2015 Geneva Motor Show - Preview
First held in 1905, the Geneva Motor Show has hosted debuts for some of the world’s greatest vehicles, ranging from power-packing supercars to the most fuel-efficient hybrids. Highlights from the past include the Jaguar E-Type, Range Rover Classic, Lotus Carlton, and the 1989 Corvette ZR-1, just to name a few. More recently, Geneva has brought us the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and the 991-generation Porsche 911 GT3. While last year’s edition was rather modest in that department, with only 40 debuts compared to more than 100 in 2013, things seem to pick up in 2015, with at least 60 world debuts on display.
Making things even better is that no fewer than eight incredibly powerful supercars are waiting to show themselves to the world, with an additional 15 concept cars providing us with a glimpse of the future. With the likes of Koenigsegg, McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin all getting ready to unveil their latest creations, the Geneva Motor Show is arguably 2015’s most exciting auto show yet. With the 85th edition just around the corner, I rounded up a preview of the most important vehicles set to break cover in Switzerland’s second-most populous city, starting March 3rd.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.
Where Is It And When Is It?
The 2015 Geneva Motor Show will be held at the Geneva Palexpo, a convention center located next to the Geneva Cointrin International Airport. The show is open to the public Thursday, March 5th through Sunday, March 15th. The press days are held on March 3rd and 4th. Tickets cost CHF16 ($16.8 as of 02/25/2015) for adults, CHF9 (around $9.5) for children aged 6 to 16, pensioners and disabled persons, and are available for purchase here.
The Geneva Palexpo convention center can be accessed by using the city’s Public Transport Network (TPG), either bus or tram, by train or by road. Those attending the show using their own car need to know parking facilities will be made available exclusively to Motor Show visitors in three parking areas situated within a five-km (three-mile) perimeter of Palexpo. You can learn more about how to get to the Geneva Motor Show here.
Vehicles on Display
Supercar enthusiasts will have plenty of exhibits to drool on, starting with the Koenigsegg Agera RS. The Swedes have been rather mysterious about this new hypercar, which is why it’s not yet clear whether the RS will slot between the Agera R and the bonkers One:1 or will be a track-only version of the Agera R, in the vein of the Ferrari FXX K and McLaren P1 GTR. Whatever the case, expect it to feature a new version of the twin-turbocharged, 5.0-liter V-8 engine found in every other current Koenigsegg, and make a lot of noise under throttle.
The Agera RS is not the only Koenigsegg we’ll get to see in Geneva. The small Swedish manufacturer is also bringing the Regera, and, along with it, a new approach for Koenigsegg. Unlike its siblings, the Regera will also pack "700 horsepower electrical motors" to go with the familiar twin-turbo V-8, which could result in a total output of around 2,000 horsepower. If this proves to be the case, the Regera may become the new most-powerful and fastest production, street-legal supercar.
The 488 GTB will arguably be one of the main stars of this year’s Geneva Motor Show. There are two reasons for that. First, it replaces the mighty 458 Italia. Second, it’s Ferrari’s first entry-level supercar to ditch the naturally aspirated V-8 in favor of a turbocharged unit. The engine in question displaces only 3.9 liters compared to the 4.5 liters of its predecessor, but the turbocharger helps it crank out a whopping 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, a 66-pony and 162-pound-feet improvement over the 458 Italia. The output increase also makes it the second-fastest Ferrari around the Fiorano track, second only to the LaFerrari. Add the gorgeous, redesigned exterior and the revamped cabin and the end result is a stunning supercar that will gather massive crowds of enthusiasts at the company’s stand.
The McLaren 675LT is the latest iteration of the 650S, and the Brits describe it as a "track-focused development" of it. Although we have yet to see it in the metal, we already know the 675LT is a long-tailed version of the 650S built with a nod to the F1 GTR "Long Tail" which competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance races of the late 1990s. The supercar will come to life as a limited-production vehicle that’s lighter, more aerodynamic, and more powerful than any other 650S as of 2015. The same award-winning, twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 motivates the 675LT, but McLaren tweaked it to deliver 666 horsepower and up to 516 pound-feet of twist. It’s believed only 250 examples of the 675LT will be built, each likely to fetch in excess of $500,000.
The P1 GTR isn’t exactly new, but, unlike the supercar we saw at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Geneva version is ready to hit the production line. Not much has changed since 2014, aside from the green-and-yellow livery, but that’s not to say the P1 GTR will go unnoticed among other hypercars showcased in Geneva. Its aggressive body kit, stunning livery and the fact that you simply can’t own one unless you already bought a road-going P1 will likely make the P1 GTR a show-stopper. Did I mention the updated hybrid drivetrain cranks out 986 horsepower, 83 more than the P1’s standard combo?
Described as the "brand’s most intense and exhilarating creation to date," the Vulcan represents Aston Martin’s maiden venture into a segment Ferrari invented a couple of decades ago. I’m talking about track-exclusive supercars built in very limited quantities and sold to select customers for outrageous stickers. For the their hard-earned money, buyers will receive one of only 24 examples built. It has a unique design that is said to preview future Aston Martin products, a sexy aerodynamic body kit, and a massive 7.0-liter V-12 engine tuned to generate more than 800 horsepower. That’s Ferrari FXX K and McLaren P1 GTR stuff right there, which is a lot, given Aston Martin’s current financial hardship.
The second-generation R8 is yet another brand-new supercar set to break cover in Geneva. Redesigned from the ground up on the underpinnings of the all-new Lamborghini Huracan, the R8 is expected to feature a new front grille, slimmer headlamps, and less rounded angles all around. The changes put the R8 in line with other current Audi products, including the Q7 SUV. Drivetrain modifications will include a more-powerful 5.2-liter V-10 engine, an updated six-speed manual transmission as standard and a seven-speed S tronic available as an option. Naturally, the company’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system will be there to deliver extra grip and better handling. As for the base 4.2-liter V-8 mill, word has it Audi will no longer offer it in the R8.
This year’s Geneva Motor Show is extremely important for Bugatti. Although the French brand has nothing new to show, the event will be used to bid farewell to the mighty Veyron, which just became sold out as Bugatti completed the 450th and final example of its record-setting supercar. Dubbed "La Finale," the Veyron that puts an end to a 10-year production cycle has yet to be revealed as of February 2015, but Bugatti did say it will be delivered to a customer from the Middle East once the Geneva Motor Show closes its doors. It’s safe to assume the "La Finale" was built to custom specifications, with many bespoke features inside and out. As usual, the drivetrain remains unchanged, meaning this instant collectible is motivated by 1,183 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of twist coming from the massive 8.0-liter W-16 powerplant. If you’re planning to join the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, make sure you stop at the Bugatti stand for some history in the making.
It’s been four years since Lamborghini introduced the Aventador, and the V-12-powered supercar is finally receiving the SV treatment it deserves. Caught free of camouflage in early 2015, the Aventador SV looks far more aggressive than its standard sibling, due to a revised nose, a large rear wing, a race-inspired diffuser, and a brand-new quad-pipe exhaust layout. There’s no word on horsepower yet, but I expect the Italians to tweak the 6.5-liter V-12 up to nearly 800 ponies. Also 220 pounds lighter than the standard model, the SV should find it easy to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 2.7 seconds.
While still keeping the Vulcan a mystery, Aston Martin has unveiled the Vantage GT3 Special Edition, also set to break cover at the Geneva Motor Show. Essentially a street-legal version of the company’s GT3-spec race car, this new V-12 racer for the road aims to give the awesome Porsche 911 GT3 a run for its money with help of 592 horsepower and a curb weight that’s 220 pounds lighter than the standard Vantage.It might come with fewer bells and whistles inside the cabin, but the a cool livery and increased performance are what this car’s about.
Speaking of GT3-spec cars, Mercedes-Benz will storm Geneva with a full-fledged racer based on the brand-new AMG GT grand tourer. Developed as a replacement for the long-standing SLS AMG GT3, the Mercedes-AMG GT is obviously a beefed-up version of the road-legal coupe, sporting many aerodynamic enhancements. Look for a menacing AMG GT that sits closer to ground and sports everything from front bumper canards and flared fenders to a massive rear wing and a sexy diffuser.
The luxurious Continental GT comes to Geneva to showcase a mild facelift that includes a revised exterior, new features inside the cabin, and a slightly more powerful W-12 engine that also returns improved fuel economy. These updates will enable the 12-year-old Conti GT to hang around a while longer before Bentley decides to put it under the knife for more than just a new bumper.
The coupe is not the only Continental GT to have received an update before Geneva. The Convertible gained the same upgrades as the coupe, including the added six horses and 15 pound-feet of torque, and cylinder deactivation for enhanced fuel economy.
Yes, you guessed it, the GT Speed has the same improvements to brag about. However, unlike the rest of the Conti GT lineup, it’s only from a visual standpoint. The GT Speed remains unchanged under the hood, mainly because it’s W-12 powerplant was updated for the 2014 model year, having its output increased then to 626 horsepower and 607 pound-feet of torque. That’s a lot of oomph to toss around, but I can’t get past the fact that the GT Speed is a half-second slower than the less-powerful, but lighter Aston Martin Vanquish. If you’re attending this year’s Geneva Motor Show please do me a favor and tell Bentley it needs to take its vehicles to fat camp.
Around since late 2010, the GTA Spano is set to showcase its second update at the Show. Look for minor modifications inside and out, and a significant increase in power. Motivating the new Spano is a revised version of the Viper’s V-10 engine that now cranks out 925 ponies and 900 pound-feet of torque, despite having its displacement reduced from 8.3 to 8.0 liters. The update, which also includes the replacement of the supercharger with a pair of turbos, adds 25 horses and 163 pound-feet of twist to the 2014 model.
Concerned about keeping expenses low rather than developing new cars, Lotus will attend Geneva with a redesigned version of its only U.S.-spec model, the Evora. Essentially forced to choose between investing in a new Evora that would comply with North America’s safety standards or die in the U.S. market, Lotus went for the former and came up with the Evora 400. Sporting refreshed fascias and an upgraded engine, the Evora 400 is arguably the most exciting sports car Lotus has released in years, and, judging by the preliminary data, it has what it takes to give the brand-new Porsche Cayman GT4 a run for its money. The Toyota-sourced, 3.5-liter V-6 now cranks out 400 supercharged horses and 302 pound-feet of twist, which account for a 55-horsepower and 7-pound-feet increase over the previous Evora S. On paper, the Evora 400 sounds pretty promising.
If you’re into hot-hatches, the Civic Type R is a good reason to grab a ticket for this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Sure, we already know what this hatch will look like, as Honda already showcased production-ready concept cars, but there’s a lot of info to be hand once the hatch drops its veils in Switzerland. Expect nearly 300 ponies to come from its new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder powerplant, but don’t get your hopes up for all-wheel drive. The Japanese already confirmed the Type R will be front-wheel-drive. That’s a shame!
When it comes to vehicles we can’t have in the U.S., Geneva is a great place to be. First on the list is the Opel Corsa OPC. For those of you not familiar with the German brand, OPC stands for performance-oriented and makes this hatch a suitable competitor for the more popular Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTi. Letting this little Opel charge from 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds is a 1.6-liter turbo-four rated at 207 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The Corsa OPC is more powerful than both the Fiesta ST and the Polo GTi, which is quite remarkable for a brand that’s generally not a performer in this department.
In case you were wondering, the famous Mille Miglia race hasn’t been revived for modern-day automobiles. Mercedes is only using the name to pay homage to the 300 SL that won first in the production sports-car class at the 1955 Mille Miglia, by launching a special-edition SL. Named 417 Mille Miglia Edition, the roadster sports an AMG body kit, a few special paints, "Mille Miglia" badging, and a mildly modified interior. Nothing too fancy, but a nice way to celebrate the six decades since the 300 SL’s resounding success.
Very little is known about the Radical RXC Turbo 500, but if past models are any indication, we’re in for yet another insane track car with Le Mans LMP looks, a low curb weight, and enough power to make it quicker than most Ferraris. For now, Radical only revealed that the RXC’s 530-horsepower, 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine pushes the sports car from 0 to 100 mph in 6.8 seconds and from 40 to 80 mph in just three.
Morgan also chose to keep its new vehicle a secret until Geneva, but it provided us with enough teasers to guess that it’s based on the current Aero Coupe/Supersports model and employs a turbocharged V-8 engine. The neo-retro cues are evident, and it probably has a BMW-sourced powerplant. What I do know for a fact is that it sounds downright exhilarating and that Morgan plans to build very few examples of it.
The Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Lusso will be arguably one of the most exclusive cars to be showcased in Geneva. Unlike most modern-day manufacturers, Touring Superleggera takes inspiration for its cars from legendary vehicles from the past, and builds them from hand-formed aluminum, just like Europe’s famous coachbuilders did before World War II. The only teaser to date shows a Ferrari 166 MM, and the name takes me back to the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso of the early 1960s, but the brand’s new project is still being kept under wraps. It remains to be seen whether it is based on a Ferrari or not, but judging by the company’s previous efforts, we’re in for quite a neo-retro treat.
The NanoFlowcell Quant F Gullwing Electric Sports Coupe has plenty of features to grab your attention, besides one heck of a long name. I think its design is spectacular to look at. It’s sleek, sporty, and has a little bit of grand tourer in it, despite the Quant being a sedan. Tesla Model S, you just got served. Things are equally intriguing inside the cabin, where the Quant features a massive front display that spans the entire width of the cockpit, as well as acres of fine leather, wood, and aluminum. The Quant promises to outgun the Tesla S in the performance department as well, mainly thanks to the 1,075 horsepower coming from its four electric motors. The range is estimated at 497 miles and the battery uses a salt water-based ionic liquid to store electric energy. The gullwing sedan needs only 2.8 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start before reaching a top speed of over 186 mph. In theory, the Quant seems perfect. However, it takes a lot of resources and time to turn an alternative-fuel car into a feasible production model.
As its name suggests, the Prologue Avant is a more practical version of the original Prologue concept, featuring a shooting brake-like profile and a sloping hatch that reminds me of the A7. The interior takes a minimalist approach, focusing on roominess and clean surfaces, with a knob- and button-free dashboard that features several touchscreens. Power is expected to come from either the twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 of the original Prologue or the hybrid powertrain that was featured in the Prologue Piloted Driving Concept.
Described as "a totally new breed of grand tourer," Kia’s Sportspace Concept previews the fourth-generation Optima and signals that the Koreans are planning to introduce a wagon version of the mid-size sedan as well. Visually, the Sportspace is arguably Kia’s most exciting, near-production-ready concept yet, and although some of these features won’t make it onto the production car, the end result is likely to be one of the better-looking designs of the mid-size segment The wagon’s interior is both sporty and luxurious, bringing together soft surfaces, aluminum, and carbon-fiber inserts.
While Lexus hasn’t had much to say about the LF-SA, it seems this concept previews a replacement for the CT200h, or perhaps a subcompact hatchback based on the Toyota Yaris. The preliminary teaser reveals a massive spindle grille and an aggressive front splitter, which could mean this study is far from being production-ready. Look for a very futuristic cabin and a powerful engine under the hood as well.
Infiniti will be using the Geneva Motor Show to showcase its upcoming competitor to the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Just a concept car for now, the QX30 is essentially a jacked-up version of the Q30 hatch, with all the premium bits you would expect in a luxury rig. A futuristic interior with acres of leather and tons of technology should make the QX30 an attraction.
Italdesign Giugiaro used the Geneva Motor Show to launch three new concept cars between 2012 and 2014, and this year’s event will be no exception. Unfortunately, the Italians haven’t had much to say about this new study, and the only teaser released as of this writing showcases a red "G" emblem. Obviously, that says absolutely nothing about the concept, meaning we’ll have to wait for the Show to find out more.
Surprisingly enough, Suzuki joins the Geneva Motor Show with not one, but two concept cars. The first one is the iK-2, described as "an ideal compact sized car" that "raises compact car values to the limit." The concept likely previews company’s long-rumored competitor for the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. Don’t expect this hatch to come to the U.S. through, where Suzuki is no longer operating as an automobile manufacturer as of 2012.
The iM-4 is Suzuki’s second concept for this year’s show, and previews a future subcompact crossover aimed at the Fiat 500X and Mini Countryman. The teaser hints at an boxy design, but, other than that, the iM-4 is a complete mystery.
Although introduced as a concept, the Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4², essentially a two-axle version of the bonkers G63 AMG 6x6, is as production-ready as it gets, and we should see it on the streets with very few changes inside and out. The G500 4x4² boasts many of the features seen on its bigger, six-wheeled brother, but the two are different under the hood. While the 6x6 models boasts the massive biturbo, 5.5-liter V-8, the new two-axle SUV is motivated by the company’s smaller biturbo, 4.0-liter V-8. That’s not to say the G500 4x4² will make any less of an impact in Geneva.
According to Nissan, the Sway Concept "is a glimpse at how a future generation of small Nissan models could look if the company’s striking new design language was applied to a European hatchback." That reveals a lot of nothing, but what Nissan is probably trying to say is that the Sway previews a B-segment hatch that will slot between the Pulsar and the Micra. In other words, the automaker is working on competitor for the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta, two of the main players in Europe’s subcompact market.
Most of you might remember the GTE nameplate for bringing sportiness and great fuel economy in the same package, but this concept car is more than just a hybrid trim level for the Golf and the Passat. The drivetrain is likely similar, but the Sport Coupe Concept GTE features the kind of futuristic design that’s rarely seen on Volkswagens. The study probably previews the next-generation Volkswagen CC, which will of course, receive a GTE version, but expect the production car to boast a milder design language.
Jensen, the famed British automaker known best for the Interceptor grand tourer (1966-1976), joins Geneva to showcase its first model in 13 years. Revived after the formation of the Jensen Group, the brand will show the GT, a model that will mix parts used by previous company models with a supercharged, 6.4-liter V-8 engine sourced from General Motors. What’s more, Jensen says the GT will fill the gap between "the last true Jensen, the Interceptor of 1976, and an all-new, state-of-the-art car due to be revealed in 2016." Exciting news!
The ED Design Torq Concept is arguably the most innovative concept car slated to bow in Geneva. Designed as a fully autonomous race car powered by an all-electric drivetrain, the Torq doesn’t have any windows and, according to the manufacturer, it was envisioned to compete in its own racing series. Sounds like racing drivers might go the way of the dinosaurs in a few years.
Basically a continuation of the XR PHEV concept that Mitsubishi debuted in 2013, the XR PHEV II feels a bit more production ready. But Knowing Mitsubishi, the XR PHEV will receive yet another makeover before hitting the assembly line. Its hybrid drivetrain, which will consist of an electric motor linked to the front wheels and a yet-unnamed small-displacement turbo gasoline engine, to crank out 163 PS.
Jensen isn’t the only manufacturer to make a comeback at Geneva. Borgward, an automaker that went bankrupt more than five decades ago, also plans to showcase a new product. Details are scarce as of this writing and, other than the 1950s-looking coupe profile shown in the teaser video, there’s no indication as to what the Germans will bring to Switzerland.
Crossovers and SUVs
The Evoque is set to receive its first mid-cycle facelift for the 2016 model year, and the Geneva Motor Show will be its world debut. The luxury crossover received a few nips and tucks inside and out, and, more importantly, a brand-new TD4 diesel mill offered in two versions. The bad news is the oil burner won’t make it stateside, but the visual updates should keep it fresh until the second-generation model arrives.
The Tucson, also known as the ix35 in Europe, comes to Geneva to showcase its new appearance for the 2016 model year. The redesign puts the SUV in line with the rest of Hyundai’s lineup, while the interior now features softer materials, a revamped dashboard and loads of new options. The Euro-spec engine lineup includes a 1.6-liter gasoline unit and two oil burners displacing 1.7 and 2.0 liters, respectively.
The Kadjar is a new crossover from French automaker Renault, that slots between the Koleos and Captur. Developed on the same underpinnings as the Nissan Qashqai, the Kadjar is arguably the best-looking model of the bunch, featuring a fresh style language based on the smaller Captur. Muscular on the outside, the Kadjar is more understated on the inside, blending in with the rest of Renault’s crossover lineup. The engine lineup will likely include a host of turbocharged, fuel-efficient powerplants in both gasoline and diesel versions. All-wheel drive is optional.
If acres of legroom and the latest luxury features are what turns you on, the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman has you covered. Shown for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show, the Pullman marks Maybach’s return to the market after a three-year hiatus. This time around though, the iconic badge adorns the range-topping S-Class instead of having a stand-alone model to compete against the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Over 23 feet long, the Maybach Pullman provides the most legroom in the segment, many cows of fine leather, and a standard 18.5-inch monitor, among other luxury features.
In terms of luxury, the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman will get some competition from the Rolls-Royce Phantom Serenity. Created by the brand’s Bespoke arm, the Serenity’s main highlight is the Sakura tree on the headliner and the rear door panels. Also look for custom exterior paint and plenty of leather, silk and wood inside the cabin.
Those interested in a new family hauler should visit Volkswagen’s stand. That’s where the 2015 Sharan will showcase its mildly revised shell and updated interior. The MPV also sports upgraded gasoline and diesel powerplants, with most of them now up to 15 percent more fuel-efficient.
Joining the Sharan in Geneva will be the smaller Touran. Sportier and sleeker than its predecessor, the 2015 Touran now rides on Volkswagen’s MQB architecture, which it shares with the Golf. The compact MPV gets three petrol and three diesel engines, with outputs ranging from 110 to 190 PS. The Germans claim the updated engines are now up to 19 percent more economical.
To make sure it doesn’t miss this year’s Geneva Auto Show, Alfa Romeo came up with the MiTo Racer. Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t a race-prepped version of the Italian supermini, but a regular one fitted with a checkered roof and other subtle exterior enhancements. The interior gets a few extra goodies as well, including brown leather and a sporty steering wheel. Unfortunately, the drivetrain department brings nothing special.
Skoda, yet another automaker that doesn’t offer its products in the U.S., will use the Geneva Motor Show to launch the Octavia vRS 230. The performance-oriented liftback sedan received a slightly reshaped body, new wheels, and a more-aggressive rear diffuser. The most important change, however, occurred under the hood, where the 2.0-liter TSI engine was updated to 230 PS - 10 PS more than the standard vRS.
DS 3 Ines de la Fressange Paris Limited Edition
If the name sounds familiar, it is simply because this limited-edition DS 3 is actually the production version of the concept Citroen unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Developed in cooperation with luxury goods-maker Ines de la Fressange, the fancy DS 3 boasts special paint, exclusive wheels, and added luxury goodies on the inside. The limited-edition model is available in both hatchback and convertible versions.
Nearly 200 Exhibitors
Of course, the vehicles shown above are only a few to be displayed in Geneva. The event will host nearly 200 exhibitors, including more than 70 car manufacturers and tuning companies. Be on the lookout for 63 world premieres and 36 European debuts.