Geneva Motor Show
"You don’t need to spend zillions to own a super car"
The Geneva Motor Show is one of the greatest car shows in the world, making it an obligatory annual pilgrimage for the majority of us petrol-head scribblers.
This year has to be a chart topper for gob-smacking motor cars, and certainly for the first time ever, I am leaving the show thinking that if God gave me all the money I deserve with a choice of just one car at the show, I’d be in a decision making crisis! I think I’d need about £6 million to leave this show ‘satisfied’ and it would take me a lifetime to drive them all.
It’s a nice problem to have though, and certainly a sign that the motor industry is booming. And while I’m in dreamland, a selection are worthy of mention. The Ferrari FF GTC4 makes its world debut at Geneva. It’s an enhancement of Ferrari’s most usable car to date; a genuine four seater all-purpose Ferrari. Based on the accomplished FF the GTC 4 gets a new front grille with integrated air intakes, a roof mounted spoiler and triple fence diffuser improving the car’s aerodynamic performance over its predecessor. Its dual cockpit architecture is another first, allowing passengers to have their own digital performance readouts ahead of them.
Positioned right next to it is the fabulous Ferrari F12, a car previously tested in these pages, generating 730 bhp of pure motoring bliss. Ferraris just get better and better…and more expensive.
And so do Lamborghini’s motors, the fabulous Aventador SV making its debut here too. It does 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds. That car is beyond beautiful, it is Nefertiti on wheels. There seems more money around at this show than ever before, with many cars retailing well over the hundred thousand mark; in fact the McLaren P1 retails at around £866,000, yet it is rumoured the owner of this car may have well spent another 200k having the whole body made of carbon fibre, as you would! Add to that the debut of the sensational Porsche 911 R, a beautiful back-to-basics Porsche and that completes the equation for the big performers reinforcing their podium positions. Small manufacturers don’t stand a chance any more.
Day to day luxury or driving fun?
Thankfully the new Bentley Bentayga concept car featuring at Geneva last year threatened to be ugly, but Bentley responded to public reaction and it is now well proportioned, no longer ugly and probably the most luxurious and well-made 4x4 on the market. An SUV generating 600 bhp with a top speed of 187 mph and a £160,000 price tag – done just as we like them. If this car drives as well as it looks and is built, Bentley’s coffers will be full. Step forward also Maserati who have produced their first ever SUV, the Levante, looking to expand their buyer profile even further.
You don’t need to spend zillions to own a ‘super car’, on all accounts you just need enough funds to get behind the wheel of the new Focus RS, Golf GTI Clubsport, the Porsche GT4, the new BMW M2 or the Honda Civic Type R and your Viagra curiosity is satisfied, or so say those fortunate few who have driven them. We tested the new Civic Type R in OX, and will revisit the car in more detail soon. Keen drivers: make it your mission to drive one of these cars before you die.
That brings us to the cars the stats show we buy most, which as it happens are also very exciting. As we’ve often said the bigger challenge to a car manufacturer is to produce a great car for money many people can afford. That’s hard, but Ford proved it can be done with the new Fiesta 1.0 litre eco tec. The new Vauxhall Astra has complemented the Corsa by demonstrating that Vauxhall too can build high quality finished cars just like
Volkswagen. Suzuki demonstrated brand confidence with a very impressive display of their current range, with the new Suzuki Baleno making its debut at the show. It features the first application of the Suzuki developed 1.0 litre Boosterjet direct injection turbo charged engine that saves fuel whilst maximising engine performance.
The new Jeep Cherokee Overland also debuted at the show. This new top of the line model is equipped with the 2.2 litre MultiJet II 200 horsepower turbo diesel engine and nine-speed automatic transmission, and 18 inch wheels. The interior is clad in premium leather and wood and features an Alpine Premium sound system with Uconnect radio and an 8.4 inch touch screen display.
Of all the wonderful cars at the show, but the one that surprised us most is this; It’s a Mazda. Yes, the Mazda RX VISION, a genuine show stopper that had us all drooling! OK so it’s a ‘concept’ car, but if Mazda take it to full production and sell it at an affordable price, Mazdas will never be the same again. There are no details about the car yet, other than the prospect of a new Wankel engine but, hey, Mazda just do it.
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