In Depth

Geneva Motor Show 2019: 11 of the best cars on display

Retro EVs, iconic sports cars and a £11m hypercar wow fans in Switzerland

New car announcements are coming thick and fast now that the Geneva Motor Show, one of the biggest motoring events in the world, has opened its doors. 

Described by Auto Express as “a hotbed” for car launches, the Swiss show always sees the world’s largest manufacturers unveiling their highly anticipated machinery.

With the show running until 17 March, there is still plenty of time for more exciting new models and crazy concepts to appear.

In the meantime, here’s our pick of the 11 best cars announced so far:

Alfa Romeo Tonale

Named after a mountain road in the Italian Alps, the Tonale is a new entry-level SUV that will sit below the Stelvio crossover in Alfa Romeo’s line-up when it goes on sale at the end of 2020. 

Unlike the Stevlio, which is available exclusively with regular combustion-engines, the Tonale is a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), Autocar reports. This means owners can charge the car’s battery at home, or via a roadside fast charger, in order to power the vehicle on battery power alone. 

The powertrain isn’t the only hi-tech feature on the Tonale. Insider, drivers get a 12.3in digital display behind the steering wheel, along with a 10.25in touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dashboard.  

Prices are expected to start at £30,000, What Car? says. 

Aston Martin AM-RB 003

Those who were unable to get hold of Aston Martin’s limited-run Valkyrie hypercar are in luck, as the British marque has announced a “cheaper” version called the AM-RB 003.

In a similar vein to the £2.5m Valkyrie, the AM-RB 003 will be almost entirely made from carbon fibre, says automotive news site Motoring Research. The car’s elegant bodywork and chassis have been tweaked by the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team to give it an edge over its main rival, the McLaren Senna. 

Aston Martin will produce only 500 examples of the hypercar, each carrying a price tag of around £1m. Customer deliveries are set to get under way in 2021.

Audi Q4 e-tron concept

After appearing in a series of design sketches over the past two weeks, Audi has taken the covers off its all-electric Q4 e-tron concept. 

The Q4 e-tron is a mid-size SUV that is based on Volkswagen’s new electric-only MEB production platform, says Autocar. This means it is less expensive to produce than Audi’s current range-topping EV, simply called the e-tron, and should therefore come with a cheaper price tag.

Under the cabin sits an 82kWh battery system, offering drivers a total range of 280 miles, the motoring mag says. The battery pack is connected to a pair of electric motors, one on each axle, producing a combined power output of around 302bhp. 

Orders are due to open in 2020, with prices expected to start at roughly £50,000, notes WhatCar?.

Bugatti La Voiture Noire

If the £2.1m Bugatti Chiron is a little too run-of-the-mill for you, the VW-backed French carmaker has launched a special edition of the hypercar for one wealthy car collector. 

La Voiture Noire (The Black Car) is a specially designed, coach-built hypercar based on the Bugatti Chiron, notes Evo. While it shares the same 1,479bhp 8.0-litre W16 engine as the Chiron, La Voiture Noire’s exterior design has been completely reworked. 

“The nose is dominated by a wider horseshoe grille, flanked by large openings, creating a very open front end,” the magazine says. “The headlights are also bespoke, spreading up and over the front wings under thin, clear lenses that makes them almost disappear into the gloss carbon fibre exterior finish.”

How much does a bespoke Bugatti cost? About €11m (£9.49m), some £7.4m more than the car it’s based on. 

Ferrari F8 Tributo 

Ferrari’s new F8 Tributo supercar has made its official debut in Geneva, a week after the Italian carmaker posted teaser images online. 

The F8 Tributo carries over many design elements from the 488 GTB that it replaces, including the air intakes behind the doors, the sculpted rear-wheel arches and the twin-exhaust system.

The new model adopts the old car’s 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, but Ferrari has tweaked the motor to produce 710bhp - making the F8 as powerful as the hardcore, limited-edition 488 Pista, says Autocar.

Pricing and an official release date have yet to be announced.  

Honda e Prototype

Formerly known as the Urban EV, the e Prototype is a futuristic hatchback that is set to become Honda’s first mass-produced electric model and will rival the BMW i3 after launching later this year. 

Although its styling harks back to the original Honda Civic from the 1970s, the e Prototype’s underpinnings are far more high-tech. The EV is powered by a single electric motor, connected to the rear axle, and a battery system that delivers a range of around 120 miles, says Auto Express

The cabin is also cutting-edge, featuring five displays that cover almost the entire width of the dashboard, the magazine adds.  

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster

Lamborghini’s most powerful road car on the market, the Aventador SVJ is now available with a drop-top roof. 

The Aventador SVJ Roadster gets the coupe’s radical looks and 759bhp naturally-aspirated V12 engine, which can take the new car from zero to 62mph in 2.9 seconds, reports Top Gear

The addition of a folding roof mechanism has only had a small impact on the car’s weight, too. The Aventador SVJ Roadster is just 50kg heavier than the coupe, meaning it should handle as well as its hard-top sibling.  

Only 800 examples of the Aventador SVJ Roadster will be made, each priced at £380,000.

Peugeot e-208

Peugeot is aiming to go fully electric by 2023. To kick off its bold strategy, the company has unveiled an EV version of its new 208 hatchback. 

Called the e-208, the compact EV is powered by a 100kW electric motor (which is equivalent to a 134bhp combustion engine) that’s paired to a 50kWh battery pack, says CarBuyer. This delivers an all-electric range of 211 miles, while buyers can top up the car’s battery by 80% in just 30 minutes using a roadside 100kW “rapid charger”.

Auto Express expects the e-208 to hit the showrooms this summer. 

Pininfarina Battista

Italian design icon Pininfarina, the company behind the distinctive looks of the Ferrari Testarossa and Lancia 037, has revealed its first all-electric hypercar in Geneva.

Named after the company’s founder, Battista “Pinin” Farina, the hyper EV boasts a claimed power output of 1,900bhp, around double that of an F1 car, and a top speed in excess of 250mph, the BBC says.

Unlike combustion-engined hypercars, which swap fuel economy for outright performance, the Battista offers buyers an impressive 280 miles of charge from its battery system, the broadcaster adds. 

But cutting-edge technology doesn’t come cheap and the Pininfarina Battista wil cost around £2m, putting it in direct competition with the Bugatti Chiron and McLaren Speedtail.

Polestar 2

Volvo’s electric sub brand Polestar has caused quite a stir since launching its first product, a limited-edition hybrid sports car, last year. Now, the brand is debuting a new model called the Polestar 2, which drops the first car’s hybrid engine for an all-electric powertrain.

The Polestar 2 takes the form of a four-door saloon and is designed to be a high-volume EV that will rival Tesla’s Model 3, says Car magazine. 

The saloon is equipped with a 78kWh battery pack that can deliver 311 miles of range on a single charge. This battery sends power to a pair of electric motors, one on each axle, which together can produce around 402bhp and 487lb-ft of torque.

A limited-run First Edition spec is due to go on sale later this year for €59,900 (£51,500), says Evo. This will be followed next year by an entry-level model, which is expected to have a price tag of roughly $40,000 (£34,400).

Toyota GR Supra

Following its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, Toyota’s next-generation GR Supra has made its first European appearance at the Geneva show.

The GR Supra, arguably one of the biggest car launches of the year, uses the same carbon fibre architecture and 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine as the new BMW Z4. 

The Japanese car, however, is a little bit faster than its German counterpart. Toyota has tweaked the six-cylinder engine to produce 335bhp and 362lb ft of torque, which helps launch the sports car from 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds.

Those wanting to get their hands on the car have a long wait ahead of them, though. The company has announced that the GR Supra has now sold out for 2019, with pre-orders for 2020 models due to open in the coming months, says Motor1.

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