4 March 2014

Geneva 2014, a first look

We got late to the show today because of a little technical trouble with our plane, write Brian Byrne & Trish Whelan, but we're just getting a chance to offer you a look at what we're seeing. As usual, over the next couple of days, we'll fill out the detail more.

Though we're not going to see right hand drive versions until early next year, the brand new small Jeep is one of the funkiest and smile-making cars at the show, and we figure it's going to make a big impact in the growing small SUV arena. A large engine range and a 9-speed autobox will feature in the options.

The front of the new Toyota Aygo is very avant garde, and completely different from its Citroen and Peugeot siblings. Panels on the front and inside can be changed to suit customers' individual tastes.

This Intrado Concept from Hyundai is designer Peter Shreyer's first car for the brand and is has a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and a carbon fibre body. It can travel more than 600kms on a single tank of hydrogen, with no harmful emissions.

If they built Kia's GT4 Stinger Concept as a production road car it would sell in droves to enthusiasts, with 315hp and an ethos which the designers say brings back driving 'before it was muddied up with electronic technology'.

This is the Hazumi Concept from Mazda, in effect the next Mazda2. If they stick close to this, they'll have a stylish humdinger of a supermini in their smart stable.

Alongside the actual new Audi TT, the company showcased its intention to do something more with the model with this TT quattro Concept. There's a space even in these straitened times for power and glory, and the Volkswagen Group's main profit centre is the brand to do it.

No matter how many times we see it, there's always space for a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, an automotive dream to drool for.

Alongside the GTI and the newer GTD versions of the humble Golf, Volkswagen has added a third, the GTE, a plug-in hybrid version of the brand's bread and butter car that's a benchmark in the sector.

We already saw the Citroen Cactus in the metal at a preview recently, but in the proper buzz of the Geneva Motor Show it really shows its potential as a crowd puller.

Volvo's ES estate concept is the third in a series to prompt interest in the shape of the carmaker's products going ahead.

There was lots of interest in BMW's first front-drive car, the 2 Series Sport Tourer which is targeted at the family compact MPV market.

Kia bared its new Soul in Europe for the first time, and while they were at it they showed their Soul EV concept, which has a range of 200km.

We liked our first look at the new generation Mini Clubman, which may well attract a family buyership to what is essentially a singles nameplate.

Ford featured strongly its new Mustang, which is designed for sale in Europe - a Donegal man is the first here to order it.

Ford also made much of its Focus revise, with a smarter front end, better trim and new engines ... almost a new car.

And there's lots more. We'll feed it out when we catch our breath, and recharge the batteries!