The 82nd Geneva motor show played host to an array of vibrant concepts and production models, from evolutions of electric and hybrid drive, to a radical Bentley SUV, a one-off road-ready Lambo, and the rebirth of an icon in Peugeot's 208 GTi concept.
Our A-Z of what was new at Palexpo is a comprehensive guide to the show - just click on the link for the full story on each car.
The biggest raft of changes to hit the Vantage since 2008 includes cosmetic tweaks, engineering revisions, and an entirely new body in the form of the £400,000 V12 Vantage Zagato. The Vantage V8 gets upgrades from the Vantage S to boost agility, while 150 Zagatos are slated for production.
The all-new, lighter Audi A3 sports more aggressive styling than the current car, and promises greater luxury and efficiency, too. It's based on a new VW Group platform that will yield a wide range of future models. A saloon will be built for select markets, and five-door and cabrio variants will join the three-door shown at Geneva.
Four years after deletion, the Audi RS4 is back, and like 2000's original, will be offered in Avant form only. A 4.2-litre V8 producing 444bhp and seven-speed dual-clutch auto 'box are carried over from the RS5, and the standard Avant's chassis is lowered and revised with adaptive damping and additional aluminium.
20bhp more powerful than the TT RS, the Audi TT RS Plus will be available in coupe and roadster form, with a six-speed manual 'box or optional seven-speed dual-clutch unit. Limited top speed rises to 174mph, suspension is even firmer, and there are styling upgrades inside and out, while economy is little affected.
As long as a Range Rover, but lower and much more powerful, the Bentley EXP 9 F concept shows off the marque's tentative plans to built a super-luxury SUV. In production W12 form, it would cost around £150,000 and reach 180mph, though a diesel V8 and petrol V6-based plug-in hybrid are also touted.
For those seeking additional agility from their 2.5-tonne saloon, the Bentley Mulsanne Driving Specification pack adds a Sport button to the existing Drive Dynamics control system, yielding more focused responses from the steering and air suspension. New 21in wheels and exterior and interior styling tweaks complete the pack.
A typically sleek concept from the celebrated design outfit from Turin, the Bertone Nuccio is named for former boss, Giuseppe 'Nuccio' Bertone, and marks the company's centenary. The mid-rear engined project has a muscular shape, but powertrain details have not been announced.
Part of the new M Performance range, the BMW M135i concept is close to the production version that's expected on sale late this year. The most powerful of the new 1-series models, its twin-turbo, six-pot engine is likely to produce around 320bhp, and chassis and brake upgrades, plus cosmetic lifts, differentiate the model.
More M Performance fayre, this time in pioneering diesel form. The BMW M550d and M550d Touring are expected to appear in October, following the X5 M50d and X6 M50d's June launch. All use a triple-turbo six-cylinder diesel engine that'll boast more torque than the M5, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The BMW M6 has been unveiled in coupe and convertible forms. BMW claims supercar-levels of performance for their fastest-ever two door cars: with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 producing 552bhp, they have a top speed of 189mph and will reach UK showrooms in September. The coupe will be priced from £93,795, the convertible £5200 more.
The facelifted BMW X6 includes exterior and interior changes, plus a choice of new paintwork shades and leather options. Three petrol and two diesel variants will be available when the refreshed model is released in June alongside the M Performance diesel X6, and prices will start at £46,725, rising to to £85,680 for the X6M.
The most powerful roadster of all time, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, will be based on the existing open-topped Grand Sport model, but with the significant hikes in power and torque seen on the closed-topped Super Sport version. Power increases 197bhp over the Grand Sport to 1184bhp, while torque is 1105lb ft.
At 4678mm, the Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon (SW) is slightly longer than the existing hatchback (4510mm) and saloon (4597mm) models, and introduces a new 130bhp 1.7-litre VCDi oil-burner. Load space ranges from 500 litres up to the window line in the rear to nearly 1500 litres up to roof level with the rear seats folded down.
The new Citroën C4 Aircross takes some styling cues from Citroën’s Hypnos concept car first seen in 2008, particularly the design of the 18-inch wheels and rear lights. The five-seater is 4340mm long, 1800mm wide and 1630mm high. Key features include a panoramic glass sunroof and boot volume of 442 litres.
The Citroën DS4 Racing concept's 256bhp 1.6-litre turbo four, derived from the BMW/PSA engine tie-up, is the marque's most powerful road engine to date, despite emissions of 155g/km of CO2. It's strongly-tipped to go into production, possibly early next year, to take on the Ford Focus ST and Renaultsport Megane.
Available as a five- or seven-seat MPV, the new Dacia Lodgy MPV is the latest addition to the growing model range from the Renault-owned Romanian brand. The line-up already comprises the Duster crossover, Sandero and Sandero Stepway supermini and Logan saloon, seven-seat estate, van and pick-up. UK imports are to be confirmed.
A lighter, more powerful version of the Ferrari California has been revealed. New exhaust manifolds and engine mapping have helped Maranello to increase the potency of the California's 4.3-litre V8 to 483bhp, an increase of 30bhp. There's also a 30kg weight reduction and an optional new 'Handling Speciale' package.
360 deposits were taken for the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta before the car's official unveiling at the Geneva show. It's the fastest and most powerful road car in the prancing horse’s illustrious history, and can crack 0-62mph in just 3.1sec and 0-124mph in just 8.5sec thanks to a 730bhp 6.3-litre V12.
The Fiat 500L (the 'L' stands for 'large') will go on sale in early 2013. At 4140mm long, 1780mm wide and 1660mm high, the new five-seater is 594mm longer, 153mm wider and 172mm taller than the standard Fiat 500 hatchback. At launch, the Fiat 500L will be available with the choice of two petrol engines and one diesel.
Rear sliding doors on the new Fiesta-based Ford B-Max are made possible in a car of its size by incorporating the B-pillars into the doors themselves. This creates an opening as wide as 1.5 metres - 0.8 metres more than the Vauxhall Meriva. This is the first time we've seen the baby MPV's interior.
The production-ready Ford Fiesta ST has been unveiled, and Ford has confirmed the 136mph hatchback will go on sale in the UK in the first half of 2013. The three-door, front-drive Fiesta ST follows the five-door concept displayed at the Frankfurt motor show. The ST uses the 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbocharged engine in 178bhp form.
Slated for release at the beginning of next year, the new Ford Kuga is larger then the current model and claims to offer more tech, practicality and dynamic ability, too. Ford’s latest all-wheel drive system will also be available. It adjusts the power split front to back more than a 100 times a second.
The Ford Transit Tourneo concept features equipment that's new to this sector for the manufacturer, including multi-adjustable and removable rear seating, a voice-activated in-car connectivity system, a rear-view camera and lane departure and driver alert, and is powered by a 153bhp 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel engine.
Honda officially unveiled its new 1.6-litre diesel engine at Geneva. The lightweight unit is expected to emit 95g/km of CO2 and produces 118bhp at 4000rpm and 221lb ft at 2000rpm. Honda claims it will set new class standards for performance and economy in the Civic by the end of 2012.
The Honda CR-V concept is close to production spec, having already been launched in very similar visual form in the USA. While Honda remains tight-lipped on the details, it is expected that the new CR-V, to be built at the company's Swindon plant, will be fitted with company’s long-awaited 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine.
An electric sports hatchback with a range-extending petrol engine, the Hyundai i-onic concept uses a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine mated via a generator to a lithium ion electric motor which produces 108bhp. The 4.4-metre-long i-oniq evolves Hyundai’s latest fluidic sculpture form language, and includes a 'penthouse roof' design.
The facelifted Hyundai i20 has set a new standard for CO2 emissions from a car with a conventional powertrain. When powered by the 74bhp, 1.1-litre, three-cylinder diesel engine and equipped with the Korean firm’s Blue Drive tech, the i20 emits just 84g/km - 1g/km less than the previous benchmark.
The C-segment Hyundai i30 wagon shares engines and running gear with the i30 five-door, but has a longer body. The wagon’s overall length is increased by 185mm to 4485mm compared to its five-door sibling. It is also 10mm longer than the outgoing i30 wagon and offers 1642 litres of maximum cargo space.
The Hyundai Veloster Turbo sees the company’s first application of its new 1.6-litre T-GDI engine. In European specification, the 1.6-litre engine with twin-scroll turbo will produce 183bhp, good for a 0-62mph time of 8.4sec. Changes are also made to the steering, suspension and exhaust for increased sportiness.
The Infiniti Emerg-e is an extended-range electric sports car that's the third concept in the company's 'Adeyaka' design trilogy. A working prototype is underway and produces 402bhp from two electric motors, with a Lotus-derived 1.2-litre petrol engine for range extension. The car would cost around £95,000 if it made production.
Nearly five metres in length, the ItalDesign Brivido is a working prototype of the styling house's vision for a luxurious four-seat sporting GT of the future. Using running gear from parent company Volkswagen, the Brivido mates a 355bhp/339lb ft 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with an electric motor and eight-speed automatic transmission.
The rear-drive Jaguar XF Sportbrake will be launched with volume-selling diesel engines for UK sale starting in November. It's entirely new from the B-pillars back and is said to be just as torsionally stiff as the XF saloon. With the seats up, boot volume is a roomy 550 litres, and maximum load space is 1675 litres.
The second-generation Kia Cee'd made its debut in Geneva in hatchback and sport wagon forms. Both variants will be launched this year, followed by a three-door in March 2013, while Kia's hot Pro-Ceed, rumoured to produce 200bhp, will be available around the same time. Economy has improved across the range.
A one-off, road-legal roadster, the Lamborghini Aventador J uses the standard car's 690bhp 6.5-litre V12 and four-wheel drive, but the pushrod suspension has been modified and deep-running structural changes allow roofless configuration, weight reduction, and aerodynamic tweaks to increase downforce.
The new Lexus RX 450h shows the marque's new corporate styling, including the pinched, chrome-edged grille first seen in the latest GS saloon. Other styling tweaks include new headlamps which feature a trio of projector units and an LED daytime running light strip, while a new F Sport variant adds styling touches inside and out.
Sharing its 3.5-litre V6 with the hard-top Exige S coupe, the Lotus Exige S roadster is good for 0-60mph in 3.8sec. Standard transmission is a six-speed manual, and a paddle-operated robotised manual is optional, as is a race pack that hones suspension and adds launch control. Prices start at £54,900.
The Magna Steyr Mila Coupic has been built to showcase the automotive supply company's product design and engineering capabilities. It aims to bring together three different vehicle concepts into one, and can be an SUV coupé, pick-up or convertible. Front and rear electric roof sections can be opened independently of each other.
Replacing the GranTurismo S, the Maserati GrandTurismo Sport gets a revised 454bhp 4.7-litre V8 engine, which gives a 186mpg top speed and a 0-62mph time of 4.7sec. Two transmissions choices will be offered: a six-speed torque converter automatic and optional six-speed sequential manual transaxle ’box.
The Mazda Takeri concept is the company's vision for the next Mazda 6, due on sale in 2013. Only door handles, wheels, and wing mirrors will change for production. The new saloon will benefit from the full array of SkyActiv technology, which emphasises lightness and efficiency in drivetrains, chassis and transmissions.
The launch range of the new Mercedes A-class will be 107bhp and 136bhp turbocharged 1.8-litre common rail diesels and a turbocharged 1.6-litre direct injection petrol unit in two states of tune, producing either 154bhp or 120bhp. Later hot versions will include a 250bhp front-driver and the four-wheel drive, 300bhp A25 AMG.
A 'Performance Package' option was announced at the launch of the new Mercedes SL63 AMG, which will boost the twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8's output from 530bhp to 557bhp. Kerb weight drops significantly from the previous car, and the new SL63 is differentiated from lesser sixth-generation SLs by an extensive body kit.
The two-seat Mini Clubvan concept loses the Clubman's side windows and boasts a larger cargo space, yielding 1200 litres compared to the Clubman's 920 litres (with seats folded). It's described by BMW as a ‘compact lifestyle van for business and leisure – the first of its kind in the premium segment’.
Powered by a 215bhp 1.6-litre turbo four, the Mini Countryman JCW is claimed to cover 0-60mph in 7.0sec and hit 140mph. The sports suspension, which reduces the ride height by 10mm, isn’t as firm as other JCWs. It will cost £5000 more than the Countryman Cooper S at launch, which is slated for this September.
The all-new Mitsubishi Outlander's exterior looks little changed from the PX-MiEV II concept seen at the Tokyo show. Cabin materials and sound insulation are improved over the current car, and a host of driver aids are introduced. A 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre clean diesel will be joined by a plug-in hybrid later.
Dubbed the Malvern company's "most comfortable classic model", the reintroduced Morgan Plus 8 was shown in production guise with a BMW 4.8-litre V8 alongside the "Plus-e" all-electric prototype. The new car uses the same bonded and riveted aluminium chassis as the more expensive Aero cars.
The B-segment Nissan Invitation concept combines the cuteness, compactness and agility of a supermini with the generous cabin space of a baby SUV, and is rumoured to preview a more dynamic replacement for the Note. The most frugal engine choice is likely to be a supercharged 1.0-litre unit emitting less than 100g/km of CO2.
The Nissan Hi-Cross concept has a dramatic design, with smooth cross-over styling, and could influence new variants of the Qashqai, X-Trail and Murano. It's understood to have a strong on-road bias to the ride and handling to help compete with family saloons. Both two and four-wheel drive versions are expected.
The Peugeot 208 GTi Concept is proof that Peugeot is serious about augmenting its hatchback range with a performance model that harks back to the 205 GTi. Based on the three-door version of Peugeot’s new hatchback, the concept is powered by the four-cylinder, 1.6-litre twin-cam turbocharged engine from the RCZ THP 200.
Aping Citroën's DS3, the 208 XY concept applies a selection of luxurious exterior and cabin finishes to the upcoming 208 hatch. Its most distinguishing features are special pearlescent ‘Pulsion’ paintwork, chrome-effect 18in alloys, striking LED front headlights, crimson interior leather and ambient white cabin lighting.
Following the closure of its coach works last year, Pininfarina has showcased its continuing design services with a new concept at Geneva. The Pininfarina Cambiano sports saloon concept has asymmetrical doors, and a top speed of 170mph is claimed from via four wheel-mounted electric motors working with a diesel generator.
Land Rover says the Range Rover Evoque convertible concept will ‘explore the potential for the world's first premium convertible SUV', and a decision on production could be made as soon as four to six weeks after Geneva. Engineers say about 75kg of strengthening would be needed compared to the tin-top.
Land Rover is celebrating 10 years of the current-generation Range Rover with three new special editions before the all-new car arrives this summer, including the £69,995 Range Rover Westminster edition that replaces the 4.4 TDV8 Vogue and Vogue SE models. It will go on sale this month.
The production-ready Renault Zoe electric supermini has finally been displayed. At £13,650 OTR (after the government’s £5k ‘plug-in’ grant) it will be the cheapest EV on the market, and the best-quoted range, with a maximum of 130 miles (or 60 miles in cold weather in the city – Renault’s idea of the typical ‘worst case scenario’).
Designed to address electric-car range-anxiety, the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive-based Rinspeed Dock+Go concept features a detachable trailer axle – which Rinspeed calls a ‘backpack on wheels’ – that can house a combustion engine or range extender, be packed with batteries or powered by a fuel cell.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II is only distinguishable from before by a series of subtle styling tweaks, but packs a new eight-speed automatic gearbox in place of the existing six-speeder, new rear differential and features revised cabin electronics. Power is unchanged but there are improvements in economy and emissions.
Previewing the fourth-gen production Toledo, the Seat Toledo concept presents a hatchback-come-saloon silhouette and styling reminiscent of the MissionL concept shown at Frankfurt including a trapezoidal front grille. The new Toledo is expected to go on sale towards the end of the year.
Like the three-door version, the new five-door Skoda Citigo will initially be powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine in two power guises. The five-door car should account for the majority of sales when both body styles go on sale this May, and a premium of £400 over the £7k three-door is expected.
Smart has unveiled a series of subtle exterior and cabin styling tweaks to its Smart Fotwo city car for 2012. The look was first previewed on the electric Smart Fortwo ED at last year’s Frankfurt motor show. UK cars will be available in just three of the five trim levels, being Pulse, Passion and Brabus.
The SsangYong XIV-2 concept is a successor to the similar concept that was on display at the Frankfurt show late last year. It's a crossover SUV-convertible and features a one-touch automatic opening soft-top, pram-style roof. It has been designed for a global audience and targeted at the younger generation.
The rear-drive Subaru BRZ with normally aspirated 2.0-litre boxer four signals a step away from the firm’s all-wheel drive, turbocharged tradition. But it will offer "pure driving pleasure," according to Subaru. Sales of the BRZ begin in spring, with numbers limited to around 500 UK cars per year.
Said to return 75mpg and emit less than 70g/km of CO2 from its 800cc turbo petrol engine, the Suzuki G70 is the Japanese manufacturer's sketch of a global small car. Economy is aided by direct injection, a tiny kerb weight of 730kg, regenerative brakes, a new CVT transmission and stop-start.
A range-extended EV that could achieve emissions of 22g/km of CO2 and return 252mpg has been revealed in the form of the Tata Megapixel concept. Tata chiefs revealed last year that a production version of the Pixel would make it to Europe instead of the proposed European version of the Nano.
A seven-seat SUV called the Tesla Model X shows the pioneering American manufacturer's continuing innovation with all-electric cars. It's planned for production by the end of next year, and is claimed to beat the Porsche 911 from zero to 60mph while yielding a 270-mile range when equipped with the largest of two battery packs.
Cloaking the Alfa Romeo 8C's body in aluminium and carbon fibre, the Touring Superleggera Disco Volante 2012 pays homage to the 1952 Alfa C52 Disco Volante. Buyers must provide an 8C donor car to the Milan-based coachbuilder for conversion. The 4.7-litre V8 remains untouched.
The Toyota FT-Bh concept is “An ultra-lightweight, full hybrid city car study, designed to achieve low emissions within an economically viable production framework,” according to its maker. It's avoids complex manufacturing processes and pricey raw materials in order to follow a "total vehicle" approach to reducing city car emissions.
Destined to do battle with the Ford Focus ST, the front-drive Vauxhall Astra VXR uses a 277bhp turbocharged direct-injection two-litre petrol engine and mechanical limited-slip differential to promise best-in-class performance. The VXR has been revealed in Geneva following 18 months of development.
Due to go on sale in November, the Vauxhall Mokka is a soft-roader that shares its guts with the Buick Encore. In the UK, the Mokka will offer a choice of 117bhp naturally aspirated 1.6-litre and 142bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engines, as well as a 132bhp 1.7 CDTi turbodiesel. A four-wheel drive model will be available to supplement the front-drive majority.
Taller and wider than the road-going car, the Volkswagen Amarok Canyon's raised suspension and chunky tyres add 85mm in ride height. The concept is designed use by for freestyle kayakers, and also features cosmetic tweaks and electrically deployed extending tread plates for easier access.
Expected to cost around £27,000 when orders start in July (for September delivery), the Volkswagen Golf GTI Cabriolet uses an hydraulically operated cloth roof that opens in 9.5sec, and cracks 0-62mph in 7.3sec. With the roof down, boot storage of 250 litres is twice that of the Mini drop-top. Manual and DSG transmissions will be available.
The Volkswagen Up concepts revealed in Geneva - Swiss Up, Winter Up, X Up and Cargo Up - demonstrate potential avenues for the development of the new city car. Cosmetic and functional changes include new paintwork shades, electronic differential locks for snowy conditions, and up to 1400 litres of cargo space.
Just 1.0sec slower to 62mph than the Polo GTI, the Volkswagen Polo Blue GT uses a 138bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre engine equipped with cylinder deactivation to achieve 60.1mpg. Economy is further improved with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It's expected to go on sale here before the end of the year.
Replacing both the S40 and V50 models, the Volvo V40 will be offered with six engine choices (all with start-stop and regenerative brakes), the most powerful of which will be a 254bhp five-pot. Keen pricing from £19,000 for the entry-level 1.6 D2 ES reflects Volvo's intention to avoid price increases.