At precisely 11.45am, everyone in the Geneva Palexpo held their breath and waited for the Enzo replacement to be unveiled. When the covers finally came off, there was the type of cheering and shouting usually associated with football matches not motor shows. Initial skepticism about the name immediately gave way to awe as the crowd eyed-up the LaFerrari’s smooth curves and incredible proportions. With 950bhp, a 0-124mph time quicker than a Bugatti Veyron and CO2 emissions cut by half compared to the Enzo, the only sticking point is the £1million price tag.
Every so often a manufacturer throws caution to the wind and puts a car into production not because the financial case stacks up, but because it can. The XL1 is one of those rare opportunities to see what VW is really capable of when posed the question – just how economical can a road car be? Using a two-cylinder diesel engine and an electric motor, the XL1 can travel over 300 miles on just one 10-litre tank of diesel; to save you doing the maths that equates to 314mph and 21g/km of CO2. With its lozenge shape and beautifully finished two-seat cabin, it manages to keep the VW DNA while being utterly unique.
According to Renault UK’s Managing Director, Kenneth Ramirez: “From the new Clio forward we’re a new company.” And no other model sums up its brighter future better than the new Captur. Not only does it move Renault into a brand new, booming segment, it’s a great piece of design, too – precisely what the company needs to attract customers and get back on track. There’s more to like than just the looks, though. The high-driving position, big boot and engine line-up with CO2 emissions as low as 96g/km should throw the cat among the pigeons in the supermini SUV class.
The numberplate screwed onto Toyota’s show car read FT-86 Open concept, but it shouldn’t be long before that becomes GT 86 Convertible. Toyota actually designed the GT 86 coupe from the outset to become a convertible (by leaving space behind the seats for storing the roof and ensuring the roof and pillars carry less stress than usual), which points towards the drop-top making production. The engine uses an identical drivetrain to the coupe, with a 197bhp 2.0-litre boxer unit up front sending power to the rear wheels.
Rarely does a concept car make it production completely unchanged, but the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car – revealed in production form at the Geneva show – is virtually identical to the 4C concept first shown in Geneva two years ago. But then why change something that looks this good? A launch edition featuring carbon-fibre trim and unique colour schemes will go on sale first, costing around £52,000, while standard models are expected to cost roughly £5,000 less than that. Built around a carbon-fibre tub, the 4C is powered by a 237bhp 1.75-litre turbocharged engine, meaning 0-62mph takes 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
Building concept cars is an expensive business, so you can’t blame Vauxhall for trying to get its money’s worth. The Adam Rocks concept previews not only a convertible version of the Adam city car (with a peel-back roof just like the Citroen DS3 Cabrio and Fiat 500C), but a high-riding SUV version, too, both of which could make production in the near future. According to Vauxhall, this isn’t the end of the Adam story, either, as there are more ideas for possible future spin offs to come.
If ever there was a sign Korean manufacturers are growing in confidence, the Pro_cee’d GT is it. Aimed squarely at traditional VW Golf GTI territory, it provides a compelling alternative to the established hot hatches - not least because it looks fantastic thanks to beefed-up bodywork and unique LED daytime running lights in the front bumper. Power comes from a 201bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine which places the GT at the warm end of the hot-hatch spectrum, but firmer suspension and sharper steering should ensure a dynamic drive.
At any other motor show, the 903bhp McLaren P1 hybrid might well have been the star attraction, but it was overshadowed in Geneva by a Ferrari parked 50 metres away. Still, it’s hard not to be impressed by the P1’s astonishing performance statistics, and like most cars of this type is looked a whole lot more menacing on the show stand that it does in the two-dimensional pictures. Costing £866,000, it undercuts the LaFerrari by £133,000, but then its 0-186mph time of under 17 seconds and top speed of 217mph is slightly slower, too. It’s hard to feel sorry for billionaire car collectors, but deciding which hypercar to buy next just became a whole lot harder...
Rolls-Royce blurred the lines between luxury and performance in Geneva with its stunning new Wraith. Essentially a coupe version of the Ghost, it summons its power from a 624bhp 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12, making it the fastest Rolls-Royce to ever leave the factory. Tweaked suspension and a wider track help it to transfer all that power to the road, while behind the single rear-hinged doors is an interior every bit as opulent as we’ve come to expect. It’s hi-tech – the sat-nav communicates with the eight-speed gearbox, telling it which corners are coming up – but then you’d expect that for an asking price of £220,000.
To call the Mercedes A45 AMG a hot hatch is a disservice – scalding is closer to the mark. From just 2.0-litres of capacity, four-cylinders and a turbocharger, it sends an incredible 355bhp and 450Nm of torque to all four wheels – as a result it covers the 0-62mph sprint faster than a basic Porsche 911. With such potent performance, it’s no wonder Mercedes is offering an additional aerodynamics pack for the car – which adds a huge rear wing and a bigger front splitter to keep it glued to the ground. With prices starting from around £36,000, the BMW M135i is £6,000 cheaper, but it’s performance is no match for the four-wheel-drive Merc.