2015 Geneva Motor Show - Best In Show
Even though the 2015 Geneva Motor Show officially closed its gates, many of the cars unveiled at Europe’s most important automotive event are still sending ripples through the atmosphere. I decided to choose which Geneva launches made the best and most-lasting impressions. As most of you will agree, not all vehicles unveiled at the Swiss auto show were received with enthusiasm, but I think the "best in show" more than make up for the "worst in show" cars.
That said, you should keep in mind that I had a lot of trouble compiling the following list. since there were so many great cars to choose from, many of which fiercely competed to earn their places in the spotlight. The subsequent five models are in no particular order, as each one could earn the title of "Best in Show" at this year’s Geneva.
Continue reading to learn what models from Geneva I liked best.
Essentially a much-improved successor to the 458 Italia, the 488 GTB has a new design and engine, and offers a new take on the eight-cylinder, mid-engine model in the Ferrari lineup. Despite being called 488 - which in Ferrari-speak would normally mean that it has a 4.8-liter V-8 – the model is actually powered by a 3.9-liter V-8. On the other hand, Ferrari may have named it that way because it delivers the same output as a model with a naturally aspirated 4.8-liter engine, taking cues from how some German carmakers name their models.
With its twin-turbocharged, 3.9-liter V-8 with 661 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, the 488 GTB opens a new chapter in the history of turbocharged Ferraris. It looks to the future, thanks to its improved fuel economy, while also harking back to 40-year old classics like the 308 GTB — especially in terms of design elements and nomenclature. With improved downforce and an even more slippery design thanks to its active aerodynamic devices, the 488 GTB seems to bring Ferrari back into the fight with McLaren, who had recently upped the ante with its 650S and now with the 675 LT.
After Bentley was acquired by the Volkswagen Group following a fierce bidding war with BMW, the Continental GT was the first all-new model to be unveiled, taking the 2003 Geneva Motor Show by storm. Exactly 12 years after Bentley launched the luxury two-door, it returned to the Geneva Motor Show with another coupe, only this time in concept car form, previewing a future production model. The EXP 10 Speed 6 thus marks Bentley’s first foray into the front-engine sports-car segment, with its production version set to battle cars like the Jaguar F-Type Coupe, upcoming Maserati Alfieri and even the Mercedes-AMG GT.
That said, the road-going version of the Speed Six will probably cost at least 50 percent more than its rivals, while also offering a bit more exclusivity and improved long-distance comfort. Bentley hasn’t revealed any technical details about the concept car, instead focusing on testing the waters with the model’s design. From that point of view alone, I see the Speed Six as a winner, but it will also depend on if the production version stays true to the original Speed Six’s name and features a six-cylinder engine.
Although Aston Martin has been using the same VH (Vertical/Horizontal) platform for all its models since the first-generation Vanquish in 2001, it has managed to launch a number of highly distinctive cars over the last 14 years. Until 2015, its most ferocious model had been the mighty One-77, but at this year’s Geneva Motor Show Aston took it up a notch. Set to compete with track-only models like the Ferrari FXX K or the McLaren P1 GTR, the new Aston Martin Vulcan is arguably the most exhilarating model in the company’s 102 years history.
The front-mid-engine model is equipped with the most powerful iteration of Aston’s V-12 powerplant. From a giant displacement of 7.0-liters and using good old natural aspiration, the Vulcan’s V-12 delivers at least 800 horsepower, delivered to the 345/30 R19 rear tires through a transaxle, six-speed, sequential transmission. Every detail about the Vulcan is race-spec, which is why you will sadly never see one on the street.
Porsche decided to take the 2015 Geneva Motor Show by storm by introducing not one, but two sports cars for the brand’s die-hard fans. From the two, it is the Cayman GT4 that connects best with old-school aficionados, especially those who frowned at Porsche for making the new GT3 available with a PDK transmission only. Powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six with 385 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, the GT4 sends it all to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission exclusively, making it a unique proposition in the modern Porsche lineup, especially when it comes to GT cars.
Speaking of which, the new GT4 is the first Cayman GT version, with the first generation said to have been missing one because it would have eaten too much from 911 sales. Porsche seems to have left those fears aside nowadays, because the GT4 is the first production Cayman that is more powerful than a 911, something which says a lot about the model’s credentials, along with the motorsport-derived body kit and track-ready suspension.
If you ever wanted to feel like those racing drivers competing in the Porsche SuperCup, the new 911 GT3 RS is the closest thing to a production 911 RSR. Equipped with a 4.0-liter flat-six that delivers 500 horsepower at a screaming 8,250 rpm and 339 pound-feet of torque, the RS apparently features a new powerplant that is not derived from any existing Porsche engine. Unlike the Cayman GT4, the 911 GT3 RS only comes with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission, as Porsche believes that the model is all about lap times and track efficiency.
With less weight, more power and even a "Pit Speed" button on the center console, the most hardcore GT3 model in history should be quite a blast on the world’s circuits, while also featuring enough creature comforts to be used as a daily driver. Almost every detail on the model is derived from motorsport, which is probably why you won’t be seeing too many examples in your local Costco parking lot. The only downside I see with it is the lack of RS-specific stickers on the body, but the hardcore aerodynamics kind of make up for it.