Steve Cropley examines a busy Geneva press day - plus all the new cars from 2019’s largest European motor show
6 March 2019

Welcome to Autocar’s extended coverage of the Geneva motor show, one of Europe’s premier motoring events and the stage for a long list of new car debuts.

Geneva is an institution, having been held annually for more than 100 years. It has always been held up alongside Frankfurt as a priority show for manufacturers looking to unveil their latest concepts and production models for the first time.

Unlike the exodus of last year's Paris motor show, there were only a few big names that wouldn't be appearing with new models in Switzerland this year, with Ford and Jaguar Land Rover being the most prominent no-shows.

That still left plenty of manufacturers primed to reveal new metal, and we’re here to bring you every single one. Matt Prior, Jim Holder, Mark Tisshaw, Rachel Burgess and Lawrence Allan are on the ground in Switzerland, while James Attwood, Tom Morgan and Felix Page are supporting from the UK.

Geneva motor show 2019: Full show report

Well, we knew from the start this show would be about ever more practical and enticing electric cars, and about older school supercar manufacturers starting to fight for their relevance. They’re not in trouble, mind. Far from it.

But there was the definite overtone in Switzerland this week that they’ll be the place where a spare-me-that-electric-nonsense attitude lasts longest among customers.

As McLaren’s Mike Flewitt told Autocar recently, customers never ask Woking for electric supercars, even though they’ll be getting hybrids soon, and all-electric McLaren models are definitely on the agenda. For now, McLaren revealed news of a more spacious but conventionally power “even more considered” Grand Tourer car later this year.

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Aston Martin showed how electrification will flow into the upper echelons with its spectacular, battery-only Lagonda All-Terrain Concept. In an outlandish display of ambition it also had the four-wheel-drive, limited edition hybrid AM-RB 003 ‘son of Valkyrie’ and the two-wheel-drive hybrid Vanquish Vision (whose styling some of us preferred), the latter intended to take on whatever the Ferrari mid-engined offering has become by 2022.

There’s an air of profound impatience at Aston, driven to some extent by bearish forecasts of its share price trajectory in some financial media. The will to ‘prove ‘em wrong’ is strong indeed. Here and now, the best-known Italian supercar makers did what they do: Lamborghini cut the top off two V12 models to create the Huracan Evo Spyder and Aventador SVJ Roadster, while Ferrari did a relatively light refresh of the 488 and called it the F8 Tributo.

A French firm but with Italian supercar sensibilities, Bugatti (almost predictably) stretched our already overloaded capacity for amazement by showing the £14m ‘Voiture Noire’, a one-off coupe modelled on the mid-‘30s Type 57 Atlantic and rumoured to be for VW patriarch, Ferdinand Piech, though in familiar Piech style the matter wasn’t quite confirmed.

More supercars? Leeds-based millionaire engineer Lawrence Tomlinson unwrapped his track-based front mid-engined supercar and named it Akula. That’s the Russian word for shark — and a name so cool and well-aimed that we all wondered how the platoons of nomenclature experts who get drafted in to name Fords, Volkswagens and Peugeots could possibly have missed it.

In such an electric production car arena, it was fitting that the Jaguar I-Pace should have been voted Car of the Year (with the help and approval of our Matt Prior and Andrew Frankel). However it was rather ironic that Jaguar Land Rover failed to front as an exhibitor at this show because (like Ford and Volvo, among others) they were saving money.

Jagular Land Rover boss Ralf Speth and Tata patriarch Ratan Tata soon appeared at the Palexpo, though, walking jauntily about looking at other people’s cars and sporting wider grins than they’ve done for some time.

Electric concepts, the type aimed at users of conventional cars, were everywhere. One of the best-looking was Kia’s beautiful Imagine saloon, designed in their Frankfurt studio, which simply looked too good to be left as a mere good idea. One Kia representative archly pointed out that every one of the company’s recent concepts had “meant something”, which bodes well.

Skoda showed similar intent with their Vision iV crossover coupe which (apart from its 22-inch wheels) looked good enough to drive home. Polestar, Volvo’s all-electric associate, had a triumphant showing for its superb Polestar 2, CEO and chief designer Thomas Ingenlath on hand to take deserved plaudits.

Small electric cars were also plentiful. There was a new Renault Clio (the model is now 30 years old) and Peugeot’s all-important 208 drew expected inspiration from the legendary 205. It was lauded for its all-electric version (on a platform that will also be used by Vauxhall and Citroën) that at last brings more truly compact cars into the pure electric arena.

Geneva had offerings smaller than that, too: Fiat’s ABC (for Affordable But Cool) concept called Centoventi presaged a cute-looking electric city car, and Citroën had a tiny two-seat Ami One, intended even for unlicensed drivers, which they promised would eventually have a commercial purpose.

Among unlikely events, 110-year old Morgan produced the most extraordinary. It accompanied the launch of its highly promising Plus Six with bombshell news that the Morgan family was selling a majority interest in the company to Investindustrial, the Italian private equity company that acquired a stake in Aston Martin over a decade ago and has recently recovered its cash (while maintaining much of its stake) in a flotation.

Taking in investors seemed logical for Morgan, but selling control after a century was a big shock. Company insiders seemed overjoyed; let’s hope the joy can continue.

In all, Geneva 2019 was as lively and as creative as ever, the energy and ambition of the smaller companies more than making up for the non-appearance of a few giants.

True, there were some embarrassingly large ‘coffee spaces’ in places where major manufacturers have previously been, but there was certainly no lack of great stuff to see and discuss.

As Aston Martin’s Andy Palmer put it, “companies like ours will always need a big stage.” This year, they made the most of it.

Geneva motor show 2019: Live blog

19:00 Tuesday 5th March

The show floor has emptied for the evening - but we'll be back tomorrow morning with a full show report, and the Autocar team will each be picking their own personal star car of Geneva 2019. 

17:00 Tuesday 5th March

Outgoing Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche emphatically refused an opportunity to brand the current automotive scene as the worst he had experienced - despite troubles in China, Brexit, encroaching clean air laws, Dieselgate, the jailing of his friend Carlos Ghosn and all the rest. Zetsche said he felt sorry for Ghosn, but despite the fact that there were “challenges - and not all pleasant” he believed things could be a lot worse.

There were quite a number of clouds on the horizon, he said, but no major thunderstorms. “It seems that Brexit, which I regard as unfortunate, may not happen in its worst form. Looking forward, we have the use of new technologies we once would have regarded as pure science fiction. Europe’s GDP looks like expanding for the 11th successive year, and is running around 3%. The commercial vehicle business is having one of its best ever years.”

Zetsche noted, however, that though new technologies offered new opportunities, the only way forward was to “develop, change and invest”. A view of the future was provided, he said, by Daimler’s recent cooperative deals with arch-rival BMW in ways that would not dilute the brand. “If you do not invest”, he said, “the challenges you face are huge.”

16:30 Tuesday 5th March

Seat boss Luca de Meo says the firm's Twizy-esque Minimo concept could show the way towards one solution for profitable production of small cars in future. Highlighting the firm's slender to non-existent margins on the Mii city car, he said: "Would you take a 747 from Manchester to London? Of course not. If you want to drive three miles a Mii is pretty over-engineered, and the Minimo might be a better solution - for you, if you only pay per kilometre of your journey, and for me because I might get more value from the car than I currently do with a Mii."

Mitsubishi COO Trevor Mann says the firm is still working on a solution to create a next-generation Shogun. "It's a heart versus mind debate, and we're letting the minds try to find the solution that our hearts want," he said. "On the negative side there are the costs of developing a 4x4, the environmental pressures of doing so and the fact that it is a shrinking marketplace. But, despite that, our hearts want it to happen and we're still looking for solutions."

There’s nothing new for Dacia at the show - all the focus is on the adjacent Renault Clio, but Dacia was the quiet star in Europe last year, growing by 10% in a tricky market. Europe boss Jean-Christophe Kugler said there’s even more room for growth, and that the only limiting factor is production capacity. Still no plans for more models, though.

16:00 Tuesday 5th March

Polestar boss Thomas ingenlath professes that he’s delighted with the reception to the Polestar 2 saloon-hatch, revealed a few days ago. “This is one of those cars that looks much better when you see it for real” he says, “and the people who have come to see it seem to agree.” The car will go to Shanghai, then on roadshow tours of China, Europe and the US in the succeeding couple of months. Orders are being taken now, and Ingenlath aims for first European deliveries in May next year, or maybe a little sooner. In UK there will be a network of Polestar centres, and not one “a shop within a shop” basis at Volvo dealers.

One hidden gem on the VW stand is a new V8 diesel-powered Touareg. Not destined for the UK (at least not yet), it's likely to be a swansong for V8 diesels in VWs, and sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann hopes it'll become as sought after as the old V10 diesel Touareg. The V10 was considered mighty when it launched with its 750nm of torque; the new V8 gets 900nm and hardly an eyelid is batted.

Subaru used Geneva to debut its Viziv Adrenaline concept, a rugged off-roader that hints towards a forthcoming XV replacement - although in typical Subaru form, it is less of a preview of things to come and more a barometer of forthcoming trends. 

15:00 Tuesday 5th March

McLaren CEO is on fine form in Geneva, as well he might be after another record-breaking year for the firm. He's predicting another year of steady growth from the firm, up from 4800 sales in 2018 but still below 5000. He then expects to breach that landmark in 2020, ahead of growing to around 6000 annual sales early in the new decade. "It won't be driven by new model lines necessarily, but more growing markets such as Russia, India and South America," said Flewitt. "It's a good figure to aim at, and if we hit it then we'll generate the profits we need to keep reinvesting in exciting new products."

More details slowly seeping out of Honda regarding the e prototype. It's expected to have around 100bhp when it reaches production, and has already seen interest from as many as 15,000 potential customers. Not bad for a car that's not even officially on sale yet.

By the far the biggest crowd of the day Rachel Burgess saw was around the new Alfa Romeo Tonale. "It was last June when all the FCA brands laid out their strategy, but it wasn't until today that we've seen it come to fruition. If Alfa can nail the Tonale, it will go a long way to making them a profitable company, able to take on those far more established in the compact SUV market."

14:30 Tuesday 5th March

Here’s the 6.0 billet block, normally aspirated 600hp V8 from the freshly-named Ginetta Akula. Out in public for the first time, it looks amazingly small. Lawrence Tomlinson justly proud of own design throttle bodies - but the whole thing’s amazing.

Want to know who's bought the one-off Bugatti La Voiture Noire? Boss Stephan Winkelmann won't say, but did reveal he has "a list" of people who they know will be interested in such limited cars. And the first person he called, bought it. Given the average Bugatti owner owns around 30 cars, don't expect it to be used as a daily driver. The company has just about made money on the project, but the PR impact is as great as a series production car launch at least initially, said Winkelmann, making such cars well worth doing.

Elsewhere, there's no word yet from VW about whether or not Ford will be one of the partners it craves to share its MEB architecture to help with the cost burden, so says sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann. Instead, the company is starting out with some low volume partnerships such as that with e.Go to quickly get some numbers involved, given that such deals are inherently easier to conclude than with a huge multi-national.

13:30 Tuesday 5th March

Italdesign previewed an upcoming four-seater grand tourer with the DaVinci concept. The car itself will not go into production, but will act as a platform for other brands to adopt and tweak with their own powertrain. It's been primarily designed as an EV, but could be adapted to accept a conventional powertrain.

Morgan announced some business news as well as a new car this morning, revealing it had recieved major investment from Italian venture capitalist Investindustrial. The Morgan family will retain a share of the 110-year old company.

Electric hypercars might be stealing headlines at this year's show, but Koenigsegg's Jesko relies on an old-fashioned V8 to produce as much as 1578bhp. It has developed a unique nine-speed wet clutch automatic gearbox that doesn't need to pre-select gears like a traditional setup, and is targeting a 300mph top speed.

12:45 Tuesday 5th March

Breakding news from the Mazda stand, as the company announces the CX-30 compact crossover. It will sit between the CX-3 and CX-5 when it goes on sale later this year, with a design influenced by the Mazda 3 hatchback. It will also use Mazda's innovative Skyactiv-X compression ignition engines.

Porsche UK boss Marcus Eckermann says the car maker's order book is strong, despite it's recent decision to inform customers of a potential 10% price rise in the fact of a hard Brexit. "We took the decision to inform the customer beforehand. All of the customers appreciate the open communication."

And here's our Editorial Director Jim Holder in the limelight again. Everyone wants to know what industry-leading news we have:

12:15 Tuesday 5th March

The Porsche press conference today focused on the 911 4S Cabriolet, but near the end CEO Oliver Blume didn't miss an opportunity to remind us the Taycan is coming in September. Porsche UK boss Marcus Eckermann tells us that when the Taycan launches, it will offer Porsche-branded fast-charging stations at so-called destinations, likely to be hotels, shopping centres and so on. Porsche will also tap into the Ionity network, part-funded by the VW Group, but said it would also have its own charging points. These will, however, be open to other electric car brands to use, too.

Mitsubishi used its Geneva reveal to show off the Engelburg Tourer, a plug-in hybrid concept crossover that serves as a preview to the four-wheel drive powertrain likely to replace the one currently used in the Outlander PHEV.

Werner Tietz, Bentley's board member in charge of engineering, reckons he's joined the firm "at perhaps the most interesting time in its history". Working with new boss Adrian Hallmark and refreshed leadership team, Tietz is helping shape the firm's future, with a particular focus on trying to map out how it will transition into electrified propulsion. "It's not certain how far the technology will go, or where it takes us, so we have some big decisions to make," he said. Although Tietz wouldn't confirm it, rumours suggest that the British luxury brand will time any announcements about future models around its 100th anniversary, this June.

11:30 Tuesday 5th March

Underlining its commitment to electro-mobility in a not-so-subtle way, Audi has declared its stand here in Geneva won't have any purely combustion engined cars on display. It's a remarkably effective way of making clear its future intentions, although the time the transition from reveal here today to the cars being on the streets in decent numbers is moot. Audi E-tron SUV deliveries are set to begin shortly, but customer supply is limited while production ramps up. Meanwhile, the E-tron Sportback - here in camouflage - will be revealed late in 2019, while the Q4 E-tron will reach production, with a few detailed design changes, late in 2020. For now, then, focus on the host of plug-in hybrids that have been unveiled.

Rachel Burgess just ran into Jaguar design boss Ian Callum, being bombarded with congratulations on yesterday’s COTy win for the I-Pace. He admitted his head felt a bit “fuzzy” after celebrations.

Elsewhere, Lawrence Allan thinks Mansory almost seems to be actively trolling people at Geneva this year. "Plenty registering their disgust on social media at the bizarre modifications on display. But there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?"

11:15 Tuesday 5th March

And the FCA group reveals keep on coming. Fiat's Centoventi EV concept is a preview of the next Panda, with between 62 and 310 miles of electric range depending on how many batteries you opt for at the point of purchase. Fiat boss Olivier Francois called it a "Model T in an iPhone case", as you'll only be able to buy it in a single colour.

Citroen’s 30mph urban electric car, Ami One, will “definitely have a real future” according to senior Vice President in charge of marketing and communications, Arnaud Boloni. Boloni notes that in the past some Citroen concepts have not led to anything real, but this will be different In recent times the company has been stressing the innovation and design inspiration of its past, notably cars like 2CV. As 2CV was the provider of simple country transport, so Ami One will be presented as a vehicle for simple urban transport. Boloni and Citroen believe there will continue to be a case and a demand for simple personal transport as urbanisation gathers way.

Meanwhile, Rachel Burgess is a big fan of the Honda e Prototype’s interior. "Honda UK boss Dave Hodgetts was telling me last night that the car will essentially be top of the Honda range in terms of standard kit and tech, and looking at it up close, I can understand why."

11:00 Tuesday 5th March

Comfortably one of the most popular stories on the Autocar website this morning, Alfa Romeo surprised Geneva with the Tonale compact SUV concept. It's a plug-in hybrid that will sit beneath the Stelvio, and is apparently a priority for new boss Mike Manley. The styling is signature Alfa, and the hybrid powertrain will apparently 'enhance the driving experience' rather than merely help the brand meet emissions targets.

Has electrification gone from being the future to the present? “With pretty much every major model debut at this year’s show featuring electrified technology one way or the other, the tipping point is being reached if we’re not there already” says editor Mark Tisshaw.

You can ‘pre order’ one of Honda’s e electric city cars from summer in selected UK markets, and get one delivered in early 2020. Packaged by the team that did Jazz, so they ‘get’ small cars. Production car will look like this. Lovely, simple modern interior, reckons Steve Cropley. Looks very fresh because it’s small… 

10:15 Tuesday 5th March

Three major announcements just in from Aston Martin: the Vanquish will be reborn as a mid-engined supercar to challenge Ferrari's F8 Tributo, the Lagonda SUV concept will make production in 2022, and the AM-RB 003 hypercar is the second model to emerge from the brand's tie-up with Red Bull racing.

09:30 Tuesday 5th March

Big news out of McLaren this morning as it confirms it is working on a grand tourer, with plans to launch later this year. It will be the fourth car under the company's Track25 business plan, and has been heavily linked to the three-seater Speedtail.

Many a muttering from PR teams at car makers based in Britain today about how many Brexit questions they will face - and how many ways their chiefs will find to answer a question they (like everyone else) have no answers to. Rumour has it that one set of manufacturers' show staff have even started a sweepstake on how many times the B-word is mentioned in interviews. Most have plumped for numbers in the hundreds, but one cynic has gone big and slipped in an answer in the low thousands. It's going to be a long day if he's right...

Rachel Burgess got a first chance to see the Pininfarina Battisa in the metal. "Fascinated to see if one of the most famous design houses in the world can hold its own against the big players in the world of supercars."

09:00 Tuesday 5th March

Here’s our very own Steve Cropley talking to Mate Rimac, the man behind Rimac, the impressive Croatian super car maker and supplier. Last year, Porsche took a stake in it which shows quite how serious this set-up is.

Mercedes revealed the CLA Shooting Brake this morning, borrowing its sharply styled front end from the CLA compact saloon and a sloping tailgate that Merc hopes will appeal to younger buyers. Apparently the last-gen model was a big hit with an age bracket that didn't traditionally buy estate cars. It will go on sale in the UK in September, three months after the standard CLA.

Want one of the new range of electric cars? Don’t count on it this year, says Jim Holder, for every electric car sold by car makers in 2019 will actually count against them from 2020 when crunch time for this round of CO2 reduction targets. Car makers will not be handed ‘super credits’ to stop financial penalties for cars sold over CO2 limits this year, but will do for next. Audi’s E-Tron is one you’ll struggle to get hold of, for example, why the Hyundai Kona Electric is now effectively off sale until 2020.

08:30 Tuesday 5th March

Rachel Burgess has unintentionally become trapped in the Porsche interview area having just done an interview - which at least means we get this cool view of the Porsche press conference unfolding. Here’s boss Oliver Blume addressing the crowd.

Bugatti has claimed the 'most expensive car at Geneva' title with its La Voiture Noire - a €11 million one-off based on the Chiron and inspired by the brand's Type 57 SC Atlantic. Don't go rushing to the bank, though: the one of a kind car has already been sold.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Allan has dropped by the Polestar stand to get a closer look at the Polestar 2. "It's an extremely convincing Tesla Model 3 rival - perhaps the most exciting EV yet at the £50k and below price point. Exterior design is well-resolved, interior feels as well-assembled as a high-end Volvo. Expect big things from this car."

08:00 Tuesday 5th March

Audi held the first big press conference of the morning, with the focus firmly on electrified cars. The highlight was the Q4 E-tron concept, a preview of a more mainstream EV SUV due to arrive next year. With looks inspired by the larger, more premium E-tron and a promised range of 280 miles, it looks to be Audi's biggest play for electric car buyers yet.

Funny how things change. Just a year ago, Land Rover was unveiling its most expensive and exclusive vehicle yet, the near quarter of a million pounds Range Rover SV Coupe. A year on, the car has been cancelled and Land Rover isn’t at the Geneva show. With no-one else taking over JLR’s show floorspace, the organisers have just bunged in a coffee shop...

07:15 Tuesday 5th March

Fiat's city car concept is a few hours away from reveal, but even under cover we can see it's a clear hint at the next Panda. Do those vertical grille slats remind you of anything?

"The boss of e.Go, Gunther Schuh, is certainly a character and a great talker, with the kind of infectious personality, charm and conviction in what he says to make you want him to succeed," says Mark Tisshaw. "Don't take my word for it, take Hans Stuck, who interrupted Schuh and my chat last night. Impressed, Hans? "People like that [Schuh] we need. They stand for an idea, they are people who move things."

06:45 Tuesday 5th March

Geneva officially opens its doors today. We are at the venue bright and early to see the stands before they get busy - and to spy any surprise reveals. Among the biggest will be Alfa Romeo's unannounced SUV, which is expected to be called 'Tonale', but the three covered cars on Aston Martin's stand look equally exciting...

Morgan was among the first brands to announce new metal this morning, revealing the Plus Six - the marque's first all-new car in 19 years. It uses a brand new aluminium platform, and eschews V8 power for a BMW-sourced turbo inline six, but promises to be the fastest Morgan ever built. And of course, it retains the signature 1930s-inspired styling, albeit with some modern additions like a digital display on the instrument panel and an automatic gearbox.

21:00 Monday 4th March

“While Volkswagen Group preview nights on the eve of motor shows used to be horn-tooting affairs showing off the strength of the group and its brands, they now take a more humble tone," says editor Mark Tisshaw. "This year, the new Buggy concept (looks great, huh?) was driven on stage, and then Group boss Herbert Diess spoke with Gunther Schuh, CEO of EV start-up e.Go in front of it as it was announced e.Go was the first to licence the use of the MEB electric platform. And then it was done, three walls of the room lifting at once to reveal seven more cars from seven other VW Group brands without any introduction, explanation or fanfare. From one extreme to the other, but good on VW for dropping the boastful tone.”

There are multiple reasons why VW wants other firms to make their own electric buggies - and it's not just to find another way to make money on the MEB electric platform. James Attwood digs a little deeper to see what other benefits Volkswagen sees in recruiting partners for its skateboard chassis.

20:00 Monday 4th March

Bentley celebrated its 100th anniversary tonight with the Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner, a mouthful of a special edition Conti with a design meant to echo the 4 1/2 litre blower that raced at Le Mans in 1930. Only 100 will be made, and each one will contain a piece of wood taken from the race car driven by Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin. If you're looking for exclusive, this certainly ticks all the boxes.

The VW Group hasn't had the evening to itself, mind. Pininfarina showed off its Battista EV hypercar for the first time, declaring it the "fastest road-legal car ever built in Italy". With an electric powertrain shared with the Rimac C_Two, that's capable of delivering up to 1900 horsepower, we're not in a position to disagree.

19:45 Monday 4th March

There’s no Skoda car at the Volkswagen Group night tonight - and you couldn’t make up why. Czech sources say two separate trucks bringing the firm’s new Vision iV concept to the show from Skoda HQ broke down, the second one having gone to rescue the stricken concept from the first, before a third then got pulled by the Swiss authorities. By which point, it was too late to make it to the show preview evening. It’ll be there tomorrow. Definitely. Probably.

VW's stunning ID Buggy did make an appearance, though - with the chairman of new MEB platform partner E.Go in the passenger seat. Günther Schuh, who has been described as a “mix between Elon Musk and Juergen Klopp”, said “it’s not that complicated to build an electric car but it is difficult to build an affordable electric car. But an electric car must be emotion, not just rational. It’s not rational to have a buggy, but you want one and can’t live without one when you’ve had one.”

19:30 Monday 4th March

The Volkswagen group night kicked off with some words by VW boss Herbert Diess, who confirmed the ID Buzz has been signed off for production. The decision was made a “few nights ago”, said Diess. It’s the fourth member of the ID family signed off after a hatchback, SUV and saloon.

A rush of last-minute teasers have got Autocar's Twitter followers salivating over the prospect of a new Fiat Panda being revealed tomorrow, albeit in concept form, and the still-yet-to-be-confirmed Alfa Romeo SUV. Spy pics of Alfa's stand suggest it will be called Tonale, but we'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

Meanwhile, Renault has released more details on the fifth-generation Clio, which is also getting an official reveal tomorrow morning. It's the most advanced Clio yet, with a more upmarket interior and new Renaultsport-inspired R.S. line trim option.

18:00 Monday 4th March

As is tradition, Geneva kicked off with Volkswagen's group night, a pre-show party with unveils from all of VW's brands. Leading the charge was the 759bhp Aventador SVJ Roadster, an open-top version of Lamborghini's track-focused supercar. The limited-run model uses the same V12 naturally aspirated engine as its coupé sibling, and a removable carbonfibre roof that can be stowed under the bonnet when the mood takes you.

Skoda wasn't far behind, announcing the very yellow Vision iV concept. The Kodiaq-sized coupé-crossover promises a 310 mile electric range, all-wheel drive and a minimal yet tech-filled interior. According to Skoda, it's much closer to a production model than previous concepts, too.

16:30 Monday 4th March

Geneva has been the home of European Car of the Year awards since 2012, with the overall winner revealed the day before press day. This year was no exception, with an unprecedented two-way tie for first place. Jaguar’s I-Pace and the Alpine A110 both earned the same number of points from the panel of judges, but it was the I-Pace that took the overall crown based on how many judges had given it a first-place vote. Autocar’s own Matt Prior was on the judging panel, and explains his voting rationale here.

Elsewhere, electric car fans are eagerly awaiting Honda’s e, the former Urban EV concept car, which is expected to be on display at Geneva.  But it has also got Jim Holder wondering: are cars getting better - or is technology dulling their verve?

16:00 Monday 4th March

The doors don’t officially open until tomorrow, but we’ve had early access to the show floor for a first look at some of the stands. Not everything is under cover, either: the Polestar 2 had a premium location on Polestar’s stand. The Tesla Model 3 rival is expected to deliver a 0-62mph time of “less than five seconds” from its 402bhp electric motors when it arrives in early 2020.

Peugeot Sport Engineering made its presence felt too, with the 310bhp, 508-based concept lurking beneath a giant statue of the brand’s signature lion mascot. The petrol electric hybrid uses four-wheel drive to achieve 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, and can manage 31 miles of EV-only driving.

Geneva motor show: What’s on display

Aston Martin Lagonda all-terrain concept

We were anticipating a few surprises from Aston Martin at Geneva this year, and the first to be announced came from its newly revived luxury sister brand, Lagonda.

The second model in the range to be revealed, the All-Terrain concept previews a production SUV to rival the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It will be electric and closely related to the Vision saloon of last year. 

Aston Martin's Lagonda SUV concept to make production in 2022

Aston Martin AM-RB 003 hypercar

Red Bull and Aston Martin's third project, previously rumoured as the 'Son of Valkyrie',  gained an official name at its Geneva reveal: AM-RB 003.

It will follow the limited-run, 100bhp Valkyrie and track-prepped Valkyrie AMR Pro with a brand-new, Aston-developed V6 petrol engine targeting 1000bhp, with help from a hybrid electric system. With a carbon tub, it will aim to eclipse the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1

Aston Martin launches new AM-RB 003 hypercar

Aston Martin Vision Vanquish

The last of Aston's three reveals is perhaps the most exciting: the Vision Vanquish is a preview of a mid-engined Ferrari F8 Tributo rival set to go into production in 2022. Already in development for two years, the car brings back the Vanquish name and will use a downsized V6 engine built by Aston Martin itself. 

Vanquish Vision heads up trio of new Aston Martin concepts

Audi Q4 E-tron

The expansion of Audi’s E-tron range of electric vehicles continues, as the brand has revealed the Q4 E-tron compact SUV concept. 

It will act as a direct preview of the upcoming Q4, which has been spotted in testing already, and takes design inspiration from the more high-end E-tron SUV. The interior highlights elements taken from the existing Q3 compact SUV.

Audi reveals Q4 e-tron electric SUV ahead of 2020 sale

Audi plug-in hybrid line-up

Alongside its electric SUV concept, Audi will present a range of four new plug-in hybrid models.

The Q5, A6, A7 and A8 models receive the new TFSI e powertrain. All are capable of 25 miles electric-only range and producing 295bhp in entry-level 50 TFSI e ‘comfort’ form, except the A8 which puts out 443bhp with the aid of a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. 

New Audi Q5, A6, A7 and A8 plug-in hybrids revealed

Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition

Bentley announced a historic racing-inspired special edition Continental GT at the pre-show VW group night. The Number 9 Edition by Mulliner harks back to the 1930s 'Blower' Bentley that raced at Le Mans with a bespoke colour scheme, number 9 imprinted on the front grille, and a wooden interior trim centrepiece made from the actual car raced by Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin. Only 100 will be made.

Bentley marks 100th anniversary with Continental GT Number 9 Edition

Bentley Bentayga Speed

A top speed of 190mph and 0-62mph time of 3.9sec are performance figures that only the most hardcore supercars would achieve twenty years ago. Now, the near-200mph mark is the stomping ground of Bentley's aptly-named Bentayga Speed SUV. 

Weighing in at around 2.5 tonnes, the 626bhp Bentayga Speed uses a tuned version of the standard model's 6.0-litre W12 engine to surpass the top speed of the Lamborghini Urus by 0.5mph, making it the fastest SUV in the world. 

Bentley Bentayga Speed is world’s fastest SUV

BMW 7 Series facelift

The BMW 7 Series has been brought into line with the brand's new flagship SUV, the X7, through a facelift.

As well as 40% larger kidney grilles, the updated 7 Series features sharper exterior styling, a new front bumper and slimmer rear lights. More significant are changes to the model’s range of hybrid and conventional powertrains, with improved economy and performance outputs expected at every level, from a four-cylinder diesel unit to the V12 petrol in the M760Li xDrive.

New 2019 BMW 7 Series gets X7-inspired styling and more power

Bugatti Chiron 110 Ans 

At Geneva Bugatti is displaying a special, ultra-exclusive version of the Chiron Sport as part of its 110th anniversary as a brand. Described as a “tribute to France” and the brand’s Molsheim base, the Chiron Sport '110 ans Bugatti' features unique design and colour changes inside and out and is limited to just 20 examples.

Much of the 1479bhp hypercar’s bodywork revisions are themed around France's blue, white and red tricolour flag. The most prominent use of that is on the underside of the Chiron’s movable rear wing, while stripes also feature on the door mirrors and aluminium filler caps on both sides.

Bugatti Chiron Sport '110 ans Bugatti' edition revealed

Citroën Ami One

Geneva was the venue for the unveiling of the first of two concepts that Citroën has created as part of its centenary celebrations. 

The Ami One represents the French company's vision for the future of urban mobility. At less than 1.5m wide and with a top speed of less than 28mph, it's built more for sharing than private use, and could be driven without a licence in some countries. 

New Citroën concept could be driven without a licence​

Cupra Formentor

Seat sister brand Cupra has revealed its first standalone model, a 242bhp plug-in hybrid coupé crossover called the Formentor. The concept machine, which will make its public debut at Geneva, is the second to be badged a Cupra following the Cupra Ateca, and the first not to be based on a model from parent firm Seat. 

Cupra says the Formentor offers “the benefits of a performance car with the qualities of an SUV”.

New Cupra Formentor coupe-crossover revealed

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Taking the automotive world by surprise in the run-up to Geneva, Ferrari has revealed the fastest mid-engined production car it has ever made. 

The F8 Tributo replaces the 488 GTB, and with 710bhp and a 211mph top speed, will go head-to-head with Mclaren's 720S when it arrives in the next year.

New Ferrari F8 Tributo is fastest mid-engined Ferrari yet

Ginetta Akula

Autocar exclusively brought you news of British sports and race car maker Ginetta's new 200mph, Ferrari-priced supercar last week, and now the brand has revealed the car's name at Geneva. The new Ginetta Akula is a low, aggressively styled but essentially practical front mid-engined coupé. 

It has a bespoke, all-carbonfibre tub chassis built alongside the company’s race cars and clad with carbonfibre body panels. It is shaped for an aerodynamic performance, and is powered by an extremely light and compact Ginetta-designed V8 engine of just over 6.0-litres capacity,  producing around 600bhp and 520lb ft of torque. The gearbox is a unique Ginetta-developed creation, a six-speed sequential paddle-shift in unit with the diff connected to the engine (and multi-plate clutch) by a short carbonfibre tailshaft.

Exclusive: 200mph Ginetta supercar revealed

Honda e

The Honda e, originally known as the Urban EV, is something of a rarity in that prototype production models spotted in testing bear a strong resemblance to the preceding concept. 

That’s because the design of the small electric car was so well received at that year’s Frankfurt motor show that Honda saw little reason to change it. The final product sports two more doors and one more seat than that concept but retains its low, wide proportions, short wheelbase and friendly visage. 

Take a look at the 'e' prototype - Honda’s urban EV chases ‘Apple-style’ X-factor

Kia Imagine concept

Kia previewed its plans to move forward into electrification with the performance-oriented Imagine concept car - a vision for 2021 that could become the brand's third electric car.

The concept aims to answer "consumer concerns around range, performance, recharging networks and driving dynamism" with 'goosebump'-inducing styling - 

Four-door Imagine by Kia concept has performance focus

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster

A surprise last-minute unveiling saw Lamborghini reveal a drop-top version of its track-focused supercar. The Aventador SVJ Roadter uses the same naturally-aspirated V12 engine as the coupé, but swaps a hard top for a removable carbonfibre roof that can be manually lifted off and stowed under the bonnet for 200mph+ open top driving.

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster revealed with 759bhp

Lamborghini Huracán Evo Spyder

Geneva gave us our first chance to see Lamborghini's updated convertible supercar in the flesh. The new car follows the launch of the Huracán Evo, an updated and more powerful Huracán coupé, late last year. It features the same 631bhp 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10, resulting in a 0-62mph time in 3.1 seconds. That's 0.2 sec slower than the hard-top model.

The 201mph top speed is identical to the coupé, however, despite the Spyder's 120kg (264 lb) weight penalty.

New 631bhp Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder revealed

Mazda CX-30

Mazda teased the launch a new compact SUV ahead of the show, finally revealing the CX-30 mid-way through Geneva's press day. It will slot in above the CX-3 in its range, and forms the second model in its new-generation line-up, following the recently launched Mazda 3.

Mazda CX-30 compact crossover debuts at Geneva

Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz has already shown off the saloon version of its new, longer CLA, but we got to see a successor to the popular Shooting Brake estate version at Geneva. It features the new platform, technology and engines that first debuted in the A-Class hatchback last year, while an AMG 35 variant will take on the Volkswagen Golf R Estate and a range-topping 45 is set to produce well over 400bhp.

New Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake arrives with 219bhp

 

Mercedes-Benz GLC facelift

Mercedes-Benz's rival to the BMW X3 has received a mid-life refresh to bring it into line with the latest C-Class, upon which it's based. That means subtly evolved looks and a boost in interior technology and driver assist functions. Level 2 autonomy features, while mechanical upgrades include a new 2.0-litre diesel engine. 

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic EQ Boost 2019 prototype review

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV

Showcasing the diversity of Mercedes-Benz's product portfolio, the German brand is show the facelifted version of its van-based V-Class MPVWhile that in itself isn't particularly exciting, there's also a concept version of what will be one of the first electric large people carriers, the EQV.

Based heavily on the existing V-Class, it will offer a long range and little compromise on space, while taking design inspiration from the EQC SUV. 

New Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV previews electric MPV

Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer Concept

Mitsubishi unveiled its new SUV concept offering "enhanced EV performance" at the show. The Engelberg Tourer Concept is named after a Swiss ski resort, as both a nod to the country it will be revealed in and to Mitsubishi's focus on machines with true off-road capability. The plug-in hybrid, all-wheel drive powertrain it previews will likely replace the one currently used in the Outlander PHEV.

Electrified Mitsubishi Engelburg Tourer makes Geneva debut

Morgan Plus Six

The fabled British sports car maker Morgan revealed an all-new sports car at Geneva. The Plus Six is the company's first in 19 years, and the first to use a new inline turbo six-cylinder engine from BMW. It also has an aluminium platform, but retains a design that's a familiar adaptation of the 1930s-inspired look Morgans have carried for decades. A lighter engine make it the fastest Morgan ever built, too.

Morgan Plus six is marque's first all-new model in 19 years

Peugeot 208

Peugeot will display its stylish new supermini at Geneva. It will offer gasoline/petrol, diesel and electric power options. Around 30kg (66 lb) lighter than the car it replaces, the 208 inside gets an update of Peugeot’s still-controversial i-Cockpit, which features a small steering wheel that tends to sit beneath or in the line of sight of the instrument pack. 

Despite Peuegot's announced return to America, we doubt this car will be on the menu due to its size and relative unprofitability.

New Peugeot 208 revealed with petrol, diesel and EV choices

Piëch Mark Zero

Swiss company Piëch Automotive will make its motor show debut at Geneva with the reveal of its Mark Zero electric sports car. 

Sitting atop an unconventional modular platform, the two-seater Mark Zero's batteries are mounted along the central tunnel, rather than in the floor, meaning it is likely to feature a rear-wheel-drive powertrain. No performance figures have been announced, but the brand is aiming for the lightweight performance EV to achieve a range of 500km (311 miles). 

Piech brand to launch with electric sports car at Geneva

Pininfarina Battista

The Pininfarina Battista was fully unveiled at Geneva, and is being referred to by its creator as “the most powerful Italian performance car ever” - a title it quite rightly deserves if its claimed performance figures are to be believed.

With 1900bhp from a drivetrain that uses technology developed by Croatian EV manufacturer Rimac, the Battista will top out at more than 250mph and get from 0-62mph in less than 2.0sec. But the hand-built machine doesn’t just impress in the speed department, with a claimed range of at least 280 miles placing it in contention for the position of most environmentally efficient hypercar. 

1900bhp Pininfarina Battista EV can hit 217mph

Polestar 2

The Polestar 2, the second model from Volvo’s newly hived-off performance brand, promises 402bhp and a range of 311 miles.

Initially available in top-spec launch edition, later entry-level versions will be priced from under £35,000, meaning the five-door fastback can compete with Tesla's soon-to-arrive Model 3 on European roads. 

New Polestar 2 revealed as sub-£35k Tesla Model 3 rival​

Renault Clio

Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker is confident about the fifth-generation Clio’s success, calling it “the best Clio we’ve ever done”.

In an effort to tempt buyers away from Ford and Volkswagen's rival superminis, as well as compact SUVs such as the Volkswagen T-Roc, the new Clio sports a larger infotainment screen, more mature styling and autonomous driver assistance functions. No electric version has been confirmed, but a plug-in hybrid is set to hit the road in 2020. 

New Renault Clio heads for premium segment

Seat Minimó

Set to arrive in production form in 2021, Seat's Minimó concept occupies less than half the footprint of the average A-segment city car.

With a central driving position and single headlight, it takes inspiration from motorcyles, while its asymmetrical doors are designed to open in tight spaces to enhance ease of use in urban environments. 

New Seat Minimo: production confirmed for 2021

Skoda Kamiq

The first of two new models on Skoda's stand at Geneva is the new Kamiq compact SUV.

A rival to the upcoming next-generation Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, the Kamiq has styling adapted from the larger Karoq, a fresh interior design and a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.

New Skoda Kamiq crossover: Nissan Juke rival revealed 

Skoda Vision iV concept

Skoda will provide "a specific outlook of the brand's electric future" with the Vision iV four-door crossover-coupé concept at Geneva - although transportation issues meant it missed out on VW's Group night.

The concept looks almost identical to 2017's Vision E concept, but is said by the brand to be more production ready than that model. Set to go on sale in 2021, the iV will be sold in coupé and SUV form, although it is not clear which will arrive first.

New Skoda Vision iV electric SUV: interior image released

Smart Forease+

Smart's Forease+ concept is an evolution of the EQ Fortwo-based Forease concept shown at Paris last year. 

The Forease+ sports a roof, flared wheel arches, a redesigned rear bumper and a lower, wider stance. The company says the evolved two-seater is "as reduced and dynamic as its predecessor" but more practical in the real world. 

Smart Forease+ concept previewed ahead of Geneva reveal

Ssangyong Korando

Korean manufacturer Ssangyong's new Korando SUV is inspired by the e-SIV concept shown at last year’s Geneva show. 

Initially powered by a range of petrol and diesel engines, the cut-price Nissan Qashqai rival will later receive Ssangyong’s first electric powertrain. The firm is also reported to be exploring diesel-electric technology, as opposed to more conventional petrol-fuelled systems, as a basis for a hybrid variant.

New Ssangyong Korando SUV revealed ahead of Geneva​

Subaru e-Boxer models

Subaru is being coy about what shape its two Geneva debuts will be, but we now know they will be concept versions the firm's first electrified European production models.

The brand has released a darkened preview image of one - the Viziv Adrenaline concept - and an e-Boxer logo, showing that the car will use a hybridised version of Subaru's famous flat-four engine. The two models are likely to be based on existing platforms. 

Volkswagen ID Buggy

After 80 years of production, Volkswagen’s – and indeed the world’s – longest-produced model, the Beetle, was axed in 2018.

As one icon dies, however, another emerges in its place, and Volkswagen has previewed an electrified beach buggy concept inspired by the Meyers Manx of the 1960s. Where Bruce Meyer’s coastal cruiser used the Beetle’s floorpan, suspension and air-cooled engine, its descendant is set for inclusion in Volkswagen’s upcoming range of ID electric vehicles. 

The ID Buggy emulates the basic silhouette of the original, in much the same way as the ID Buzz Cargo van takes heavy inspiration from the classic Type 2.

Volkswagen electric dune buggy revealed in new images

Read more

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New Volkswagen ID: electric hatchback prototypes hit the road

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Comments
33

11 January 2019

 Yep, 3 series Touring with full EV or Hybrid, I’ve driven one albeit a Deisel with loads of options, but I could get used to it, why?, because I’ve had three in various guises and I have to say they were super!

Peter Cavellini.

12 January 2019

Sorry to disturb, but I'm getting all warm and fizzy thinking about that Honda Urban EV. Flush door handles and side cemeras look promising - Hoping for pillarless doors and enough of the concept interior retained to look as modern as a Model 3. Car of the year for me - cannot wait. 

12 January 2019
Sonic wrote:

Sorry to disturb, but I'm getting all warm and fizzy thinking about that Honda Urban EV. Flush door handles and side cemeras look promising - Hoping for pillarless doors and enough of the concept interior retained to look as modern as a Model 3. Car of the year for me - cannot wait. 

I was so looking forward to it too, until I saw this frumpy 5-door production version. The lovely proportions of the concept with its Mark 1 Civic inspiration have gone in one fell swoop.

12 January 2019

I hope the Honda EV revives the spirit of the A2 and A class. But the camoflagued car shows thick conventional A & B pillars. It remains to be seen what other features and details of the concept car will be successfully translated into production. And will it become the Golf of the EV era?

13 January 2019

Don't want to bust any bubbles but I read somewhere it will be limited to 10,000 a year as they can't charge 'market' price as they cost to much to make and they don't wish to lose to much money in the first couple of years. 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

FMS

29 January 2019
xxxx wrote:

Don't want to bust any bubbles but I read somewhere it will be limited to 10,000 a year as they can't charge 'market' price as they cost to much to make and they don't wish to lose to much money in the first couple of years. 

 

Yet ANOTHER rationalisation type reason, that you have found to "explain" why you won't be "buying" yet another car...AND... "READ SOMEWHERE"...WHERE EXACTLY?...couldn't have been such a LONG time ago, that you can't find the source to quote...try looking down the back of youe decrepit sofa...it'll be there with the decaying remnants of your dignity. TwIT, the w is silent, as you should be.

4 March 2019
FMS wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Don't want to bust any bubbles but I read somewhere it will be limited to 10,000 a year as they can't charge 'market' price as they cost to much to make and they don't wish to lose to much money in the first couple of years. 

 

Yet ANOTHER rationalisation type reason, that you have found to "explain" why you won't be "buying" yet another car...AND... "READ SOMEWHERE"...WHERE EXACTLY?...couldn't have been such a LONG time ago, that you can't find the source to quote...try looking down the back of youe decrepit sofa...it'll be there with the decaying remnants of your dignity. TwIT, the w is silent, as you should be.

Normally I wouldn't give the time of day to such a bell end but here's a clue: Insideevs. My opinion is it'll probably be limited by price as well.

Whilst speaking of sources what's your source for the state of my sofa?

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

5 March 2019
xxxx wrote:

Whilst speaking of sources what's your source for the state of my sofa?

 

 

The Environmental Health Services

 

30 January 2019

Greatest.  Geneva Show.  Ever.

5 February 2019

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avneesh

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