The concentration of car news that springs forth from the Geneva Motor Show each year is nearly too much for one internet to handle. Below, I’ve cherry-picked the most notable newness from Switzerland — these are production-ready cars, or at least very close to being so. There are plenty of vintage, concept and just plain strange vehicles on display as well, but this is a good place to start. – Nick Caruso
2018 Geneva International Motor Show Details
Where: Palexpo Exhibition Center; Geneva, Swizterland
When: March 8-18
Tickets: ~$17 Here
More Info: Here
McLaren Senna GTR Concept
When it was introduced in December 2017, the McLaren Senna was almost as superlative as the British company’s offerings got, with specs somewhat on par with the near-mythical McLaren F1. Those figures are surpassed by this, the ultra-limited-run GTR Concept version of the Senna. No, that’s not a snow plow attachment out front, nor are those surface-to-air missile launchers on the rear. The aerodynamic elements on the Senna GTR Concept are admittedly insane looking, and they’re also remarkably effective. Rendering the Senna GTR Concept illegal for road use, the collection of wings and spoilers and diffusers expertly placed over the taut bodywork is, in concert, able to produce up to roughly 2,200 pounds of downforce at speed. (That’s equivalent to around 10 baby elephants’ worth of air pressing the car down to the track when it’s going full-tilt.)
Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
Number Produced: 75
Weight: ~2,600 pounds
The Catch: It’s for track use only.
Hennessey Venom F5
The speed-obsessed American mad scientists at Hennessey have somehow managed to push their Venom hypercar even further into the realm of the unthinkable. On display at Geneva now, the Venom F5 has a solitary, stratospheric mission, according to Hennessey: “being the fastest road car on earth.” Translation: the company is shooting for upwards of 300 miles an hour as a top speed. John Hennessey himself has claimed that “it’s no question of if we will break 300 mph but a question of when.” Only 25 examples will be built and at least 10 have been spoken for.
Weight: less Than 3,000 pounds
Price: $1.6 million
Potential Bragging Rights: It may literally be fast as hell.
Bugatti Chiron Sport
Three. Point. Two. Six. Million. There are few products in the world that could justifiably command such a price tag. For those willing and able to shell out that kind of dough, Bugatti has a track-focused car ready and available for the taking. Compared to the “base-model” Chiron, which comes in at a relatively reasonable ~$2.8 million, the Chiron Sport is literally less car for more money: it benefits from a weight savings of (drum roll, please) 40 pounds thanks to engineering moves like replacing the stock windshield wipers with carbon fiber examples. The formula seems to have paid off: the Chiron Sport will lap the famous Nardò Ring test track five seconds faster than the regular Chiron. That is, of course, the result of a firmer suspension and the like paired with the famous 1,500-horsepower, quad-turbocharged W16 engine. Additionally, you’ll find styling cues like Alcantara and carbon fiber interior details on the inside and an available quad-pipe exhaust out back.
Top Speed: 260+ mph
Price: $.26 million
Upshot: You won’t be the first person to pay a ton of money to lose a little bit of weight.
Lamborghini Performante Spyder
Down 77 pounds but up 30 horsepower from the all-wheel drive Huracan Spyder, the Performante is made to not only brtualize physics and eardrums alike, but to do so while ripping out each strand of a driver’s hair in the process. The top lowers in 17 seconds, and it’s not the only impressive moving mechanical bit: active aerodynamics shift dynamically as the car is driven to optimize air flow and downforce, sticking the car to the track as best as possible.
Engine: naturally-aspirated V10
0-60: 3.1 seconds
Top Speed: 201 mph
Must-have Option: The red, white and green “Italian flag” stripes that run the length of both door sills.
Ferrari 488 Pista
A crazier version of Ferrari’s 488 GTB, the trick with this car is threefold: lots more power (50 more), lots less weight (198 pounds total) and clever aerodynamic engineering. (That is, of course, the only formula for going very fast.) Air is routed through the car in an “S shape,” wich creates a bunch of downforce. Its turbocharged V8 is freer-revving too, allowing it to nudge 8,000 RPM on the top end. All of these element conspire to hustle the Pista (which means “track” in Italian”) around Ferrari’s test track 1.5 fater than the GTB.
Torque: 568 lb-ft
Design Note: Those stripes aren’t vinyl add-ons like most manufacturers would use; they’re actually painted, and aligning them across multiple body panels isn’t easy.
This is a barely-disguised road car. It’s been years and years since the Supra was a thing. The hotly-anticipated car will be incredibly important for the brand, and Supra fun to drive. Squint a little, then imagine away the spoiler and ground effects and racing livery — boom. There’s your new Supra.
No turbos. The GT3 RS is a non-turbo track car, the former part of which is most notable these days. Porsche has begun turbocharging pretty much every engine they make (not necessarily a bad thing…at all), but if you’re a purist and want to scorch some laps, this is the answer.
Yep, electric vehicles suck, right? Especially the beautiful ones. And the ones that go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. And the ones that feature a range of approximately 10 times the average driven commute… Or, maybe I could be convinced. To date, I’m personally not 100 percent sold on electricity-powered anything, largey due to styling issues. Why alternative cars have to look alternative escapes me (Prius, thy name is but…why?.) However, Jag has made a very lovely looking car that promises to perform and please at every turn. We’ll see.
Powertrain: entirely electric; all-wheel drive
0-60: 4.5 seconds
Range: 300 miles
Bottom Line: Finally, one that’s not a Tesla. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Teslas.)
Drift Mode. The new sport sedan features a setting that sends all of its power to the rear wheels, eschewing is the standard all-wheel drive setup. Increase your tire budget.
It’s a steal. Especially with these updates, AMG’s entry-level performance mated to a nicely-sized sedan is really, really hard to beat.
Protip: “The best combination for usability and performance, though, is probably the twin-charged T6 engine, which can come paired with all-wheel-drive and packs a 316-horsepower punch in its platform mate the XC60.”
Trucks and 4x4s
Ummm… wow. The new SV Coupe costs $295,000. I doubt any are going to be risking it all for the Camel Trophy anytime soon.
Mercedes-AMG G 63
After decades, a lot has changed on Mercedes-Benz’s military 4×4. It’s way, way more luxurious and sporting than its forebears, for instance. Something that hasn’t changed all that much is its styling. The boxy, upright rock-and-Rodeo-Drive-crawler still has that signature bank vault quality to it, but this latest version is admittedly the most refined a Geländewagen has ever been. AMG’s 5.5-liter turbo V8 still hustles this charming shipping container down the road, and numerous upgrades inside and out are bound to please the most discerning of brutalists.
0-60: 5.3 seconds
Old School: There are simply not many vehicles on the road today that are so directly connected to yesteryear. That is, of course, the G-Wagen’s charm, whatever the generation. Just ask my mom.
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