Step inside for a recap of this year's Geneva Auto Show.The Geneva Auto Show is one of our favorite automotive events because it puts an unabashed focus on high-end cars. Companies big and small from all over the world convene in Switzerland annually to display horsepower, luxury, outlandish designs, and sometimes all of the above. This year's edition was one of the smaller ones in recent memory, but there were still plenty of cars to drool over. Miss any of the action in the Palexpo convention center? Read on for a recap of this year's highlights.
2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante
The Huracan Performante is the most powerful V10-powered model Lamborghini has ever built. The naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter unit pumps out 640 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 443 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Flaps integrated into the front bumper and at the base of the rear wing provide a huge amount of downforce without adding excessive drag. The Performante also features a unique design, and it makes extensive use of a weight-saving material named Forged Composite that was patented by Lamborghini.
"This is the first time we have replaced a product family," McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt pointed out as the veil came off the 720S. To say that it's a monumentally important model for the British brand is a massive understatement.
McLaren applied the lessons it learned from competing against Lamborghini and Ferrari to the 720S. It's lighter than the 650S it replaces, it has more power, and it's got a head-turning design penned in a wind tunnel.
Mercedes-AMG GT concept
This close-to-production concept looks like a longer version of the GT coupe with two sets of doors, but the similarities are only skin-deep. It rides on an evolution of the modular MRA platform that underpins a number of recent Mercedes-Benz models including the E-Class.
AMG's first-ever hybrid drivetrain gives the GT concept 805 horsepower. It's made up of a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine borrowed from the E63, and a compact electric motor. The sedan performs the benchmark zero-to-60-mph sprint in under three seconds.
Want one? You're in luck, because the production variant is less than a year away from making its debut.
Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet
We've been hearing rumors of a Maybach SUV for several years now. The more credible ones pointed to a GLS-based off-roader, but it turns out Mercedes had something much more decadent in the pipeline.
Limited to 99 examples, the G650 Landaulet is a stretched version of the venerable G-Class with a cloth soft top and well over a foot of ground clearance. The longer wheelbase clears up enough space for a cocoon-like rear compartment with a pair of individual seats borrowed from the S-Class, airliner-style tablets, and high-resolution screens.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
For purists, Porsche and station wagons go together about as well as Frosted Flakes and mustard. And yet, the Stuttgart-based company's first long-roof was one of the uncontested stars of the Geneva show.
That's because it's no ordinary station wagon. Fluid styling gives the Sport Turismo a shooting brake-like look, and drivetrains borrowed from the second-generation Panamera hatchback provide jaw-dropping amounts of power. And while wagons are dropping like flies in the United States, Porsche is committed to selling its first entry into the segment on our shores.
2017 RUF CTR
The RUF CTR was one of the biggest surprises of this year's Geneva show. The hot rod of 911s is back to woo a new generation of enthusiasts, and it this time around it packs a 3.6-liter flat-six rated at over 700 horsepower.
Unlike the original Yellow Bird, the 2017 model is built entirely out of carbon fiber. Production is limited to 30 examples, and most of them have already found a home in spite of a base price that flirts with the $800,000 mark.
Toyota Yaris GRMN
Why is a Yaris on the list of the show's most significant debuts? Well, the GRMN isn't a bland, predictable economy hatchback you'd give to a 16-year old with a week-old license. Toyota has shoe-horned a supercharged four-cylinder engine that makes over 205 horsepower, and made comprehensive modifications to the chassis with input from the engineers that developed its WRC car.
Full performance specifications still haven't been announced, but we already like what we see. And, it's a sign that Toyota is dead serious about building fun-to-drive cars that appeal to the heart, not just the mind. Don't get your checkbook out just yet, however, because the Yaris GRMN hasn't been confirmed for the U.S. market yet.
Here is a full list of the cars that debuted in Geneva earlier this week:
- 2017 Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo
- 2017 Alpine A110
- 2018 Audi RS 5
- Audi Q8 Sport concept
- Aston Martin Valkyrie (design mock-up)
- Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e concept
- 2017 BMW 5 Series Touring
- Citroen C-Aircross concept
- 2017 DS 7 Crossback
- 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast
- Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo
- 2018 Ford Fiesta ST
- 2018 Honda Civic Type R
- Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept
- 2018 Infiniti Q50
- 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
- 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition
- 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon
- 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
- 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
- 2017 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia
- Pagani Huayra Roadster
- Peugeot Instinct concept
- 2018 Porsche 911 GT3
- 2018 Subaru XV
- 2017 Toyota Yaris
- 2018 Volkswagen Arteon
- 2018 Volvo XC60
Photo by Ronan Glon.