The Geneva Motor Show 2016 is now open to the public, but lucky motoring journalists have already seen the many, many four-wheelers on display.
The thing is, what cars are worth your time? To spare you some of the less interesting (and the downright awful) cars on show, we rounded up the very best, including the Veyron’s successor, a six-seater Bentley and a sporty Fiat 500, to name a few.
The Bugatti Chiron was actually not the most powerful car on show (and by some margin, remarkably), but the difference is that it’s real, here right now and makes its Veyron predecessor look older than Jeremy Corbyn’s suit. Not only is the £1.9-million price tag insane, it has a whopping 1,479bhp generated by a revised 8.0-litre W16 quad turbo engine borrowed from the Veyron. With a 261mph top speed and 0-62mph sprint of 2.5 seconds, this is as ‘hyper’ as hypercars get.
Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg’s Regera hybrid has been around a while, scaring just about everything in its path, but it turned up in Geneva in a new, jaw-dropping orangey-red paintjob. If there’s one car that will give the Chiron sleepless nights, it’s this 1,800hp hybrid monster that is said to be capable of 0-180mph in 10.9 seconds. What it lacks in a technological punch it makes up for with sheer grunt and stunning looks.
Porsche 911 R
Porsche have always been cars for petrolheads so when a purist version with 500hp, a manual gearbox and weight-saving aplenty comes along, it’s time to break open the piggy bank. Not only is the Porsche 911 R the lighest 911 available, it’s capable of 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and costs from £136,901. Go-faster stripes come standard. Boy, do we want one.
AC Schnitzer ACL2
If the BMW M cars seem a bit tame, wait until you see the AC Schnitzer ACL2. Okay, so the trademark green and red paintjob is questionable but it’s credentials are not. It has 562hp, beating the M5, M4, M3 and M2, allowing it to smash from standing to 62mph in 3.9 seconds before topping out at 205mph. Even Alpina should be afraid.
Ssangyong Tivoli XLV
Not everything at Geneva was gut-wrenchingly fast. The Ssangyong Tivoli is, quite honestly, glacial in comparison but we liked the standard car and so news of a 238mm longer version aimed at families is worthy of a mention. It’s undoubtedly going to be cheap, too.
Ignore the stupid name, this is the 2+2 FF’s successor – and that was a formidable car that married a V12 with four seats. The GTC4Lusso is all-wheel drive and benefits from a 29bhp power hike, taking the total to 680bhp. 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds and a 208mph top speed make this a show favourite – especially if you appreciate the breadvan styling as much as we do.
Audi decided to bolster the Q range with the Q2, a compact crossover that will grace the UK with its presence in July, 2016. Small it may be (it’s the smallest in the Q range, in fact), but it shares many SUV elements such as a big-old boot and an automatic tailgate. Quattro all-wheel drive will be an option on one engine and standard on the range-topping 2.0-litre TFSI.
Abarth 124 Spider
The Fiat 124 was on show in Geneva but it’s the Abarth version we are most keen on. Okay, so it’s expensive (around £29,000, the same price as the Ford Focus RS) but it’s an extremely lightweight car based on the MX-5 and has 170hp. Can Abarth really get it that wrong? Come on, it looks like a baby Dodge Viper.
Ford Fiesta ST200
Ford has ruled out a Fiesta RS so the ST200 and its 10 per cent power hike over the standard ST should at least console some enthusiasts. 197bhp and 290Nm of torque is one hell of a punch in a small hatchback, especially one that’s as competent. You will never need the 143mph top speed but it’s nice to know you could, in theory, get there. Eventually.
Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner
The award for the longest car name at Geneva goes to Bentley, for a car that’s even longer. Bentley has stretched the Mulsanne and given it a luxury boost to create the Grand Limousine by Mulliner, including rear seats that allow the passengers to face each other and special glass that can go from clear to opaque at the touch of a button. One for people who prefer to be driven around.
Not wanting to miss the SUV popularity boat, Seat unveiled its own intepretation called the Ateca. It looks a bit like the Ibiza, but has more ground clearance, a 485-litre boot and similar dimensions to the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson. Full UK specs will be announced on the 1st of May, 2016, but Seat was kind enough to tell us it will start from £17,990.
We feel like a stuck record when it comes to the new NSX, such is the drip-feed of details. At least the car was actually at Geneva and Honda was kind enough to give us a price. Starting from £130,000, it sits between the Audi R8 V10 and V10 Plus. Unlike its German competition, however, it uses a hybrid powertrain that generates 550bhp.
DS Automobiles debuted the impressive-looking E-Tense concept, which is said to ‘signal’ the manufacturer’s future intentions. Based on the fact the all-electric E-Tense grand tourer emits zero CO2 emissions yet offers a tasty 402hp and 516Nm of torque, the future could be as bright as the paintjob. One of the prettiest cars at Geneva, it must be said.
VW T-Cross Breeze
With the focus still very much on the emission scandal, VW is taking a less shouty approach to news. But the T-Cross Breeze, which is a Polo-sized (the car, not the mint) convertible sports utility vehicle, is no shrinking violet. It has a soft-top, dinky 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine and shouty styling that turned a lot of heads in Geneva. Best of all, VW plans to make it.
Fans of the elegant 500 supermini may find a sporty version odd, especially with Abarth already offering something more aggressive. But one look at the 500S and its new front bumper, rear bumper and spoiler and it all makes sense. It’s a pretty car made more boisterous, especially in the new ‘Electronica Blue’ paintjob (pictured). On sale in the summer of 2016, but no word on the exact UK specs.
Vauxhall GT Concept
It’s been ages since Vauxhall made a concept car. Now we have the GT Concept, complete with windows that run seamlessly into the doors (or is that doors that run seamlessly into the windows?), red tyres, two cameras that replace the door mirrors and voice control for the infotainment system. Some love it. Some hate it. At least it’s different, eh?
Skoda provided show-goers with a look at the VisionS, a six-seater concept that is said to provide a hint at future SUVs from the Czech manufacturer. The ‘Island Green’ VisionS has a hybrid powertrain that creates 225hp from a 1.4-litre turbo petrol and two electric motors. Meanwhile a smart four-wheel drive system helps it remain efficient at all times, but provide added traction when things get slippy.
Mazda loves a good rotary engine and so it makes sense for one to feature in the RX-Vision sports car concept. By using the Skyactiv-R engine, the RX-Vision can sit extremely close to the road. Besides looking stunning, the RX-Vision promises rear-wheel drive fun in a lightweight package.
Ferrari may have said it will never build an SUV, but fellow Italian Maserati already has and it has finally been unveiled officially. The Levante is a luxury SUV that promises a comfortable cruising and a choice of 3.0-litre engines, ranging from a 275hp turbodiesel to a Ferrari-designed and manufactured 430hp twin-turbo V6 petrol. Expect to pay from £54,000 when it goes on sale in the UK in the summer.
The Renault Scenic in a best car list? Yes, that may seem a tad strange but boy does the new version of the MPV look good, considering it’s essentially a fish tank on wheels. Highlights include a three-piece windscreen that provides a panoramic view and increased ground clearance for tackling the great outdoors.