Early next week just about anyone who matters in the motor industry will be on a plane, train or in a car on the way to Geneva. It happens every year, during the first week of March, for a bizarre anomaly of an international motor show that defies conventional logic.
Most of the world’s car shows take place in countries where car production is an important industry. Even some of the biggest, such as in France, Germany and South Africa, only happen biennially. Switzerland, though, is an interesting exception. It has virtually no indigenous motor industry, but somehow manages to sustain one of the world’s leading motor exhibitions that is staged in vast show halls just across the road from Geneva Airport, and it does so every year.
Along with much of the world’s motoring press, I’ll be there next Tuesday for the preview day, eager to take a closer look at all the newest arrivals on the motoring scene. Nothing much stays secret, though, in this modern internet world, so here is an early look at some of the most significant cars due for official unveiling on Geneva show stands.
Citroen: A van-based family-friendly MPV called the Space Tourer will be Citroen’s star. (Below)
Audi: A new Q car will be on the Audi stand at Geneva, the Q2. Built on the same under-structure as the VW Polo, it will rival ‘crossover’ models like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V.
Ford: There will be an updated Kuga, plus upmarket Vignale versions of several models.
Volvo: The big news from Volvo is its new estate car, the V90. This very modern newcomer is like turning back to cuckoo clock to a past era, when estates were what the Swedish manufacturer was best known for.
Renault: Two newcomers at Geneva will be the new Scenic and Megane Sports Tourer, both due on the road later this year.
Honda: We expect to see a concept car that shows what the next Honda Civic will look like.
Ferrari: We can only dream about owning a luscious new GTC4 Lusso, or ogle it in Geneva. (Below)
Lamborghini: A new supercar, called the Centenario, celebrates Lambo’s centenary this year.
Mitsubishi: We’ll be looking out for the ASX small car concept and L200 pickup updated.
Jeep: It is a long time since Jeep had a Compass in its name, but the name returns for a new mid-size SUV/crossover.
Lexus: A hybrid LC Coupe, the LC500h, will be on the upscale Toyota brand’s stand.
Kia: From the Korean car maker, the new Niro hybrid crossover concept, and Optima plug-in hybrid and Optima Sportswagon estate car. (Below)
Land Rover: First official hello to the Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet.
Jaguar: The F-Type morphs into an ultra high-performance 200 mph supercar in the SVR.
Seat: Big news from the Spanish car maker is the company’s first crossover model, the Ateca.
Maserati: The Italian sports car maker will show its first SUV, the Levante. (Below)
Infiniti: The QX30 is a crossover based on the Q30, and there’s a Q60 Sports coupe.
Fiat: Remember the Fiat Tipo? The name is being revived for a new hatchback due this autumn.
Mazda: A new rotary-engined sports car, the RX-Vision, is the star. (Below)
Mercedes-Benz: New from Mercedes is a new glamour drop-top, the C-Class Cabriolet.
Hyundai: A funny name for Hyundai’s newcomer, the Ioniq will rival a Toyota Prius.
Peugeot: Citroen’s sister company will show a sibling MPV, called the Traveller. (Below)
Porsche: News of a new Boxster is already out, and it will be the Porsche stand’s centrepiece.
Bentley: We’re expecting a concept car that morphs the new Bentayga into an even higher-performance coupe, plus a updated Mulsanne.
Skoda: The Yeti is to get a seven-seat bigger brother, called Vision S, revealed at Geneva. (Below)
Ssangyong: Two interesting show cars from the Korean company are the Tivoli XLV, bigger than the existing model, and a petrol-electric hybrid concept called the SIV-2.
Alpine: Not to be confused with Alpina, this is Renault’s sports car offshoot which is being revived after a gap of two decades. Alpine produced 30,000 cars over 40 years and was a famous name in the Monte Carlo Rally. Now it’s back with a concept car called Vision.
BMW: There will be a higher performance 7-Series, called M760LixDrive, what a mouthful!
Toyota: A concept car called U2 is a taster of what’s coming from Toyota, plus an updated RAV4.. (Below)
Bugatti: A new millionaire machine will be unveiled by Bugatti, the Chiron.
Alpina: Renowned Bavarian tuning company Alpina will show its new variant on the BMW 7-Series, with a V8 engine and four-wheel-drive rumoured.
Vauxhall: We’ll be looking out for a new version of the Mokka, called Mokka X, and a sporty low-slung GT concept car that sets the style for a future model going on sale in a few years. (Below)
Volkswagen: There will be an updated model of the quirkily-named up! city car, with a new turbocharged one-litre petrol engine. VW is also showing a seven-seater Tiguan.
Alfa Romeo: Anything from Alfa is of interest, and we’re keen to see the new Giulietta, which may be rear-wheel-drive like the Giulia. That’s an intriguing prospect.
Aston Martin: Big news from Midlands-based Aston is the arrival of the DB11, a sleek new supercar with a twin-turbo V12 engine.