Revealed: New car models that impressed at the Geneva Motor Show 2017
They are taking the wraps off new cars like you’d remove paper from sweets here in Geneva.
There are fiery Ferraris, stunning Mercedes concepts, outrageously fast McLarens, electric Jaguars and Alfa Romeo SUVs.
But there are fault-lines of concern. All the talk is of electric and hybrids. I don’t think I heard the word ‘diesel’ proclaimed at any of the unveilings I managed to get to. And there is good reason for that. Diesel is a marked man. The legislators are hunting it down. They claim it is contributing to health and environmental problems.
As well as that they are imposing ever more restrictive emissions limits on manufacturers. Which is why there is concern; because diesel has been our staple diet for so long that the wrench, to whatever the fuel of the future will be, is going to hurt a bit.
Right now, everyone’s betting on electric. Only electric doesn’t go as far - right now. But it will, it will. At least they say it will. And everyone is on board. I mean we’re looking at a Jaguar I-Pace concept electric SUV for heaven’s sake.
Hybrids – electric sparing petrol (which is suddenly viewed as an alternative to diesel again) – are growing in numbers too.
You know, this show feels like we’re at the apex of a long bend. We just need to drive out of it and not lose the nerve.
Here’s to an electric future. Meanwhile the cars of today and ‘early’ tomorrow are emerging into the limelight and most will wend their way to your dealership this year or next.
Here’s a quick guide to them:
Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio SUV is expected in Ireland from September.
Renault’s Alpine A120 mid-engined model sports car looks fabulous. Not coming to Ireland.
Audi shows its 400bhp RS3 Sportback. And RS5 Coupe. And Q8 Sport Concept with 600bhp-plus.
Audi RS 5 Coupe
BMW’s new 5-series Touring is here too.
Citroen’s C-Aircross Concept will replace the C3 Picasso.
Dacia’s Logan MCV Stepway off-road styled estate awaits Irish drivers in the summer.
There is the DS 7 Crossback to rival the Audi Q5.
Ferrari’s replacement for the F12 Berlinetta, the 812 Superfast (789bhp V12 2dr) is the most powerful series production the famous company has made. Wow factor high.
Ford are all excited about their new Fiesta ST hot hatch. They’re excited with the basic new Fiesta too. July/August arrival.
The New Ford Fiesta ST
Honda’s Civic Type R hot hatch arrives early 2018.
Hyundai unveiled their i30 estate. Their plug-in hybrid IONIQ is planned for October.
Jaguar’s electric I-Pace concept is expected in 2018.
The new Jeep Compass is expected from November.
I like KIA’s new Picanto city car but the big news is the performance 5dr hatch, the Stinger. Look forward to driving that.
Lamborghini’s lightweight Huracán Performante has obliterated the Nürburgring lap record. It looks stunning.
Lamborghini Huracan Performante
There’s massive interest in the new Range Rover Velar SUV which slots between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport. It’s expected in Irish showrooms around August.
If there is a more dramatic front/grille than that on the new Lexus LS on any other car at the show I haven’t seen it. December arrival.
I like the front of the new Mazda crossover CX-5.
Mercedes have a lot of cars but the pick of the bunch is the AMG GT Concept 4dr and 4-seater. Stunning. It is due in 2019.
McLaren’s 720S – the striking 650S successor - gets a new look and 710bhp.
The Eclipse Cross SUV from Mitsubishi arrives in January.
Nissan’s new Micra will be in Ireland next month. Changes to the Qashqai too.
Opel – taken over by PSA yesterday – will have its new Insignia by summer with the Sports Tourer estate due around then too. The new Crossland X small SUV is also planned for the summer.
The new Crossland X from Opel
Peugeot’s 3008 SUV was voted European Car of the Year. It’s just gone on sale in Ireland.
The Porsche 911 GT3 gets a facelift.
Renault’s revised Captur is a late summer arrival.
SEAT’s fifth generation Ibiza is coming in June.
Skoda are taking the wraps off the most potent Octavia yet, the RS 245.
Skoda Octavia RS 245
SsangYong are showing the new XAVL concept. Another dramatic front. Is this becoming a trend?
Subaru debuts their new XV on a new platform.
And Suzuki’s new Swift will go on sale in Ireland in June.
The latest Toyota Yaris arrives in May.
Volkswagen’s Tiguan LWB All-Space has the option of 7 seats. Due in October. High hopes for the new 4dr fastback Arteon (CC successor).
Volkswagen Arteon R line car
And Volvo are showing us the new XC60 – it will be in Ireland for 172-reg.
Yes, there’s a good-time feel around alright though it is tempered with a realism that automakers and buyers are facing some difficult choices/challenges on the road ahead.
But in the meantime, there is the prospect of getting into some fine cars in the not too distant future.