dwarf the Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase and even the old Maybach 62. The Senat sedan is significantly smaller, but it’s not tiny by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it measures 18.4 feet (5630 mm) long with a wheelbase that spans 10.8 feet (3300 mm). While the exterior styling isn’t exactly ground breaking, the cabin is undeniably luxurious as it features premium leather upholstery, wood trim and metal accents. The cars are also pretty high-tech as they have a digital instrument cluster, a widescreen infotainment system and a dual screen rear entertainment system. Like Bentley and Rolls-Royce, Aurus offers an extensive personalization service which enables buyers to customise virtually every aspect of the interior. Power is provided by a hybridised V8 engine that produces 590 hp and 649 lb/ft (880 Nm) of torque. It enables the sedan to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km) in approximately six seconds, while the limousine can accomplish the same task in roughly nine seconds. In terms of safety, the Senats come standard with an assortment of driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and a collision avoidance system with pedestrian recognition technology. The model also has a blind spot warning system and a traffic sign recognition system. Aurus is currently accepting pre-orders, but noted production is extremely limited at the moment. However, a new plant is slated to open late next year in Tatarstan and this should enable Aurus to boost production to 5,000 units annually.

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BENTLEY

Following a not-so-revealing teaser, the new Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner made its public debut here. The new special edition of the Continental GT will be handcrafted by Mulliner in just 100 copies, with the specification inspired by the brand’s motorsport heritage and the Number 9 badging honouring the historic ‘Blower’ Bentley Le Mans race car. Each of the 100 examples of the Conti GT Number 9 Edition will actually feature a wood insert from the seat of the actual Le Mans race car, removed during a “sympathetic” renovation, on their special interior. The piece is set in resin and positioned in the middle of the centre dial of the rotating display. Customers will get to choose between Cumbrian Green or Beluga heritage hides that feature increased gloss levels to the seats, inner door panels and elsewhere. The centre console features a special aluminium ‘Engine Spin’ trim that’s was a popular finish for racing car in the 1920s and 1930s as it limited the reflection of the light. In addition, there’s an exclusive British Jaeger clock face inspired by the original No.9 Blower’s dials and 18K gold plated organ stops for the air vents. The exterior of the new Bentley Continental GT Number 9 edition can be finished in either Viridian Green or Beluga black exterior paint finish and features lots of No.9 badging and a matching front grille graphic. A set of 21-inch 10-spoke wheels, along with a carbon body kit complete the differences from the outside. The powertrain remains the same with the rest of the Continental GT models, meaning a twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine with 626hp and 664lb-ft of peak torque. 0-60mph comes in 3.6 seconds and the top speed stands at 207mph (333km/h).

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Placed alongside it on the stand was that “Blower” Le Mans car, still a vast leviathan even now. As the story goes, “Bentley boy” Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin persuaded Bentley chairman Woolf Barnato to let him enter a team at Le Mans in 1930, which led to the production of the Blower road cars. Birkin worked on a car out of his shop, bolting a Roots-type supercharger onto Bentley’s 4½ liter engine. While he didn’t win at Le Mans, Birkin reportedly drove this car to a second-place finish at the 1930 French Grand Prix.

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This is the new Bentley Bentayga Speed, the awaited performance version of an already quite powerful luxury SUV. Bentley claims that the new Bentayga Speed is the world’s new fastest SUV, featuring a top speed of 190 mph (305km/h) which is 0.5 mph quicker than what the previous record holder, the Lamborghini Urus, can achieve (189.5 mph). Power comes from an updated version of the twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 engine, which now offers 626hp and 664lb-ft (900Nm) of torque. Compared to the regular Bentayga, the Speed variant offers 26hp more but the same amount of torque. 0-62mph (100km/h) is now a matter of 3.9 seconds (down from 4.1). From the outside, the new Bentayga Speed distinguishes itself with dark-tint headlights, radiator and bumper grilles, model-specific 22-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured side skirts, a noticeable tailgate spoiler and discreet ‘Speed’ badging. The theme continues inside with a unique color-split theme that blends Alcantara, leather and lots of diamond quilting. In fact, this is the first time Bentley uses Alcantara in a Bentayga. A metal ‘Speed’ badge is mounted on the passenger side fascia while illuminated ‘Speed’ treadplate is also found on the side sills. Chassis revisions include a recalibrated Sport mode for better response from the W12 engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as a firmer suspension and an updated version of Bentley’s Dynamic Ride system. The latter was the first active roll control system in the market that runs through a 48-volt electrical system. The exhaust has also been tweaked for added character (that’s PR talk for louder) while the optional ceramic brakes are the largest and most powerful ever fitted to a Bentley.

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Also to be seen here was the new Continental GT Convertible, the open-top variant of its luxury gran tourer. The posh convertible gran tourer comes with a tailored soft top that can be deployed or stowed in 19 seconds, with the car travelling up to 30 mph (50km/h). Bentley will offer customers the option between seven different hood colours, including an authentic tweed finish for the first time. Bentley says that the new fabric soft top features new sealing and acoustic treatments, making the new Continental GT Convertible as quiet as the previous generation Continental GT Coupe. The new Bentley Continental GT C also features a new neck-warmer system, that’s both quieter and warmer than the previous model, integrated into the heated 20-way adjustable Comfort seats. The new comfort feature gets a chrome centre vane that stretches across the full width of the duct, mimicking the style of Bentley’s ‘bullseye’ vents. Combined with features such as the heated steering wheel, seat heaters and new heated armrests, the new Continental GT C poses as a luxurious convertible for all environments. Underneath its long bonnet lies the familiar 6.0-litre W12 paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The figures remain the same with its fixed-roof sibling, meaning 626 bhp and 664lb-ft (900Nm) of torque. 0-60 mph comes in 3.7 seconds and top speed is set at 207mph (333km/h), which is the same with the Coupe. Chopping off the roof in the Continental GT comes with a 352lbs (160kg) weight penalty, with the Convertible tipping the scales at 5,321lbs (2,414kg). The interior remains the same too, offering a stunningly luxurious environment to the driver and passengers. Bentley claims that rear legroom is identical to the Coupe too. A configurable digital instrument cluster, as well as the rotating 12.3-inch high-def infotainment display is also present, mixed successfully with the finest materials, including leather, metal and of course rare wooden veneers.

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BMW

BMW have a very large stand, situated at one of the hall, right next to arch-rival Mercedes, who have a similar amount of space. Both tend to get very busy, and allowance is made for this when the decisions are taken as to how many cars can be accommodated. With the vast ranges that both have, there’s only ever going to be a sub-set of the total range on show, with a focus on new models and versions, and that was certainly the case for BMW.

Among the smaller models on show were two familiar ones, the 2 Series Active Tourer, seen in Hybrid form, and the M2 Competition.

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Sitting above these in the range, in physical size terms is the 3 Series. Following the launch of the first of the G20 versions at last autumn’s Paris Show, more models are gradually being added to the range. new here was the M340i model kitted with an array of M Performance Parts. Late last year BMW presented its M Performance goodies for the G20 3 Series and this particular model seems to pack all of them — and then some. For example, it sports an unusual grille. Instead of the usual vertical slats, the kidneys get a new gloss black rhombus pattern with silver “teeth” where each rhombus meets another. It looks the part with the grille shut and it should be even more spectacular when the active grille shutter is open. Moving on, the M340i show car gets the full M Performance carbon exterior treatment in bare carbon look, including the front splitter, mirror caps, deck lid spoiler, and rear diffuser. The performance sedan also showcases a new 20-inch alloy wheel design and oversized brake discs with four-piston aluminium calipers painted red. Inside, the two-tone cabin combines red and grey and brings a sportier steering wheel with Alcantara and carbon fibre trim, carbon fibre shift paddles, carbon fibre trim on the dash and centre console, and special floor mats. We’re not sure if we could live with that flashy red leather on a daily basis, though. In European spec, the 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six gasoline engine produces 374 PS (369 bhp) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque and it comes as standard with the 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and xDrive AWD system. The M340i is fast enough to get you in serious trouble, as 0 to 100 km/h takes just 4.4 seconds while top speed is limited at 250 km/h (155 mph). Other versions of the G20 3 Series were also on show.

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The 4 Gran Coupe remains in its current form, based on the now superceded 3 series design, for now, though a replacement is known to be under development.

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There were several examples of the 5 Series here including the good but very pricey M5 Competition.

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BMW officially unveiled the facelifted 7-Series earlier in the year. The revamped flagship sedan sports redesigned the front and rear fascias that are supposed to give it a bolder look that’s inspired from the latest Bavarian models. The revamp generated a lot of comment and not all of is complimentary with the revised front kidney grille the biggest, and most controversial, change. Compared to the outgoing model, the new 7-Series’ kidney grille is bigger by 40 percent, featuring a single-piece surround trim and accompanying a 50mm taller front end for a more imposing stance. The new kidney grille is flanked by redesigned headlights which are now slimmer, creating a “stylistically appealing contrast” – according to BMW, that is. The rear end gets thicker chrome surrounds for the tailpipes and 35mm slimmer LED taillights that feature red and black surfaces. The taillights are connected via a very slim LED light strip that runs across the full width of the car. As before, BMW will offer the 7-Series with two wheelbases, with the LWB adding an extra 14cm between the axles for even more room in the rear. However, both the standard 7-Series and its LWB sibling are now 22mm longer than their predecessors (5,120mm and 5,260mm respectively), while width and height remain unchanged. The luxurious cabin has become even quieter, thanks to revisions and refinements around the rear wheel arches, B-pillars and seatbelt outlet covers in the rear, while the side and rear windows now feature thicker glass. Also new is the steering wheel that features a modified arrangement of the multifunction controls. The infotainment system is BMW’s latest Operating System 7.0, which combines a 12.3-inch instrument cluster with a 10.25-inch touchscreen control display and the Intelligent Personal Assistant. Rear passengers can get a pair of 10-inch full-HD touchscreen displays with a Blu-ray player. In the engine range, BMW has, as expected, added the newly developed 4.4-litre V8 that debuted in the 8-Series and puts out 523 bhp and 553lb-ft (750Nm) of torque in the 750i xDrive and 750Li xDrive models. The highlight, however, is the updated plug-in hybrid 745e, which uses a new inline six powertrain with a combined output of 388 bhp and 442lb-ft (600Nm) of torque and an all-electric range between 33 and 36 miles (54 and 58km). The range-topping M760Li xDrive still uses a 6.6-litre V12, which has been updated with a gasoline particulate filter. Its 577 bhp and 626lb-ft (850Nm) are enough the send the heavyweight 7-Series from 0 to 62mph (100km/h) in 3.8 seconds and to a de-restricted 189mph (305km/h) top speed. European customers will also get to choose between three versions of a 3.0-litre straight-six diesel. Base 730d models feature a single turbocharger, producing 260 bhp and 457lb-ft (620Nm) of torque. The 740d comes with twin turbos, 316 bhp and 501lb-ft (680Nm) of torque. The most impressive diesel variant remains the 750d, with its four turbochargers, 394 bhp and 560lb-ft (760Nm) of torque. All variants of the new BMW 7-Series come with adaptive suspension as standard, with customers getting the option of rear-wheel steering for better handling and agility.

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BMW unveiled this Individual-trimmed M850i back in January in anticipation of a meteor shower, courtesy of asteroid 2003 EH. While most asteroid fragments burn up in our atmosphere, some actually break through as meteorites. That leads us to why this special edition 8-Series is called ‘Night Sky’. The Bavarian automaker actually took fragments of extra-terrestrial origin and used them throughout the car’s cabin. Since BMW is unlikely to get into the space rock business, you can look at this car as a true 1 of 1. Meteoric material can be found on the center console’s trim plate, start/stop button, gear lever, touch controller for the iDrive system and on the door sill finishers. This was the first time that you could see its entire dashboard design (steering wheel included), since the initial press release photos focused exclusively on the seats and the high-value surfaces. The M850i Night Sky boasts a dual tone Midnight blue and Opal white fine-grain Merino leather interior, with Midnight Blue deep-pile carpeting. Of course, if you count the silver leather used on the seat bolsters, then you could call it a tri-tone interior. As for the exterior, there’s a non-metallic black based colour used for the body, with a San Marino Blue metallic coat painted over it gradually. The reason why it sparkles though is because BMW Individual also applied three layers of clear coat with varying pigment particle sizes. The BMW M850i is powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, producing 523 bhp and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque. With the help of an 8-speed automatic transmission, it can rocket from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds. It was joined by examples of the regular production Coupe and Convertible models.

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The Z4 sports car, a joint venture with Toyota, was revealed last year, and although the cars are only just hitting the streets, it has been seen at a number of Shows now. It was attracting lots of interest here.

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There were examples of some, but not all of the Crossover/SUV models here, with the familiar X1 and X2 sitting at the foot of what is now an extensive range of 7 different bodystyles.

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The X5 was refreshed last year with a new, fourth generation model going on sale before the end of 2018. Outwardly not that different from its predecessor, plenty has changed beneath the skin and it sports all the latest technology. Making an appearance here was the X5 xDrive45e, a plug-in hybrid, all-wheel-drive SUV, with an inline 6-cylinder engine and electric motor generating 394 hp. It does 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds, whilst the new battery technology of the X5 xDrive45e provides an electric range of up to 80 km.

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Final model here was the gargantuan X7 which is just going on sale. Almost too big for Europe, this car is designed for other markets and is likely to sell in small quantities here. Take a look and you can see why!

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Final car was the all-electric i3, the good but pricey small car that BMW has been selling for a few years now.

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BRABHAM

Making another showing is the BT62. Officially launched in May last year, the BT62 is created by a new company led by former Formula 1 racer and Le Mans winner David Brabham, the son of three-time world champion Sir Jack. The BT62 name resumes a discontinued lineage of racing cars produced by the original Brabham brand. Brabham has been synonymous with motor racing since its founder, Sir Jack Brabham, first took to the F1 grid in 1955. This is a track-only car, which Brabham describes as a “low-slung, race-inspired car”. It will cost £1 million and be powered by a 5.4-litre V8 engine, with a power-to-weight ratio of 720bhp per tonne. Brabham says the BT62, a track-focused hypercar, has a dry weight of 972kg and be able to produce more than 1200kg of downforce. For comparison, the McLaren Senna GTR produces around 1000kg of downforce. Owners will be given membership of a track-focused driver development programme.

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BRABUS

There are two distinct sorts of work that after-market firm Brabus undertakes: modification of Mercedes to create some far more potent versions even than come from AMG, and the restoration of classic Mercedes models. There was ample evidence of both types of work on the large stand that they had here. Beatifully restored classic Mercedes models here included a 300SL “Gullwing”, a “pagoda” SL and the supremely elegant W111 generation 280SE  Convertible.

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Following the release of the 700 Widestar last year, Brabus is taking the latest Mercedes-AMG G63 up a notch with the 800 Widestar package.Debuting here, the 800 Widestar brings a series of improvements over the 700 Widestar. The most important change regards the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 powertrain, which has been pushed to 800 PS (789 bhp) at 6,600 rpm and 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft) of torque at 3,600 rpm. Those represent gains of 215 PS (212 bhp) and 150 Nm (111 lb-ft) over the standard Mercedes-AMG G63 and 100 PS (99 bhp) and 50 Nm (37 lb-ft) over the 700 version. This enables the souped-up G63 to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.1 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 240 km/h (149 mph). In this application, the nine-speed automatic transmission gains Brabus Race aluminium paddle shifters. The 800 Widestar’s impressive performance is reflected in its aggressive wide-body kit, 23-inch Brabus Platinum Edition Monoblock forged wheels, Brabus stainless steel sports exhaust system with actively controlled exhaust flaps, and full leather interior seasoned with carbon fibre trim. The vehicle is 100 mm (4 in) wider than the stock Mercedes-AMG G63. Design highlights include the redesigned front and rear fascias, auxiliary LED lights under the side air intakes and on the roof, carbon hood attachment featuring two integrated power bulges, Brabus roof wing, naked-carbon spare wheel cover, illuminated Brabus logo for the radiator grille, and more. The show car here has all chrome parts painted in the same black hue as the bodywork, with the brake calipers and Brabus logo in the grille matching the colour of the cabin’s cuoio fine leather.

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This one is called the Brabus 900 and it’s a heavily-tuned version of the Mercedes-Maybach S650. The luxo-barge’s 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 has been upgraded to produce 900 PS (887 bhp) and 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb-ft) of torque. We don’t know yet what Brabus did to it to come up with these staggering numbers, but it’s a huge increase compared to the stock S650’s 630 PS (621 bhp) and 1,000 Nm (738 lb-ft) of torque. Anyone who can afford to pay a six-digit sum for a car won’t be too concerned about fuel prices. However, the tuner did release the estimated fuel consumption for the new Brabus 900, which gulps 11.9 lt/100 km (23.7 mpg) on average.In the city, that number goes up to 17.1 lt/100 km (16.5 mpg), and on the highway, it drops to a very satisfying 8.6 l/100 km (32.8 mpg). Moreover, despite the massive output, CO2 emissions are a relatively reasonable 279 g/km. Elsewhere, the tuned S650 has a new front bumper, different rims and Brabus logos. The cabin is as luxurious as you’d expect it to be. This example boasts brown leather on pretty much every visible surface, has a rear-seat entertainment system and ‘Brabus’ entrance lights, as well as other bits and pieces.

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There were 800, 850 and 900 versions of a number of other Mercedes models to complete the display.

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BUGATTI

Unveiled at the Show, was “La Voiture Noir”, described as “the ultimate GT” by CEO Stephan Winkelmann. It builds on the Chiron, to which it adds a custom, and very impressive, bodywork. ‘La Voiture Noir’ is French for ‘The Black Car’, “a reminiscence of the Type 57 SC Atlantic”, says Bugatti, and best describes the glossy black finish chosen for the handcrafted carbon fiber bodywork. Nothing disturbs the optical flow; the bumpers are integrated into the body and the window design was inspired by a helmet visor, with the windscreen appearing to flow seamlessly into the side windows. There are no surprises in the engine compartment, as power comes from Bugatti’s 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16. It pushes out 1,500 PS (1,479 hp) and 1,600 Nm (1,180 lb-ft) of torque, identical to the one used in the Chiron and Divo, and “bearing witness to its incredible power” are the six tailpipes located at the rear. The La Voiture Noire has become the most expensive new car of all time, after it was sold for €16.7 million ($18.9 million), tax included. The identity of the buyer remains – for now, at least – a closely guarded secret.

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Making a second European show appearance after its Paris Show starring last October, was the exclusive Divo. This hypercar builds upon the Chiron, to which it adds a lot of improvements. Be it the sharp exterior design, interior enhancements or modified chassis, all of them come together to create a mind-blowing price for a production model: nearly $6 million. But with only 40 units to be produced, all of them were spoken for long before its official unveiling. Some of the technical upgrades include revisions made to the steering and suspension. Also, thanks to weight saving measures, the Bugatti Divo is 35 kg (77 lbs) lighter than the Chiron, which tips the scales at nearly 2 tons (4,400 lbs). Located behind the seats is the same quad-turbo’d 8.0-litre W16 engine that powers the Chiron. It hasn’t been massaged in any way, but with 1,500 PS (1,479 hp) and 1,600 Nm (1,180 lb-ft) of torque available, just like in its more mainstream sibling, it’s not like it needs more power. Moreover, since this is a modern Bugatti we’re looking at, its top speed is hard to beat, even if it’s electronically limited, as the number to go for is 380 km/h (236 mph).

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Final car on the stand was the Chiron Sport 110 Ans Edition, produced to celebrate the marque’s 110th birthday. Based on the Sport version of the hypercar, this limited edition will be produced in just to 20 units. All of them will feature a matte Steel Blue paintwork with matching, exposed carbon fibre elements, and trimmings in the colours of the French national flag. The Chiron Sport 110 Ans Edition also rides on Nocturne matte black alloy wheels, with the French Racing Blue-finished brake calipers visible behind them.  A similar colour scheme was chosen for the cockpit, where you’ll find Deep Blue leather upholstery, Alcantara trim, carbon fibre inserts and more ‘red, white and blue’ accents, in addition to the ‘110 Ans Bugatti’ emblem applied to the headrests. Positioned on a carbon fibre plate in the central console stowage space is a solid silver crafted medallion, which Bugatti says that it “bears witness to the high level of craftsmanship”. Finally, the Sky View roof, with two fixed glass panels above the driver and passenger, is standard in the new limited edition Chiron. The 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine has remained untouched. But with 1,500 PS (1,479 hp) and 1,600 Nm (1,180 lb-ft) of torque produced, it’s not like it needs any more power, does it…

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CHELSEA TRUCK

There were a couple of the products of the Chelsea Truck Company on show here, with the Vanguard edition showcased for the first time, and joined by the .Homage 2 edition. To create the Vanguard, Afzal Kahn went back to the drawing board, re-imagining each aspect of the classic Defender from the ground up. His goal was for an innovative design which marries iconic British style with a military inspired design. The underlying philosophy has always been to exceed the standards of the original manufacturer, adding intrinsic value as well as improving the overall aesthetic. Perhaps the most obvious part of the transformation is the addition of widened wheel arches at the front and rear, measuring up to an extra 6 inches on each side, all of which flow outwards, thus ensuring this ultra-wide Defender, which measures up at 3990mm in length, 2090 in width and 2190 in height has unparalleled visual presence. Despite starting life as a modest Land Rover Defender, Mr. Kahn and his team have fitted this vehicle with upgraded suspension axles and half shafts amongst many other enhancements, thus ensuring this vehicle is set up to deliver a driving experience like no other, a far cry from the stolid pulling power of the original. The tailor made styling package consists of front and rear wide wings with vents and bolt apertures, (name) black body colour, extended wheel arches, cross-hair military headlights, bumper sump guard, mesh side and top bonnet vents, mud flaps, paint roll bars and side steps in matt black, Kahn fog lamps and the X-Lander front grille command attention. A set of commanding Colour Mondial wheels with 275/50 R18 Cooper Discoverer tyres, and a twin crosshair exhaust system lend a rugged look to this special edition.  Inside the luxuriously appointed interior contrasts the Defender’s rugged appearance. The interior now features front racing seats with contrast stitching. The new seats support occupants far better, but they also transform the driving position into something close to ideal. Door panels, centre glove box, silver contrast stitching, Churchill time clock and speedo/rev counter facia, Kahn billet steering wheel, centre console facia, and vented machined aluminium foot pedals complete the interior package. A limited number of vehicles will be built.

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CITROEN

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Citroen, and to mark the occasion here, a number of classic and much-loved models from that time were included on the stand to go with the latest production cars and a concept. The classics were the innovative 1934 Traction Avant 7A and the much-loved and iconic 2CV from 1948  as well as a 1919 Model A.

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Looking forwards into the next 100 years is the Ami One concept by Citroen. It’s part of the French automaker’s vision for the future of urban mobility and while it doesn’t look particularly elegant, it’s definitely quirky, which suits the double chevron brand just fine. It’s also environmentally-friendly, which suits just about everyone else. Pretty much. But that’s only because Smart did it first, and it’s hard not to mention them whenever we come across any similar or even remotely similar product. The Ami One measures 2.5 metres (98 inches) in length, 1.5 metres (59 inches) in width, and stands 1.5 metres (59 inches) tall. It also weighs just 425 kg (937 lbs). Compared to a brand new Smart ForTwo, the Citroen is definitely smaller. However, it has just about identical dimensions to the first-generation ForTwo, which came out more than two decades ago. Enough comparisons though – let’s talk about what this concept car can do: For starters, it’s fully electric. Its lithium-ion battery can be charged to 100% in just 2 hours, which will then result in a range of 100 km (62 miles). Also, since its top speed is just 45 km/h (28 mph), it means that it can be driven without a license in certain countries. Since all EVs built this year must emit an artificial sound at low speeds so as to alert pedestrians to their location, Citroen has fitted the Ami One concept with its personalised sound signature, mixing both male and female voices to form a sequence of notes that change based on speed. Quirky enough for you? Notice that the driver’s side door is rear-hinged, while the passenger door is front hinged. Then you have the front and rear bumpers, which are identical, and a QR code system for unlocking the doors. Once inside, you can use the head-up projection panel to interact with the vehicle or your smartphone, although features such as voice command are also available. According to Citroen, the Ami One was envisioned as an alternative to public transportation (buses, trains etc), but also other means of getting around, like bicycles or electric scooters. “Just as the 2CV made freedom of movement broadly accessible last century, Ami One Concept frees up urban mobility for everyone with its unique and popular character advocating a new experience.”

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Just three production Citroens made my camera, the diminutive C1 the slightly larger C3 and the Grand C4 SpaceTourer. the new name for the car that used to be called the C4 Grand Picasso.

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CUPRA

Although still sharing a stand with SEAT, we are supposed to think of Cupra as a stand-alone brand like Abarth is to Fiat. That might take to establish in people’s minds and may be helped as the model range evolves. First sign that it will do so came from the unveiling of the new Formentor SUV Coupe concept. Despite being described as a concept, the new Cupra Formentor appears to be ready for production as the brand’s first stand-alone model. The new coupe crossover is powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain that delivers 242hp (245PS) and an all-electric range of up to 30 miles (50km) in the latest WLTP cycle. Featuring an aggressive exterior design, the new Cupra Formentor is characterised by its dynamic proportions and strong character lines that run across its body. The new front end fascia is also indicating at the next-gen Seat Leon while the rear end features taillights that are connected with an LED strip, or as Cupra calls it the “rear infinite light concept”. While Cupra didn’t exactly detail the new plug-in hybrid powertrain, it did share that it will be paired with a dual-clutch transmission and a differential lock. The new Cupra Formentor says it’s been tuned to offer “the highest levels of dynamics”, featuring an adaptive suspension as well as a progressive steering system. The driver will get to choose between different driving modes, depending on the conditions. The cabin is built with high-quality materials and features leather carbon-backed bucket seats, a Cupra steering wheel, dark chrome and high-gloss black accents. A digital instrument cluster and a pretty big 10-inch infotainment touchscreen display dominate the dashboard while the gear selector for the DSG transmission is also new. The new Cupra Formentor concept will spawn a production version that’s expected to go on sale in 2020.

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Cupra’s sole current production car is the Ateca and a new Special Edition was presented here. Set to go on sale before the end of the year, the model adds carbon fibre side mirrors and rear spoiler. It also gets exclusive 20-inch copper alloy wheels and an Akrapovic exhaust system that shaves 7 kg (15 lbs) off the standard car’s weight. The interior features Petrol Blue Alcantara on the front sports seats, rear seats and door panels, as well as black frame surrounding the air outlets and central console. The copper carbon fibre mouldings frame the dashboard and climate controls and each car gets a set of premium Cupra floor mats. “Uniqueness is one of the core values of the Cupra vision. As we did last year with the Cupra R, we want to offer a limited edition of our most successful models and surprise those car enthusiasts who are passionate about exclusive design products”, commented the Director of Strategy, Business, Development and Operations, Antonino Labate. “With the Cupra Ateca Special Edition, we took the customisation to the next level with a handcrafted vehicle.” Power still comes from the 2.0-litre turbo-four, which delivers 296 bhp and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. It works in conjunction with a seven-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive and allows the sporty compact SUV to cover the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint in 5.2 seconds and max out at 247 km/h (153 mph).

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DACIA

Dacia premiered its ‘Ultimate’ models at this year’s Show, a limited edition spec that’s also known as ‘Techroad’ in certain regions, such as France, Italy, the UK, Nordic countries and Adriatic countries. The new spec is available for the Duster, Logan, plus the Stepway family – Sandero, Logan MCV, Lodgy and Dokker. Meanwhile, two new colours will also be made available in Fusion Red and Highland Grey. Buy an Ultimate edition Dacia and you’ll get red trim inserts on the body lines, door mirror housings and side sills, plus more of the same on the inner door panels, air vent surrounds, upholstery and even on the front/rear protective mats. The cabin also features alternating shades of light grey, which create a powerful contrast alongside the muted red and the “dark carbon” dashboard. You’ll also find a red hub central cap on the new 16-inch (17-inch on Duster) Sparkling Silver Grey / Erbe Grey two-tone wheels. As for equipment levels, you get a camera and rear parking sensors, automated air conditioning, a hands-free card and the City Plus Pack for the Duster, which includes blind spot detection, a multi-view camera and the Media Nav Evolution multimedia system, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Ultimate/Techroad-spec Dacias are available immediately in Europe, as well as in the 44 countries where the Romanian automaker operates. Dacia will also present its new 1.3-litre TCe 130 GPF and 150 GPF petrol units for the Duster, which are said to offer the highest requirements in terms of reliability and durability. The stand comprised examples of all the models in the range, from the Sanero, Logan MCV and Duster that we see in the UK to the Dokker and Lodgy that we do not.

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DAVID BROWN

David Brown Automotive brought a trio of its Mini Remastered models to the Show. After an unforgettable appearance at last year’s event which included displaying a Speedback Silverstone Edition with an embarrassing spelling mistake, the cute Mini Remastered models on display bring some retro appeal to an event filled with cutting-edge concepts and bold production cars. The David Brown Mini Remastered is much more than a restored classic Mini. In fact, the British company builds each Mini Remastered from the ground up with bespoke body panels. David Brown says it takes roughly 1400 hours to turn a donor Mini into the Mini Remastered. The only parts shared between the donor vehicle and the finished product are the engine and gearbox. David Brown Automotive also works its magic on the Mini’s interior. There’s plush leather found throughout and a new dashboard with aluminium knobs. What’s more, the company fits a modern Pioneer infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The seats can also be re-trimmed to the tastes of the customer. Classic Mini donor cars which David Brown receives utilise a tiny 1275 cc four-cylinder engine. The coachbuilder can increase that to 1330 cc, allowing the engines to pump out 94 hp at 6100 rpm and 87 lb-ft (117 Nm). Standard Mini Remastered models retain the original car’s 1275 cc capacity and have 78 hp and 91 lb-ft of torque (123 Nm). Then comes the price. David Brown will sell you a Mini Remastered from roughly £75,000 but prices can reach as high as £100,000. Ouch.

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Also here were a couple of examples of the Speedback GT. The car looks unchanged since we last saw it, but since there are no two identical Speedback GTs, this one wears white on the outside and probably has a few special touches in the cockpit. As for the one sitting next to it, it’s dressed in a dark red shade and adds different wheels, with a more modern vibe. Regardless of how one chooses to spec their Speedback GT, all of them share the same engine. The 5-liter twin-scroll supercharged V8 is capable of delivering 510 PS (503 bhp) and 625 Nm (461 lb-ft) of torque, thus rocketing the car to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds and up to a top speed that has been electronically capped to 250 km/h (155 mph). When first launched, the Speedback GT came at an eye-watering £495,000  before taxes in t

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DEVINCI

DEVINCI is a French car manufacturer established in 2017 from the will of the entrepreneur and professional driver, Jean-Philippe Dayraut. The company produces electric vehicles inspired by racing cars from the 1930s. The flagship model is the “Classic – DB 718”, produced in three unique versions: “Brigitte”, “Lucie” and “Adèle”.

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DR AUTOMOBILES

DR Automobiles is an Italian company that uses Chinese components from the likes of Chery in order to build its own cars. Their latest and arguably most interesting product as far as future tech is concerned, is the DR3 EV. As its name suggests, this is an all-electric vehicle. Power comes from a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack comprised of 24 modules, weighing in at 385 kg (848 lbs). According to DR, this small crossover is capable of driving for over 400 km (248.5 miles) in-between charges. DR also says that if you manage to keep a consistent speed of 60 km/h (37 mph), you might even be able to cover 500 km (310 miles), which would make for an impressive achievement. Speaking of impressive, charging your DR3 EV at home will take between 6 to 8 hours, however if you use a fast charger, you can boost your batteries back up to 80% in just half an hour. As for how much power it actually puts down, the output is rated at 122 PS (120 HP), with the driver able to switch between Eco and Sport modes on the move. While a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time wasn’t released, Motor1 Italy reports that the DR3 EV can accelerate from 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) in four seconds flat, with power going exclusively to the front wheels. Like the automaker’s regular DR3 model, this electric version also measures 4.2 metres (13.7 feet) in length, 1.76 metres (5.77 feet) in width and stands 1.57 metres (5.1 feet) tall. Inside, there’s a relatively modern dual-tone white and blue interior, with a digital gauge cluster, a touchscreen infotainment system and a rotary dial selector for the transmission. DR will want €37,500 for a fully spec’d DR3 EV when order books open in the second half of this year.

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e.GO

German EV startup e.Go Mobile was in the news before the Show as VW has confirmed it as the first recipient of its MEB platform, following the company’s decision to open its EV architecture to other carmakers. While e.Go Mobile hasn’t announced yet which MEB-based model it will build, word on the street is VW might outsource production of the ID Buggy to the Aachen-based company. Until we have an official confirmation on that, it’s worth noting that e.Go Mobile had a stand of their own with four premieres on display. For starters, the company has brought the series-production version of the e.Go Life electric city car which enters production this month.

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There’s also a sporty take on that car called e.Go Life Concept Sport, as well as another concept called e.Go Lux. First things first, the e.Go Life production car is a four-seater, short-range EV that will go into production in mid-March at the company’s Aachen plant, with deliveries scheduled to begin in early May 2019. Featuring a space frame made of aluminium profiles and a plastic outer skin, the e.Go Life is light and very reasonably priced — for an EV, at least. Slightly shorter than a Fiat 500, the no-frills city car starts at €15,900 in Germany for the Life 20 version. For that money, customers get 14.9 kWh battery, a 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor and 121 km (75 miles) of NEDC-measured range. There are two other versions available (Life 40 and Life 60) that offer more power and longer driving ranges. e.Go already has 4,300 pre-orders for the Life EV. The e.Go Life Concept Sport unveiled in Geneva envisions a better-equipped, sportier version of the electric city car. It features a bolder design, sporty chassis, and higher performance — although no specs were released. Additionally, it gets a better-quality interior with a panoramic glass roof.

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e.Go Mobile also has two electric minibuses on display in Geneva. The e.Go Mover near-production concept previews a self-driving minibus with a capacity of up to 15 passengers. It will be built by e.Go Moove, a joint venture between e.Go Mobile and ZF, starting in April 2020. At first, it will be road-approved as a manually driven but in the future it’s intended to be autonomous thanks to the software and hardware architecture from ZF. Finally, the e.Go Lux is a luxury shuttle based on the Mover. Intended for private trips, it can be used as a mobile conference or living room while on the move.

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EADON GREEN

Eadon Green isn’t exactly a household name, but the company has nevertheless brought an assortment of different models to the Show. The big news for this year’s show was the introduction of the ZRR, which is billed as a four-seat grand tourer with a V12 engine. The model appears to be based on the Rolls-Royce Wraith, but that remains unconfirmed. The ZRR is reminiscent of the Zanturi, which uses a twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 that produces 593 bhp and 619 lb-ft (840 Nm) of torque connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. As a result, it accelerates from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 4.8 seconds, before hitting a top speed of (you guessed it…) 155 mph (250 km/h).

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Eadon Green also brought along the Corvette-based Zeclat, which bears little resemblance to its donor vehicle – as long as you don’t peek inside the cabin. Sporting a retro-inspired design, the model has a unique front fascia with circular headlights and a prominent grille. Moving further back, there are flowing fenders and a massive rear hatch. Power is provided by a 6.2-litre V8 that produces 460 bhp and 463 lb-ft (628 Nm) of torque. It is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which enables the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 3.6 seconds before hitting a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). The Black Cuillin has a similar design, but features a 6.0-litre V12 which cranks out 449 bhp and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque. Matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox, it enables the car to run from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 5.4 seconds before topping out at 155 mph (250 km/h).

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ENGLER

This year’s Geneva Motor Show has played host to a number of world exclusive premieres from the automotive industry’s biggest names. It has also played host to a number of debuts from small, niche companies including a little firm called Engler. Engler was conceived in Slovakia and the company has unveiled its F.F Superquad here. Not only is ‘Engler F.F Superquad’ yet another name you’ll have to add to your auto vocabulary, but the ‘car’ also happens to be unlike any other vehicle we’ve seen before. As the name suggests, the F.F Superquad is a mix between a supercar and a quad bike. Consequently, there is no cabin and the ‘driver’ simply straddles the centre of the car much like a quad bike or motorcycle. The only difference is that instead of a compact vehicle that can be easily flicked around through corners, the operator has to control a car-sized vehicle. Engler claims that the F.F Superquad is powered by a 5.2-litre V10 engine, likely sourced from the Lamborghini Gallardo, Huracan, or Audi R8, that delivers 850 hp. The vehicle itself tips the scales at a mere 850 kg (1873 lbs), giving it a perfect 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. The company has made some audacious claims about the vehicle’s performance. Apparently, it can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.5 seconds and achieve a Lamborghini Aventador-equalling top speed of 217 mph (350 km/h). That doesn’t seem very safe The company behind the F.F Superquad claims that customers will be able to personalise many of the vehicle’s components and have a number of different colours to choose from. No pricing details have been announced.

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FERRARI

Perhaps the most popular stand of the whole show. Access is restricted, but even the barriers around the display get extremely busy. I decided that this was the place to go to first thing on my second day and rushed there, to find that it was already heaving, even though I had been more or less the first person through the door (the others must have had a head start from a different entry point).

Surprise newcomer was the new F8 Tributo, announced a few days before the show as the successor to the 488 GTB and the most powerful mid-engined V8 berlinetta in the history of the brand. The new Ferrari F8 Tributo is powered by the company’s twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 engine, here tuned to produce 710 bhp and 568lb/ft (770Nm) of peak torque. The numbers are the exact same with the special 488 Pista. Ferrari claims that the new F8 Tributo is capable of a 0-62mph (100km/h) in 2.9 seconds, with 0-124mph (200km/h) in 7.8 seconds before hitting a top speed of 211mph (340km/h). It’s not a secret that the new F8 Tributo is the latest evolution of the aluminium 458 platform, with Ferrari saying that their latest mid-engine berlinetta is “a bridge to a new design language”. The new supercar blends in new design elements with aero features such as an S-Duct at the front, which on its own increases downforce by 15 percent compared to a standard 488 GTB. The rear end of Ferrari’s McLaren 720S rival marks the return of the classic Ferrari twin light clusters, while the engine cover is now made out of Lexan and features louvres to extract hot air and remind us of the iconic F40. The chassis of the new F8 Tributo employs Ferrari’s latest version of the Side Slip Angle Control traction management system, which aims to make sliding the car around manageable even for the less experienced drivers. The changes over the 488 GTB are less prominent once you look inside the cabin; the layout of the redesigned dashboard remains the same as before, only now there are completely new door panels and a centre console, as well as a new steering wheel design. The passenger gets a 7-inch touchscreen display. First deliveries of the new Ferrari F8 Tributo are expected to begin in late 2019 to early 2020.

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Also on the stand were single examples of the rest of the range, the 812 Superfast, GTC4 Lusso and the recently available Portofino.

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FIAT

Fiat is celebrating its 120th anniversary with the new Centoventi concept, an all-electric design study that shows how the next generation of the popular Panda city car will, largely, look like.The new Centoventi (“one hundred and twenty” in Italian) features an innovative interior than can be easily configured in many different layouts, while the dashboard has special slots that can receive a range of accessories for the ultimate customisation experience. The electric powetrain of the concept comes with a swappable and upgradeable battery pack, with customers able to add up to three extra battery cells after the purchase of the vehicle in order to extend its driving range. Fiat says that the new electric city car concept offers between 100km (62 miles) and 500km (310 miles) of driving range, depending on how many battery packs are onboard. Fiat’s latest concept is described as a ‘blank canvas’, as it will be produced in just one livery and let customers decide their desired specification through its “4U” personalization program. This includes a choice between 4 roofs, 4 bumpers, 4 wheel covers and 4 external wrappings, giving the Centoventi not only a very wide range of ways to be customised but unprecedented freedom as well, as owners can change their cars’ specification any day they like. The concept also features a detachable roof panel than can be replaced by a sunroof, a soft-top, a luggage rack and more with ease. Adding extra features will be far easier than before, as Fiat will make the parts 3D-printable and make them available either through dealers or third-party fitters. The dashboard is designed to use a smartphone as a digital display screen, with Fiat also to offer a 20-inch digital instrument and infotainment screen system in the options. A production version of the new Fiat Centoventi concept would sit of the company’s new small-car architecture that will underpin future models like the next 500 family and Punto. Fiat has also confirmed that they will reveal the next-generation Fiat 500 at next year’s Geneva Motor Show, complete with a fully-electric powertrain.

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Also part of the 120th anniversary are a range of special editions which you can buy this year. Called the 120th, the special edition package will be available on the 500, 500X and 500L. All models will come equipped with a black and white exterior (other colours will also available) as well as special “120th” badging. Each will also have a 7-inch Uconnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability. In the case of the 500X 120th, the model has black mirror caps, black side skirts and chrome window trim. Buyers will also find LED headlights, copper coloured upholstery and 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels. Four engines will be available including a 1.0-litre FireFly Turbo with 120 PS (118 hp) and a 1.6-liter E-torq developing 110 PS (108 bhp). Customers can also purchase 1.3- and 1.6-litre MultiJet engines with outputs of 95 PS (94 hp) and 120 PS (118 hp). The 500 120th is a bit more basic as the biggest changes are 16-inch alloy wheels and fabric / vinyl seats with exclusive pinstripes. Engine options include a 1.2-litre with 69 PS (68 hp) and a 0.9-litre Twin Air developing 85 PS (84 hp). Last but not least, the 500L 120th has Myron exterior accents and twin-tone 17-inch alloy wheels. Buyers will also find grey fabric and black eco-leather seats with copper accents and 500 logos. Under the bonnet, customers have a choice of three different engines. The 1.4-litre Fire develops 95 PS (94 hp), while the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel also has 95 PS (94 hp). Fans looking for more power can opt for the 1.6-litre MultiJet which cranks out 120 PS (118 hp).

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Besides the 500 family, Fiat will introduce a Panda Connected by Wind. Given the model was developed in cooperation with a telecommunications firm, it’s not surprisingly to learn the model has 4G connectivity and a Linkzone 4G Wi-Fi router that allows up to 15 devices to be connected to the internet at the same time. Additional changes are limited, but the model has gloss black accents, orange mirror caps and 15-inch alloy wheels. The crossover also has special seats and a 1.2-litre engine developing 69 PS (68 hp).

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Completing the line-up was the new Sport version of the family-sized Tipo hatchback, which will serving as the range’s flagship version. Developed in partnership with Mopar, the car is powered by a 1.6-litre Multijet engine producing 118 bhp channelled to the road via a dual-clutch automatic transmission. It looks slightly more aggressive than the lesser Tipo versions and comes with 18-inch alloys to spice things up.

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FORNASARI

Part of the Geneva Motor Show’s charm is the ability to see some of the lesser known players in the industry and their offerings, like the Italian Fornasari and its undoubtedly retro-styled 311 GT. The coachbuilt model’s design is inspired by the classic Italian front-engine GTs of the 1950s, featuring an aluminium body and offered either as a coupe or a convertible. Under its classy body lies custom space frame with components sourced from the Corvette C7, including a V8 engine available with up to 641hp and 590lb/ft (800Nm) of torque. It even has a six-speed manual transmission, with a six-speed automatic offered in the options. Fornasari claims that the 311 GT can reach 62mph (100km/h) from a standstill as fast as 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of up to 211mph (340km/h). The interior comes from the Corvette C7 as well, with Fornasari heavily customising the design with its own trim and leather materials. The Italian company offers the “most exclusive and even the most eccentric materials” to customers in order to tailor their new 311 GT. The idea behind the Fornasari 311 GT is very likeable and the curvy aluminium bodywork is definitely a head turner but we can’t help but think of a Mini every time we look at its headlights. It also comes with a pretty salty price tag starting at €150,000 (about $170,000) but this was to be expected, right?

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GFG

The Geneva Motor Show always attracts some weird and wacky concepts and the GFG Style Kangaroo is definitely one of them at this year’s event. Attendees at a recent concours event in Switzerland caught a glimpse of the car over the last weekend, with the company releasing along the way official images and specifications for the vehicle. Dubbed an ‘electric hyper-SUV’, the GFG Style Kangaroo is unlike any other vehicle you’ve laid eyes on. The electric platform underpinning the vehicle has been co-developed with CH Auto and houses two 180 kW batteries delivering the equivalent of 483 hp and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque. Power is sent to the ground through all four wheels, allowing the Kangaroo to jump to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds. The vehicle also includes a 90 kWh battery pack that’s said to offer up a range exceeding 450 km (279 miles). Also making the GFG Style Kangaroo unique is its suspension system. Drivers of the hyper-SUV can select ‘Racing’ mode which drops the car’s ride height to 140 mm (5.5-inch). Next is a ‘Road’ suspension setting where the ride height is raised to 190 mm (7.4-inches), and an ‘Off-Road’ mode where the suspension rises to 260 mm (10.2-inches). GFG Style claims that when the Kangaroo is driven in its Racing and Rode configurations, the shock absorbers work with a single spring. When Off-Road mode is selected, the shock absorbers work with two springs in series. Most of the Kangaroo’s exterior is made from carbon fibre but there are polycarbonate wings. Among the key exterior styling details are butterfly doors, narrow headlights and taillights, and a sharp front bumper. The car also includes large 22-inch wheels with Pirelli Scorpion tires and has a number of sensors on the roof to enable autonomous driving functions. Inside, the Kangaroo features three large displays: one used for a digital gauge cluster, a second for a wide screen above the gauge cluster, and a third vertical screen that controls all the infotainment functions. GFG style hasn’t said if it has any interest in bringing the Kangaroo to the road.

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Making another appearance was the large concept saloon that was first seen at Paris Last October. The concept is over 5 meters (16.4 ft) long and stands 1.48 meters (4.85 ft) tall, boasting electric propulsion and a surprisingly accessible, well lit cockpit, with a panoramic view. In order to get in, the driver has to slide the windscreen forward by 750 mm (29.5 in), which then closes automatically along with the doors once the occupants are seated. Aside from the large dome roof and missing A-pillars, other standout features include the large 22-inch wheels, sharp horizontal headlights with a distinctive illuminated pattern, two spoilers and two air intakes on either side of the grille, plus an additional spoiler right underneath. One of the Sibylla’s most interesting features though is its front stop light – yes, you read that correctly. Although no vehicle is obligated by law to feature such a thing, the Sibylla does, and can give pedestrians a sort of assurance when crossing the road, as they receive visual confirmation that the approaching car is indeed braking/slowing down. The interactive front grille can also share information regarding battery charge status, and not just movement alerts for braking or turning. Inside, there are multiple displays powered by Envision’s EnOS platform, allowing this concept to provide its four passengers with outside environment info, such as the weather report, driving conditions, the location of the nearest charging point and so on. Now, if you think the steering wheel looks a bit weird, that’s because it actually comes with aircraft-style yoke commands, while touch pads are positioned at thumb level to help the driver keep his or her eyes fixed on the road. The cabin is finished in Poltrona Frau leather, while the inside of the backrests comes with an innovative sensor, programmed to detect sudden changes in passengers’ physical condition, such as variations in blood pressure and heart rate. Finally, in a straight line, the all-wheel drive, full electric Sibylla can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.5 seconds thanks to its total power output of 400 kW (536 HP), aided by its four electric motors and 100 kWh battery. The all electric range is rated at 450 km (280 miles), whereas the maximum speed is simply said to be over 200 km/h (124 mph).

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GINETTA

Ginetta unveiled their brand new Akula supercar here, dressing it in ‘Typhoon Black’, as opposed to the model showcased in the official release the week before. The name Akula was chosen because it means ‘shark’ in Russian. It’s also the term used for a class of nuclear-powered attack submarines in Russia, which is fitting for a vehicle whose 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 is said to produce over 600 HP and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque. Power is transferred to the rear wheels through a Ginetta-developed  6-speed sequential paddle-shift unit. It tips the scales at 1,150kg (2,535 pounds) and can reach 200mph (320km/h). It’ll cost you a pretty penny. Pricing kicks off at £340,000 OTR in the UK, but despite the hefty tag, 60% of the 20 available units have already been sold. “The concept behind the Akula was to build something truly individual, something that other brands cannot do due to corporate constraints. Designed to cut through the air like a shark through water, the car unquestionably means business, and I’m proud to be manufacturing a car of such significance in the UK,” said company chairman Lawrence Tomlinson. As if buying such an exclusive supercar wasn’t fun enough, all Akula owners will also be given a full introduction to the Ginetta brand through a customer experience day. They’ll also get to drive the G58 race car on the track, which is said to be the closest thing to an endurance racer. The G58 is powered by a 575 HP V8 unit and weighs just 940 kg (2,072 lbs). “We’re a small company but we pack a punch, and our customers should be the ones who truly benefit from that. We compete with other manufacturers on the race track, but with our supercar we’re offering something different and aimed at those who want a true connection with the brand that built their car. Whether it be taking to the track in a G58 or making your bespoke specification choices with us at the factory, Akula owners will be truly involved in all things Ginetta,” concluded Tomlinson.

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Ginetta’s stand also featured a couple of examples of their current race cars as well as a classic and restored G10 model.

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GOLDEN SAHARA

If you don’t know what the Golden Sahara is, you’d be tempted to think that it comes from Snoop Dogg’s private car collection. But you’d be wrong, so very wrong. It started life as a 1953 Lincoln Capri, in the possession of one of the most famous car customizers of the 1950s and 1960s, and the person responsible for the 1966 Batmobile, George Barris. Subsequent to an accident, during which its top got completed peeled off after a close encounter of the third kind with a truck bed with Barris behind the wheel, he turned to his buddy Jim Skonzakes (Jim Street) for the funding to bring it back to life. Little did they know the sensation it was about to become. The initial project saw it completely repaired and fitted with a half-bubble top. The exterior was finished in a pearlescent 24-karat gold paint made from fish scales, and the interior had a white look. Under its new name, the Golden Sahara, it was paraded at different events around the country and quickly became an icon, but the best is about to come. During another build process, the vehicle was turned into the Golden Sahara II and fitted with state-of-the-art technology. Among them, it had automatic braking made possible via the front bumper sensors, selectable electronic steering, aircraft-inspired control lever for the acceleration, braking and steering, and a set of translucent tyres made by Goodyear, with internal lighting. After its debut on the silver screen, the Golden Sahara II was forgotten from the late 1960s until last year, when it was sold at auction. Now, it can be seen at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, after it was unveiled by Goodyear and Klairmont Kollections. The car has undergone full restoration with the help of Speakeasy Customs and Classics in Chicago and sits on a pair of translucent tyres developed by… you guessed it, Goodyear. “The Golden Sahara II is a unique vehicle and a part of American motoring history,” said Larry Klairmont, founder and owner of Klairmont Kollections, a museum of 300 classic and custom vehicles in Chicago, Illinois. “My team and I are proud to have partnered with Goodyear in bringing this iconic vehicle back to life at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.”

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GUMPERT

Gumpert brought a pair of Nathalie models to the Show, giving the European public their first taste of the innovative sports car. The matte orange car pictured is believed to be a near-production-spec model while the matte blue is a race car concept variant of the Nathalie. Starting with the orange Gumpert Nathalie, it looks a little different than the original purple Nathalie show car which was unveiled back in early 2018. The overall shape of the vehicle has been retained but the updated Nathalie’s rear end has been altered with the fitment of six circular taillights rather than the single LED taillight unit of the initial show car. The orange vehicle shown does retain the show car’s six additional horizontal reversing lights just underneath the taillights. At the front, the latest Nathalie looks largely the same and still incorporates aggressive LED daytime running lights and triangular-shaped air intakes. Moving to the Nathalie race car concept, it has the same rear fascia as the purple show car but now benefits from a number of aggressive alterations. For example, a towering rear wing has been fitted, flared arches are present, and there’s a large splitter protruding out from the under the front bumper. Powering the Gumpert Nathalie are four electric motors which receive their juice from a hydrogen fuel cell stack. The vehicle also includes a methanol reformer which takes in methanol and splits it into carbon dioxide which is released into the air as hydrogen is funnelled into the fuel cell. This system is said to be quite effective as the car can reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.5 seconds and continue through to a 186 mph (300 km/h) top speed.

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HISPANO SUIZA

Another marque making an attempt at a come back is the once-renowned Hispano Suiza. This particular model comes from Hispano Suiza Cars and it’s a retro-inspired coupe called the Carmen. Drawing inspiration from the 1938 Hispano Suiza H6C Dubonnet Xenia, that was commissioned by World War One fighter pilot André Dubonnet, the Carmen has an aggressive front fascia with a prominent grille that is flanked by sporty air intakes. The model has also been equipped with a carbon fiber splitter and semi-circular headlights. The sporty styling continues further back as the Carmen has a ventilated hood and covered rear wheels which pay tribute to the original H6C Dubonnet Xenia. Speaking of the rear, it’s particularly eye-catching as it features a massive diffuser, three dimensional taillights and retro-inspired bodywork. The model has carbon composite seats, leather and Alcantara upholstery as well as wood trim, along with an analogue clock, toggle switches, machined aluminium accents and a triangular gear selector inspired by previous Hispano Suiza models. Despite the old school styling, there’s modern convenience features including a wireless smartphone charger and LED ambient lighting. Drivers will also find a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The modern touches extend beneath the skin as the Carmen rides on a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and features an electric powertrain. Two electric motors power the rear wheels and they give the car a combined output of 1,005 hp (750 kW / 1,019 PS). This enables the model to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in less than three seconds and hit a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). Motivation is provided by an 80 kWh battery pack, although a 105 kWh unit might be available at launch. If that happens, the Carmen could travel more than 248 miles (400 km) on a single charge. Hispano Suiza is currently accepting orders and pricing starts at $1.7 (£1.2 / €1.5) million. Only 19 units will be available and the first delivers will begin in June of 2020.

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A reminder of former glories came from this fabulous H6B model.

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HONDA

Honda and the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) joined forces to introduce the Tomo concept here. Previewed a few weeks before the show, the Tomo is a compact electric vehicle that shares a number of styling cues with the Urban EV concept which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. While that particular concept was created in-house, the Tomo was developed as part of a thesis project by 13 students from IED Torino who were working on getting their master’s degree in transportation design. IED says the students were tasked with creating the “ideal means of transport for young people in the next six years.” Just like in the real world, the students spent months planning and researching their creation which is described as part “smart device” and part “mobility tool.” Named after the Japanese word for friend, the Tomo is billed as a “faithful companion” that can be adapted to fit the needs of its owner. The school was coy on specifics, but the images show the Tomo can be converted from a small coupe into a tiny pickup truck. The main exterior design was created by Ricardo Alejandro Campos Ortega, while Rudraksh Banerjie was responsible for the cabin. These winning designs, selected by Honda, were then further refined by the team which also included Tanmay Madhukar Chavan, Michele Corneliani, Shobhanjit Das, Alexander Marcel Fröse, Xiaole Ge, Ramón Emmanuel Hernández Cortés, Tianchen Huang, Sameer Aminullah Khan, Saketh Nalla, Jay Shrikant Nibandhe and Yu-Jie Wang. Sadly, it won’t be going into production.

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A car that will, however, is the e Prototype, the undisputed star of Honda’s Geneva Motor Show stand. It’s the brand’s first electric vehicle developed specifically for Europe and it has potential to do really well in the region considering that Honda has received 15,000 registrations of interest for the electric compact car. However, European buyers won’t be able to place official orders for the production EV until this summer. Evolved from the 2017 Urban EV Concept, the e-Prototype sits on a dedicated EV platform that’s said to deliver “a blend of efficiency, performance, and usability that is perfect for urban environments.” The word “urban” is key when talking about the e Prototype, since the driving range exceeds 200 km (124 miles). Combine that with a fast charge functionality that can top up the battery to 80 percent of its capacity in 30 minutes and you get a car that’s suitable for everyday commuting. That doesn’t mean the Honda e Prototype isn’t fun to drive, though. Quite the contrary, as it features a rear-mounted electric motor that drives the rear wheels. The RWD setup promises engaging driving dynamics, according to Honda. Unfortunately, the company remains secretive about the specs. It does say the motor is powerful, but that’s all. Compared to the Urban EV, the e Prototype features many changes, including the switch from three to five doors (all of which are front-hinged now), the ditching of the front bench seat, and the adoption of round taillights instead of the study’s squared units. Despite sacrificing the concept’s sportier stance for a more practical approach, the e Prototype manages to send a similar vibe, thanks in part to the smooth body contours, rearview cameras, flush pop-out door handles, and the minimalist lounge-style cabin dominated by the dual screen horizontal display. The production version of the e Prototype will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and will enter production before the end of the year.

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There were plenty of examples of the current range, none of which have anything like the “want one” factor of the e Prototype. These included the Jazz supermini and the HR-V and CR-V crossovers, as well as numerous of the competent but controversially styled Civic, including the highly-rated Type R.

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A separate part of the stand featured Honda in motor sport, with race cars featuring along with the latest NSX supercar.

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ISUZU

The ever-faithful D-Max pickups continue, following an update last year, finding favour with those who seek a rugged and inexpensive workhorse.

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ITAL DESIGN

Dedicated to Leonardo DaVinci, the study has been designed as a Gran Turismo with a pure electric drivetrain. It’s capable of housing two electric motors, one on each axle, whereas the batteries are mounted on the floor. Furthermore, with only a few modifications, it can house an internal combustion engine, too, with four-wheel drive. This version was developed around a 4.0-litre V8, said the Italian coachbuilder, and fitting it doesn’t necessitate any changes to the car’s design which looks nicely executed. At 4,981 mm (196.1 in) long, 2,124 mm (83.6 in) wide and 1,392 mm (54.8 in) tall, it’s slightly larger than the new BMW 8-Series Coupe, and has a 2,900 mm (114.2 in) longer wheelbase. The elegant exterior is completed by the sporty roofline, gullwing-style doors, OLED taillights that form a hexagonal frame and active spoiler. Additionally, it’s equipped with a new set of tyres made by Pirelli specifically for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that reduce rolling resistance and noise. The interior has no less than three screens, including one mounted in front of the passengers, another in the central console in a portrait mode and one for the digital instrument cluster. In the middle of the dashboard, right under the air vents, a display surface is embedded into the upholstery, which integrates the climate controls. The DaVinci is only a concept, but with enough interest, Italdesign said that it can be put into production with minimal changes. Furthermore, it can “fit different platforms developed by different brands”, which increases its chances of hitting the street.

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JEEP

Reflecting the fact that Jeep is experiencing a huge growth in sales and is the profit engine for the FCA Group, there was a large stand given over to these products and there were lots of examples on show. Although the bodystyles of all appear familiar, there was plenty beneath the skin which was new. Debuts will include the Cherokee Trailhawk, the “bold and distinctive” Compass Night Eagle, a couple of Wranglers, as well as the new ‘S’ range comprised of the Renegade, Compass, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.

Based on the flagship Limited version, the Renegade S will be arriving in select EU markets in Q2 of this year. It has an Alpine White exterior, black roof and Low Gloss Granite Crystal accents on its front grille. It also boasts several blacked-out badges (4×4, Jeep, Renegade, S), model-specific roof bars and exclusive Granite Crystal 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside, it features premium seats with tungsten stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a wide range of tech like Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, dual-zone automatic A/C, front and rear parking sensors and a Full Pack LED, which includes LED daytime running lights, headlights, taillights and fog lights.The car that was displayed here was powered by a 1.3-litre Turbo T4 with 180 PS (177 bhp) mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, although customers can also choose the 150 PS (148 bhp) version of this engine, as well as a 1.6-litre or a 2.0-litre Multijet II diesel, the latter available with four-wheel drive.

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Another new ‘S’ range model is the Compass, coming to Europe in the second quarter of the year. It boasts a two-tone Peal White exterior with a black roof and new 19-inch Low Gloss Granite Crystal wheels, a finish that’s also found on the badges, front grille, fog lamp outer bezels, lower fascia applique and signature daylight opening surrounds. Tech includes the same 8.4-inch nav system as the Renegade, along with Bi-Xenon headlights, automatic high beams, power tailgate, Adaptive Cruise Control, Beats sound system and electric 8-way seats. The vehicle on display is powered by a 2.0-litre Multijet 170 PS (167 bhp) four working alongside a nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Also available is a 1.4-litre petrol (140 PS / 170 PS), a 120 PS (118 bhp) 1.6-litre Multijet II with a manual ‘box and a 2.0-litre with 140 or 170 PS (138-167 bhp) paired to a 9-speed auto. In markets outside of Europe, buyers will get a 2.4-litre petrol unit with either 150 PS (148 bhp) or 175 PS (172 bhp), to go with the nine-speed auto and AWD.

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The Cherokee S special edition model also has a Pearl White exterior and 19-inch Granite Crystal Metallic wheels. We also spot a body-coloured lower front fascia and wingr flares, plus satin gloss Granite Crystal Metallic accents for the badges, roof rails and fog lamp bezels. Inside, there’s the 8.4-inch sat-nav unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Adaptive Cruise Control with stop & go, Active Speed Limiter, Forward Collision Warning Plus with Pedestrian Detection, Advanced Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning Plus, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross-Path Detection, Keyless Enter-N-Go, front and rear parking sensors and Parallel & Perpendicular Park Assist. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged 270 PS (266 bhp) petrol engine that’s mated to a nine-speed auto and four-wheel drive. In Europe, the launch of the new Cherokee S is scheduled for the second quarter of 2019.

The Grand Cherokee S Limited is based on the Limited trim level and has a Bright White exterior and a black leather interior. Also present are the Low Gloss Granite Crystal finishes, SRT-style performance hood, 20-inch alloys and a premium-looking cabin with black ventilated leather-wrapped perforated front seats, Alpine sound system, 8.4-inch infotainment system and more. Meanwhile, power comes from a 3.0-litre V6 diesel unit, good for 250 PS (246 bhp). The introduction of the new S Limited special edition also marks the market launch of 2019MY Grand Cherokee, which has an updated interior, more tech and is available with three new exterior paint colours – Slate Blue, Green Metallic and Sting Grey.

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The Trailhawk version of Jeep’s mid-size Cherokee SUV debuted here, featuring a more aggressive look and stance. It sports 17-inch wheels, off-road tires, aggressive approach and departure angles (29.9 degrees / 32.2 degrees respectively), unique front and rear fascia and skid plates, Jeep Active Drive Lock, and 22 cm (8.6 inches) in ground clearance. It also has a Firecracker Red Clear Coat livery, front and rear parking sensors, Adaptive Cruise Control, 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, configurable 7-inch TFT color screen and a premium sound system with 9 speakers and a subwoofer. Safety kit is quite extensive and includes Active Speed Limiter, Forward Collision Warning Plus with pedestrian recognition, Advanced Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning Plus, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross-Path Detection, Keyless Enter-N-Go and Parallel & Perpendicular Park Assist. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit with 270 PS (266 bhp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque paired to a nine-speed auto. The new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk will be available for sale in Jeep showrooms across Europe starting this April.

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Buyers looking for a more exclusive Compass can opt for the Night Eagle version, which boasts a Gloss Black grille, fog lights and headlight bezels, 19-inch wheels, a dedicated Night Eagle badge and a Laser Blue exterior with a black roof. Inside, there are cloth/techno-leather seats, an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen system, ParkView rear camera with dynamic grid and rear parking assistance. As for power, that comes from a 1.4-litre 140 PS (138 bhp) petrol with a manual transmission. The Jeep Compass Night Eagle is already available in dealerships.

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With the unveiling of the plug-in hybrid versions of the Renegade and Compass at the Show, Jeep has taken an important step into the future. The smallest member of the brand’s family, the Renegade, combines a new 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, for a total output said to stand in the 190-240 PS (187-237 bhp) range. With the battery fully charged, it can be driven for around 50 km (31 miles) on electric power, at no more than 130 km/h (81 mph). When the ICE kicks in, the Renegade PHEV takes approximately 7 seconds to hit 100 km/h (62 mph). The new plug-in hybrid version of the Compass enjoys up to 240 PS (237 bhp) of combined power. The compact model’s still pending homologation, but it’s expected to have a very similar performance to the smaller Renegade, which emits less than 50 g/km of CO2. Besides making them friendlier to the environment, the plug-in hybrid powertrain improves their off-road capabilities. Jeep says that thanks to the extra torque offered by the rear electric motor, which can be adjusted with precision during take-offs, traction to the rear axle has been improved. Additionally, the eAWD (electric all-wheel drive) system allows the two axles to work independently from each other, which makes it more effective than a traditional mechanical system. Besides the PHEV powertrain, the plug-in hybrid Renegade and Compass feature a dedicated instrument cluster and infotainment screen that provide key information to the driver.

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KIA

True concept cars are meant to inspire the imagination, to challenge convention, to be as original, daring and emotion-driven as an automobile can be. At first glance, the Imagine by Kia Concept seems to fit the description. But while it’s definitely daring and fresh, blurring the lines between SUVs, sedans, and crossovers, it might as well be the first concept vehicle that trolls other car makers. Ever since Tesla slapped a giant 17-inch tablet on the dash of the Model S in 2012, automakers took notice and gradually implemented larger displays in their new vehicles. Kia believes this trend has reached ridiculous proportions and its Geneva Motor Show design study is the company’s way of telling the industry how it feels about it. The concept features no fewer than 21 individual ultra-high resolution screens inside.
“These 21 incredibly thin screens are a humorous and irreverent riposte to the on-going competition between some automotive manufacturers to see who can produce the car with the biggest screen,” says Ralph Kluge, Kia Motors Europe’s general manager of interior design. The displays are arranged like a deck of cards on the dash “in a layout that is at the same time both casual and coordinated,” according to the carmaker. Kudos to Kia for signalling other automakers that some of them have gone too far with the screen frenzy. Nevertheless, the screen-wall is highly functional, effectively creating a single unified display from the driver’s point of view. Isn’t Kia sending mixed messages here? As you can imagine, the Korean company didn’t go through the trouble of building a concept car just to tease other carmakers. In fact, Imagine by Kia brings forward “a more progressive Kia design language for the future.” According to the car maker, the concept features “intelligent reinterpretations of existing Kia motifs and a bodywork characterised by a blend of tautly-drawn sheet metal, crisp lines, and efficient aerodynamics.” Penned by Kia’s European design centre in Frankfurt, the study envisions a four-door all-electric C-segment model that features an airy and spacious interior. Obviously, we won’t see something like this on the road, but Imagine by Kia does hint at interior and exterior design elements that future production models could adopt — such as the “tiger mask” front light signature. It’s a statement more than anything else, and the fact that Kia didn’t reveal much about the bespoke electric platform that underpins the concept only strengthens that impression. All the automaker said is the vehicle features a low-mounted, induction-charged battery pack that powers a compact drivetrain.

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Latest production model is the third generation Ceed, and the hatch and estate model have now been joined by the stylish Proceed version. All three of them were here.

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Also present were the Picanto, the D-segment Optima and the highly rated Stinger.

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From the SUV range, there were Stonic and Sportage cars here that I photographed, as well as the Sorento which I appear to have missed.

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Both the Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid adopt refreshed styling inspired by the e-Niro electric vehicle, improved interior materials, and new interior colour options. In addition, the facelifted Niro models get Kia’s new UVO Connect telematics system. On the outside, the 2019 Niro hybrids gain new bumpers, redesigned headlights featuring an “ice-cube” design (optionally available as full LED), new LED DRLs with a unique double-arrow layout, as well as optional LED fog lamps. At the rear, the crossovers adopt redesigned LED taillights, a silver skid plate, and new light reflectors and rear fog lamps. The Niro Hybrid offers a choice of two 16-inch alloy wheel designs, as well as an all-new 18-inch dual-tone diamond-cut rim. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid features new 16-inch alloys with dark grey inserts. Inside, Kia says both Niro models now offer a more upscale atmosphere with enhanced quality. The top of the dashboard gets a soft-touch coating, while the dash and instrument panel gain new gloss black trim with silver or satin chrome highlights. An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and 4.2-inch TFT instrument binnacle are offered as standard, with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster being available. The Niro range also gains two colour packs for the 2019 model year in Europe: Red-Orange or Plum. Other modifications include the adoption of paddle shifters for the six-speed dual-clutch transmission and a new electronic parking brake with larger rear brakes. The UVO Connect telematics system becomes available on the Niro hybrids. Compatible with the optional 10.25-inch touchscreen and a smartphone, UVO connect offers access to live traffic information, weather forecasts, POIs, fuel prices, parking, charging station information, and more. The upgraded Niro range also sees the introduction of new active safety tech such as Stop & Go functionality for the Smart Cruise Control system and Lane Following Assist. No changes are made to the powertrains, which combine a 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine with a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery in the Niro Hybrid and the same ICE with an 8.9 kWh battery in the Plug-in Hybrid. The Hybrid’s CO2 emissions are as low as 99.8 g/km (WLTP combined cycle) while the Niro Plug-in Hybrid is rated at 31.3 g/km. The PHEV can be driven in EV mode for up to 49 km (30 miles). Kia will start European sales of the Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid start during the second quarter of 2019.

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The third generation Soul was premiered at the 2018 Los Angeles Show late last year And now we see the European version, which will be sold solely in electric form, as the e-Soul. The brand’s second battery electric model in Europe will offer a driving range of up to 280 miles (452km) per the latest WLTP rules, thanks to its optional 64kWh battery pack. Kia will offer the new e-Soul with a smaller 39.2kWh battery module as standard, which comes with a driving range of 172 miles (277km) on a full charge. Both versions of the new e-Soul will feature a lithium-ion battery pack but it’s not just the capacity that changes, it’s also the electric motor; base models will be powered by a 134hp (136PS) electric motor while the long-range version is getting a more punchy 201hp (204PS) motor. The latter can sprint from 0 to 62mph (100km/h) in 7.6 seconds. The new e-Soul is compatible with the 100kW DC fast charging process, through which it can recharge its battery packs from 20 to 80 percent in 42 minutes. As with pretty much every purely electric vehicle in the market, the latest zero-emissions Kia employs a range of energy recuperation systems to harvest energy, including a regenerative braking system that can be adjusted via paddles on the steering and a heat pump system. There are five different levels of regenerative braking you can choose from, while the new e-Soul also offers 4 different driving modes: Normal, Eco, Eco+ and Sport. The Koreans will launch the new e-Soul in Europe shortly after the conclusion of the Geneva Motor Show, accompanied by a seven-year, 150,000 km warranty (93,200 miles) that covers both the electric motor and the battery pack.

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KIENLE

This is a well known dealer in high end classic cars and they had some lovely stuff on show. Many of them were Mercedes. a 1957 300SC Cabrio was joined by a couple of the legendary 300SL Roadster and the much more recent McLaren SLR 722.

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Other cars included a Jaguar XK150 fhc, a Citroen Traction Avant and an early Lamborghini tractor.

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And then there was this. Just 5 of these custom Centenario Trattori were made as part of the centenary of the birth of Ferruccio Lamborghini. Its 2.2-litre three-cylinder makes 38bhp, and top speed is quoted charmingly as “more than 25mph” which must rank fairly low on the all-time scale of “bang per buck” given the 250,000 euro (plus tax) asking price.

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KLASSEN

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KOENIGSEGG

Koenigsegg has finally revealed the replacement of the Agera RS and its name is Jesko, as a tribute to Christian Koenigsegg’s father. The new Swedish hypercar is capable of reaching 300mph (482km/h), according to Koenigsegg’s own simulations, thanks to a heavily modified twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 that can produce up to 1,578hp (1,600PS) on E85. Christian even kept the new hypercar’s name a secret from his father until the last moment, when revealing the car here. Jesko von Koenigsegg is a key presence within the company, helping Christian establish Koenigsegg as one of the leaders in the supercar world. The revised V8 engine now features a flat-plane 180-degree crankshaft that’s 5kg lighter and allows it to rev up to 8,500rpm and produce more power and an “even more visceral sound”. The two turbochargers are connected directly to a small electric compressor, which drives air to them from a 20-litre air tank (made out of carbon fibre of course). Koenigsegg claims that thanks to this feature, turbo lag is eliminated, providing instant response and massive boost before the exhaust gasses take over in spinning those turbos. When running on 95-octane unleaded, Jesko’s beast of an engine produces 1,262hp (1,280PS) but give it some E85 and it will make 1,578hp (1,600PS) and 1,106lb-ft (1,500Nm) of peak torque, with over 737lb-ft available anywhere between 2,700rpm and 6,170rpm. Then, there’s the transmission; Koenigsegg calls it the Light Speed Transmission, a nine-speed multiclutch unit designed in-house that doesn’t feature traditional synch rings at all. This allows it to change between any gear at “near light speed”. Unlike the more traditional DCTs in the market, Koenigsegg’s LST unit allows direct changes between gears, regardless of that gear’s relationship to the current one. For example, it can shift from 7th to 4th directly -and at lighting speed apparently- without waiting for synchronisation. The whole transmission weighs just 90kg, complete with wet clutches, flywheel, fluids, starter motor and oil pumps, making it far lighter than any DCT gearbox out there. The Koenigsegg Jesko’s carbon tub is 40mm longer and 22mm higher than that in the Agera RS in order to give it more space inside the cabin. The chassis is fitted with a Triplex damper at the front, preventing the car from squatting under acceleration at the rear and keeping it level at all times, in addition to the traditional Ohlins dampers, as well as a rear-wheel steering system for the first time. The carbon-fibre wheels are Koenigsegg’s lightest yet, with the front 20-inch items weighing 5.9kg each and the rear 21-inch ones at 7.7kg. Koenigsegg claims that thanks to the huge front splitter and the even more enormous boomerang-like rear wing, the Jesko can produce around 800kg of downforce at 155mph, 1,000kg at 171mph and 1,400kg at its top speed. There will be a lower-downforce version in the future, which is the one with the 300mph potential. The bodywork is also fitted with Koenigsegg’s Autoskin system, a range of mini hydraulic actuators that can operate everything from the aero-kit elements to the dihedral doors and hoods, enabling a touchless entry. The system is operated through the car’s remote control. In addition, the interior features a steering wheel with two small touchscreen displays with haptic feedback and a new compact 5-inch SmartCluster digital instrument binnacle. Koenigsegg will produce just 125 Jesko hypercars, with an annual production output of around 40 to 50 examples. Prices are expected to start from $3 million before taxes but then again, you wouldn’t expect it to be cheap, would you?

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Also on show were the Regera and the CCR, the first car that the Swedish marque launched, 25 years ago.

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LAMBORGHINI

Lamborghini retained the stand position that to which they had moved in 2018, between Bentley and Audi. They only had four cars on show, but they all pulled the crowds. Making its debut here was the  Aventador SV-J Roadster, revealed just hours after the Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster made its debut. While the Mercedes uses a familiar twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, the Aventador SVJ Roadster has a massive 6.5-litre V12 engine that develops 759 hp and 531 lb-ft (720 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a seven-speed ISR transmission and an all-wheel drive system. This setup enables the SVJ to rocket from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 2.9 seconds and 0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) in 8.8 seconds. Given enough room, the roadster will eventually hit a top speed in excess of 217 mph (350 km/h). The performance specifications are virtually identical to the coupe, but the roadster is a tad slower from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h). This is likely due to the fact that the roadster weighs 110 lbs (50 kg) more than the coupe. Lamborghini didn’t talk much about the weight gain, but confirmed the Aventador SVJ Roadster has a carbon fibre roof which consists of two separate panels that each weigh 13.2 lbs (6 kg).  The panels can be removed via quick-release levers and then stored under the front hood. To ensure the cabin remains comfortable with the roof removed, there’s a small rear window which can be raised or lowered at the press of a button. The cabin also features a digital instrument cluster, GPS navigation and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Like the coupe, the Aventador SVJ Roadster has an active aerodynamics system which varies the “aero load to achieve high downforce or low drag.” This is done by adjusting the position of the front splitter and carbon fibre rear wing. The system is highly advanced and can even be used to improve cornering. As Lamborghini explained, the right or left side of the wing can be adjusted to increase downforce and traction on a desired wheel. The active aero tech is just part of the package as the Aventador SVJ Roadster also has rear wheel steering, carbon ceramic brakes and a magneto rheological suspension with anti-roll bars that are 50% stiffer than those used on the Aventador SV Roadster. Production will be limited to 800 units and the first deliveries are slated to begin this summer. Pricing starts at €387,007 or £323,323.

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Looking very much like the outgoing version, the Huracan Evo. as revealed in January, is very different in many important ways. Lamborghini’s newest iteration of the Huracan is dubbed the EVO and features a fully-integrated Vehicle Dynamics Control System, new infotainment technology with advanced connectivity and can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds.  Lamborghini gave the Huracan EVO a new front bumper, featuring a front splitter with integrated wing design, aiding airflow. Meanwhile, the larger air intakes boast the automaker’s signature Y-shape, while the profile reveals a new wheel design and new side air intakes. However, it’s the rear end that arguably makes the revised Huracan stand out the most. The twin exhaust tips are positioned higher up in the rear bumper, while the upper end of the rear section features an integrated, slotted spoiler for increased downforce The car’s floor is all about maximising aerodynamic efficiency. In fact, according to Lambo, the Huracan EVO’s airflow-friendly styling improves downforce and overall aerodynamics by more than five (!) times compared to the first-generation Huracan. “Lamborghini is intent on leading the advance to the highest level of super sports car technologies and driving emotion. This is the essence of the new Huracán EVO. It takes the extraordinary abilities of the Huracán Performante and combines state-of-the-art vehicle dynamic control to amplify the everyday Huracán driving experience,” stated the company’s CEO, Stefano Domenicali. “The Huracan EVO is the very definition of evolution: it is a step ahead, redefining the segment parameters. It is remarkably easy to drive, while delivering the most responsive, sensory and agile driving experience, in every environment.” Inside the Huracan EVO you’ll find dedicated ‘EVO’ trim in an Alcantara and leather trimmed interior, with Arancio Dryope details to match the Arancio Xanto exterior on this particular press release model. Available on request are Carbon Forged Composites and Lamborghini’s patented Carbon Skin, to go with the new customizable ambient lighting system. Customers will be able to choose from a wide range of Style Packs, as well as Lamborghini’s Ad Personam program. In terms of tech, there’s a new 8.4-inch touchscreen display in the centre console, available multi-finger gesture control, Apple CarPlay with smartphone integration, connected sat-nav, web radio, integrated high-capacity hard disk and an optional dual-camera telemetry system. The Huracan EVO’s 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 now puts down 640 PS (631 HP) at 8,000 rpm and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) of peak torque at 6,500 rpm, an increase of 30 PS (29 HP) compared to its predecessor. Thanks to a dry weight of 1,422 kg (3,135 lbs), the Italian exotic has a 2.22 kg/hp weight-to-power ratio and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds. Zero to 200 km/h (124 mph) takes 9 seconds flat, while braking from 100 km/h to a standstill is achieved in 31.9 meters (104 feet). The Huracan EVO’s top speed is rated at more than 325 km/h (202 mph). Bottom line, performance specs are pretty much identical to those of the Huracan Performante. Last, but not least, the EVO features new tech such as the Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI), a central processing unit that controls every aspect of the car’s dynamic behavior, aided by the Lamborghini Piattaforma Inzerziale (LPI), a comprehensive set of accelerator and gyroscope sensors positioned at the car’s centre of gravity. Other noteworthy dynamics features include the rear-wheel steering system, four-wheel torque vectoring system, improved magnetorheological active suspension, new advanced traction control system, upgraded all-wheel drive system, and enhanced steering response. The Huracan EVO’s starting price is upwards of £165,256.

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After unveiling the Huracan Evo Coupe at the beginning of the year, Lamborghini uncovered the new Spyder open-top derivative here. It’s equipped with an electro-hydraulic soft top that takes 17 seconds to lower and can be operated at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph). As the driver pushes the button that opens up the cabin, two fins rise up out of the folding roof casing towards the seatbacks. Drivers can electronically open the rear window with the roof up or down, to listen to the V10 soundtrack. As with the coupe, the supercar’s 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine has been tuned to deliver 640 PS (631 bhp) and 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) of torque. With a dry weight of 1,542 kg (3,340 lbs), and a power-to-weight ratio of 2.41 kg/PS (5.31 lbs/PS), it hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.1 seconds, 200 km/h (124 mph) in 9.3 seconds and has a top speed of 325 km/h (201 mph). In comparison, the Huracan Evo Coupe needs 2.9 seconds and 9.0 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) and 200 km/h (124 mph), respectively, and maxes out at just over 325 km/h (201 mph). Just like its fixed-roof sibling, the new Huracan Evo Spyder features the Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI) processing unit. This controls every aspect of the set-up and dynamic behaviour, including the rear-wheel steering, four-wheel drive, torque vectoring and advanced traction control. It also gets the magneto rheological suspension, tuned dynamic steering and improved aerodynamics of the Coupe. Presented in Verde Selvans, a new Lamborghini four-layer green, the Huracan Evo Spyder rides on new 20-inch Aesir rims, shod in Pirelli P Zero tyres. It can be specced in the new Evo grade in a mix of Alcantara and leather, with trim details and stitching that match the exterior shade. The car maker is offering a new 8.4-inch infotainment system that debuted in the Coupe, as well as different styling packages including Carbon Forged Composite and Carbon Skin. Further personalization options come from the Ad Personam program. Suggested retail prices (before taxes) kick off at €202,437 in mainland Europe, £181,781 in the United Kingdom, $287,400 in the United States, RMB 3,650,000 in China and YEN 32,827,602 in Japan. Lamborghini will deliver the first examples of the new Huracan Evo Spyder this spring.

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Final model on the stand was the Urus, the controversial SUV that was added to the range last year.

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LEXUS

Star-billing on the Lexus stand was the RC-F Track Edition which was first seen at the Detroit Show earlier in the year. The name says it all, really. It’s a hardcore version of an already hardcore performance coupe. Upgrades include new carbon fibre elements that save 80 kg (176 lbs) of weight and improve aerodynamic performance and downforce, as well as ceramic brake discs and titanium tailpipes. The 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine remains unchanged, delivering 479 PS (472 HP) and 395 lb-ft (536 Nm) of torque, channeled to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. That translates into a 0-60 mph sprint of 3.96 seconds with Launch Control engaged. Styling-wise, the Lexus RC F Track Edition is easy to recognise thanks to the aggressive carbon fiber aero kit and red leather interior.

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Although presented as a concept. Lexus were honest enough to admit that the LC Convertible first seen at Detroit earlier in the year and making another appearance here is actually a direct preview of an upcoming production model. The LC Convertible Concept has already been described as an LC in its most breathtaking form, “blending all the best aspects of the original Coupe with the dynamic design of an open-air convertible,” said Lexus chief designer, Tadao Mori. The roof  is stowed in a special compartment behind the rear seats. It is a soft-top rather than a folding hard-top, which should help keep the extra weight down to a minimum. Compared to the fixed-roof version, the LC Convertible sits 5 mm (0.2 inches) closer to the road. Meanwhile, the wheelbase length is the same at 2,870 mm (113.0 inches), as is overall width and length, rated at 1,920 mm (75.6 inches) and 4,770 mm (187.8 inches) respectively. As for any special touches present on this show car, there’s black exterior trim, new 22-inch wheels, and of course the white leather interior with yellow contrast stitching.

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There were examples of all the current production range here. That encompasses a lot of different models these days. ranging from the long-lived CT200h, through the IS, ES and LS saloons to the RC and LC Coupes and a whole family of Crossover modes, recently augmented by the UX and also comprising NX and RX.

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LINEA

This is the Linea Diamante, and is actually a 65-year-old design by the since-passed Italian architect Gio Ponti. It was brought to life by a group known as The Automobile by Ponti Project last year.

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MANSORY

Mansory had a huge stand this year, with a lot of cars showing their approach to erm, personalisation. Not to my taste, any of them, but clearly there are people who like what they do. Mansory has made a name for itself over the years with its overt upgrade packages for various sports cars, supercars, and hypercars. Despite the outlandish and opinion-splitting looks of its vehicles, the company never fails to get its hands on the most exclusive cars on the market. Its Bugatti Chiron follows a similar philosophy to other recent Mansory products. Reportedly dubbed the Mansory Centuria and unveiled here,  the modified hypercar has been outfitted with a selection of eye-catching exterior parts made from the unique style of forged carbon which Mansory premiered at last year’s Geneva Auto Show. Parts finished in this material include a sharp rear diffuser and wing, aspects of the wheels, side skirts, front wheel arch louvres, headlight surrounds, and the hood. Mansory has even designed a roof scoop for the vehicle, but it appears to be purely for aesthetics purposes, serving no role in helping to cool the hypercar’s 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine. Mansory has also designed an intriguing exhaust system for the Chiron that includes four tailpipes positioned into an oval.

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Further proof that Mansory doesn’t do subtle comes from their new, bespoke Rolls-Royce Cullinan Billionaire. The custom luxury SUV has been developed in partnership with German luxury label Billionaire. It comes in a two-tone shade, sports a modified front end with larger air intakes and new apron, and has a new line that runs across the length of the bonnet. The 24-inch rims with 295/30 tyres nicely fill the extended wheel arches, and there are also new side skirts. Further back, Mansory has added a carbon fibre boot lid spoiler and roof-mounted wing, with the latter sitting on top of the standard part. The diffuser has also been redesigned and now hosts two exhaust pipes on each side. In the cockpit, white leather that covers most visible surfaces. The ‘Mansory’ lettering has been embedded into the seats, the ‘Billionaire’ logo is embossed into the headrests and the door panels have a new pattern. Staying true to its new nature, the tuned Cullinan has crocodile leather on the sides of the front seats and on the front and rear armrests. Mansory’s bundle of upgrades includes a modest 40 PS (39 bhp) and 100 Nm (74 lb-ft) of torque boost for the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12. It now pushes out 611 PS (602 bhp) and 950 Nm (701 lb-ft) of torque and allows the luxury SUV to accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just under 5 seconds, en route to the 280 km/h (174 mph) top speed. Only 13 units of the Cullinan Billionaire will be made and prices start from €785,000 ($888,538) in Germany.

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Does the Lamborghini Urus need to look even more aggressive? Mansory certainly thinks so, and they came up with a unique example called Venatus that just screams ‘look at me’ through its pores. At the front, the Italian super SUV sports a new bumper with wide air intakes. The bonnet has been restyled to include some air vents, there are weird creases in the front fenders, wider wheel arches and after-market side skirts. The rear end design of the Urus Venatus is even more radical. The bumper looks restrained compared to the gigantic diffuser, which incorporates three central-mounted exhaust tips. The stock roof-mounted wing has been replaced by a larger one and the boot lid features another wing, with the Italian flag on the sides. Aside from the carbon parts, the Urus has blacked-out taillights, orange accents that contrast the matte grey exterior and 24-inch wheels. The cockpit hasn’t escaped the tuner’s wrath either, and gets a lot of orange accents on most visible surfaces, in addition to their logos embossed into the seats and headrests, plus carbon fibre inserts. The ‘Mansory’ side sills greet users upon opening the doors while the ‘Venatus 1/1’ plaque is just another indicator that this Urus is one-of-a-kind. Mansory hasn’t touched the engine and they didn’t need to, as the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that powers the Italian SUV produces a healthy 650 PS (641 bhp) and 850 Nm (627 lb-ft) of torque.

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And for those who think that the regular Lamborghini Huracan and Aventafor are not powerful enough, there is this, the Mansory Cantanado Evo. Based on the Aventador, the outside of the Lamborghini Carbonado Evo looks extremely similar to its hardtop Coupe sibling, the Lamborghini Carbonado, apart from its detachable hard top roof of course. As a result, the Lamborghini Carbonado Evo is smothered in lightweight carbon fibre and it features “completely redesigned carbon fibre body work” giving it “a world exclusive stealth look”. That is not all because Mansory have also outfitted the Carbonado Evo with new, more aggressive looking front and rear bumpers, enhanced wheel housings, larger front and rear air intakes, a carbon fibre bonnet/engine cover, a set of new headlights, carbon fibre side skirts, carbon fibre side view mirrors, a large carbon fibre rear diffuser and a massive carbon fibre fixed rear wing. To finish off the “stealth look” Mansoryhas given the Carbonado Evo a “stealth carbon fibre” exterior finish and they have also darkened the taillights and added a set of 20-inch (front) and 21-inch (rear) lightweight forged alloy wheels which are wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tyres.  The devilish Lamborghini Carbonado Evo is powered by the familiar 6.5 litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine. However, Mansory have completely rebuilt and reworked it, achieving astounding performance figures in the process. Although Mansory has not detailed the work carried out on the massive V12 powerplant, they have said that the Carbonado Evo now has an overall power output of 1,250 hp and an electronically limited torque output of 900 Nm. If we compare these performance figures to those of a standard Lamborghini Aventador Roadster (not Aventador S Roadster), the Carbonado Evo has an overall power increase of 550 hp and an overall torque increase of 210 Nm. Although Mansory have not mentioned anything regarding the Carbonado Evo’s transmission, it is likely that the Carbonado Evo uses the same single-clutch seven speed semi-automatic transmission as a regular Aventador. It is confirmed that all 1,250 hp are sent directly to all four wheels via Lamborghini’s permanent all wheel drive system, improving traction in the process. As a result, the insane Lamborghini Carbanado Evo can sprint from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.6 seconds and it will keep on accelerating until it reaches a hypercar like top speed of 380 km/h (236 mph). Mansory has only built one example of the insane Carbanado Evo and they have no plans to produce anymore. As a result, true to Mansory style, pricing details for the Carbonado Evo will only be made available to those who already own a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and can prove it.

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And in case those were not challenging enough, then there are their takes on the Range Rover, a Mercedes Cabrio, the Smart, the Lotus Evora and another Lamborghini. Yikes!

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MASERATI

There were no actual new models on Maserati’s Geneva Motor Show stand this year. Instead, the automaker’s headline act was the Levante Trofeo V8 Launch Edition.Available as a limited edition of 100 units, the Launch Edition marks the debut of the range-topping Levante Trofeo. The vehicle that will go on display in Geneva features a Blu Emozione Matte colour, although customers will be able to get it in Giallo Modenese and Rosso Magma paints as well.The exterior stands out thanks to exclusive carbon fibre inserts on the bumpers and side skirts, as well as the specially designed bonnet. The Levante Trofeo Launch Edition rides on 22-inch Orione rims available in a matte or glossy black finish. The brake calipers can be had in silver, blue, yellow or red. Inside, the Levante Trofeo Launch Edition offers sports seats upholstered in premium full-grain “Pieno Fiore” natural leather, with contrasting stitching and a “Trofeo” logo embroidered on the headrest matching the exterior colour. Performance-wise, the Levante Trofeo features a Ferrari-built 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine that makes 590 PS (582 hp) and 730 Nm (538 lb-ft) of torque. Hooked to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, the engine enables the performance SUV to go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.1 seconds and reach a top speed of almost 300 km/h (186 mph).

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Maserati is introducing its own customisation program, and the Levante One of One showcases its capabilities. Commissioned by Allegra Antinori, Vice President of Italian wine producer Marchesi Antinori, this unique Levante has been completely customized by the Centro Stile Maserati. The bespoke SUV’s standout feature is obviously the unique tri-coat green body color, a unique hue inspired by the shades of the Tuscan hills. The SUV’s side air vents and grille inserts are finished in a complementary dark chrome, and the alloy wheel design is unique too. Inside, the One of One features combinations which have never previously been used on a Levante. Those include the “Pieno Fiore” leather upholstery ornamented with classical button-tufted effect 3D embroidery, carbon fiber trim with copper wire and high gloss finish on the center tunnel, as well as 100 percent natural mohair wool floor mats. Furthermore, the colour of the lower dashboard, door panel, central tunnel, and seats reflect “the warm hues of the earth of Tuscan vineyards”, according to the press release.

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Aside from the Levante Trofeo Launch Edition, Maserati’s Geneva stand also included a Levante S Q4 GranSport and Quattroporte S Q4 GranLusso, featuring interiors in “Pelletessuta,” a special woven Nappa leather made by Ermenegildo Zegna exclusively for Maserati. A Maserati GranTurismo MC was also on display, with a Grigio Lava Matte exterior and a carbon fibre interior.

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MAT

A pair of Manifattura Automobili Torino’s (MAT) New Stratos cars were displayed here. The first takes obvious design influence from classic Lancia Stratos rally cars. There is a white, red, and green Alitalia livery, bright yellow wheels, and a cluster of four huge driving lights just above the front grille. The rally-inspired Stratos also includes yellow headlights and a pair of mudflaps at the rear. As for the second New Stratos, it is a dark blue example featuring a pair of subtle racing stripes running over the bonnet, roof, and rear decklid. Prior to the show kicking off, MAT confirmed that the two Geneva-bound cars were already sold. One of them is heading to Germany while the other is off to the United States. MAT hasn’t said which one is which, but the presence of orange reflectors on the dark blue example indicates that’s the one coming to the United States. Powering the New Stratos is a 4.3-litre naturally-aspirated V8 sourced from the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. This powertrain pumps out 540 hp and 383 lb-ft (519 Nm) of torque and, despite the 430 Scuderia only being mated solely to a semi-auto gearbox, MAT offers has fitter the V8 with six-speed manual transmission. Production of the New Stratos will be limited to just 25 units globally. Customers can either source a 430 Scuderia (or a regular F430), or MAT will source one for them – and the price of admission to this beautiful and exclusive sports car is a cool 500,000 euros

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MAZDA

One of few production models making its debut here was the CX-30, the solution for those customers who think the Mazda’s CX-3 a touch too small, and at the same time, the CX-5 a little too big. As far as styling is concerned, the CX-30 has been thought up using Mazda’s Kodo design language, resulting in a dynamic exterior. “We designed the CX-30 to be an essential partner in the customer’s daily life,” said Mazda president & CEO, Akira Marumoto. “It will be made at key global plants so we can deliver Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure and matured Kodo design to customers all over the world. Moving forward, our new products and technologies will ensure customers continue to see the value in owning a Mazda car. We aim to be recognised as a brand that forms the strongest of bonds with each customer.” Inside, it features “relaxed and user-friendly packaging”, with enough room for four adults. Meanwhile, the increased height over a regular saloon or hatchback means improved visibility on the road, as well as easier access inside, as with most crossovers. As for the freestanding infotainment system, it can be controlled via a rotary dial on the centre console. Power comes from the automaker’s latest-generation Skyactiv engines, including the Skyactiv-X. While no official word has been dropped, we expect the CX-30 to utilise the same hardware as the latest Mazda3, which should mean 1.5-, 2.0 and 2.5-litre petrol units, as well as a 1.8-litre diesel for Europe. An optional all-wheel drive system should also be available. Compared to a Mazda3, the CX-30 has an extra 25 mm (0.98 inches) in ground clearance, plus an impressive 430 litres (15.1 cu.ft) of volume inside the boot, compared to the 3’s 295 litres (10.4 cu.ft). Sales for the CX-30  will commence in the middle of this year in Europe, followed by the rest of the world at some point in time.

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Following the global reveal of the next generation Mazda 3 at the Los Angeles Show late last year, the European specs are now available, following the recent press launch. There will be three engines in Europe, two petrol and a diesel. Replacing the previous generation’s 1.5-litre and 2.2-litre diesel engines, the new Skyactiv-D 1.8-litre turbo diesel delivers 116 PS (114 hp) at 4,000 rpm and 270 Nm (199 lb-ft) of torque at 1,600-2,600 rpm. Unsurprisingly, the diesel engine is the economy champion — at least until the specs for the Skyactiv-X engine are out. Combined fuel consumption (WLTP) is as low as 58.8 mpg  with corresponding CO2 emissions of 130 g/km. The engine comes equipped with a NOx Storage Catalyst (NSC) system which is said to convert nitrous oxide back into harmless nitrogen, dramatically reducing NOx emissions. The Skyactiv-D 1.8 also features a Rapid Multi-stage Combustion technique responsible for shortening the combustion period and reducing knock noises. Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-X gasoline engines are assisted by mild hybrid systems. Moving on to the Skyactiv-G 2.0 naturally aspirated petrol engine, it produces 122 PS (120 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 213 Nm (157 lb-ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm. Thanks to Mazda’s new M Hybrid 24V mild hybrid system that features a 600 kJ lithium-ion battery and a DC-DC converter, as well as cylinder deactivation technology, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine offers improved fuel economy and low particulate matter exhaust emissions. WLTP-rated average fuel consumption is as low as 47.1 mpg with CO2 emissions of 136 g/km. Finally, the most anticipated engine is the Skyactiv-X unit with compression ignition combustion technology that debuts in the 2019 Mazda3. Mazda doesn’t reveal the specs yet but we do know from Mazda Slovakia that it puts out 181 PS (178.5 bhp) and 222 Nm (164 lb-ft) of torque. As with the regular Skyactiv-G engine, it’s assisted by the M Hybrid system. Scheduled for launch later in 2019, the new power plant promises to offer “the superior initial response and fuel economy usually associated with diesel engines.” All three engines are mated to a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic in Europe, with the Skyactiv-X to be also available with the i-Activ AWD system (only with the hatchback). All models offer G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) for improved handling and grip. Both bodystyles will be offered, though the hatch is expected to be the big seller.

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Also on the stand were examples of the rest of the range, a Mazda 2, the CX-3 and the larger CX-5.

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Completing the display were a couple of examples of the MX5 . There was an RF model here as well as one of the special 30th anniversary edition cars. This was launched at the Chicago Auto Show in Feburary, the same place as the original launch 30 years earlier. The new limited edition of the incredibly popular roadster comes with Mazda’s exclusive Racing Orange paint finish, as well as a set of forged aluminium wheels from Rays and more. Mazda will build just 3,000 examples of the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition worldwide, with 500 of them headed to the US market. The special model will be available in both the soft-top and RF retractable hard-top versions. In addition to the special colour and wheels, the new MX-5 30th Anniversary will also feature orange Brembo brake calipers up front and matching Nissin brake calipers at the rear, Recaro seats with orange accents and a nine-speaker Bose sound system. The orange theme continues on the door trims, dashboard and shift lever. Models fitted with a manual transmission will also come with Bilstein dampers, while Mazda will offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in select markets. Only Japanese customers will be able to get the latest special MX-5 with the 1.5-litre four-cylinder option, while the rest of the world will be offered just the 2.0-litre version, complete with 181hp.

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McLAREN

A very busy stand, even at show closing time. I queued up to get on, and was relentlessly pestered by what I am sure were well-meaning show staff, but after the 6th person had accosted me within a couple of minutes, I had a sense of humour failure and left. That is a shame, as there was lots to see, almost all of which was being shown for the first time.

McLaren’s new 600LT Spider made its first public appearance here. What separates this car from the rest of the McLaren range is that it actually weighs less than more powerful models like the 720S or even the Senna, while presenting the driver with a more track-focused experience than your regular 570S or 570GT. Then there’s the fact that it’s a convertible, which for some buyers, makes it a more exciting car to own than its 600LT fixed-roof sibling. In today’s horsepower-crazy world, having 600 PS (592 HP) and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque at your disposal might not even sound all that imposing to some people, seen as how the industry actually makes SUVs that carry around more muscle than that. The 600LT Spider however happens to weigh just 1,297 kg (2,859 lbs), which according to McLaren makes it at least 80 kg (176 lbs) lighter than any of its direct competitors. So on paper, it has a power-to-weight ratio of 463 PS (457 HP) per tonne, which helps it rocket to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a hypercar-like 2.8 seconds, needing an extra 0.1 seconds to breach 100 km/h (62 mph). Its top speed? That would be 324 km/h (201 mph) with the roof up, and 315 km/h (196 mph) when lowered. Other impressive stats include how the fixed rear wing generates an impressive 100 kg (220 lbs) of downforce at 250 km/h (155 mph), but also how it can get from zero to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 8.4 seconds, the same as a Pagani Huayra. The interior of the 600LT Spider is very race-y, as you get the same Carbon Fibre Racing Seats from the McLaren P1 as standard, plus lightweight Alcantara trim as far as the eye can see. Customers can also opt for the Super-Lightweight Carbon Fiber Racing Seats from the McLaren Senna, which can be purchased either as a standalone option or together with the MSO Clubsport package. Further weight-saving can be achieved by ditching the audio and climate control systems, although one is definitely easier to live with than the other.

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Also making a global debut here was the 720S Spider. As the droptop version of a McLaren’s current Super Series sole model, the 720S Spider doesn’t bring anything particularly surprising to the table. Mind you, it doesn’t have to, because the 720S Coupe is already a very impressive supercar. The carbon fibre monocoque underpinning the 720S is so strong that the British marque didn’t have to add any structural support when chopping off the roof. What they did do is add fixed carbon fibrer supports for added rollover protection, which resulted in the 720S Spider weighing 1332 kg (2937 lbs), or 49 kg (108 lbs) more than the coupe. The removable roof is made from lightweight carbon fiber and can be raised or lowered in just 11 seconds and at speeds of up to 31 mph (50 km/h). McLaren claims this makes it the fastest-operating convertible roof of any current supercar. One of the most intriguing elements of the 720S Spider are its special flying buttresses. Rather than simply making them out of carbon fiber, the British car manufacturer opted to make them from lightweight glass in order to improve rear visibility. Like the 720S Coupe, the Spider is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 pumping out 710 bhp (720 PS) and 568 lb-ft (769 Nm) of torque. This allows the car to reach 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 2.8 seconds and 124 mph (200 km/h) in 7.9 seconds.

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Also here were a 570S, a 720S MSO and a 720S GT3 race car.

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MERCEDES-BENZ

The massive Mercedes-Benz stand, at one end of the hall, and directly opposite rival BMW’s equally expansive area, had lots of new and facelifted models on it, carefully selected from the vast range of models offered with the three-pointed star on the front. Latest addition to the range is the Shooting Brake version of the second generation CLA which was revealed just before the Show opened. The new car is more grown up compared to its predecessor, measuring an extra 48 mm (1.88 inches) in length, an additional 53 mm (2.08 inches) in width and 2 fewer mm (0.07 inches) in height, while the wheelbase has grown by 30 mm (1.18 inches). The exterior aspect of the all-new CLA Shooting Brake doesn’t come as a shock. We knew what to expect ever since we saw our first spy images and began applying those visual cues to the already-unveiled CLA Coupe. The Shooting Brake features the same “sharknose” frond end design, with an elongated hood and striking powerdomes. Since the car utilises Mercedes‘ Sensual Purity design language, there’s a considerably less pronounced shoulder line, while the entire body features soft sculptural curvatures. Of course, the main addition, compared to the regular CLA, is the trunk, which has an 871 mm (34.2 inches) opening and a volume of 505 litres (17.8 cu.ft) – the old model’s trunk had a 635 mm (25 inches) opening and a 495 litres (17.4 cu.ft) in volume. The interior of the CLA Shooting Brake is identical to that of the Coupe in terms of architecture and available on-board technology. You have your widescreen display, three air vents with a sporty turbine look, ambient lighting and so on. Then there’s the MBUX system, which has become ever smarter since its last iteration. “The voice assistant no longer gets confused by other passengers talking, rather it only answers the command of the person who last activated the system with ‘Hey Mercedes’,” said Digital Vehicle & Mobility exec, Sajjad Khan. Mercedes says that the CLA Shooting Brake, together with its Coupe sibling, have the sportiest driving characteristics out of all their new compact models. The wheel suspensions are designed for ride comfort and running in silence with acoustic control arms that decouple vibrations at the rear and hydromounts at the front. Meanwhile, a large stabilizer bar reduces the roll angle and the Adaptive Damping System allows the driver to switch between driving modes. Then there’s aerodynamics, where despite its wider track, the cd value of the CLA Shooting Brake is as low as 0.26, although it’s more than the Coupe’s (0.23). As for active safety, the CLA Shooting Brake has borrowed heavily from the S-Class, where it can now look up to 500 metres (0.3 miles) ahead and even drive partially autonomously in certain situations. It features Active Distance Assist, Active Steer Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Park Assist and more. Powering this stylish little Benz will be a wide range of diesel and petrol units, with either a manual or dual-clutch transmission options – to go with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive setups. The flagship spec will be the CLA 250 Shooting Brake, spurred on by a 225 PS (222 HP) four-cylinder petrol unit, mated to a 7G-DCT gearbox. Mercedes will launch the CLA Shooting Brake in markets around the world in September. It was joined by examples of what Mercedes are now calling the CLA Coupe, including the CLA200 First Edition.

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The fourth generation A Class is now selling very strongly indeed, and the range has grown with the addition of a Saloon version. It is available with the same engines as the hatch.

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Closely related under the skin is the new B Class. and this was also on show here.

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There are lots of different versions of the C and E Class. with both available with several different body styles and a wide range of engines, and several of each of these important ranges were here.

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Also here were the latest CLS, now only available in four door guise, as well as the top of the range S Class.

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Top of the saloon car range is the luxurious and massive Maybach 650.

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Two very different AMG GT models were here. The GT-R Roadster is the 16th version to be added to the range of high-end Sports/GT cars. Mercedes-AMG’s sportiest model. The 4.0-litre V8 engine generates 585 hp and 700 Nm of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission delivers power to the rear wheels. Does 0-100 km/h in 3.6 secnods and has a top speed of 317 km/h. Production will be limited to 750 units.

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It was joined by the good, but exceedingly pricey AMG GT 4 door in 63S guise.

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There was another showing of the all-electric EQ C which made its debut in Paris last October. Sales start in the summer. Audi e-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace look out!

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Next model in the EQ family, it would seem, is going to be the EQ V, with  concept shown here, which looks ready for production, something confirmed with a launch likely at the Frankfurt Show in September.  With the Concept EQV, Mercedes says it is opening up a new segment for electric vehicles, that of premium MPVs. The EQV pairs a 150 kW (204 PS/201 hp) electric motor mounted on the front axle with a 100 kWh battery pack for a range of 400 km (248 miles). The electric people carrier features a so-called compact electric drivetrain (eATS) consisting of the electric motor, the transmission with fixed ratios, the cooling system, and the power electronics — all on the front axle. The 100 kWh lithium-ion battery ensures a “realistic” maximum range of 400 km (248 miles) and provides enough energy to allow the EQV to sustain a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). Mercedes also offers a rapid charging function that gives the battery enough juice to cover around 100 km (62 miles) in a mere 15 minutes. The electric powertrain doesn’t impede on the EQV’s functionality as an MPV. That’s because the battery is installed in the vehicle’s underfloor, leaving the interior space unaffected. Possible configurations go from six to seven or even eight seats using additional individual seats or benches. While the EQV is easily recognizable as V-Class-based, it does feature unique design features typical of the EQ sub-brand. Those include the radiator grille with chrome inserts and an LED band, LED headlights, large air inlets in the front bumper and 19-inch aero-style wheels with blue accents. Inside, the Concept EQV that was on display featured a dual-colour look with the upper part of the cabin dominated by blue and the lower part set in black. The dashboard adopts a “Midnight Blue” leather look with rose gold accents that remind of copper wires and the armrests feature blue Nappa leather, while the seats are upholstered in black Nappa leather with rose gold topstitching.

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Mercedes-Benz chose the Geneva Motor Show to reveal the mid-cycle makeover of one of its most successful SUVs: the GLC. The updates concern the styling (although they’re not easy to spot), engines and technology of the premium compact SUV. Starting with the design, the GLC has gained a similar grille to the latest GLE, new LED headlights with incorporated DRLs, new LED taillights, as well as a refreshed range of wheels for AMG Line models. Inside, the facelifted GLC’s main addition is the new standard-fit MBUX infotainment system that includes gesture control and voice control functionality and can be had with an optional 12.3-inch digital cluster alongside the 10.25-inch central display. Changes to the cabin also include a new multifunction steering wheel and a multifunction touchpad on the center console. Under the bonnet the GLC 300d 4Matic gains the newer M264 2.0-litre turbo-four petrol engine. The unit makes 255 hp (258 PS) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque, which represent gains of 14 hp and 2 lb-ft of torque over the outgoing model. This engine will be the only option in the United States (also as an RWD model) but in Europe and other markets, Merc’s SUV will also be available in GLC 200 4Matic, GLC 200d 4Matic, GLC 220d 4Matic, and GLC 300d 4Matic guises. The three diesel versions use a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 161 hp (163 PS) and 265 lb-ft (360 Nm) of torque in the GLC 200d, 191 hp (194 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) in the GLC 220d, and 241 hp (245 PS) and 368 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque in the GLC 300d. The base GLC 200 4Matic petrol unit produces (195 hp) 197 PS and 206 lb-ft (280 Nm) of torque. Interestingly, the GLC 300 4Matic sold outside North America also features a 10 kW (13 hp/14 PS) electric motor powering a 48-volt mild hybrid system which offers 111 lb-ft (150 Nm) of added torque when needed. Finally, the 2020 GLC gains a new Dynamic Select system and safety features such as Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, and Active Lane Change Assist. The facelifted GLC will go on sale this summer in Europe and in late 2019 in the United States.

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New last year was the latest GLE and there was a further version announced here, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+, the latest vehicle in AMG’s ever-growing family. The centrepiece of the GLE 53 4Matic+ is its powertrain. Found beneath the skin of the vehicle is a mild-hybrid 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-six cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric auxiliary compressor. With everything in tune, the SUV pumps out 429 bhp (435PS) and 383 lb-ft (520 Nm) but the electric motor can be called upon to add 22 hp and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque when it’s needed. The Mercedes-Benz GLE 53 4Matic+ accelerates to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.3 seconds and tops out at an electronically limited speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). The electric EQ Boost starter-alternator combines the starter motor and alternator into a powerful electric motor found between the engine and transmission. The electric motor doesn’t just add bursts of power but it helps to virtually eliminate all traces of turbo lag while also reducing fuel consumption and emissions. In addition, the EQ Boost starter-alternator powers the vehicle’s 48-volt electrical system. Coupled to the engine is an AMG Speedshift TCT 9-speed automatic transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ fully variable all-wheel drive. This latter system continually calculates the optimum torque distribution, helping to improve traction in all conditions.
Mercedes-AMG has also outfitted the GLE 53 4Matic+ with its trick air suspension system. Drivers can enjoy three different suspension settings; Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. Additional Trail and Sand modes are designed with off-roading in mind. The air suspension system also incorporates pneumatic self-leveling at the front and rear axles to maintain a constant ride height regardless of the vehicle load. The vehicle’s body can also be raised by up to 55 mm thanks to this system. Visually, the GLE 53 4Matic+ has an edgy and aggressive design which incorporates the company’s Panamericana front grille. Many of the air vents you see across the front fascia are fake but they do give the SUV the presence required of an AMG-branded vehicle. Elsewhere, the SUV includes a subtle rear diffuser and four circular tailpipes. Buyers of the vehicle will be pleased to know that it comes standard with the Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system meaning there’s a fully-digital gauge cluster and a large central entertainment screen. An AMG Performance steering wheel in black Nappa leather with red top-stitching and aluminum shift paddles is also featured. The German automaker has yet to release pricing details for the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+.

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Completing the SUV line-up was the latest G Class.

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This is the Mercedes-Benz SLC Final Edition. As its name suggests, it’s been designed to send out the car manufacturer’s much-loved convertible sports car. Those looking to pick up an SLC Final Edition have a number of different variants to choose from. In Europe, for example, Mercedes-Benz will sell you an SLC 180 Final Edition with a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder delivering 154 hp and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. An SLC 200 with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder offering up 181 hp and 221 lb-ft (300 Nm) is also available. While the aforementioned SLC 180 Final Edition and SLC 200 Final Edition models are restricted to Europe, both the U.S. and the Old Continent also have SLC 300 Final Edition and SLC 43 Final Edition models available. The first of those has a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 241 hp and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) while the range-topping SLC 43 has a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 churning out 385 hp and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque. No matter which powertrain customers opt for, all Mercedes-Benz SLC Final Edition models include two-tone Nappa leather sports seats, grey seat belts, and a number of ‘carbon leather’ accents. Mercedes has also fitted aluminium trim, bespoke floor mats, ‘Final Edition’ badging and its Airscarf neck-level heating system. The model seen here is an SLC 300 Final Edition painted in Sun Yellow as a tribute to the SLK’s original Yellowstone launch colour. Mercedes-Benz will commence deliveries of the SLC Final Edition models in March. German pricing ranges from €41,536.95 for the SLC 180 and tops out at €65,045.40 for the SLC 43 Final Edition.

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MISC DISPLAYS

Some of the smaller stands also contain cars that they have borrowed, and this miscellaneous collection of cars were to be found dotted around the exhibition halls.

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MITSUBISHI

Star of the Mitsubishi stand, and making its world debut was the Engelberg Concept. Named after a Swiss ski resort, it uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain, with a 2.4-litre petrol engine, four-wheel drive system and the ability to travel for up to 70 km (43 miles) on zero-emissions, in the WLTP standard. The total driving range is over 700 km (434 miles). The front end carries the brand’s X-shaped signature styling. The show car has an enclosed grille, slender headlights and taillights, LED DRLs, chrome detailing and front and rear skid plates. The roof-mounted box, with an auto open/close feature, incorporates additional lights. The traditional door handles and side mirrors have been kept away from the design. Opening the door reveals a spacious cabin with three rows of seats, plenty of white leather and blue lighting. The dashboard has a clean layout with digital gauges and a tablet-like infotainment system, and there are more controls on the centre console, including the air-con, driving mode selector and gearshift lever. The brand’s Dendo Drive House (DDH) has also been showcased during the Swiss auto show. Described as “a packaged system comprising the EV/PHEV, a bi-directional charger, solar panels and home battery”, it’s a power supply system designed for domestic use. This feature can reduce fuel costs and lower electricity bills by running appliances in the home. Thanks to its versatility, it’s also capable of acting as a backup generator.

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Mitsubishi also unveiled its significantly updated ASX compact SUV. It’s not an all-new model but yet another facelift for the SUV that’s also known as RVR in Asia and Outlander Sport in North America. In all fairness, though, it’s the most comprehensive one so far since its launch in 2009 and brings it in line with some of Mitsubishi’s newest products such as the Eclipse Cross. The front end sees the bulk of updates, receiving Mitsubishi’s “Dynamic Shield” front design concept. It features a prominent grille, new headlights that are very similar to those of the Eclipse Cross, a distinctive LED cluster incorporating the turn signals and fog lamps, as well as a new bumper that integrates a skid plate. Changes at the rear consist of new LED taillights as well as a new bumper featuring a skid plate for a more rugged look. Other exterior updates include the addition of three new colours: Red Diamond, Sunshine Orange, and Oak Brown. Inside, the 2020 Mitsubishi ASX sees improvements to the Smartphone-link Display Audio (SDA) infotainment system that now features a larger 8-inch touchscreen, TomTom navigation system on top trim level models, as well as an app that will check fuel remaining and provide navigation to the nearest fuel stations, plus guidance on optimum maintenance and inspection intervals. In Europe, the 2020 ASX will offer a 2.0-litre MIVEC four-cylinder gasoline engine linked to either a five-speed manual transmission or the INVECS 3-III CVT with 6-speed Sports Mode, as well as front- and all-wheel-drive versions. No specs were released but we assume it’s the same engine offered in the Outlander for European markets. In the larger SUV, the naturally aspirated unit delivers 150 PS (148 bhp) and 195 Nm (144 lb-ft) of torque.

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Also making its European debut was the facelifted L200 pickup. The Euro-spec L200 one-ton pickup receives the same styling updates as in the rest of the world. The front end adopts Mitsubishi’s “Dynamic Shield” front styling as seen on other models including the Eclipse Cross. The truck now features sleeker horizontal headlights, a high bonnet line, and new fog lights. In addition, the bulged wheel arches housing larger 18-inch alloys, the bright accents, and refreshed taillights contribute to a more contemporary appearance for Mitsubishi’s pickup. As the photos reveal, the Geneva show car is in “Mountain Rescue” configuration, adding a front tow hook and winch, black mirror caps, alloys, and bed cover, as well as LED roof bar. The cabin sees its fair share of updates too such as soft pad materials for the door trim inserts, central armrest, and central console (which also features stitching now), and a Multi Around Monitor that provides a bird’s eye view of the area surrounding the vehicle. The 2019 L200 also gains new safety technology including Forward Collision Mitigation, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation. As for the hardware, the refreshed Mitsubishi L200 uses a newly-developed, Euro 6d-TEMP compliant 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine mated to six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. No specs are available but the automaker promises “powerful and smooth acceleration and quieter performance.” Finally, Mitsubishi says the 4WD system now offers “improved all-terrain performance” courtesy of a new off-road mode that offers Gravel, Mud/Snow, Sand, and Rock settings. The updated L200 will arrive in European dealerships in late summer 2019.

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The stand also comprised examples of the current production range, from the now rather elderly and diminutive i-MIEV through the Space Star (known as the Mirage in the UK) and the Eclipse Cross and the familiar Outlander in regular and PHEV guises.

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MOLE

This is the new Almas concept, an exotic supercar study by Mole Costruzione Artigianale, the company that created that beautiful coachbuilt Alfa Romeo 4C. Mole Automobile’s Almas is the second joint project between Umberto Palermo Design and Paolo Scudieri, president of Italy’s Adler Group. Adler also happens to be Alfa Romeo’s supplier of the 4C carbon tub chassis. The new design study made  its world premiere here, featuring a very striking carbon bodywork finished in red with a flat black roof over a carbon chassis created by Adler. Measuring 4730mm long, 1980mm wide and 1218mm high, the new mid-engine Mole Almas was designed to adopt a powertrain that runs on hydrogen but the company plans to offer it with a classic petrol engine too, without revealing any further details. Mole Automobile will release more performance specs on a later date. The rear end of the new Mole Almas is dominated by clean lines, a set of quad exhaust pipes and a diffuser while the aggressive front is dominated by three large air intakes and the company’s logo, which features the names of its creators. The sides are more dramatic, with strong lines giving a unique visual character to the Almas. Mole Automobile promises that the Almas will come with a refined interior dressed in innovative materials and the latest telematics, offering comfort and style. The company plans to throw the Almas into a limited production run, with details to follow.

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Also here was the Mole Costruzione Artigianale 001, a rebodied Alfa 4C.

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MORGAN

This is the Morgan Plus Six and, believe it or not, it is the first all-new Morgan since the Aero 8 was introduced 19 years ago! It has the classic design of other Morgan models but don’t let that fool you, it does have some modern-day tech. The most important thing to know about the Morgan Plus Six is that it isn’t powered by a V8 engine like its predecessor and instead uses a 3.0-litre straight-six. Not just any straight-six. The Plus Six has BMW’s B58 turbocharged engine. Yes, that’s the same engine powering the latest-generation BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra. Power sits at 335 hp and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm). Mated to this engine is a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission which allows the Plus Six to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.2 seconds before topping out at 166 mph (267 km/h). Alongside the use of a powerful engine and fast-shifting transmission, the Plus Six has a third ingredient that makes it achieve these figures: weight. Or, more accurately, its lack thereof as the sports car weighs just 2369 lbs (1075 kg). Power is sent through the rear wheels and, with the exception of ABS, the Morgan Plus Six features no safety systems. A manual gearbox is on the way. Underpinning the Morgan Plus Six is a new aluminum and wooden architecture dubbed CX. Morgan says that this architecture will underpin many of its future models and that it can support hybrid powertrains, electric powertrains, select safety systems and even some autonomous driving technologies. The Morgan Plus Six incorporates two driving modes, namely Sport and Sport Plus. However, as the car is quite traditional, these modes only adjust the response time of the throttle and transmission – no trick magnetic or hydraulic suspension systems here. In a world of interiors fast becoming dominated by massive screens, the Morgan Plus Six’s cabin remains very traditional and includes a multitude of wooden surfaces. Somewhat hilariously, the modern automatic shifter found on current BMW models sticks out of the transmission tunnel like a sore thumb. Morgan expects to build roughly 300 examples annually. Prices start at £77,995.

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Also here were the existing Plus 4, in special 110 Year Edition and the Mustang-engined Roadster as well as the popular ThreeWheeler.

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NISSAN

Nissan unveiled its IMQ Concept in Geneva as a design showcase for its next generation of crossovers. It blends Japanese heritage with so called human-centric technology and it is of course, fully-electric. Powering the IMQ is Nissan’s next-generation e-POWER system, an electric motor drive rated at 250 kW (340 PS) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque that’s said to deliver instant, linear acceleration. The output is channelled through a new multi-motor all-wheel drive system, which on paper should make this concept a very capable off-road vehicle, especially in the snow, says Nissan. Based on its dimensions alone (4,558 mm / 179.4 inches in length, 1,560 mm / 61.4 inches in height and 1,940 mm / 76.3 inches in width), the IMQ belongs in Europe’s C-crossover segment. Its styling is particularly bold, featuring Nissan’s new design language, where the badge is now integrated into a more subtle V-motion grille, which in turn blends vertically into the bonnet and horizontally with the front bumper. At the rear, there’s a vertical character line that drops from the light cluster to aid aerodynamics, while above there’s a new interpretation of Nissan’s “boomerang” lamp cluster. As for the concept’s profile aesthetic, there are 22-inch alloy wheels with bespoke Bridgestone Connect tires and also doors that are hinged at their outer edges and open in a very futuristic way to reveal four individual seats. The cabin is where the IMQ gets really futuristic with its design. The dashboard is dominated by an 840 mm screen embedded into the instrument panel, while a smaller secondary screen above the centre console is where its Virtual Personal Assistant resides. “The IMQ’s design combines traditional and modern Japanese influences and shows what’s possible when future crossovers are powered by Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” said Nissan senior VP for design, Alfonso Albaisa. “With the IMQ, the interior and exterior are seamlessly blended together, signaling what our design direction may be for Nissan’s third generation of crossovers in Europe.” “Invisible to Visible” is the name of Nissan’s 3D interface tech, meant to help occupants “see the invisible” through the automaker’s Omni-Sensing technology where information from the virtual world is displayed before the driver and passenger, enriching their mixed-reality experience. I2V can help you see around corners, visualize information about traffic jams (including their causes), and get this, even put a 3D augmented-reality avatar inside the car for your enjoyment. Finally, there’s the concept’s autonomous driver tech, comprised of the ProPILOT driver assistant system which uses advanced sensors, radars and cameras to interpret road, traffic and information signals.

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Nissan unveiled the heavily-modified GT-R 50 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year. The car has since gone on a world tour that’s seen it displayed at Laguna Seca in California during the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Nissan Crossing in Japan. The Nissan GT-R 50 by Italdesign was confirmed for series production in December 2018.  The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign stands out from the regular Japanese sports car thanks to its bespoke bodywork which includes an active rear wing. In terms of power, the GT-R Nismo’s 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine has been upgraded with new internals and now pumps out 710 hp and 575 lb-ft (780 Nm) of torque. The Japanese manufacturer will build just 50 examples with each one priced at €990,000 ($1.12 million) before taxes and optional extras.

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Joining it were rather more affordable Nissan sports cars, the regular GT-R and the 370Z, both well-established in the market having been in production in their current form for some years now.

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There were plenty of more mundane production cars here, too: Micra, Qashqai, X-Trail were joined by the second generation Leaf and the Navara pickup truck

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The stand also featured a couple of race cars, which were anchored to the wall, alongside the escalators connecting the upper and lower halls.

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NOBE

This strange-looking car hails from Estonia. Whilst not known as a car producing country, that hasn’t stopped Roman Muljar, the founder and chief executive of Nobe, from creating this; the electric Nobe 100. The tiny car has an impossibly cute and retro design and was the subject of a crowdfunding campaign looking to raise $1.2 million. The small automaker claims that Nobe 100 has a combined range of 137 miles (220 km) and tops out at 68 mph (110 km/h). The company hasn’t said how many electric motors the 100 has, nor how powerful they are, but we do know that the three-wheeler has all-wheel drive and can be recharged in a respectable two hours. The design of the Nobe 100 combines a plethora of retro design cues, including chrome door handles, circular headlights, a chrome grille, and chrome hub caps. The car even has tires with white walls. Inside, the theme continues with a large, thinly-spoked steering wheel, a minimalist dashboard and two circular dials making up the gauge cluster. Nobe says the 100 offers interior space for three passengers and luggage. Impressively, Nobe has built the 100 from purely reusable parts and intends on offering a series of easy-to-install upgrades to ensure each car delivered remains on the road for as long as possible. As if this wasn’t enough to get you excited, perhaps the fact that it features a removable hard top will.

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PAGANI

Pagani unveiled the first Zonda C12 in Geneva 20 years ago. To mark this anniversary, the chassis no. 001 has been seriously upgraded and brought back to where it made its debut. The Pagani Zonda C12 hypercar comes with a 6.0-litre Mercedes V12 engine that packs 450 bhp.

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Also here was an example of the most recent model, the Huayra Roadster.

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PAL-V

PAL-V, the Dutch company that’s on track to deliver the world’s first production flying car, brought the Liberty Pioneer Edition to the Show. As the name suggests, the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition represents the first batch of flying cars that will actually be delivered to customers. “The Pioneer Edition is for those that want to be part of the group of 90 that writes history with us. They will be at the forefront of a mobility revolution, where we will no longer have cars that can only drive. They will be the first car flyers in their country, fly driving to any destination,” said PAL-V CEO R. Dingemanse. Built in a limited run of 90 units worldwide, the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition features unique details inside and out. For starters, it features a two-tone colour scheme and full carbon exterior package consisting of hand-laid carbon parts. The tailor-made interior gains interior parts made from lightweight aviation aluminium and high-quality leather. Most importantly, the Pioneer Edition will be delivered prior to any other Liberty flying car, with PAL-V saying that shipping of regular models will only begin after all Pioneer Edition vehicles will have reached their owners. The PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition will is priced at $599,000 in the United States, a whopping $200,000 more than the standard Liberty Sport Edition. Compared to the base model, the Pioneer Edition features more standard equipment including dual controls, EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System), power heating, and carbon fibre trim. Deliveries of the first Liberty Pioneer Edition flying cars begin in 2020.

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PEUGEOT

Star of the Peugeot stand, with lots of examples on show was the new 208. Underpinning all 2019 Peugeot 208 models is the company’s Common Modular Platform (CMP) which helps ensure the new supermini is 30 kg (66 lbs) lighter than the outgoing model. In a sign of the times, the fastest and most powerful variant of the new 208 is electric. Dubbed the Peugeot e-208, this model features a compact 50 kWh battery pack and an electric motor delivering 136 hp and 192 lb-ft (260 Nm) of torque. The e-208 can accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a brisk 8.1 seconds and the battery, mounted under the floor, allows for a range of 211 miles (340 km) under the WLTP cycle. The e-208 supports 100 kW rapid charging which top ups the battery to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes. A selection of diesel and petrol versions will also be offered. Sitting at the base of the range is a 1.2-litre petrol-powered model with 75 hp and a five-speed manual transmission. A 100 hp petrol model with a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto will be introduced in the near future alongside a 130 hp version. The sole diesel announced is a 1.5-litre unit that has 100 hp and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The redesigned supermini takes inspiration from larger Peugeot models in the looks department, particularly the latest 508. Much of the cabin is also familiar as there’s a similar setup as to what’s found in the 508, including an equally-as-small steering wheel and the company’s i-Cockpit infotainment and gauge cluster system. Sales start late in 2019.

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While mainstream sports coupes are practically a non-entity in the market right now, due to lack of customer demand, they do make an appearance as concepts in auto shows. A case in point is Peugeot’s e-Legend that, by common consent, was one of the highlights of the Show once again, just it had been at Paris last autumn when it made is debut. It’s nothing more than a concept for now, and will probably remain one given that new car buyers tend to flock to crossovers and SUVs, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. Inspired by the 504, the e-Legend features double headlights at the front flanked by a classic-looking, and quite narrow, grille, muscular lines running across its length, and some sharp creases that create a rather futuristic effect. Things look unique at the back, too, with triple taillights stacked almost vertically and the manufacturer’s name written in between. If you noticed that it has no exhaust pipes, that’s because it uses a brawny electric powertrain that produces a total output of 463 PS (456 hp) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motors allow it to sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4 seconds, and max out at 220 km/h (137 mph). At the same time, the 100 kWh battery gives it a very impressive range of 600 km (373 mi). In all likelihood, it will remain just a concept, but we might see some of its styling cues, and maybe its electric powertrain, too, in future production Peugeots.

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In October 2018, Peugeot Sport announced that it would develop a high-performance range of electrified models. The Concept 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered displayed here gives us a strong taste of what’s to come. According to Peugeot, the high-performance plug-in hybrid sedan concept is a “prelude” to its new product line of fast electrified models. Derived from the 508 Hybrid, the Peugeot Sport Engineered 508 sedan pairs a PureTech 200 turbocharged petrol engine with an 110 hp electric motor on the front axle, while the rear wheels are driven by a 200 hp electric motor. That brings the total usable output to 400 horsepower, while the combined maximum torque sits at 500 Nm (369 lb-ft). The rear-mounted electric motor makes the Concept 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered an all-wheel-drive car, and that’s obvious when looking at the performance specs. Peugeot claims the plug-in hybrid performance sedan accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds, covers the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). All that while emitting 49 g/km CO2 and being able to travel in all-electric mode for up to 50 km (31 miles) — both according to WLTP measurements. To match the might of the powertrain, the Concept 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered also packs uprated front brakes with 380 mm (15 in) discs with four-piston calipers, a lower sports suspension, and wider tracks (24 mm/0.94 in at the front, 12 mm (0.47 in) at the rear). Furthermore, the steering has also been upgraded “to provide extra efficiency and heightened pleasure at the wheel.” Power is put down via grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres sized 245/35 R20. All these changes are complemented by tasteful exterior and interior upgrades that look very much production-ready to us. Here’s hoping Peugeot will build it rather sooner than later.

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There were a number of other 508 models here as well as the rest of the range including the latest 3008.

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PIECH

Say hello to the first car named after the Piëch family, the Mark Zero all-electric sports car. The brainchild of Ferdinand Piëch’s son Toni and Rea Stark Rajcic, the Mark Zero previews Piëch Automotive’s first production car — or at least that’s the plan. It’s a 4,432mm (174.5in) long electric GT that promises to offer a driving range of 500 km (311 miles) on the WLTP combined cycle as well as a fun driving experience. Described as a “puristic electric sports car,” the Piëch Mark Zero uses a flexible and open vehicle architecture that allows the use of a variety of drive systems, including electric, hybrid, fuel cell or internal combustion engine. Besides the two-seat coupe, the company plans to build a four-seater and a sporty SUV using the same modular platform. The Geneva Motor Show vehicle is an all-electric coupe featuring a new unspecified type of battery cell that’s said to “hardly” heat up during charging and discharging. Thanks to a high rate of recuperation, Piëch Automotive maintains it can be charged to 80 percent in 4:40 minutes using a fast charger. Another advantage of the new type of battery cell is it can be cooled by air alone due to the reduced heat build-up. According to the startup, this contributes to an overall weight reduction of around 200 kg (441 lbs), resulting in a vehicle weight of under 1,800 kg (3,968 lbs). The batteries are placed in the centre tunnel and at the rear axle to ensure weight distribution and handling “similar to that of a conventional sports car with a combustion engine.” By not placing the battery pack under the floor, Piëch Automotive says it was able to achieve a low seating position typical of a sports car as well as precise handling, giving the driver “immediate feedback.” Power comes from three electric motors: a 150 kW (204 PS/201 hp) asynchronous motor on the front axle and two synchronous motors on the rear axle (mechanically decoupled) producing 150 kW each. So about 600 horsepower in total. The projected performance specs look enticing: 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Piëch Automotive’s battery partner is Hong Kong-based Desten Group while the necessary charging infrastructure is supplied by China’s Qingdao TGOOD Electric.

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PININFARINA

Pininfarina Automobili has managed to bring one of the most intriguing hypercars at this year’s Show in the form of the new electric Battista. Compared to the other hypercars of the Swiss show, the new Battista looks elegant, beautifully proportioned and dare we say …finished? Yes, some of the lines on the outside do resemble a mid-engine Ferrari but this is Pininfarina we’re talking about and the end result is pretty appealing visually. And while the Pininfarina Battista may not attack your eyeballs as viciously as, let’s say a Koeningsegg Jesko or a Bugatti La Voitture Noire, its specs will drop your jaw on the floor; the full carbon monocoque chassis features four electric motors -each mounted behind a wheel- for a combined output of 1,900PS (1,874hp) and 2,300Nm (1,696lb-ft) of torque, making the Battista the most powerful road legal car on the planet, once it arrives in 2020. The four electric motors, which also provide real torque vectoring, are fed by a T-shaped 120kWh lithium-ion battery pack that’s mounted within the center tunnel and behind the seats. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the whole powertrain is shared with Rimac, the company that pioneered the whole “electric hypercar” trend. Pininfarina reckons that the Battista is capable of a 0-62mph (100km/h) in under 2 seconds, but more impressively a 0-186mph (300km/h) in under 12 seconds. For reference, McLaren expects the Speedtail to hit 186mph from a standstill in 12.8 seconds. Top speed is quoted at 217mph (350km/h). Less important figures (for a hypercar) include a driving range of up to 280 miles (450km) and the ability for DC fast charging. “Electrification unlocks the door to a new level of performance and a zero-emissions future, whilst a passion and respect for automotive history will define how this landmark car looks and feels,” said Automobili Pininfarina CEO, Michael Perschke. “We aim for the Battista to be a future classic and automotive icon, writing its own page in automotive history books.” Pininfarina plans to produce by hand no more than 150 examples of the Battista in Italy, each priced from around $2.5 million. The production run will be allocated equally between the regions of North America, Europe and Middle East/Asia, which translates in 50 cars per region.

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POLESTAR

Whilst Volvo were absent from the Show, their new stand-alone brand Polestar was here, with a couple of examples of the new Polestar 2, the brand’s all-electric compact fastback and perhaps the world’s first true rival to the Tesla Model 3. The all-electric 2020 Polestar 2 will launch featuring two electric motors with a combined output of 402hp (300kW) and 487lb-ft (660Nm) of torque, a 78kWh battery pack for markets outside China and a targeted range of 275 miles (EPA), or 500km (WLTP) depending on which side of the pond you live in. Polestar is also targeting a starting price of 39,900 euros in Germany but for the first 12 months of production they will only offer a ‘Launch’ edition, which will be priced at 59,900 euros in Germany, not including any government incentives. As expected, the new Polestar 2 is based on Volvo’s CMA platform, which is also used on models like the XC40 compact SUV and the Lynk&Co 01. Polestar claims that the floor-mounted battery pack increases the chassis’ rigidity and reduces road noise by 3.7dB when compared to a normal, ICE-powered chassis. Polestar will also offer an optional Performance package that improves handling by adding Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and unique 20-inch forged wheels. The package also includes gold seat belts, brake calipers and valve caps. One of the many highlights of the new all-electric Polestar 2 can be found inside, as it will be one of the first production cars to come with an Android infotainment system. The new infotainment will operate through an 11-inch touchscreen display and provide an adaptable digital environment that combines your favorite apps and Google services with various vehicle functions. “Polestar 2 is our first fully electric car and first volume model. Everything about it has been designed and engineered with passion and dedication. As an electric performance brand, and through the forthcoming launch of a portfolio of fully electric cars, Polestar is determined to address the world’s air quality challenges. Polestar delivers electric performance cars that are great to own and drive,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar. Other unique features will include the new Pixel LED headlights (not available in the US due to legislation), a proximity lighting feature that gives the owner a welcome sequence, frameless side mirrors and more. As with the plug-in hybrid 1 coupe, the new 2020 Polestar 2 EV will only be available for order online. Customers will be able to outright purchase the new EV, with Polestar to offer a subscription service on a later date. Polestar aims to start production of the 2 in early 2020 in China for global markets.

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PORSCHE

The all-new 992-generation Porsche 911 Cabriolet celebrates its public premiere at the Show. Looking instantly recognizable, the 911 Cabriolet features an automatic soft top with a lightweight structure that has magnesium bows to prevent “ballooning of the roof at high speed.” The roof also features an integrated glass rear window. Speaking of the roof, it can be opened and closed faster than its predecessor thanks to new hydraulics. The process now takes approximately 12 seconds and the top can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph (50 km/h). When the roof is down, a wind deflector rises to ensure drivers remain comfortable. At launch, the 911 Cabriolet will be offered exclusively in Carrera S and Carrera 4S guise. Both feature a twin-turbo 3.0-litre flat-six engine that develops 443 hp  450 PS) and 391 lb-ft (530 Nm) of torque. The engine is connected to a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission which enables the Carrera S convertible to rocket from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in as little as 3.7 seconds, before hitting top speed of 190 mph (306 km/h). The addition of all-wheel drive drops the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time to as little as 3.6 seconds, but the top speed also falls to 188 mph (304 km/h). Speaking of performance, the 911 Cabriolet promises to be a better driver’s car as the model has more torsional rigidity than its predecessor and can now be equipped with the Porsche Active Suspension Management system for the first time. When that option is selected, the car has stiffer anti-roll-bars and a ride height that has been lowered by 0.4 inches (10 mm). Porsche says the changes give the model a “more neutral feel on the road” as well as better weight distribution. Styling largely carries over from the coupe so it’s not too surprising that the model has evolutionary styling, a rear light bar and a larger rear spoiler. The Cabriolet also features stylish wheels that measure 20-inches front and 21-inches out back. The familiar styling continues in the cabin as drivers will find a mixed digital and analog instrument cluster as well as a 10.9-inch infotainment system. The only difference between the coupe and convertible appears to be dedicated controls to open or close the roof. The 2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet will be launched later this year and the company is currently accepting pre-orders.

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The Coupe version of the 992 was much in evidence here, as was an example of the very first 911, a car which seems so small in comparison.

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Also making their debuts here were the T versions of the 718 Cayman and Boxster. Available in both Boxster and Cayman guise, the 718 T is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 295 bhp and 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) of torque. The engine can be paired to either a six-speed manual or an optional PDK gearbox. The engine enables both models to accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 4.9 seconds with the manual, while the PDK is 0.2 seconds quicker. In Sport Plus mode, the cars rocket to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 4.5 seconds before topping out at 170 mph (275 km/h). While the engine carries over from the standard model, the 718 T features a Porsche Active Suspension Management system which reduces the ride height by 20mm. The model also has active engine mounts, a locking rear differential and torque vectoring technology. Styling changes are relatively minor, but the 718 T is distinguished by Agate Grey mirror caps and 20-inch wheels with a high-gloss titanium grey finish. The models also have a black sports exhaust system and side stripes with “718 Boxster T” or “718 Cayman T” badging. Interior changes are more noticeable as the cars come equipped with a sport steering wheel and black sport seats with “718” embroidery on the headrests. Drivers will also find gloss black trim, door pull straps and door sill plates with either “Boxster T” or “Cayman T” badging. One of the biggest changes is the elimination of the infotainment system. It has been removed to save weight, but customers can have it reinstalled as a no-cost option. Porsche hasn’t release pricing details, but the company hinted the cars will be relatively affordable. As the company explained, “Adjusted for equipment, 718 T buyers can enjoy a price advantage of 5 – 10% compared to a similarly equipped basic model.”

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There were several examples of the Panamera in both hatch and Sport Turismo guises.

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The recently updated Macan was joined by the third generation Cayenne model.

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PURITALIA

The attractive Puritalia Berlinetta is powered by a plug-in hybrid system that pairs a 730 hp, 5.0-litre V8 engine up front with an axial flux electric motor on the rear axle that puts out 212 hp and 272 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque. This motor comes from British company Yasa and lifts grunt to a combined 951 hp and 920 lb-ft (1248 Nm) of torque. There is also a so-called ‘eMozione’ switch in the vehicle which provides additional electric grunt for 45 seconds at a time. Power is sent to the wheels through a seven-speed transmission with paddle shifters. The Puritalia Berlinetta can accelerate to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.7 seconds before topping out at 208 mph (335 km/h). Although it can be driven in EV-only mode, the tiny battery pack is only 5.2 kWh in capacity and provides an all-electric range of just 12.4 miles (20 km). Puritalia claims that the Berlinetta’s plug-in hybrid system is managed by proprietary artificial intelligence software. This technology takes into account the driving style, data on traffic, weather, and current road conditions, and calculates the most efficient use of energy. Underpinning it is a carbon fibre central tub joined by aluminium sub-frames and aluminium suspension components. The vehicle’s exterior body panels are also constructed from carbon fibre and the vehicle has a perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The cabin of the Berlinetta includes a number of gloss carbon fiber elements, luxurious brown leather and a large touchscreen infotainment system between the driver and passenger. There’s also a fully-digital gauge cluster and, according to Puritalia, the vehicle’s systems are fully connected and can be operated remotely from a smartphone. Production of the Puritalia Berlinetta will be limited to just 150 units worldwide. Prices start at €553,350.

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RENAULT

Perhaps the most commercially significant debut at the Show was this, the fifth generation Clio. It may look little different, though in fact every panel is different, but the more important changes are the addition of plenty of tech, improved quality and a new hybrid powertrain. Named the E-Tech, the new hybrid powertrain combines a new-generation 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors and a 1.2kWh battery pack in order to offer great fuel efficiency and, according to Renault, class-leading responsiveness. The company didn’t reveal any performance specs of the Clio E-Tech, which will be added to the range in 2020, at the Geneva Motor Show, only saying that the car will start in all-electric mode and will be able to drive up to 80 percent of the time on electricity alone within the city walls. The new hybrid Clio is estimated to return 40 percent greater fuel economy compared to a conventional ICE-powered model in the urban cycle. The normal petrol range of the new Renault Clio starts with the normally aspirated 1.0-litre SCe three-cylinder petrol, offered in 65hp and 75hp variants, both of which are paired to a five-speed manual gearbox. For the first time in a Renault, the new Clio will feature the new turbocharged 1.0-litre TCe three-cylinder unit that’s been developed through the Nissan Renault Mitsubishi Alliance. The new engine produces 98hp (100PS) and 118 lb-ft (160Nm) and will come fitted either to a standard five-speed manual or an optional X-Tronic CVT. A dual-fuel LPG variant will follow on a later date. The range-topping petrol version will be fitted with the turbocharged 1.3-litre TCe unit that was co-developed between Renault-Nissan and Daimler. In the Clio, it produces 128hp (130PS) and 177lb-ft (240Nm) and comes bolted to a standard seven-speed dual-clutch EDC transmission. Finally, the diesel range will include the 1.5-litre Blue dCi in two variants: the entry-level model offers 84hp (85PS) and 162lb-ft (220Nm) and the more powerful version comes with 113hp (115PS) and 191lb-ft (260Nm). Despite being 12mm shorter than the outgoing model, the new Clio offers more space inside and a class-leading 391-litre boot volume thanks to the clever packaging of the CMF-B architecture.
And while the highlight inside is the big, portrait-oriented 9.3-inch infotainment system, Renault claims an impressive jump in quality, with the dashboard featuring premium materials, a much better finish and a digital instrument cluster. Sales start later in the year.

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Making another appearance here, following its premiere at Paris last October was the autonomous, all-electric EZ-Ultimo, a concept designed to offer “upscale ride-hailing for all,”. This new study is described by Renault as an individual mobile lounge. Renault wants you to think of it as the extension of the premium experience offered by a hotel, resort or airline company. The robo-vehicle concept relies on flexibility: it can be used on demand, for a single trip, for an hour or for a day. Therefore, it is suitable for a private trip in a city, a premium tourist experience, or a business journey service. The thing to remember is that the EZ-Ultimo can adapt to the actual service provider. The concept is inspired by contemporary architecture and French style, with the passenger space designed like a personal lounge fitted with all the comfort and features needed for relaxation or concentration. Access to the cabin is provided by a wide automatic opening door, and passengers are welcomed by a rotating seat on a slide. Inspired by interior architecture, the cabin uses materials such as wood, marble, and leather. The vehicle also gives passengers the option of more privacy via glass facets on the upper part of the car. For a well-spent travel time, the concept car marks the debut of the Augmented Editorial Experience. Developed in collaboration with Groupe Challenges, AEX is a realist immersive experience that combines personalised premium content, multi-media experiences, and mobility. The goal is to turn travel time into a learning experience for future EZ-Ultimo passengers. Following in the footsteps of EZ-Go and EZ-Pro studies, the EZ-Ultimo is equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving technology and is able to adapt to an urban environment, to the motorway or to a shuttle service on dedicated roads.

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Renault has given its Twingo city car its first facelift since the third-generation was launched in 2014. While the mid-cycle makeover doesn’t bring major styling changes, it enhances the Twingo’s personalisation options both inside and outside. Furthermore, the rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive city car gets a new engine and connectivity upgrades. Styling-wise, the 2019MY Twingo adopts a new front bumper with a smaller lower grille and side air inlets, new graphics for the main grille, and refreshed headlamps with integrated C-shape LED DRLs that replace the round stand-alone units on the outgoing model. The refreshed rear bumper gains new chrome decorative trims but loses the diffuser-like element. A much-needed update is the addition of a handle on the glass tailgate, just below the wiper. Some models also gain an engine air intake on the rear fender that improves cooling. The updated city car also welcomes two new colours to the palette: Mango Yellow and Quartz White. Interestingly, Renault says it has lowered the ride height by 10 mm (0.39 in) compared to the current model and added a rear-end fairing to reduce the drag coefficient. Inside, the updated Twingo receives a new centre console featuring an adjustable holder, two USB ports, a jack plug, as well as the buttons for engine stop/start and cruise control/speed limiter. Two new multimedia systems are available: R&Go and Easy Link (with a 7-inch touchscreen). Both integrate the Renault Easy Connect connected services and are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other interior improvements include a more modern gear knob, closed glovebox on all trim levels, and a reinforced rear parcel shelf. Renault says there are hundreds of Twingo configurations that can be made by combining body colours, interior and exterior colour packs, decals, and alloy wheels. The engine lineup sees an update too in the form of a new SCe 75 engine which is a 1.0-litre naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol unit that makes 75 PS (74 bhp) and 95 Nm (70 lb-ft) of torque in combination with a five-speed manual gearbox. Other choices include the lower-powered SCe 65 and the TCe 95. The latter is a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine rated at 93 PS (92 bhp) and 135 Nm (100 lb-ft) of torque. It comes with a standard five-speed manual or an optional six-speed EDC dual-clutch automatic transmission. There’s no word yet on a successor for the Renault Sport-tuned Twingo GT range-topper.

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Also on show were examples of the rest of the range: the popular Captur, a number of Megane models including the potent RS versions, the Scenic in regular and 7-seater Grand guises, the Talisman, Espace and the Koleos.

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RIMAC

Rimac unveiled the C_Two at the Geneva Show in 2018 and now here they were with it again, with a fresh new coat of paint. Dressed in Arctic White with exquisite deep blue-tinted carbon fibre body elements, the C-Two for the 2019 Geneva Motor Show represents Rimac’s way of telling us everything is going according to the plan. Prototypes of the electric beast are already in production, and the Croatian marque hints at powertrain improvements set to be implemented in the customer-spec production cars due in 2020.

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ROLLS ROYCE

Rolls-Royce showcased a new batch of bespoke models at the Show, of which the undisputed star was the Phantom Tranquillity. Part of a collection of just 25 units available in standard and extended wheelbase configurations, the highly-personalised Phantom is named and crafted “to celebrate the feeling of euphoric tranquillity one achieves within the car.” The cabin takes inspiration from various sources including the X-Ray coded aperture masks used on the British Skylark space rocket, space itself (it features an authentic Muonionalusta meteorite embedded in the volume controller), the NASA Voyager satellites, as well as the light and dark sides of the Moon. The perforated dashboard trim is made from stainless steel, 24-carat gold, and space grade aluminium while the cabin is available in a combination of Arctic White or Selby Grey leather. As with any Rolls-Royce vehicle, the attention to detail goes beyond any expectations and owners will probably need weeks if not months to discover all the hidden gems inside their Ghost Tranquillity.

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Besides this glorious bespoke Phantom, Rolls-Royce also had on display Black Badge versions of the Ghost and Wraith. Additionally, the company will reveal two other bespoke models: the Cullinan Genève 2019 and Dawn Genève 2019. The SUV is the first publicly-revealed Bespoke Cullinan Commission with its standout feature “The Hosting Service,” mounted within a removable Recreation Module stowed in the trunk. It includes bespoke stainless steel cocktail and seasoning services as well as glassware and American Walnut serving boards.

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RUF

The car, previously known as the RUF CTR 2017 during its prototype form, was scheduled to be delivered to its owner during the show. RUF displayed the new-age CTR Yellowbird at last year’s Geneva Motor Show but that wasn’t a customer-ordered example. RUF has a rich history of developing, building, and selling a number of iconic Porsche 911-based sports cars. What makes the CTR Anniversary different from any RUF to come before it is that it sits on a chassis developed in-house that’s made predominantly from carbon fibre except for the steel front and rear crash structures. Sitting behind the rear axle of the RUF CTR Anniversary is a twin-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six engine delivering 700 horses. The aforementioned carbon monocoque and the carbon fibre body panels mean the car weighs just 2640 lbs (1200 kg). RUF quotes an extraordinary top speed of 223 mph (360 km/h).

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RUF also presented the all-new GT here. This model is based around the 991-generation Porsche 911 and features a 3.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six with 515 hp and 476 lb-ft (645 Nm) of torque. The car is equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.4 seconds. A top speed of 199 mph (320 km/h) will ensure drivers remain entertained.

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There were a number of other RUF modified Porsche models on the stand.

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SBARRO

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It would not be a Geneva Show without the wacky creations of Swiss brand Sbarro, and they did not disappoint in 2019. This year, it was the turn of the El-Richo – a kind of two-seater electric tuk-tuk – and the return of the Tracto-Sphere, which seats three in line and steers from a self-contained wheel in a ball at the front of the vehicle.

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Thankfully, the Sbarro Espera design school had something more palatable on hand, following last year’s beautiful Rush single-seater – a two-seat, front-engined and open-wheeled roadster reminiscent of early Indianapolis Speedway racers called the Miles, as well as the Renner and a couple of small-scale versions of the iconic BMW 328 and Mercedes 540K.
.

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SEAT

Seat officially revealed the el-Born, an MEB-based electric car that’s set to hit the market by 2020. The el-Born is the second EV based on VW’s MEB platform, following the VW ID Hatch. Compared to its German cousin, the el-Born is designed to look sportier and more emotional, honoring Seat’s philosophy. The automaker claims that the production version will be able to deliver up to 260 miles (420km) of driving range on the WLTP cycle from its 62kWh battery pack, as well as a 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 7.5 seconds when combined with the range-topping 201hp (204PS) electric motor. The battery-electric hatch is also compatible with up to 100kW DC fast-charging, so it’ll be able to charge its battery from 0 to 80 percent in as little as 47 minutes. The concept is riding on 20-inch turbine-design wheels that improve its aerodynamic efficiency, which plays a huge role for an electric vehicle. Seat says they incorporated an “air curtain” into the el-Born’s design in order to find the balance between performance and aesthetic appeal. Other features include an advanced thermal management system, which uses a special heat pump that can reduce the electrical heating consumption to save up to 37 miles (60km) of driving range. This will prove useful to users in countries with colder climates. As with the VW ID Hatch, the el-Born was able to maximize interior space thanks to the great packaging of the MEB platform. The dashboard’s design is less futuristic than you might expect and more production-ready, featuring a 10-inch infotainment system with plenty of connected features. Seat’s first all-electric model will also feature Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, Intelligent Park Assist and a wide range of driver assistance systems.

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Seat actually unveiled the tiny electric Minimo a few weeks before this Show at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, showcasing the brand’s vision “of the future of urban mobility”. While it’s badged a concept, the Spanish firm has confirmed that a production version will follow in 2021. The idea behind the electric quadricycle is to combine the smaller dimensions of a motorcycle with the safety and comfort of a car, which sounds similar to Renault’s own Twizy. Measuring just 2.5 metres long and with a width of 1.24 metres, the new Seat Minimo can transport two people while taking just 3.1 square metres of space on the road, which is over 50 percent smaller than the footprint of a regular city car. Unlike the Renault Twizy, Seat’s Minimo comes with a fully enclosed cabin that features a 1+1 seating setup. The two doors are asymmetrical and are designed to open in the tightest of spaces, with the left one being the smaller of the two. The electric powertrain comes with a battery that can be easily swapped “in a matter of seconds”, enabling the Seat Minimo to continue its journey far quicker than other electric cars. Seat claims a driving range over 62 miles (100km) on a fully charged battery. Seat believes that the Minimo’s battery-swapping feature could reduce the operation costs of an urban car-sharing service. Features like a digital key and wireless Android Auto technology makes it ideal for such use, while the Minimo is also designed to receive Level 4 autonomous technology. This means that when the technology is ready, the vehicle itself could pick up the user at his or hers request.

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Competing the display were examples of the current range with the Ibiza, Arona, Ateca, the new Tarraco and the Alhambra all attracting my camera.

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SIN CARS

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SKODA

Once again, Skoda had a concept car on their stand whilst the Press were at the Show, and then whisked it away before the public arrived, meaning that the display area that had been used for the Vizion IV EV Concept was given over to the new Kamiq, one of several examples on the stand. It was no secret that Skoda was working on a brand-new subcompact SUV to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Hyundai Kona. The name ‘Kamiq’ originates from the language of the Inuit people. According to the company’s Board Member for Sales and Marketing, Alain Favey, it “embodies something in which you feel comfortable in any situation and that has its own character. This suits the car perfectly.” Slotting under the compact Karoq, the Kamiq is 4,241 mm (167 in) long, 1,793 mm (70.6 in) wide and 1,531 mm (60.3 in) tall, with a 2,651 mm (104.4 in) long wheelbase. It has a 400-litre (14.1 cu-ft) boot capacity with all seats in place, while folding down the second row increases it to 1,395 liters (49.3 cu-ft). Moreover, the front passenger seat can (optionally) be folded down, allowing for items up to 2,447 mm (96.3 in) long to be transported inside. On the outside, the Kamiq has a rather funky styling. It features split LED headlights with DRLs, dynamic front and rear indicators and an interpretation of the brand’s C-shaped taillights. The wide grille with double slats, distinct hood creases, rear diffuser and elevated ground clearance, along with a choice of 16-, 17- or 18-inch alloys, complete its exterior look. The Kamiq’s interior is dominated by its infotainment system that comes in 6.5, 8.0 or 9.2-inches, depending on the version. Positioned in the driver’s field of view, the 9.2-inch one is said to be the largest in the segment and sports an ergonomic hand rest below for operating the touchscreen display. Skoda also offers a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster as an optional extra. Elsewhere, the front door trims have a high-quality soft-foam surface and there’s even ambient lighting available in three colours – white, red and copper. Customers will be able to specify contrast stitching on the seat covers, which can be upholstered in Suedia microfibre. A heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and heated windscreen are some of the comfort features offered by the Kamiq. Despite the rugged appearance and optional underbody protection, the Czech subcompact SUV comes exclusively with front-wheel drive. It can be powered by a 115 PS (113 hp) and 200 Nm (148 lb-ft) of torque 1.0-litre petrol engine with a 6-speed manual gearbox or, optionally, a 7-speed DSG. There’s also a 150 PS (148 hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) 1.5-litre TSI with active cylinder management and the same transmission choices, whereas diesel fans will get to order the 1.6-litre TDI that’s rated at 115 PS (113 hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. The Kamiq is also available with the Sport Chassis Control active suspension which includes adjustable shock absorbers and a 10 mm (0.4 in) lower ride height and has four modes: Normal, Eco, Sport and Individual. Front Assist and Lane Assist are standard, whereas Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert, Crew Protect Assist, Side Assist, Park Assist and Auto Light Assist are available as options. Sales start later in 2019.

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There were lots of example of the Scala here. Replacement for the Rapid, this is Skoda’s new entrant in the C-Segment, and all the signs are promising. Sales start in Europe in the coming weeks.

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Also here were the established range, many of which had minor updates in recent times. These ranged from the Fabia to the popular Octavia, the commodious Superb and from the crossover range, the
Karoq and the Kodiaq.

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Finally there was an example of the Fabia R5.a rally car built by Škoda Motorsport. It is based upon the Škoda Fabia road car and is built to Group R5 regulations. It made its competition début in 2015 as a successor to the Škoda Fabia S2000. The car proved to be very successful in the World Rally Championship-2 class, winning thirty-five events between 2015 and 2018. Esapekka Lappi won the 2016 World Rally Championship-2 drivers title with four victories, Pontus Tidemand won the 2017 championship and Jan Kopecký won the 2018 championship. Škoda Motorsport won the FIA World Rally Championship-2 for Teams in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Starting in 2019, Škoda Motorsport entered the Fabia R5 in the professional class of the World Rally Championship-2. An updated version of the Fabia R5 known as the Škoda Fabia R5 Evo was introduced during the 2019 season. The Fabia R5 has also competed in regional rally championships in Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Gaurav Gill won the 2016 and 2017 Asia-Pacific titles and Yuya Sumiyama won the 2018 championship. The car has also won a further fourteen rounds of the European Rally Championship. From a commercial and competitive standpoint, the Fabia is the one of the most successful cars in the history of the R5 category, winning over 700 rally competitions all around the world, and selling over 240 units to independent teams and owners over a three-and-a-half year period

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SMART

Centre-piece of the Smart stand was the concept Forease+, an updated version of last year’s Forease concept. In creating the Forease+, Smart took the eye-catching Forease and improved its form and function with a sleek Speedster design. The concept here features a bright orange fabric roof that stretches right to the rear of the tiny car. Smart says the roof is robust enough to be used all-year round and that it can be quickly and easily removed with two clips at the rear. Alongside its new roof, the Smart Forease+ incorporates a shortened windshield to further increase its Speedster characteristics. The concept also lacks side windows and has been designed to look rather aggressive from the rear thanks to a large ducktail spoiler. Viewed from the front, there are headlights incorporating three active LED elements. Additionally, there are small lights found where the vehicle’s front grille would usually be. Subtle orange accents can also be found towards the base of the bumper which, to our eyes, almost looks like a smiley face. Much like the headlights, the taillights include several LED light elements. Further adding to the vehicle’s character are bulging front and rear wheel arches as well as custom Forease+ wheels with silver and orange elements. Smart has bathed the concept car’s interior in black Nappa leather, microfibre, and a range of other high-end materials to ensure it’s a nice place to sit. There’s also a large infotainment system in the middle, two digital gauges in the centre of the dashboard and a steering wheel that’s had the top removed. The Smart Forease+ is based on the current all-electric Smart ForTwo Cabrio. The German automaker doesn’t seem to have any plans to put the Forease+ into production.

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There were numerous examples of the production ForTwo and ForFour on the stand. You either “get” these or you don’t. They really don’t appeal to me at all, I am afraid.

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SSANGYONG

Making its debut here was the next generation Korando, which takes its styling inspiration from the established Tivoli and Tivoli XLV cars, which were also on the stand.

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STARTECH

Startech brought several tuned vehicles to the Show. This Range Rover Sport was among them and features a widebody conversion that makes it 60 mm (2.4 in) wider. Claimed to have been made to OEM standards, the fender flares at both axles are part of the body kit that comprises of other parts. The front element with side flaps that sits on the lower part of the stock bumper complies with the EU pedestrian protection. As an option, it can be combined with a skid plate-looking centre section or a carbon fibre spoiler lip. The grille, bonnet  vents, side mirror caps, design elements on the front wings and rear bumper are also new. The latter features a center section that mimics the look of a diffuser and has four vertical fins. It can also be ordered in carbon fibre and both versions get a central LED light module that serves as a backup light or rear fog lamp. Completing the look at the rear are the wing and two large exhaust tips. Those who own the V8 model can order a complete stainless steel exhaust system with electronically controlled flaps. A suspension module is responsible for lowering the ride height by about 25 mm (1 in). This feature still leaves room for the 23-inch rims, shod in 295/35 tyres, that are offered in two different versions. On the left side, they have a glossy black look that contrasts the Corris Gray exterior of the SUV, and on the other side, it’s fitted with the ball-milled variant. The sky is the limit when it comes to the interior, as Startech offers a variety of leather, Alcantara, carbon inlays with matte or high-gloss surface finish, noble-wood trim in different colours and exclusive floor mats. The company goes as far as fulfilling other customization requests, such as integrating family crests or personal logos and projecting them via the special underbody light.

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Second offering is one based on the latest Bentley Continental GT Coupe. It’s a spectacular looking thing, particularly inside where the Brabus-owned tuner has gone for an “all or nothing” approach. That’s not to say the exterior is underwhelming, though. Startech has fitted the big British GT with an aero kit that uses optional naked carbon components, 22-inch forged wheels, and a suspension lowering kit. All these upgrades combined result in a meaner appearance without taking the civilised Conti GT into vulgar territory. The front end gains a new fascia that’s said to optimize the flow of cooling air to the intercooler and the front brakes. At the same time, it helps reduce front-axle lift at high speeds, further optimising stability. Last but not least, the new front bumper gives the coupe a more racing-like look thanks to the wing shaped like on a Formula 1 car. Viewed from the side, the Startech-tuned Continental GT stands out thanks to the naked carbon mirror caps and gloss black trim, as well as the 22-inch Monostar M alloys shod with 275/35 ZR 22 Pirelli P Zero high-performance tyres at the front and 315/30 ZR 22 rubber at the rear. The 25mm (0.98in) lower ride height also contributes to a more purposeful stance. At the rear, the centre of attention is the bumper that features a carbon diffuser with five fins and a central LED light module that serves both as a rear fog lamp and as a backup light. A naked-carbon spoiler lip rounds off the exterior modifications. And so we’ve reached the car’s most spectacular part, the interior. The Geneva show car rocks a two-tone cabin combining grey and brown leather — including in the footwells where the Conti GT features stitched quilted leather matching the square upholstery pattern of the seats. Even the floor mats sport the identical design, adding brown leather borders. Equally striking is the carbon fibre trim with large checkered flag structure and high-gloss surface sealant that replaces the standard car’s noble-wood trim.

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After applying their touches to the Aston Martin DB11 last year, they’ve not turned their attention to the Vantage. Their Vantage is powered by a Mercedes-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, which puts down 510 PS (503 bhp) and 685 Nm (505 lb-ft) of torque when stock. Now, thanks to Startech’s PowerXtra SP 600 performance kit, those numbers fly to 600 PS (591 bhp) and 775 Nm (571 lb-ft) of torque. As a result, it can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.4 seconds, as opposed to 3.7 seconds, which is its factory sprint time. Meanwhile, top speed has been increased from 314 km/h (195 mph) to 320 km/h (199 mph) – a rounder, more respectable number among supercars. As you can see, the Vantage’s elegant shape has endured, despite the add-ons. Two inserts have been places for the large intake up front, available as PUR variants or made from naked carbon with either a glossy or matte coating. The same composite material is also used on the air vents behind the front wheel arches, as well as for the side mirror caps. At the rear, there’s a new diffuser which is also available as either a PUR-R-Rim or naked-carbon (the Geneva show car will rock the carbon variant). The diffuser has a four vertical fin design, and comes with a central LED backup light like in Formula 1. It also encompasses a pair of custom exhaust tips. Last but not least are the Monostar M 21-inch alloy wheels, featuring a five dual-spoke aesthetic and a stylized centre nut available black, silver, red or blue anodised. Of course, customers looking for a more personalised approach with regards to the interior can rely on the tuner to tailor the upholstery to their exact requests with “utmost precision.”

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SUBARU

Although Subaru sales when viewed at a European level are pitiful, the one market that does buy their cars in quantity is Switzerland, which probably helps to justify having a large stand here, and why there is nearly always a concept vehicle making its debut. This year it was the Viziv Adrenaline Concept, which is the first study to adopt the company’s “Bolder” design language. Through the new philosophy, Subaru aims “to broaden the brand’s outlook, define the characteristics of Subaru vehicles more prominently, and create more enjoyment for all passengers.” All those objectives sound good but are quite vague. Subaru says the body shape exhibits a dynamic and strong feel, with highlights including the unique roof design and prominent body cladding. The roof not only looks cool but also reinforces the body structure. Other notable details include the sleek LED headlights and taillights, lack of door handles, rearview cameras, white accents on the alloy wheels shod with rugged all-terrain tires, and the reasonably high ground clearance. The Subaru Viziv Adrenaline Concept is said to combine “utility that supports active lifestyles with off-road driving capability that delivers enjoyment to go anywhere.” That certainly suggests greater capability off the beaten track than what a regular crossover can offer. Maybe that’s why Subaru’s press release says the crossover study encourages the driver to “drive freely in mother nature.” Unfortunately, the Japanese automaker doesn’t say whether or not we should expect a production model based on this design concept. We sure hope that’s the case because it would be a shame if such a fresh design went to waste. Whether it previews a small crossover or the next-generation Crosstrek/XV is unclear.

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There are no questions about the new Forester which was displayed along with the outgoing model. Although looking quite similar, the new model is significant, as it constitutes the European introduction of Subaru’s mild hybrid technology, which takes the place of the axed diesel variant of the previous generation. Subaru’s eBoxer mild hybrid technology pairs the company’s 2.0-litre flat-four petrol engine with a small electric motor mounted in the transmission, a re-engineered version of Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT unit. The petrol engine produces 148hp (150PS) and 143lb-ft (194Nm), with the electric motor adding an extra 16hp and 48lb-ft (65Nm) of torque. Features like the permanent four-wheel drive system remain unchanged. The new mild hybrid Subaru Forester can be driven under electric power alone very briefly and at low speeds. The battery pack is mounted on the rear axle, giving the Forester eBoxer a lower center of gravity and better weight distribution than its petrol counterpart. Subaru hasn’t announced yet any official fuel economy figures, including CO2 emissions. The new fifth-generation Forester is slightly and wider than its predecessor, offering bigger interior space and a more practical boot. The interior is made by better-quality materials and also claims to be quieter too.

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The new mild hybrid eBoxer powertrain is also going to be offered in the XV Subaru will launch the new Forester eBoxer alongside the XV eBoxer in Europe by the autumn of this year. Meanwhile you can buy a petrol version of the XV, a model refreshed early last year and there was one of these on show.

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Also present were examples of the rest of the range, with the latest Impreza joined by the Levorg, Ouback and the BRZ.

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SUZUKI

There was nothing new for the Show on Suzuki’s stand, but with most of the range have been refreshed in the past couple of years, that is perhaps no surprise. Star turn is the Jimny, which has proved a big hit, with waiting lists extending many months into the year.

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There were plenty of examples of the Swift supermini, including the Sport version.

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Also here were the Ignis, Vitara and S-Cross, a range of competent if not quite class-leading models.

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TAG HEUER

Hall 3 was given over once again to a series of displays from renowned watch maker TAG Heuer. There were a number of cars included with a Hispano Suiza joined by the legendary Porsche 917 and a couple of more recent race cars.

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TATA

Indian car maker Tata’s stand showed just how quickly this brand is evolving. Gone are the low-priced and rather low quality offerings of a few years ago that caused much mirth and few serious sales enquiries, as now they have a range of production models and concepts to show that at least statically appear the equal of more established brands.

First up is the Buzzard SUV, a large 7-seat version of the Harrier SUV, which was also here.

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Tata means to reinvent the urban car design with its new Altroz supermini, by putting greater emphasis on bringing connectivity and everyday mobility together. Seen here in regular and EV guises, these so-called premium urban cars with different powertrains are designed on an all-new Agile Light Flexible Advanced (ALFA) architecture, which has lightweight, modular and flexible characteristics, allowing for the manufacturing of multiple body styles and a choice of different powertrains, including petrol, diesel and even fully electric. Design-wise, this looks like a reasonably modern car, albeit maybe a little quirky because of those swoosh-shaped front doors. It’s actually more of a design gimmick, as opposed to something practical in nature – it doesn’t actually free up the window line. Then there’s the multi-level front end design, which also comes off as “different”, or perhaps a little familiar if you’re a fan of certain newer Citroen models. As for the interior, the gauge cluster seems to be split in half (half digital, half analog). There’s also a freestanding infotainment screen on top of the dashboard, flat-bottom multi-function steering wheel, a push-to-start button, manual gearbox, manual handbrake, electric door mirrors, power windows, air conditioning and gold trim around the air vents. There’s no official word on any powertrain specifications. An EV version was also shown, though there were few technical details available. The Indian automaker plans on bringing the Altroz to market in India come mid-2019.

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Final car here was the H2X Concept, a sub-compact SUV, with a dynamic and expressive appearance, as well as “future ready connectivity and outstanding interior roominess.” The H2X is also based on the new ALFA architecture and shows Tata’s future design direction under the IMPACT 2.0 design plan. Its looks are actually based on the H5X Concept, although everything here is more “condensed” and a lot more angular, perhaps even rugged.

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TECHART

Techart specialise in the customisation and modification of Porsche and there were several examples of their offerings on display here. Most striking was the GTstreet RS, making its its public premiere at the Show. The new TechArt GTstreet RS is based on the Porsche 991.2 Turbo S and just 10 will be available. The Porsche tuning specialist was able to extract an additional 187hp from the Turbo S’ 3.8-litre flat-six engine thanks to a pair of newly developed variable-geometry turbochargers. The final numbers are just mesmerising: 759hp (770PS) and 678lb-ft (920Nm) of torque. With so much firepower available, it’s no wonder that the new TechArt GTstreet RS comes with insane acceleration figures: 0-62mph (100km/h) in 2.5 seconds, 0-124mph (200km/h) in 8.1 seconds and a top speed that’s limited (!) to 211mph (340km/h). “However, on a high speed testing ground and equipped with specially homologated sports tires, the new TechArt GTstreet RS performance powerkit allows speeds of around 360 km/h (224mph)”, Steven Ratz, technical CEO at TechArt Automobildesign said. TechArt has updated the exterior with its own Forged Design Carbon body kit, which features randomly arranged carbon strands and also provides additional downforce without altering the drag coefficient. The rear spoiler can extend and be adjusted by 15 degrees while the centrelock wheels are a special version of TechArt’s forged Formula IV Race design. Each of the 10 GTstreet RS models will feature their limited edition number on the front hood. In addition, the rear and rear side windows are made of lightweight Corning Gorilla glass while the carbon rear diffuser is accompanied by four titanium exhaust tailpipes. The latter feature a electronically controlled flap adjustment to switch between different levels of noise.The interior has been treated with lots of Alcantara, leather, as well as genuine virgin wool. The floor mats, dashboard, center tunnel, center console, sun visors, door pillars and the roof lining are covered with Alcantara. The door panels and seats feature a combination of leather, Alcantara and wool while the trim details can be custom painted to the customer’s desires. There’s also six-point harnesses, a roll bar as well as colour-matched door pulls.

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There were plenty of other models here, too.

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TESLA

There was no official presence from Tesla here, as is the case for most Shows, but I did spot this rather nicely executed Model S Wagon on the Vredestein stand. The vehicle was commissioned by a man named Floris de Raadt, who apparently has a love for electric vehicles and Shooting Brakes. While it was originally intended to be a one-off, RemetzCar announced that it will build 20 examples more for other buyers. However, the company is now defunct so this is likely to remain a one-off.

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TOPCAR

Another of those firms who produce heavily customised versions of high-end cars of, erm, questionable taste. There were an array of Porsche models and the Lamborghini Urus which had undergone their treatment

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And there was this. If you happen to own a new G-Class and are looking for something more spicy, TopCar can make it look more like the highly desirable AMG G63. And if carbon fibre is your thing, then it’s hard to say no to their Inferno body kit. The lightweight material has been applied pretty much on every single panel: you can find it in the front and rear bumpers, doors, fenders, side sills, hood, roof – heck, even the tailgate-mounted spare wheel cover! TopCar has also replaced the Merc’s original grille with a new one, which mimics the design of the modern G63, and replaced the traditional three-spoked star badge with their own. The shark logo is also visible on a number of different parts, including the front fender add-ons, side exhaust tips, rear wing and spare wheel cover. A couple of additional LED lights mounted on the roof, a matte green paint and a new wheel set, in 22 or 23 inches, round up the list of not-so-subtle upgrades. The price for the new G-Class Inferno body kit starts at €19,083. The full kit adds the headlight protection cover, side roof panels, roof spoiler, additional LED lights, exhaust tips and shark logos, and costs €26,783. If you want the basic kit with visible carbon fibre, it’ll cost you €24,750, whereas the full kit with visible carbon fibre and some other carbon parts, including the side mirror casings, costs €39,650 . Steep, but you do get a lot of carbon fibre for your buck. Installation and painting are an extra €6,500 for the basic or €7,500 for the full kit. Also, the engine bonnet in visible (!) or primed carbon fiber costs another €7,500 and €6,350, respectively, and the 23-inch wheels can be had at €7,700, or €1,000 more than the 22-inch ones.

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TOURING

Created as a follow up to last year’s Sciàdipersia Coupe, the convertible is based on the Maserati GranCabrio and features a handcrafted exterior with lightweight aluminium body panels and carbon fibre components. The model has a bit of retro vibe and Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera says the “sharp edges and flat surfaces revert to suggestions of elegant styles from the 1970s.” Regardless of how you feel about the design, the car is certainly unique and its rear end has stylish combination of soft curves and angled surfaces. The cabin largely carries over from the GranCabrio, but buyers can select their own trim and upholstery combinations. In the case of this particular car, the owner ordered chocolate leather with cream accents and orange contract stitching. Power is provided by a naturally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 engine that produces 454 hp and 383 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission which enables the rear-wheel drive convertible to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in approximately five seconds. Given enough room, the model will eventually hit a top speed of around 179 mph (288 km/h). While Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera was originally planning to build ten Sciàdipersia Coupes, CEO Piero Mancardi said customers requested a convertible variant. The company decided to oblige and now fans can order either a coupe or convertible. Each takes approximately six months to build and there are now plans to make a total of 15 Sciàdipersias. Pricing is available “upon request,” but the Sciàdipersia is probably pretty expensive as the car is effectively handmade and buyers need to provide a donor vehicle.

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TOYOTA

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Star-billing on the stand went to the latest Corolla which has just gone on sale, following an initial reveal at this event a year ago. There are more versions available now than were previewed then, with the Sports Tourer body added to the regular five door hatch. Added here were the GR Sport and Trek. Building on the mid or high-end grades, the Corolla GR Sport is available in the Hatchback and Touring Sports body styles. It is available with the 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre hybrid powertrains and adds unique styling cues inside and out. The bodywork of the car is defined by a dark chrome finished grille, special lower skirts, side rockers and rear diffuser. It also gets a dual-tone Dynamic Grey and black look, bespoke 18-inch machined alloy wheels, LED headlights, fog lamps and rear privacy glass. Model-specific black fabric seats with leather-like bolsters, along with the black and red stitching on the steering wheel, gear shifter and instrument panel differentiate this special Corolla’s cabin, while clients can also spec a full leather upholstery. Deliveries of the Corolla GR Sport will commence in January 2020, according to the official press release. Which does sound a bit too long for what is essentially a tarted up version of the two Corolla hybrids. The automaker will also launch a second special edition of the Corolla in August, although it sits at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to the GR Sport. Created in collaboration with Trek Bicycle, the Corolla Trek is available as an estate and comes with the same powertrain choices as the GR Sport. Based on the mid-range grade, it features a 20 mm (0.8 in) increased ground clearance, crossover-like styling elements at the front and rear, 17-inch machined alloy wheels, LED headlights, fog lamps and rear privacy windows. Inside, it features two-tone fabric seats, matching wood deco elements and 7-inch TFT infotainment screen.

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A surprisingly low key presence was accorded the new and eagerly awaited GR Supra sports car, a couple of examples of which were almost hidden-away, though plenty of people seemed to find them and want a closer look.

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Joining the road car was a concept car which previews the Supra GT4 race car, and possibly, a racer for private customers too. Despite being billed as a study, it’s fairly obvious that the GT4 customer racer will look exactly like this. The Toyota GR Supra GT4 Concept, as is its full name, brings nothing we haven’t already seen when the race car prototype got spied last year at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The main difference is now we get to see a racing livery where the camouflage foil used to be. Gazoo Racing says the GR Supra GT4 Concept is based on the road-going GR Supra and was developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH with the goal of exploring “the possibility of using the GR Supra in customer motorsports such as privateer racing.” More specifically, it is designed for the GT4 racing class, one of the world’s fastest-growing motorsports categories that includes national and regional competitions in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. The popular series include the GT4 European Series, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, and Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia. Compared to the production version, the GT4 is even lighter, although Toyota hasn’t provided any specifics yet. It’s also equipped with racing suspension and brakes, as well as a motorsport aero kit that includes a sizable front splitter and massive rear wing, among other parts. Obviously, it comes with a roll cage, racing seats, and all the other safety features necessary for racing. The Supra GT4 will enter the Nurburgring 24 Endurance Race in the SP8T class this year. For 2020, Toyota will develop another Supra race car that will compete in Japan’s Super GT series’ GT500 class. Toyota says it will continue to explore and expand the involvement of the Supra in motorsports “as well as leverage the learning and know-how garnered as it looks to develop ever-better-cars.”

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For their smallest car, the Aygo, Toyota announced two world debuts here, the new Aygo X-Cite and X-Style special editions. Finished in White with Orange Twist electric canvas roof and dark Orange trim, the Aygo X-Style features 15-inch wheels, fog lamps and rear privacy glass. Inside, buyers will find a few colourful orange accents on the side air vents and gearshift surrounds. This version of the city car gets piano black finish on the central console, part-leather seats and floor mats with an orange border as well. The new Aygo X-Cite wears bright orange on the outside and comes with a black roof and a few orange and black elements. The look is completed by the glossy black 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and rear privacy windows. Orange side air vents, Manhattan fabric seat upholstery, glossy black central console and dashboard insert panel, and chrome gearshift surround will differentiate the X-Cite’s cabin from the rest of the Aygo range. Both the X-Style and X-Cite are equipped with standard air conditioning, a multi-function steering wheel, height-adjustable driver’s seat and adjustable speed limiter on manual transmission versions. The 7-inch infotainment system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and comes with a reversing camera, while the Toyota Safety Sense pack of driving assistance features, DAB radio and keyless entry&go are all optional extras. The sole powertrain available is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder rated at 71 bhp.

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No significant changes have been announced for the Yaris and the C-HR, and there were examples of both of these popular models here.

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After a pause of many years, the Camry – until recently the best-selling passenger car in America – is poised to return to sale in Europe, taking the place of the now discontinued Avensis range. It will be offered solely with a hybrid powertrain and is likely to appeal to those who want a large family car. Taxi drivers come to mind.

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Also using hybrid and alternative technology are the Prius and the hydrogen-powered Mirai and there were plenty of these on show.
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The all new RAV4 has just gone on sale, following a wait of twelve months since the latest version made its debut at this show a year ago.

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Final road car here was the venerable LandCruiser

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Even better equipped to go off-road is this Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa which was revealed at the end of last year as the entrant for the 2019 Dakar, with De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz, Al Attiyah/Baumel and Ten Brinke/Périn being the crews for the updated HiLux-based racer. The latest evolution of the HiLux racing truck features a mid-engine layout and new suspension geometry for the Dakar race. Power comes from a naturally aspirated V8 which, for the race, will be fitted with a 37mm air intake restrictor. “The FIA has been working hard to try and balance the performance of the turbodiesel-powered cars and the naturally aspirated V8s, such as ours,” explains Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Halll. “This is an ongoing process, and while neither camp will probably ever be entirely happy with the rules, we have no choice but to abide by their rules. The smaller restrictor is sure to count against us somewhat this year, but with the lower altitudes of Peru, we may just have enough grunt to make it work regardless.” The V8 engine is carried over the previous car, as is the gearbox and most of the running gear. For 2019, however, there’s a better suspension setup and more power from the engine. These were seen as critical with the bulk of the 2019 race taking place on soft sand in the southern and central Peru. It clearly worked, as the vehicle won the race.

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And completing the display was a WRC version of the Aygo.

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VINFAST

Vietnamese manufacturer VinFast revealed the Lux V8 SUV here, the more powerful version of the Lux SA2.0 concept that debuted at Paris last October. VinFast, which is expected to start the production of its first models this March, has secured a licence from BMW to use the architecture of the previous 5-Series sedan and X5 SUV models for the Lux A2.0 sedan and Lux AS2.0 SUV respectively. The new Lux V8 however isn’t powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-four engine but -as the name obviously suggests- a 6.2-litre V8 unit, complete with 455hp and 460lb-ft (624Nm) of torque. Although not confirmed, these specs do sound very similar to GM’s LS motor. Installing a big 6.2-litre engine under the bonnet does wonders for any car, and in the case of the new VinFast Lux V8, it makes it capable of reaching a top speed of 186mph (300km/h). The show car is finished in black with silver detailing, riding on 22-inch gunmetal grey alloy wheels. The brake calipers are finished in red while the front end features a sporty-looking mesh for the grille and the bumper’s air intakes. The quad exhaust pipes will probable make sure that no one passes the VinFast Lux V8 for one of its lesser four-pot siblings. The interior features tan leather upholstery and plenty of carbon fibre trim while the dashboard hosts a large 10.4-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system. Most of the cabin’s switchgear is recognizable from BMW’s models.
VinFast aims to offer the Lux V8 for a limited number of cars in 2020.

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VOLKSWAGEN

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Star turn on the massive VW stand was the ID Buggy concept. Essentially a modern day Meyers Manx, the ID Buggy is open roadster which features plastic bumpers and aluminium skid plates all around the vehicle. The model also has three-dimensional lighting units as well as illuminated VW logos. Since the model was design to go off-road, it has a reinforced windshield, a rear roll bar, 9.4 inches (238 mm) of ground clearance and 18-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tyres. Volkswagen also said the upper body is removable and this opens up a “world of possibilities for third-party manufacturers” who could theoretically make their own custom bodies. The unique styling continues in the cabin as there’s two bucket seats that are covered in waterproof upholstery. Drivers sit behind a hexagonal steering wheel, wrapped in water-repellent Nappa leather, and find themselves facing a small digital instrument cluster. The concept also has zippered compartments and a small cargo bed which holds a matching skateboard. Like the rest of the ID family, the Buggy rides on the MEB platform. In this particular application, the car has a 62 kWh lithium-ion battery which powers a rear electric motor that develops 201 hp and 228 lb/ft (309 Nm) of torque. This enables the Buggy to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 7.2 seconds, hit a limited top speed of 99 mph (159 km/h) and travel up to 155 miles (249 miles) in the WLTP cycle. Volkswagen also said it’s possible to install a second electric motor which would give the Buggy all-wheel drive and a significant power boost. The company didn’t go into specifics, but the all-wheel drive variant could potentially have a combined output of 402 hp and 456 lb-ft (618 Nm) of torque.

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A car you can buy now is the T-Cross. Revealed late in 2018 in Amsterdam, Shanghai, and São Paulo, the T-Cross is a global SUV that uses the same platform as the Polo and therefore doesn’t offer all-wheel drive — not even as an option. Design-wise, it’s a combination between VW’s other SUVs. From the front, it looks like a smaller Touareg thanks to the similar grille that blends with the headlights. The side reminds a lot of the Tiguan thanks to the strong character line, while the rear end is probably the most original part of the car. The taillights look like nothing else in VW’s current lineup, and they are connected by a light strip that makes the T-Cross look wider than it really is. Speaking of dimensions, the MQB platform has allowed VW to locate the driven front axle well forward. As a result, the T-Cross has a relatively generous wheelbase compared to the overall vehicle length. The small SUV is 4.11 metres (161.8 in) long with a 2.56-metre (100.8-in) wheelbase. As a result, VW says the interior is spacious and offers enough room for five people. Furthermore, it benefits from a sliding rear seat that has 140 mm (5.5 in) of travel, maximising either legroom or boot volume, depending on the need. The luggage compartment has a capacity that varies between 385 and 455 litres (13.6-16 cu ft) with all seats in place. If that’s not enough, the rear seatback folds down fully or partially to expand cargo volume to an impressive 1,281 litres (45.2 cu ft). There are no surprises as far as the interior design goes, as the dashboard betrays its VW Polo origins. The steering wheel is completely new, though, and there are some colour and trim differences to the supermini as well. Connectivity-wise, the T-Cross offers the latest infotainment systems from VW, inductive smartphone charging, and up to four USB ports. The engine lineup wasn’t exactly a secret from the previous teasers. The T-Cross debuts with four turbocharged power plants: three petrol and one diesel. There are two 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder units rated at 95 PS (94 hp) and 115 PS (113 hp), respectively. The range-topping 1.5-litre TSI four-cylinder unit makes 150 PS (148 hp), while the 1.6-litre TDI diesel produces 95 PS (94 hp). All engines comply with the latest Euro 6d-TEMP emission standard. Surprisingly for a small vehicle, the T-Cross offers many driver assistance systems as standard. Those include Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring and City Emergency Braking System, Lane Assist, Hill Start Assist, the proactive occupant protection system, and Blind Spot Detection with integrated Rear Traffic Alert. Optional safety features such as the Driver Alert System, automatic adaptive cruise control and Park Assist help further enhance safety. Production of the all-new VW T-Cross began in Spain, South America, and China late in 2018 and the car is just going on sale across Europe.

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More familiar is the Up! which was to be seen here in various forms including the much-lauded GTi version. It was joined by the latest Polo.

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Several version of the Golf were here, a model in the last year of its current guise before a new one takes over. Among them was the GTi TCR. The TCR slots between the Golf GTI Performance and Golf R, and packs a 290 PS (286 hp) turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. That’s 45 PS (44 bhp) more than the GTI and only 10 PS (10 bhp) less than the R. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission channels the output to the front wheels, for a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint time of 5.6 seconds, while top speed can be optionally increased from 250 to 260 km/h (155-162 mph). The new Golf GTI TCR stands out courtesy of a few exterior updates, such as the front splitter, side sill extensions, roof spoiler and diffuser, which are all specific to this model. It also gets 18-inch wheels, black side mirror caps, LED headlights, a front-axle differential lock and perforated brake discs. Clients can spec a new honeycomb foil for the side panels, black roof and carbon mirror caps. They can also choose between a couple of optional packages. The first one comes with the DCC adaptive suspension, sportier rear damping, increased V-max and 19-inch rims with 235/35 tyres. The second one gets the same features and adds semi-slicks for the (different) 19-inch wheels, and additional wheel locks with anti-theft protection. Opening the doors projects the TCR logo to the tarmac, and once inside, users will find front sports seats with new microfibre/fabric design, an exclusive sports steering wheel and red accents all around. Order books have already opened in Germany, where the starting price stands at €38,950. This places it exactly between the €33,625 Golf GTI Performance and the €41,175 Golf R, while the optional packages cost €2,350 and €3,200 respectively.

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Geneva marked the first show for the facelifted Passat, which will be launched in Germany this summer. This is an evolutionary design that closely echoes the current model. A closer inspection reveals a handful of subtle styling changes including a new front bumper, a revised grille and optional LED matrix headlights called IQ.Light. Designers also installed three-dimensional LED taillights, a new rear bumper and a sportier dual exhaust system. There are new wheels which range in sizes from 17- to 19-inches. Customers can also order a handful of new colours including Lapiz Blue, Bottlegreen and Sandgold. Bigger changes occur in the cabin as the drivers will find a new steering wheel, updated upholstery and new trim finishes. The analogue clock has also been jettisoned and replaced by a backlit Passat logo. Other updates include an 11.7-inch digital instrument cluster which is “considerably enhanced.” According to Volkswagen, it has improved graphic performance, better brightness and a higher pixel density than the previous display. One of the biggest changes is the all-new infotainment system known as MIB3. Available with 6.5-, 8.0- and 9.2-inch displays, the infotainment system has an integrated SIM card which allows for online connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot capability. The infotainment system also has more intuitive menus and support for natural voice controls. Speaking of the latter, drivers can simply say “Hello Volkswagen” and this will cause the system to listen for commands such as “I’d like to go to Jungfernstieg in Hamburg.” When something like this is heard, the system will automatically pull up GPS directions. iPhone owners will also be happy to learn the Passat now supports wireless Apple CarPlay. This means users no longer have to connect their iPhone to the car via a wired connection. Under the bonnet, there will be an assortment of different petrol and diesel engines. On the petrol side, there’s a 1.5-litre TSI which develops 148 bhp. There will also be two 2.0-litre TSIs with outputs of 187 bhp  and 268 bhp. Diesel fans get four options, including a new 2.0-litre TDI Evo developing 148 bhp. It will be joined by a 1.6-litre TDI with 118 bhp and two 2.0-litre TDIs developing 187 bhp and 236 bhp. The Passat GTE returns to the lineup with an improved plug-in hybrid system that features a larger 13 kWh lithium-ion battery. This gives the model a longer electric-only range of approximately 34 miles (55 km). The GTE features a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, a 113 bhp electric motor and a specially-developed six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. This enables the car to have a combined output of 215 hp. On the technology front, the Passat gains an assortment of driver assistance systems. These include emergency steering assist and an adaptive cruise control system with predictive cruise control. The latter uses GPS data to automatically slow the car before reaching bends or roundabouts. The system also uses a camera to watch for speed limit signs and can adjust itself to match the posted speed. That’s pretty impressive, but the big news is the addition of Travel Assist which replaces the previous Traffic Jam Assist system. Essentially a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system, Travel Assist enables the car to drive itself at speeds up to 130 mph (210 km/h). Since the system is only semi-autonomous, drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel. In order to sense this, the Passat features a capacitive steering wheel which can detect if drivers have their hands on the wheel. If the driver removes their hands for 10 seconds or more, a series of warning signals are activated. Should the driver fail to respond, the car will eventually bring itself to a halt.

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With the new Passat Variant R-Line Edition, Volkswagen is killing two birds with one stone: celebrating the launch of the facelifted iteration and marking almost 30 million units of the family car that have been sold over the years. Announced here, it will go on sale in Europe in two months time, with production capped at 2,000 units. All of them come with the brand’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system and are powered by the optional 240 PS (237 bhp) diesel or 272 PS (268 bhp) petrol engine. On the outside, the Passat Variant R-Line Edition sports a Moonstone Grey finish. The design is highlighted by a number of high-gloss black elements such as the roof, side window frames, headlight rims, rear diffuser and 19-inch alloy wheels. The roof rails, side mirror caps, roof-mounted spoiler and LED taillights also have a black look. The same scheme has been used inside, where black is the dominant colour. The car features front R-Line sports seats with fine-quality Nappa leather in the centre and carbon leather used for the side bolster, plus stainless steel pedals and side sills, and new ambient lighting. Volkswagen says the limited edition mid-size estate is equipped with a wide range of standard items, including the Digital Cockpit, 9.2-inch infotainment system with integrated SIM card and others. iPhone users can wirelessly integrate their smartphones into the system via Bluetooth, using Apple CarPlay. The LED Matrix headlights, Area View camera system and DCC adaptive damper control system are also part of the package, as is the Travel Assist, a function that provides semi-autonomous driving at speeds of up to 210 km/h (130 mph). This feature works by combining the front camera, Front Assist pedestrian monitoring system, Park Assist, Side Assist lane changing system and Adaptive Cruise Control, and requires drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.

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Top of the regular range is the Arteon and this was well represented here.

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There were lots of crossovers here, too. Several of them were the T-Roc.

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Joining the regular production cars was the concept T-Roc R, which marks the first time the “R” moniker is used on an SUV. Developed by Volkswagen R, the T-Roc R offers roughly the same power as a Golf R. It uses the same 2.0-litre TSI turbo-four that produces 300 PS (296 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. Hooked to a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and standard 4Motion all-wheel drive, the gasoline engine enables the T-Roc R to boast impressive performance for an SUV. The 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint takes just 4.9 seconds and top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). Naturally, VW did more than just transplant the high-output engine onto the T-Roc chassis. The SUV also gains a lowered suspension and a standard progressive steering system for improved cornering, while the 17-inch braking system sourced from the Golf R Performance helps bring the T-Roc R safely to a halt. Other performance-enhancing features include a launch control feature, a new “Race” driving mode, and the ability to manually switch off the Electronic Stability Control. Styling-wise, the Volkswagen T-Roc R offers plenty of clues regarding its performance potential. The body kit brings a unique radiator grille underlined by a polished silver band of anodized aluminum, beefier bumpers with large intakes at the front and vents at the rear, quad exhausts and exclusive 18-inch Spielberg alloys. Optionally, customers can get 19-inch Pretoria rims in dark graphite matte shod with 235/40 R19 tyres. Other minor styling tweaks include the chrome mirror caps, roof spoiler, slightly wider wheel arches, black brake calipers, and door add-ons in the color of the vehicle. Customers also have the option of choosing a black roof. Inside, the T-Roc R exhibits the same sporty ambiance thanks to many R-branded details, flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, a black headliner and stainless steel pedals. Compared to the regular T-Roc, the performance version features standard white ambient lighting, Shadow Steel “R” trim, ArtVelours microfiber seat cushion bolsters and modified foam inserts beneath the plastic elements, while options include features such a Nappa leather package and carbon inserts. The car is billed by VW “a near-production concept car,” but it’s pretty obvious that this is how the finished item will look like when it’s officially launched later this year.

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Also making its debut here was the V8 TDi version of the Touareg. The 4.0-litre V8 TDI unit delivers 421 PS (415 bhp) and a monumental 900 Nm (664 lb-ft) of torque. Hooked to an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard 4Motion AWD, the brawny engine enables the Touareg to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Interestingly, these performance specs are identical to the smaller T-Roc R that has half as many cylinders. In order to reassure customers who get easily restless when hearing the words “Volkswagen” and “diesel” pronounced in the same sentence, the automaker says the new V8 model complies with the Euro 6d-Temp emission standard. Customers who will go for the Touareg V8 TDI will get more than just a more powerful engine. Included in the package are goodies such as the air suspension, Vienna leather upholstery, power tailgate, comfort seats, an anti-theft alarm system, stainless steel pedals, automatic headlights, and automatically dimming exterior mirrors. Additionally, the Touareg V8 TDI comes equipped as standard with 19-inch Tirano alloys instead of Touareg V6 models’ 18-inch wheels. The eight-cylinder Touareg will be available in the standard Elegance design package or the Atmosphere package. The former offers an interior dominated by metal and cool color tones while the latter brings a warmer ambiance thanks to wood and natural tones. The VW Touareg V8 TDI will go on sale in European markets at the end of May, and as with the rest of the range, it won’t be sold in America.

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Also here were the Tiguan in standard and 7-seater form, the Touran, and the Caddy.

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ZENVO

Zenvo’s track-focused TSR-S hypercar has arrived at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show wearing a new ‘Grotta Azzura’ blue livery, named after a famous sea cave on the coast of the island of Capri. Aside from the blue paint, the Geneva show car also features white racing accents.

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Then there’s power, and the TSR-S has plenty of it, with its twin-supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine producing 1,177 HP (1,193 PS) at 8,500 rpm and more than 1,100 Nm (811 lb-ft) of peak torque. With the help of a motorsports-derived 7-speed paddle shift transmission, the Danish hypercar can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.8 seconds, while 0-200 km/h (124 mph) takes just 6.8 seconds. As for its top speed, it’s electronically limited to 325 km/h (202 mph). Other highlights include the active multi-axis Zentripetal Wing, which features two rotational axes enabling it to function both as an air brake as well as a cornering stabiliser, generating an inward force by tilting to one side or the other – you can check out how it works/looks right here. “Like all our cars, the Zenvo TSR-S is 100% Danish-designed and hand-built in an extremely limited number,” said marketing director Peter van Rooy. “Each car is fully customisable and built to order, tailored to the precise specifications of the discerning client. For example, the TSR-S show car presented in Geneva includes an airbag steering wheel and passenger airbag, something we didn’t feature on last year’s show car when we were looking to maximise weight reduction.”“In addition, we have added just a few of the extensive range of bespoke creature comforts that are available as non-cost options to owners, including climate control, an in-car multi-media installation and a hydraulic ride-height elevation system. There is also a highly intelligent track layout app that registers your performance & cornering, then offers instant advice for subsequent laps.”
Production of the TSR-S is currently underway, although the build schedule is limited to just five vehicles per year.

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So that concludes Geneva 2019. For sure not a vintage show, but there was plenty to look at, and it was well worth the trip. If the flight times work for you, you can do it in a day, as it is just a short walk from the terminal to the PalExpo, but if you want to see everything, you will have to be quite efficient in your tour around the halls and not longer anywhere. I flew out on the Monday morning, arriving around the time the doors opened, and left on the Tuesday afternoon, though I did have to take a fairly sizeable chunk out of the second day for some work calls that proved immoveable, so I took most of the photos on the first day. I was tired by evening time, and was grateful for the fact that I had managed to secure a room in the Ibis hotel that is at the PalExpo, as this also meant a relative lie-in the following morning. Whilst it had been drizzling on the first day, the second was gloriously sunny, so I did take a few minutes to grab some photos of the setting, which are presented here.

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The dates for the 2020 Show have already been announced, the 5 – 15 March. It is going to be interesting to see which manufacturers choose to attend and who decides not to bother. Let’s hope that the second of these is a very short list indeed.

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