Geneva genuflects for magnificent auto specimens

It’s the show that affords carmakers the opportunity to pull out all the stops.

Geneva genuflects for magnificent auto specimens

And in Geneva next week, the most thrilling among the luxury debuts will be key entries from Ferrari, McLaren, Pagani, and Lamborghini.

Ferrari will show the 812 Superfast, a long-awaited successor to the Ferrari F12. The 812 Superfast is a front-engined, 6.5-litre, V12 berlinetta with 789bhp and 530lb feet of torque. It will be able to hit 60mph (96kph) in less than 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 211mph. This makes it Ferrari’s fastest and most powerful berlinetta ever.

McLaren will offer the second-generation car to its McLaren Super Series line, a 720 S that has provided the bulk of its recent, large sales success. The update will be a perfectly balanced supercar with “exceptional stopping power,” a spokesman said, and will be able to brake from 124mph to a dead standstill in just over four seconds.

Pagani, the little-known Italian carmaker, will show the new Huayra Roadster. Most examples of the €2.28m drop-top have already sold, but for those interested in the few that are left, the model has a 6.0-litre, twin-turbo, V12 engine that gets 745bhp and 738lb-feet of torque. The hypercar has a seven-speed gearbox and electric differentials that push power through its rear wheels.

Lamborghini will show off a new Huracan variant, which is like a Huracan injected with steroids to make it harder, faster, and stronger. We can expect it to carry a lot of the forged carbon fibre effects and steel-rod stiff suspension Lambo has pioneered in recent years.

Spy shots show the Performante with a huge rear wing and a super-aggressive front-splitter; the unveil will come early at the show.

Elsewhere, Bentley will bring its Continental Supersports, the most powerful Bentley to date. Rolls-Royce will bring its full line of ‘fashion’ Dawns, plus the Fashion Wraith. And Aston Martin will show the latest Vanquish S, AM-RB 001 special demonstration car made by Aston and Red Bull, as well as a Q by Aston Martin car, which shows off the bespoke capabilities available on any Aston Martin car.

The Q Collection has exclusive trim and finishes available to select buyers, including diamond-turned spokes and exotic woods and specific leathers for the interior.

The other big news in Geneva comes as no surprise: luxury SUVs. It’s not a surprise because the SUV and Crossover segment dominates the world’s largest markets, especially in north America and Asia. The two most notable debuts come from Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.

Range Rover Velar
Range Rover Velar

Land Rover will show the Range Rover Velar the first crossover from the British brand since it introduced the smaller Evoque in 2011; it’s the fourth Range Rover to enter the current market. Velar will fill the space between the entry-level Range Rover Evoque and the higher-end Range Rover Sport.

Rover has yet to divulge exact details about the glass-roofed crossover, but it’s likely to come with turbo-charged four- and six-cylinder variants, with a possible special edition V8. Potential competitors include the Porsche Macan and BMW X6. On the other end of the SUV spectrum, Mercedes is showing its shocking new G650 Landaulet, a tycoon-worthy G Wagon with a power-operated ragtop at the back that turns the 4x4 into a truck-convertible hybrid monster.

The rig comes with a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 engine that gets 621bhp and 738lb feet of torque.

Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, and their compatriots will emphasise sustainable mobility via all-electric and plug-in cars, plus myriad options to model variants that already exist.

Audi will show a 400-horsepower RS3 Sportback and potentially, a RS Q8, which would be the high- performance version of the vehicle it showed in Detroit.

BMW will highlight the European introduction o f the 5-Series line we saw in Detroit, plus a 4 Series updated with design, chassis, and equipment enhancements, as well as introduce the 5 Series sport wagon. It’ll also show the “Protonic Frozen Black Edition” of the i8 plug-in hybrid.

Jaguar will show the newest model years of the F-Pace, XE, and XF, each with updated engine technology, additional safety features, and interior comforts.

Lexus will show the LS 500h Hybrid, a more economical version of the brand’s flagship sedan and a potential competitor to the Tesla Model S.

In fact, early renderings of the car show that it looks elegant and modern — the best-looking Lexus to emerge in years. The hybrid is the alternative powertrain option for the car, which also comes in a 3.5-litre, twin- turbocharged V6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Mercedes, in addition to that Landaulet, will stage the world premiere of its significantly updated E-Class Cabriolet, a generous, four-seat convertible that will compete with similar offerings from BMW and Audi.

Mercedes will also show four new AMG models: the E63 S Wagon, AMG GT C Roadster ‘Edition 50’, C63 S Cabriolet ‘Ocean Blue Edition’, and AMG Performance Studio Package-equipped C43 Coupe.

Porsche has declined to say what it will bring, other than to confirm a major facelift to the latest 911 GT3. Similarly, Volvo says it will show the XC60 SUV but has declined to offer details.

It needs to save some hype for the show. Stay tuned.

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