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Geneva Motor Show Highlights

Bentley was the marque that stole this year’s Geneva show. The big story wasn’t the revisions to its Continental GT family of models — exterior changes to “sharpen its on-road presence”; engine tweaks to increase power to 582bhp and increase fuel efficiency by five percent; and a series of changes to freshen up the cabin. No, the buzz was generated by the stunning EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, the Crewe carmaker’s interpretation of a British high-performance two-seat sports car. The aircraft-inspired design includes a new interpretation of the classic Bentley front grille and headlight arrangement, while the cabin features a new dashboard layout, 12-inch curved touchscreen and the latest technology. All of these elements point to a new direction for Bentley; one that includes a fuller model line-up, including this Porsche rival and the forthcoming Bentayga SUV.

Aston Martin
Aston Martin unveiled the Vulcan, a highly exclusive track-focused car, with only 24 examples being made for customers, who will also receive tuition from Le Mans-winning racing drivers as part of a €2.4 million package. They’ll probably need a few refresher lessons, as the Vulcan has a monstrous motorsport-inspired 7.0-litre V12 engine generating more than 800bhp. The body will be made entirely from carbon fibre and Aston Martin promises “truly extreme performance”. Possibly the most controversial car of the show was the Aston Martin DBX concept, an all-electric, four-seat, four-wheel-drive crossover GT that marks a real departure for the brand. The company claimed that the car wasn’t production-ready and “a piece of fresh, bold thinking”. Fresh and bold it might be; good-looking it is not.

The German carmaker had two major performance versions of existing models on show: the 911 GT3 RS and the Cayman GT4. The 911 GT3 RS is a hardcore, stripped-out road machine with track inclinations, boasting 493bhp and a 0–62mph time of 3.3 seconds. The body is made from the same aluminium used for the 911 Turbo, augmented by a magnesium roof, plus a bonnet and engine lid made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic — all of which makes the car lighter and gives it a lower centre of gravity. This will be a real weapon when it goes on sale in May. That will also be true of the Cayman GT4, a car that Cayman fans have been waiting for. Fitted with the 3.8-litre engine in the 911 Carrera S, tuned to produce 380bhp, the GT4 also has a specially stiffened body and some components taken from the 911 GT3. It should be a cracking drive when it goes on sale at the end of this month.

Koenigsegg Regera
Only 80 examples of the Koenigsegg Regera will be built over the next six years, at a cost of €1.74 million each. It looks pretty special, with a hybrid powertrain comprising a V8 engine and three electric motors creating a total of 1,782bhp (0–62mph in around 2.8 seconds; 0–250mph in under 20 seconds), which Koenigsegg claims will make it the most powerful production car in existence.

McLaren 675LT
McLaren unveiled its 675LT model, a lighter, more exclusive, more powerful track-focused version of its 650S supercar. This ‘Longtail’ variant, limited to just 500 cars, will have a 0–62mph time of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 205mph, thanks to its re-engineered V8 engine. It’s also more aerodynamic and creates more downforce, which should help make it an absorbing drive.

Audi R8
The second-generation Audi supercar isn’t radically different to the current car, although every element of the new car’s exterior is new. However, under the skin, the company’s motorsport successes have helped develop the 601bhp 5.2-litre V10 petrol engine that will enable a 0–62mph time of 3.2 seconds and 205mph top speed. An all-electric e-tron will also be available in selected markets, producing 456bhp and having a 280-mile range.

Ferrari 488 GTB
No round-up would be complete without the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Italian carmaker’s latest supercar, which will replace the 458 Italia from September. Powered by a new turbocharged 3.9-litre V8, producing 660bhp, the 488 GTB will manage a 0–62mph sprint in three seconds dead, before heading to a top speed of 205mph.

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