Famous for its ski slopes, upmarket hotels and luxurious chocolate, Geneva is also host to one of the most celebrated motoring events on the planet.
The 86th Geneva car show will be opening its doors on March 3rd and will run full throttle for 10 days with an estimated 600,00 visitors. First held in 1905, the event has established itself as a successful platform to unveil new models - with famous alumni including the Jaguar E-Type, Ford Capri and Audi Quattro.
Today it still attracts the top manufacturers from around the world as they continue to debut their latest production cars – as well as showcase concept models which embody a bold vision of what's to come. If you have a particular fascination for all things futuristic, then take a look at some top motoring trends, Geneva style.
The DS E-Tense
Citroen positioned the DS as a separate division for luxury cars, in the same way that Toyota created Lexus and Nissan developed Infiniti. And now the DS E-Tense aims to accelerate Citroen well into the 21st century. This fully electric two-seater GT is, according to the French manufacturer, capable of 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds and boasts a range of 200 miles, encapsulating ‘the brand’s technological and stylistic vision’. While the E-Tense has no rear windscreen the view is instead provided by a camera, which is displayed on a screen mounted where you’d usually find a rear-view mirror.
Apparently it took 800 hours to design the interior of the E-Tense which also features a bespoke time piece by BRM Chronographes that can be dismounted from the centre of the dashboard and worn as a wristwatch – very fashion forward.
Kodiaq (or Skoda Vision S)
Sounding more like a character from a movie, this SUV from Skoda is enjoying its red carpet moment at the show. This three-row SUV – expected to be volume ready early 2017, has some impressive bedfellows to beat – namely the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Volvo XC90.
Powered by a plug-in hybrid system that combines a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a pair of electric motors, the Kodiaq (or Vision S) can achieve 62mph in 7.4 seconds. One electric motor is integrated into the car's six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while another electric motor powers the rear axle.
Its top speed is 124mph and, on paper, it emits 45g/km of CO2 with a reputed average of 149mpg. Thanks to a 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery in front of the rear axle this newest SUV can also travel on electric power alone for 30 miles. If everything operates at peak efficiency the range is estimated to be in excess of 600 miles.
If you need space and performance, you could have your very own red carpet moment with the Kodiaq. Just watch out for the paparazzi!
Powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the GT concept is expected to form the centrepiece of Vauxhall/Opels stand at the show. The company, already riding high after the announcement that the Astra is now ‘European Car of the Year’, has looked to the past for this vision of the future. The GT concept takes some cues from the 1966 XVR concept, first displayed at the Geneva motor show almost 50 years ago.
The door handles and mirrors have been deliberately smoothed out in pursuit of clean, minimal lines. Technology has been cleverly deployed with cameras on the trailing edge of the wheelarches linking to monitors on the left and right of the cabin. Vauxhall projects a 0-62mph time below eight seconds and a top speed of 134mph although it’s not likely that the GT will be in showrooms any time soon.
And the red markings? According to the British manufacturer the scarlet tyres and pillars ‘pay homage in an avant-garde way to the Motorclub 500, a futuristic Opel motorcycle from 1928 that wore red rubber.’ So there you have it.
Volkswagen's T-Cross Breeze
This new concept is designed to offer the 'first look at an entirely new Volkswagen SUV'. It's powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and a host of modern infotainment and design features.
Funky and fun, The T-Cross is 24 centimeters shorter than its doppleganger the Range Rover Evoque. Although the T-Cross convertible is described purely as a concept Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Diess remarked: 'The T-Cross Breeze is a teaser for the most compact sport utility vehicle that Volkswagen plans to make – and the nucleus of a new SUV and convertible design in the compact sector.'
If the T-Cross is your thing, watch this space for more updates.
Citroen SpaceTourer Hyphen
Not to be confused with the A-team van, this concept people carrier from Citroen has been jazzed up and will sit alongside the more conventional SpaceTourer. Named after a French pop group, the Hyphen boasts a toughened bodykit with Allroad-style plastic arches and sill guards, drawing from the same style sheet as 2015’s Aircross SUV concept.
The Hyphen has an on-demand 4x4 drivetrain engineered by Automobiles Dangel, an Alsace-based specialist that has created four-wheel-drive versions of Citroens and Peugeots for over 30 years. These include ‘Trek’ versions of various current PSA commercial vehicles. Power is courtesy of a 148bhp BlueHDi diesel engine which sends its power to all four corners through a six-speed manual gearbox.
The perfect touring van, n’est pas?