This week’s Geneva motor show has given the motoring world a wonderful array of new production cars and glimpses into future models.
Efficiency and environmental credentials might be defining what, when and how we drive, but it's good to see there’s plenty of scope for the wild and weird.
Here are the Geneva stars which have excited you most this week:
Mercedes A-classForget the tall, one-box MPV format; the all-new Mercedes A-class is low, sleek and much more like its rivals. It is based on Mercedes’ new Modular Front Architecture platform and will eventually carry engines with outputs ranging from 113bhp to more than 300bhp. Mercedes’ boss, Dieter Zetsche said he expects half of A-class models to be sold to newcomers to the brand.
Bentley EXP 9 F conceptThe Bentley SUV concept lit up our forums like few other models. Its looks have been the source of huge controversy, but few could argue the interior is nothing short of sensational. Its mammoth looks are matched by its flagship engine, a W12, although a V8 diesel and a V6-based powertrain have been mooted. It is designed to show how a 180mph, £150,000 über Bentley SUV might look.
Ferrari F12 BerlinettaFew manufacturers can guarantee grabbing the headlines like Ferrari. Particularly when it announces the fastest and most powerful road car in its history. The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta has a 6.3-litre V12 which will fire the 599 replacement to 62mph in 3.1secs and on to a top speed in excess of 211mph. Despite this, it is greener than the model it replaces.
Audi A3The all-new Audi A3 may be many things, but a radical styling departure, it is not. It’s packed with a classy interior, and plenty of technology usually reserved for far larger – and more expensive – models. It will be launched in September, and will eventually be offered as a three-door hatchback, Sportback, Cabriolet, and for the first time, a saloon.
Lamborghini Aventador JThe one-off, 2.1m euro Lamborghini Aventador J roadster is proof that the recession hasn’t stifled the world of hypercars. It shows how keen Lamborghini is to push the boundaries of road car design. It packs the same 690bhp 6.5-litre V12 engine as the standard car, but the carbonfibre monocoque and bodywork have been substantially reworked to improve handling and aerodynamic grip.
Ford Kuga The Ford Kuga is the latest in the Blue Oval’s product offensive. It replaces the original Kuga which was built on the Mk2 Focus platform, and Ford promises it will be more practical than ever. Ford’s Torque Vectoring Control and its latest four-wheel drive system will be offered. A bootlid which can be opened or closed by waving one's foot under the back of the car is another highlight.
Rolls-Royce Phantom The changes to the new Rolls-Royce Phantom have been described by design chief Ian Cameron as “a familiar theme, lit in a different way”. The new look is subtle, but what’s more important is the new eight-speed automatic gearbox and a new rear diff. It's the first production car to have full LED lighting, and although the 6.7-litre V12 is unchanged, economy is improved by 10 per cent and CO2 emissions are down to 347g/km
Ford Fiesta ST The production version of the Ford Fiesta ST received its debut in Geneva, following a concept at the Frankfurt show last year. It will have a 178bhp/177lb ft version of the company’s 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine. It will reach 62mph from rest in less than seven seconds and reach a top speed of 136mph. It has a Team RS-designed chassis that’s 15mm lower than standard and a host of styling tweeks.
Volkswagen Cross Coupe The Volkswagen Cross Coupe is a glimpse of how the new Volkswagen Tiguan will look. A Cross Coupe concept was displayed at last year’s Tokyo motor show, but this version has a plug-in diesel hybrid engine. Claimed figures are impressive: 157mpg, CO2 emissions of 46g/km and an 800-mile range. It’ll reach 80mph on electricity alone, and when the engine fires up, it is capable of 137mph.