Times are tough for car manufacturers, but there is still a lot to get excited about as our 2018 Geneva Motor Show best new cars round-up demonstrates.
As car shows go, the 2018 Geneva Motor Show is rather important. With a shift to electric cars, stalling sales and autonomous driving, now more than ever car manufacturers need to entice the public.
Luckily, then, there have been some impressive cars to feast your eyes on. Here is our pick of the bunch, complete with what makes them special.
Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio Nürburgring Edition
There is no denying the Quadrifoglio versions of the Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV are very capable, but then some carbon Sparco race seats, uprated carbon ceramic brakes and some aesthetic tweaks serve to make the Nurburgring Editions even more tempting.
Abarth 124 GT
The new Mazda MX-5 was given a retractable hard-top and its sister car, the Abarth 124 Spider, is following suit in the form of the Abarth 124 GT. You still get a fabric roof to protect you from the elements, it’s just there is a more solid alternative you can slap on when the weather is misbehaving.
Aston Martin Vantage
To help compete with rivals, the latest Aston Martin Vantage comes with 503bhp developed by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. New additions besides the engine include a more potent induction and exhaust system. Top speed is 195mph and 0-62mph takes 3.6 seconds.
Bentley Bentayga hybrid
Combining absolute luxury and eco-friendly credentials is the Bentley Bentayga plug-in hybrid, which can go around 31 miles (50km) without using a drop of fuel and CO2 emissions are just 75g/km. Power comes from a 3.0-litre V6 and an electric motor.
Bugatti Chiron Sport
Why settle for a standard Bugatti Chiron when you can enjoy the Sport version, which is as powerful but uses various carbon fibre and race-inspired adjustments to make it better suited for circuit-based destruction.
Seat has made the Cupra brand its own thing and the first car to launch the performance brand will be the 296bhp Cupra Ateca. Power is delivered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol and sent to the wheels, all four of them if need be, via a seven-speed DSG gearbox. 0-62mph takes 5.4 seconds and the top speed is 152mph.
Ferrari 488 Pista
Got a spare £215,000-ish? The Ferrari Pista, all 711bhp of it, could be the car for you. Pista being the Italian word for track, which indicates the fact it is lighter and faster. Torque is an equally tasty 568lb/ft, helping it launch from 0-124mph in 7.6 seconds before topping out at 211mph.
Ford Mustang Bullitt
A special edition version of the facelifted Ford Mustang is another show highlight, mainly because we adored the original car. In its Bullit guise, it celebrates 50 years of the 1968 movie in which Steve McQueen puts a Mustang to the limit when being chased by criminals in a Dodge Charger.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Believe it or not, the Hyundai Kona Electric could be a major stepping stone for electric cars. There is no word on a price, but the electrified compact crossover should be cheap enough to make its 64.2kWh battery (good for nearly 300 miles) very tempting, indeed.
Another important car, although sneaking just under £60,000 means the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace is a more luxury purchase than the Kona. Not only is it very fast and very green (if you charge it with green energy sources, that is), it offers SUV levels of space in a car about as long as the XE saloon.
Gone is the apostrophe, often mocked by Jeremy Clarkson. Now the Kia Ceed comes in a much more stylish package, complete with a superior interior and the same reassuring seven-year 100,000-mile warranty. A Sportswagon version also debuted, which has a bigger boot than a BMW 5 Series Touring and Ford Mondeo Estate.
The Lexus UX is a compact crossover designed for the ‘urbanite’ of the future (whatever that is). What we do know is that it looks rather fetching and will be a rival to the Volvo XC40 and other slightly posh alternatives. A four-wheel drive hybrid variant, the UX 250h, will be available.
Yet another estate, this time it is the turn of the Mazda6 Tourer. Besides revised looks (hello, LED headlights), Mazda is said to have adjusted the way it drives to make it more palatable and the interior more livable. Think new technology, new seats and new powertrains, details of which are being kept under wraps.
This British beast has already been unveiled, but the McLaren Senna is currently wowing showgoers at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. 789bhp and a top speed of 211mph makes it as hyper as hypercars get, it certainly appears worthy of its reference to the late Ayrton Senna. You would have paid £750,000 or £1million for the Carbon Theme edition but all have now sold.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Despite an iffy reputation, the latest Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a decent machine and the update coming in 2019 could continue to undo the stigma of the past. Not only will it have 15 per cent more battery capacity, you can expect revised looks and a 2.4-litre Atkinson-cycle engine.
Nissan IMx Kuro concept
Kuro means black in Japanese and that is one of the colour seen on the Nissan IMx Kuro electric crossover concept vehicle on show at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Two electric motors provide all-wheel drive capability and 516lb/ft (700Nm) of torque. It was originally known as the IMx, but significant revisions have earned it the new Kuro moniker. The new Leaf, a car you can actually buy right now, is also on display.
Peugeot designers are on a bit of a roll recently, what with the brilliant 3008 and 5008 SUVs showing how an interior is done, and the 2018 Geneva Motor Show continues that upward trajectory. The Peugeot 508 saloon wants to be a rival to Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes and, based on how it looks at least, may be in with a shot at the executive saloon market.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Modest makeover or not, an extra 20bhp from the 4.0-litre flat-six is nothing to sniffed at. Nor is the 911 GT3 RS itself, which can hit 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 194mph, in part thanks to its specially calibrated PDK gearbox.
Rimac Concept Two ‘C_Two’
If the numbers of the Rimac Concept Two, aka the C_Two, are accurate, this is the most hyper hypercar there has ever been. You get 1,913hp instead of the Concept One’s 1,073hp, bringing the 0-60mph down to 1.9 seconds and the top speed up to 258mph. Range, meanwhile, is said to be 310 miles courtesy of its 120kWh capacity battery.
While the fifth-generation Toyota Supra is still being kept under wraps, you can see a highly modified version of it. The Toyota Gazoo Racing Supra Racing Concept features serious aerodynamic action, as well as racing components ranging from a detachable steering wheel to a couple of fire extinguishers. As for that ’90’ reference on the side, that is a sneaky nod to its Supra A80 predecessor.