The Week In Cars: Geneva Gems8th March 2015
After weeks of dribbled information and teaser images, the Geneva Motor Show 2015 is now in full swing With major launches from manufacturers across the globe, it’s been tough to call my top 10. From sportscars to 4x4s and even a 6×6, there’s something for everyone here.
Lexus have revealed one of their most distinctive cars yet, the LF-SA. I haven’t been the biggest fan of the ‘spindle’ grille up until now (looks too much like Predator’s mouth), but the arrowed elements make it work. Once you’ve got past the almost hypnotic nose, there’s plenty of chiselled lines adding visual muscle along with a coupe like sweep to the roof. Stunning turbine like wheels too. With the LF-SA around the same size as a Yaris, it could make quite a splash against the Mini and Audi A1.
The Civic Type R has finally been revealed in production guise, now wearing the traditional Championship White paint. Power is 310 PS allowing 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, not too shabby at all for a front driver. We also know it comes with a 6 speed manual, adaptive damping and a clever front hub design to reduce torque steer. Has Honda taken a feather duster to a gun fight? We shall see. One things for sure, the Focus RS might be the faster car but the Honda definitely looks better, even if it does have far too many exhaust pipes.
Bentley are suggesting a further range expansion with this, the concept EXP 10 Speed 6. This would slot below the Conti GT as a smaller, more nimble two seat only sports car. Bentley have done a good job of incorporating their style into a much sportier car, creating quite a looker in the process. There is no mention of engines but the 4.0 turbo V8 seems a good bet if it were to make production. I wouldn’t be surprised if it did, it’s not overly outlandish for a concept and the Porsche developed platform for the new Panamera could be used and is headed for Bentley anyway.
The new 911 GT3-RS has been officially revealed and it’s a bit of a monster. There’s a 4.0 litre version of the direct injection flat 6 with 500bhp and 460Nm of torque. Plenty of cars at Geneva have more power but not many that will rev to 9000rpm and sound this good. Weight is down by 10kg thanks to a magnesium roof and carbon panels. It doesn’t sound much but this now has the Turbo’s wide body, scaffolding in the back and a dirty great big rear wing. Of everything that’s been released at Geneva, this is the car I want the most.
Aston Martin showed this all electric GT-on stilts, the DBX. While recognisably an Aston, it is a very different animal to the current range. The DBX has one electric motor per wheel for 4WD dependability and plenty of performance when you put your foot down. Overall I think it’s a handsome car and some of the detailing is gorgeous, especially inside. Aston are hinting that something similar will enter production, probably with an AMG motor under the bonnet. If the BMW X6 is anything to go by, it’ll probably be a hit.
Audi had plenty of versions of their new R8 at Geneva, as well as the V10 and V10 Plus, there was a GT3 racing version and perhaps most interestingly, the e-tron. Audi have teased the idea of an electric R8 before, even building a few versions before deciding to keep it a prototype due to range concerns. Such is the rate of progress with batteries, they’ve now decided to make it available on special request. Range is a respectable 280 miles with a full charge taking less than 2 hours. The e-tron isn’t slow either, 0-60 takes just 3.9 seconds.
0-249 in less than 20 seconds, that’s what Koenigsegg’s latest car the Regera is apparently capable of. To put this into perspective, a Veyron takes over 30 seconds longer to reach that speed. How? An 1100bhp V8 and over 600bhp spread over 3 electric motors. That’s one on the engine and one for each rear wheel. Not only is it savagely fast, it can also run for up to 20 miles on electric power alone. Fun fact, there is no traditional gearbox, it’s a single speed but with a hydraulic connection acting as a clutch and the electric motors helping with torque. Insane doesn’t even get close to describing this.
This is the Volkswagen Sport Coupé Concept GTE, a preview of the next VW CC 4 door coupe. Powered by a turbo V6 and electric motors giving 380bhp, expect to see it toned down and with some dreary diesels when it hits showrooms. I have to admit, I’m a big fan of the looks even in this shade of yellow, I love the way the headlights melt into the grille while the simple yet sharp lines make many of the other cars on display look messy. A big improvement on the old car if they don’t bottle it while it gets productionised.
Lamborghini look to be back on form after the disappointing Huracan with the Aventador SV. The recipe is a familiar one, less weight more power and even more extreme looks. 50kg has been shed while power is up to 740bhp from 691. All four wheels are driven allowing 0-60 in 2.8 seconds with top speed over 217mph. As is tradition, the SV gets a massive rear wing, even more aggressive front and rear bumpers along with a few not so subtle SV stickers. I can’t wait to hear one of these in action.
Before the show begun, I had assumed that the most imposing off-roader at Geneva would be Mercedes’ G-Wagen 4×4². I was spectacularly wrong, UK based Kahn Design blew the Germans into the weeds with the nutty Flying Huntsman 6×6. Based on a Land Rover Defender, the bonnet is extended to house a 6.2 litre V8 and 6 speed automatic gearbox. The main body is then also stretched to give a bit more room for people and that third axle. If that wasn’t enough, it’s much wider than a normal Defender thanks to those big bolt on arches. If you want one and have a couple of hundred thousand spare, Kahn will probably build you one.