Tag Archives: geneva motor show

All-Electric Maserati Alfieri Gets 2020 Debut

The all-electric bandwagon is on a roll, with the latest brand to hop aboard being Italian luxury automaker Maserati. Its first all-electric car will be an iteration of the upcoming Alfieri model. However, if you are interested in purchasing the model, be ready to wait until 2020 when this all-electric version of the car is expected to be delivered to dealerships; the V6 model will only be released in 2019 and that is expected to be the first real-world version of the Alfieri.

Named after the founder of the brand, Alfieri Maserati, the Alfieri concept car made its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. It was 2+2 grand tourer concept, boastiong a compact yet aggressive design. The model presented had a V8 engine with 460hp, but the first version that is set to hit the dealers at 2019 will get a V6 engine with as-yet-unspecified power. Only after this will the all-electric version’s release follow, possibly since the chassis needs to adapted to suit both fuel and electric versions.

The two-seater sports car will have front bumper spoiler and rear diffuser made from carbon fiber with aluminum inserts. Instead of analog instrument dials, the driving cabin will feature TFT displays.

Facelifted Alfa Romeo Giulietta Debuts Geneva

Proving the old adage that an old dog can still learn new tricks, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is set to go on sale spring 2016 with an all new facelift. The hatchback, with its all new trim levels and set up with several engine options, appeared at the Geneva Motor Show 2016. The Giulietta comes in five trim levels: standard, Super, Lusso, Veloce and Business. Other customization options include 11 body colors and a selection of wheel rims. Not everything in this class of cars is exciting to us but Alfa Romeo has sentimental meaning to anyone who loves driving, like other icons such as the Mini and the Beetle.

One thing to take note is the touches to the exterior that seem to push the hatchback closer to the Giulia sedan in terms of design. The old Giulietta’s triangular snout, once fitted with vertical grilles, now has the same honeycomb grilles the sedan has. The front bumper also has a similar touch. On the other hand new alloy wheels and oblique exhaust tips shape the Giulietta’s new look, which also brings a slight redesign to the brand badge.

The sporty version of the Giulietta (Veloce) is furnished with sports bumpers and a dark chrome finish on the wing mirror covers. Leather and Alcantra sports seats, matched with a leather steering wheel add an elegant touch, while a carbon-effect dashboard surround and door panels give a sleek value to the interior.

Engine choices include a choice of four turbo gasoline engines (from 120 to 240hp) and four diesel engines (from 120 to 175ch). The new 120hp 1.6 JTDm diesel engine, the most cost-effective option, is announced with CO2 emissions of 99g/km and mileage of 74.3 MPG (3.8 l/100 km).

The Uconnect onboard touchscreen built into the central dashboard provides an all-encompassing infotainment system, while, also featured is Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free smartphone use (calls, SMS, streaming, radio, etc…). Some versions feature the Alfa Performance application for controlling the main parameters of the car and measuring performance in real time too.

All this blends nicely into a contemporary update of an older model that shows how Alfa Romeo is willing to keep on the edge of developments.

9 Stars of Geneva Motor Show

With the Geneva Motor Show over, the array of cars that were on display were bound to have the heart of any collector or enthusiast pounding. Still, there are those that simply have a greater pull than others, especially for models coming from well established companies such as Porsche, Bentley, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce. Let’s take a look at the main stars of the show:

Bugatti-Chiron-test

Bugatti Chiron

“It is part of human nature to cross boundaries and set new records,” said Bugatti president Wolfgang Dürheimer.

The record-breaking Chiron was probably the leading headliner amongst all models shown in Geneva. Boasting 1600hp and a top speed of 261mph (420kmh), the Chiron takes pole position as the world’s fastest production car, with specifications outstripping its predecessor – the Veyron.

Aston-Martin-DB11

Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin tried to close the gap between itself and its competitors, such as Ferrari and McLaren, with the high-end luxury supercar – the Aston Martin DB11.

“A brand new bonded aluminum platform, clever aerodynamics, a new characterful twin-turbo V12 and class-leading infotainment systems are just a few aspects which make this the sports car that will proudly spearhead Aston Martin’s second century plan,” said company CEO Dr. Andy Palmer, summarizing the main traits of this contending powerhouse. Either way, the DB11 re-stoked great expectations for the company.

Porsche-911-R

Porsche 911 R

Porsche was all about stripping down and streamlining with their new 911 R as a part of a strategy to appeal once again to the purist fans alienated by previous creature comforts and technological aids. It weighs 3,020 pounds and maxes out at 201mph with 500hp.

With sporty performance back at the forefront, hopefully the fans are placated.

Rolls-Royce-Black-Badge

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Series

A bespoke range of Rolls-Royce Wraiths and Ghosts appeared at Geneva to appeal to edgier and younger customers. The Black Badge series is finished up with a black gloss (right down to the Spirit of Ecstasy donning the hood) while the interior was spruced up with a darker palette, all blacks and purples.

Lamborghini+CentenarioFront

Lamborghini Centenario

The limited edition Centenario made an appearance at Geneva before disappearing into the mist given that all 40 models of this anniversary model were sold out already. Imbued with 770hp and a smooth tasteful geometric design, this little tease broke the hearts of countless expectant collectors at the show and beyond.

 

Levante-Geneva-2016

Maserati Levante

Despite the surprise being spoilt by internet leaks, Maserati launched its Levante crossover with an Italian flair, rivaling the likes of others such as the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentley Benteyga. The first SUV in the company’s hundred-year history aimed at breaking into the premium crossovermarket with sophisticated technological features and performance.

Arash AF10

Opposing the Chiron in output figures (though not speed), the British-built Arash AF10 takes some beating. With four electric motors plus a V8 it has 2080hp on tap and despite being built for the track is road legal. At £1.1 million, it is also cheaper than a Bugatti.

Mulsanne-Grand-Limo

Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner

This bespoke stretch limousine that was built for a certain anonymous client inches out the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman as the world’s longest and most comfortable passenger car. With the high-craftsmanship of the interior and various luxury additions like a bottle cooler and a soft drinks cabinet, Bentley sought to prove the sheer capability of their in-house coachbuilder, Mulliner, in tailoring to the demands of their customers.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso profile

The Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Now replacing the Ferrari FF comes the four-seat GTC4Lusso, which also happens to be the first production Ferrari to boast of having both all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. When you mix a high quality ultra-intuitive infotainment system with a significant power boost to the FF package, the result is a whole luxurious package wrapped up in one excellent shooting brake bound to impress with a younger crowd.

Lamborghini Centenario Debuts, Sells Out

The ferociously sleek design may be leaving all the car enthusiasts drooling but the Lamborghini Centenario is sadly sold out. All 40 limited editions (20 coupes and 20 roadsters) of this elegant speedster have gone to some very lucky customers for a start price of 1.75 million euros plus tax. Still, to be a tease, the Centenario was featured in the Geneva Motor Show 2016 in its full glory, much like the Pagani Huayra BC.

The first thing to take note of is that sensuous roar at the back channeled by the 770hp that powers the 0-100km/h 2.8 seconds sprint. The top speed peaks at more than 350km/h. All that comes together nicely thanks to the innovative design and engineering competencies of the V12 architecture in its naturally aspirated engine, and a weight to power ratio of just 1.97kg/hp achieved by its carbon fiber body (to help you calculate that, the total weight is 1,520kg).

Lamborghini+Centenario+3-4+Rear-1

“The Centenario is a car that perfectly combines tradition and innovation. It looks to the future while honoring the legend that is Ferruccio Lamborghini” said Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann, referencing the fact that the Centenario was built to celebrate the legendary industrialist’s 100th birthday.

The aerodynamics are achieved through the sheer geometry of its pure and essential lines. A mono line from front to back defines the recognisable Lamborghini contours, with long, low overhangs front and rear creating a clean mono-body shape. Air flows through ducts within the front headlight casing and others in the sideskirts and around the wheel arches, improving the airflow to the rear radiators and providing optimized cooling. Even the roof has air scoops, with styling taken from aeronautical cues.

The chassis is designed for the highest maneuverability. With permanent four-wheel drive and a new Lamborghini rear-wheel steering system, the characteristics of each of the three driving modes (Strada, Sport and Corsa) are heightened in the lateral dynamics. The Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) gearbox allows for some of the fastest gearshifts possible.

Lamborghini+Centenario+Interior

In terms of personalization and comfort, the interior can be finished to each Centenario client’s specification. Sport seats in lightweight carbon fiber are included. A Hi-Def 10.1 inch touchscreen connects the driver to the car’s extensive infotainment system, which includes internet connection and access to Apple Carplay. Also included is a sophisticated telemetry function that allows speeds, times, lateral and G forces to be recorded and even compared between different occasions and different drivers. Two optional interior cameras allow the drivers’ experiences to be recorded.

With all of the above spice, fans catching a whiff of the car at Geneva must be ultimately pulling their hair out at the fact that this heavenly beast happens to be a one-off edition already out of stock. Thankfully Lambo seekers can get their fix on the next Forza racing game where the Centenario is playable, as a minor reprieve. Then again, that may just pull at the heartstrings worse.

All Wheel Drive: Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Legendary Italian automaker Ferrari finally unveiled the new four-seat, four-wheel-drive replacement for the FF March 1. The car remains essentially a family-friendly shooting brake, or hatchback if you prefer.

The GTC4Lusso is the first production Ferrari to boast both all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering; you might recall all-wheel steering in the special edition F12tdf. The extra control of rear-wheel steering will be needed because the new GTC4Lusso, the long-awaited replacement for the existing FF, has been given a significant power boost. The 6.2-liter V12 now delivers 680bhp at 8,000 rpm and can race from standstill to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds.

Inside, the dashboard and in-car entertainment systems have been given an extra injection of quality (we’re note sure how such a thing is even possible) while the exterior has been given aerodynamic improvements. Ferrari signals that the new car is a Ferrari that can be driven in all conditions (like the FF, this baby goes in the snow) and is one it expects to appeal to the younger set.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso back

Ferrari GTC4Lusso profile

Ferrari GTC4Lusso Interior

4 Concept Cars Going Green and Pushing Power

Fast cars have relied on the internal combustion engine for far too long, to the detriment of both the environment and, arguably, performance. More and more, though, motoring firms are rising to the challenge of setting things right. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, we saw a lot that we liked, in terms of greener concepts that addressed the issue of oil dependence without compromising on power. These are some of the new models that embrace the green side, without going soft:

Geneva-Italdesign-GTZero

Italdesign GTZero

Displayed in a gleaming yellow, this plug-in electric shooting brake has claimed a 500km range and can recharge by 80% in 30 minutes. That is less time than it takes to charge a typical smart phone. Thanks to its three electric motors, the GTZero has 483hp on tap. No 0-100km/h has been quoted yet but it is proposed with four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.

Another timeless design is its modular construction. If you don’t fancy this body, the front and rear portions can be replaced to suit different styles of car and, crucially different types of propulsion – better batteries, a hybrid powertrain or even a fuel cell (remember those?).

Pininfarina-H2-Speed-Geneva

Pininfarina H2 Speed

The legendary Pininfarina style is self-evident here, if you have eyes in your head. Not so self-evident though is the kind of environmentally sound thinking that went into this vision of a high performance track car. Incorporating revolutionary developments in hydrogen fuel cell technology, this sporty model promises fast driving fun.

Two electric motors deliver more than 500 horses worth of power to the rear wheels, pushing from a 0-100km/h in a gut-wrenching 3.4 seconds and topping out at 300km/h. It takes 3 minutes (that’s less than you spend at the pump right now) to refuel and still performs at the same level as a traditional performance vehicle.

Techrules-Geneva-TREV

Techrules AT96 TREV

Claiming to be China’s first supercar, the TREV also has an engine fit for easing the pressure on the country’s haze-heavy atmosphere. This electric car uses a turbine engine (you know, those things that power fighter jets) for battery recharging and range extension, and produces, at peak power, 1,030bhp. Projections indicate 0-100km/h in 2.5 seconds and a 350km/h top speed. The fuel consumption, though, is just 0.18L/100km.

Current plug-in hybrids or range-extending hybrids pair an electric engine with an internal combustion engine to share the driving load or to regenerate the battery. The turbine engine is a first (the Jaguar C-X75 had a similar system though), and if successful, may be adopted in other models. It is worth noting though that the turbine engine is still an internal combustion system…

nanoflowcell-quant-f-ef-geneva

nanoFlowcell Quant F EF

This car appeared last year, but this year the design has evolved and its unique powertrain technology is closer to production. It has a top speed of more than 300km/h but zero harmful emissions thanks to the nanoFlowcell drive technology.

The nanoFlowcell uses ionic fluids to generate the charge that powers an electric motor. One more step towards the dream of an electric car with all the benefits – acceleration, torque… – and none of the drawbacks.

Images courtesy of Newspress and Techrules

Spyker Preliator: Warrior’s Comeback at Geneva

The “Preliator” name, which means “fighter” or “warrior” in Latin, is a fitting name for the car that signals Dutch boutique supercar maker Spyker’s comeback at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Spyker almost didn’t make it – in fact the company almost went under – but the show’s organizers were considerate enough to allow them a spot among the other boutique carmakers.

CEO Victor R. Muller’s strategy for the Preliator, and the brand in general, is to push its exoticism. In a statement, Muller noted that “Our car is on average the seventh car in the collection of an owner. It’s a car that they buy because it is so different”. Spykers, apparently, are cars that are kept – almost three-quarters of all Spykers are still with their original owners – as collectibles and because of this, their values have soared.

“They all end up in the hands of collectors who cherish them” said Muller. Looking at the design you can get an idea why. The Preliator aims to be even more inspired than Spyker’s aviation heritage than any other previous models. From propeller design in the first generation, to turbine engine inspired design in the second, the emphasis for this generation of Spyker cars has shifted to submerged air intakes, or NACA-ducts, as used in the aviation industry.

Spyker-Preliator-Interior

Other design choices include a glass canopy with reflective gold coating as used in jet fighters applied to it; replacement of the air-scoop on the canopy by a NACA duct to reduce drag; small ailerons added on the front splitter and side skirts to redirect the airflow optimally; and the abandonment of shark like gills for a cleaner, smoother, and fresher overall appearance.

The Spyker C8 Preliator is available in 16 standard colors, but customers may choose any color they wish as an option, as well as the sporty Spyker Squadron GT2 color scheme. All a part of its plan to be the bespoke car for any discerning owner wishing for a special model. In terms of vital statistics, the car’s Audi-built supercharged 4.2-liter V8 offers up 525bhp.

Spyker-Preliator-Rear

With Spyker pushing so much on the style front, there might be a worry that the cars will be in storage rather than on the road, thus leading to the brand being unable to resonate with a wider audience. Muller was optimistic though, as he figured that “because these people do show their cars, among their peers – they’re our potential clients. Our owners are basically doing our marketing for us”.

Images courtesy of Newspress and Spyker

Porsche 911 R Goes for Pure Racing Pedigree

Weighing in at 3,020 pounds, the 911 R (‘R’ for Racing) cuts 110 pounds from the next lightest 911 variant. This bid for cutting down the weight is all a part of Porsche’s vision for bringing back a good old pure sportscar in a bid to no longer alienate the hardcore fans, after being forced to add turbochargers and paddle-shift gearboxes to keep with the times or environmental legislation. The 911 R was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show.

The naturally aspirated 4-liter flat six-cylinder engine pumps out 500hp to propel this lightweight speedster from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, maxing out at 201mph. This new lighter body results from racing design choices such as ripping out the rear seats, using carbon-fiber for the bonnet and front guards, a magnesium roof, and aluminum everywhere…

With paddle-shift transmission gone, what’s there instead is a proper six-speed manual gearbox. The idea is that the driver is completely involved in every aspect of the car’s performance and it’s for this reason that, although the new car clearly stands out visually from any other 911, it doesn’t do so because of side skirts, front aprons or huge rear wings. Porsche also carried over two recent technological innovations. The first is rear-wheel steering to keep that pendulous back end in check, and the second is huge carbon ceramic brakes.

With its unassuming white colors though, little indicates the car’s powerful capabilities except for the twin red racing stripes detail that run from nose to tail. The 911 R is the model that puts the sporty performance back to the forefront, limited to just 911 numbered examples worldwide.

Images courtesy of Porsche

Land Shark: Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin might be favored by a certain famous super-agent but even the likes of James Bond can’t save the brand if it isn’t able to compete with the leading lights of the automotive industry. Thankfully this Geneva Motor Show, the company brought out a grand tourer that may just close the gap between them and their biggest direct competitors such as Ferrari and McLaren. The DB11 is the long-awaited replacement for the once glamorous but now long-in-the-tooth DB9 and promises all the high quality performance with the latest in technology.

Aston-Martin-DB11-Rear

“This is not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history, but also in its 103-year existence” claimed Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer. There are good signs indicating that. The new twin-turbocharged 600bhp 5.2-liter V12 speeds from standstill to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds, topping out at 200mph, putting it on par with the new Ferrari GTC4Lusso. This engine makes it the most powerful production car in the company’s history and the new chassis and suspension set-up, plus an automatic transmission with torque vectoring means that it could also be one of the best handling.

Furthermore, being both longer and wider than the DB9, the DB11 has enough space for the family, with a full 54mm greater head & 87mm greater legroom, and ISOFIX mountings for fitting child seats.

Aston Martin may have been behind its competitors in terms of dashboard technology in the past, but the DB11 aims to fix that. It gets park assistance, a 360-degree birds-eye view camera system and a host of other high-tech touches including a new infotainment system, voice recognition and gesture controls thanks to its business relationship with Mercedes parent company Daimler.

Aston-Martin-DB11-Interior

“We aspire to make the most beautiful cars in the world” said Palmer. The cabin still holds true to the application of craft and skill, with leather from Bridge of Wier still being put to good use, but this model has an added tastefulness to its design with open-pore wood finishes and a more refined make of upholstery.

“The DB11 is the absolute embodiment of what an Aston Martin should be and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that DB11 combines both exceptional design with the latest technology throughout” noted Palmer. What we have seen so far looks pleasing enough for those who may have the misconception that the company has lost its mettle. The DB11 is the supercar that may be hard to beat.

Rolls-Royce Goes Dark with Black Badge

It may not be the same as owning a Batmobile but Rolls-Royce’s new bespoke range of Wraiths and Ghosts, displayed at the Geneva Motor Show, is probably the next best choice of automobile for the brooding dark soul who wants a ride that’s ‘blacker than black’. The “Black Badge” series is what happens when you mix luxury with the bold and edgy. Seriously, how can all that purple not make you think of The Joker…

Rolls-Royce-Black-Spirit

Company CEO Torsten Müller-Otvos described the series as “the alter ego of Rolls-Royce Wraith and Ghost: darker, more assertive, more confident and powerful, and more demanding. The first thing that you may take note of is that even the famous silver Spirit of Ecstasy normally donning the hood has been finished up with black gloss. A darker palette of blacks and purples has been used for the interior. In terms of materials, the sensuous wooden interiors have been swapped out for carbon fiber.

Rolls-Royce-Black-Interior

The tweaks extend under the hood. The Ghost gets an extra 39 horses while its more sporting relation, the Wraith coupé gets increased torque, a new suspension and transmission set up to make it even more of a driver’s car. All this in a bid to expand to “a group of young, driven, self-made people”.Rolls-Royce-Black-Interior-2

Such changes make this perfect for the gothic-ly affluent. Put on that black eyeliner and set Burzum on the speakers and you’re more than set to face the night.

McLaren Plans £1 Billion Investment

The 570GT wasn’t the only big thing coming from British automaker McLaren for the Geneva Motor Show. CEO Mike Flewitt has plans for the next six years of the company in something he calls “Track 22” – something that involves a £1 billion investment.

“Since its inception, McLaren Automotive has launched world-class products and this has been made possible by continuous investment in our future” Flewitt said, and revealed that they were getting ready to plough 25% of their turnover back into the business. “This will see us launch 15 all-new cars or derivatives,” continued Flewitt.

One of the possible results from this investment is the development of a new engine moving towards hybrid powertrains. The company’s current hypercar, the P1, uses a ferocious combination of gas and electric power to push its speed and McLaren is looking to spread that into the rest of their range. “Our next hybrid vehicle will launch towards the latter part of our six year plan,” Flewitt explained, “And we will see at least 50% featuring hybrid technology by 2022. Hybridization has obvious CO2 and fuel consumption advantages but for us, it is all about delivering the performance and enjoyment of a McLaren.”

But Flewitt has also confirmed McLaren may be exploring electric power all the way for their next ultimate series flagship, to push towards something more astounding: “Our engineers have even started work on a one-off prototype to evaluate the possible benefits of a fully-electric powertrain in an Ultimate Series car; such is the pace of development.”

However that car will be for the far future. The next Mclaren scheduled for launch is the 570S Spider in 2017. Still, the gears are set for them to really get things off the road, hopefully.

Images are courtesy of McLaren Automotive

Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limo by Mulliner

Aimed at clients with a yen for personalization, Bentley presented their first bespoke stretch limousine at the Geneva Motor Show. The Mulsanne Grand Limo by Mulliner is now the world’s longest (6.75 meters, nose to tail) and, arguably, most comfortable limousine Of course, it is built to the typical high standards of the Crewe-based firm.

The entire car stands one meter longer than the standard Mulsanne, and is also raised 79mm higher. That gives plenty of room for the four rear passenger seats to be placed facing one another. The mandate with this car was in fact to build it in such a way that four passengers could sit in the back and enjoy equal comfort. The cabin certainly doesn’t compromise on comfort, with handcrafted wood-veneers and leather seemingly everywhere.

In another first for Bentley, smart glass is used to up the privacy factor as the partition between driver and the passenger cabin as well as the windows can change from clear to opaque at the touch of a button. Furthermore, iPad charging and docking stations help to sate modern needs in a gadget-heavy world. A bottle cooler with frosted glasses and crystal flutes, and a soft drink cabinet with bespoke tumblers provide the additional touch of class and convenience. The excess of comfort is finished with a specially created HVAC system, keeping the temperature in the cabin just as the occupants prefer it.

Make no mistake though, this luxury coach can move. Under that enlarged body is a thoroughly reworked powertrain and suspension set-up ensuring the car can still remain a smooth ride. The body itself is finished in two-tone Silver Frost and Moroccan Blue, with a unique iteration of the standard iconic chrome grilles and lower bumper grilles as a specific design for the car.

“The Mulsanne Grand Limousine showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of our in-house coachbuilder, Mulliner and exemplifies the way in which our experts consult with a customer to turn their vision into an extraordinary reality” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors.

 

China-Only Volkswagen Phideon Debuts in Geneva

The result of a joint venture between Volkswagen’s German and China design teams, the Volkswagen Phideon is the new flagship model of the company that will be going for sale at the end of 2016. Unfortunately, despite being shown at the Geneva Motor Show, it will only be available in China. Don’t fret, though since the Phideon provides an inkling of what might be behind VW’s next global flagship model, the second-generation Phaeton…when it launches before the end of the decade.

For the exterior, the car’s front grille aims to be a new design used to distinguish all future flagship VW sedans. Whereas in the interior, with the car being over five meters long, has plenty of room for back-seat passengers. The dashboard and interior architecture is sporty and elegant, including electrically adjustable seats, integrated seat ventilation and heating as well as a massage function. A wrap around ambient light strips that can switch between three colors creates a permeating and cool atmosphere.

But this one is all about the tech. It happens to be the first VW to use a night-vision camera and to get HUD (projecting information onto the windscreen) as standard. Probably out of consideration for humongously crowded megacities like Shanghai, the Phideon allows the driver to have a 360-degree view of his or her surroundings for maneuvering. All this is on top of active driver safety systems including lane departure warning. Infotainment features that support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included.

As for the rest, Volkswagen hasn’t provided any figures but the car on display in Geneva, the range-topping 3.0TSI, boasts a 300PS turbo-charged V6 engine and permanent all-wheel drive. Milder, two-wheel drive gas-powered models plus a plug-hybrid version are also planned. It also uses the same air-suspension set up found in Bentleys.

Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design Volkswagen Brand took note that the car was “designed in Europe for our style-conscious Chinese customers.” We should be seeing some of its European flair in those Asian streets soon enough.

Morgan Debuts Three-Wheel Plug-In Car

British boutique carmaker Morgan presented a vehicle for the Geneva Motor Show that would put a smile on anyone’s face. The EV3 is based on the company’s existing three-wheeled retro model but touched-up with a couple of modern twists. This version of the 1930s and 40s design happens to be Morgan’s first plug-in electric vehicle, which we reported on earlier, with an electric motor driving the two front wheels and a set of lithium ion batteries.

“What if an all-electric vehicle was bespoke, hand-crafted and exhilarating to drive?” asked the company’s managing director Steve Morris. The EV3 happens to be the environmentally friendly answer.

Who needs windows, or even a roof for that matter? Just don on an aviator hat and a pair of goggles and you’ll be the envy of the road with your gallant steampunk style. Even with all the baggage from electric motors and battery packs, the EV3 manages its weight by looking to the present with carbon fiber. The car can hit 100km/h in under 9 seconds and has a top speed of 90mph (144km/h). This enables the car to travel 150 miles on a single charge, just like a Nissan Leaf.

Installed into the EV3, albeit tastefully surrounded with hand-cut wood, hand-formed aluminum and polished brass elements, is a basic infotainment system with a proper screen. Just set up those old jazz standards and you’ll be driving straight back into the past.

The EV3 is expected to cost around £27,000 (about $37,500). A small price to pay really for doing your part to save the planet and bringing some character back to the streets.

Images courtesy of Morgan

Bugatti Chiron Goes Lean, Breaks New Ground

We’ll give you the numbers straightaway. 1,579bhp spread evenly across its four wheels, 0-100km/h under 2.5 seconds, a top speed of 261mph (420kmh). The Bugatti Chiron was made to kick the Bugatti Veyron Supersport to the curb as the world’s fastest production car. This all-wheel drive blue speed-demon is the optimal marriage of fiery power and comfort.

Even as we speak, though, the company is already promising a sports model and convertible with even faster specs coming right up. For those looking for pure driving pleasure, perhaps a future version will ditch the all-wheel drive component.

What’s in the make of a car so devilishly fast? By slashing the weight with an outer shell of carbon fiber, the Chiron tips the scales at 1,995kg to a power-to weight ratio of 741bhp per tonne. That power comes from the 8-liter quad turbo W16 powerplant engine hidden inside.

Visually, it just looks much sharper than the Veyron, with its tighter, sculpted lines at the front cleverly concealing some of the aerodynamics, as well as a cleanly tapered rear dominated by a single strip left-to-right tail lamp.

In the comfort sector, head and leg-room are enhanced by how much wider and slightly taller it is than its predecessor. Wood, leather, carbon fiber, and aluminum on display are in no way diminished.

Bugatti’s head Wolfgang Dürheimer rounded up the car with these words “The Chiron is the quintessential ultimate super sports car: ultra-modern, incredibly fast, agile and powerful with a stylistically demanding design and the highest possible levels of comfort.”

Bugatti-Chiron-Back

Images are courtesy of Bugatti.

McLaren Goes for Daily Comfort with 570GT

You would have noticed that almost every major player in the automobile industry has been giving the world a glimpse into what they will be showcasing at the upcoming Geneva Motor show March 1. Well, British supercar maker McLaren joins the list of those teasing us with what they will bring to the Swiss city. We initially expected the brand to unveil the 570S, which challenges the ‘entry-level’ Porsche 911 but they decided to surprise us instead.

Said to be the most practical and luxurious model to date, the veil has now been lifted off the 570GT. It combines both extreme comfort and performance in one car. McLaren also claims that the supercar is suitable for daily use. There is very little that the two models have in common. For one, the GT much like the S model is equipped with a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 engine that is able to put out 562 bhp (570PS, giving the car its name). This means that the car can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 328km/h.

That is where the two cars cease to be similar. The new GT has a panoramic glass roof as standard feature to let more light into the cabin. It also has a swooping glass rear panel that swings open for extra storage capacity. This newly created space plus the front luggage compartment under the hood give the car a very impressive 370 liters of storage, that’s 80 more than you get in a Ford Fiesta hatchback.McLaren-570GT-article-2

As well as creating a second luggage compartment, the new glass rear also helps to cut cabin noise. Further efforts to keep the turbocharged roar of the engine from interrupting a conversation or hands-free phone call include bespoke tires, developed with Pirelli that reduce road roar and a new air conditioning system with a ‘lo’ setting that tries to keep the noise of the fan to a minimum.

Standard interior features include electrically operated and heated leather seats, an eight-speaker audio system and a touchscreen infotainment system complete with navigation and telephony controls. While practicality considerations include front and rear parking sensors, an electric steering column that can move to help the driver get in and out and wider opening doors that close more quietly.

Even the suspension and steering have been tweaked so that they are biased towards road rather than track driving and for absorbing bumps rather than amplifying them. Should you wish to get your hands on the 570GT, know that the supercar will go on sale immediately after its reveal on March 1. You should also expect to part with north of US $198,950 or £154,000.McLaren-570GT-article-1

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupé Retires 2016

Later this year, the assembly line at Rolls Royce will send out its final Phantom VII limousines. Though the luxury carmaker will be bidding farewell to both the Phantom Coupé and the Drophead Coupé, it will be introducing an eighth generation model, due in 2017 and 2018.

Described as the Zenith editions, it will be limited to just 50 examples each. There is no better way to for Rolls Royce to bid farewell to the current flagship after 13 years than to do so at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Company CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said: “I am proud and excited to announce that a new Phantom is on the way – a contemporary and beautiful Phantom enhanced with cutting-edge technologies and design innovations. Any new Phantom is an historic and important moment in automotive history and we are working hard on perfecting the Phantom VIII.”

While the flagship will continue, the coupé and convertible models that shared its platform have reached the end of the road, so to speak. The final cars will be hand-assembled in November.

However, the cars are going out with a bang rather than a whimper and at the Geneva motor show, visitors will get a taste of the special Zenith editions that Rolls-Royce has planned.

“As the name promises, Zenith will be the pinnacle; the best of its kind; the highest standard achievable by which everything else is judged,” said Director of Design Giles Taylor. “Zenith will be the sum of all the best features of Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé, with a few surprises added. We expect huge demand for these 50 fine motor cars as we shall not look upon their like again.”

Although the company is keeping some details a secret, it has confirmed that the models will come with something called a tailgate hosting area, which suggests that seating, picnic hampers and drinks chillers will be integrated into the trunk.

Instrument dials will also be bespoke to the Zenith series, as will the treatment and coloring of the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, and every client commissioning a coupé or drophead coupé will also receive a “money cannot buy” portable memento of his or her purchase.

The Phantom limousine will also be getting the special edition treatment as production winds down towards the end of 2016. However, Rolls-Royce won’t reveal what to expect other than that it will “continue to set the benchmark for luxury motoring with a number of limited-run collector’s pieces, each of which will be the last of their line.”

Pagani Elevates Huayra to BC Levels

Why simply produce a rare hypercar when you can have an even rarer production run of said rare hypercar? Our guess is that Pagani was thinking exactly that when deciding to build the Huayra BC — a very special and very limited production run of the fully sold out Huayra. Those familiar with the extended run of the Zonda will be completely unsurprised by this news. Indeed, we started thinking that the brand name was Pagani Zonda!

The Italian hypercar firm – still just called Pagani – promises to deliver a car that is as remarkable as a Ferrari or Porsche sans the hybrid trickery — now that is some serious shade. The current vanilla Huayra has a six-liter V12 twin turbocharged Mercedes-AMG engine that can demolish the 100 km/h mark in three seconds. With 720 horsepower, and a top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h), we do understand why this is not simply super but hyper. At a cool million pounds, the exterior of the car is woven from a combination of titanium and carbon fiber (for an excellent power-to-weight ratio) while the interior boasts intricate leather and metalwork.

The new production is dedicated to multimillionaire Benny Caiola who enabled the firm to achieve success when he could have invested in a competitor. As such, Pagani is dedicating what promises to be their fastest, most extreme and most exclusive vehicle, to his memory. Caiola was reportedly Pagani’s first customer so the connections are powerful here. The Huayra BC (no prizes for guessing what that stands for), of which only 20 will be built, is available if you have £2.35 million to spare. The update promises to deliver somewhere between 740 to 800 horsepower bringing you to 100km in slightly under 3 seconds. Given that the car uses the same powerplant, the improvement in speed can be mostly attributed to the lighter package Pagani has deployed here.

But that’s just the start; although the new car and the existing Huayra look almost identical, save for the large rear spoiler, Pagani claims that every external panel has been redesigned to cut weight, aid downforce or improve aerodynamics. It is also why the suspension components have been made from aluminum alloys and why the usually opulent interior has been slightly pared back, to boost the car’s power to weight ratio and its ability to continue slicing through the air as acceleration increases.

The result is a car that should perform on the road and on the track but, sadly one that will most likely be put into storage the moment it is delivered. Even sadder for you, dear reader, is that all 20 models are reportedly sold out. Take heart though because the Geneva Motor Show will also see the debut of the roadster version of the Huayra BC.

Bentley Flying Spur V8S: Smooth and Sporty

Buyers can expect a fiercer ride as Bentley’s third model for the Flying Spur series, the Flying Spur V8S, is set to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show during a press conference March 1. A pitch-black finish on the radiator grille is a start, as is the rear diffuser (both a major change from Bentley’s standard models). Still, let’s unpack the rest of what this comfortable monster has in store for us.

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Racing from 1 to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, the 4-liter twin turbo engine boasts 521 horses. Take note that its sibling, the 507 PS, only has 500hp. This extra power boosts the model up with a sportier and urgent touch, ramping up to a 306km/h, max.

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Yet for those thinking green or leaving a smaller carbon footprint, the V8S retains the impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions of the old V8 engines. Fuel consumption stands at 10.9L/100km while emissions are rated at 254g/km. Furthermore, the new variable displacement triggers the system to balance fuel between its 8 cylinders. On cruising it switches to 4, and retains all the refinement, whereas when you need to pump it up, it seamlessly revs up to 8 again.

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In terms of dynamism and comfort, the car has never been sharper. A reworked suspension stops body roll, while backed up with a Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system to smoothen the bumps further. Spicier drivers will want to set it on ‘S’ mode, which automatically locks out the highest gear, giving more space to push things. Yet if the play is taken too far, and too many wrong moves are made, the electronic stability controls kicks in to save the day.

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As with other Bentley creations, it’s all about the owner. Clients can choose from various customizations, such as darker aggressive colors and cosmetic changes for both the interior and exterior. A luxurious and spacious cabin boasts advanced acoustics and electronic, while a Touch-Screen remote taps in to an extensive Rear Entertainment System. It even comes with a WiFi hotspot, making the V8S great for work-on-the-go and leisure anywhere.

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“The Flying Spur remains unrivalled in its ability to combine class-leading comfort with remarkable dynamic ability” claimed Wolfgang Dürheimer, the chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors. We can expect them to be churning out the top luxury cars for the time to come.

Alpina to Unveil B7 xDrive in Geneva

Motoring enthusiasts are looking forward to Alpina’s latest work of art to join the BMW 7-series team. The announcement has been made that the car will be unveiled come March at the Geneva Motorshow.

It keeps the high-tech features that are usually found in the previous BMW 7-series editions while showing off a twin-turbo charged 4.4-liter V8 engine. A modern and sleek design, this is a high-performance vehicle that does not compromise on its aesthetics. Its interior is high-quality Lavalina leather that is hand-finished, for a polished feel.

Making its debut at the Geneva Motor show in March, the 2017 Alpina B7 xDrive delivers an impressive 600 horsepower and the same high-torque-low-revs ratio that characterizes Alpina in general. The eight-speed automatic transmission brings this power to all four wheels with ease, while the re-worked suspension system keeps it all under control. Going from 0 to 100 km/h in under four seconds, this luxury sedan can seriously put the pedal to the metal, as they say. Do remember though that there is no manual version of this vehicle, if the example of previous B7s is any indication.

On that note though, a first in the history of the B7 is the introduction of Integral Active Steering. The combination of variable ratio electric steering at the front axle and active steering on the rear axle provides the driver with a truly dynamic experience. The Alpina classic wheels that have Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires mounted on it further enhances the B7 xDrive.

The Alpina B7 xDrive will make its debut at the Geneva Motor show in March and will be made available to order from September.