This week's Geneva motor show is playing host to some of 2013's most incredible new models
Steve Cropley Autocar
5 March 2013

For a while, with about a week to go, the pundits were saying the dominating feature of this year's Geneva motor show would be the debut of a bevy of gently desirable new B-segment SUVs, coming to boost the only healthily expanding market class in Europe from around 150,000 sales last year to upwards of 400,000 in 2014.

This expansion and its impressive scale is real, and indeed big news, especially if you're a mainstream manufacturer with factories to fill or a dealer who urgently needs more buying customers. But in the event, the debut of this gently appealing clutch of suburban favourites was trashed, binned, flattened and soundly stamped upon by something much, much bigger in headline terms — the powerful debut of the most extraordinary collection of super-performance cars ever seen at a single motor show.

Everyone knew the finished version of the McLaren P1 would be in Geneva's Palexpo exhibition hall, just as everyone was pretty sure about the arrival of Ferrari's "new Enzo", though no-one knew its name would be the quixotic "LaFerrari", whose naming difficulty was foreshadowed 10 years ago when Ferrari dubbed its then top-end supercar Enzo. 

How will they ever top that, we wondered, and now its clear that they can't. Anyway, the mighty Macca-Fandango duet was joined this year by the new Porsche 911 GT3, the super-exclusive Lamborghini Veneno and several more developments of the perennial Bugatti Veyron, to complete a big-name quintet. This was starting to look like a Turin Show from the good old days 20 years ago, when exotic cars ruled the earth.

Then when you stirred in quality supporting ingredients like the Koenigsegg Hundra (surely this bizarre name holds a decent car back), the latest Pagani, the Spyker B6 Venator concept, the Pininfarina Sergio concept, the handsome Chevy Corvette convertible - and spiced it further with some super-powerful luxury cars such as the 624bhp Rolls-Royce Wraith and the revised (with 17 per cent more power) Aston Rapide S, this Geneva '13 looked principally like a horsepower parade of epic proportions.

The junior SUVs were indeed there in force. The quirky Peugeot 2008 is tipped as Europe's market leader, with the Renault Captur and Ford EcoSport as its wingmen. These will be joining the Vauxhall Mokka and Chevy Traxx (shown last October) to challenge the former leader, Nissan Juke, before the Honda Urban (a concept today) and the Fiat 500X wade in. So large and so abrupt is the big manufacturers' migration to this sector, that the experts say its likely no one model will sell more than current models do now, and base superminis such as the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 are likely to be cannibalised.

Ofher stuff? The pick for me was the exquisite Volkswagen XL1 super-economy car, shown in production form and cleared for manufacture in two batches, but still without a price. We speculated on £40k, and decided there'd still be a market. 

Also impressive as eye-pullers were the fastest-ever Jag saloon, the XJR-S, and the Vauxhall-Adam-on-steroids concept, called Adam Rocks. The rest were worthy, rather than lustrous. Various Ssangyongs, the four-cylinder Infiniti Q50, Golf and Toyota Auris estates - none of these were given much attention. People just continued to battle to view the Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini, and given the novelty of this occasion, they were right to do so.

Click the image above to launch the exclusive motor show gallery.

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Comments
20

R32

5 March 2013

The new Lambo Veneno really is grotesque and that horrifically awful Veyron is a new low for Bugatti.  Poor Ettore must be spinning...

5 March 2013

R32@

Why so harsh?, i agree, the Pink RR was vomit inducing,the chrome wrapped 6series a close second, but, the new Ferrari,the Koenigsigg and that outrageous Lambo!!, come on, these are exciting cars,certainly makes the P1 look insecure,undernourished even, no, i think there more good than bad, but then, that's only my opinion, isn't it?

Peter Cavellini.

5 March 2013

Never seen such a lot of appallingly tasteless, hideous and contorted attempts at styling. I think that designers have completely run out of ideas.

Either that or they are deliberately targeting customers with lots of money but no taste; I suppose that there are plenty of those about.

5 March 2013

Zeroboost wrote:

Never seen such a lot of appallingly tasteless, hideous and contorted attempts at styling. I think that designers have completely run out of ideas.

Either that or they are deliberately targeting customers with lots of money but no taste; I suppose that there are plenty of those about.

 

Took the words right out my mouth.  There must be a hell of a lot of Russian/Asian/Middle Eastern billionaires around I guess!

5 March 2013

That Lamborghini is an absolute abortion.........most ugly car ever built.

5 March 2013

Matthew Langton wrote:

That Lamborghini is an absolute abortion.........most ugly car ever built.

Closely followed by that awful pink aftermarket Range Rover and the Veyron

5 March 2013

Okay, it looks as though the 'bread and butter' cars are winning more favour than these vulgar, over-styled Bugattis and Lambos.

I think there is some very nice design on offer from Peugeot, Renault, Seat, Volkswagen and Skoda here, to name a few. Dacia seems to be impressing with their good, basic honesty (reminiscent of where Skoda were 13 years ago), Seat seem to be rediscovering their flair with the new Leon range and the new Peugeot 2008 brings some additional character to the growing B-segment crossover class - more competition for the lonely Juke and Countryman, alongside the new Ford Ecosport and quirky Renault Captur, of course.

I'm lucky enough to be going to Geneva this weekend, so I'm looking forward to having a good look round. I haven't even had chance to poke around the new Clio yet!

Excited to see where Citroen are going - if the new Technospace is anything to go by, I'd say they're heading in a fair good direction. Same goes for Renault - Captur, Clio and Zoe are all good signs, and make that Scenic XMOD look horrifically dated! Not entirely sure what Toyota are up to - the Auris Estate looks okay but perhaps with some slightly overexaggerated design elements, not helped by the interior which is adorned with that terribly tacky digital clock. 

An interesting time! Now... give me some free bags!


"Work hard and be nice to people"

5 March 2013

People grumble about cars looking the same these days and then when Lamborghini and the like bring out some outrageous looking beast, people whine that it looks vulgar.

No wonder car makers are so conservative these days.

Ok, the pink RR is hideous!

The comments section needs a makeover... how about a forum??

5 March 2013

Rich_uk wrote:

People grumble about cars looking the same these days and then when Lamborghini and the like bring out some outrageous looking beast, people whine that it looks vulgar.

No wonder car makers are so conservative these days.

Ok, the pink RR is hideous!

 

but...the outrageous hypercars come with a price tag even a Saudi oil Sheik might wince at.  I mean £3million pounds for a lambo,  why not £300million.  Cars just seem to be getting wider, heavier and more bloated and then to make matters worse, apparently they all have to come with heavy flappy paddle auto 'to keep emissions down'!  How about making a two seater sports car small and light, (to keep emissions down), that can be driven on tight B roads rather than making them the width and length of a bus.  Even the Porsche GT3 is following the same route as Ferrari amd Lamborgini.    

7 March 2013

nick644uk66 wrote:

Cars just seem to be getting wider, heavier and more bloated and then to make matters worse, apparently they all have to come with heavy flappy paddle auto 'to keep emissions down'!  How about making a two seater sports car small and light, (to keep emissions down), that can be driven on tight B roads rather than making them the width and length of a bus.  Even the Porsche GT3 is following the same route as Ferrari amd Lamborgini.    

Emissions are lower because an auto doesnt have to change gear at predetermined points on the Euro test unlike a manual, they can be programed to do it at the most economical points instead. But the main reason most cars are going down the flappy paddle route is the where the cars will be sold. In Europe we are now quite a minority driving manuals, in most parts of the world people only drive autos. Obviously its hard to sell the rich a hypercar if they have to learn to drive all over again. So they are making them all autos, which i agree is a real shame.

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