The Geneva motor show is now open to the public after a manic couple of days for press and industry. It's a show of contrasts in 2019, as major manufacturers continue to focus on electrification for their mainstream models while the luxury and supercar space continues to shock with incredible new models of all shapes and sizes, and all sorts of pricetags.
Below is a run down of the most interesting cars at this year’s Geneva show, and it’s a big one, with revitalised favourites, dramatic range expansions and a renewed focus on desirability and performance within a global car industry that continues to grow in ever more diverse directions.
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Geneva Motor Show 2019: the star cars
Aston Martin Project 003: Aston Martin's mid-engined hypercar will slot in below the Valkyrie.
Aston Martin Vanquish Vision: This is the real show star, showing up to rival stalwart supercars, with a high-tech twist.
Ferrari F8 Tributo: Ferrari's new mid-engined V8 supercar borrows the 488 Pista's engine.
Pininfarina Battista: The Italian design house will launch its first ever self-branded car – with 1800bhp.
Honda Urban EV: Honda's EV hatchback aims to make electric cars cool.
Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster: Just a 760bhp Lamborghini convertible
Geneva motor show 2019: A to Z of manufacturers
Aston Martin Lagonda
Aston Martin might well have stolen the show, with not one, but two mid-engined supercars that the company plans on introducing between now and 2022. The AM-RB 003 is the first, and potentially a rival for McLaren's upcoming P1 successor as a wildly powerful, but still usable hypercar for the road. Aston insists this is very close to the car we'll see on the road, which will also share much of the more powerful Valkyrie's chassis development, if not its V12 engine.
But it was the Vanquish Vision concept that is the most exciting prospect here – previewing a future aluminium-chassis supercar to rival series-production supercar models like the McLaren 720S and Ferrari F8. It'll share its basic V6 powertrain with the 003, in both cases hybridised, but to differing levels.
Aston Martin’s EV brand Lagonda also brought a Lagonda SUV concept to Geneva – with a clear look at what and how the British manufacturer foresees its luxury cars of the future. Not to be confused with the Aston Martin DBX arriving later this year, the Lagonda SUV’s design is said to emphasise its electric underpinnings and have a distinct aesthetic from its internal-combustion siblings.
Audi's Geneva stand had a very clear EV-stance without any performance models on show, aside from a special edition Audi R8. The concept on show is its future MEB model in near-production form, a small SUV called the Q4 e-tron.
Bentley is celebrating its 100th year with a special Continental GT No 9 edition featuring styling elements inspired from the “Blower Bentley” race cars of the early 20th Century. The hot Bentayga Speed is also on show, although we’ll have to wait till later in the year to see the four-door Flying Spur.
Ferrari's surprise reveal of the new mid-engined V8 supercar might have come a little earlier than expected, but we're not complaining, as this Pista-engined model essentially replaces the 488 of all forms. Word has it more is in the pipeline for the prancing horse though, with a hybridised V6 supercar in the works too. Sound familiar?
Honda’s eagerly awaited Urban EV hatchback arrived in Geneva after wowing crowds in its concept form in 2017. Honda is calling it a prototype, but it should look very close to the production e Prototype we’ll see later this year. It’s not sporty, but the hatchback’s charm and fascinating new interior should make it a highlight of the show once again.
The mighty Lamborghini Aventador SVJ has gained a new open-topped family member at Geneva, the SVJ Roadster, which has the same 760bhp V12 as the coupe and is said to be good for over 217mph. In total the SVJ Roadster weighs 1575kg, just 50kg more than the coupe. The Huracan Evo Spyder was also on show.
Mazda’s run of interesting and exciting new cars looks set to continue, teasing a new compact SUV crossover to join the recently revealed Mazda 3 hatchback. To be called CX-30, it’ll sit between the CX-3 and CX-5, but will feature the brand’s next-generation Kodo design language inside and out. It’ll also feature Mazda’s latest Skyactiv-X compression and spark ignition power unit that will be seen in the new Mazda 3 towards the end of this year.
Mercedes has brought a mid-level GLE 53 AMG variant to the Geneva show alongside an expected mid-life facelift of the smaller GLC SUV. Mercedes also chose Geneva for the European debut of the new CLA, with the Shooting Brake variant also arriving, completing that little corner of the new A-class line up. Finally, Mercedes-AMG has finally combined the rip-snorting GT R with a convertible bodystyle, to create the GT R Roadster.
Peugeot’s had a big Geneva motor show as its most important model, the 208 supermini, will be completely refreshed. Built on an all-new platform, with an all-new interior, styling and powertrains, the model is bound to be bookended by both a next-generation GTI, and a full EV model. Peugeot has also brought its next generation of hot Peugeot Sport models to Geneva, with the near-production 508 PSE, complete with over 400bhp from its hybridised powertrain.
The Italian design house brought its first ever self-branded car to the Geneva motor show, in the form of the Battista – an 1783bhp all electric hypercar. Bound to cost between €2-2.5M, the Battista will utilise a powertrain borrowed from Rimac, one of the industry’s most impressive electric motor and battery developers. It's being shown in three very different versions at Geneva.
Polestar’s second model, creatively called the Polestar 2, may lack the 1’s headline power figures or svelte coupe body, but will doubtlessly be the most important new model for the brand as it aims its all-electric high production model directly at the Tesla Model 3 and more traditional compact executive offerings.
The all-new Renault Clio has already been revealed, and it too will launch with a new platform and ground-up design. The current Clio, despite the relative disappointment of the Renault Sport version compared to its wonderful predecessor, was actually a hugely successful model for the marque, so the exterior has changed little from the current generation. The interior has been completely reimagined though, centred around a new portrait-style floating screen that dominates the whole dashboard.
Skoda’s tiny B-segment SUV, the Kamiq, is the marque’s headline reveal, but the Czech brand is also revealing a coupe version of its upcoming all-electric SUV. Although a concept at this stage, it is a very good indication about what to expect when the production version arrives in showrooms in 2020. Skoda's future MEB-platformed electric SUV will also be on show in coupe and concept form. Expect a production model soon.
The new Supra is one of the real show stars, despite its reveal late last year. This is the first time the new sports car will have been seen in public in Europe, and represents what we’re hoping is just the beginning of Toyota’s renaissance. UK versions of the Corolla and RAV4 will also be on display, but both of which come with good reputations compared to their rather tepid predecessors. There are even rumours of a Gazoo Racing Corolla hot hatchback arriving, but it’s still a way off according to Toyota insiders.
Volkswagen brought the I.D Buggy concept to Geneva this year, one inspired by the 1970s Meyers Manx buggy, but powered underneath by an electric powertrain that will also be used under VW’s forthcoming I.D range. The new Passat will also be in attendance, with its subtle tech and styling upgrades, but VW’s big reveal, the next Golf, will arrive later in the year. VW's hot T-Roc R will also be in attendance, a Golf R with added height perhaps, but also scepticism.