- Geneva International Motor Show 2017
- Alpine - Jaguar Land Rover
- Lambo - Porsche
- GENEVA 2017 SUPERCARS GALLERY
Motor Show 2017
The 87th Geneva International Motor Show (9-19 March) was filled with at least as much glamour and spectacle as any before it, but first a few personal notes and thoughts from JBR Capital’s COO Stephen Halstead.
I flew over on the Wednesday morning – by easyJet I might add, not a private jet like some people I met – so I attended the second press day and the first public day when I was joined by our CEO Darren Selig. (Better to do the press days – busy, but less so). There were generally more ‘wow cars’ this year than there were last, although last year did see the reveal of the Pagani Huayra BC, an all-time favourite of mine. Although the media is consumed with autonomous cars, nobody even mentioned ‘driverless’; it was all about the passion for the mechanical and the joy of driving.
While there I wondered whether this show was to be the last hurrah of the naturally-aspirated V12, and three of those are worthy of mention:
1. Aston Martin Vanquish S – it’s a touch old school now, but stunningly beautiful.
2. Ferrari 812 Superfast – an absolute tour de force. 800 horsepower? Why not?!
3. Lamborghini Aventador S – everything a Lambo should be. Powerful and outrageous.
Which segues neatly into Geneva also being ‘Hypercar Heaven’, and among the many to catch my eye were:
1. Koenigsegg Agera RS Gryphon – a bespoke one-off now with the looks and panache to go with its devastating power (1,341bhp!) and pace.
2. Pagani Huayra Roadster – a future Picasso, although Pagani would probably say Da Vinci!
3. McLaren overtakes Ferrari with the 720S. MSO version in red is particularly stunning and makes the 488 GTB look a bit plain.
Will Ferrari fight back next year with a Speciale version? We’ll see. Geneva is a veritable orgy of fantastic cars from the established makers, and as usual there were some new kids on the block also exhibiting impressive cars, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and the Zenvo to name but two. Apart from the wonderful hardware, Geneva is also Networking Central and it was really useful to meet and talk with various contacts. Will I be back next year? Silly question! Stephen Halstead.
Unable to attend the show in person? Here’s our round-up of the most significant Geneva-début cars from a JBR Capital perspective.
Following the first presentation of the Alpine Vision show car a year ago, the production A110 Première Edition (in homage to the A110 of the ‘60s and ‘70s) has been revealed. A Gallic alternative to the Alfa 4C and Porsche Cayman, the A110 is to be built at Alpine’s Dieppe factory. With an aluminium chassis and weighing 1,080kgs it’s powered by a new mid-mounted, 4cyl 1.8-litre turbo engine co-developed by Renault Sport which delivers 252hp to the rear wheels via a 7-speed DCT transmission. 0-62 takes a claimed 4.5 secs with a limited-to-155mph top speed. Provisionally priced at €58,500 (in France inc. VAT), RHD UK deliveries are due to start in 2018.
Centre of attention here was the AM-RB 001 hypercar, now named ‘Valkyrie’. Co-developed by Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technolgies (with F1’s Adrian Newey as Chief Technical Officer), the Valkyrie has a carbon fibre tub, Le Mans LMP1-style aerodynamics and a 6.5-litre non-turbo V12 co-developed by Cosworth with an F1-type energy recovery system. Aston Martin is keeping tech data to itself for now but the car is expected to make around 900hp and weigh in at under 1,000kg. 150 road Valkyries are scheduled plus a further 25 track-only versions. At an estimated £2 to £3 million, the first customer deliveries aren’t expected until 2019. Other happenings on the Aston stand included the launch of the AMR brand. This is intended to strengthen the connection between the company’s road and race cars, with AMR derivatives planned for every core model in the range. AMR Pro models will have more power, sharper dynamics and unique exterior and interior treatments. So far just seven 507hp V8 Vantage and 210 600hp Rapide AMR Pro variants have been given the production go-ahead.
The main draw at Bentley was the EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept. Not dissimilar in appearance to the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept coupe revealed at Geneva a couple of years ago, the EXP 12 is a convertible and, more significantly, it’s electric. Technical details have yet to be revealed but, according to its maker, the car ‘brings luxury ownership to the EV sector’, ‘Bentley’s vision includes rapid inductive charging’ and ‘an electric Bentley would, for example, be able to drive between London and Paris or Milan and Monaco on a single charge’. From that we can deduce that London to Monaco, for instance, would require at least four stops to recharge, so let’s hope that inductive charging is both available and rapid when the time comes.
Bentley’s other new showpiece was the Bentayga Mulliner, ‘the ultimate luxury SUV’, or in other words, even more opulent than the current Bentayga. Powered by Bentley’s 608hp 6-litre W12, the Crewe firm quotes 0-60 in 4.0 and 187mph. The Mulliner version on display featured unique marquetry depicting the Monte Rosa Massif, and, due of this kind of intricate and time-consuming detail, Mulliners will be very few in number. Your Bentayga Mulliner can be ordered from Spring ’17, and expect to pay substantially more than the current £162,700 list price of the standard W12 model.
Say hello to the 812 Superfast, named in homage to the Ferrari 500 Superfast revealed at Geneva back in 1964. As the F12 Berlinetta’s replacement, the 812 Superfast’s 6.5-litre V12 puts out 789bhp, or 20 more than the £340k F12 TdF, making it the most powerful and fastest road-going Ferrari ever – apart, that is, from (in Ferrari’s exact words) ‘the mid/rear-engined, special limited-series 12-cylinders’. This aside, 0-62 happens in a quoted 2.9 secs with a 211mph max, and the 7-speed 812 is the first Ferrari with electric power steering (EPS). Among its many novel tech features are FPO (Ferrari Power Oversteer) and FPP (Ferrari Peak Performance), and although a list price has yet to be announced (c.£300k?) disorderly queues are already being formed.
Jaguar Land Rover
JLR’s two main attractions were the Range Rover Velar and the Jaguar I-PACE concept. First revealed at London’s Design Museum a few days earlier, the Velar is the fourth model in the Range Rover range. Priced from £44,830 to £53,720 (OTR), the Velar slots in neatly between the Evoque and Sport models and five engines are offered at launch from a 180hp 2-litre, diesel to a 380hp supercharged 3-litre V6 petrol. The Velar is on sale now with deliveries due to start from July, while a 300hp petrol variant will join the line-up later this year.
Described as a no-compromise, 5-seater sports car and performance AWD SUV all in one, the I-PACE Concept is Jaguar’s first ever EV. Electric motors at the front and rear axles will generate a combined 400hp with 700Nm (516lb/ft), and the car has a predicted range of over 220 miles, (okay for a daily 40-mile commute, but less than ideal for London-Monaco…). According to Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, “The I-PACE isn’t just a concept, it’s a preview of a production car that will be on the road in 2018”. It’s expected to be priced at around £60k and those wishing to be among the first I-PACE owners should register their interest with Jaguar now.
The current Huracan LP610-4 weighs 1,422kg and its V10 motor makes 560hp. The new Huracan Performante revealed at Geneva weighs 1,382kg and makes 640hp. This is good for a quoted 0-62 in 2.9 secs with a top speed of more than 202mph. With its standard active aerodynamics (which can generate 750% more downforce than an ordinary Huracan coupe!) a Performante recently lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6:52.01, a new production road car record, although at the time of writing plausible theories abound that that lap time may not be 100% kosher. Whatever, the Performante is one very quick Lamborghini and, according to its maker, faster around the ‘Ring than its own 750hp Aventador SV. First Performante deliveries are due this summer, and the UK list is £173,271 (plus tax).
Expectations were high for McLaren’s second-generation Super Series, previously codenamed ‘P14’, but even the most seasoned showgoers were taken aback by the style, specification and all-round amazingness of the new 720S. The car boasts a carbon fibre Monocage II chassis, cutting edge aerodynamics, a new active chassis system, a 1,283kg dry weight and a revolutionary folding driver’s display. Its 4-litre twin-turbo V8 (with 41% new parts) generates 720hp and 770Nm (567lb/ft) and the engine illuminates red as you approach the car. Quoted performance figures are: 0-62mph in under 3 secs, 0-124 in 8 secs (a speed from which it takes just 4.6 secs to brake to a halt), with a 212mph max. McLaren says the 720S also ‘establishes new standards in the supercar segment for visibility, space and comfort’, and according to Chief Designer Rob Melville, it has “three times more luggage space than any competitor”.
As if that wasn’t enough, the following day the Woking maker unveiled the stunning 720S ‘Velocity’ by McLaren Special Operations. Velocity is one of five MSO themes, the others being GT, Pacific, Track and Stealth. With its fusion of Volcano and Nerello Red paint, gloss carbon parts, metallic bronze alloys and much more, the Velocity version showcased MSO’s extensive bespoke capabilities. Priced from £208,600, or region £335k in MSO spec, the 720S is available to order now with first deliveries scheduled for May ’17.
Mercedes had a diverse variety of models on its stand including the new E-Class Cabriolet, the AMG E63S Estate, the X-Class double-cab pick-up, the Merc-AMG GT R and the G-Class Landaulette 4×4, but arguably the most intriguing was the Merc-AMG GT Concept. Using hybrid technology derived from the Mercedes Petronas F1 car, the 5-door coupe GT Concept combines a 4-litre biturbo petrol V8 with an electric motor and lightweight batteries to develop a potential 805bhp with a 0-62 time of under 3 secs. According to Mercedes, ‘The show car gives a sneak preview of the exterior design of the coming production model’.
Those who had assumed that the 911R unveiled at Geneva last year would be the final 911 with a fully manual gearbox were in for a surprise this year when Porsche revealed its new 911 GT3. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 500hp 4-litre flat six (virtually unchanged from the GT3 Cup racer’s engine), as standard the new GT3 will again be equipped with a 7-speed PDK transmission (0-62 in 3.4, 197mph). However, ‘for customers wishing for an even purer, unadulterated driving experience’ a 6-speed manual option (0-62 in 3.9, 198mph) will be provisionally available from September 2017. The new GT3’s RRP is £111,802 (inc. VAT) with first deliveries during early summer 2017.
Also premiered was the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo. First revealed as a concept in late 2012, the Sport Turismo is essentially a 5-door sportwagon/shooting-brake version of the 4-door Panamera saloon. Exhibited in 4, 4S, 4S Diesel, 4 E-Hybrid and Turbo guises, the Sport Turismo’s redesigned rear end, large tailgate, low loading edge, extra 25 litres of loadspace (1,390 litres max) and 4+1 seating all combine to make it a more practical proposition, while also resolving the uncomfortable looks of the saloon. Ranging in price from around £86k to £140k, deliveries should commence in October 2017.
GENEVA 2017 SUPERCARS GALLERY
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