Regarded as the highlight of the world motor show circuit, the Geneva show features a bevy of debuts every year — and this year was no different. From the new Skoda Superb to the Aston Martin Vulcan, and the Nissan Sway, manufacturers left no stone unturned to outdo each other in the attempt to catch the media glare. We bring you a definitive guide to the important launches at this year’s show.
Suzuki iK-2 & iM-4
Suzuki debuted a couple of interesting looking concepts at Geneva, with both hinting at the future design direction for the brand’s products. The iK-2 hatchback gives a glimpse at a new five-door hatchback that is expected to be made available in Europe in 2016. Interestingly, powering this car will be a new 1-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine named Boosterjet, and the car is expected to directly compete with cars like the Honda Jazz and Hyundai i20. The iM-4, on the other hand, showcases a compact SUV based on the same platform that is expected to replace the Jimny. Interestingly enough, despite being well under 4 metres in length, the iM-4 still features 4x4 functionality.
The latest generation of the Skoda Superb finally made its public debut at Geneva. Featuring much sharper styling, which is inline with Skoda’s new design language, the new Superb aims at building on the success of the last generation car across various markets. Based on the MQB platform, the new Superb is 75kgs lighter than the old car despite featuring an increase of 80mm in its wheelbase. The engines too have been revised, and now feature increased power levels, with improved fuel efficiency. We expect the new Superb to make its debut in India in 2016.
Featuring a major evolution in its styling, the latest generation Tucson SUV from the Korean manufacturer was showcased in Geneva. In its latest avatar, the Tucson now features the brand’s latest design direction – clearly showing off the lineage started by its bigger brother, the Santa Fe. Available with four engine choices, with power outputs ranging between 113 to 181bhp, the Tucson looks to build on the success of its previous-gen model – especially in European markets. To enhance its appeal, the SUV will be available with different transmission options including a manual and even a dual-clutch automatic.
The second-generation of Audi’s successful sportscar was shown to the public for the first time. Featuring only the 5.2-litre V10 engine in two different guises for now, the manual gearbox offered on the last-gen car is now missing with the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic being the sole option, paired with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. Along with the increased power output (540 and 610bhp), the new car also features revised styling which makes it look much more aggressive and harder edged, as well as giving it increased road presence. The new car also features significant weight savings of over 200kgs over the last-generation car, leading to improvement in its performance, handling and efficiency.
Aston Martin DBX
Built to showcase what the brand calls a different take on luxury GT’s – the DBX is nothing like anything that Aston Martin has produced thus far. For instance, the DBX is not powered by an engine, but by four electric motors – making it the brand’s first EV. It also features drive-by-wire steering, as well as a KERS energy recovery system. And while the brand denies that we’ll be seeing the DBX in production, the existence of the concept does signify that even traditional luxury brands are looking at alternative technologies to tackle the challenges of emissions and efficiency in the near future.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The much-awaited track focussed version of the 911 was also showcased at Geneva, with the GT3 RS making its debut. Powered by the most powerful naturally aspirated engine in the 911 family, with its 4-litre flat-six engine, the RS has a power output of 500bhp. It also features a lap time of 7’20” at the Nurburgring, making it the fastest 911 on that track. As expected, the RS also recieves a bunch of updates to its suspension to make it more track capable, as well as aerodynamic updates like the huge rear wing, and vents in the front arches to enhance its performance. However, to the disappointment of purists, the RS, like the GT3, will now only be offered with the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Range Rover Evoque
The highly successful Evoque gets a mid-life facelift this year. While there are no major changes to the car, the slight tweaks do make the car look cleaner and offer a fresh incentive to customers who were sitting on the fence. More importantly, the Evoque now features an updated infotainment system, which is a big step-up from the previous buggy one. And, it’s now offered with the latest Ingenium engines in both petrol and diesel versions. These engines are also claimed to have made the Evoque the most efficient Land Rover ever.
One of the most visually stunning cars at the Geneva show this year, the Nissan Sway vowed showgoers with its flowing, curvy design, and a myriad of design details. Showcased to give viewers an indication of the next set of hatchback products from the brand, the Sway clearly shows the future design direction of Nissan’s small cars. With the next-generation Micra due in 2016, the Sway serves as a good platform for what we can expect from the new car, with its development being taken care of by Nissan Europe. However, it’s not yet clear whether the new product based on the Sway will make its way to the Indian market or not.
Despite information about the latest version of McLaren’s sportscar having been released a few days before the Geneva show, McLaren chose to confirm at the show that they will in fact be producing the 675LT, albeit in limited numbers. The 675 is a track-ready road-legal version of the standard car with increased power output – a devilish 666bhp – from its 3.8-litre V8, which combined with a weight reduction of over 100kgs allows the car to make the 0-100 run in just 2.9 seconds. One of the cars from McLaren’s Super Series, the 675LT will be produced in a limited run of 500 units.
If you’re interested in looking at the future design direction that products from Audis lineup would be taking, you needed to look no further than the Prologue Avant concept at Geneva. While Avant refers to estate cars in Audi speak, the Prologue is something more aking to the Porsche Panamera – rather than a traditional estate car. So, we can expect to see sharper lines on future Audi’s, as well as some interesting shapes. The interiors, on the other hand, are leaning increasingly towards minimalism – with the majority of controls being featured on screens mounted inside the car.
Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman
Continuing the renewed return of the Maybach brand into the Mercedes’ lineup, the range-topping Maybach S600 Pullman was presented at the show. Longer than even the Maybach 62 it replaces, and even the extended-wheelbase Rolls Royce Phantom – the Pullman is aimed at customers that will settle for nothing but the best from the Stuttgart-based manufacturer’s lineup. Powered by a 6-litre twin-turbo engine, it offers 522bhp and seating for four in the passenger compartment.
Aston Martin Vulcan
Showcasing the most extreme side of the British brand, the Vulcan is a racetrack-only product that’s aimed at delivering superlative performance. Powered by a 7-litre V12 engine paired to a six-speed sequential ‘box, Aston claims the engine will produce 800bhp to offer scintillating performance on the track. Built on a carbon fibre monocoque, the Vulcan also features stunning design and is easily one of the finest designs of Aston Martin in the recent past. To further bolster its track capabilities, the Vulcan features pushrod suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes and traction control that is fully adjustable. And if you’re looking for one, you better hurry, as they will only be producing 24 of these beauties.
Ferrari 488 GTB
The successor to the rather scintillating Ferrari 458 Italia made its show debut at Geneva, with the new version now monickered as the 488 GTB. Apart from updates to the styling, as well as the aerodynamics, the biggest change to the 488 comes in the form of the engine. So, gone is the stratospheric revving naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8, and in comes a brand new 3.9-litre turbocharged unit. Power output, however, has risen with the new engine producing 661bhp and 760Nm of torque, thereby achieving better performance than the older car. The figures also mean that the 488 has more power and torque than any of its direct competitors. The transmission duties are still held by the dual-clutch transmission, while the 488 also features a new version of the Side Slip Control System (SSC2), which helps drivers extract maximum performance from the car.
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
Featuring a new take on the styling of Bentley’s, the EXP 10 showcases the possible direction of the company’s future designs. And to give credit where it’s due, the EXP 10 is a stunner. Featuring a much sharper design language than the current products from the brand, which makes the car stand out that much more and makes it look far more svelte than current models. The rear haunch, in particular, has the kind of design detail that is lacking in their other products. We certainly hope to see cars like this being produced by the brand in the near future.