The various glitzy debuts, dramatic reveals, and subdued unwraps scheduled for the 2018 Geneva motor show came and went. Now as the flurry of news, announcements, and direction changes has had some time to settle, let’s go back into the fray with some wiser eyes to make sense of all this.
As did in previous years, the consistent theme with present-day motor shows is that of electrification. Every concept car or production model bowing in, realistic or downright wacky, has had some EV or hybrid component to it either currently implemented, or planned for the near future. However, this year felt a little different.
Geneva 2018, being the year’s most prominent motor show, played host to some of the most fleshed out electric vehicles yet. Perhaps it’s just a matter of coincidence that technology and the latent ambition of various automakers converging at this point in time - all seemingly ready to pounce on a future more bereft than ever of engine noise.
Perhaps it was the arrival of the Tesla Model 3 that spurred the launch of Jaguar I-PACE, the announcement yet another insane EV beast from Rimac, the nearly complete electric SUV from Audi, and Porsche’s second vehicle use the Mission E name. The American EV maker wasn’t present in the Swiss capital, but nearly every one else was showing off their own weapon.
The great EV hunt begins.
Jag may have skirted the torrent of announcements that began early last week by announcing their EV line-up ahead of the motor show, but their presence could only boost the I-PACE’s notoriety. With a big battery that would equal lots of range, enough sheer torque to make you (temporarily) forget about their supercharged V8s and a body that melds the cross with the coupe-hatch, there’s a lot to be looking forward to with from these Brits. The I-PACE arrives in Australia this August too, by the way.
Audi’s stand was a little more low key this year, preferring to unveil their first true EV, the e-tron, later this year once fully baked. Still, the car itself looks near as it’s ever going to be to production-spec despite it’s funky wrap. The company even sent out a mini-fleet of them to roam Geneva’s roads, so that as much exposure (and hopefully, hype) can be milked for the four-ring’d assault on the Tesla Model X.
It might look a little surgical, even soulless, but most dangerous of assassins are usually the ones that blend in. The grey exterior and covered wheel hubs don’t do much to add visual drama, but this might be the first car to boast a real-life warp drive. It’s the sequel to the Concept One, the sadistically quick EV hypercar from Rimac of Croatia. 0-97km/h in 1.85 seconds, apparently. Holy smokes *pun intended*.
We didn’t get the full reveal of an all-new Toyota Supra, and the world collectively makes a sad face. As a consolation prize, the Japanese automaker gives us a pretty good idea of what the next car will look like if it ever goes racing, leaving us fans to reverse engineer the exterior design to draw conclusions of how the showroom model will look like. Spoiler - still pretty good. And with rumours still strong that it’ll be powered by a BWM straight-6 and hit 100km/h in less than 4 seconds, we’re happy to stay patient.
Speaking of BMW, the Munich automaker wasn’t ready either to show us their Z4 Roadster or the fully fleshed out version of the gorgeous M8 coupe they unveiled last year. Instead, here’s what the replacement for the 6 Series Gran Coupe will look like. Just tone down the more extreme bits, remove drama, and there we have it. Glad to see that the 6 GC, one of our favourite BMWs, will receive a worthy successor. Fingers crossed.
Isn’t that a CLS? We’ll no, it’s sold under the AMG (not Benz) brand. However, it sure is quite similar at a fundamental level. However, Affalterbach has had its way with it, in the period intervening has managed to mutate it into a four-door version of their venerable AMG GT, only with…four-doors. Clever name, that, would never have guessed. Replete with a thumping V8, AMG are gunning right for the Porsche Panamera. Even quicker hybrid version incoming.
Porsche has appeared to have reversed a Mission E (which looks like a sleek four-door coupe) into the front of one of their Panamera Sport Turismos to create this - a crossover. It’s all wheel drive but doesn’t necessarily justify all that cladding and faux 4x4-ness. Still, it’s plenty quick and has had tech shoved up to its gills. Thankfully, it’ll be preceded by the proper Mission E fully electric version, though, the one we all want.
Has Volkswagen has had too much sleep that it sees ZZZZZs everywhere? This concept car looks incredible and should be a preview of their first real stab against the Tesla Model S and its ilk. It’s no accident that it strongly resembles their new Arteon either, their most desirable model. Shame VW failed to include a pair of foot pedals or even a steering wheel here, clearly intending for the car to be self-driving entirely. Shame. Doesn’t the world want to drive a car this beautiful, not just sit inside and take a nap?
Lagonda, the semi-obscure semi-new ultra-luxury semi-sub-brand of Aston Martin, has revealed their vision to essentially out-Rolls Rolls Royce, but doing so by focusing intensely on the future. No specs exist yet, but it’ll utilise the latest in EV technology to deliver unparalleled luxury with brain-bending performance and handling - or at least that’s the idea. Imagine a Rapide from the 22nd century. They expect a full production model bearing much of this concept’s design to drop in 2021, which is much earlier than most had expected.