Swiss Peaks: Geneva Motor Show 2017 Review
by Sue Baker
Just across the road from Geneva airport, the motor industry’s favourite car show opens this week, and we’ve had an early look at what’s there.
Every year in early March the world’s motor industry, motoring press and petrolheads from near and far decamp to the vast Palexpo exhibition centre located beside Switzerland’s N1 motorway. It is within a few minutes’ walk from Geneva airport, and just across the border from Alpine ski resorts. The annual auto show is on from this week until Sunday 19 March.
We were there for the press preview ahead of the official opening, and here’s a look at the highlights, featuring new models that will be arriving on UK roads in the months ahead and some supercar exotica to lust over.
Alpine, owned by Renault, makes a comeback with the A110, a lightweight, sexy-looking 252 bhp sports car that will be a rival for a Porsche Cayman. On sale here next year.
Audi is showing its new RS3 Sportback, a very rapid hot hatch with a five-cylinder, 2.5 litre engine, 395 bhp and a 0-62 mph time of 4.1 seconds. On sale this summer.
BMW has a new 5 Series Touring. It’s 36 mm longer than the last one, and will arrive here this spring to rival a Mercedes E-Class Estate and Volvo’s V90.
Citroen is previewing the new C3 Picasso in the C-Aircross concept car that looks quite funky and is a joint-venture sister model for Vauxhall’s Crossland X, sharing the same under-structure and engines.
DS, the up-scale brand that has broken loose from Citroen, is showing its new DS7 Crossback, an elegant new five-seater SUV with remarkable balletic swivelling headlights.
Eadon Green is a new British car company and its 12-cylinder Black Cuillin, named after Scottish mountains, is a retro-styled coupe inspired by the Alfa Romeo driven by Captain Hastings in TV’s Poirot. Actor Hugh Fraser was on the stand for the unveiling.
Ferrari shows its new 812 Superfast. It’s the Italian sports car maker’s most powerful road car ever, with a V12 engine and 790 bhp.
Fiat is giving a world premiere to its Fullback Cross, a big pickup that is designed to be more leisure vehicle than workhorse.
Ford has a new Fiesta and the star is the Fiesta ST, with a 1.5 litre, 197 bhp three-cylinder engine. It will come in both five-door and three-door versions.
Honda is showing its next-generation Civic Type R, with a two-litre VTEC turbo engine. It’s a very quick hot hatch.
Hyundai debuts the new i30 Tourer, the smart, roomy and practical estate version of the new i30 we tested last week.
Jaguar is showing the I-Pace, the electric version of the F-Pace. But absent from the stand is the heavily-disguised E-Pace we spotted on test in France on the way to the show, the forthcoming smaller sister for Jag’s acclaimed SUV.
Kia has a new Picanto to replace its smallest model, with a fresh body style, upgraded cabin, and more technology. It’s going on sale this spring.
Lamborghini lures millionaire petrolheads with its Huracan Performante, boasting 631 bhp and 0-62 acceleration in 2.9 seconds. Yes, really.
Land Rover gives pride of place to its new Range Rover Velar, soon to arrive in the range in between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. Due on sale later this year, its closest rival is Porsche’s Macan.
Mercedes-Benz has a raft of new models in Geneva, including the E-Class Cabriolet and AMG E63 Estate, said to be the world’s fastest production estate car. But our favourite is the X-Class concept, showing what a Mercedes pickup will look like.
Mitsubishi is going into battle against Nissan’s Qashqai with its Eclipse Cross, slotting into the range between the ASX and Outlander. It’s coming early next year.
Nissan has a new Qashqai, updating the car that is credited with starting the hugely popular crossover trend. It has a new look and a technology upgrade.
Pagani is showing its new Huayra Roadster supercar, with a six-litre, twin-turbo V12 engine. Don’t rush. Only 100 are being produced, and they’re all sold.
Porsche has a new super-sportscar in the 911 GT3, a muscular eye-grabber with a 3.8 litre engine and a whopping 493 bhp. The price will be nearly £112,000. Ouch.
Seat is giving its new Ibiza a Geneva debut, and it’s the fifth generation of the likeable little Spanish model. Very slightly shorter than its predecessor, it has engines from one-litre petrol to 1.6 diesel.
Skoda has several new models, including a rugged Kodiak Scout that adds some off-road credibility to the Czech manufacturer’s new Kodiak seven-seater SUV.
SsangYong has plans for a seven-seater newcomer to its capable 4×4 car range, and is showcasing what it will look like in the XAVL concept, which stands for eXciting Authentic Vehicle Long. Unusually for the Korean company, it will initially be two-wheel-drive. The ‘authentic’ part refers to a 4×4 five-seater in the same body.
Subaru has a new second-generation XV, based on the same structure as the new Impreza. It has Subaru’s flat-four, opposing-punch Boxer engine.
Suzuki is showing its new Swift, a chic five-door supermini. It’s front-wheel-drive with a one-litre, three-cylinder Boosterjet engine, or all-wheel-drive with a 1.2 litre engine.
Toyota shows its facelifted Yaris, with a 1.5 litre engine in place of the previous 1.3 litre unit, and also the GRMN hot hatch version due on sale next year. Why GRMN? Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring, apparently, from Toyota’s motorsport division.
Vauxhall has its new SUV Crossland X, closely related to the next Citroen C3 Picasso, but all anyone wanted to talk about on the stand was the forthcoming takeover of Vauxhall and its German sister company Opel by PSA, owners of Peugeot, Citroen and DS.
Volvo is debuting its new XC60, with sharper styling and an interior that takes cool Swedish decor to a new level, including four-zone climate control.
Volkswagen has a new name for the car that replaces the old Passat CC. It’s called Arteon, with a choice of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, and it will rival Audi’s A5 Sportback.
Images: Sue Baker
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