2016 Geneva Motor Show: Luxury Debuts

© Perry Stern, Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceLuxury Takes the Stage
The annual Geneva Motor Show has a reputation as the most likely venue for automakers to debut their latest exotic sports cars or high-performance variants of other models, such as the Lamborghini Centenario, Bugatti Chiron or Ferrari GTC4Lusso. But there are also many new luxury models making their world premieres at the Swiss show, often with power and performance to challenge true sports cars. Click through for a quick overview of the top luxury cars at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Flying Spur V8 S
Bentley adds to the Flying Spur lineup with the new V8 S, positioned between the Flying Spur V8 and the Flying Spur W12 at the top of the model line. Tuned for additional power, the Flying Spur V8 S gets motivation from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that develops 521 horsepower, up from 500 in the Flying Spur V8, with 502 lb-ft of torque available as low as 1700 rpm. The Flying Spur V8 S will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and has a top track speed of 190 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Flying Spur V8 S
The suspension on the V8 S has been tuned for improved handling and body control with aluminum double wishbones up front, self-leveling air suspension at the rear and continuous damping control. Exterior updates include a black grille with body-color insert, optional dark-tint front lights and a Beluga gloss rear diffuser. Inside, the Flying Spur V8 S features piano black trim and a 3-spoke sport steering wheel as standard equipment.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Mulsanne
Bentley debuted the next-generation Mulsanne in Switzerland, for the first time offering an extended-wheelbase version of Bentley’s flagship sedan. The new model lineup includes Mulsanne, the performance-oriented Mulsanne Speed and the ultra-luxurious Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase with airplane-style extended legrests for the rear seats, a rear sunroof and a focus on the comfort of rear-seat passengers with just under 10 inches of additional rear-seat legroom. The Mulsanne has been completely redesign forward of the A-pillars with a more prominent grille, new front fenders, a new hood, floating all-LED headlights and a revised one-piece bumper — all integrated to give the Mulsanne a fresh, modern appearance. The new grille is just over 3 inches wider, with stainless steel vertical vanes and the Bentley matrix vertical grille visible behind it.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Mulsanne
The Mulsanne Speed combines luxury and performance with a focus on the driver, powered by a 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 530 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque, paired with an 8-speed ZF transmission and adjustable sport suspension. The Mulsanne Speed will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds with a top track speed of 190 mph. The Mulsanne and Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase receive a 505-horsepower version of the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 752 lb-ft of torque. Inside the Mulsanne features redesigned seats, armrests and door trim, continuing Bentley’s reputation for finely-crated interiors with soft-touch leathers, hand-selected veneers and brightly polished stainless steel. The seats are offered in Fluted or Quilted styles, with 24 colors of leather available in either single or two-tone combinations.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW ALPINA B7 Bi-Turbo
Based on the latest BMW 7 Series, the 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 Bi-Turbo at the Geneva show is the third ALPINA B7 model available to the U.S. market. Slated to debut at the New York International Auto Show and go on sale at U.S. dealers in September 2016, the U.S. version will be known as the 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive. Motivated by a 600-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, the Alpina B7’s power gets delivered through BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, helping the car accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds with a top track speed of 193 mph.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW ALPINA B7 Bi-Turbo
Featuring advanced suspension and chassis technology with ALPINA calibration, the BMW ALPINA B7 Bi-Turbo includes for the first time Integral Active Steering, while the Carbon Core body and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires contribute to direct handling and precise steering. The air suspension system utilizes Dynamic Damper Control and Active Comfort Control with Road Preview for a high level of comfort, and Active Roll Stabilization minimizes body control. Ride height can be adjusted a total of 1.6 inches, lowered 0.8 inches at high speeds for a lower center of gravity and raised 0.8 inches at low speeds for additional ground clearance. The Driving Dynamics Control includes a special ALPINA Sport+ Mode that adjusts vehicle, drivetrain and suspension settings to maximize dynamic performance, including lowering the ride height.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW 740e iPerformance
BMW revealed the 740e iPerformance at the 2016 Geneva show — a plug-in-hybrid version of the flagship 7 Series sedan, which will be the first model with the iPerformance designation. Beginning in July 2016 with the 740e, all BMW plug-in-hybrid models will receive the iPerformance designation, benefitting from the transfer of technology (electric motors, battery cells and electronic control systems) from BMW i models. Each iPerformance model will include i badges on the front fenders, blue elements in the kidney grilles, blue in the wheel hubs and an eDrive logo on the C-pillar.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW 740e iPerformance
Scheduled to arrive in the U.S. market in summer 2016, the 740e iPerformance will be powered by a hybrid drive system that combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter BMW TwinPower 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 326 horsepower. The 740e iPerformance is expected to have a range of 23 miles in all-electric mode, with a top speed of 75 mph. The 7 Series features Carbon Core passenger cell technology with extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic to reduce weight while increasing torsional strength and bending resistance.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceLexus LC 500h
The new Lexus flagship LC 500 coupe debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, followed by the world premiere of the LC 500h in Geneva with the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid system. The stunning design of the LC 500h remains true to the LF-LC concept revealed four years ago with an aggressive, dynamic design that includes the Lexus spindle grille, LED headlights, L-shaped daytime running lights, fast-sloping roofline, slim multi-layer taillights, diffuser and available active rear spoiler aiding aerodynamics. The new Multi Stage Hybrid System maximizes the competing goals of a sporty and engaging driving experience while optimizing power and fuel consumption.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceLexus LC 500h
At the heart of the LC 500h is the new Multi Stage Hybrid system that combines the usual components of a full-hybrid system with an additional automatic 4-speed gearbox to create a more direct response for the driver — specifically optimizing the relationship between the accelerator pedal and actual vehicle acceleration. The hybrid system includes a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a powerful electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. The electric motor provides good acceleration, and the 4-speed gearbox at the rear of the hybrid transmission helps the V6 engine feel more like part of a traditional drivetrain rather than a hybrid system. The LC 500h is expected to acceleration from zero to 62 mph in less than 5 seconds. The new hybrid system also includes M Mode, which allows the driver to shift manually for a more engaging driving experience.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaserati Levante
The first SUV in the 100-year history of Maserati, the Levante debuted this week at the Geneva show. The names of many past Maserati models were inspired by the wind, and Levante gets its name from a warm wind that can change quickly from a light breeze to strong gusts that cause heavy swells on the Mediterranean. Based on the same architecture as the Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans, Levante shares design elements with other Maserati models including the grille with its prominent trident logo, portholes in the front fenders and the shape of the taillights. The sloped roofline creates a more coupelike profile.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaserati Levante
Maserati’s newest model is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that develops 430 horsepower for the Levante S and 350 horsepower for the Levante. A 275-horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel is also offered. The Q4 intelligent all-wheel-drive system is standard and all engines are combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission. An electric panoramic sunroof is standard, and the interior has premium materials with options that include premium leather and Ermenegildo Zegna silk, made in Trivero under a patented process by the Zegna wool mill.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
The C-Class Cabriolet debuted at the Geneva show, marking the first time Mercedes-Benz has offered a convertible based on the compact C-Class. The new C-Class Cabriolet design follows that of the Coupe, with a diamond grille, standard LED headlights, a long hood and high beltline. The distinctive rear design possesses a sporty look, with wide shoulders and flat LED taillights. With a power acoustic cloth soft-top, the profile of the C-Class Cabriolet mimics the C-Class Coupe when the top is up, and the top can be lowered in 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
The rear-wheel-drive C300 Cabriolet gets motivation from a powerful but efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and AIRMATIC air suspension are optional. The Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet is powered by a biturbo 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission and standard AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system with rear-biased torque distribution. The C43 Cabriolet features AMG Ride Control sport suspension, AMG 5-mode Dynamic Select, 3-stage ESP Electronic Stability Program, a diamond grille with chrome pins, AMG bumpers, 18-inch AMG light alloy 5-spoke wheels with high-gloss black paint, an AMG instrument cluster, a multifunction sport steering wheel and black sport seats with MB-Tex/Dinamica microfiber and red stitching.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Mercedes-Benz presented the new 2017 E-Class sedan at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show following its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in January. The 10th-generation E-Class boasts a new exterior design, a new luxurious interior and world-premiere technologies. With a long hood and short decklid, the E-Class has classic Mercedes sedan proportions and a similarity to the larger S-Class sedan. Mercedes-Benz says the new E-Class interior is “the synthesis of emotion and intelligence,” dominated by a next-gen high-resolution display that combines a wide navigation display screen and a traditional gauge cluster integrated into a single unit behind the steering wheel. The steering wheel features two touch-sensitive control pads — similar to a smartphone interface —that respond to horizontal and vertical swiping motions, allowing the driver to control the infotainment system with thumb motions without removing hands from the steering wheel.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The E-Class will launch in the U.S. market with a new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. The standard steel-spring suspension has two available DIRECT CONTROL suspension systems and a new AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension is optional. New E-Class technological highlights include DRIVE PILOT with Distance Pilot Distronic, which lets drivers follow a vehicle at a pre-selected distance at speeds up to 130 mph. Steering Pilot functions at speeds up to 130 mph in ideal conditions and can actively intervene even if road lines are unclear at speeds up to 81 mph. An Active Lane-change Assist uses both cameras and radar to aid the driver when changing lanes, and Active Brake Assist warns drivers about impending crash situations, and even detects pedestrians crossing in front of the car. Other technologies include Evasive Steering Assist, Car-to-X Communication, and PRE-SAFE Impulse Side.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRolls-Royce Black Badge
In Geneva Rolls-Royce asserted more attitude from the brand via the introduction of Black Badge — a darker, edgier style for customers looking to make a different statement. Described as the alter ego of Rolls-Royce, Black Badge is darker, more assertive, more confident, powerful and more demanding, offered in two models as Ghost Black Badge and Wraith Black Badge. The exterior trim is darkened, including the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine above the grille, and the RR badges invert to silver on black. All chrome surfaces including the grille, trunk trim and exhaust pipes are darkened as well. Specially-developed Black Badge wheels are 22 layers of carbon fiber laid in three axes for strength with an aircraft-grade aluminum hub.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRolls-Royce Black Badge
Inside, Black Badge provides a darker interpretation of luxury with aerospace-grade aluminum-threaded carbon fiber composite surfacing — a material used on stealth aircraft. Air vents are darkened and a Black Badge clock with orange-tipped hands is gets added to the dash with the ‘Unlimited’ rating infinity logo on the face; the logo is also embroidered on the upholstery. To create an edgy feel for the interior, black leather is combined with Tailored Purple in Ghost Black Badge and Cobalto Blue in Wraith Black Badge. Already extremely powerful, the drivetrain of the Ghost Black Badge was modified to boost the overall output to 603 horsepower to be more responsive, while the suspension and steering were tuned to retain the luxurious ride but with more of a driver focus. Already the most powerful Rolls-Royce model at 623 horsepower, the Wraith Black Badge receives additional torque, redesigned air suspension and a revised 8-speed automatic transmission for a more spirited driving experience.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolvo V90
The Volvo V90 wagon was on display in Geneva a few weeks after it’s official reveal in Stockholm, Sweden. The newest addition to the Volvo lineup alongside the XC90 crossover and the S90 sedan, the V90 is the third vehicle in the top-of-the line 90 Series built on the same fully modular Scalable Product Architecture. Volvo has a strong history and reputation building stylish and capable wagons, and the design of the V90 is sleek and sophisticated with a focus on aesthetics, materials and finish while still delivering the utility of a wagon.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolvo V90
Scheduled to arrive for the U.S. market in 2017, the V90 will be sold as the T8 Twin Engine gas plug-in hybrid that will deliver about 400 horsepower and offer a full-electric range of 30 miles. The new V90 features Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology, and the advanced standard safety package includes large animal detection and run-off-road mitigation. Connectivity includes smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay. Volvo has focused on driving dynamics for the V90 to deliver a more refined driving experience with a sense of control and predictability.

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