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Hooniversal Opinion: 2017 Geneva International Motor Show

Greg Kachadurian March 8, 2017 Featured, Geneva Motor Show 6 Comments

The Geneva International Motor Show is a car show for the dreamers. Of all the regular stops on the show circuit, Geneva is always the least practical, the most expensive, but the most spectacular.

Sure, several more family-friendly cars that we’re all more likely to own someday are revealed here too, but it’s always been and will continue to be the place where the very best cars from the world’s greatest manufacturers battle for the coveted spot on your child’s bedroom wall. This year’s show absolutely delivered.

As is tradition, this is the part where your favorite Hooniverse contributors prove that we can’t have nice things. None of us were able to fly out to Geneva, but we can still pass judgments – good and bad – on all the cars making their debut there and offer some expert analysis and insight. About two dozen cars and comments from several hoons are just after the jump, so read what we have to say and chime in for yourself.

McLaren 720S

The McLaren 720S is the replacement for the long-serving 650S and is an entirely new car from the ground up. All-new design, brand-new 720 metric horsepower (710 American HP) twin-turbo V8, and more go fast tech than ever before.

 

It’s been incredible to watch this company grow from their very first car just several years ago to what they are now and the 720S only solidifies my love for them. It’s a 2,800-pound car with 710 horsepower… it’s hard to not love this thing, but I think it’s easy to not love the looks. I generally like their designs but the only one I completely fell in love with was the P1’s and I don’t think I’ll be completely sold on this one either. I usually like their stuff better in person though. 8/10, would still drive.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Love it, I am a big fan of McLaren and the new 720S just goes to show how far this company has come. The turbo V8 engine is a great package and good to see it continue. The new interior looks good, really liking the new centre console layout.

-Joel Strickland

 

McLaren started off with a decent looking design in the MP4-12C, and they’ve continually made their cars look worse ever since. The new 720 is the single worst automobile design I’ve ever set my eyes upon. It looks like a depressed Ferrari F430 crossed with a bottom feeding fish.

-Bradley Brownell

 

I agree with Brad that it’s not their best design, but it’s not that bad. There’s definitely something fishy, er…off, that doesn’t sit right with me, but hopefully that’s the result of McLaren’s function-over-form mantra rather than a true design misstep. It goes without saying that the performance will be incredible, and while it might not be the best looking car ever, as long as McLaren is actually still making cars I’m just happy to see them doing so.

Ross Ballot

 

While I still think the 675LT and the P1 are better designs, but as a lifelong fan of McLaren I’m so pumped to see them unveil the second generation of their Super Series. Surprised to see their new twin-turbo V8 grow rather than shrink, but it’ll be interesting to see where this motor goes from it’s already mighty 710 HP. I’m down for whatever McLaren is serving up, and I can’t wait to see what this car can do in person.

Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Brad is officially a crazy person. This thing looks incredible.

-Jeff

 

McLaren has a design motto ‘everything for a reason’ – a noble ethos, but I can’t help but wish charisma scored a little higher on the priority list. It looks like a McLaren – an amazingly effective machine, perhaps without parallel in pure supercar terms. But never something you could fall in love with.

-Chris Haining

 

Lamborghini Huracán Performante

The Huracán Performante is the high(er) performance successor to the Gallardo Superleggeras of yesteryear and has a lot going for it. It’s got the most powerful V10 in company history, neat active aero engineering, and a [controversial] Nürburgring lap time record.

 

I think my favorite part about this car, other than 640 all natural V10 horsepower and the styling, is that active aerodynamic tech they introduced with it. It uses a series of flaps in the front splitter and bonnet to redirect airflow while requiring fewer moving parts. They figured out how to make a dynamic rear wing out of a fixed wing. Genius. And I still don’t believe the Performante the general public will be able to buy can replicate a 6:52 around the ‘Ring, but the YouTube personalities buying them with their “YouTube money” won’t care because YOU’LL NEVER BELEIVE HOW FAST MAH PERFORMANT CAN GO.

Greg Kachadurian

 

I like the idea of the Performante, and the Huracan is probably the best looking Italian car since the early 1970s. This is a win in my books. Well done Lamborghini.

-Bradley Brownell

 

A high performance Huracan, a big two thumbs up from me. Looking forward to seeing a couple of these on track in Australia in the not too distant future.

-Joel Strickland

 

It’s nice to see Lamborghini taking the Huracan to the “next level” as opposed to Audi doing so with their softer R8 cousin. The Performante looks rad and has the performance to back it up, and though I’m not totally convinced of the 6:52 ‘Ring time, good for them if it actually did so.

Ross Ballot

 

Yes because when I drove the Huracan last year what I thought it needed was even more power and crazy aero. With a suspect Ring time and enough sharp edges to cut yourself on it’s certainly the most talked about car of the show so far. I’m into the look, the new exhaust setup looks boss as hell, and if their aero works the way they say it does it’s some serious next level shit.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

I actually do think Lamborghini pulled off this crazy ‘Ring time. Also, the Huracan was already the best driving Lambo ever made, and now it’s even more insane. This thing is probably really really really fun to drive.

-Jeff

 

The Huracan deserves praise from all corners, not least for being one of the few supercars left that relies on brute force rather than sophistication to deliver its thrills – and the Performante is its most extreme expression. I just wish it could have been called Jota.

-Chris Haining

 

Porsche 911 (991.2) GT3

For the 911 GT3’s mid-life refresh, Porsche learned the err of its ways and brought back the six-speed manual transmission option. Coupled with a 500-horsepower, 4.0-liter flat six that’s still naturally aspirated, it’s sure to be the modern GT3 the purists have been waiting for.

 

I think even Porsche got tired of how ridiculously overpriced the 911R was in the used car market. “Jeez, you guys were paying how much for a manual GT3 equivalent? Fuck it, here you go.” – Someone at Porsche, probably.

Greg Kachadurian

 

A naturally aspirated flat six engine. Five hundred horsepower. 9000 RPM redline. A six-speed manual gearbox. More downforce than a 997.2 GT3 RS. I was a Porsche believer before, but this is a car that has me 100% won over. Best in show, in my opinion. As my friends at Sharkwerks say, #PDKREXIT. Manuals are more fun.

-Bradley Brownell

 

Always wondered about Porsche’s decision to go PDK only on the GT3, now we know that is obviously demand for the manual gearbox. Good to see it back. Now it will be interesting to see where everyone choices go PDK or Manual? The PDK is quicker for acceleration but there is nothing like the feedback you get from a manual gearbox.

-Joel Strickland

 

Mo’ manuals, mo’ better. PDK might be the best automatic gearbox in the world, but there’s nothing that can replace a stick and a clutch pedal. Good on them for going against technology and against “lap times are everything!” and giving the people (those who can afford them) what they want.

Ross Ballot

 

You hear that kids? It’s the sound of 991.1 GT3 prices hitting rock bottom! But seriously good on Porsche for listening to the small, very loud minority that demanded the six-speed be brought back to the track focused 911. If it’s anything like the 911R it’s going to feel brilliant and drive great. Good on those of you that can afford it.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

I’ve recently driven my first modern Porsche 911… and it was fucking excellent. This was a “simple” 911 Carrera cabriolet with the PDK, so nothing too special relatively speaking yet it was still really really good. I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to drive this thing on an empty canyon road with the sun low in the sky behind you.

-Jeff

 

It’s the best version of the best Porsche, with the best gearbox. That’s all need be said.

-Chris Haining

 

Honda Civic Type-R

Finally, this is the Civic Type-R that will be coming to America for the first time later this year. Its confirmed spec sheet is pretty impressive with a 306-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a six-speed manual as standard, and a fully-tuned suspension to handle it. It also looks just as aggressive as all the concepts were, for better or worse. It’ll start at “mid-$30K” in the US.

 

It’s like an original Fast and Furious movie car but actually brought into production. I like the way it looks because it sort of takes me back to a more simple time of my life when that movie and Super Street and Modified magazines were my first glimpse into car culture. I used to go in and pretend I was building up a car using nothing but the featured parts in those magazines. I feel like this is the kind of Civic I would’ve created for fun but never actually build. I’m glad Honda built it and gave it some seriously impressive performance to back up those looks. Seems like a fair price too, but I think I’d rather have the Golf R.

Greg Kachadurian

 

The design of the latest Civics goes all over my head, along with the direction into which they’ve developed the most recent Type-R:s. Given that the ‘90s CTR and ITR were all about stripping out the unnecessary and giving the cars more power, the current gen and the new gen Type-R:s are just a different ballgame. But perhaps I’m the GET OFF MY CHAMPIONSHIP WHITE LAWN guy here and TARBO VTEK POWER is what the Civic Type-R now needs to stand out, and to make it in the States. Full disclosure: I haven’t even driven the current generation but I’ve sat in one once.

Antti Kautonen

 

Who doesn’t love a Honda Type-R? Great to see the model appearing in the new Civic range and it is especially great news as it is coming to Australia, looking forward to seeing it on the streets down under.

-Joel Strickland

 

It’s so juvenile and aggressive and over-the-top that I absolutely love it and love Honda for building it. The Type-R screams “I don’t give a fuck what you think about me,” and if more cars did the same the automotive world would be a much more exciting place. Cannot wait to drive one of these things, even if it does light up the tires through third.

Ross Ballot

 

Even as a former Honda owner I have always had trouble getting excited over hot Civics and the like. No longer, as I feel this and the previous Type-R have breathed some much needed life and excitement into the range. Honda looks like they know how to have fun again, and even if they can’t get their head out of their ass on the F1 front, I know they know how to build a cracking drivetrain. Let’s hope the rest of the car can back up that mighty motor.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

My EM1 was one of the best front-drivers I’ve driven. As long as this doesn’t have wrist-shattering torque steer, it should prove to be an absolute blast. I’m not sold on the styling though…

-Jeff

 

I’m pretty desperate to drive this, I have to be honest. The previous generation was soon overshadowed by even quicker hatchbacks, but none of those pretenders felt quite like the Honda. The new car looks like what I really want it to be – the four wheeled embodiment of the Fireblade.

-Chris Haining

 

Hey, look. A front-drive car with 300 turbocharged horsepower. At least the price splits the difference between the Subaru WRX and STI, but it won’t outru… Holy moly, the tires are 245/30R20. Those are some rubberbanded dubs. And they’re still not wider than WRX tires. Don’t expect to win any drag races from a standing start, but it might still be king of the juvenile highway pull.

-Alan Cesar

 

Aston Martin Valkyrie

This isn’t a new car. It’s only a new name for the AM-RB 001. I’m only adding this so Jeff and Patrick can make love to it with words again.

 

Fuck this thing is so cool. So fucking cool. I like the new name far more than the proposed “Nebula” name that some people were floating around. And now that we know the full super team of suppliers and collaborators that are coming together Voltron style to build the hypest, hypercar on the market. And let’s not forget that the concept we are seeing is only the street version, and there is still the threat of the track focused version coming down the line.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

A production vehicle (granted, a low volume hyper car) that will be as fast or faster than Formula One cars. Call me Captain Falcon and take me to Port City… we’re a step away from F-Zero at this point.

-Jeff

 

Aston tells us that the Valkyrie name is steeped in Norse Mythology, and that’s perfectly correct. But for me it will always be associated with the XB-70A, an aircraft so cool it passed into mythology itself. My fear with the Aston is this – that its maker described it as a “hugely desirable investment for collectors and enthusiasts”. No, no no no! An Aston Martin doesn’t belong in a vault. It should only be sold on the condition that it covers a minimum 3,000 miles a year.

-Chris Haining

 

I too choose to believe Aston really named this after the XB-70. That plane is the coolest. Hopefully this car doesn’t meet the same fate though.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Ferrari 812 Superfast

The replacement for the Ferrari F12 may be the last great naturally-aspirated V12 they produce. 789 horsepower, 2.9 seconds to 60 mph, and a 211 mph top speed. It’s earned the name Superfast.

 

Usually with Ferraris, I think the car’s performance and its looks are tied for being the best thing about it. In this case, the numbers easily win. I think it looks like an over styled F12 and not in the best way. The F12 has a relatively simple beauty to it that gets replaced by extra bits of carbon hanging off it on the 812, specifically on the front and rear. It’s a hell of a way to [potentially] send off the non-hybrid V12 though.

Greg Kachadurian

 

I’m embarrassed to say I have totally lost track of the various Ferrari releases – but more worryingly I’m not sure I care. The most recent one I’ve wanted to own a model of was 612 Scaglietti, and that’s few people’s favourite. The 812 Superfast may very well be the best non-track focused Ferrari yet, but will it become an enduring classic?

-Chris Haining

 

Pagani Huayra Roadster

More than just an open top conversion, the Huayra Roadster is actually now the most powerful Pagani on sale. In development since 2010, the Roadster is super rigid, lighter, and only has 754 horsepower.

 

I was never completely sold on the original Huayra, especially compared to the Zonda it replaced, but this Roadster is simply stunning to look at. Also it’s not often you see a roadster counterpart that’s significantly lighter than the coupe. Well done, Horatio.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo by Pininfarina

Racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi unveiled the car of his dreams. After dreaming of creating his own track-ready GT car for decades, that opportunity came thanks to Pininfarina and Gran Turismo. The Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo is an all carbon fiber supercar with fierce track performance done his way. The V8-powered monster will be built in limited numbers and owners will get personal coaching by Fittipaldi himself. The rest of us can drive it in Gran Turismo Sport on the PS4. If it ever gets released.

 

If you’re going to take any independent limited-run supercar seriously, this and the Glickenhaus cars are the ones. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH I WANT IT TO FOLLOW ME HOME. I love it so much that it’s the only thing making me interested in Gran Turismo Sport now.

Greg Kachadurian

 

This is very cool, good on all involved in making this happen. Would love to see one appear downunder, but we may have to just end up driving it on the PS4 instead.

-Joel Strickland

 

It’s a cool looking car, but I wonder if we’ll ever actually see it outside of the world of Gran Turismo. Prove me wrong Emmerson!

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

The coaching part is cool, the rest doesn’t do much for me.

-Jeff

 

Alpine A110

This is it, guys. Alpine’s gorgeous A110 revival is happening and the specs are in. A 1.8-liter turbo four with 250 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque is mounted in the middle and drives the rear wheels through a dual-clutch automatic only, I’m afraid. The whole car weighs just 2,432 pounds though, so it’s going to be a rocket. US availability was not confirmed though.

 

It’s beautiful, light, and respectably powered. I’m a fan, but I think having a manual option would’ve broken the internet. A missed opportunity, perhaps.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Well, they’ve probably nailed it. It’s biting at the heels of the Cayman and the 4C, yet it manages to be a modern interpretation of the original A110, just with ample power. What I’m really waiting for is when they re-do the A610/GTA.
Antti Kautonen

 

This is a gorgeous design. I want to see this in the US. Hopefully with a sub 60,000 dollar price tag.

– Bradley Brownell

 

Awesome to see the Alpine name return, no word on if the car is coming to Australia but we can only hope

-Joel Strickland

 

If nothing else, more sports cars on sale is only going to create competition among those available, which will only make them even better. The Alpine is a gorgeous car and, just as so many others are saying, it pains me that we won’t be (or very likely won’t be) getting this in the States.

Ross Ballot

 

It’s cool to see this car finally reach production readiness. It’ll be interesting to see the French go up against of the German and Italian offerings in the segment. I doubt we’ll ever see it in the U.S. but you never know.

Patrick Hoffstetter

 

I just want to know if I can fit in it. I’ve been told I have no chance with the original…

-Jeff

 

Can we go back to talking about a new A610/GTA, please?

-Chris Haining

 

RUF CTR

It may not look like it, but this is a mostly new car that only looks like an ‘87 911. It’s RUF’s first in-house chassis (a carbon monocoque) with inboard suspension and a boosted 710-horsepower flat six, all in a car that weighs 2,640 pounds.

 

So the press release that came out last week teased us about the idea of an all-new car that would be RUF’s first completely in-house design. As with all RUFs, the details are beneath the skin and they are spectacular, but I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed because we were led to expect a totally new car. I still can’t help but adore it though.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Leave it to RUF to make BEST PORSCHE EVER? Seriously, this is more interesting to me than Singer and RWB, as this is making something core Porsche-like in a new chassis, instead of using restoration project cars or good condition 964s to fuel their project.

Antti Kautonen

 

The resident Porsche guy should really love this thing, right? Well, checking out the initial specs, I was pretty impressed, but now that I’ve had the opportunity to research it, I’ve become nonplussed. The carbon monocoque car from 2017 somehow weighs 105 pounds more than the full steel car from thirty years ago. It’s also got 241 additional horsepower than the 87 Yellowbird had, which only added 14 miles per hour to the top speed. Yawn.

– Bradley Brownell

 

I have been a massive fan of RUF every since I first saw the Yellow Bird Faszination on the Nürburgring video, I was so obsessed that I ordered the video, and I when say video I mean a VHS copy, direct from RUF in Germany. So a new RUF Porsche is a good thing, even thought it looks like the exterior design has not changed its what is underneath that counts. It is cool that RUF has created something new, but can we please get something that looks a bit newer

-Joel Strickland

 

I’m with Brad and am pretty disappointed by this. They had the opportunity to make something new, different, and entirely their own and…they re-created their most famous car and made it much more powerful which only made it slightly faster. Am I missing something here? It just doesn’t do it for me. I’d rather drive and own the original. Or a GT4.

Ross Ballot

 

As much as I was excited to see RUF try something brand new, I think the idea of their greatest hit remixed and upgraded for a new generation is a stunning idea. Brad and everyone seem kinda down on it, but I don’t know, I’m pretty pysched to see this thing out and about. Would love to see it tackle the ring again.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Just remake the original Yellowbird video with this car and I’ll be happy.

-Jeff

 

I would have loved, LOVED, RUF to have created something with a style of its own. Yes, we liked the Yellowbird. But we loved it enough the first time around. If it has nothing much mechanically in common, why pretend it’s something it isn’t? Worse still, why look backwards and not forwards? RUF can do better than this.

-Chris Haining

 

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

It’s a Panamera wagon. It’s fast, spacious, and further proves that wagons can be beautiful.

 

The Law of Hoon, Article I, Section III: When a prospective automobile purchaser is presented with a choice of a wagon option, it is hereby unlawful to refuse it.

Greg Kachadurian

 

I would absolutely buy a base Panamera Sport Turismo for my wife to drive every day. If only it weren’t a hundred grand. And I wasn’t a full time auto writer with significantly less than a hundred grand in my bank account.

– Bradley Brownell

 

A Porsche Wagon? Well we never would have thought we would get a Porsche SUV. I say good on Porsche for doing it and bring on more Wagon’s from other manufacturers #WagonLove

-Joel Strickland

 

It’s stunning, practical, and will drive just like a Panamera. Win, win, win.

Ross Ballot

 

It’s not often my father gushes about a new car like the way he talked about this new Porsche. It seems like Porsche’s seemingly endless teasing has worked, as I’ve never seen such a universally positive outpouring of love towards a new car. Well done Porsche. Now just make it a coupe, offer a stick, and call it a 928. #ICanDream

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

I’d still take the E63 over this… but holy hell is this thing awesome.

-Jeff

 

If Porsche had rolled this out at the very beginning, instead of desperately trying to make the original Panamera resemble a 911 with gigantism, they would have met so much less resistance over the years. There is NO EXCUSE for buying a regular Panamera over this.

-Chris Haining

 

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

The new flagship Panamera model is a plug-in hybrid with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. It’s like the regular E-Hybrid all grown up. Full system power is 680 horsepower and it only consumes 2.9 liters per 100km which translates to a lot of MPG or something.

 

It’s a stupidly fast Panamera sedan with electric power. Who doesn’t need a four-up luxo barge that will shoot to sixty in under 3.5 seconds and run up to 193 miles per hour? Porsche calls it the world’s most powerful saloon car. It won’t be long now until the hybrid drive method works its way into Porsche’s traditional sports car lineup. Performance hybrids are rad. Give us more!

– Bradley Brownell

 

I’m a big fan of hybrids, so long as their non-hybrid counterparts are kept in the lineup as well. Hybrid Porsches make as much sense as any other hybrid, and if you’re doubting that don’t forget about the 918. Just because it has electric boosting its performance and efficiency doesn’t mean it has to drive any different, or any worse for that matter. I’d love to see them throw a hybrid Boxster or Cayman into the lineup. Bring it on.

Ross Ballot

 

The one experience I’ve had with a hybrid Porsche was lovely and this looks to be even lovelier. And by that I mean faster. Far faster. Now Porsche but this drivetrain in the wagon and we can all be happy.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

And here I am thinking the 2014 Panamera Turbo I drove was fast. This thing has over 100 hp on the one I drove. Good lord…

Greg Kachadurian

 

I’ll wait until a Sport Turismo Turbo S e-hybrid is released. You know, the infinitely better looking version sitting just fifteen feet over there.

-Chris Haining

 

Aston Martin AMR – Rapide AMR and Vantage AMR Pro

Aston Martin used Geneva to debut AMR, their very own performance line, and the first two cars to get the special treatment. The Rapide AMR is a sportier and more aggressive take on the four-door coupe the world kind of forgot about with a 591-hp V12, upgraded suspension, and a full aero kit. The Vantage AMR Pro on the other hand is a track only special which gets a 500-hp V8 from their GT4 race car plus adjustable suspension and other race car hardware. We’ll see more from AMR soon.

 

This has me irrationally excited. I don’t know if Aston Martin needs a performance brand like M or AMG given their gentleman-like image they portray, but I’m excited to see what AMR can do to future cars.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Aston Martin seems like they can do wrong lately. I’m sad I won’t see any of these on US shores for now, but I think this is an amazing idea. Takes the Vulcan mentality and spreads it across the entire lineup. Plus getting some extra legs off of their motorsports program is always a good thing.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Race-derived V-12 engine in a sedan that fits a baby seat? I’m in.

-Jeff

 

“A Gentleman will walk and never run”

-Sting (and Chris)

 

Spyker C8 Spyder, powered by Koenigsegg

After using Audi power pretty much since the beginning, Spyker will start using less crazy Koenigsegg engines in their cars, starting with the C8 Spyder. A naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 with 600 horsepower developed specifically for them means Spykers will be more powerful than ever before.

 

This is a very interesting deal because normally these boutique supercar manufacturers pull from at least one major automotive manufacturer to fill in the gaps for them, but here’s two independent builders partnering with each other. Spyker gets the best engines they’ve ever worked with and I’m sure Koenigsegg gets some sweet cash out of it. Spyker is perhaps my favorite manufacturer I keep forgetting about, so I’m glad they’re revamping the lineup with a great new powerplant.

Greg Kachadurian

 

This is utterly brilliant. It harks back to the days of yore, where coachbuilders would craft bespoke bodywork to the whims of the wealthy, and then turn to the great engine suppliers of the day for all the oily bits. I have just decided that Spyker – Koenigsegg will be my first point of call when it comes time to commission a Hainingmobile.

-Chris Haining

 

Audi RS5

The legendary RS nameplate returns to the updated mid-size lineup. It has a new biturbo 2.9-liter V6 with 450 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic.

 

Another V8 bites the dust. Sad!

Greg Kachadurian

 

RIP V8 RS5. Not that it was a game-changing car by any means, but at least the 4.2 hung around long enough to remind us once in awhile of the RS4. I’m glad at least that they chose an interesting engine to throw into the new RS5, but the design of the car as a whole is somewhat underwhelming. The front looks, from the pictures at least, way more aggressive than the rear, which you can only tell is an RS model by the exhaust outlets. I get that they were probably going for the understated look in an attempt to deliver performance that shocks you into questioning its quiet appearance, but this is just a little too little. Maybe, and hopefully, those rear hips are way wider in person than they seem to be in photos.

Ross Ballot

 

Fast Audi’s do love, Anything is from Audi with an RS badge is good thing

-Joel Strickland

 

I’ll be sad to see the mighty 4.2 V8 leave the RS5, but I think the new car is handsome enough. I’ll be interested to see how it stacks up against the M4 and C63 on track, but I’m even more excited to see it out and about valet parked infront of some nice restaurant somewhere.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

I don’t care that the V8 is gone… but this really should’ve been given the turbo 5cylinder.

-Jeff

 

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

Not to be confused with the other Mercedes-AMG GT, this concept is a super saloon with V8 power sent to the rear wheels and electric power all around. It has a claimed total of 805 horsepower and it’s likely a preview of the new face that literally every Mercedes-Benz will have in a few years.

 

I really like Mercedes’ current design language and fully understand that they’re constantly releasing concepts that won’t make it to production, but it needs to be said that the wheels on this thing are absolutely atrocious and the only thing I can think of when looking at the exhaust outlet is (cue Regular Car Reviews voice) “look at the poop chute on that thing!” Seriously, they couldn’t even post any dead-on pictures of the back end in fear of everybody else thinking the same. The overall shape is fine, if a bit bland and/or too Tesla-meets-A7-esque, but the horsepower number is nice at least.

Ross Ballot

 

Why is the AMG GT birthing itself? That’s all I can see with this thing. I think it’s a very cool idea for AMG to have their own bespoke sedan to go with the amazingly beautiful GT, but maybe this needs another pass or two before it (Maybe) goes to production.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

I reckon Mercedes has needed something like this for ages. The S63 AMG is nice and all that, but you’re far less likely to find something that looks like the GT Concept serving as taxi in Hamburg.

-Chris Haining

 

Alpina B5 Biturbo

You can’t have a new BMW 5 Series without an Alpina version based on it. The G30 platform serves as the foundation for this monster of a saloon car or touring. A 4.4-liter biturbo V8 tuned up to 608 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque propels this thing to 62 mph in only 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 205 mph. AWD is standard too.

 

Until the new M5 comes out, this is the king of the G30 platform. Hell, it may even be the king after the new M5 comes out. It’s beautiful, fast, and beautiful again. And the fact that it’s available as a Touring model too is… just… I need a moment.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Greg is right. While I have not driven any Alpinas, they all seem to be better road cars than their M counterparts. Better meaning more comfortable, easier to drive in most circumstances and, faster due to their AWD systems. Their automatic transmissions are smoother and only marginally slower. The final insult is the the prices are nearly the same.

-Kamil Kaluski

 

Mo’ wagons, mo’ better. I dig these, with big points going to the wagon for pulling off the a job well done when it comes to having aggression and style meet in a happy middle-ground. Gotta say though…the badges on the back of the Touring are too close together and don’t look all that perfectly lined up. Somebody at Alpina needs a ruler and/or a bit more OCD. (Bangs head on keyboard)

Ross Ballot

 

Just as Brabus always seemed cooler than AMG, Alpina is cooler than M Sport. Big power without compromising on comfort? Couldn’t be further up my street if it tried.

-Chris Haining

 

Infiniti Project Black S

Infiniti and Renault Sport Formula One joined forces to create an advanced one-off concept based on the new Q60 which combines a unique F1-style energy recovery system (ERS). It utilizes a combination of two different motor generator units (MGU) – one harvests kinetic energy from braking (MGU-K) and the other is an MGU-H unit attached to the turbochargers to harvest energy from exhaust gases. This combination hasn’t been done in a road car before, but they’re looking to see how practical or popular it would be.

 

Using two types of F1 energy recovery tech in a road car is a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays of for ‘em. If this does go into production, I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t be stupid expensive.

Greg Kachadurian

 

It’s as mean looking as it needs to be if they want anybody to give two shits about it. The Red Sport is fine and all, but if they go full-fledged with the tech in this it will give people a legitimate reason to buy it over cars like the M3, ATS-V, C63, RCF, and so on. The back end might be a bit much, but overall the car is appropriately wild and will hopefully have a serious drivetrain to match. Do it, Infiniti. Do it.

Ross Ballot

 

Finally, the technology transfer that I have been waiting for since these new F1 power units were introduced in 2014 has arrived. If it all works like they say I can see this being a bold step forward for Hybrid turbo technology. Harnessing wasted energy to boost performance is next level stuff, and seeing it trickle down to cars like this is special. C’mon Infiniti, make it happen.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Please please please make this Infiniti… just keep working on that steering system though. No me gusta.

-Jeff

 

Renault Zoe E-Sport Concept

This unassuming city car is a powerful electric concept from Renault with some great numbers behind it. A some 3,000-pound EV with a 250 mile range, 460 horsepower and 472 lb.-ft. of torque, and 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds.

 

This is an electric city car done right. Holy crap this thing is awesome! Those are some supercar figures… in a little Renault!

Greg Kachadurian

 

If there’s one thing electric cars don’t need more of, it’s speed. I know the E-Sport Concept is just the ticket for pointing out that electric cars are fun as well as being clean (at source), but 250 miles still ain’t enough. Another hundred miles range – without being driven extra gently – and you’ve cracked it.

-Chris Haining

 

Volkswagen Arteon

Volkswagen is replacing the Passat CC with this, the stunning Arteon “premium four door coupe”. They want you to think of it as a five-seat sports car or a less fancy Audi A7. A 276-horsepower turbo four is the top-of-the-line engine choice here and it comes standard with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG.

 

Finally, VW designs are starting to not be boring, passionless, and identical. But don’t let this great design distract you from the fact that both Audi’s LMP1 team and VW’s WRC team got shut down because VW corporate decided to cheat emissions.

Greg Kachadurian

 

The rear looks way too similar to the Mercedes GLE Coupe for my liking. Besides that, it’s alright…but if anyone thinks this is the car that VW needs to be building right now, they’re poorly mistaken. It’s too bad that they were investing time, money, R&D resources, and so on into this when they could have been working on literally anything else. You want an A7 but only have VW money? Buy a CPO A7. So now we’re being sold a full-size SUV and a cut-rate A7? Get your shit together, VW.

Ross Ballot

 

I think it looks great. And unlike Ross, I would recommend a similar new car over a similar used car. The Arteon gives you all the A7/CLS looks for much less money, because veedub. Except the interior – I don’t like veedub interiors, they’re so bland. And the power. On second thought, Ross is right, go buy a used A7.You’ll get a better drivertrain and a much nicer interior.

Kamil Kaluski

 

Yeah I’m with Kamil, I’ll take a baby A7 here. I disagree on the VW interior though… they’ve come a long way and are basically Audi Jr cabins. It’s not like Audi has amazing interiors. It’s a bit bland for both brands, but it’s gotten a heck of a lot better.

-Jeff

 

Gotta say, I rather like this. It’s far more distinctive than the A7, and there’s a built-in ducktail spoiler, albeit a subtle one. It goes right to the top of my ‘look for a five year old used one’ list. A 4MOTION with 276bhp, natch.

-Chris Haining

 

Volvo XC60

This is Volvo’s new premium midsize SUV that’ll replace the original, best-selling vehicle in the class. The XC60 alone represents about 30% of their sales globally, so they didn’t cut corners with this one. Optional T8 twin-engine power (407 hp total), loads of new safety features (because Volvo), and another great design.

 

Once again, Volvo is here to prove that SUVs can still be pretty.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Right now, I reckon Volvo is the coolest, most interesting mainstream car brand on the planet.

-Chris Haining

 

Land Rover Velar

Because Land Rover needed something to fit in between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport, here’s another premium mid-size SUV.

 

That’s a flash car, mister!

-Bradley Brownell

 

Any production vehicle that looks like a concept vehicle has at least one thing going for it. The Velar looks appropriately wild and yeah, it’s very similar to a Range Rover, but it seems low, wide, and like something from the year 2020 rather than 2017 which will at least set it off from the other RRs on the streets of Greenwich and Beverly Hills. The lineup is getting a bit crowded though, and the new Defender can’t come soon enough.

Ross Ballot

 

Man I really can’t wait to see these clogging up I-35 during rush-hour in Austin. At least it’ll be something nice to look at.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

The Jaguar F-Pace is probably the best Jaguar ever made. I loved it, Jeff loved it (I think, no one cares what Jeff thinks anyway), everyone who has driven it loved it. This Range Rover builds on the F-Pace but adds it air suspension and elevated sitting position. It’s a soft-roader but who cares, it looks nice and it will sell like crazy.

Kamil Kaluski

 

I did love the F-Pace. It’s better than the XE.

-Jeff

 

A magnificent car, and bound to be bought by self-effacing, polite, softly spoken types. Or not.

-Chris Haining

 

Ford Fiesta ST

Although it’s shown here in European specification, this will very likely be the new Fiesta ST we get in America as well. It has a new three-cylinder turbo engine with slightly better output than the outgoing four-cylinder turbo, refreshed suspension, and an upscaled interior.

 

I recently spent some meaningful time with an old late-eighties Chevy Sprint Turbo, a three cylinder turbocharged hot hatch. I loved it. It was a ton of fun. I know this will be better in every measure, but I look forward to getting my hands on one. A little more power and a little less weight is never a bad thing.

-Bradley Brownell

 

Love the current ST, so a new one can only be better, looking forward to driving it once it hits Australia. The previous model had to be the most fun car I have ever driven. Never have i laughed and smiled so much

-Joel Strickland

 

Three-cylinder is fine by me, especially if it makes motorcycle-style noises. The styling is a bit unfortunate though; it’s as if they went backward with certain design elements. Taillights that look like they came off a last-gen Mondeo and a grille that has *just* a bit too much going on make it a bit fussy and less unique than the original FiST, but if it drives even better I’ll give the styling a pass.

Ross Ballot

 

I still have yet to spend any time with the small but legendary Fiesta ST, but the move to a three banger is interesting to me. I hope it’s just as capable and personable as the current generation. Also let’s hope any rumor of this not coming to the states is just that, a rumor.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

As someone recently pointed out in our comments section: Triples are good.

-Alan Cesar

 

This can’t possibly be anything other than brilliant. Hi-power three cylinder goodness in the best handling small car chassis on the market. Imagine the last time you drove something which made you grin maniacally, and add an extra injection of character. Of course, this is just what I want it to be like. I can’t wait to confirm that it is.

Chris Haining

 

Subaru XV/Crosstrek

The Subaru XV (known as the Crosstrek in America) is new for the 2018 model year with updated looks, an improved engine, updated AWD tech, and new safety features. This should closely resemble the new Crosstrek that we’ll see by the end of the year.

 

There aren’t any huge changes here, but it doesn’t matter. If you don’t love the Crosstrek/XV, you’re wrong.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Dammit Subaru, just give us a Crosstrek WRX already. The updated XV is fine and all, but it’s slow as slow can be in a new car and a bit devoid of anything resembling excitement when you’re not on a dirt road. The turbocharged FA motor out of the WRX would help remedy that, and mated to the six-speed stick and with some simple tweaks to the body and the all-important hood scoop, suddenly you have an absolute gem. Sure, it would cannibalize sales from the Impreza-based WRX, but ultimately the money is going to the same place. We’ve been salivating over the thought of this for years now; please, Subaru, we beg of you…infuse the Crosstrek with some of the WRX’s liveliness and sell us the damn thing already.

Ross Ballot

 

Congratulations, Subaru! You are the new winner of the laziest designers contest. Last year I was at the New York Auto Show and the all-new Impreza was shown right in front of me. I honestly could not tell that it was new. It looked the same, inside and out. Now the new Crosstrek looks just like the old Crosstrek. I really do like the previous generations of these cars, and they obviously sell well, but c’mon, change something. Then again, if they changed things for the sake of changing things I’d complain about that, too.

Kamil Kaluski

  • Alff

    How can you impinge Subaru’s storied tradition of superior design?

    • Vairship

      Indeed, it’s tough to best “Cheap and Ugly”, or a series known as “the Bug Eye”.

  • outback_ute

    Ferrari 812 Superfast – could it look more like a Corvette?

  • Sjalabais

    Right now, I reckon Volvo is the coolest, most interesting mainstream car brand on the planet.
    That’s a little comment I guess no one saw coming ten years ago.

  • Fred Talmadge

    One thing about the Panamera is that it’s a fat looking car. Probably too wide. Everything else (except the price) is really nice.

  • Inliner

    Did Rinspeed unveil anything new/wacky for Geneva?