The Geneva motor show is the most important date in the calendar for the European car industry. It’s where the bigwigs meet, and where the cream of Europe’s car makers aim to trump one another.
Manufacturers are diversifying to protect their core business – just ask Bentley – and there are more glimpses of economical supercars. But there’s plenty of examples of manufacturers playing to their strengths.
Autocar’s Geneva team bring you their verdicts on their personal cars of the show:
It may have a rubbish name, but Nissan’s Invitation concept got my attention for its striking looks and company boss Andy Palmer’s bold assertion that it is being benchmarked for dynamics against the Fiesta on UK roads. He says it’ll better its rival – not a bad result for the Nissan Note replacement. Jim Holder, editor
At last, an Infiniti to love. The excellent Emerg-e concept, based on the Lotus Evora 414e hybrid, looked so good that the overworked expression "automotive art" seemed entirely justified. Infiniti is definitely exploring supercars as halo models, but whether it could manufacture something so complex is open to question. Steve Cropley, editor-in-chief
The brief for Toyota engineers was to create the most fuel-efficient car possible, and the FT-Bh turned heads at Geneva for both its bold design and jaw-dropping economy figure. It is not destined for production anytime soon, although there is a practical element to the FT-Bh, because it was developed and built using materials that would be affordable in the production of a future B-segment car. Matt Burt, deputy editor
I’m not even sure I like the styling of the Aventador J, but I love what it stands for: Lamborghini back to its biggest, baddest, boldest and maddest yet. I also love the fact that it has made one car, and sold it. Make it, and earn your money back by flogging it. Could become a business model for mad concepts. Matt Prior, road test editor
What’s not to like about the Astra VXR? It looks great and boasts remarkable performance and depth of engineering for its £26,995 price tag. With the Ford Focus ST also due to arrive in time for the summer, there’s going to be one hell of a group test when the pair line up alongside the also new Renaultsport Megane 265 and Volkswagen Scirocco R. Mark Tisshaw, news editor
The Ferrari may be the most exciting car on the show floor, but the Fiesta ST promises the sort of everyday accessibility and fun that will resonate with the masses in a way that the exclusive F12 never will. For that reason, my bets are on the Fiesta for delivering the biggest real-world thrills. And that’s why it’s my star of the show. Vicky Parrott, staff writer
The car everyone will remember from Geneva this year. There may be prettier, greener and smaller cars at the show, but the Bentley is hugely significant because it will add a third model to the line-up, hedging Bentley's business against rises and falls in its sportscar business. Just ask Porsche how important that is. Julian Rendell, industry editor
This neat concept coupe manages to combine the swoopy curves of the sexiest coupes with a chunky stance that gives it an appealingly wieldy look. At a show hardly overburdened with pretty cars, this modestly powered 109bhp 1.0 litre range-extender does a great job of combining desirability with tomorrow’s world practicality. Richard Bremner, senior contributing editor