The 2017 Geneva Motor Show got off with a bang and debuted some of the most interesting and amazing cars we’ve seen all year. As the most important motor show on the European calendar, Geneva displays all kinds of cars – and in amongst the family hatchbacks, MPVs, countless crossovers and other dull-but-worthy offerings there were plenty of cars for evo to get really excited about.
We’ve chosen our ten favourite new cars from the show here…
Subscribe to evo magazine
It was always going to be a contender – a thoroughly British supercar with the chops to rival anything the more established players have to put out. The 720S replaces the brilliant 650S and improves upon it in just about every way, with technology inspired by the P1 hypercar ready to bring the racetrack to the road.
The 720S is built around a carbonfibre tub to make it as light and stiff as possible, giving the car's 710bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 a fighting chance at beating cars like the Ferrari 488 GTB or Lamborghini Aventador into a cocked hat. It’s an amazing achievement and one we’re thoroughly looking forward to driving.
The beautiful product of Renault’s revived performance sub-brand, the Alpine A110 occupies a gap in the market we didn’t realise existed – slotting neatly in between the Porsche Cayman and Alfa Romeo 4C. It’s lighter, cheaper and more focused than the Porsche, but should come without many of the compromises that accompany 4C ownership – namely discomfort, poor-quality interior and the demanding nature of its unassisted steering rack.
The Alpine is powered by a 1.8-litre 4cyl engine which will put out 248bhp – not an enormous figure, but coupled to the car’s low weight of just 1080kg it’s enough to provide decent performance figures. We’ve already had some time in the studio with the new Alpine, and we’ll get our first drive in the summer.
Ford Fiesta ST
Geneva bought us the public debut of the new Ford Fiesta ST, a car we’ve been looking forward to since our first glimpse of it a few months ago. With a new 1.5-litre triple replacing the old 1.6-litre four-cylinder, we don’t yet know what the impact will be on the driving dynamics - but given Ford’s hot hatchback experience, we’re hoping for a fun, characterful engine mated to the brilliant chassis we’ve come to expect from the Fiesta.
The new styling may divide opinion but the improved interior should make up for that, plugging one of the old car’s very few weak points. Adjustable driving modes and cylinder deactivation tech are interesting additions, too – will they make or break the new ST? We’ll have to wait for a drive to find out.
Lamborghini Huracan Performante
Lambo is best known for outlandish styling, massive V12s and showing off in general, but the Performante additions to the Huracan have given it some new bragging rights – the Nurburgring lap record for production cars.
Lap records aren’t everything, of course, but it’s how it’s been achieved that’s really interesting. More power and lower weight are par for the course, but active aero technology is truly impressive racing-car stuff.
Toyota Yaris GRMN
Aside from the GT86, it feels like a long time since Toyota has produced anything to excite keen drivers. The Yaris GRMN could change that though – and with a name that stands for ‘Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring’ you know it means business.
With over 200bhp from a 1.8-litre supercharged engine, it eschews downsizing and could rival the best in the hot hatch sector – such as the new Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 GTI and Mini John Cooper Works. It remains to be seen if Toyota can work some magic on the car and help us to forget the days of the old Yaris’ stodgy handling, though.
Ferrari 812 Superfast
With a name like that, how could we not be excited for this car? The 812 Superfast is the most powerful front-engined Ferrari ever built, and produces a mammoth 789bhp from its 6.5-litre V12 engine.
The 812 is packed with technology to keep all that power under control, too, including Side Slip Control and a system called Virtual Short Wheelbase, which gives the car a mild four-wheel-steering system. We think it looks amazing, too.
Porsche 911 GT3
Put simply, the new 911 GT3 is about as much of an evo car as it’s possible to get. A naturally aspirated, 4.0-litre flat-six engine with a power output of 493bhp and, joy of joys, it’s coupled to an optional manual gearbox.
Porsche has managed to combine the torquey qualities of the bigger engine with the high-revving nature of the old 3.8-litre unit, which should provide the best of both worlds. We’re due to drive the car at the end of April, and we’re very excited about it.
Honda Civic Type R
Honda has taken a new direction with the 2017 Civic Type R, stepping out of the hot hatch power race and debuting the new Type R with a negligible 10bhp power boost over the current model. That’s because instead of adding grunt the Japanese brand has focused efforts on reining in that power and making the Civic Type R a more well-rounded car.
The new Type R is based on the latest Civic hatchback, which means it’s longer, lighter and lower, while it also gains a multi-link rear suspension setup to replace the old torsion beam. Will it make much of a difference to the way the new car drives? We’ll find out when we drive it later in the year.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
The Porsche Cayenne has filled the need for a practical Porsche for a while, but if you want something more rakish and sporting then the Panamera Sport Turismo could be for you – just don’t call it an estate!
With a fifth seat for the first time, the Sport Turismo can carry more people than the standard Panamera – and with a larger, higher boot, it can carry more stuff, too. You can find the same range of powerful engines as the standard car under the bonnet, including an impressive E-hybrid model – and all will provide awesome performance.
It’s not exactly a mainstream car launch, but we couldn’t tear ourselves away from the RUF stand at the Geneva show, where the new CTR was unveiled – exactly 30 years after the Yellow Bird original. Despite looking exactly like a 1990’s 911, it’s actually totally bespoke, with a carbonfibre monocoque chassis bonded to a steel structure, all suspended from a double wishbone suspension system.
The Mezger engine in the CTR puts out 700bhp and 649lb ft of torque, sent through a Ruf-developed 6-speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential.