Supercars And SUVs Will Be Show Stars

Geneva motor show coverage

> Paul McVeigh

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Automotive News Europe

March 2, 2015 06:01 CET

Supercars will shine at this week's Geneva auto show alongside mass-market models taking aim at the fast-growing SUV/crossover market.

Ferrari, Audi, Aston Martin and McLaren are among brands that will unveil high-performance sports cars while Renault, Honda, Hyundai and Infiniti will show off models targeting buyers of SUV-styled, high-riding crossovers that most likely will never go off road.

Automakers will take the wraps off their Geneva stars on Tuesday. Here are some key debuts:

Aston Martin

The 800-plus hp Vulcan is powered by the most potent iteration to date of the company’s naturally aspirated, 7.0-liter V-12 gasoline engine.

Aston Martin Vulcan

Aston will build just 24 examples of the mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive supercar, which will cost $2.8 million.


Audi's second-generation R8 gets a power boost. The R8's top-of-the-range V-10 version will be the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi to date, accelerating from 0 to 100kph (62 mph) in 3.2 seconds. Its top speed is 330kph (205 mph). Audi has doubled the driving range of the battery powered R8 e-tron to more than 450km (280 miles) thanks to new cells.


Bentley will debut a concept for a two-seat sports car that would compete with the Ferrari California T and Aston Martin Vantage line, according to pre-show media reports. The company will also show some small updates to the Continental GT.


German automaker Borgward will outline its plans to begin building cars once more. The automaker went bankrupt 54 years ago, but now Christian Borgward, grandson of founder Carl Borgward, aims to revive the marque.


The 2-series Gran Tourer is BMW’s second production front-wheel-drive model in modern times and the brand’s second minivan. The seven-seat 2-series GT is aimed at young families and is longer than its sibling, the 2-series Active Tourer, a five-seat compact minivan. The 2-series Gran Tourer will go on sale in Europe and China in June. U.S. sales are not planned. The 1 series will also debut with a facelift.


The 488 GTB will replace the the 458 Italia, the brand's best-selling model. It will be the second modern Ferrari after the California T with a turbocharged engine. The 488 GTB is powered by a 3.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that generates 660 hp, 99 hp more than the 458 Italia. The car accelerates from 0-100kph (0-62mph) in three seconds. Top speed is 330kph (205 mph).

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari will announce 458 Italia pricing in Geneva. It will go on sale in the second half and likely cost more than the 458 Italia.


Ford will show the Focus RS, a high-performance, all-wheel-drive version of the European Focus compact hatchback. The car will be the first RS model to be sold in North America when it goes on sale next year. The RS is powered by a 315-hp, 2.3-liter turbocharged engine.


Honda returns to the subcompact segment with the HR-V, which is sold in the U.S and Japan as the Vezel. Honda stopped selling the HR-V in the region in 2006 and is returning now that sales of such models are undergoing a boom. The HR-V is based on the Jazz/Fit subcompact hatchback. The latest Jazz will also have a European debut.


Hyundai gives the new-generation Tucson a sharper, more angular design to help the model stand out in the increasingly crowded compact SUV segment. European and U.S. sales of the Tucson will start soon after the SUV goes on sale in its Korean home market by the end of June.


The QX30 compact crossover will be seen in near-production form. Infiniti will have its first entry in the booming compact crossover segment with the car. The QX30 will compete with the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X3. Infiniti expects the QX30 and its hatchback sibling, the Q30, to substantially increase sales in Europe.

Infiniti QX30

The QX30 will go on sale next year and the Q30 will be available starting late this year. Both models will be built at Nissan's factory in Sunderland, England.


Kia will show the Sportspace, a midsize station wagon concept that has design cues that should appear on the next Optima sedan.

Kia will unveil the Cee'd GT, the first Kia model to use Hyundai Motor Group's new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged downsized engine. The car will also debut a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Hyundai i20 subcompact will get the engine later this year.


Lamborghini will show off the Superveloce, a hyper version of its Aventador. The company did not release details of the car before the show other than to say it will have significant upgrades to the 720-hp Aventador.


The Lexus LF-SA concept could preview a future model that would be a rival to the Mini Cooper, according to reports. Lexus said it will unveil the LF-SA in Geneva but declined to give any details before the show other than issuing a teaser picture.


Lotus will unveil the the Evora 400, a revised version of its flagship Evora sports car that will spearhead the brand's return to the U.S. Lotus has moved the mid-engine coupe further upmarket to better compete with rivals such as the Porsche 911 and Audi R8


The CX-3 subcompact SUV gets a European debut. The model will be sold in Europe with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a 1.5-liter diesel unlike in Japan where only the diesel will be offered and the U.S. where it will only get the gasoline engine. The CX-3 will go on sale in Europe and the U.S. in early summer.


McLaren will show two models: The 675LT and P1 GTR. The 675LT gets power from McLaren’s 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, though about 50 percent of the parts have been changed. In this application it makes 666 hp (that’s 675 PS, or pfederstarke -- the German measure of horsepower). The sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) takes 2.9 seconds; getting to 124 mph (200kph) takes 7.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at 205 mph (330kph). McLaren says the 675LT focuses on weight reduction, optimized aerodynamics, more power and track-focused handling. About one-third of the parts have been changed over the 650S. Both fall into the McLaren Super Series of cars.

McLaren 675LT

The 986-hp P1 GTR hybrid is a track-only version of the road-going P1.


Mercedes-Benz will show the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman and Mercedes-AMG GT3 racecar. The Maybach Pullman will target chauffeur-driven wealthy buyers with features such as a luxury leather interior, four seats in the rear cabin that face each other and a partition window that turns opaque at the press of a button.

The AMG GT3 is powered by the naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V-8 previously used in the SLS AMG GT3. The new car is FIA GT3 regulation-compliant, and Mercedes-AMG says it will begin deliveries to customers before the end of 2015.


Mitsubishi will show the XR-PHEV II plug-in hybrid SUV concept that hints at the styling of the next-generation ASX, the automaker’s best-selling vehicle in Europe.


Nissan will unveil the Sway concept car that likely previews the next Micra subcompact. Before the Sway's Geneva debut, Nissan would only say that the concept demonstrates “how a future generation of small Nissans could look.”


The Karl minicar will become Opel's entry-level model, replacing the Agila. The five-door Karl will be positioned below the three-door Adam minicar. The Karl uses the GM small-car platform that also will underpin the next Chevrolet Spark.

Opel Karl

The Karl will arrive in showrooms in June. It will start at 9,500 euros in Germany including sales tax. The low price will help Opel win customers of the Chevrolet brand that is being disbanded in most of Europe by the end of the year. The minicar will be called the Vauxhall Viva in the UK.


Porsche adds a GT model to the Cayman coupe range for the first time. The Cayman GT4 gets 385 hp from its 3.8-liter flat-six engine sourced from the Carrera S.


Chinese automaker Qoros plans a European debut for its third model, the Qoros 3 compact SUV, which went on sale in China in December. The SUV likely will join the Qoros 3 compact sedan and hatchback, which are already on sale in Slovakia, the automaker's European pilot market. Qoros did not say when the SUV will go on sale in Slovakia.


The Kadjar will join the booming compact crossover segment alongside the Nissan Qashqai, with which it shares 60 percent of its underpinnings. The Kadjar is slightly longer and wider than the Qashqai. It will go on sale in Europe in June. The Kadjar will be sold with front-wheel and four-wheel-drive versions. Renault said it will release pricing details in Geneva.

Renault Kadjar

European versions of the Kadjar will be built at Renault's plant in Palencia, Spain, where the Megane compact line is produced. China versions will be built in the automaker's new factory in Wuhan, starting in 2016.


Rolls-Royce will have some more hints about its just-announced SUV, an all-terrain vehicle that will have a 12-cylinder engine and cost more than anything else it currently sells. It will also show the Serenity, a one-off concept based on the Phantom sedan.


Skoda is updating its Superb midsize car with a clean, crisp design and new equipment such as the brand's first chassis control system and a 4G Internet connection. The latest Superb is underpinned by the VW Group's MQB platform, which is also used by the new VW Passat. Although its wheelbase is 80mm longer than the current car, the new Superb weighs 75kg less.


SsangYong will debut the Tivoli subcompact SUV. The Tivoli went on sale in Korea in January. It will be offered in Europe with gasoline and diesel engines, and four-wheel and two-wheel drive. The gasoline-powered Tivoli will go on sale in Europe in May, and the diesel and four-wheel-drive derivatives arrive in July.


Volkswagen will preview a coupe-styled, four-door sedan that is set to become a production model to boost the brand's image and attract customers from cars such as the Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Volkswagen four-door fastback concept.

VW will also debut the second generation of its Touran compact minivan. The Touran is the brand's first minivan based on VW Group's new MQB platform and it is 130mm longer than the current model with a 113mm longer wheelbase, boosting interior room and luggage capacity.

The Golf GTD Variant, a more practical station wagon version of the diesel-powered Golf GTD hatchback, will also be unveiled in Geneva, along with an upgraded version of the Sharan, Europe's best-selling large minivan.

Christiaan Hetzner, David Jolley, Lindsay Chappell, Richard Truett, Gabe Nelson, AutoWeek and Bloomberg contributed to this report

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