Geneva 2014: The Best and Worst
This year’s Geneva Motor Show sure provided a lot of new metal to be covered with automakers from around the world choosing to debut their latest vehicles on the world’s stage. The level of excitement about the show had been building for quite some time and to be honest, many of the vehicles were rather polarizing.
Even designs that were generally liked garnered a few nay-sayers regarding their lack of originality, while other designs only attracted drool and positive feedback. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in this article, the TopSpeed editorial staff cover their top five best cars of the show along with the bottom five bombs.
Don’t forget to check out more of TopSpeed’s Geneva coverage on our Podcast pilot episode. And be sure to pipe up in the comments section telling us your thoughts on our choices.
Click past the jump for our list
Top 5 Cars of Geneva
Riding on the heals of the awe-inspiring Super Bowl add Maserati aired staring the gorgeous Ghibli, the company brings this to Geneva. A 2+2 design built on a modified and shortened GranTurismo chassis, the Alfieri concept backs up the promise Maserati already made about pouncing on the competition. It tops our list simply because of its beauty and potential.
The Alfa 4C Spider builds off what the 4C Coupe already is. It’s a strong contender in the mid-engine, fun-to-drive sports car category that don’t cost $5 quadrillion. Small but important changes separate it from the coupe version, including new headlights and an updated rear fascia. Power is still the same from the 1.75-liter turbo I-4.
The new TT is the sharpest iteration of the car since its launch. The new creased lines and bold, angry grille give it a more masculine appearance. Three powertrain options make the TT customizable for whatever most driver types and pricing (while not yet announced) should reflect that idea. What’s more, the TT returns sporting a traditionalist’s manual transmission, though an automatic is optional.
There’s a lot to like about the new Huracán. While others might not agree, it still looks like a Lambo, but has just enough change hidden within its all-new body to differentiate it from the outgoing Gallardo. Power comes from a stout 5.2-liter V-10 pumping out 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. The Huracán also has one of the nicest and best-assembled interiors in the company’s history. New high-quality materials help (somewhat) justify the car’s estimated $275,000 price tag.
There’s a lot to love about a four-door, luxury Nissan GT-R. Yep, the Q50 is packing big heat under that mean hood. It’s the same 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 found in Godzilla, and that should do wonders for Infiniti as a sports/luxury automaker. It’s hard to argue with 560 horsepower flowing through a seven-speed transmission to a sophisticated AWD system.
Worst 5 Cars of Geneva
Maybe “worst” is too harsh a word with these next cars. What’s more accurate, perhaps, is to say they missed their mark. Their reception wasn’t as warm as their respective automaker had hoped. Either way, here’s the list.
Like we mentioned in the Podcast, the Jeep Renegade is a cool little off-roader with huge potential in a global market. However, the utter cuteness of this compact crossover might not take the Jeep name over a hill it wants to traverse. We are glad it packs some respectable four-wheel-drive equipment in the Trailhawk edition, but we see too much “Fiat cute” covering this Jeep.
There’s nothing really wrong with the Ghost Series II expect what Rolls-Royce decided to change. Our biggest complaint lies within the new headlight design. It looks darn close to those found on the Chrysler 300. Granted, the 300’s headlights look really good, but we can’t foresee a person laying down Rolls-Royce money for Chrysler hardware. Then again, those actually buying the car probably won’t care what the headlights look like.
Like the Rolls-Royce, there’s nothing really wrong with the new 650S Spider – except its name. The nay-sayers protest the car is nothing more than a McLaren 12C with a mild facelift. Say what you will, but either way, the 650S is still a beautiful car with a smokin’ powertrain.
The Vitesse is an exercise in excess. Bugatti executive and family descendent, Rembrandt Bugatti’s latest special edition Veyron takes the “base” car and hops it up with bits from the Grand Sport and Super Sport, then covers it in paint that looks like chocolate. Hey, a 200+ mph chocolate bar might be every girl’s dream, but in practice, the Bugatti seems to miss the mark.
Don’t get us wrong, the Viziv 2 is a sweet-looking machine. It’s only got one issue though. The bean counters at Subaru won’t let the company build it. Take for instance, the Legacy Concept we saw at the 2013 LA Auto Show. It was an amazing piece of design work that would have catapulted Subaru into a hotly competitive market with the best looking vehicle by far. Then come the bean counters with their magic erasers. By the time the 2015 Legacywas revealed in its production state, it wasn’t much more than a reworked version of the current model. How sad. Sure, we don’t expect the crazy door design of the Viziv 2 to make production, but it’s almost inevitable the majority of stylish cues covering the concept will wind up in the trash bin rather than the parts bin.