All posts in “2018 geneva motor show”

McLaren’s MSO makes this 720S supercar even more super

McLaren has brought a special edition of its already stunning and supremely quick 720S supercar to this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Designed by McLaren Special Operations, this one-of-a-kind creation is finished in “Atlantic Blue” paint and comes with a tastefully understated “Saddle Tan” leather interior with contrasting grey stitching.

To drive the point home that this car is unique, McLaren’s press release offers the gentle reminder that “even the floor mats are bespoke.” So, don’t expect to find suitably stylish replacements at your local NAPA auto parts store, ladies and gentlemen.

McLaren’s MSO branch is basically the British automaker’s tailor-made service for its range of performance cars. Oftentimes the creations are true one-offs, entirely commissioned by well-heeled clientele who want their car to stand out from the masses. Not that McLaren creations are exactly clogging up parking lots, but, hey, if you have it then why not flaunt it?

MSO does occasionally build a limited series of vehicles, like the 10 race-inspired 570S sports cars finished in paint jobs similar to the liveries of McLaren F1 GTR race cars from the 1990s.

If you have to ask the price, well, then you probably shouldn’t be shopping for customized McLarens.
The standard McLaren 720S starts at approximately $288,000, putting it right in the middle of the company’s lineup. Considering the owner of the Geneva Motor Show car didn’t specify gold-flake fenders, or an interior constructed out of platinum-plated Lego blocks, it’s safe to assume this car doesn’t streak too ridiculously far into the fiscal stratosphere.

Engine power remains the same. The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 nestled in the carbon fiber chassis produces 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Punch the gas pedal, and the 720S needs less than 3.0 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour. The top speed is 212 mph.

And did we mention how incredibly fast all this feels in real life? In our review of this ballistic British supercar, Mike Austin summed up just how rapid your first impression will be. “The 720S is so fast that there’s no warming up to it. Almost immediately you’re driving at speeds that, in pretty much any other car would mean imminent calamity.”

He also praised the fact that getting the most out of the 720S demands attention and skill, not just a heavy right foot. “In our world of point-and-shoot supercars,” he summarized, “McLaren made the 720S a true driver’s car.”

So the car is special. And the one at Geneva? Just a little more special.

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McLaren’s electric supercars are not quite there yet

While Rimac is all about electric supercars and has just revealed its outrageous-sounding 1,914-horsepower C_Two car at the Geneva Motor Show, McLaren is cautious about producing an EV quite yet. Hybrids are far more suitable for McLaren’s immediate need than launching a full electric vehicle, says McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt.

In an interview with Autocar, Flewitt says McLaren’s electric portfolio is still very much in development, and that one in two McLarens sold in 2022 is to be a hybrid. But it wouldn’t be right for the brand to launch a half-baked, full-electric supercar, and McLaren’s standard is that any EV would have to offer performance equal to its existing cars. “It’s a challenge for us to produce the same engagement as with the P1, the Senna and the 675 LT,” says Flewitt.

Earlier, he has stated that for an electric supercar to match the P1’s performance, it would have to weigh two tons.

EV development, however, is still on track, and McLaren has “an electric mule running around.” For the company, getting the desired electric performance in a production-viable package is still at least five years away, Flewitt says. “It’s not in [the Track22 plan] because we don’t have an answer yet.”

McLaren is a lot more positive about hybrids. Flewitt says hybrid tech is a lot easier to integrate into a powertrain design, making it integral instead of bolt-on. As he said a month ago: “Hybrid design is part of the next platform. It is designed-in from day one rather than having to adapt an existing chassis.”

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McLaren Senna GTR Concept gets racy in Geneva

The McLaren Senna GTR Concept storms its way into the Geneva Motor Show with one very bold claim attached to it: Outside of the British company’s Formula One cars, this $1.4-million-dollar supercar is the fastest way around a racetrack in a car with the McLaren badge on it. This is especially big news from a manufacturer that targets the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti; not to mention that McLaren already has legendary exotic cars like the F1 and P1 on its automotive resume.

Based on the recently introduced Senna road car, the Senna GTR delivers more horsepower, more aerodynamic grip, and even more exclusivity. McLaren has promised that the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 will produce a minimum of 813 horsepower in the Senna GTR, versus the 789 hp found in the road-going variant.

The enormous rear diffuser, towering spoiler, and snow-plow-like front splitter aren’t just there for show, either. The highly sculpted carbon fiber bodywork delivers upward of 2,200 pounds of downforce at speed. Much of the body is fitted with quick-release catches, making it easier to replace fenders and other exterior pieces during the heat of competition. The Senna GTR also rides on a special set of lightweight, 11-spoke alloy wheels.

Combined with a revised double wishbone suspension, Pirelli racing slick tires, and a race-style transmission, the Senna GTR will “post the quickest McLaren circuit lap times outside Formula 1,” according to McLaren’s press release. That headline-grabbing claim probably won’t stand for much longer, however.

It’s an open secret that McLaren is hard at work on road and race versions of the cryptically-named BP23, the firm’s “hyper-GT” that pays homage to the original F1 supercar, produced from 1992-1998.

“The track-only McLaren Senna GTR will have more power, more grip and more downforce – up to 1,000 kilograms – than the McLaren Senna and post even faster lap times,” said Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive CEO. “The very limited number of customers who secure this car will be buying the closest experience you can get to a race car without actually lining up on a circuit grid.”

Interestingly, about the only thing this race-focused McLaren doesn’t offer is the means to drive it on public roads – this is a track-only speed machine. Then again, if you can afford the roughly $1.4-million price and manage to snag one of the 75 scheduled to be built, commissioning the build of your own private racetrack probably isn’t out of the question.

McLaren will reveal exact technical specifications of the Senna GTR at a later date, though the automaker revealed its taking “expressions of interest” during the Geneva Motor Show. McLaren, consider us interested!

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Rimac C_Two electric hypercar debuts at almost 2,000 horsepower

Rimac Automobili made a name for itself with the Concept_One electric hypercar (and garnered even more attention when Richard Hammond drove one off the side of a hill). Ahead of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Rimac began teasing its next-generation EV hypercar. Now, the Rimac C_Two, as it is called, has it has arrived in all its electric glory.

It’s powered by four electric motors providing a total of 1,914 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque. That’ll push it from 0-60 miles per hour in just 1.85 seconds, and to a top speed of 258 mph. It’ll do a quarter-mile in 9.1 seconds. If that seems extreme (and it is) be comforted by the fact that only 150 examples of this electric beast will be unleashed upon the world.

When not driving it as hard as one possibly can, its liquid-cooled 120-kWh battery pack provides about 404 miles of driving range — granted that’s on the generous NEDC cycle. It’s capable of 250-kW charging which can resupply up to 80 percent of its driving range in under 30 minutes. The C_Two has active aerodynamics, including front and rear diffusers, hood flaps, rear wing, and underbody inlets and outlets. These can be adjusted to provide more efficiency and cooling, or to sacrifice some slipperiness for downforce. It’s torque vectoring system also helps with stability.

The C_Two has a suite of sensors designed for eventual Level 4 autonomous driving. It’s equipped with eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, one or two lidar and six radar units. These generate eight terabytes of data every hour. Of course, that full automation will come later, though we don’t imagine customers will be super impatient to have the car take over the driving duties. Until then, the C_Two offers driver assistance features like automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

Under that beautiful exterior is a carbon fiber monocoque with structural battery pack. The C_Two has a carbon fiber rear subframe and front and rear aluminum crash structures. Mate Rimac said that, in the name of safety, “we are going to crash many of these beautiful cars.” Mate Rimac will also personally test drive each car before they are delivered to customers to make sure they’re up to his standards. Sounds like a dull job.

The butterfly doors provide a large opening to a spacious interior for two. It’s meant as a grand touring car, said Rimac. It has three screens to provide as much or as little information the driver and passenger want to see. Its rear trunk it customizable, or can be eschewed in order to put the electric powertrain on display.

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Aston Martin Valkyrie gets insane 1,100-horsepower AMR Pro model

We still have yet to see the final production version of the road-going Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar, but that hasn’t stopped Aston from creating an even more extreme version of the already radical car. It’s called the Valkyrie AMR Pro, and it’s lighter, more powerful, has more downforce, and is only for use on the track.

Powering the Valkyrie AMR Pro is a version of the standard car’s naturally aspirated hybrid V12. In this guise, Aston says it produces 1,100 horsepower, more than the standard car. That engine won’t have much to carry around, either, since Aston is aiming to have the Valkyrie AMR Pro weight just about 1,000 kilograms, or about 2,200 pounds. To hit that weight, Aston is using lighter carbon fiber for the body, carbon fiber control arms, a lighter exhaust, polycarbonate windows, molded seats, and it has removed the HVAC fan and infotainment system. Fortunately, Aston is including heater elements in the windows so that they don’t fog up in wet or cool weather.

The Valkyrie AMR Pro’s body shape is different, too, and it has been changed to increase downforce. It has usual changes such as large front and rear wings. It also has a tall center fin like that found on prototype and F1 race cars. The body itself is wider, too. All told, Aston expects the car to produce over 2,200 pounds of downforce. The combination of all these performance enhancements means the car can achieve a claimed top speed of 225 mph, as well as cornering forces of over 3G.

Aston Martin didn’t reveal pricing, but it doesn’t matter. Aston already sold all 25 Valkyrie AMR Pros it will build. The company says that they’ll be delivered sometime in 2020.

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Lamborghini drops the top on the Huracan Performante Spyder

How could Lamborghini make its Huracán Performante even more special? Simply by introducing a topless Spyder variant. The manufacturer suggests the engine note can be heard better with the top open. The Performante is the hot Huracán, its 5.2-liter V10 producing a handsome 640 horsepower, and our 2017 review described the Performante as the character-adding boost the Huracán model line so required. Part of that is due to its ALA active aerodynamics system, or Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva. Lamborghini says the downforce-aiding system, which features active flaps on the splitter and the rear wing, is retained in the Spyder version.

As seen in the regular Huracán Spyder, the fabric roof is electro-hydraulic, and according to the manufacturer it only takes 17 seconds to deploy, which can be done at driving speeds of up to 30 mph. Much like the BMW i8 Roadster’s setup, it also has an independently movable rear glass, which functions as a wind deflector when the roof is opened. But there’s more to wind control than just the glass: there are two movable, speedster style fins that rise up from behind the seat backs, continuing the roofline from where it left off. The fins also include an integrated duct that works to reduce cabin turbulence, and two wind guards dampen “aerodynamic pulsations.” Lamborghini says this is to enable conversation even at high speeds, even as one imagines there would be precious little idle chatter when the Performante really performs.

The removal of the fixed roof has added 275 pounds to the dry weight of the Performante, but compared to the regular-issue Spyder, the car is 77 pounds lighter thanks to extensive, Performante-specific use of carbon fiber. Lamborghini says the top speed of 202 mph is unchanged; 0-62 mph takes 0.2 seconds more and is now reached in 3.1 seconds. The 200-kph or 124-mph benchmark takes 9.3 seconds. The first cars will be available in the summer, with a suggested retail price of $308,859.

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2019 Bugatti Chiron Sport is more hardcore with better handling

Bugatti has created a hotter version of the Chiron called the Chiron Sport. How does Bugatti make the monstrously powerful Chiron even more extreme? Well, it doesn’t have anything to do with greater power or speed. The car has the same 1,479 horsepower. Instead, Bugatti focused on improving handling by upgrading the chassis and making it lighter.

It’s not much lighter, mind you. Bugatti only shed about 40 pounds from the standard Chiron. This was done with lighter wheels, glass and more carbon fiber components. Bugatti seems to be most proud of the car’s carbon fiber windshield wipers, which Bugatti claims is a first for production cars. They are actually fairly impressive, weighing 77 percent less than the standard ones. They also use 3D-printed aluminum in the tips. They should go nicely with Bugatti’s 3D-printed titanium brake calipers.

In the handling department, Bugatti addressed the suspension and drivetrain. The shocks are now stiffer, and the steering has been retuned. The all-wheel-drive system now features torque vectoring to direct power to either side. Between the weight savings and new suspension, Bugatti claims the Chiron Sport lapped the Nardo handling track 5 seconds faster than the standard model.

The Chiron Sport also brings along visual changes to make it completely clear that this is not some run-of-the-mill Chiron. It’s available in a limited selection of colors for the front end including red, blue, silver and dark grey. These are coupled with an exposed carbon fiber finish for the tail of the car. The front color is then carried over to the big “C” design element that is finished in aluminum on normal Chirons, and to other elements such as the bottom of the rear wing and the contrasting “16” in the grille mesh (which, we must add, makes it look like it’s suiting up for a basketball team). The wheels are unique to the Sport, as are the quartet of round exhaust outlets. The interior is made darker and more serious thanks to a liberal use of black anodized aluminum switchgear, and black leather and Alcantara.

If the harder-core Chiron Sport is exactly what you’ve been looking for in a hypercar, you’d better have some serious bank, specifically $3.26 million. There won’t be too long of a wait for it, though, since Bugatti expects to deliver the first ones at the end of the year.

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Koenigsegg is fresh out of Regeras, brings restored CCX to Geneva

The Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg is making an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. On the Koenigsegg stand will be two slightly different versions of Regeras and a refurbished 2006 CCX.

The presence of the “Certified Legends” CCX is partially due to the fact that every single Regera from the 80-unit production run has been sold, as we reported last summer. There simply are no more current Koenigsegg models available, so inspecting, refurbishing and re-selling certified used Koenigseggs seems like a sensible thing to do.

For the buyer, a “Certified Legend” car is as close to a new one as possible — or even further. They will have “the latest parts, equipment and technology,” meaning such a CCX might be better than it was in 2006. They are also backed with a two-year factory warranty. The two Regeras at the show are both customer cars, one in Crystal White and the other in Swedish Blue.

The former has more aero parts on it, as it has been specified with the “Ghost” package, which increases downforce by 20 percent. Both have the hybrid twin-turbo powertrain capable of 1,500 horsepower; the V8 itself accounts for 1,100 of those.

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McLaren Senna Carbon Theme, ‘surprise announcement’ at Geneva

McLaren will bring its hardcore, 789-horsepower Senna road car to the Geneva Motor Show, and all 500 examples are already spoken for. One of the five themes, a bespoke version created by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), is the “Carbon Theme” Senna. As one would expect, it’s covered in carbon fiber, and the interior echoes the theme with Carbon Black Alcantara trim.

The car’s body is covered in 67 Visual Carbon Fiber parts, which took almost 1,000 hours to produce. The glossy black weave is accentuated with Solar Yellow and Laurel Green detailing, as a nod to F1 Legend Ayrton Senna’s helmet livery and home country of Brazil. McLaren says the Carbon Theme adds almost £300,000 (about $415,000) to the Senna’s £750,000 (nearly $1.04 million) price tag.

McLaren says it will also offer the ultra-lightweight MSO 7-Spoke Hybrid Carbon Fiber wheels as an option to Senna customers. These center-lock wheels feature a forged aluminum and carbon fiber construction, reducing weight by 10 percent and rolling inertia by 10 to 15 percent compared to the standard wheels. This translates to better acceleration, braking and steering response.

“The McLaren Senna customers in the process of specifying their own, personalized cars are almost without exception commissioning an elevated level of MSO content,” said McLaren Special Operations Managing Director Ansar Ali, “so we are definitely appealing to our target audience. With the car having generated so much interest since its unveiling in December, we knew we needed to produce something very special in order to showcase the unique talents of McLaren Special Operations.

In its press release introducing the Carbon Black Senna, McLaren also hinted at something special at the Geneva Motor Show. Tucked at the very end of the text, McLaren says that in addition to introducing the Senna, the company will make some sort of “surprise announcement.” Speculate away.

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Italdesign Zerouno Roadster headed for Geneva Motor Show

It’s not often that Italian design houses sell cars under their own name. Sure, the name Zagato has been tacked onto Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo and Lancia coupes, but it’s rarer for the design house to act as the manufacturer. The last Fiat X1/9s were sold as Bertones, and late, 1980s 124 Spiders were sold as the Pininfarina Spidereuropa, but Italdesign hasn’t sold any cars of their own – until the Zerouno, that is. The company wants to introduce an own-brand model every year on from 2017; the coupe version of the Huracan-related Zerouno was the first.

Italdesign has now confirmed that there will be a convertible version of the Zerouno, and that it will be seen at the Geneva Motor Show. The coupe was only made as a five-unit production run, and it’s likely that there won’t be too many topless versions built. Italdesign is 50 years old this year, and it’s up to the Zerouno roadster to be displayed as a celebratory model. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed either, but reports say the base price is likely to top $1.8 million, and it’ll easily go past two million dollars nicely equipped.

For that money you get exclusivity as well as a 5.2-liter V10 engine good for 205 miles per hour and a 3-second 0-60 blast. Zerounos are all-wheel-drive, with Audi/Lamborghini DNA baked in thanks to the company’s ties to Audi-owned Lamborghini.

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Ferrari makes 488 Pista official with 711 hp, racing tech, photos

Instead of letting the internet get the best of its new V8 Special Series coupe, a day after images leaked Ferrari released a batch of details and photos on its 488 Pista track-day weapon. The twin-turbo 3.9-liter V8 produces 720 of France’s Cheval Vapeur, which equates to 710 of our U.S. horsepower, while torque churns in at 568 pound-feet. Those numbers outdo the 488 GTB by 50 hp and eight pound-feet, and will get the 488 Pista in its lightest guise from a standstill to 62 miles per hour in 2.85 seconds, with 124 mph arriving in 7.6 seconds. Maximum velocity tops out at 211 mph.

We say “in its lightest guise” because Ferrari records the 488 Pista’s weight as 2,821 pounds dry, but with an asterisk that explains said weight can only be achieved “With optional lightweight features.” As of now we have no idea what those features are, but along with other lightweighting efforts like the carbon floor, they help amputate a total of 198 pounds compared to the weight of the standard 488.

Ferrari says the goal was to make the upper reaches of the new Special Series V8 “easier to reach and control,” so engineers poured the brand’s racing toolbox over the 488 Pista. The front S-Duct and diffuser mimic the ramp angle on the 488 GTE World Endurance racer. The sixth evolution of Side-Slip Angle Control that oversees the electronic differential, the magnetorheological suspension, and the F1-Trac stability control, now incorporates Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer software that varies the brake caliper pressure. Even the livery was created to enhance the coupe’s raciness, as if such ornamentation were needed.

We’ve heard rumors that 488 Pista can lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track faster than the LaFerrari. A better comparison — one we’re more eager to see, and one with a much better chance of happening — is that between Ferrari’s latest and the McLaren 720S. Their specs are nearly identical. The McLaren produces 710 hp and 568 lb-ft from a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8, weighs 2,828 pounds in its lightest fitment, sprints to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, to 124 mph in 7.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 211 mph. Things that make you go, hmmm…

We’ll be at the Ferrari booth at the Geneva Motor Show as soon as the lights go up on this one.

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Ferrari 488 Special Series V8 named Pista in leaked photos

Ferrari Photo Page leaked Ferrari’s presentation of the 488 Special Series last month. Today, the site’s Instagram has what appear to be press shots of the coming Ferrari that reveal the coupe’s name: 488 Pista. The word “Pista” means “track” in Italian, and it would be the next peak in the lofty range already notable for the 360 Challenge Stradale (Road), 430 Scuderia (Team), and 458 Speciale (Special). We also get a few potential specs, namely a rumored 721 horsepower.

If the press photos are accurate — everything in front lines up with the blurry screenshot from the recent teaser vid — we can begin to see how Ferrari increased aerodynamic efficiency by 20 percent over the standard 488 GTB. Autocar says Ferrari’s aimed at the 340 kilograms of downforce produced by the Porsche 911 GT2 at 155 miles per hour, 15 kg more than achieved by the 488 GTB. Instead of a hood carved out with two deep scallops as on the 488 GTB, nearly the entire span of the hood on the 488 Pista plunges before reaching the leading edge. In back, a large, heavily dished wing tops a new rear fascia, its center span hovering a few inches above the bodywork. Below, a much more aggressive rear diffuser sits between vertical vents at the flanks.

The interior doesn’t look much changed, but note the carbon fiber floor instead of floor mats, the leaner center tunnel area, and shift selector buttons on a stalk styled after the one in the LaFerrari.

A reveal at the Geneva Motor Show seems likely, where we’ll look forward to detailed specs on that engine derived from the 488 Challenge race car but 10 percent lighter. Based on what we’ve seen so far, a Geneva debut will be thrilling no matter how much of the 488 Pista leaks before then.

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Techrules will bring its Ren RS diesel turbine hybrid to Geneva

The Chinese startup Techrules, from Beijing, has appeared at the Geneva Motor Show before. This year the company is returning with a new hybrid supercar called the Ren RS, which is a lighter version of the Ren we saw at Geneva a year ago. Techrules says the Ren RS is a production version, albeit designed for track use only. The RS uses a diesel-powered turbine generator to charge its 28 kWh battery pack, and the manufacturer promises an impressive range of 727 miles from 80 liters of diesel (that’s about 21 gallons). Given that the vehicle is limited to racing use, that should translate into quite a few laps at a track of any length. The RS can be configured with four or six electric motors, and the six-motor, 960-kW/1,287-horsepower version can hit 62 mph in just three seconds, going all the way to 205 mph.

The jet-fighter style, TREV-powered (for Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle) RS is Italian-built, and reportedly its on-track characteristics have been honed by Italian motorsport specialist L.M. Gianetti. Gianetti is an outfit that has already operated for half a century, working as a motorsport subcontractor for Fiat and Alfa Romeo, and it also manufactured components and monocoques for the late ’90s Ford Focus WRC rally car.

So far, the teaser image of the RS is all we get; the Geneva show will surely provide more shots and insight into one of the few diesel-powered vehicles currently shown in a positive light.

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2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS spied completely uncovered

It’s a good day for Porsche fans because today we’re getting an up close and personal look at the 2019 911 GT3 RS. One of our spy photographers caught the car with absolutely no camouflage whatsoever, giving us a clear look at the car. It’s also hopefully an indicator that Porsche will officially reveal it along with all the juicy details very soon.

Unsurprisingly, it features the same basic front and rear bumpers of the current “normal” 911 GT3, just amped up a bit. It has a deeper, wider chin spoiler and more aggressive side skirts. The hood now has a pair of NACA-style ducts the last model lacked. This new GT3 RS also features wider front fenders with large air vents similar to the last GT3 RS. The rear wing and spoiler setup is also similar to the old RS, combining a lip spoiler on the engine cover with a tall wing on supports. The wing and the supports have been reshaped a bit compared with the previous model.

We saw a generally undisguised GT3 RS last July, and at the time we were expecting it to appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show. That show, along with L.A., Detroit and Chicago, came and went. The next one on the calendar is the Geneva Motor Show. It would be a smart choice since it’s coming up soon, and because the Geneva show is a favorite for supercar builders to show off their latest and greatest products. So the GT3 RS would fit right in. Not only that, but the last version made its debut there. So keep an eye out for the winged 911 in Switzerland next month.

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