2016 Geneva Motor Show: Luxury and speed trump transportation need

By KBB.com Editors on February 26, 2016 11:10 AM

If you’re looking for simple transportation, the Geneva Motor Show definitely isn’t your cup of tea. This hub of private banking on neutral European turf brings out the best and the brightest when it comes to introductions: exclusive sports cars, flagship sedans and the latest in luxury crossover SUVs. Yet among all these intros, there are a few, more attainable vehicles that will have an impact on the U.S. market.

Crème de la crème

Among the more anticipated launches will be ultra-luxury and exotics like the successor to the Bugatti Veyron, the 2017 Bugatti Chiron, again named for a factory race driver from the 1920s. Boasting some of the look of the recent Bugatti Gran Turismo Vision concept developed for the Gran Turismo video game, the Chiron is the prototypical Geneva debut—a car costing millions destined to be built in numbers that will not crack five figures. Lamborghini will mark its late founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday with the exclusive Centenaro, a $2 million plus supercar of which only about 40 will be built.

A bit more down to earth is the Aston Martin DB11, which succeeds the DB9, while Ferrari will introduce a facelift and new name for the FF, calling this new 4-place shooting brake the 2016 GTC4Lusso. Bentley takes the wraps off similarly tweaked Mulsanne, which now sports a more stately face and a long wheelbase model. The British luxury marque also introduces a sport version of its smaller sedan in the form of the V8-powered 2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S.

Sports car aficionados will have much to pick over in this year’s Geneva crop, starting with the new Jaguar F-Type SVR, the highest performing version of that coupe and cabrio to date, the Porsche 718 Boxster introduces flat-four power to its entry level sports car line, while the 911R will give the serious gearhead something new to lust after. In looking for customers who prefer a more relaxed sports car experience, the 2017 McLaren 575GT promises a softer ride and a more luxurious appointed cabin, while BMW will be covering the large sport sedan front with its 7 Series-based Alpina B7 and all-new M760i xDrive models.

America-bound (See the top 9 vehicles headed our way)

Of great interest on these shores will be the introduction of the Lexus LC 500h, the hybrid version of the stunning coupe that made its debut in Detroit and the long awaited Maserati Levante, the Italian marque’s first foray into the luxury SUV field. Sister brand Alfa Romeo will also unveil the standard versions of the Guilia. Volvo will also be showing the wagon version of its handsome S90 flagship. The 2018 Volvo V90 should be making a U.S. appearance sometime next year.

As for attainable transportation, the Geneva cupboard is hardly bare—Honda will have the new 5-door Hatchback version of the new generation Civic, which will be built in England and exported to the U.S. Subaru will give a preview of its next generation VX Crosstrek in a thinly disguised concept, the Vauxhall Mokka X previews a facelift coming for the Buick Encore and in the wake of pulling the plug on Scion, the Toyota C-HR subcompact crossover SUV appears in production form with the same badge it will wear here. Hyundai will also showcase its new Ioniq line of alternative power vehicle which one-ups the Toyota Prius lineup by not only offering conventional and plug-in hybrid models, but also a dedicated EV variant. All this and more makes Geneva one of the more compelling shows on the circuit. Follow our coverage and check back in for updates.