2014-03-07: Geneva: Highlights from Koenigsegg, Ermini, Alfa Romeo, McLaren and more ...
Following our detailed report on the show itself, it is now time to look at some of the very best cars unveiled in Geneva this week. Certainly the most powerful is the Koenigsegg One:1, which will be built in limited numbers to mark the company's 20th anniversary. The power output of the bespoke twin-turbo V8 is cheekily listed by Koenigsegg as 1MW or 1,340 bhp. The One:1 name is a reference to the 1 bhp / 1 kg power to weight ratio.
The latest classic name revived is Ermini, who showed the fabulous Seiottosei sports car in Geneva. Tipping the scales at just 686 kg (hence the name), the minimalistic roadster is powered by a 320 bhp Renault engine. Other Italian machinery that starred at the Swiss show were the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, which is due to enter production in 2015, the Italdesign Clipper design study and the very quick Fiat Abarth 695 biposto.
McLaren meanwhile revealed the 650S Spider, which joins the 650S Coupe announced a few weeks earlier. With 641 bhp on tap, it is the most powerful production McLaren currently available.
One of our favourite show cars in Geneva was the Quant e-Sportlimousine, which was built to showcase the novel nanoflowcell energy storage system.
Although not on display, Jaguar did release the first details of the upcoming XE, which will be the company's new compact model.
The single most highly anticipated sponsorship announcement this year was the much speculated return of Martini to Formula 1. This finally happened when the strikingly Martini liveried Williams FW36 Mercedes broke cover yesterday.
2014-03-05: Geneva: 2014 Motor Show report and 260-shot gallery ...
The Palexpo exhibition centre in Geneva has opened its doors for the 84th annual International Motor Show this week. One of the most highly regarded of all motor shows, Geneva is traditionally attended by all the major manufacturers but also by most of the specialist firms, which greatly contributes to its appeal. This year was certainly no exception as companies like Toyota and Renault shared space on the show floor with less mainstream names the likes of Ermini, Zenvo and Quant. Among the highlights this year was the launch of the new Lamborghini Huracan and the striking Maserati Alfieri we already featured earlier this week but also the all-new rear-engined Renault Twingo. Providing a walk through endurance racing history was a spectacular display of cars that placed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including many winners, ranging from the early 1920s straight through to the battered Audi that won in 2013.
As always, our photographers roamed the various halls in the Palexpo to capture all the highlights. The result is a comprehensive 260-shot gallery, which serves to illustrate a concise report.
2014-03-04: Geneva: Maserati Alfieri in full detail ...
Amidst the dozens of new cars announced today at the Geneva Internatinoal Motor Show, one in particular stood out: the Maserati Alfieri. Named after the most prominent of the company's founding brothers, it was built to celebrate Maserati's 100th anniversary. Providing the inspiration for the striking 2+2 Coupe was the A6GCS/53 Pinin Farina Coupe we already highlighted earlier this year. In addition to the styling similarities, the A in A6GCS is also short for Alfieri. Working under Lorenzo Ramciotti, the car was styled by Maserati Centro Stile and combines thoroughly modern lines with retro details like the faux wire wheels. The underpinnings for the car are based on the GranTurismo MC Stradale but using a shorter wheelbase chassis. This means the compact machine boasts a 460 hp version of the familiar V8 engine, which created quite a roar at the launch this morning. Maserati is currently assessing wether the Alfieri should enter production, which we certainly hope it will. Wrestling through a sea of photographers, we have managed to capture every angle of the Alfieri as can be seen in our 16-shot gallery.
Keep an eye on this space as a complete report with a comprehensive gallery from the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show will be published within a day, followed by more detailed features of the cars launched here.
2014-03-03: Geneva: Audi TTS, Volkswagen T-Roc, Alfa QVs and potent Evoque ...
On the eve of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the Volkswagen Group held their traditional preview show. Among the models announced were the all-new TT range, headlined by the TTS Coupe. Around 100 kg lighter than its predecessor, the TTS features a 306 bhp, 2-litre TFSI engine, which drives all four wheels through Audi's familiar quattro system. In Geneva, the TTS will be shown in Coupe form but a Roadster will also follow.
Another car previewed tonight was the Volkswagen T-Roc Concept, which offers a first glimpse of future Volkswagen SUVs. In concept form, the T-Roc boasts a 181 bhp diesel engine.
An altogether more potent SUV is the Range Rover Evoque Autobiography Dynamic, which features a two-litre turbocharged petrol engine wound up to produce a startling 281 bhp.
Over at Alfa Romeo, the news for Geneva is limited to two high performance versions of existing models; the 237 bhp Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde and the 170 bhp MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde.
Over the weekend, BMW revealed the new-for-2014 M4 DTM, which will take over from the two-time championship winning M3 DTM. Like its rivals the very aggressive looking M4 DTM features a carbon fibre monocoque chassis and a naturally aspirated V8 engine.
2014-02-28: Daytona 24 Hours winning Porsches headed for auction and more from Geneva ...
Porsche is one of, if not the most successful manufacturers in endurance racing, seeking their record extending 17th outright victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this summer. It nevertheless took the German team until 1968 before it scored the first outright win in a 24-hour race. The car to break the duck for Porsche is this Daytona 24 Hours 907L. Powered by a 2.2 litre flat eight engine, this highly efficient machine crossed the line three cars abreast as the sister cars placed second and third. Despite its historic significance, it was raced until 1973 and has since been campaigned in historic events for many years as well. Now freshly restored, chassis 907-005 will be the star lot of next week's Gooding Amelia Island sale, where it is estimated to sell for at least $3.5 million. Another Porsche-engined Daytona 24 Hours winning car due to cross the block in Amelia Island is this March 83G Porsche, which won the race in 1984 after clinching the IMSA championship a year earlier. Probably the single most successful March sports racer is estimated to sell for $750,000 - $1 million.
The most recent addition to the ever growing list of Geneva releases is the Lexus RC F GT3 Concept, which offers a preview of the GT3 due to make its on-track debut in 2015. It will be powered by a 540 bhp version of the RC F engine.
Volvo will also offer a glimpse of what is to come with the Estate Concept. This is the the third in a series of three show cars that will form the basis for the Swedish manufacturer's future design direction.
McLaren and Vauxhall have meanwhile released further images and details of the high performance 650S Coupe and Astra VXR Extreme announced earlier this month.
2014-02-26: More Geneva news with Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake and mid-engined Hyundai ...
At next week's Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar will launch yet another very desirable machine in the form of the XFR-S Sportbrake. This high performance machine combines the practical estate body of the XF Sportbrake with the 550 hp supercharged V8 of Jaguar's range topping models. To cope with the additional power, the XFR-S Sportbrake also features an uprated suspension. The result should make runs to the supermarket more fun and quicker than ever before.
An altogether more docile estate due to be shown at the Swiss show is the MINI Clubman Concept. As the name suggests, this is a preview of the upcoming Clubman model based on the recently introduced third generation MINI.
Designed by master students of the Instituto Europeo di Design in Turin, the mid-engined Hyundai PassoCarto will certain grab a lot of attention in Geneva. The evocative name, Italian for Short Wheelbase, is combined with a mid-engined layout.
In the Japanese Super GT championship it will be all change this year as the regulations have been revised to more closely match the DTM, with the exception of the engines. The new generation cars will share many common components including the carbon-fibre monocoque and brakes. Nissan will field this GT-R Nismo GT500, which is powered by a direct injection, turbocharged four cylinder engine. In addition to new images, the Japanese manufacturer has also released a video showing the car in action at Fuji and also explaining the changes for 2014.
2014-02-24: Lauda's 1975 World Championship winning Ferrari and some of its contemporaries ...
Three-time World Champion Niki Lauda turned 65 this weekend. The talented Austrian scored the first of his three titles with the Ferrari 312 T. This was the first F1 Ferrari to combine Mauro Forghieri's flat 12 engine with a transverse (hence the name) gearbox. After a difficult debut in round three of the 1975 World Championship, it dominated Formula 1 well into the 1976 season. More importantly it ended a decade long world championship drought for the Italian team. To celebrate Lauda's birthday and an era when F1 cars were as fast as they were pretty, we have taken a detailed look at the 312 T. Our exclusive 51-shot gallery includes images of three different examples seen in action at Monaco and Spa Francorchamps.
The 1970s also saw a colourful mix of British 'kit-cars' built around the ubiquitous Ford Cosworth DFV engine, which raced with a varying degree of success. One of the more prolific manufacturers of the day was March, who also produced cars for customers. One of them was the 721G Cosworth, reportedly developed in just nine days. Apparently the G is short for Guinness in reference in the record amount of time the car was built. The result reflected the rush in which the 1972 March was built and the March 731 that was derived from it also failed to impress.
Replacing the Surtees TS7 we featured a fortnight ago was the slightly larger TS9 Cosworth, which in turn evolved into the TS9B Cosworth. The latter would turn out to be the best Surtees Grand Prix car and saw the team end 1972 fifth in the constructor's standing.
2014-02-21: Sophisticated BTCC Mondeo, new Lotus E22 and the latest for Geneva ...
The 1990s was a great decade for touring car racing with the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) leading the way. The popular series was run under the very lenient Super Touring regulations, which resulted in some of the most sophisticated tin-tops ever built. Dominating the final season of the Super Touring era (2000) was the Prodrive developed and built Ford Mondeo Super Touring. This was powered by a V6 mounted so low in the chassis that the driveshafts actually ran over the engine. In their second year with new partner Prodrive, Ford could finally reap the reward from sticking with BTCC from 1993 onwards as the drivers finished the 2000 season first, second and third in the standings. Today we have taken a closer look at the 2000-specification Ford Mondeo Super Touring with a detailed history of two of the four examples built. One of these will be offered over the weekend by Silverstone Auctions at their Race Retro sale.
Meanwhile, Formula 1 testing has resumed this week at Bahrain. One of the most highly anticipated cars on track was the Lotus E22 Renault, which did not run at Jerez. It boasts a truly unique two-fingered nose to meet the revised aero regulations. Over the last few days, the new E22 Renault has not yet impressed.
Yesterday, Audi released the first sketches of the third generation TT, which will first see the light of day at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Judging from the artist impressions, the compact coupe will have sharper lines than ever before. Also due to debut in Switzerland will be the Mazda Hazumi and Subaru VIZIV 2 concepts.
2014-02-19: Beautiful Ferraris that starred at Retromobile and Geneva-bound Aston and Audi ...
This year's Retromobile show was one of the finest we have ever attended and accordingly there were many highlights. Not in the least a pair of achingly beautiful Ferraris; the 330 P4 shown by Franco Meiners and the similarly styled 206 S Dino Spyder brought by Peter Wiesner. The two cars have recently been released and were first seen following their restoration at Retromobile. The most substantial work was done to the 1967 Le Mans-class winning 330 P4, which since late 1967 has sported a Can-Am style bodywork. Re-bodied by David Piper in 2013, it has most recently been revised once again now with Coupe bodywork. In addition to chassis 0858 displayed at Retromobile, our 35-shot gallery also includes images of the highly original chassis 0856 and the 0900 replica. Not quite as rare, the 206 S Dino Spyder on show in Paris has had the same owner for over four decades. Our 48-shot gallery includes shots of four different examples.
Among the most recent machines announced for the Geneva Motor Show is the hardcore Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430, which combines the 430 hp engine out of the Vantage S with a track-honed chassis. It will be available as a Coupe or a Roadster later this year. Audi meanwhile released the first details of the fourth member of the S3 family; the S3 Cabriolet. It uses the same 300 hp engine as its tin-top sister models and comes standard with a six-speed, dual clutch automatic gearbox.
2014-02-18: High performance McLaren 650S, new Volkswagen Scirocco R and latest Rinspeed ...
A year after making the company's Geneva Motor Show debut, McLaren will once again be one of the star attractions at the shores of Lac Leman with the high performance 650S. Based on the MP4-12C, the new McLaren will be available in coupe or spider form. The name is a reference to the 650 hp engine, while the S is short for Sport. The car's exterior design is influenced by the sell-out P1 launched 12 months ago. McLaren have released the first images and details of the 650S Coupe but we will have to wait another fortnight to see a first glimpse of the Spider.
Volkswagen will use the Swiss show to introduce the heavily revised Scirocco range. The line-up will be spearheaded by the Scirocco R, which benefits from both cosmetic and performance upgrades. The familiar, direct-injection and turbocharged engine has been tweaked to produce 280 hp; an increase of 15 hp.
A set fixture at Geneva is local design and engineering company Rinspeed, who each year produce one of the show's most exciting concept cars. This year's machine is dubbed the XchangE, which focuses on autonomous driving. Based on the highly acclaimed Tesla Model S, it features drive by wire controls. As a result, the steering wheel can be moved to a central position while the car itself takes control. During this time a state-of-the-art entertainment system will ensure that the XchangE's passengers will not be bored.
2014-02-14: Ferrari Friday with all-new California T and classic 365 California ...
Ahead of the official launch at the Geneva Motor Show in just over a fortnight, Ferrari have released the first images and details of the California T. Replacing the existing California, it is more than a facelift as most of the changes are skin-deep. The biggest news is a brand new V8 engine equipped with two turbos, which is good for 552 bhp. Ferrari insist the engine behaves very much like a naturally aspirated engine thanks to variable geometry turbines. As can be seen in this 10-shot gallery, the exterior design has also been extensively revised with the legendary 'pontoon fender' 250 TR serving as one of the inspirations.
California is one of the classic Ferrari monikers, best known for the spartan 250 GT roadsters. It was also used for the final custom order Ferrari; the 365 California Spyder, produced in 1966 and 1967 at a rate of one a month. Little known today, the very large 2+2 convertible sported some very unusual styling cues like the pop-up headlights and trapezoidal taillights. Priced at a formidable $20,000 only 14 were eventually built, many of which were acquired by the world's rich and famous. Our detailed article is illustrated by a 57-shot gallery, featuring no fewer than 7 different chassis, including the example that recently changed hands for a record breaking $3 million.
2014-02-12: John Surtees turns 80 and the latest news ...
John Surtees OBE has turned 80 years old yesterday. The versatile racer is still the only World Champion on two and four wheels but also built, fielded and raced cars under his own name in the early 1970s. Team Surtees' very first Formula 1 car was the TS7 Cosworth. Built around an unusually square monocoque, it was raced with considerable success in 1970 by Surtees himself and a young Derek Bell. We captured the Surtees TS7 at Goodwood some years ago with both Surtees and Bell behind the wheel.
As March approaches, the number of Geneva previews will only increase. Among them this week are the 228 bhp Audi S1 and Audi S1 Sportback. Mercedes-Benz will use the Swiss show to present the all-new S-Class Coupe. The range topping model of the large coupe will be powered by a twin-turbo V8, good for 449 bhp.
Concept cars are also expected to star in Geneva and these include the near production-ready Honda Civic Type R, Skoda VisionC and SsangYong XLV.
At the Boca Raton Concours in Florida, Hennessey will reveal the HPE700 Twin Turbo Corvette. As the name suggests, this high performance Stingray will be powered by a twin-turbo version of the V8, belting out over 700 bhp.
An interesting project that captured our eye is the recently established David Brown Automotive's Project Judi. Based on Jaguar XKR underpinnings, it will feature a bespoke body with hints of Aston Martins of old.