Geneva this year wasn’t chock-full of speculative new models. Rather, brands set about emphasising their core strengths and their faith in the future. Citroen, for instance, showed its DS3. Project leader Mark Lloyd says the appealing concept is 98 per cent similar to the production car we’ll see next year.
Aston Martin showed the million-pound One-77’s impressive carbon fibre tub and the hand-crafted magnificence of the hand-made, mostly alloy parts that will both propel and clothe it. Also on the show was the new Lagonda Concept, which shows that today’s Aston management sees the famous-but-moribund marque as the place for a giant coachbuilt crossover, the one major model type they don’t have.
BMW at last revealed its much ballyhooed 5-series Gran Turismo, an appealing, slightly taller 5-series hatch with variable loading and seating options.
Volkswagen slipped its new Polo onto the stand, but it looks quite a lot like a Golf Mk6, especially from the front, so you had to look twice to notice. However, VW group product chief Ulrich Hackenberg promises a car with the Golf Mk6’s suspension and reckons it’ll work far better on British roads.
Skoda’s long-awaited Yetisoft-roader looked neat and agile, but you couldn’t say the same for the bizarre Fabia Scout, an estate with plastic cladding along the sides.
Undoubted star of Ferrari"s stand was the 599XX, a barmy, track-based lightweight coupe, which the 30-or-so owners will be allowed to keep at Ferrari’s Fiorano test facility.
Rolls-Royce’s star young exterior designer Andreas Thurner was on hand with project chief Ian Cameron to take the plaudits for the 200EX saloon concept. Still no news on the V12 engine, but more and more are betting on a new-generation 6.0-litre BMW unit.