Swiss show unveils top gear

APPLE’s next move in hands-free smartphone technology for drivers will be to unveil a new, integrated iPhone voice-control system at the Geneva Motor Show.

Swiss show unveils top gear

The company’s CarPlay will debut in Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo vehicles at the show. The software system allows drivers to control their iPhones via touch and voice.

Carmakers already have enabled access to smartphones via bluetooth technology, but Apple’s latest offering will seamlessly integrate iPhone functionality with dashboard-mounted display and speaker systems.

CarPlay enables drivers to access contacts stored on the iPhone, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails, without taking their hands from the steering wheel.

CarPlay will also be available in cars from BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.

One of the sure-fire stars of the show will be the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

The road-going GT3 is inspired by the Vantage racers that compete in the GT3 class of sports car racing, and features extreme aerodynamic aids, front and rear, to produce substantial downforce, increasing cornering speeds.

Under the bonnet is an uprated version of the mighty, 6.0-litre V12 engine that Aston Martin claims will deliver 600PS (592bhp), enough to propel it to 185mph, and from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds.

The bad news is that Aston Martin will produce just 100 GT3s, but, due to local regulations, it will not be sold in North America or Asia — leaving the 100 to be fought over in Europe.

Meanwhile, Audi will unveil the new, prologue Avant show car, which is another glimpse into the future of the company’s design.

The prologue Avant combines dynamics, form, and function in a perfect synthesis.

It brings progressive technology, lightweight construction and permanent, all-wheel drive quattro together.

The large, five-door car, with its stretched roof and extremely flat D-pillars, combines power and flowing elegance, and its design reflects these Audi quattro genes.

At a glance, the new show car is recognisably an Audi — with its athletic build, taut surfaces and sharp edges.

The prologue Avant picks up on the tradition of the extraordinary design and space concepts, for example, of the proto Avant from 1982, and re-interprets this design.

With a length of 5.11 metres, a wheelbase of 3.04 metres, a width of 1.97 metres and a height of 1.4 metres, the prologue Avant is a little larger than the two-door coupé Audi prologue. Four individual seats, four doors and a large tailgate round off the concept.

Also at Geneva, Citroën’s ambition to create a new brand, with its ‘DS’ nameplate, will take a step further with the introduction of the new DS 5.

New DS 5 additional features include the sculpted, vertical grille with the DS monogram in the centre, the Xenon full LED headlights, a new ‘touchdrive’ interface and a new range of high-performance engines.

The new DS 5 is said to maintain all the qualities for which it is already renowned.

These include exterior lines that defy convention, an exceptional interior and exterior design, with refinement in every detail, and the model’s characteristic ‘cockpit’ driving position.

While the new DS 5 will be unveiled at the Geneva Show, it will arrive in Irish showrooms next July.

Mercedes will unveil the Maybach Pullman, which will cost upwards of €500,000, and aim to set a new standard for chauffeur-driven limousines, when it goes on sale in 2016.

The car is 6.5 metres long — a full metre longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The original Pullman 600 gained notoriety in some circles as a “dictator ship”, because it proved so popular with leaders, including Uganda’s Idi Amin and Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu. Other fans included fashion diva Coco Chanel, rockstar Elvis Presley and a raft of German chancellors.

The new version is designed to allow high-level dignitaries to continue face-to-face discussions, thanks to a row of rear-facing seats.

It also features a glass partition wall, which can be lowered electronically to give passengers additional privacy from the driver. Daimler has not said how many of the vehicles it plans to produce.

More in this section

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up