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Geneva Motor Show: A ‘Car’nival in the Swiss Alps

Automakers from around the world gather in Geneva every year to showcase their best and upcoming wares. Here are the highlights

autos Updated: Mar 10, 2016 14:18 IST
Hormazd Sorabjee
Hormazd Sorabjee
Geneva Motor Show 2016,Hormazd Sorabjee,Bugatti Chiron
Bugatti Chiron: Blink and you miss it!(Autocar India photo)

Chocolates, cheese, the Alps, fancy knives and watches are things that might spring to mind when you mention Switzerland. And save for the infamously tight speed limits, automobiles aren’t really part of the picture at all. But boy can they put up a motor show! 2016 marked the 86th iteration of the Geneva motor show, which saw everything from small SUVs to hydrogen-fuelled supercar concepts. Here are the high-end highlights.

Bugatti Chiron

The new Bugatti Chiron, the successor to the original Veyron was the show stopper at the Geneva Motor Show. If the stunning design doesn’t blow you away, the stats certainly will. It generates a colossal 1,479bhp, can reach 100 kph in less than 2.5sec and has a top speed of 420kph. Driven at full throttle, the Chiron will empty its 100-litre fuel tank in eight minutes. But surely those will be eight minutes well spent!

The Chiron is the the most powerful road car to ever reach series production. Volumes are limited to 500 units and each Chiron will come at price that matches its extreme performance -- $2.9 million or about Rs 18 crore (and that’s without the import duty)!

Skoda Vision S

Skoda gave Geneva a preview of its upcoming Kodiaq seven-seat SUV with the Vision S concept. Designed by Jozef Kabaň, the same man who penned the Bugatti Veyron and the recently launched new Superb, it will be the flagship of Skoda’s SUV range, sitting above the Yeti. The massive concept SUV showcases a sleek exterior, and an interior with space and luxury on the same level as the Superb sedan, which will be highlight of the production SUV. It also hints at the design which will feature on all future Skoda SUVs.

The Vision S: Massive presence, and may be India-bound (Autocar India photo)

This will be a very important car for India, and the production SUV for our market will most likely use the tried and tested 2.0-litre diesel engine that’s in the Superb, Octavia and Yeti, among other VW Group cars. The Kodiaq will share its mechanicals with the Volkswagen Tiguan SUV, which is also destined for Indian showrooms not long from now. The big new Skoda will compete in the popular Rs 25-30 lakh SUV segment against the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Endeavour, so it already has its work cut out for it even before it’s launched.

Audi Q2

With SUVs of all shapes and sizes being the rage right now, it’s no wonder Audi wants to occupy every niche. The new Q2 is the smallest SUV in Audi’s range, smaller than even the Q3. Targeted at young urban drivers, the SUV’s stylish design, although distinctly Audi, is a marked departure from the traditionally straight-laced cars from the German manufacturer.

The Audi Q2: urban runabout (Autocar India photo)

The Q2 shares its underlying mechanicals with the A3 sedan, and while the base model will be a front-wheel drive, higher variants will get Quattro all-wheel-drive, along with goodies such as a 750-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument console. The Q2 is of particular relevance as Audi plans to launch the car in India. Given the burgeoning SUV market in our country, and the Q3’s success, the Q2 is likely to be a hot ticket in the entry-level luxury segment, and if assembled here, one of the most affordable luxury-brand cars altogether.

Porsche 718 Boxster

Porsche has given the Boxster a midlife update, and in the process added the ‘718’ moniker to its name. Like the 1950s race cars that used the 718 name, the new car will use four-cylinder engines, the standard model getting a 2.0-litre and the ‘S’ a 2.5-litre unit. Despite the downsizing, both engines are more powerful than the six-cylinder units they replace.

718 Boxter: Getting a midlife mojo (Autocar India photo)

With the new engines have also come subtle styling changes, and the car is all the more aggressive looking for them. Because the motors are now smaller than 3,000cc, they will have to be homologated for India, but one advantage is that they would also fall into a lower duty slab, which could make them slightly more ‘affordable’.

Lamborghini Centenario

This is Lamborghini’s way of saying ‘Happy 100th birthday’ to its founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini. With only 40 cars to be produced, the 759bhp Centenario joins Lamborghini’s exclusive and extravagant limited-production range, which includes the Reventón, the Sesto Elemento, and the Veneno.

The Lamborghini Centenario: Bladerunner (AP)

As ever, there are massive blades, scoops and intakes all around the bodywork, and some rather nifty yellow accents. Within the outrageous carbon-fibre body and chassis sits a beefed up version of the Aventador’s 6.5-litre V12. There are other new bits such as a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, but that’s hardly the highlight in a new Lamborghini, is it?

Pininfarina H2 Speed Concept

The acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover has given Tata some serious cachet in the Western World. However, as far as Indian firms grabbing headlines is concerned, it was Mahindra-acquired Pininfarina that turned heads at Geneva with its H2 Speed concept. The rocket-ship-like concept supercar from the Italian design studio looks like something straight out of Star Wars.

The H2 concept: H for Hydrogen (Autocar India photo)

The design house calls it the first high-performance hydrogen car, and thanks to 503bhp power plant and a lightweight carbon-fibre chassis, the H2 despatches the 0-100kph dash in 3.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 300kph. Dwarfed by the Bugatti, though

(In partnership with Autocar India)

First Published: Mar 10, 2016 14:17 IST