The 2019 Geneva Motor Show opens its doors to the public today, and as you might expect from Europe’s premier car show, the continent’s finest manufacturers are out in force. Sure, some big names have given it a miss – Ford and Jaguar among them – but there’s still plenty to get your teeth into.
So if you’re heading for the Swiss city’s Palexpo exhibition centre over the coming weeks, here are the things you really shouldn’t miss.
Alfa Romeo Tonale concept
The Stelvio wasn’t quite as pretty or as good to drive as we’d hoped, but Alfa clearly isn’t done with SUVs yet. The Tonale concept previews a compact SUV that’s a tad smaller than the Stelvio, but much sexier. It’s more high-tech, too, what with its plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Audi Q4 e-tron concept
Hot on the heels of Audi‘s first electric car, the Q4 e-tron is a battery-powered coupe-cum-SUV that’s set to arrive on sale in 2020. Little is known about the new model, but many of this concept car’s features should make production.
Seat’s purpose-built performance brand, Cupra, is already showing off its second model. The 296bhp Ateca was merely a tuned Seat, but the Formentor concept previews a completely standalone product. With a plug-in hybrid powertrain producing 241bhp, Cupra says the newcomer will “surpass performance expectations”.
Ferrari F8 Tributo
The 488 GTB had only been with us for a few years, but Ferrari has already facelifted its V8 supercar. And what a facelift. The F8 is stunning, and it comes with an even more incredible 710bhp V8 engine. The sprint to 62mph takes 2.9 seconds and the top speed is a howling 211mph.
Retro car design has worked well for Fiat. The new 500 sells like piping panettone, and the 124 Spider has earned plenty of admiring glances. So it only seems right that the brand should look to the past for more inspiration. And it’s come up with this. Celebrating the brand’s 120th anniversary, it’s a highly customisable electric car with up to 310 miles of range.
Unless you’re an avid fan of the BTCC and its lengthy TV coverage, you probably won’t have heard of Ginetta. But the Yorkshire-based firm has pinned itself firmly on to the automotive map with the Akula supercar. The £340,000 car weighs just 940kg, while power – all 575bhp of it – comes from a 6.0-litre V8.
Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake
Some say estates are no longer as desirable as SUVs, but we thought the old CLA Shooting Brake was Mercedes‘ sexiest five-seat car. The new one, though, is even sexier. It gets its front end and interior from an A-Class, but the sweeping yet practical rear end is all its own work.
No, the Peugeot 208 has never been an especially exciting car, but this new version is promising big things. First of all, there’s the 508-inspired styling, then there’s the updated interior that’s rammed with clever tech. The highlight, though, is the e-208 – an electric version with a 211-mile range.
With 1,874 bhp, the Battista is the most powerful road car ever to come out of Italy. And with a 0-62 mph time of less than two seconds, it’s also one of the fastest. But under that gorgeous bodywork beats not a heart of V12 fury, but a near-silent, planet-friendly electric motor. Pininfarina says it’s the “first electric car to truly fall in love with”.
Volvo’s former performance nametag, Polestar, is now a brand all of its own, ostensibly building electric cars. The Polestar 1 may have been a hybrid coupe, but the difficult second album is a pure-electric fastback to rival Tesla’s Model 3.
Honey, I shrunk the Megane. With the Twingo scythed from the Renault range, the Clio is now the littlest model in the French brand’s line-up, yet still it channels the Golf-rivalling Megane. More grown-up styling and extra on-board tech comprise the main highlights.
Skoda’s are deeply uncool, right? Wrong. The Czech manufacturer has quietly produced some stellar cars over the past few years, and if looks are anything to go by, this will be yet another. A rival to the VW Golf and Peugeot 308, the newcomer is built on a stretched version of the MQB A0 platform that underpins the Seat Ibiza.