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Geneva International Motor Show 2017 ( picture gallery and video)


These are all of the most important car launches and news stories from the biggest event in the European car calendar

by Steve Cropley

For a while, it looked as though new cars might have to take a back seat at the 2017 Geneva motor show.


When Peugeot let it be known over the weekend that it would be officially announcing the purchase of Opel a day before the show's traditional Tuesday preview, it seemed we were in for a lot of corporate guff that would take focus from what, going in, looked a bumper crop of new metal in all departments. But it's amazing how quickly things move on.


By Tuesday, we were back to cars: the car community had 'banked' the PSA-Opel knowledge and had also digested reassuring statements from PSA chief Carlos Tavares – who even managed to sound bullish about the prospects for the UK component supply business if there were a hard Brexit.


Various bosses of companies that sell or make cars in the UK queued up to reiterate how important a zero-tariff post-Brexit situation was going to be, but that has become no more than slightly annoying mood music. Cars were soon back in the spotlight.



Of course, there was a power race. McLaren's new 720S (710bhp) does much more than merely up the power of the Woking company's new core model. It also introduces a new look for McLaren, with interesting new answers to mid-engined supercar aerodynamics and revolutionised driver visibility.


But its engine output was nevertheless quickly compared by headline-hungry hacks with that of the new Ferrari 812 Superfast (new V12) and with a collection of newcomers such as Aston Martin's hypercar, now dubbed Valkyrie, the Techrules Ren (1287bhp from a jet-propelled range-extender) and Singapore's all-electric Dendrobrium, built by Williams Advanced Engineering, a company relatively fresh, let it never be forgotten, from creating the stillborn but brilliant hybrid Jaguar C-X75.











Further down the price scale was the new Honda Civic Type R, all wings and vents as usual, which, despite talk of a calmer character, will still have an even higher engine output of 316bhp and a 0-60mph time in the mid-five-second bracket when it starts production in the UK this summer and reaches showrooms in the autumn. Even Tata had a supercar, the neat and compact-looking Racemo, which said good things about the scale of its ambitions.


Geneva always provides an outing for traditional Italian concept car builders, and Volkswagen-owned Italdesign (which showed its super-exclusive £2m Zerouno) and Mahindra-owned Pininfarina (with the spectacular but plausible Fittipaldi EF7) both staged heartening returns to the real world.


Amazing what a bit of big-company backing can do. Alongside other concepts, Bentley had the EXP12, the second iteration of a roadster that now looks nailed on eventually to be its fifth model line, and at the other end of the scale, Citroën extended its new look with C-Aircross, a pretty accurate view of the forthcoming C3 Picasso.


Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) always enjoys Geneva and staged another of its familiar 'Ian and Gerry' shows. Jaguar chief designer Ian Callum opened the bidding with the long-awaited XF Sportbrake, as handsome as ever, but Land Rover's Gerry McGovern held the winning hand in this phase of the design chiefs' continuing rivalry with an all-new Range Rover, the Velar, whose similarity under the skin to Callum's recently launched Jaguar F-Pace was largely (and happily) lost on the vast audience.


The JLR undercurrent was a swathe of models now offering various high-power versions of the Wolverhampton-built Ingenium petrol and diesel engines in place of expensively bought-in (and usually less efficient) units.


What else? 'Autonomous' and 'driverless' were terms freely bandied on just about every stand. Peugeot's bumf on its sweet-looking Instinct concept was so packed with detail about connectivity and self driving that it forgot to draw attention to its interesting proportions (it is a coupé-like estate) or the fact that it is a step towards finding a new design style for the brand.


And there was the usual crop of new season's refreshes: Audi RS3, Bentley Continental GT, BMW 4 Series and Infiniti Q50 among them.


VW, always in the news, even helped us end on a hearteningly bizarre note: lovers of quirky car names have long since given up hope of a revival for the much-mourned Nissan Cedric, but this year, VW has stepped into the breech with a self-driving pod called Sedric. It put the icing on the cake. As hacks departed for home on every point of the compass, all seemed right with the world.











New rooms Press//





Published in : Life





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