The best new cars at the Geneva Auto Show
The 2019 edition of the glamorous motor show featured quirky electric concepts, multimillion-dollar models and plenty of speed
The Geneva Motor Show (7-17 March) proved to be nothing if not glamorous. And, like the lady serving $40 (around ₹2,700) hamburgers at a roadside diner put it, “Life in Geneva is expensive." She might have been talking about the burgers, but the statement applied to the cars here too.
Amid a flurry of quirky electric concepts and people-movers from primarily European brands, big-brand names in the hypercar world—Koenigsegg, Bugatti—produced multimillion-dollar production-ready cars to bolster their street cred.
Meanwhile, storied brands like Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Ferrari delivered next-generation and upgraded models of sure-fire hits: The Vanquish Concept, the Cullinan SUV, the Huracán Evo Spyder and the F8 Tributo, respectively. And two newcomers with long histories—Pininfarina and Hispano-Suiza—joined the fray as well, each bringing electric supercars costing roughly $2 million and a lot of patience before they are actually built.
Of course, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche were there too, in full force. In short, where the auto shows in Detroit, New York and Los Angeles have felt shallow and empty lately, Geneva was anything but.
Here is a look at the most interesting things we saw.
Lamborghini Huracán Evo Spyder
The 630-horsepower Huracán Evo Spyder continues the excellent Huracán line with a 631bhp 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine and a 0-62 miles per hour (mph) time in 3.1 seconds (just 0.2 seconds slower than the hard-top model). Top speeds are the same for the coupe and Spyder, at 202 mph. The Spyder’s exclusive feature is a power automatic top that deploys in 17 seconds.
With myriad traction and stability controls, including rear-wheel steering, all-wheel-drive system and adaptive dampers, plus multiple drive modes for street, sport or track, the new drop-top Lambo promises the kind of extreme driving thrill that only an old Italian exotic brand can give.
Aston Martin Vanquish Vision Concept
As Aston Martin’s first mid-engined supercar, the Vanquish Vision Concept joins the likes of Ferrari’s F8 Tributo. It’s the latest of many concepts , “visions" the automaker has debuted. The price and other specifications are yet to be announced, but it will have the same Formula One-inspired V6 engine found in the AM-RB 003 turbo-hybrid. A production version may be debuted by early next year.
This is the first production model from the newly formed Automobili Pininfarina, the car-making entity that shares branding with the classic design house. It’s named after the company founder, Battista “Pinin" Farina, and packs a wallop: all-electric with zero emissions, 1,900 horsepower, 0-60 mph in less than 2 seconds, and able to charge to 80% in 40 minutes on a supercharger outlet. Likely to join the crew of hypercars that attract the world’s wealthiest connoisseurs, only 150 of them will be made and half are already sold. Production begins in 2020. Pricing starts at $2.2 million.
This is the new mid-engine V8 from Ferrari, replacing the stellar 488 GTB and 458 Italia models with fresh headlights, big round tail lights, and updated aerodynamics. It has an exciting clear engine cover on that mid-mounted engine. Performance numbers are roughly the same, with 720 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque that get it to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. Top speed is expected to be well over 200 mph—after all, the 488 Pista can do 211 mph effortlessly. Pricing is yet to be announced, but deliveries begin early next year.
Bugatti LA VoitureNoire
Difficult for non-French speakers to say, the name simply means “The Black Car" in French. It’s meant to be a modern take on the Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic from the mid-1930s (fashion designer Ralph Lauren has famously owned one or two). Only one of the new ones was made, and yes, it has been sold, reportedly to Ferdinand Piech, the former CEO of Volkswagen Group. It’s valued at more than $18 million, with a base price of $12.5 million.
FIRST PUBLISHED29.03.2019 | 03:00 PM IST