7 March 2018

Geneva 2018, the last round-up

Catching up on the remainder of the Geneva Motor Show interest, a couple more Hyundais attracted attention, writes Brian Byrne.

The electric Kona (above) is going to be on sale in some European markets this summer, and will have two battery options with rated ranges of 300km/470km respectively. It should spark up the affordable electric car market significantly.

Hyundai also had a sleek and sexy concept, the Le Fil Rouge which suggests the company's future design thinking includes a lot of front end presence.

And the Nexo SUV is not just another crossover, but one powered by hydrogen, a power source which Hyundai has been working with for some years. This is a real production fuel cell car, unlikely to be rolled out in Ireland any time soon, though.

The Jaguar I-Pace in production form is very familiar, as the concept versions we saw at Frankfurt last autumn were pretty well on the button for the eventual real car. Hot on the tailpipes of the E-Pace compact SUV, it is a direct competitor for the Tesla X, without fancy doors. The claimed range will be some 480km. Coming at the end of the year, this promises real practicality as well as punchy performance.

The Lexus LF-1 Limitless is paying a visit to Europe after being revealed at the Detroit Auto Show. As a concept, it shows the Toyota luxury brand contemplating a flagship crossover that further extends the very forward design language of the company. At the other end, there's the new Lexus UX small crossover, targeting the more moneyed version of the C-HR buyers in the parent brand. This one is real.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class debuted too, the fourth generation of the model and an evolved smart-looker that will continue it mission of lowering the average age of a Mercedes-Benz buyer (it has done so quite dramatically since its first iteration). On a new platform, this one is longer and wider than its predecessor and offers better interior accommodation.

Mitsubishi had two cars of interest, the more practical one being a reworking of the Outlander PHEV (which we believe is the best application of the plug-in hybrid system around). It has an updated powertrain, and more refinement in the car's interior. We're not delighted with the front end, but that's a matter of taste.

The e-Evolution Concept is a look forward to a high performance all-electric SUV, and we have no complaints about the style if they can bring anything close to it to production. A stunning interior and a 3-motor electric drivetrain feature.

Nissan's latest Leaf is not new to us any more, as it is launching in a week or so in Ireland. But it's a very important car for the leader of the 'ordinary' electric pack, as there's an awful lot more competition in the space that it created.

Subaru's Viziv Tourer Concept, after the relative blandness of the current Impreza, is a promising style direction if the company rolls it through the next cars it produces. We may see some of it in the next Outback.

The Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept is wild in style and colour and previews what fans are hoping will be a return of a Supra road performance car sometime soon. It's a joint venture with BMW, who will have their own take.

Finally, Volkswagen continues with its ID concept cars theme of recent shows, in this case the Vizzion saloon. It's billed as the future in an all-electric drivetrain with a 640km range, and will be here by 2022. While the ID concepts have also promoted future autonomous cars, the production Vizzion will be driver-drivable.

Until Paris in September, au revoir.