GENEVA 2017 | EPISODE 8 : Dacia

This “low cost” subsidiary of Renault is doing very well. Thanks for asking. Many major car manufacturers, Renault competitors, are investigating this promising market, which is very much in tune with the times.
DACIA, which has had a complete range of cars for a few years now, is experimenting, like other car companies, with limited editions. This is the case with the Duster and the Stepway both of which will benefit from special colors, a more rewarding interior and various other features. DACIA now offers cars very different from the “basic transportation concept” that marked its debut. Overall quality has improved a lot with the use of more friendly and attractive plastics for example and the designers have been given more freedom to create appealing exteriors. DACIA has nothing to envy about its major competitors…except brand image perhaps. But price makes all the difference.
DACIA launched the Logan MCV Stepway in Geneva. This SUV is elegant with a detailed grille and a strong character line. The tailgate provides great accessibility without making the car look like a commercial vehicle. The interior is modern. The IP is clear and readable. Of course, you don’t have the latest digital technologies that could find in some other SUV’s, but you get the essentials… It feels good inside the MCV Stepway, so we don’t have any doubt that this will be another bestseller for DACIA.
Nowadays, a DACIA customer does not have to feel like he or she is buying “half” of a Renault car, or an obviously cheap car, but rather a reasonably elegant means of transportation that meets their needs…..without showing off !


The DS display was radically different from that of Citroën.
The will to emphasize moderation and luxury is evident, with the future DS7 Crossback as its masterpiece. This is the first SUV for DS and the target is clearly the Audi Q5. The first thing catching the eye is its size, which is quite imposing. The second is the great classic look of the body compared with the rest of the DS range. If you look at the DS7 from ¾ view, it really feels like a Q5…
It seems that DS design team realized that the DS3, 4 and 5 style might be too ostentatious, which is not what premium customers want…The DS7 use of LED lights gives a real signature to this SUV. The oversized grille has an impressive diamond effect. The rear has a silvery metal line designed to bring a distinctive and wider look to the car.
The interior is rather classic, with a luminous feeling. Controls are squared and fall easily under your hands with ergonomics that are well thought out. The driver does not have to make any effort to become familiar with the functions. Various packages will offer different environments up to the most luxurious one that combines wood, leather and metal. Of course, most of the trendy driver assists will be on-board, with the use of a full digital instrument panel designed exclusively for Citroen/DS. The original BRM « deluxe » watch seems a little bit stuck by chance above the 12-inch multimedia display. Citroen, with DS is striving to enter the premium market competition with the DS7. We just hope that this vehicle, originally created for the Chinese market, will find its place in the European premium segment.

GENEVA 2017 | EPISODE 6 : Citroën

The first thing that catches your eye when approaching the Citroen display is a sensation of smallness, accentuated by the narrow layout. Is it a cost reduction, or the need to provide equal room for the DS brand? A band playing music welcomes us to discover two concepts:
The C Aircross and the Space Tourer 4*4 Ë.
The Aircross is a small SUV with a lot of interesting elements and bright colors. Citroen designers have succeeded in creating a vehicle that is an off-road looking concept with its well-proportioned plastic protection panels, its ring-shaped lights, its clean and simple dashboard, but it also has nice welcoming seats and a livability that will fit the entire family. The future replacement of the C3-Picasso is off to a great start. Of course, we can expect conventional doors on the production vehicle that is expected towards the end of the year. We don’t know yet if an all-electric version will be available in production, but this could be a good direction for Citroen. There are still two questions to be solved: how to manage competition (now internal since PSA bought Opel) from the Opel Crossland X and what the future of the now dated looking Cactus will be?

The Space Tourer 4*4 Ë is an evolution of the vehicle which is both utility and family oriented, derived from the van introduced last year. The Ë does not stand for “electric” here…It is supposed to stand for a lifestyle in Citroen vocabulary. The car is therefore a utility, leisure, four-wheel drive, family oriented mix between a Van and an SUV. The color effects and the Ë logo itself give a young and modern effect to a rather classic interior and exterior. This Space Tourer can accommodate up to 9 people in the XS version.


We know BMW is very faithful to the Geneva Autoshow. Usually the Bavarian company presents a lot of models in Switzerland, but not this year…Does BMW intend to favor the Asian fairs (Beijing to name but one…)? Or is it just a breath before the IAA in Frankfurt?
Of course, Geneva was an opportunity to see the new 5 series in the flesh for Europe, but we must say that this new model has already been seen at the NAIAS in Detroit.
For the Touring version this is the premiere. The interior is very close to the sedan, while the exterior is not surprising. As a whole it is perfectly realized, but this is normal for BMW. The typical customers will be satisfied with all the electronic innovations for driving assistance that now seem to be the standard fare from most manufacturers.

The 4 Series is now an entire range with 2 doors, 4 doors, cabriolet, etc. We must admit that the previous version has always been pleasing to our eyes and its success has not diminished this impression. So, no surprises with the new version. Why compromise a range that perfectly matches customers’ expectations and covers the gamut from practical sedan to coupe or convertible…?
For the passenger compartment, of course, the all-electronic instrumentation is now fully up to date with all possible options. The whole IP is laid out like a typical BMW cockpit with the usual perfect fir and finish – not unusual indeed…
During this Geneva show, BMW has demonstrated its ongoing desire to invest more and more in the world of “green” vehicles with a new version of the very high-end i8. We have always admired the lines of this hybrid vehicle. It is made very exclusive by its price, but still very appealing…

GENEVA 2017 | EPISODE 4 : Audi

The brand from Ingolstadt came to Geneva without any new models in terms of design, but rather introduced performance engines and / or powertrains with more eco-responsibility.

Let’s talk about the RS5 coupe first — an impressive 450hp coupe derived from the DTM championship race version, or vice-versa maybe. This road going version is very muscular, with large air intakes on both sides of the grille providing an aggressive look, but that’s about the only design element differenciating this model from the more civilized version.

The A3 family has recently received a facelift, and the RS3 has benefited from those styling changes with a new front end including beveled headlights. But here again it is under the hood that the real evolution is to be found rather than the styling. Power is boosted to 400hp on this refined version.

The A5 Sportback G-Tron is a solution for an eco-friendlier sport model that demonstrates Audi’s know-how in the use of natural gas. This is the third model from the brand to be powered by natural gas following the A3 Sportback G-Tron and the A4 Avant G-tron. The A5 is powered by a 2.0 TFSI engine delivering 170hp. Four tanks store enough gas for a range of 500kms, while the 25 liter gasoline tank raises the overall range to 950kms …

The Q8 Concept, already debuted in Detroit, was presented here with an orange paint job rather than the blue version shown in Detroit.
Obviously this Q8 Sport Concept shows a new evolution of the Audi style direction and we hope that this concept car finds its way into production. We must say that the Audi style doesn’t seem to be moving forward from what we see on the road today. Moreover, the quality of manufacturing seems to have deteriorated in récent years. An Audi now ages just as fast as its competitors. The French brands that once had a bad reputation, are now ahead of this German brand, with BMW and Mercedes farther ahead still … For Audi (France) this is now considered « normal ». The Customer Service department no longer seems to be making that extra effort towards its customers. In short, the Audi brand must now catch up, not only in terms of design (since the brand has not been avant-garde in this area for a few years), but also, and perhaps more especially, in terms of manufacturing quality and service training. Unfortunately, Marc Lichte, the new Director of Design, cannot do much about the second subject …

GENEVA 2017 | EPISODE 3 : Aston Martin

« -Good morning Q, what have you got for me today? »
– Good morning Mr. Bond, what about this DB 11.
– How many has it been all this time?
– I don’t count any more, but if you could bring that one back in one piece … »

Who has never dreamed of saying this. Aston Martin has decided to call its customization program « Q ». This is comparable to « Besposke » at Rolls-Royce or « Mulliner » at Bentley. Except that there you can prétend that you are James Bond.
A modified Aston Martin DB11 sat on the display. Dressed in a particularly visible electric blue, up to the tips of the nails … sorry, down to the rims. Carbon is used on everywhere: the rear diffuser, door handles, side skirts, air extractors, mirrors, steering wheel rim, and even the engine cover. The interior is covered with black and blue leather. The four-on-board tailor made luggage is matched to the body color. This is obviously only a glimpse of what the « Q » department can offer … but if you have (a lot of) money, you could select from the many choices available in the initial vehicle design … and if you don’t have enough euros, then this vehicle will remain, as for us, for your eyes only …

GENEVA 2017 | EPISODE 2 : Alpine

Here it is…the much anticipated Alpine A110 is standing in front of us in its final version. We have waited so long, seeing pictures from time to time… Now we get to touch, see and feel the actual car. And for those of us who knew the original coupe, we can see where the inspiration comes from. It is a positive revival. The DNA is there without too much of a retro feeling. Dressed in (almost*) blue alpine, this coupe will certainly satisfy future owners. Note that the first edition, limited to 1955 copies (the year of the first A110) is already sold out at €55 000 each, Deliveries begin in early 2018.
The front, with perfectly integrated headlights and large fog lights, provide strong identity to this sports coupé. The bold cooling ducts give an impression of speed. The car has a very fine profile and it is the rear section that is without a doubt where we see the closest filiation with the original berlinette.
The interior is very sporty with the confinement that goes with it. This not a family coupé, it is dedicated to the driver and only secondarily to the passenger. The rocker switches on the center console are positioned just at the right place to be perfectly functional. You won’t not find a large multimedia screen here, a minimalist one in the center is just enough. You drive an A110 with the digital tachometer in front of you — necessary information only for the pilot. Some elements of the doors are painted bodycolor to further emphasize the sporty character of the cockpit.
As a whole, Renault has crafted this coupé into a very coherent package.
Well, you understood; if you are looking for a sport coupé, be patient, if you have some extra euros in your bank account ready to spend (plus a little bit more…), if you have that certain nostalgia for the old time Monte-Carlo Rally, then the A110 is for you. Let’s hope that the mechanicals are fully in tune with what we have seen so far.

*Pigments used at the time for the original blue are no longer usable these days. The “color and trim” team has therefore developed a new blue that is very close to the original.

GENEVA 2017 | EPISODE 1 : Alfa Romeo

The Giulia, has finished second behind the Peugeot 3008 for the Car of the Year award.
This sedan is the first attempt from the Italian company to get back to the top of the sports/luxury segment. Its style is pure Alfa Romeo. We should see more of these on the streets than we do at the moment…

During the Los Angeles auto show, Alfa Romeo introduced the Stelvio SUV, allowing it to more fully compete with BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
The Stelvio is very stylish and offers good proportions. The body finish reaches the exacting standards required in this segment and the assembly quality seems to be very high. . The silhouette is simple and should please the Premium SUV clients.
The interior is very Alfa Romeo with a kind of surprise for these days — an analog instrument panel. This goes against the now familiar trend of a navigation screen fully integrated into the dashboard.
Ultimately, the Stelvio is an endearing SUV that is very dynamic, but not showy. Nor is it inspired by any of the best-sellers on the market. If the driving dynamics and finish quality are there, it should provide a strong impetus for Alfa Romeo to recover its position and reputation in the market…