Because it is on neutral ground, we have come to expect many “world premieres” at Geneva with a lot of new models and concepts. It is usually a very interesting show. This year was no exception. And most of the concept cars were production preview/teasers.
We were very surprised not to see Bertone on the first floor, but knowing that Michael Robinson has left, this is not a good sign…
From the previous articles you have read, you already know that the main trend this year is an overall reduction in size. Many new cars came in the A-segment, and engine size continues to be reduced…Ecology becomes more and more important and every car maker emphasizes its communication on that topic.
But Geneva is also the place of exclusive cars.
McLaren unveiled the convertible version of the 650S. There is no change in terms of the mechanicals and the design remains very sculptural.
Lamborghini introduced the Huracan. No surprise here. And it is certainly a Lamborghini. Very tight lines characterize this vehicle.
Aston Martin displayed two special editions at Geneva. The V8 Vantage N430 might be our favorite in terms of proportions, very compact and sporty. The engineers have reduced the weight of the car using carbon fiber and Kevlar seats for example. Many “cosmetic” details are added to give a dark-themed exterior, such as graphite painted forged alloy wheels alongside the black front grille, headlamp bezels, exterior meshes, side window surrounds, textured tailpipe finishers and clear rear lamps with black surrounds. This gives the car the appropriate identity. Inside, as out, the link with automotive competition is clear.
The second car is the DB9. It was displayed with two exclusive finishes called Carbon White and Carbon Black. Both editions include additional carbon fibre side strakes and black window surrounds reinforcing the powerful visual themes. The interior featured a strong ‘black’ styling theme showcasing carbon fibre details and new black hardware There is a choice of accent colors matching the brake caliper shade….
Being Geneva, the show had plenty of exotic and exclusive cars as well — great examples of automotive art and engineering, but not so interesting in terms of design……..
Well, Geneva is usually one of the best Auto Shows of the year. And in 2014 that is still the case. The automotive industry is alive and well, no matter how much the economy or politics may impact it in Europe. Competition and the environment continue to drive the car-makers forward, introducing more and more vehicles powered by Hybrid or Electric energy.
It is a good sign. We can’t wait to see more in Paris…
Toyota, Citroen and Peugeot have released the replacement of the three sisters…
If the first opus was essentially three identical cars (with just small differences to provide identity), now we can talk about three quite different designs, even though the cars have been developed on the same platform.
Each car now reflects the spirit of its brand.
The Toyota Aygo has a very aggressive look, while the Citroen appears more product design oriented and the 108 more “chic”.
While the Aygo is graphically complicated and looks very sporty, the C1 is very Citroen-like, showing a friendly face using the superposition of lights similar to the C4 Picasso. The Peugeot is more into the French Chic with a simple shape, but using different color combinations for graphic effect. Interiors emphasize the “onboard wellbeing” design philosophy.
During the Geneva International Motor Show, BMW introduced a new car and a new concept. Like the other premium German manufacturers, BMW wants to cover or open each and every market segment with high-end cars. The new 2 Series Active Tourer may be the first front wheel drive car from BMW, but it is probably not the most important for our friends in Munich. On the booth we can see this car just in front of the new BMW 4 Grand Coupe. And we are in two different worlds.
The BMW 4 is what we have come to expect from BMW. A nice, powerful coupe for 4 people with all a BMW driver can offer to his family and friends – after fulfilling his own dreams that is…
At Geneva, BMW showed that it also wants to enter a new world with the Active Tourer. The 2 series exterior shape is very traditional and similar to what the volume car manufacturers already offer. This segment will certainly enjoy BMW quality, comfort and ergonomics, but we will have to wait and see if BMW will have the same success here as with the X series SUV’s.
The T-ROC SUV concept car seems to be a car from another company. Compared with the other Volkswagen products on the same booth we see a big difference – and we like it. Let’s hope that we see this SUV, with its new front-end design, on the road very soon. Listening to VW the progressive design of the front end demonstrates a new approach to small SUVs.
From the interior, we can see that digital concepts are becoming more and more widely utilized by Volkswagen group. Digital technology certainly offers many new possibilities, but it also requires drivers to be capable computer users if they are to fully benefit from and appreciate the functionality. Concerning all the available cameras that watch over our every move — we are not yet addicted.
After the Concept Coupé in Frankfort and the XC Coupé in Detroit, Volvo has unveiled latest showcar of its trilogy: the Concept Estate. What can we say but that the third concept is the most ambitious especially in its interior. This shooting brake continues to give us a hint of what the future exterior design of Volvo will be. When we see it, we know it is a Volvo. Designers have taken their inspiration in the history of the Scandinavian brand: the 1800 ES from the early 1970s. It is clear, especially on the rear part.
Volvo has introduced all new digital concepts for the interior preserving what we expect from Volvo. Thanks to its association with Volvo’s specially designed software, the touch screen will be the main control panel for in-car user experience. Almost all buttons are replaced and we appreciate, however, that there are still a few dedicated for crucial commands (volume, play/pause, hazard warning…)
Touchscreen is nice but important controls need physical commands.
If the XC Concept is anticipating the future XC90 due in a year, there is no doubt that this Estate gives us significant clues of a future model…
Major autoshows (at least the ones we cover) follow one after the other, but they are certainly not alike. Last September, the IAA in Frankfurt gave us a reminder of how powerful the German industry is. In early January, the NAIAS in Detroit taught us that the American car industry is very much alive and has reached full revival. As usual the Geneva show is the first European event of the year. This exhibition in the Palexpo is understated and takes place in a uniquely neutral environment. Unlike some of the other shows, here everything stays close to a human scale…more intimate, more manageable. It feels like a jewelry show…
And because it takes place on neutral ground, it seems that all kinds of different trends are represented. Small design houses stand next to big OEM’s. Many concepts cars are introduced, but there are also world premieres of important high volume production cars…
Urban and compact vehicles are well represented at this edition with the unveiling of the Twingo III, Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 for example.
The main trend is that less fuel consumption and lower emissions are paramount. Most companies are working on reducing the number of cylinders (e.g. Audi TT with a 2.0l 4 cylinder making 420HP) and/or building hybrid or electrical solutions.
The future is just next door…..and the future looks cool and peaceful…
The Audi TT and TTS will be introduced tomorrow at the Geneva show. But photo previews have been launched today.
When the first-generation Audi TT came on the market in 1998 it was a design revolution – its strictly geometrical, formally coherent design language made it an icon with huge charisma.
And we can already say that if the TT MkII did not follow the language of the orignal, the TT MkIII comes back to the roots ! Just check the side view…
But let’s see that tomorrow in the flesh…!
For the interior design the use of new technology is going to be a hit ! Once again the rule was « less is more ».
No doubt that like the original version, this TT will inspire many coming design and will setup a new standard for design language.