How long is it since we can honestly say the Brits ruled the Geneva motor show? Must be decades.
But this year, all talk was about the allure of the brand new ultra-low volume Aston Martin Vulcan, the complete surprise of an extraordinary Aston DBX crossover concept – aimed as squarely at well-heeled women as men – and a Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 sports car that shattered all the rules about the Crewe manufacturer being a maker of slightly portly luxury saloons and coupés.
The trouble for the record number of reporters on hand was that at Geneva this year you had to be able to imagine yourself in the billionaire bracket, which was a bit of a stretch for most of us. First away was Bentley’s EXP 10 Speed 6, named for safety after the controversy of the recently announced Bentayga name for the forthcoming SUV.
Despite the remark by company chief Wolfgang Durheimer that this was an example of his company playing to its strengths – rather than stealing Aston Martin’s lunch – there was no resisting what many felt was the car’s excessive similarity to the DB9 (via DB7). It was as if Ian Callum, who designed both Astons, had been doing some moonlighting. The car looked slightly rushed and slightly drab in safe-again British Racing Green, but there was no doubting the “rightness” of the direction it signalled for the company.
The V12-powered AMR doesn't have the Bentley Continental GT's...
The Aston Martin DBX looked right, too, playing to the modern need, among big-bucks buyers, to buy convenience in machines with style and panache. It took a minute or two to get used to its tallness, but thereafter it looked well proportioned and in character. There is little doubt that it will be built, but apparently a little taller and as a four-door. Speaking of four-doors, around the corner from its main stand, Aston also showed its finished Lagonda Taraf saloon, now aimed at the world, not just the Middle East. It looked honed, chiselled, spacious and sensational.
McLaren joined the Brit throng, first with its 40-off P1 GTR track car – sold only to existing P1 owners – and 675LT (for long-tail). Even more importantly, chief exec Mike Flewitt discreetly signalled the impending arrival of McLaren’s slightly cheaper Sports Series range, currently codenamed P13 but believed to carry model names that will begin with ‘5’. Lotus had the new Evora 400, exuding build quality like a new Lotus never did before, and Morgan had its renewed Aero 8, whose super proportions and details finally swept away memories of the cross-eyed original that appeared for the first time on this very stand in 2001, and disappeared from the company’s range in favour of the Aeromax in 2010.
The super cars kept coming: Ferrari had its seductive new 488 GTB, a comprehensive restyle for the 458 with a doubtlessly superb 3.9-litre biturbo engine, while the most extraordinary version of the second-gen Audi R8 was the all-electric e-tron that can put away a 0-60mph sprint in 3.7sec, but most importantly has its range doubled to about 280 miles, a range viable enough to attract progressive fast car lover. And Koenigsegg (Swedish for ‘crazy’) showed a brutish but stylish new car called Regera – a plug-in hybrid no less – with 1500 horsepower on tap from a power train that combined three electric motors with a 1000bhp petrol turbo V8. The acceleration forecast was zero to 250mph in under 20 seconds, which had people wondering about the Swedish word for ‘insane’.
Among more affordable cars, JLR was prominent with the new small XE, plus a careful facelift for the Evoque (sales keep rising so they certainly didn’t want to scare anyone) and a whole slew of end-of-run classic Defenders which were new to the Continentals and under close examination all day. Oh yes, and Vauxhall showed its cheeky new five-door Viva (alongside Opel’s weirdly named Karl) which will start in our market at £7995 and be available on a £99/month PCP. Vauxhall also had its Corsa VXR, which we’ll see in May.
SEAT, which according to chief executive Jurgen Stackmann is on its way to financial redemption because his “youth” brand is converting to “young in spirit” and thus being bought by older people, showed a nicely proportioned mid-sized SUV concept called Vision 20V20, which seemed to back up his contention that Seat “really can become a sexy European brand”. Kia had the Sportspace concept, which previews an Optima estate aimed at Europe.
Otherwise, it was nose jobs and performance saloons. Ford showed all its quick cars, including the soon-to-land-in-Europe Mustang, Focus RS and the GT, which the company freshly announced would be made at a rate of 250 a year. Lots of cars were refreshed, some for the second time. But if Geneva had a theme this year, it seemed to be: Get There Faster!
Live blog - how the first two days in Geneva unfolded
1830 With the first full day of the Geneva motor show coming to an end, we're going to sign-off now. We'll be back tomorrow to provide further updates and follow-up stories from what has been a fantastically busy event.
1748 We've done some quick back-of-a-fag-packet maths to determine the most-read Geneva motor show stories on Autocar.co.uk so far. In order:
1746 We've updated our Geneva motor show gallery with some additional pictures. You can scroll through them above this article.
1728 To save you the hassle of scrolling all the way to the bottom of this long story, here's another look at our Aston Martin Vantage GT3 video.
1721 UK pricing for the new Audi R8 has been confirmed. The car is available to order in the UK from May 2015 and prices start from £119,500 for the V10 and £137,500 for the V10 Plus. First deliveries will take place in late 2015. Full UK specification will be confirmed later this week.
1711 A brace of special-edition Alpinas have gone on display at the Geneva motor show. The cars celebrate the company's 50th birthday.
1709 The standalone DS brand, now officially spun-off from Citroën, will take 15 years to establish and could include sales in the US, boss Yves Bonnefont has told Autocar's Jim Holder. Read the full news story here.
1704 Honda's Jazz hits Europe later this year, and has been shown off at Geneva by the Japanese manufacturer. Perhaps not as head-turning as many of the high-performance cars at the show, but the Jazz has a fiercely loyal following nonetheless.
1701 Here is the Volkswagen Sport Coupé GTE, a concept that's said to preview the next Passat CC and hints at the design the replacement for the mighty Phaeton.
1658 The 'Light Cocoon' is a vision of futuristic car construction courtesy of specialist engineering firm EDAG.
1650 As the crowds start to ebb away from the Palexpo in Geneva, special correspondent Julian Rendell has taken the chance to slip behind the wheel of the new Mazda MX-5. We're not sure if he made the requisite 'vroom, vroom' noises on the show stand, but this is his verdict: "First time behind wheel of new Mazda MX-5. Proper driver's environment: enveloping, good driving position".
1639 "Ferrari is committed to continuing with normally aspirated V12s, but next ones will also be 48v. That's volts, not valves," reports senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel, commenting on the news that Maranello won't be dropping its twelve-cylinder powerplants anytime soon.
1628 Autocar special correspondent Julian Rendell has braved the crowds to get a close-up look at the new Ferrari 488 GTB. "It looks striking," he writes. "But maybe not quite as different from the Ferrari 458 as first pics made out…"
1618 Nissan's chief planning officer Philippe Klein has been telling Autocar editor Jim Holder why the new Nissan Sway concept will inform a much-changed Micra production car. And why does the Micra need to change? "Making a product attractive is complex; pricing is part of it, but it can never be the sole parameter. Design is an important factor. Driving dynamics too - and the experience for anyone in the car. We have to consider all these things in a coherent way. We've seen that with the Qashqai, X-Trail and Leaf and it follows that other products will follow," say Klein.
1608 One last snippet of Mercedes-related news from Autocar's digital editor, Mark Tisshaw: "The S-class Pullman is the "most exclusive car you can imagine", according to design chief Gorden Wagener. He adds it is a "car for the rich and famous", that can elevate the brand even further into the luxury arena."
1601 Fans of van-derived MPVs rejoice: the Citroën Berlingo has been given a facelift.
1546 The Audi R8 is another new car to catch Jim Holder's eye at the Geneva motor show. "It's all-too easy to overlook the new Audi R8 given the legion of fast car launches," he writes. "The new R8 actually looks rather better in the metal than in the press images."
1542 Autocar editor Jim Holder is impressed by the heavily revised Lotus Evora. "Lotus has reason to be cheerful again. 'New' Evora looks great. Big step in quality as well as performance," he writes.
1531 Autocar's Director of Testing John McIlroy reports that the SsangYong Tivoli is getting a decent response on its Euro debut at the Geneva motor show. He got an early chance to drive the car, which you can read about here.
1526 Autocar's editor-in-chief Steve Cropley notes that Bugatti is shying away from referring to the successor to the Veyron as a direct replacement: "Bugatti chief Wolfgang Durheimer won't call the new model a 'replacement'. The styling will be more artistic and less driven by the simple need to get the vast engine in". The car will, however, still be based around the W16 powerplant, but will have more power and be "more breathtaking", according to Durheimer.
1516 Mercedes chiefs continue to state they are happy with their current deal with Aston Martin, Mark Tisshaw reports. "Company boss Dieter Zetsche said it wouldn't be a good idea for Aston to ever be owned by a big group, while AMG boss Tobias Moers said the terms of the existing deal remained the plan although he would meet with new Aston boss Andy Palmer to discuss any fresh ideas."
1514 Another Mercedes-Benz pondering from Mr Tisshaw: "A Mercedes-Benz smaller than the A-class is possible, according to the company's design chief Gorden Wagener. It isn't confirmed for production, but with the desire for ever more premium smaller cars, you shouldn't bet against it."
1510 We think digital editor Mark Tisshaw has rinsed Mercedes-Benz dry of all possible information and gossip. He's gleaned this snippet about the Mercedes-AMG GT3 racing car. "The grille of new GT3 racer previews the grille of the upcoming faster GT road car. The 'Panamerica' grille is inspired by classic Merc racers, and will feature on future race cars as well as high performance road cars," he explains.
1457 Earlier Jesse Crosse has got the lowdown on the new McLaren 675LT from the man who helped to develop it. "The car is a racing car in all but name," says McLaren test driver, Chris Goodwin.
1446 Special correspondent Jesse Crosse has sauntered over to Kia, which is showing off some new technology. "Kia joins the turbocharged 3-cylinder club with the new 1.0-litre T-GDI ‘Kappa’ petrol engine producing 188bhp and 127lb ft torque," says Crosse. "The engine has a number of advanced features including a split cooling system and integrated exhaust manifold. It will appear first in the Cee'd at the end of this year with conventional transmissions and in 12-18 months time mated to the new 7-speed DCT transmission also revealed for the first time at Geneva."
1443 More news on the Kahn Flying Huntsman from our special correspondent Richard Webber. The company expects to build up to 400 Huntsman vehicles per year. Initial plans to site the production facility for the Huntsman in central Leeds have fallen through, but a new site in Scotland is now under consideration.
1439 Earlier, one of our special correspondents, Jesse Crosse, was marvelling over the interior space offered by the new Vauxhall Viva. And now our senior contributing editor Richard Bremner has found out some more details of how: Vauxhall's new Viva is unusually spacious for its size, with very decent room front and rear What made this possible, says design boss Mark Adams, was a brand new platform, and an engine bay designed only one powertrain. The fresh platform allowed for a lower floor, releasing headroom without raising the roof, while the installation of the new three cylinder triple enabled more of the Viva's 3.7 metres to be devoted to the interior.
1434 Associate editor Hilton Holloway is admiring the revised Peugeot 208, in particular a very frugal variant thereof. "A 79g/km Peugeot 208 isn't far off the CO2 figure for an electric vehicle plugged into European mains," he notes.
1423 Autocar special correspondent Richard Webber has paid Khan a visit. The company is showing off the remarkable Flying Huntsman 6x6 at Geneva. "Afzal Kahn's Aston Martin-based GT is expected to break cover in around six weeks' time," reports Webber. "Following the launch of Huntsman - Kahn's new range of custom Land Rover Defenders - the as-yet-unnamed GT will be the second product in Kahn's new coachbuilding operation. Following that, several vehicles based on the Bentley Mulsanne are planned, likely including a four-door coupé and a shooting brake."
1418 Some more Koenigsegg Regera facts from Autocar's Vicky Parrott. The car will run up to 20mph on electric-only power. Andreas Petre, a regional sales director for Koenigsegg, said that the Regera wouldn't be difficult to drive on the road thanks to "very sophisticated ESP, traction control, active chassis and aerodynamics. It's like a very fast Tesla with a beautiful sound."
1415 Our deputy reviews editor Vicky Parrott has been crunching the numbers on the Koenigsegg Regera, and some quite dizzying numbers they are too. "The Regera will cost $1.89m before tax," she writes. "It will cover 0-250mph in under 20sec and 0-62mph is 'around' 2.8sec. Just 80 units are to be made over the next 5-6 years."
1411 Cadillac enthusiasts holding their breath in anticipation of a relaunch for the brand in Europe might wish to exhale. The company's boss has ruled out a return to European markets until at least 2020, as Autocar editor Jim Holder reports.
1406 Tobias Moers also admitted development of hybrid technology was in the works at Mercedes’ performance arm. “We will need hybrid applications in the future and we have done research for hybrids for AMG. We can offer performance and efficiency and will be able to find solutions,” he told Autocar’s Mark Tisshaw.
1402 AMG chief Tobias Moers also revealed to Autocar’s Mark Tisshaw that Mercedes-AMG has ‘parked’ the special-edition Black Series badge for the time being, although he promised that it will return on an as-yet unspecified AMG model in the future. “The Black Series name stays,” said Moers. “It will be necessary in the future, but for now the base cars are so good. The Black Series must be at the top of the hill, but I don’t know when or on what model yet.”
1355 Autocar’s digital editor Mark Tisshaw reports that Mercedes-Benz will launch a new C-class Coupé at the Frankfurt motor show in September, complete with a C63 AMG version that will be a "breakthrough" for the brand according to AMG boss Tobias Moers, although he didn’t go into greater detail. The new C- class Coupe will be an even sleeker design than the S-class Coupe, says design chief Gorden Wagener, which will be "even better to drive than it looks". Mercedes has so far launched saloon and estate versions of the C-class, but the range will soon expand with coupe and convertible variants.
1327 Mr Frankel has also ferreted out another shard of information about the hardcore Porsche Boxster that is under development for a 2016 launch. "Contrary to what I've been told previously, Porsche Motorsport is working 'closely' with Porsche on a new hot Boxster," he reports from the Geneva show floor.
1323 Autocar's Andrew Frankel has made his way over to Porsche, where he's learned that "future Porsche GT3s are likely to have a choice of two or three pedals. I am pathetically pleased about this," he admits.
1320 Our man Darren Moss also visited Hyundai, which has taken the wraps off its new Tucson. "It might not be grabbing front-page headlines today, but this is surely one of the most significant compact SUVs of recent times. It is interesting to see Hyundai bring back the name to make the ix35 into a more global proposition."
1314 Mr Moss had better luck over at Koenigsegg, where two new high-powered hypercars have been revealed today: "I can't get over the Koenigsegg Regera's power output," he admits. "Once, we dreamed of cars with more than 1000bhp, but here sits a V8-engined hybrid with more than 1700bhp."
1312 Autocar's content editor Darren Moss has finally found a moment to escape his shackles in the Geneva press room and nip around the show halls. But he was left disappointed at Ferrari's stand: "The Geneva crowds are being drawn towards Ferrari's stand, where the 488 GTB is taking pride of place. It's hard to get anywhere near it at the moment."
1307 "Highlight of Geneva is not the Beatles tribute act wheeled out by Mercedes for the Maybach launch," writes Autocar's John McIlroy, "but the sound of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 racing car".
1305 Our man John McIlroy also stopped off at Mercedes for its press conference. "Mercedes will launch ten new plug-in hybrids by 2017," he reports. "A new C-Class plug-in hybrid has been shown here at the Geneva motor show".
1302 Autocar's Director of Testing John McIlroy got an early look at the Infiniti QX30 when the dust cover was removed during pre-press conference rehearsals. "The QX30 has sharp styling - the most credible Infiniti yet?" he says.
1255 More from Andrew Frankel on the Bentley: "The Bentley Speed 6 is engineered for rear-wheel-drive, plus V8, hybrid and even V6 power. Will the market wear a V6 Bentley? In China undoubtedly."
1254 More on the striking Bentley concept from Andrew Frankel, who has unearthed some technical details: "The Bentley Speed 6 will weigh less than two tonnes, thanks to its smaller size and an ally-intensive platform and body".
1248 Lewis Kingston, Autocar's senior reviewer, headed over to SsangYong to examine the new Tivoli. He writes: "SsangYong boss Yoo Il Lee says that the company already has 11,000 orders for its new Tivoli, which went on sale in Korea in January. The new compact SUV, which will take on the likes of the Nissan Juke, arrives in the UK in June."
1242 Andrew Frankel was also very interested to learn Honda's ultra-rapid lap of the Nürburgring with the new Civic Type-R. "The lap time is 7min 50.6sec, smashing the front-wheel-drive record. Seat, Renault, over to you," he writes.
1239 Senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel has been over at Bentley, examining the EXP 10 Speed 6 and pondering the likelihood of it reaching our roads. "If you're wondering if the Bentley will go into production," he writes. "Try to think of the last Bentley concept that did not."
1234 Hilton Holloway has also been over to the Renault display at Geneva, checking out the upgraded Renault Zoe. "It gets a new motor, official range is up to 145 miles," says Holloway.
1229 Autocar's associate editor Hilton Holloway has been on the prowl around the show. He's just spied Rolls-Royce design boss Giles Taylor taking a look at the new Aston Martin DBX Concept. Follow our man and his roving camera on Twitter @hiltonholloway
1222 Having pored over the new Vauxhall Viva, Autocar special correspondent Jesse Crosse is now taking in the Vauxhall Corsa VXR. "It's the fastest Corsa ever with 204bhp and 181lb ft from the 1.6-litre turbo engine and has a top speed of 143mph. It'll be affordable too; expect a price similar to that of the outgoing car, which starts at £18,995".
1218 Autocar's Mark Tisshaw unearthed more news. "The relaunch of Alfa is expected to take place on 24 June when the new Giulia is unveiled, possibly at the Milan Expo". Can this be the year when Alfa and Fiat launch back onto the big stage? It's certainly off to a bullish start.
1211 A snippet of significant news from our digital editor Mark Tisshaw: "The long-awaited Fiat-Chrysler roadster based on the Mazda MX-5 will be badged as a Fiat 124, it has been confirmed." Read more about that development here.
1209 Here's all the details of the new Skoda Superb, which was briefly wheeled out at the VW Group night preview yesterday.
1207 Suzuki has shown off its other Geneva motor show concept, the iK-2. Read about it here.
1140 Special correspondent Richard Webber has been chewing the fat with Nissan chiefs. "A design study to preview the next Nissan Juke is likely in the next year or so," reports Webber. "Despite the Juke's success in Europe, Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura doesn't plan to play it safe with the design of the next model, but instead plans to 'go even further'. Public reaction to the concept when it is seen will help shape the next Juke."
1136 Remaining with Renault, the wraps have come off the company's Kadjar SUV too.
1129 A word on the NanoFlowcell Quantino from our special correspondent Jesse Crosse: "It's an electric car without a battery. Instead, it uses two tanks of 'ionic' liquid, one positively and the other negatively charged. The tanks can be refuelled as quickly as a petrol tank, and the range is a claimed 621 miles. A super capacitor recovers and buffers electricity for high acceleration. Power is generated by the NanoFlowcell. The infrastructure will be straightforward, says the car's maker Quant, with existing filling stations relatively easy to upgrade."
1122 The NanoFlowcell Quantino isn't a name that trips off the tongue, but the little electric car does include some intriguing technology. It's just been officially revealed, so check out our story.
1116 Another word on the new Vauxhall Viva from our man Jesse Crosse: "There's a 3cyl, 74bhp engine and masses of advanced equipment on the options list including lane keeping and parking aids. At a starting price of £7995 when it goes on sale this summer, it's a steal."
1113 Autocar special correspondent Jesse Crosse is studying the Vauxhall Viva, the new city car that has adopted a old model name. "The new Vauxhall Viva is nothing like the HB Viva I learned to drive in aeons ago," says Crosse. "It's a Tardis car; bigger on the outside than it is on the inside. Designers have managed to create a package that comfortably accommodates six-footers front and rear, but still has a decent boot."
1108 Autocar and What Car? editor Jim Holder has found an unlikely star of the show over on the stand of the revived Borgward manufacturer. "Is it wrong to want the oldest car in the room?" he Tweets, drooling over a retro Borgward Isabella.
1048 We've also got more details on Touring Superleggera's Berlinetta Lusso concept. Based on Ferrari's F12, it'll be built in a limited production run of just five units.
1044 In all the excitement you may have missed Mitsubishi's XR PHEV II concept. It previews a new hybrid crossover which would slot underneath the Outlander PHEV, gets 160bhp from its hybrid powertrain.
1040 The Nissan Sway concept also gets the firm's new design language, with clear influences from the larger Murano. What do you think of it?
1038 On with the new car reveals now, as Nissan takes the covers off its Sway concept. The Sway previews how the next-generation Micra will look.
1035 Of course, we've already uncovered many of the secrets surrounding the Veyron's successor. See our scoop story here.
1033 Steve Cropley is over at the Bugatti stand, where the final Veyron has been revealed in special 'La Finale' form. However, company bosses have also confirmed a car "more breathtaking" than Veyron will follow.
1030 That means Honda is now the record holder for front-wheel drive production cars at the Nürburgring, eclipsing the previous record of 7min 54.3sec.
1025 More big news from Honda now, as the Japanese firm announces the new Civic Type R's Nürburgring lap time - it's 7min 50.63sec.
1020 One possibility for the hot Q30's powertrain is a 208bhp direct-injection 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged motor, says Julian Rendell. Read more here.
1018 Here's some interesting news from Infiniti. The company says it will bring a sporty version of the upcoming Q30 hatchback to market in around 2016 or 2017.
1015 The Regera is Koenigsegg's first hybrid model, but only 80 examples will be made. It features a V8 engine working in conjunction with three electric motors.
1013 Even the mighty Agera RS has got nothing on Koenigsegg's other creation, though. The Regera is a hybrid hypercar which has a total power output of...1782bhp.
1010 The Agera RS' massive rear wing helps to contribute to 450kg of downforce at 155mph. It's powered by a 5.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 motor, which produces 944lb ft of torque.
1007 Time for two massive new cars now from Koenigsegg. First up, it's the Agera RS, which 1144bhp from its V8 engine. Just 25 examples will be made.
1005 Paolo Pininfarina, CEO of Pininfarina, says he is hoping that the company will make more 'consistent and structured' limited production runs. "They bring more stability and credibility," he told Lewis Kingston.
1000 Lewis Kingston has been talking to Piero Mancardi, CEO of Touring Superleggera, who says one of the problems facing the coachbuilding industry is a lack of talented panel workers, trimmers and paint experts. He spends 30 per cent of his time trying to find new staff, and is considering establishing a network to train people in these 'dying arts'.
0955 The Aston Martin DBX concept features four-wheel dive and is all-electric. It's interesting to see Aston thinking beyond its core sports car market, but officials say the concept is nowhere near production ready. See more pictures here.
0950 The picture you currently see at the top of this gallery is Aston Martin's new DBX concept, which previews a new crossover GT car.
0909 Andrew Frankel also adds: "James Glickenhaus also says he'll be at the Le Mans 24 Hours with an LMP1 car in 2017. Yes you read that right."
0907 Another snippet of news from Autocar's Andrew Frankel on Twitter: "James Glickenhaus isn't shy of talking up the SCG 003. Double the downforce of a McLaren P1 allegedly. The car has more than 600bhp in road trim".
0905 Maserati has confirmed that it will introduce a plug-in hybrid in 2017, but company chiefs aren't exactly over the moon about the idea. Find out more here.
0902 Autocar's senior contributing writer, Andrew Frankel, is also keen to see exactly what is under the Aston Martin dust sheet. "Like the idea or not, the most important Aston since the DB7 lies under the sheet," he Tweets @Andrew_Frankel
0841 James Glickenhaus, an American car enthusiast, is establishing his own car brand, and has unveiled the SCG 003 at the Geneva motor show.
0825 Our man on the ground, Mark Tisshaw, describes the Aston Martin under wraps as "looking like a jacked-up saloon. Huge wheels and grille, very pronounced shoulder line, but clearly has a proper boot."
0755 Autocar's industry expert Hilton Holloway breaks down Aston Martin's strategy behind the new Lagonda Taraf luxury saloon, here. The firm has recently done a U-turn on its decision to only offer the Taraf in the Middle East, confirming it will be offered in the UK.
0730 Looking back over all the models revealed yesterday, one topic of conversation won't go away. It's Audi's Q7 e-tron, which is capable of emitting just 50g/km of CO2.
0725 More Porsche news - factory sources suggest that ramping up production of the Cayman GT4 further won’t be possible. UK buyers have been particularly hit by the small allocation of cars, leaving many unable to get hold of a car.
0722 A well-placed source has told Autocar that the eagerly-anticipated Cayman GT4 is already ‘virtually sold out’ across the world. A total production run of around 2000 cars has been planned and demand has already outstripped supply.
0715 Among all the news regarding Ford's Focus RS last night were two important points - firstly, the car will come with a 'drift' button inside, and secondly, it will also arrive with launch control.
0710 Rolls-Royce has also revealed is Serenity concept car, which celebrates the use of silk in luxury manufacturing.
0704 The updated Countryman is due to go on sale in the UK in July, and will be offered in both front and four-wheel drive forms.
0702 It's been a busy time overnight, too, as the first pictures of Mini's Countryman Park Lane concept have been revealed. See them all here.
Tuesday 3 March, 0652 (UK time) Morning all. Autocar's live blog is up and running ahead of a busy day at the Geneva motor show.
2340 Autocar's Geneva motor show live blog is simmering down for the evening, but we'll be back bright and early at 0700 (UK)/0800 (Geneva) tomorrow to report on a rather busy day of new car launches.
2337 This article about the Honda Civic Type-R has been one of our most-read online stories so far at the Geneva motor show.
2316 Which car was the highlight of tonight's Volkswagen Group night? Our Director of Testing John McIlroy has already chosen his favourite. Clue: it begins with 'B' and rhymes with 'gently'.
2313 We've now added some more pictures straight from the Geneva motor show floor to our gallery, above.
2104 Autocar's man Julian Rendell is encouraged by the looks of the new Bentley. "If the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept is a real glimpse of the future, Bentley is heading in a new sportier direction that should be applauded," he writes.
2101 Back over at the VW Group night, special correspondent Julian Rendell is assessing the significance of the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6. "Guessing the Bentley also gives clues of the next Porsche Panamera two-door," he writes. "Or the new 928, as we like to call it".
2055 Jenson Button wasn't the only Formula 1 race winner to take a starring role in the Geneva motor show. Three-time grand prix winner Johnny Herbert participated in Ford's press conference, where the European media got a closer look at the Ford GT and Focus RS.
2052 Autocar special correspondent Julian Rendell is getting a closer look at the Volkswagen Group's exhibits. "Hearing that the Porsche Cayman GT4 is already very close to selling out," he reports. "Global production of 2000 isn't enough. Many in the UK disappointed."
2041 We suspected people would be talking about Jenson at the Geneva motor show, but we thought they'd actually be referring to the return of the Jensen marque. In fact, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button was on hand this evening to help launch the Euro-spec Honda NSX.
2037 Autocar special correspondent Richard Webber has been taking a sneaky peek at the Kia Sportspace concept, which points towards the fourth-generation Kia Optima due later this year. What does our man think about the car's prospects? Read his thoughts here.
2034 Another snippet regarding the way Jaguar is pitching the new XE: today it has launched a three-year unlimited miles warranty for the car, with three year's servicing and roadside assistance. Running costs are the key issue in this segment, say Jaguar bosses, because most of the high volume of business car customers.
2028 Our associate editor Hilton Holloway is grilling Jaguar Land Rover chiefs, who are pretty pleased with the way the new Jaguar XE has been received. Bosses say 500,000 configurations of the car have been made by prospective customers on the XE website, and the site has been visited by a total of five million people.
2013 Autocar editor Jim Holder is getting more excited about the Ford Focus RS by the minute. He's just been told by Ford chiefs that the car has a 'drift mode' and launch control. Both of which should liven up his two-mile urban commute. Anyway, read more about the Focus RS here.
2008 Does the Lamborghini Aventador Super Veloce win the prize for most aggressively styled vehicle seen at the Geneva motor show thus far? Browse through our gallery of exclusive pictures of the car and then let us know your views.
2004 Now here's an interesting concept car. The Italdesign Giugiaro GEA concept previews a self-driving Audi saloon. Apparently it can turn into a mobile office or even a gym. If that intrigues you, read the full story here.
2000 Some further interesting news from Autocar editor Jim Holder, who is still chatting about the Ford GT with Blue Oval chiefs. The all-new supercar will be priced to compete with the Lamborghini Aventador, according to Ford, which will put it in the region of £240,000. Read more about the GT here.
1953 Land Rover's Gerry McGovern has also been talking more generally about the recent revisions announced for the big-selling Range Rover Evoque, according to our man on the ground Hilton Holloway. McGovern describes the 2016 model year Evoque design as "refined and improved, with higher-quality trim materials and increased luxury and refinement". He has compared the tweaks to the car as being similar to the approach Apple takes with the iPhone, evolving the product over the years.
1949 Swinging over the Jaguar Land Rover presentation, Autocar's associate editor Hilton Holloway has been listening to Land Rover's design chief Gerry McGovern discuss the new Range Rover Evoque Convertible, which was confirmed for production earlier today. The Evoque Convertible has a "business case that works" says McGovern, who added that there is "very big demand for the car" from potential customers.
1946 Martin Winterkorn has also spoken about the 'digitisation of cars', according to our man at the VW Group night. "Interesting to hear Winterkorn acknowledging that customers want digitisation of cars, but also of retail and dealers. Could this be the next big industry shift?"
1944 Another interesting snippet of news via our Director of Testing John McIlroy: "VW Group boss Martin Winterkorn says Europe needs to give new tech more of a chance. He hints strongly that an improved electric vehicle infrastructure is needed if makers are to hit targets".
1935 What Car and Autocar Director of Testing John McIlroy is now hearing Volkswagen Group big cheese Martin Winterkorn give his traditional state of the nation address at VW Group night. Winterkorn is proud of the fact that the group now has 57 models in its portfolio that emit 95g/km or less.
1930 Ford has made the most tacit admission yet that the stunning new Ford GT will be taken onto the race track, according to Autocar and What Car? editor Jim Holder. Asked the question, Ford's chief technical officer Raj Nair said: "Clearly the car would make a great platform for racing. Right now we're focusing on production, but that's an interesting question". It's the closest thing we've heard to a "yes" so far, so we live in hope of seeing the Ford name back at Le Mans...
1924 Next up, Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE has been revealed and is pictured in the gallery, above. Our man on the scene, John McIlroy, explains that the concept "previews the next Volkswagen CC. It is claimed to bridge the gap between the Volkswagen Passat and the Phaeton".
1916 Here's an interesting creation - the Audi Q7 e-tron. A seven-seat SUV with a plug-in diesel-electric powertrain and a claimed range of 876 miles.
1913 WOW - Bentley said it had a 'special surprise' for the Geneva motor show, and now you can see it in the gallery above. The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is a two-seat concept car, the kind of thing that might tempt certain buyers our of their Aston Martin DB9s...
1904 Autocar's senior contributing writer Andrew Frankel is over at the Honda Civic Type-R launch and has been trying to get an answer to one all-important question: "Civic Type-R looks impressively like the concept. But what is its Nürburgring time? Honda's not saying this evening, but hints that 'we won't need to ask the question tomorrow'. Which I think means it is at least sub-eight minutes".
1902 News that will make my brother-in-law (and unashamed hot hatch fan) very happy - here's the Honda Civic Type-R in all its glory. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
1858 After myriad special editions, we might have finally seen the final Bugatti Veyron ever, as the 'La Finale' edition is rolled out in front of the crowds at Volkswagen Group night. But Autocar's Director of Testing John McIlroy has picked up a snippet of news on its successor: "Next Bugatti Veyron confirmed. Will be a super sports car and still use the W16 engine" That confirms a story Autocar covered last summer - full details here.
1854 The quite remarkable Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV has also had its unveiling. See an image of that up top, and some more details later.
1836 Our Director of Testing John McIlroy is already anticipating the new models we'll see from the various Volkswagen Group brands" "Tonight's highlights should include the new Audi R8, the Skoda Superb and maybe something we haven't actually seen already (from Seat)".
1833 Our Director of Testing John McIlroy has got his elbows out to grab some space at the busy Volkswagen Group event. He'll be tweeting the news as it happens, and you can follow him @johnmcilroy
1831 Autocar boss Jim Holder is heading off to chat to Ford, and reckons the Blue Oval is pulling out all the stops this year: "The Ford Focus RS relaunch is at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, which is believed to be home to the most expensive hotel suite in Europe. It's £52k a night and covers the entire eighth floor, I'm told. The Focus RS isn't on that floor and nor are any Ford execs, I'm assured. Wouldn't do the RS's reputation for big bangs for little bucks any good, anyhow." Reveal is 2000hrs Geneva time (1900 UK).
1821 Autocar and What Car? editor Jim Holder has also reached Geneva ahead of tomorrow's show. He feels that the state of the car market in China could be a major topic of conversation during the next few days.
1819 Autocar's Matt Prior is part of the judging panel for the Car of the Year award, and he's explained how he awarded points to the seven cars in this year's final round of judging.
1817 In other show-related news, the Volkswagen Passat has been declared the 2015 Car of the Year, eclipsing opposition from cars such as the Citroën C4 Cactus and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
1815 Our friends at Pistonheads managed to wangle their way into the show halls early, and snapped the striking new Kahn Flying Huntsman 6x6 in all its glory and shared the pics with us.
1809 We've also seen the Infiniti QX30 crossover, and we've had the opportunity to grab some exclusive photographs of that new model. Well, it's still officially a concept, but looks pretty much finished to us...
1804 In about 25 minutes we'll bring you the news as it rolls in from the Volkswagen Group's preview evening, which almost by default has become a traditional curtain-raiser to most major motor shows.
1803 Geneva is huge this year. There are important unveilings from any key manufacturer you care to mention, including Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Rolls-Royce. If you scroll further down this story, you'll find a comprehensive list of what we expect to see in the coming hours.
1803 While they pound the show floor at base we have a smaller (but no less perfectly formed) team of six back at our offices in Middlesex.
1802 Our team at the show is 16-strong, comprising journalists and photographers from Autocar and our sister publication What Car?. Hopefully they've all remembered to take along their adapter plugs for those tricky Swiss electric sockets…
1801hrs Right then, here we go. It's time for Autocar's live coverage of the 2015 Geneva motor show to creak into action. During the next couple of days, we'll serve up words and pictures on all the car unveilings at the Swiss event, as well as news direct from our team on the show floor and some smatterings of salacious gossip as well.
The Geneva motor show takes place from 3rd to 15th March 2015. Autocar will be there to bring you the latest news, pictures and industry gossip from one of the most important events of the year.