Outsiders Perspective: 2015 Geneva International Motor Show (Part One)

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There’s no way of going around it. This year’s Geneva motor show has been absolutely packed with cool and impressive things. From concepts that we’ll know we won’t get but are cool anyway to supercars and down to the cars the people actually buy; I’ll have to split this article in two parts just from the sheer amount of stuff to run through. When Lamborghini introduces a new car and nobody pays any attention to it because there is so much more to see, you know you’re in for something good.
Indeed, the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV was introduced to a level of excitement roughly equal to the one you have when a coworker is telling you all about the complexity of their five-year plan and how hard it was to get a thumbs-up from their life coach. Which is odd because it’s a wild Lamborghini with a huge spoiler and a bump in power and a new bodykit that makes it even more insane. Paint this car black and you actually have the Batmobile. But it didn’t matter because, everyone was talking about the Aventador’s little cousin instead.

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What to make of the new Audi R8? The V8 out and replaced by a choice between a V10 producing either 540 or 610 horsepower or a full electric e-tron for the Tony Starks of the world. That’s good. However, also gone is any sense of subtlety from the front-end. That’s not so good. Audi’s new design language works perfectly on giant “Get-out-of-my-way” crossovers or on ludicrously fast sedans, but I’m not so sure it works as well on a low, curvy supercar. It seems tacked-on, as if they had some extra Audi TT front ends and had to use them somehow.
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On the subject of Fast Audi’s. The New Audi RS3. For the man that wants a Golf R but isn’t quite sure if a 2.0-liter engine and a Volkswagen badge will make the cut. The RS3 is built on the same platform as the Golf but instead of a namby-pamby 300 HP two-point-oh-tee it gets a 2.5-liter five cylinder engine with 367 raging Germanic Pferde. And I suppose Jeff will be testing that one when it makes it stateside (And absolutely adoring it.)
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But what if instead of a pocket rocket you want crossover that looks like it was stung by a bee and is having a particularly nasty allergic reaction and has a regal name that makes it sound like it’ll be elegant and upscale when it really isn’t? I give you the Mini Countryman Park Lane. There’s not much else to say about this one. Expect to see it in showrooms wearing a BMW 2 series price tag later this year.
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Giugiaro showed up to the floor with this. The rather uncreatively called Giugiaro Concept Geneva. An autonomous car with a manual mode, it looks like an Audi S7 had a romantic evening with a Lincoln Mark VII. Suicide doors without B-Pillars and gigantic 26-inch rims compliment the look. Expect to see it in a museum in a couple of decades.
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Lotus is trying to get its groove back after Dany Bahar’s complete trainwreck of mismanagement. That trainwreck started right at this show five years ago when Proton approached him to see if he could make Lotus turn a profit for once. He proceeded to burn money like it was firewood in a bid to try and make another Ferrari. It didn’t go well and now Lotus is trying to take steps to recover.
One of those steps is this. The Evora 400. The 3.5-liter Toyota engine has benefited from further tweaks, making its power output rise to 400 horsepower. It’s also longer and, crucially for a Lotus, quite a bit lighter. Hopefully this will buy them sometime to try and set things right. It’s a shame that it has come to this for Lotus, especially when you see how other British expatriate brands are doing. Like Bentley.
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Bentley has no shortage of cash. The appeal of the Continental GT and the Mulsanne amongst people that love to engage in a bit of conspicuous consumption means that uncle VAG is always happy to give them a generous slice of pie so they are able to keep and pursue that market. The newest example of this is the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept. And is it just me or does it look suspiciously production ready. The speedy, as I’ll call it because I can’t be bothered to write that name all over again, was there to gauge interest and see if a production version would be viable. The design is fantastic and the interior doesn’t let you forget you’re in a Bentley with its luxurious tan quilted leather. Hopefully it’ll be attractive enough to make it to production in 18 months and into half of the Barcelona F.C players garage’s in 19 months.
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The other half will show up in a vinyl-wrapped 488 GTB. More aggressive, more powerful and a bit heavier; the GTB has the best power output per liter than any Ferrari ever built. I’m sure that’ll make you a hit of the ladies. At least it’ll be useful to run from Ferrari representatives when they show up to the door to tell you very sternly that you need to take the vinyl wrap off as it completely compromises the purity and tradition of the brand. And if you don’t they’ll be forced to forbid you from buying a Ferrari ever again. There’s no pop-out roof panel option for you to live your Magnum P.I fantasies either.
If this was all there was to see on the show, it’d be an excellent show. However, there’s still so much more to see. Join me in part 2 where we’ll take a look at Koenigseggs, Aston Martins and the best cars of the show. Also a Diesel Golf.

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  1. roguetoaster Avatar

    Perhaps this is a bit off the wall, but is it to be said Bentley “EXP-10, Speed 6 Concept” or “EXP 10-Speed, 6 Concept” or “EXP, 10-Speed-6 Concept”?

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      According to their press release, it’s “EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept”. Almost as much of a mouth full as “Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 SuperVeloce”… almost.

      1. roguetoaster Avatar

        Before the hockey game started I asked a few other people what they thought of the concept name, and no one was sure which aspects of the name associated with each other. There was much confusion, and then the Capitals played like they were confused, and lost. Thanks, Bentley.

  2. ptschett Avatar

    I’m skeptical about Peak Oil, but we have to be hitting Peak Wheel Diameter any time now.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      I hope so, that might increase availability of 13″ tires some day!

      1. ptschett Avatar

        I feel your pain… I didn’t even like the range of choices that I had the last time I bought tires for my ’96 Ford Thunderbird that runs on 215/70R15’s, where the tire makers seem to have given up on supplying tires with any kind of performance credential beyond a tread design that nominally rates a “M+S” sidewall stamp.

  3. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    ” It looks like an Audi S7 had a romantic evening with a Lincoln Mark VII.”
    Perfect description.
    Is this all we can expect of the master in his dotage?