‘The opulence on display at Geneva was simply breathtaking’

The 2018 Geneva Motor Show proves the richest still have an insatiable desire for new, luxury cars, writes Graham Hope

There are always obvious themes at the Geneva Motor Show and aside from the predictable push towards electrification, two things stood out clearly for me as I walked round the stands and spoke to execs at last week’s event.

Firstly, there was a great deal of uncertainty. On Brexit. On Donald Trump’s proposed trade tariffs. On the future of diesel, with some wildly differing views being offered. And on Vauxhall, with PSA boss Carlos Tavares again stating: “We need to significantly reduce manufacturing costs.”

Geneva Motor Show 2018: full news round-up

Secondly, the opulence on display was simply breathtaking. Geneva has always been a show that lends itself to this, being based in one of the world’s main financial centres. But this year was something else, with an array of new models that wouldn’t look out of place in an oligarch’s fantasy garage.

There was a new Mercedes Maybach S-Class. A new Bentley Bentayga plug-in hybrid. An Aston Martin Lagonda concept that points to all-electric rivals to take on Bentley and Rolls-Royce. An even more extreme Bugatti Chiron Sport. And most mind-boggling of all, the limited-run Range Rover SV Coupé, which carries a price of £240,000. Extraordinary, really, but I’ve no doubt it’ll sell out.

What all this demonstrates is that no matter the uncertainties that remain in the world you and I inhabit, the top end of the market is immune to reality. There appears to be an insatiable desire among the very richest for new cars, and an obvious willingness for manufacturers to provide them.

Surveying the excess, I left with one concluding thought; I don’t know how far this luxury car arms race can go. And yes, some of it is a bit tasteless.

But Geneva showed the world’s elite have never been better served for new cars. And while out of reach for most of us, they certainly provided a thoroughly compelling spectacle.

What was your favourite car of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show? See if it made our hand-picked list

Recommended

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'
Opinion

'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'

Mike Rutherford highlights his positive car industry stories of 2020
4 Jan 2021
'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'
Opinion

'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the quirky new Citroen Ami is a true game-changing car
13 Dec 2020
'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'
Opinion

'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the switch to an all-electric UK car market hasn't been thought through
29 Nov 2020

Most Popular

Electric Nissan e-NV200 Winter Camper concept revealed
Nissan e-NV200 Winter Camper concept
News

Electric Nissan e-NV200 Winter Camper concept revealed

All-electric campervan features a built-in kitchen, a folding bed and a power pack that can be recharged using a roof-mounted solar panel
21 Jan 2021
Updated Abarth 595 range launched with fresh interior
Abarth 595 2021 - main
Abarth 500

Updated Abarth 595 range launched with fresh interior

Subtle styling tweaks and a more emissions-friendly engine range for revised Abarth 595
22 Jan 2021
Best electric cars to buy 2021
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2021

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
4 Jan 2021