6 March 2019

Geneva Motor Show 2019

Resuming things on the second press day of the Geneva Motor Show 2019 when the glitz and razzmatazz has eased but there's still lots to report on, writes Brian Byrne. We'll try and keep up with as many of the reveals as possible, so come back regularly.

Subaru is suggesting that it may be going in a highly-styled design direction with the Viziv Adrenaline concept. The powertrain is an e-Boxer hybrid, which the brand has also used Geneva to launch in its XV and Forester models. Apart from the electric motor boost, the powertrain provides better weight balance.

Polestar is Volvo's stand-alone performance brand, and the Polestar 2 is an edgy shape that doesn't sacrifice practicality for style, manages to meld both well. The interior has a nicely clean look, and among the gidgets is using your phone as a key. The sprint is claimed to be less than five seconds, and the company is targeting a 500km range.

BMW's latest iteration of the 7 Series is looking bold at Geneva, with a taller front end and a rather massive kidney grille giving it more presence. Inside is new equipment and an even quieter cabin claim, while under it all is a more advanced lineup of engines which include a revised V12, a new V8, and three diesel sixes. There are three plug-in hybrid options.

The Jeep Renegade here previews the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology to both it and its larger Jeep Compass brother. Both are claimed to provide around 50km range on electric power alone at up to 130km/h. A new 1.3 turbo petrol will be available with up to 240hp. The greater torque offered by electrification should improve off road capability.

A plug-in hybrid SUV from Alfa Romeo may be on the cards if the Tonale Concept comes along. The mid-size crossover is aimed at the urban buyer, where style is king and if you get performance along with the package, well that's always a plus. The electric motor is rear-mounted, suggesting an AWD drive experience when the front petrol motor and it are engaged together.

Mitsubishi's Engleberg Tourer Concept has a very pleasant blocky look that would translate well into a production version. The concept uses an all-electric drivetrain and is AWD, It's a car I'd certainly like to see arriving in showrooms.

Nissan has unveiled a compact crossover in Geneva, the IMQ, which has the company's e-Power electrified powertrain already in use in Japan. The system is an 100pc electric drivetrain, the motor powered by a petrol powered generator. It will be rolled out in a number of models over the next three years. The IMQ is an all-wheel-drive version.

Mazda is showing a new SUV at Geneva, the CX-30, aimed at filling a space between the CX-3 and the CX-5. It's described as the second model in the company's new generation line-up, after the recently launched Mazda3. It will share the mild hybrid powertrains available for that model, including the Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition engine. I drove the new Mazda3 last week in Lisbon and it seriously impresses.

Volkswagen has given its Passat family car a rejig, with a more stylish front end and a more premium treatment to its interior. A 'digital cockpit' is one option feature, and standard LED lights are part of the changes. The selling points will be state of art connectivity, and semi autonomous tech. The company has also launched a high performance version of its T-Roc SUV. The most appealing concept is the ID Buggy Concept is a modern interpretation of the 1960s dune buggy based on Beetle underpinnings. Now the genre is called ATV for all-terrain vehicle. This one has electric drive, with a 200hp electric motor in the back.

The SEAT el-Born is an electric car from the Spanish manufacturer which will be the second vehicle on the MEB platform designed by Volkswagen Group. Due to go on sale in 2020, the company says it will have a range of around 420m and 204hp. A snappy 7.5s sprint performance will please. The company's standalone Cupra performance brand is represented by the Formentor coupe crossover concept, with a plug-in 245hp powertrain.

Skoda's concept Vision iV is a city SUV idea aimed at the European market, and is an exercise in connectivity as much as style. Pictured above with company CEO Bernhard Maier, it appears alongside the new Kamiq SUV and the next stage of its Fabia R5 racing car. There's also a concept called Klement, an electric 'mobility solution' for sustainable city transport. In other words, an electric bicycle, without pedals.

If this looks like a concept car from the 1950s, well that's because it is. It's the Golden Sahara II built in partnership with Goodyear in 1956. And guess what, the designer was thinking even then of it being autonomous. There's a neat Youtube clip about it below.

Porsche enthusiasts are likely to drool over the 2020 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, with 443hp to help the wind hurricane through their hair. The sprint capability is around 3.7s, and the car will be available with rear or AWD.

For something a little over the top, in the flying high sense, this is the PAL-V flying car, made by a Dutch company. It carries two people, with strictly limited luggage. The lift rotors and tail stabilising system fold around the rear and roof to make a standard width car. On the road it has a standard car fuel consumption, while in flight it aims for 400km range.

In the supercar space, it's arguable that Lamborghini is the one that simply oozes sex-appeal, which isn't bad for what was once a maker of well-considered tractors. The one that's appealing this year is the Aventador SVJ, with a stonking 770hp. Do help keep that to the road, the designers have worked hard on beefing up aerodynamic downforce.

There's something of a late 60s American muscle car to the seats in this 'Imagine by Kia' concept, but everything else is 21st century. The designers are hinting at crossover coupe, though it's much more beautiful than production cars in that genre from current premium makers. If you like screens, you'll be in 21-screen heaven. There's also the new Soul here, which is coming as an all-electric model, and a significantly revised Niro plug-in-hybrid is also on show.

In one of a number of small car reveals at the show, this is the new Renault Clio, which I came up close and technical with a couple of weeks ago. It's the fifth generation of the best selling car in Europe, and while it is completely new from platform up, they have retained the important Clio cues outside. The interior is a quantum improvement. There are also new engines, and a very interesting hybrid is coming fast down the road.

It's an important gig for Peugeot, with the launch of its new 208, a completely new generation of the brand's popular small car. This time in addition to the familiar and improved petrol and diesel power possibilities, there's a fully-electric version with a claimed 340km range. Shown here, above and below, in GT livery.

In a very electrified lineup, BMW is showing this X3 plug-in hybrid which has a total power output of 250hp and a 6.5s sprint capability. It has 50km of electric only driving range. It will share its powertrain in the new BMW 330e.

Audi revealed its compact electric Q4 e-tron at the opening day of the Geneva Motor Show this morning. The concept car has a claimed range of more than 450kms and a production version is to be launched at the end of 2020. It will be the fifth electric car from the brand.

The Jaguar I-Pace was awarded the title of european Car of the Year 2019, in a face-off with the Alpina A110 after both cars received the same number of votes. The Kia Ceed, Ford Focus, Citroen C5 Aircross, Peugeot 508 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class were the other placings. The win was announced at the Geneva Motor Show yesterday. There are 60 journalists from 23 countries on the jury panel.

This Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake is one of six world premieres at the Geneva Motor Show.Others are a facelifted GLC mid-size SUV, a Formula E showcar ahead of the first foray into the sport by the Mercedes EQ division, Concept V-Class and two high-performance AMG models — a GLE 53 SUV and GT R Roadster. A facelift 300d V-Class MPV is also there, which arrives here later this year.