5 March 2014

Geneva, Day 2 — a more relaxed affair

Back at the show on Day 2 it's always a lot more relaxed, the freneticism generated mainly by press conferences and TV crews generally over, write Brian Byrne & Trish Whelan from Geneva. It also means we can look around with a better sense of reflection, and also get photos easier.

One of those which was impossible yesterday was the McLaren 650S, a new and more 'affordable' model from the supercar maker. Carbon fibre body in shocking orange, 650hp, and come-hither doors. The lads (wealthy ones) just drool.

We got a whisper yesterday that Hyundai's Genesis large luxury saloon will actually be available in Ireland, with the possibility down the road that it will get a 2.0 diesel for Europe, which would make it competitive against the target 5 Series and E-Class. It does look good, and is exceptionally well finished.

Smaller and more extreme, the Audi S1 in Canary Yellow looked quite comfortable beside its main player sibling, the new TT and its derivative concepts. With 231hp and quattro drive, a very strong package for those who want the power in a small package and to be seen with the glory.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, a beauty for whom a picture is truly worth 1,000 words.

Bentley had its new Superspeed Cabriolet in bright almost-orange colour too, and the format made it easy to explore the plush interior. Tho' there's very little legroom for a pair of rear passengers.

Skoda had a sharp new concept in its Vision C, with some intriguing details. Though a coupe in the concept, it's generally accepted that we're looking at the next Superb in details.

SEAT's Leon Cupra for 2014 is laying claim to be the hottest of accessible hot hatches. With up to 280hp available from a 2.0 TSI petrol engine, it also has a lot of power and handling management technology.

Nissan's new X-Trail changes the place where this nameplate will live. Much bigger, certainly more luxurious, and very recognisably a big brother of the new Qashqai. Main target in Ireland will be Hyundai's Santa Fe and it will be in for the July 142 plate.

Citroen was making a big splash with the new Cactus which we previewed a couple of weeks ago, but they also had their new generation C1 to show off.

Honda has been teasing us about a new Type R Civic for some time now, and at this show they have a concept of the vehicle that's probably about as final to production as it gets. A 2.0 petrol engine and 280hp will pit it against the most potent of current and future hot compact hatchbacks.

We managed to get closer to the Mazda Hazumi concept for the next Mazda2 this morning, and came away even more convinced that this one is going to put it up to the segment competition when it arrives in production form. We reckon all they'll do is change the concept name.

More later