Newest and Coolest: The Geneva Run-Down
This may not be for drifting but this is one h*ll of a car!
Last year Ferrari debuted the jaw-dropping LaFerrari in Geneva and this year they followed that up with the new California T. While the LaFerrari is a no-holds barred machine that represents the pinnacle of the brand’s engineering, the California T is a much more practical and attainable automobile – speaking relatively of course.
When it comes to the California T, the big story is under the hood – which is where you’ll find a 3.9 liter direct-injected and turbocharged V8. 560 horsepower is the output and despite the snail on the side, Ferrari is claiming zero turbo lag with this set-up.
With turbo power and the latest version of Ferrari’s F1-Trac system, the California T will get to 62 in just 3.6 seconds. Of course all the performance technology in this car would be pointless if it wasn’t a looker, but thanks to styling done in collaboration with Pininfarina, it doesn’t have much to worry about there.
Also making some noise was Maserati, who showed off a new concept car called the Alfieri, built to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary. Rather than the four-door models the company has released of late, the Alfieri calls back to the sexy 2+2s of Maserati’s past.
Beneath the sleek and simplistic styling both inside and out lies a chassis design shared with the GranTurismo MC Stradale. Power comes from a 460 horsepower, 4.7 liter naturally-aspirated V8.
The Alfa Romeo 4C is a car that I personally find quite interesting, and Alfa chose Geneva as the place to debut the open top version of the car – which is not surprisingly called the 4C Spider.
I’m one of those guys who generally prefers sports cars with a fixed roof, but given the 4C’s lighter weight and focus on driver involvement, adding some wind in the hair can only be a good thing here.
We’ve been drooling over Lamborghini’s Huracán for a few months now, and Geneva saw the official debut of the hugely anticipated replacement for the Gallardo. You can bet we’ll have more on this thing during our in-depth show reports.
McLarens to Mazdas
Another car that I’m guessing you’ll already be familiar with is the McLaren 650S. If you somehow missed our special early look at the car, go and check it out. Geneva is the first chance the public will have to get a glimpse at McLaren’s lastest.
Moving on to more attainable machinery now, we have Audi who took the wraps off the all-new third generation TT in Geneva. Design-wise, the new TT is both thoroughly modern but also has elements that call back to the original model of the late 1990s.
The TT will be available with a few different powerplants, including a 310 horsepower 2.0TSFI motor that will power the top level TTS model to 62 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds.
From the same corporate family comes the SEAT Leon Cupra 280 – with that final number designating the car’s horsepower. Not surprisingly, that makes the Cupra 280 the most powerful car SEAT has ever built.
What’s even more impressive is the car’s 7:58 lap time around the Nürburgring, which makes it both the Ring’s quickest front-wheel drive production car, and the first to break the eight minute barrier.
Like your performance in a small package? You’ll probably dig the new Opel/Vauxhall ADAM S – car which has its sights set clearly on the Fiat 500 Abarth.
With a 150 horsepower 1.4 liter turbo under the hood, the ADAM S also features upgraded bodywork, big brakes, stickier tires – and of course a pair of Recaro seats up front.
Another cool small car to keep an eye on is the Mazda Hazumi Concept, which provides a rather realistic look at where the next generation Mazda2/Mazda Demio is heading. I certainly like what I see here.
Another car that we’ve been watching for a while is Porsche’s much talked-about Le Mans challenger: the 919 Hybrid. With just a few more months to go before the big race, Porsche used the Geneva show as the place to debut the completed machine.
With a two liter V4 engine mated to pair of energy recovery systems, Porsche is claiming a power output of about 500 horsepower. Will that be enough to win Le Mans? Porsche seems to think so.
As company Chairman Matthias Müller says, “In 2014, it will not be the fastest car that wins the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 hours of Le Mans, rather it will be the car that goes the furthest with a defined amount of energy. And it is precisely this challenge that carmakers must overcome. The 919 Hybrid is our fastest mobile research laboratory and the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built.”
When I first saw this car, I thought Lexus had brought its RC F Super GT racer over from Japan – but it turns out this is the RC F GT3 Concept, and there are some very big differences between the two.
The RC F GT3 will be powered by a 540 horse V8 not unlike the one that comes in the production version, and Lexus is claiming a final weight of 2,756 pounds (1250kg).
While 2014 will be dedicated to testing, Lexus is planning to have the car ready for customer competition for the 2015 season.
With all this high performance machinery being shown, is it strange that one of my favorites is a Volvo Wagon? Okay, it’s not just a Volvo Wagon, but the Concept Estate – which hints at the company’s new design language.
Needless to say, I’m very excited to see the real images of this thing coming up in our full Geneva reports. Just look at it!
The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept is a car that we already saw in Detroit, but when the car arrived in Geneva this week, it came with a very hot powertrain.
That’s right, the Eau Rouge features not just the R35 GT-R’s twin turbocharged V6 making 560 horsepower, but also its brilliant AWD system. A four-door GT-R is something the world absolutely needs, so here’s hoping that Infinti makes this thing a reality.
That will do it for now, hopefully this has whet your appetite for our ‘real’ Geneva coverage. Stay tuned!
Newest & Coolest: The Geneva Run-Down