Every year it’s probably said that this show was the most tech-heavy, but each year we keep advancing even further. The first day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show was explosive, Twitter was buzzing with all the latest reveals and displays. There’s still a significant presence of the ICE (internal combustion engine) supercars and 1,000+ horsepower hypercars. In addition, there was also the next wave of battery and electric-powered vehicles.
Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin continue to amaze crowds with pistons and petrol. However, Geneva 2018 also saw a strong presence of more efficient machines such as turbine recharging electric vehicles. There was an insane amount of unveilings and mind-bending concepts. Let’s take a look at some of the attention-grabbing cars at the show.
Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder
Lamborghini used the floor at Geneva to pull the wraps off its open-top Spyder version of its Huracan Performante. Twelve months ago Lamborghini unveiled the coupe version in Geneva. The Spyder is powered by the same naturally aspirated 631 bhp (471 kW) 5.2-litre V10 engine as the hard top. However, it is two-tenths slower than the coupe with a 0-100 km/h time of 3.1 seconds. It has a top speed of 323 km/h (201mph). It can also rocket from 0-200 km/h in 9.3 seconds, also four tenths slower.
Much of the Performante Spyder styling has been taken off the Coupe. Its aggressive bodywork, distinct creases, high-level rear wing and of course the Performante stripes remain. The Coupe’s repositioned exhausts, forged carbon trim, 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, ceramic brakes and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres also appear on the Spyder.
Apart from the obvious folding soft-top roof, the most notable additions to the Spyder would be the Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva. This is Lamborghini’s active area system that increases or decreases downforce automatically depending on the requirements.
The I-Pace first appeared on the scene as a concept car at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. It then went on to make an appearance at every major car show in 2017. It was also voted by a UK magazine as the car readers are “most excited to see” in 2018.
Then, prior to the Geneva show, Jaguar revealed the production version and full details in Austria late in February. Its production version looks almost identical to its concept and a looker of note. The British automaker also made no secret that its first all-electric SUV is gunning at Tesla. Jaguar is also undercutting both the Model S and Model X by launching the I-Pace with a starting price of $69,500 (roughly R824,250).
The I-Pace is powered by a 90kWh battery, capable of a 480 km range, along with two permanent synchronous motors that produce 298 kW (400hp). The sporty SUV is claimed to do a 0-97 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds.
“We wanted to design the world’s most desirable EV, and I’m confident we’ve met that challenge” – Ian Callum, Jaguar director of design.
Bentley Bentayga PHEV
So far, Bentley has enjoyed strong sales with its Bentayga and its new plug-in hybrid variant is likely to enjoy the same sales.
Bentley revealed its Bentayga PHEV in Geneva and there are almost no visual exterior changes that can be spotted other than a charging hole. The Bentayga PHEV is powered by a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine that’s combined with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. A battery pack that Bentley claims to charge in 2h30min via a fast-charger or 7h30min from a regular household socket.
The tech available in the Bentayga PHEV is said to be similar to the tech found in the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. The PHEV develops an impressive 307 kW (412 hp) and also provides a full-electric mode for limited zero-emissions driving.
Bentley is calling its new plug-in the ‘world’s first luxury hybrid’. I wonder how Land Rover is going to take to that claim since it recently launched the Range Rover PHEV and Range Rover Sport PHEV.
Ferrari 488 Pista
Ferrari used Geneva to unveil the most powerful V8 engine in the Maranello marque’s history. The Ferrari 488 Pista is a special series sports car with the highest level of technological transfer from racing. This is even displayed in its name, which means ‘track’ in Italian and testifies to Ferrari’s unparalleled heritage in motorsport.
In addition, Ferrari has also made a 20 per cent improvement in aerodynamic downforce and introduced the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer. This uses software to micro-adjust the brake pressure at the calipers to improve handling.
Other software modifications include the introduction of a Sideslip Angle Control system, aka drift mode. Furthermore, the Italian automaker added a new ‘magnetorheological’ suspension system that uses magnetic fluid to electronically adjust the damping characteristics.
Now for the understandable stats: The Pista has a dry weight of 1,280 kg making it 90 kg less than the standard 488. It puts out 537 kW/720 hp, does a 0-100 km/h in 2.85 seconds and reaches a top speed of 340 km/h. These numbers are almost identical to Porsche’s new GT3 RS, which was also on display at the show.
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Since rumours of an all-electric Mission E surfaced people have been anxiously waiting to see if Porsche is bringing forth a Tesla rival. Porsche has been teasing a sleek sports car for some time now, with the promise of crazy performance.
At the Geneva show, Porsche revealed its Mission E Cross Turismo. It’s the concept study of an electrically driven Cross Utility Vehicle (CUV). However, this is not a final design but one that is closer to the actual Mission E Porsche plans to release next year.
“The proportions and dimensions give you a hint: this is more realistic than the first Mission E concept,” Porsche’s design boss Michael Mauer said.
Toyota Supra in Geneva
The Supra was another car rumoured to make a comeback, and here it is! Well, sort-off. Toyota Gazoo Racing unveiled a new Supra Concept. This comes with the effort of Toyota reviving its most beloved nineties compact sports car. Which was also before it made its FNF (Fast and Furious) debut. This particular Supra is aimed for the track. It has been built with lightweight composite materials for the body and a stripped-down interior. I’m certain this release had nostalgia ratings off the charts.
The tangible fifth-generation Supra said to be built in collaboration with BMW, will be much anticipated now!