These are all of the most important car launches and news stories from the biggest event in the European car calendar
Steve Cropley Autocar
8 March 2017

For a while, it looked as though new cars might have to take a back seat at the 2017 Geneva motor show.

When Peugeot let it be known over the weekend that it would be officially announcing the purchase of Opel a day before the show's traditional Tuesday preview, it seemed we were in for a lot of corporate guff that would take focus from what, going in, looked a bumper crop of new metal in all departments. But it's amazing how quickly things move on.

By Tuesday, we were back to cars: the car community had 'banked' the PSA-Opel knowledge and had also digested reassuring statements from PSA chief Carlos Tavares – who even managed to sound bullish about the prospects for the UK component supply business if there were a hard Brexit.

Various bosses of companies that sell or make cars in the UK queued up to reiterate how important a zero-tariff post-Brexit situation was going to be, but that has become no more than slightly annoying mood music. Cars were soon back in the spotlight.

Of course, there was a power race. McLaren's new 720S (710bhp) does much more than merely up the power of the Woking company's new core model. It also introduces a new look for McLaren, with interesting new answers to mid-engined supercar aerodynamics and revolutionised driver visibility.

But its engine output was nevertheless quickly compared by headline-hungry hacks with that of the new Ferrari 812 Superfast (new V12) and with a collection of newcomers such as Aston Martin's hypercar, now dubbed Valkyrie, the Techrules Ren (1287bhp from a jet-propelled range-extender) and Singapore's all-electric Dendrobrium, built by Williams Advanced Engineering, a company relatively fresh, let it never be forgotten, from creating the stillborn but brilliant hybrid Jaguar C-X75.

Further down the price scale was the new Honda Civic Type R, all wings and vents as usual, which, despite talk of a calmer character, will still have an even higher engine output of 316bhp and a 0-60mph time in the mid-five-second bracket when it starts production in the UK this summer and reaches showrooms in the autumn. Even Tata had a supercar, the neat and compact-looking Racemo, which said good things about the scale of its ambitions. 

Geneva always provides an outing for traditional Italian concept car builders, and Volkswagen-owned Italdesign (which showed its super-exclusive £2m Zerouno) and Mahindra-owned Pininfarina (with the spectacular but plausible Fittipaldi EF7) both staged heartening returns to the real world.

Amazing what a bit of big-company backing can do. Alongside other concepts, Bentley had the EXP12, the second iteration of a roadster that now looks nailed on eventually to be its fifth model line, and at the other end of the scale, Citroën extended its new look with C-Aircross, a pretty accurate view of the forthcoming C3 Picasso.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) always enjoys Geneva and staged another of its familiar 'Ian and Gerry' shows. Jaguar chief designer Ian Callum opened the bidding with the long-awaited XF Sportbrake, as handsome as ever, but Land Rover's Gerry McGovern held the winning hand in this phase of the design chiefs' continuing rivalry with an all-new Range Rover, the Velar, whose similarity under the skin to Callum's recently launched Jaguar F-Pace was largely (and happily) lost on the vast audience.

The JLR undercurrent was a swathe of models now offering various high-power versions of the Wolverhampton-built Ingenium petrol and diesel engines in place of expensively bought-in (and usually less efficient) units.

What else? 'Autonomous' and 'driverless' were terms freely bandied on just about every stand. Peugeot's bumf on its sweet-looking Instinct concept was so packed with detail about connectivity and self driving that it forgot to draw attention to its interesting proportions (it is a coupé-like estate) or the fact that it is a step towards finding a new design style for the brand.

And there was the usual crop of new season's refreshes: Audi RS3, Bentley Continental GT, BMW 4 Series and Infiniti Q50 among them.

VW, always in the news, even helped us end on a hearteningly bizarre note: lovers of quirky car names have long since given up hope of a revival for the much-mourned Nissan Cedric, but this year, VW has stepped into the breech with a self-driving pod called Sedric. It put the icing on the cake. As hacks departed for home on every point of the compass, all seemed right with the world.

Read our minute-by-minute coverage below to find out how the biggest stories at the Geneva motor show unfolded:

 

Geneva motor show 2017: the star cars

Alpine A110

Reborn Renault-owned sports car maker Alpine has brought its A110 to the Geneva motor show. It's the first time we've seen the production version of the car in the metal, although Alpine has been drip-feeding details of the mid-engined coupé to its website

Aston Martin Q Commission

The British sports car maker's Q customisation department has launched a new service that allows buyers to spec completely bespoke models for the first time. Aston is also showing a customised DB11 (above) to illustrate an expanded range of Q options.

Citroën C3 Picasso

Citroën's latest concept car, the C-Aircross, indirectly previews the new C3 Picasso, which will take on the Nissan Juke when it goes on sale early next year.

Vanda Dendrobium electric hypercar

Singapore's first hypercar uses Williams F1 technology and has a top speed of 200mph. Similar in its intentions to the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercars, it's likely to be built in very limited numbers.

Eadon Green Black Cuillin

Fledgling UK company and potential Morgan rival Eadon Green has revealed its dramatic Black Cuillin, which gets a retro-styled exterior inspired by cars of the 1930s.

Ferrari 812 Superfast

The 812 Superfast, Ferrari’s replacement for the F12 Berlinetta, is one of many supercars at the Geneva show. The 789bhp V12 two-door is the most powerful series production Ferrari yet produced.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda showed a production-ready Civic Type R with 316bhp at Geneva. It's slightly toned down compared with the old car but should be even faster.

Hyundai i30 Tourer

The estate version of Hyundai's new five-door i30 is one of the most spacious models in its class. It mixes generous dimensions with a slanting roofline and a more luxurious interior.

Italdesign V10 supercar

Italian design house Italdesign has launched a new car brand, dubbed Italdesign Automobili Speciali, with a V10 sports car called the Zerouno. It shares its powertrain with top-spec Audi R8s.

Kia Picanto

The smallest Kia gets a fresh new look, a more upmarket interior and updated technology and safety features. A sporty GT-Line trim also features, but a full-fat GT won't be produced.

Koenigsegg Agera RS Gryphon

This one-off Koenigsegg Agera RS Gryphon, which has been produced for an unnamed customer, features 24-carat gold accents.

Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Land Rover's Porsche Macan rival is its most road-biased model yet. Called the Velar, it sits between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport and will go on sale later this year.

Lamborghini Huracán Performante

Lamborghini’s lightweight Huracán has smashed the Nürburgring lap record for production cars. It's powered by a mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10 engine producing 631bhp and 443lb ft, making it the most powerful engine of its type yet produced by Lamborghini.

McLaren 720S

 

McLaren unveiled its replacement for the 650S at Geneva. Called the 720S, it gets an aero-focused new look and 710bhp.

Mercedes-AMG G 65 4x4 Landaulet

Mercedes-AMG has revealed its G 65 4x4² Landaulet, a limited-volume, V12-powered semi-convertible version of the G-Class. The hig-spec off-roader acts as a swansong for the outgoing car, which will be replaced by a heavily updated model later this year.

Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate

The new Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate is the world's quickest wagon, hitting 0-62mph in 3.5sec in range-topping S 4Matic+ guise. That's just 0.1sec slower than its saloon equivalent. Its closest rival, the fastest version of the Audi RS6 Avant, covers the same sprint in 3.7sec.

Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50

Mercedes is showing top-end Edition 50 versions of its AMG GT C Roadster, C 63 Cabriolet and C 43 4Matic. The Edition 50 version of the hard-top GT C was revealed earlier this year.

Mitsubishi Eclipse

Mitsubishi is a rather late joiner of the Qashqai rival club, but the Eclipse is a car that could turn the ailing manufacturer's fortunes around under new Renault-Nissan management. Its look is derived from that of the XR-PHEV concept, first seen in 2013. The Eclipse name was formerly used on a sports coupé produced from 1989 until 2011.

Nissan Qashqai facelift

Nissan brought its updated Qashqai to Switzerland. The model introduces Nissan's single-lane autonomous tech, called Propilot. A £30,000-plus Tekna+ version is coming later this year to challenge the Audi Q3.

Pagani Huayra Roadster

This open-top version of the Huayra gets a breathed-on version of the twin-turbocharged V12 engine used by the coupé, but here producing 754bhp. It weighs 1280kg dry and is priced from a cool £2.32 million. Just 100 will be made, and it's already sold out.

Pininfarina Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo

A supercar called the Pininfarina Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo has been developed in conjunction with two-time F1 champ and Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi. The model uses a 600bhp naturally-aspirated V8 and is designed for the track.

Porsche 911 GT3 facelift

The updated 911 GT3 gets a manual gearbox option for the first time, and a redline of 9000rpm. It also gets a new engine - a 4.0-litre flat six with 493bhp.

Seat Ibiza

The new Ibiza is a sleeker, more technologically advanced model that will go on sale in July. It shares its underpinnings with the Arona small SUV, which itself will arrive on roads near the end of the year.

Spyker C8 Preliator Spyder

Spyker's drop-top sports car swaps the Audi-supplied supercharged 4.2-litre V8 of older models for a Koenigsegg-developed 592bhp V8.

Subaru XV

The second-generation Subaru XV small SUV is based on the company’s new Global Platform that is also used for the new Impreza. At the heart of the model will be boxer engines mounted in a way that's said to reduce vibration.

Suzuki Swift

 

Suzuki's new swift is actually more compact than the old car, but a longer wheelbase helps free up more space inside. The Japanese Ford Fiesta rival also sports an evolved look.

Techrules Ren

 

The Techrules Ren is a 1287bhp electric supercar with a patented diesel-fuelled turbine-recharging (TREV) system. It can do 0-62mph in 2.5sec and tops out at 217mph.

Toyota Yaris hot hatch

The Toyota Yaris GRMN hot hatch takes the name of the brand's Gazoo motorsport outfit's performance models. The car will go on sale later this year. It’s confirmed to have 205bhp from its 1.8-litre supercharged engine.

Volvo XC60

Geneva is the venue for the debut of the new XC60 small SUV. It borrows its look from the larger XC90 and will go head-to-head with the Jaguar F-Pace.

Volkswagen Arteon

Volkswagen’s replacement coupé for the CC moves another step away from its Passat variant roots with a new name but the same sort of styling. Since the Phaeton has now ended production, this will be the most expensive saloon in Volkswagen's range. We’ve already driven an early prototype, and there are whisperings of a shooting brake variant, too.

Vauxhall Crossland X

Vauxhall's new Crossland X 'urban' small SUV is the replacement for the Meriva MPV. It sits alongside the Mokka X rivals the Renault Captur.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

This stretched, seven-seat-optional Volkswagen Tiguan gets a choice of six four-cylinder engines and is likely to cost from around £26,000.

Zenvo TS1 GT anniversary model

To mark 10 years of business, Danish supercar maker Zenvo has launched an anniversary version of its TS1 GT in Geneva. The car is powered by a twin-supercharged 5.8-litre V8 that produces more than 1150bhp.

Our Verdict

Porsche 911 GT3

Latest 911 GT3 is big and brutal; despite this Porsche has made it faster, more responsive and more user-friendly than ever

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Comments
6

TS7

20 January 2017
... today Autocar claims that the Porsche 911 GT3 "will retain the 3.8-litre engine of the current GT3", two days ago Mr Frankel claims, on this very same website, that it "will have a 4.0-litre flat six engine".

7 March 2017
Only the escort is anything other than marketing driven drivel.

7 March 2017
I thought this was being launched at the show?

8 March 2017
[quote=thesecretdriver]I thought this was being launched at the show?[/quote] Reading Steve Cropley 's piece it has been launched but only in his head it would appear.

8 March 2017
It's all over the foreign press but no pics here ?

8 March 2017
What happened to the revised VW Polo, I thought it was supposed to be announced this week?

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