A sneak peek at the next stars of the road
The Geneva Motor Show takes place next month and is one of the most prestigious in the world. Here we reveal some of the likely show-stoppers there, reports Geraldine Herbert
Alfa Romeo is to finally reveal the production version of its much anticipated 4C, first seen as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011.
The 4C is a rear-wheel drive two-seater. Thanks to its carbon-fibre chassis, it will make an exceptionally low kerb weight. The 4C has a performance of 235bhp provided by a version of Fiat's existing 1,742cc four-cylinder turbo engine and paddle-shift TCT transmission. Full technical details for the mid-engined sports car are not likely to be revealed until the show.
The A3 range will be joined by a hot-shot version, a 300bhp S3 Sportback. Powered by a new 2-litre TFSI engine and a formidable 380Nm of torque, the S3 is 70kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to its ultra-high-strength steel passenger cell and light aluminium wings and bonnet.
On show at the Bentley stand will be the new Flying Spur. Details are sparse but it is likely that it will be powered with the same choice of engines – 567bhp W12 or 500bhp V8 – as the Continental GT.
The big news for BMW is the arrival of the 3 Series GT. Longer than the current 3 Series, the Gran Turismo offers more head and legroom and a larger boot than now available in the Touring version of the 3.
The engine range will be same as the 3-Series range and transmission options include a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. Other stars include the M6 Gran Coupe, a four-door coupe armed with the most powerful engine ever fitted to an M production car: a 4.4-litre M TwinPower Turbo V-8 with 560bhp and 680 Nms of torque. A M3 concept may make an appearance but we will have to wait and see.
Concept cars are all about pushing boundaries and showcasing new and radical designs. Ones to look out for this year are the BMW i3 Concept Coupe and a racy and provocative urban concept from Kia.
The Spark electric battery-powered mini car will be the star of the Chevrolet stand. First shown in Los Angeles last year, the new model is powered by a GM-designed permanent magnet electric motor that delivers more than 130bhp and will go from 0-100 km/h in under 8.5 seconds.
There will also be 542Nms of instant torque which on paper promises sports-car-like driving dynamics. GM says the car will be sold in 'select' European markets in 2014.
Citroen will unveil the "Geneva Technospace concept". With its striking DS styling, this is most likely to be a sneak preview of the C4 Picasso which we expect to see in autumn. It's only 4430mm long, 1610mm wide and 1.83mm high, yet provides seating for five adults as well as a 537-litre boot. Emissions are a remarkably low 98g/km, thanks to efficient architecture and weight reduction. The Citroen C3 with Hybrid Air technology which delivers astounding fuel economy of over 94 mpg will also be shown.
If rumours are correct, a face-lifted version of the Dacia Duster has been spotted testing in Romania, so it may make an appearance at Geneva but this is not by any means confirmed at this stage.
Of the more than 900 vehicles that will be on display at the show, 10 per cent have Co2 emissions of 100 g/km or lower.
The Italians are remaining tight-lipped about the successor to the Enzo but it seems possible that the car, codenamed F150 and at times F70, will be finally revealed at the show. Expect a V12 and about 800 horses under the bonnet from this show-stopper.
At the international launch last year of the Fiat 500L, Fiat offered a sneak preview of a new crossover dubbed the 500X. Rumours abound that it is ready to show the final production version at the show but this is as yet unconfirmed.
Stars of the Ford stand will include the new small SUV, the EcoSport, and a new people carrier, the Tourneo Courier.
Honda has released a sketch of the Honda Civic Estate concept. Due to go on sale later this year, the Civic Wagon concept model strongly hints at the design direction of the final production version. Also making its European debut is the new Honda NSX Concept.
Jeep will unveil its 2014 Grand Cherokee which is essentially the same vehicle that debuted in Detroit. Featuring a new diesel V6 engine mated to Chrysler's new eight-speed automatic transmission, it promises impressive fuel economy and towing capacity. The V6 and V8 petrol engine offerings are unlikely to make it to Ireland.
Kia will show a pair of hot hatches, the pro_cee'd GT and cee'd GT. Both are equipped with a 201bhp 1.6-litre turbo-charged petrol engine, coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox and are capable of 0-100km/h in 7.9 seconds.
They are, according to Kia, its most performance-focused production cars ever.
The pro_cee'd GT is anticipated to go sale in the Ireland from the middle of the year and will be joined by the cee'd GT towards the end of 2013.
The centrepiece for the Lexus stand is the IS 300h model. The full hybrid model will be available with an F Sport package, with exclusive sports-themed exterior and interior design features and sportier driving dynamics.
Showcasing Lexus's more sporting image, the LF-LC 2+2 hybrid sports coupe concept will be presented in a new Opal Blue finish.
McLaren will whip the covers off a production-ready McLaren P1.
Photos released in advance of the Geneva show reveal a digital instrument cluster, which can change display based on which mode the car is set to. In 'race' mode, the screen includes a bank of lights across the top, which illuminate green, followed by red and finally blue as in a Formula One car.
The three-pointed star is lifting the wraps off its new A 45 AMG model. Powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit, according to Mercedes, it promises "driving performance for the new generation".
With 360bhp and 450Nms of torque, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world. Sporting serious hot hatch credentials, it dashes from 0-100 km/h in less than 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h.
A 507bhp version of the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG will also be shown in coupe and saloon version.
Mitsubishi is revealing two concepts, the Concept GR-HEV Sport Utility Hybrid Truck, and the Concept CA-MiEV suburban electric car.
The GR-HEV will use a diesel engine with a high-output motor and battery. This hybrid electric vehicle system CO2 emission levels of below 149 g/km. The Concept CA-MiEV is a development of the i-MiEV and will have a cruising range of 300 km.
Nismo is a new range from Nissan that is designed to reinforce its racing credentials.
The 370Z is the next to be given the Nismo treatment and packs increased power and improved aerodynamics. The Z's 3.7-litre V6 engine delivers 344PS, up from 328PS in the standard car, while torque increases from 363Nm to 371Nm.
A replacement for the Nissan Note will also make its debut. Powered by two new three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engines and a 1.5 diesel unit, the Note will also be equipped with the 'Around View Monitor' system similar to that used on other Nissan models.
Opel is previewing a soft top crossover. Called the Adam Rocks, it is 15mm higher than the supermini Adam and sports rugged black plastic cladding around the wheel arches and bumpers.
While this is a concept, an Adam convertible is likely towards the end of this year, or possibly early 2014.
The 2008 compact crossover will be the star of the French car-maker's stand along with Peugeot's pocket-rocket, the GTi variant of the 208.
Based on the 208, the 2008 is a small SUV-styled crossover that is powered by a new turbocharged 1.2 petrol 110bhp engine boasting low fuel consumption and Co2 emissions. Other engines are likely to be carried over from the 208.
Designed with driving enthusiasts in mind, the new 208 Gti features a six-speed manual gearbox and a 1.6-litre petrol engine with 200bhp and 275Nms of torque. Also on display will be a 2008 Hybrid4 and Peugeot Sport will show the 208 R5.
Chinese car-maker Qoros will make its world debut at the show where it will reveal its new small saloon – the Qoros 3 Sedan.
The new model is a Skoda Octavia-sized saloon and at 1,839mm, it is one of the widest cars in its class. It has an elegant profile, long wheelbase, short overhangs and coupe-like silhouette and was designed by former MINI styling chief Gert Volker Hildebrand.
Two four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engines will be available – the naturally-aspirated unit delivering 126bhp and the turbocharged version offering 156bhp.
Qoros will also show a Cross hybrid and an estate concept. It is not confirmed at this stage if right-hand drive vehicles will be available.
Renault will launch the Captur – based on the Clio hatchback. It will come with a choice of petrol and diesel engines with emissions as low as 96g/km. Rivalling the Opel Mokka and Nissan's Qashqai, the Captur will go on sale at the end of the year.
A revised Grand Scenic will also be on display while the Scenic is to be replaced by the Scenic XMOD. Given an SUV makeover, the Scenic now comes equipped with chunkier bumpers and wheel arch cladding. It also benefits from raised ground clearance and unique alloy wheels.
Rolls-Royce is reviving a name first used in 1938 for a new two-door coupe for the super rich. Based on the Rolls-Royce Ghost, the 'Wraith' is powered by a BMW-derived V12 engine and with more than 600bhp, this new Rolls promised to be one of the fastest in its history. Expect the price to be in the region of €250k.
SEAT will display its all-new three-door SEAT Leon SC. The 'Sports Coupe' is the same length as the five-door but the wheelbase has been shortened by 35mm. Due here in July, prices are likely to be in the region of €18,495.
Engine options will include both petrol and diesel and will range from 1.2- to 2.0-litre. The most economical is the 1.6 TDI with an average fuel consumption of just 74.3 mpg and a CO2 figure of just 99 g/km. For petrol heads, the 1.8 TSI, delivering 180bhp and 250Nm, is the one to opt for. A hot-hatch Cupra version with more than 200bhp will eventually be added to the range.
The Subaru stand will show an Outback Diesel, an all-new Forester and the VIZIV, a name inspired by the phrase "Vision for Innovation".
New for the Outback, the 2.0-litre Boxer diesel engine is now paired with Lineartronic (CVT) transmission for the first time, to give smoother gear-shifting and improved fuel efficiency.
SsangYong will unveil a new version of its infamous Rodius, possibly one of the ugliest cars ever made. There will also be a new concept, the SIV-1, which stands for Smart Interface Vehicle. This mid-premium crossover utility vehicle (CUV) concept defines the brand's new design philosophy.
Suzuki's motor show star is the production version of its all-new C-segment crossover. Based on the concept car S-Cross, it promises a roomy interior and one of the largest luggage areas in the crossover segment. The new model will also be 4WD.
Toyota is toying with the idea of a convertible version of the GT86 and will show a concept of the open-top car.
It will also unveil a two-seat concept named i-Road, a super thin, zero-emissions electric vehicle designed to offer quick and efficient urban transport for two people. The estate version of the recently launched Auris, the Touring Sports, will also be shown along with the new RAV4.
The new Cross Up, a rugged version of the Up city car, takes centre stage on the Volkswagen stand. Engines are the same as the Up, so that means a 1.0-litre three-cylinder available with two outputs: 74bhp and 54bhp.
The chunky styling includes black plastic cladding on the wheel arches while the front bumper gains a metallic trim. Other Cross models in the VW line-up include the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran models. If sold in Ireland, the new model is likely to arrive in the autumn.