Switzerland has long been neutral ground—and we’re not talking about politics. Because the country lacks its own auto industry, the annual Geneva International Motor Show—taking place March 3 through 13—is the perfect place for global automotive manufacturers to show off their goods on a level playing field. And many performance and luxury brands from Europe like Ferrari, Audi, and Aston Martin take full advantage. This year’s show promises to be packed with exciting new debuts, ranging from high-end production cars to limited-edition versions of designer performance brands. Here are the top 10 premieres (whether rumored or confirmed) that we are most excited to see.
1. 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR
Jaguar handed its F-Type sports car over to the company’s Special Vehicle Operations brand, and the result—a 200 mph performance version called the 2017 F-Type SVR—will make its debut at the 2016 Geneva show. Jaguar is mum about the technical specs, but it says the F-Type SVR will be lighter, faster, and more powerful while still retaining comfort for everyday, all-weather driving. Based on the teaser video Jaguar has released, expect design changes like a rear spoiler and modifications to the hood, front bumper, and wheels. After its premiere in Geneva, the F-Type SVR will go on sale sometime this summer, so stay tuned for more details.
2. Bugatti Chiron
The prototype of the Bugatti Chiron has already been spied in the wild, but the much-anticipated supercar is set to make its official public debut in Geneva. Named for legendary racing driver Louis Chiron, the supercar is currently undergoing final testing. Bugatti has already invited a lucky selection of customers to private previews of the car, and the company says the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, they’ve already taken more than 100 orders for the Chiron. Bugatti says the car will “set new standards in every respect,” so we look forward to seeing more once the car is unveiled in Geneva.
3. 2016 McLaren 650S GT3
The 2016 McLaren 650S GT3 has already proven itself as a force to be reckoned with; the racecar just completed the 2015 season for McLaren GT with wins on each of the four continents where it competed. Now, McLaren can’t wait to show it off at the Geneva motor show. The track car builds on the 12C GT3 and features optimum aerodynamics and refinement with its race-prepared 3.8-liter V-8 twin-turbo engine and carbon-fiber body. McLaren says the 650S GT3 will join other new models from the company at Geneva, so stay tuned to see what other surprises they have in store.
4. Ferrari GTC4Lusso
Ferrari is adding its own take on the Grand Tourer category with its sporty new four-seater—the GTC4Lusso. Perfect for drivers who want the flexibility to take a Ferrari from the streets to snowy mountain roads, the GTC4Lusso combines rear-wheel steering with four-wheel drive to give it optimum versatility. The 12-cylinder engine delivers an impressive 690 cv (about 680 hp) with vehicle dynamic controls to provide stability on wet, snowy, or low-grip roads. The design is like a muscular fastback, retaining a streamlined silhouette while still providing plenty of room for all four passengers.
5. Audi RS Q3 Performance
Audi is adding to its RS family by rolling out the new RS Q3 performance. The sleek, compact SUV has a 5-cylinder turbo engine that boasts increased horsepower (367 hp), higher top speed (167.8 mph), and a zero-to-60 time of just over 4 seconds. The RS Q3 performance can be distinguished from its counterparts by exclusive add-ons in a matte titanium-look finish, like the air inlets, diffuser, and roof rails. In addition, Audi will be offering an optional Ascari blue metallic paint finish unique to the RS Q3 performance. The base price in Germany will be 61,000 euros (about $68,000), and deliveries are scheduled to begin later this year.
6. Opel GT Concept
While Opel is not traditionally known for sports cars, the company hopes to win over new customers by presenting the new Opel GT concept at the Geneva show. Harkening back to the Opel Experimental GT concept from 1965 (the first concept car ever presented by a European automaker), the sporty new concept has a design that the company describes as “avant-garde yet puristic.” Door handles have been replaced with touchpads, and exterior mirrors have been excluded in favor of a camera-and-display system. While the performance specs may not quite fall in league with the other cars on this list of debuts (the 3-cylinder turbocharged engine achieves 145 hp and a zero-to-60 time of less than 8 seconds), the car’s futuristic design with bright-red accents and a glass panorama roof certainly venture into exciting new territory for Opel.
7. Pagani Huayra BC
Pagani’s Huayra supercar has certainly made a splash since it first debuted at the Geneva motor show in 2011. The 730 hp limited-edition car was restricted to a mere 100 units, in accordance with an agreement with Mercedes-AMG—who supplied the V-12 twin-turbo engine—yet it still made quite the impression. In addition to selling out, the supercar appeared in video games (the Need for Speed and Forza franchises), in film (Transformers: Age of Extinction), and on TV (the Huayra was named Top Gear’s “Hypercar of the Year 2012” after becoming the fastest road car to take on the Top Gear Test Track). On Facebook, Pagani has now teased a hardcore version that will reportedly be called the Pagani Huayra BC. The post didn’t reveal much other than a camouflaged version of the car, but automotive blogs are reporting that the BC will be even more limited with only 20 units going for $2.7 million apiece.
8. Spyker C8 Preliator
Spyker has gone through what CEO Victor R. Muller calls a “very rough patch” in the past few years, undergoing bankruptcy, litigation, and multiple moratoriums before merging with electric-aircraft manufacturer Volta Volare. Muller says business is healthy once again, and the company’s recent teaser for the Spyker C8 Preliator’s Geneva debut seems to support that claim. The car’s predecessor, the C8 Aileron, featured cues from aircraft propulsion as a nod to Spyker’s background in aircraft manufacturing, and the company’s merger with Volta Volare seems to indicate the same tradition will continue with the C8 Preliator. The teaser image reveals very little. But, based on the previous-generation C8 Aileron, we are expecting sleek aerodynamics, big horsepower, and a luxurious cabin.
9. Aston Martin DB11
Aston Martin announced a new DB11 nameplate back in September, but has yet to officially confirm technical and design details. Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer—whose “Second Century Plan” for new product development will kick off with the Aston Martin DB11—says the car will be central to the marque’s intention to transform its entire range of models. Car and Driver reports that Palmer recently confirmed the DB11 will be larger than the DB10, which was James Bond’s new ride in Spectre. There are plenty of spy photos and speculations circulating online, but we look forward to seeing the official details once the DB11 premieres in Geneva.
10. 2017 BMW M760i xDrive
BMW will be unveiling a performance version of its 7 Series luxury sedan: the new BMW M760i xDrive. The car will feature BMW’s first M Performance TwinPower Turbo 12-cylinder engine, which will achieve 600 hp and a zero-to-62 mph time of 3.9 seconds, according to preliminary figures. Much like its regular 7 Series siblings, the M760i xDrive will pack a host of performance and comfort features but can be distinguished from its siblings by Cerium Grey elements on the exterior—like new front air intakes, 20-inch M light-alloy wheels, and twin tailpipes. The cabin will feature M accents on the leather steering wheel, gearshift paddles, and pedals, as well as provide a new-generation Head-Up Display and iDrive with Gesture Control. Pricing will be announced closer to the M760i xDrive’s launch in early 2017.
- Source: Robb Report