Highlights from Geneva Motor Show
Missed out on the Geneva Motor Show? Don’t worry, we’ve got highlights of the best new releases and exciting things to come from the world of motors.
Volvo XC40 wins “Car of the Year 2018”
It was at the Geneva International Motor Show that the final vote took place to decide the winner of the “Car of the Year” Award. And for 2018, it is the Volvo XC40. The “Car of the Year” trophy is one of the most prestigious awards in the automotive world, where 60 journalists from 23 countries are members of the jury.
The Volvo XC40 was voted number one ahead of six other vehicles, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi A8, BMW 5 series, Citroën C3 Aircross, Kia Stinger and Seat Ibiza. Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo received the award from Frank Janssen, motoring journalist from the German magazine STERN and President of the Jury. “The XC40 really deserved this accolade,” he said. “To receive it in Geneva is all the more rewarding as this is my favourite motor show." Volvo has been a finalist on several occasions, but this is the first time it has won this prestigious award, with 83 points separating it from its competitors. The criteria taken into consideration for the award are, in addition to the innovation and the security, the design and the value for money.
Jaguar’s New I-Pace
The Geneva Motor Show 2018 saw something that may have looked a little familiar – the new Jaguar I-Pace is virtually identical to the concept car the company first showed to the world in 2016, but it’s something that gives us a real glance into Jaguar’s future.
The Jaguar I-Pace is the first all-electric car to come from the British carmaker and it introduces a fresh, new cabin architecture and proportions. From the front, the I-Pace is recognisable as a Jaguar, with the LED headlights incorporating the brand’s distinctive ‘double J’ graphic. And the cut off rear end, which was developed to improve airflow and reduce aero drag, also incorporates Jaguar’s definitive long taillamps with a ‘drop down’ element below the very short decklid and slim backlight. The overall feel from the interior is one of open airiness, generous panoramic roof and open areas, such as the arch-like front of the centre console. Thanks to it being electric there’s no tunnel for the transmission and designers have been able to include a 10-litre stowage compartment in the front, and 890mm of rear legroom. “It’s a very practical car,” says Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum. He said how he “wanted to give the car a certain attitude that a Jaguar should have. A Jaguar should always be elegant,” he says. “It’s got attitude, it’s got stance, and it’s beautiful.”
McLaren Automotive Announces New ‘Hyper-GT’ Supercar
McLaren Automotive were pleased to announce at the Geneva motor show its forthcoming ‘Hyper-GT’, which will be capable of exceeding 243mph. That was the peak speed of their iconic McLaren F1.
The ‘Hyper-GT‘ is codenamed BP23, and as McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed at the motor show, there will be a public reveal of the car later this year. Only 106 will be produced and they are already sold at a cool £1.6million, plus taxes. The BP23 is the latest addition to the McLaren Ultimate Series. As well as being the fastest-ever McLaren, its designers have made sure that it will also be the most luxurious ever. It will have a three-seat cockpit design with a central driving position – the same layout as the F1 – and a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, to deliver the unparalleled blend of extreme performance and sporting luxury that befits its status as the ultimate road-going McLaren. The McLaren Special Operations division or MSO, is the department of McLaren Automotive that will personalise every vehicle to satisfy the taste of each individual owner, giving a real bespoke package. The BP23 will carry an as-yet unannounced name, rather than the alphanumerical nomenclatures used by the McLaren Sports Series and Super Series; this name, together with the maximum possible speed, will be disclosed nearer to the car’s reveal. Production is due to begin at the end of next year.
Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Concept
Hyundai’s Le Fil Rouge concept car is a massive statement of intent from the Korean manufacturer and a very well executed one at that. It is a concept that encapsulates a ‘sensuous and sportiness’ theme that you will find on all future Hyundai vehicles. “Le Fil Rouge is our design vision concept,” says Hyundai VP of Design Sangyup Lee. “Hyundai has always been a practical brand. We make good cars with the best value for our customers. This is not going to cut it in the future. We really want to add emotional value to the car to make Hyundai become beloved by our special customers.”
The exterior of Le Fil Rouge concept is overwhelmed with incredible detailing and unique design elements that blend technology with aesthetic appeal. The interior takes the design vision further with thought given to the different requirements of the driver and their passengers – comfort for passengers, driving experience and optimized ergonomics for the driver. To emphasize Hyundai’s newfound electric vehicle design mission, Lee says the overall design is defined by the harmony between four fundamental elements: proportion, architecture, design and technology. “Technology is very important,” says Lee. “We as designers always ask ourselves how to integrate technology into the design to tell a story to our customers.” Hyundai’s sensitivity to design, material use and technology is perfectly integrated into their concept car. And that’s why Le Fil Rouge was one of the stars of the show.
The New 2019 Audi A6
The luxury four-door Audi A6 that greeted the world at Geneva shares the technology found in its recently revealed sisters, the A8 and A7, along with some very welcomed fuel-saving features.
There are two engines to choose from for the A6. There’s a 3.0-litre turbocharged V-6 rated at 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and a turbodiesel. These will be mated with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic which will be standard in Europe for the new A6. For the first time, the A6 will feature four-wheel steering that can dial in up to 5 degrees of counter-steering at slow speeds for better manoeuvrability, or in concert with the front wheels at high speeds for better handling. Inside, the A6 is larger with more room for passengers and cargo, and interior lighting in up to 30 different shades. It features Audi's newest MMI infotainment system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment and an 8.6-inch touchscreen for climate controls. The A6 includes available safety features such as active lane control and adaptive cruise control, parking assist, vehicle-to-infrastructure hardware, and a raft of sensors and cameras that could help the A6 avoid crashes. Following cues from the A4 and A5, the styling of the A6 is evolutionary for the sedan, sharper than its predecessor with deeper creases and a bulging hood. Pricing information is yet to come, but the A6 is slated to reach showrooms later this year.
Peugeot 508’s Impressive Design
Many agreed that in the new 508, Peugeot has unveiled a design stunner. Whilst the current generation dates back to 2010 and that’s starting to show, this new one puts out a statement for its rivals to ponder. Underpinning the car is the flexible EMP2 platform from Peugeot parent company PSA Group. The interior looks are superbly classy with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.0-inch infotainment screen, and leather-trimmed steering wheel. There’s more details to come about the powertrain range that will be on offer and Peugeot will also offer the car with the latest electronic driver aids including a night vision system with object and pedestrian detection.