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The 12 Most Amazing Machines at the Geneva Motor Show

The Maserati Alfieri is named for one of the five brothers who founded the marque. Photo: Newspress

This four-seat coupe is part of the auto maker’s celebration of its 100th birthday. The design came from the mind of Marco Tenecone, the man who, with help from Pininfarina’s Lorenzo Ramaciotti, is responsible for all the beautiful sheet metal that emerges from Fiat marques like Alfa Romeo and Lancia. Ramaciotti says that he cannot guarantee that the production version will be identical to this model, but that he’s “certain we’ll see something very similar.” Maserati says that the hood’s transition into the A-pillars was sculpted to present the windshield as larger than it is — a design cue taken from the 1954 A6 GSC-53. Another allusion to Maserati’s racing history is the floor, which is finished in a material made to look like the oxidized steel you’d find on the interiors of 50s-era race cars.

Photo: Newspress

Beneath it’s petit exterior, the Audi TT Quattro Sport Concept hides a 420-horsepower engine. Photo: Newspress

The power-packed TT Quattro Sport Concept signals the arrival of Audi’s redesigned TT lineup. For this particular one-off, Audi coaxed 420 horsepower from its 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine, a figure that has has been helpfully emphasized with a door decal. Audi says it’ll send the car from zero to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. The slower production TTs for the rest of us will arrive in showrooms in a few different forms. The front-wheel drive diesel TDI makes 184 hp, but will likely not reach the United States. The base TT will have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 230 hp, which will feed to the company’s signature Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The faster TTS model will produce 310 hp and go from zero to 62 in 4.7 seconds. Both the TT and TTS will likely arrive in North America with Audi’s dual-clutch transmission.

Photo: Newspress

With its T-shape headlights and hard-angled front end, the Volvo Concept Estate is rife with Scandinavian design elements, Photo: Newspress

Those of a certain age understand this Swedish marque as a purveyor of boxes on wheels, but the Concept Estate should be enough to banish the outdated reputation. The low roof, sweeping C-pillars, and bumper-integrated rear exhaust give it modern aesthetics, while the two-door design with the long hood seem to draw from the curves on the 1960s-era Volvo P1800. Inside, a gesture-controlled tablet delivers instructions to the rest of car’s electronics, a la Tesla.

Photo: Newspress

The Infinity Q50 Eau Rouge has the body of a sedan, but the heart of a GT-R. Photo: Newspress

The Nissan GT-R, also known as Godzilla, is a beast of a vehicle that keeps pace with the world’s most excessive six- and seven-figure super cars. Infinity has taken that car’s power plant and dropped it into their luxury saloon and added a seven-speed transmission. The twin-turbocharged V6 mostly resembles the original you’d find in the GT-R, but Infinity says they’ve managed to produce 560 horsepower from it, 15 more than on the 2015 GT-R, albeit with 20 fewer pound-feet of torque. They say the sedan will have a sub-four second zero to 60.

Photo: Newspress

The Volkswagen T-Roc concept comes with targa-style pop out ceiling panels. Photo: Newspress

This three-door baby sport-ute is likely Volkswagen’s way of announcing that they’re making a vehicle that will fit size-wise beneath it’s Tiguan SUV. The T-Roc’s three-door design and removable roof will likely not make it into the production model, but it will likely have VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. If this version looks too small, VW hinted that the next version will likely have five doors instead of three. Expect whatever comes of the T-Roc to have fuel and electric engine options as varied as those of current Volkswagen models.

Photo: Newspress

The tiny Jeep Renegade shows how far we’ve come from the days of the Hummer H3 and Ford Excursion. Photo: Newspress

Call it a Spaghetti Western. The Renegade has indicators of a quintessential American Jeep, but inside, it’s Italian — specifically drawing from Chrysler’s partner Fiat. The Chrysler says the 500X-inspired mini-ute will come in two variations, both using engines from other vehicles from their and Fiat’s lineup: one will have the turbocharged 1.4-liter from the Fiat 500L, and another will have the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder from the Dodge Dart. If you’re feeling nostalgic for an open-air Wrangler, the Renegade comes with a removable roof panel system. Given the car’s size, it will likely compete with other off-road-esque commuters like the Nissan Juke and the Kia Soul.

Photo: Newspress

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The Quant e-Sportlimousine claims zero-emission super car performance from its specially-engineered electric engine and battery system. Photo: Newspress

We hand’t heard of Quant, either. The e-Sportlimousine is the creation of the Lichtenstein-based energy company nanoFLOWCELL AG, who made the special battery system made up of tanks of charged electrolyte solutions and a cell stack. Quant says the whole rig produces 480 kW, which translates to about 643 hp. That gives the e-Spoutlimousine a zero-to-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds, slightly less time than it takes to say the car’s name. Top speed is around 236 mph with a range of 250 to 370 miles between charges.

Photo: Newspress

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe uses cameras to anticipate a turn and brace the outside strut. Photo: Newspress

Mercedes-Benz showed off the production version of its previously announced S-Class Coupe, and the vehicle appears as expected: a chopped and compressed S500 sedan with smooth exterior lines. The coolest feature, though, is called “curve tilting. From up to 49 feet away, front-facing cameras detect an upcoming turn, and the car braces the appropriate strut to reduce the lateral forces on its occupants. The base model S550 will run on a a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 449 horsepower, controlled with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The sticker will likely be above the $160,000 mark when it arrives for sale in November.

Photo: Newspress

Sixteen students collaborated with Hyundai and a Pininfarina designer to create the PassoCorto. Photo: Newspress

Every year, students at Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin create a car to show off at the Geneva Auto Show. For 2014, 16 students built something for Hyundai, a departure from previous collaborators like Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo. The PassoCorto, or “short wheelbase,” was created under the auspices of Pininfarina designer Luca Borgogno and Hyundai’s European design team. The hypothetical car calls for a 1.6-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder engine that will deliver 266 hp to the rear wheels. You’ll likely never see the PassoCorto again — this is why Geneva is special.

Photo: Newspress

The Ferrari California T is the marque’s first turbocharged production vehicle since the 1987 F40. Photo: Newspress

If there can be such a thing, this could be called Ferrari’s entry-level model. Borrowing body elements from the F12berlinetta, this new T (turbo) update to the California will have a 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 producing 560 horsepower — a 70 hp increase over its predecessor. Ferrari claims a zero to 60 time of 3.6 seconds depending on the weight of the golf clubs in the trunk. If the sky opens up, the automatic top closes in 15 seconds.

Photo: Newspress

The Italdesign Giugiaro Clipper MPV’s supportive B-pillars reside in the rear gull-wing doors. Photo: Newspress

Italdesign borrowed the Golf platform from Volkswagen to build the Giugiaro Clipper MPV, a six-seat all-wheel-drive people-hauler. The car is entirely electric, with two 110 kW (149 hp) motors mounted on each axle. Italdesign says it will cover 335 miles between charges. If the butterfly and gull-wing doors didn’t already emphasize its future-ready design, the MPV comes with iPad Minis integrated into the rear seats.

Photo: Newspress

The Gumpert Explosion has all the carbon fiber and aluminum you’d expect from a German super car. Photo: Newspress

You’ve likely never heard of Gumpert, and if you have, it’s for all the wrong reasons. They released the famously homely Apollo Speed super car, and filed for bankruptcy last year. To signal their return to relevancy, the German auto maker presented this Audi TT-based all-wheel-drive civilian-ready rally racer. Despite borrowing in other places, Gumpert, in very un-Audi fashion, gave the Explosion a six-speed standard transmission instead of a dual-clutch system. The car will retail for $144,000 and Gumpert is now taking orders.

Photo: Newspress

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The Maserati Alfieri is named for one of the five brothers who founded the marque. Photo: Newspress

This four-seat coupe is part of the auto maker’s celebration of its 100th birthday. The design came from the mind of Marco Tenecone, the man who, with help from Pininfarina’s Lorenzo Ramaciotti, is responsible for all the beautiful sheet metal that emerges from Fiat marques like Alfa Romeo and Lancia. Ramaciotti says that he cannot guarantee that the production version will be identical to this model, but that he’s “certain we’ll see something very similar.” Maserati says that the hood’s transition into the A-pillars was sculpted to present the windshield as larger than it is — a design cue taken from the 1954 A6 GSC-53. Another allusion to Maserati’s racing history is the floor, which is finished in a material made to look like the oxidized steel you’d find on the interiors of 50s-era race cars.

Photo: Newspress

Beneath it’s petit exterior, the Audi TT Quattro Sport Concept hides a 420-horsepower engine. Photo: Newspress

The power-packed TT Quattro Sport Concept signals the arrival of Audi’s redesigned TT lineup. For this particular one-off, Audi coaxed 420 horsepower from its 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine, a figure that has has been helpfully emphasized with a door decal. Audi says it’ll send the car from zero to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. The slower production TTs for the rest of us will arrive in showrooms in a few different forms. The front-wheel drive diesel TDI makes 184 hp, but will likely not reach the United States. The base TT will have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 230 hp, which will feed to the company’s signature Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The faster TTS model will produce 310 hp and go from zero to 62 in 4.7 seconds. Both the TT and TTS will likely arrive in North America with Audi’s dual-clutch transmission.

Photo: Newspress

With its T-shape headlights and hard-angled front end, the Volvo Concept Estate is rife with Scandinavian design elements, Photo: Newspress

Those of a certain age understand this Swedish marque as a purveyor of boxes on wheels, but the Concept Estate should be enough to banish the outdated reputation. The low roof, sweeping C-pillars, and bumper-integrated rear exhaust give it modern aesthetics, while the two-door design with the long hood seem to draw from the curves on the 1960s-era Volvo P1800. Inside, a gesture-controlled tablet delivers instructions to the rest of car’s electronics, a la Tesla.

Photo: Newspress

The Infinity Q50 Eau Rouge has the body of a sedan, but the heart of a GT-R. Photo: Newspress

The Nissan GT-R, also known as Godzilla, is a beast of a vehicle that keeps pace with the world’s most excessive six- and seven-figure super cars. Infinity has taken that car’s power plant and dropped it into their luxury saloon and added a seven-speed transmission. The twin-turbocharged V6 mostly resembles the original you’d find in the GT-R, but Infinity says they’ve managed to produce 560 horsepower from it, 15 more than on the 2015 GT-R, albeit with 20 fewer pound-feet of torque. They say the sedan will have a sub-four second zero to 60.

Photo: Newspress

The Volkswagen T-Roc concept comes with targa-style pop out ceiling panels. Photo: Newspress

This three-door baby sport-ute is likely Volkswagen’s way of announcing that they’re making a vehicle that will fit size-wise beneath it’s Tiguan SUV. The T-Roc’s three-door design and removable roof will likely not make it into the production model, but it will likely have VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. If this version looks too small, VW hinted that the next version will likely have five doors instead of three. Expect whatever comes of the T-Roc to have fuel and electric engine options as varied as those of current Volkswagen models.

Photo: Newspress

The tiny Jeep Renegade shows how far we’ve come from the days of the Hummer H3 and Ford Excursion. Photo: Newspress

Call it a Spaghetti Western. The Renegade has indicators of a quintessential American Jeep, but inside, it’s Italian — specifically drawing from Chrysler’s partner Fiat. The Chrysler says the 500X-inspired mini-ute will come in two variations, both using engines from other vehicles from their and Fiat’s lineup: one will have the turbocharged 1.4-liter from the Fiat 500L, and another will have the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder from the Dodge Dart. If you’re feeling nostalgic for an open-air Wrangler, the Renegade comes with a removable roof panel system. Given the car’s size, it will likely compete with other off-road-esque commuters like the Nissan Juke and the Kia Soul.

Photo: Newspress

ADVERTISEMENT

The Quant e-Sportlimousine claims zero-emission super car performance from its specially-engineered electric engine and battery system. Photo: Newspress

We hand’t heard of Quant, either. The e-Sportlimousine is the creation of the Lichtenstein-based energy company nanoFLOWCELL AG, who made the special battery system made up of tanks of charged electrolyte solutions and a cell stack. Quant says the whole rig produces 480 kW, which translates to about 643 hp. That gives the e-Spoutlimousine a zero-to-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds, slightly less time than it takes to say the car’s name. Top speed is around 236 mph with a range of 250 to 370 miles between charges.

Photo: Newspress

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe uses cameras to anticipate a turn and brace the outside strut. Photo: Newspress

Mercedes-Benz showed off the production version of its previously announced S-Class Coupe, and the vehicle appears as expected: a chopped and compressed S500 sedan with smooth exterior lines. The coolest feature, though, is called “curve tilting. From up to 49 feet away, front-facing cameras detect an upcoming turn, and the car braces the appropriate strut to reduce the lateral forces on its occupants. The base model S550 will run on a a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 449 horsepower, controlled with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The sticker will likely be above the $160,000 mark when it arrives for sale in November.

Photo: Newspress

Sixteen students collaborated with Hyundai and a Pininfarina designer to create the PassoCorto. Photo: Newspress

Every year, students at Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin create a car to show off at the Geneva Auto Show. For 2014, 16 students built something for Hyundai, a departure from previous collaborators like Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo. The PassoCorto, or “short wheelbase,” was created under the auspices of Pininfarina designer Luca Borgogno and Hyundai’s European design team. The hypothetical car calls for a 1.6-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder engine that will deliver 266 hp to the rear wheels. You’ll likely never see the PassoCorto again — this is why Geneva is special.

Photo: Newspress

The Ferrari California T is the marque’s first turbocharged production vehicle since the 1987 F40. Photo: Newspress

If there can be such a thing, this could be called Ferrari’s entry-level model. Borrowing body elements from the F12berlinetta, this new T (turbo) update to the California will have a 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 producing 560 horsepower — a 70 hp increase over its predecessor. Ferrari claims a zero to 60 time of 3.6 seconds depending on the weight of the golf clubs in the trunk. If the sky opens up, the automatic top closes in 15 seconds.

Photo: Newspress

The Italdesign Giugiaro Clipper MPV’s supportive B-pillars reside in the rear gull-wing doors. Photo: Newspress

Italdesign borrowed the Golf platform from Volkswagen to build the Giugiaro Clipper MPV, a six-seat all-wheel-drive people-hauler. The car is entirely electric, with two 110 kW (149 hp) motors mounted on each axle. Italdesign says it will cover 335 miles between charges. If the butterfly and gull-wing doors didn’t already emphasize its future-ready design, the MPV comes with iPad Minis integrated into the rear seats.

Photo: Newspress

The Gumpert Explosion has all the carbon fiber and aluminum you’d expect from a German super car. Photo: Newspress

You’ve likely never heard of Gumpert, and if you have, it’s for all the wrong reasons. They released the famously homely Apollo Speed super car, and filed for bankruptcy last year. To signal their return to relevancy, the German auto maker presented this Audi TT-based all-wheel-drive civilian-ready rally racer. Despite borrowing in other places, Gumpert, in very un-Audi fashion, gave the Explosion a six-speed standard transmission instead of a dual-clutch system. The car will retail for $144,000 and Gumpert is now taking orders.

Photo: Newspress

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Despite being held in such an agreeable country, the Geneva Motor Show brings out the crazy in automakers.

Every auto show draws excessively excessive supercars like the $3 million Pagani Zonda Revolucion, but Geneva is special for being just a bit more… excessive than shows in, say, Paris or Detroit. It’s the type of place where a small German boutique company that’s just filed for bankruptcy announces, without the slightest irony, that its latest car is called the Explosion. And no one bats an eye when the guys at ItalDesign suggest, with its wild VW Golf-based electric vehicle concept, that the only thing better than a car with butterfly doors is a car with butterfly doors and gullwing doors.

The past was no less important than the future at this year’s show. One highlight was a display of 20 Le Man race cars from the past 90 years. It was a gorgeous sight, and a reminder that motorsports history is full of eccentric designs, some of which actually work.

Despite debuts like the Lamborghini Huracán and McLaren 650S, the bulk of the show was dedicated to cars the rest of us can afford. Standouts included the Jeep Renegade and Audi’s S1 and TT. Here are our favorite cars from Geneva.

Written by Lewis Shaw

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