Friday 15 December 2017

Geneva gears up for glitz, glamour and a giddy ride

Geraldine Herbert previews the new marques to be unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Ferarri 488 GTB
Ferarri 488 GTB
Honda NSX
Opel Karl
Golf GTD estate

As the first European Motor Show of the year, you can always depend on the Geneva Motor Show to launch some spectacular new models. So here's a quick run-through.

Faster estates

If you thought all estate cars were for antique dealers or dog owners, think again. Volkswagen's Golf GTD is intent on rewriting the rule book for fast estates.

Powered by the same 2.0-litre 184 bhp TDi engine as the GTD hatchback it is super fast and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds. It is just the vehicle to convince the neighbours that you've finally bought a sensible family car.

SEAT will also be unveiling its first-high performance estate, the Leon ST CUPRA.

Powered by a 2.0 turbocharged 280 bhp engine with the optional DSG transmission, it catapults from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.0 seconds (6.1 seconds with the manual gearbox) while returning over 6.6 litres per 100 km/h or 42.8 (DSG) miles per gallon and 6.7 litres or 42.2 (manual). CO2 figures are just 154g and 157g per kilometre respectively

Hotter hatches

The eagerly awaited new Honda Civic Type R is the most extreme Type R ever built and promises blistering performance and thrilling dynamics.

This "racecar for the road" will feature a 276 bhp 2.0 litre VTEC Turbo engine and sports "aggressive, function-led styling".

Opel has unleashed its new Corsa OPC that is due in Ireland this summer. Powered by 1.6-litre four-cylinder ecotec engine, this, the fastest of the Corsa range, pumps out 207 bhp and accelerates from 0 to 100 in 6.8 seconds.

Unveiled earlier this month, the new third-generation Ford Focus RS marks a number of firsts for the fast Focus. It is the first to have an all-wheel drive system fitted and the first RS to be a five door.

Full specifications will be revealed at the show but according to Ford the power will be in excess of 316 bhp.

Roomier saloons

The debut of the all-new Skoda Superb is an important one for Skoda and brings some of the innovations from the Skoda VisionC concept car to production. According to Skoda, this generation of the Superb is all about spaciousness, functionality and design.

Built on the same platform as the Hyundai Sonata, Kia's fourth-generation Optima will be on display. Due to go on sale here at the end of the year, the new Optima will have to see off the challenges posed by the VW Passat, Opel Insignia and Ford's Mondeo.

Economic small cars

Opel will be hoping to woo buyers with its all-new small car Karl, badged as the Vauxhall Viva in the UK. The new car will be powered by 1.0 ecotec, three-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 75 bhp but only emits 99 g/km CO2.

Despite being aimed at price-conscious consumers, Karl will be fitted with numerous safety and comfort features not expected in this price category. It is likely to be here in time for 152 registrations.

Also putting in appearance on the Kia stand is a face-lifted Picanto. Kia's city car now looks far slicker and sportier with a redesigned front and rear bumpers and updates to the hallmark tiger-nose grille as well.

Buyers will also be able to choose between three- and five-door body styles and new colour packs to make it stand out from other city cars in the urban landscape.

Compact SUVs

It's no secret that compact SUVs are big business and many will be vying for attention in Geneva this year. Hyundai has revealed teasing hints about the design of its upcoming Tucson.

According to Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer at Hyundai, the ix35 replacement will "be a big step forward" for the brand globally with " a bold and athletic presence and a proud stance".

The strangely named Kadjar will be the star of the Renault stand. The new SUV bears more than a passing resemblance to the Captur and will be powered by the same 1.5-litre 110 bhp diesel engine with 99g/km as its crossover cousin, the Nissan Qashqai.

Available in two- and four- wheel drive, it is slightly larger than the Qashqai and will be marketed by Renault as a sportier alternative to the Nissan. It is likely to arrive here at the end of the summer.

Mitsubishi has released teaser photos of its yet-to-be-named concept SUV. A likely replacement for the current ASX, the new car is expected to be a combination of a high-output electric motor with a low environmental impact, dynamic agility and athletic design.

The SUV is likely to reduce CO2 emissions through a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) system.

After several concept cars, the first all new car from SsangYong since it was taken over by the Indian car company Mahindra & Mahindra in 2011 is to debut at Geneva.

The Tivoli takes its name from the stylish Italian town near Rome and this Nissan Juke-sized SUV is expected to be on sale at the end of the summer

Better supercars

No motor show would be complete with some mouth-watering supercars - and Geneva is unlikely to disappoint.

The Honda NSX replacement is finally here - 25 years since it first launched and 10 years since it went out of production.

Fitted with a twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine and three electric motors, the NSX produces 550 bhp. The combination of a twin-turbocharged engine together with the electric motors promises to deliver instantaneous yet broad torque.

Before you get too excited, Honda's eagerly awaited supercar has already sold out.

From Porsche comes the super hot new Cayman GT4, the most performance focussed version of the Cayman ever built. A lap time of 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the North Loop of the Nurburgring confirms the Cayman GT4 has 911 DNA.

Powered by a 3.8-litre flat six derived from a 911 Carrera S, that is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, the Cayman GT4 accelerates from 0 to 100 km in 4.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 295 km/h.

McLaren will have two cars on show: the P1 GTR and McLaren's first longtail in decades. Featuring a twin turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 engine, producing an eye watering 666 bhp, it is likely to be on sale by the end of the year.

McLaren has already confirmed that the 675LT is named after its longtail shape designed to improve aerodynamics and handling.

Meanwhile, the Italian stallions at Ferrari will unveil the 488 GTB, the 458 replacement. 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta) nameplate for Ferrari since the 308 GTB came into being in 1975.

Powered by a 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 engine with 661 bhp and 760 Nm of torque, the 488 GTB can shoot to 100 km/h in a mere 3.0 seconds, 200 km/h in just 8.3 seconds and has top speed of 330 km/h. Expect the price tag to be equally as dazzling when it goes on sale in September.

Sunday Independent

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