Opel Ampera/Chevy Volt
Apart from winning the 2012 Car of the Year award, it’s a plug-in hybrid car that looks good too. The specs? It has a 150hp electric motor along with 370Nm of torque, with a claimed range of up to 80km (50miles) on a fully charged battery pack. Its 1.4-litre engine is there only to power a generator when the battery range is low (the engine doesn’t send power to the wheels at any time) – which then extends the range to 500km. It is expensive though – prices start at CHF 52,900 (around $57,000) in Switzerland.
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
The F12 Berlinetta drew a huge crowd on press day. It was easily one of the most anticipated cars of the show – and with 740hp, it’s easy to see why. Its 6.3-litre V12 engine is the most powerful of any Ferrari road car, which definitely makes it a standout car. However powerful the engine might be, the design might divide opinion – looking a bit similar to the FF at the front. However, all is certainly forgotten as you approach its 212mph top speed.
Toyota GT-86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S
Last year, the Toyota brand had nothing exciting to offer in its range. However this year, they have made a comeback with a modern incarnation of their beloved Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 from the 1980s. Developed in partnership with Subaru, the 1,180kg coupe comes equipped with a 2.0-litre flat-four engine developing around 200hp, and can get from 0-60mph in 7 seconds, and reach a top speed of 143mph.
Peugeot 208 GTI Concept
The Peugeot 208 GTI Concept is a preview of what Peugeot claims will be the recapturing of the glory days of the 205 GTi from the 1980s. Recently, Peugeot have been criticized by the motoring press for making underwhelming performance variants of their hatchbacks – being a bit dull and failing to engage the driver as several of their older hot hatches did. Peugeot intends to address these shortcomings with the 208 GTi – it will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine producing anywhere between 155hp to 200hp. We should expect an unveiling some time next year.
Lexus GS 450h
The new Lexus GS 450h stands out for having a rather nice design, as well as a very upscale interior with comfortable soft seats. Previous GS models left you rather indifferent in terms of visual impact, but in the flesh, the new GS shows that Lexus definitely tried harder to lure potential customers away from Mercedes Benz, Audi, and BMW. Several GS variants are available depending on the market; however the GS 450h comes equipped with a hybrid 3.5-litre V6 outputting 338hp.
Lamborghini Aventador J
Not to be outdone by Ferrari, Lamborghini had the one-off Aventador J at their stand. It has the same 700hp 6.5-litre V12 engine as the normal Aventador, minus the roof and windscreen. To complement the wild design, it was given a rather dazzling red paint finish. Lamborghini insists that the Aventador J is not a concept car, and that the car has actually been sold for €2.1million – making it one of the most exclusive cars in the world.
Mercedes Benz A-Class
The new Mercedes Benz A-Class marks a radical turn away from the previous model – it now features a more traditional hatchback shape, and is immediately more appealing to a wider range of buyers than its MPV-like predecessor. The new A-Class comes with a number of turbocharged petrol and diesel engine options, with some being produced by Renault-Nissan. And, with a rumoured hot hatch under development – producing around 350hp – the new A-Class looks ready to take on the Audi RS3 and upcoming BMW M135i.
Citroen DS4 Racing Concept
Citroen released photos and information on the Citroen DS4 Racing Concept merely a few day before the Geneva Motor Show, and we can easily conclude that it looks as good in person as it did on the photos. There’s no word on when or if the concept will go into production, but if it does we can expect it to come equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine producing more than 250hp. Let’s hope Citroen builds it.
Skoda Citigo, VW up!, and Seat Mii
These are the latest city car offerings from the VW group, and they turned heads in Geneva just as much as the exotic supercars. Their nice designs and simplicity, as well as their affordability, not only makes these three little cars very sensible buys, but fun to drive too.
For those of you not familiar with Ruf, they gained recognition for being Porsche specialists, and for producing the CTR (aka Yellowbird) in 1987. The Yellowbird was able to reach a 211mph top speed, making it the fastest car in the world before the arrival of the Jaguar XJ220. With six new models and a classic “whale tail” on display, it made Ruf one of the Geneva favourites.
Bentley EXP 9 F Concept
There’s nothing wrong with Bentley wanting to produce an upmarket SUV. But everything – without question – was wrong with the design of the EXP 9 F Concept. The press and public united in horror of the looks of this concept car – so much so that Bentley is taking the EXP 9 F back to the drawing board. Good move Bentley! Good Move!