2017 Geneva Motor Show: High-Performance Rides

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHigh Performance
If there’s one thing that visitors to the Geneva Motor Show can set their (Swiss) watches by, it’s the perennial plethora of high-performance rides on display — and this year’s show certainly didn’t disappoint. There were all-new models from big names such as Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini and Porsche, as well as offerings from brands most people have never heard of, such as Gemballa, Vanda and Zenvo. Here’s a quick look at the wide range of sports cars showcased at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, listed in alphabetical order.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAlpine A110
The Alpine brand returned to the Geneva show this year, presenting its first new model since ceasing production in the mid-1990s. Owned by French automaker Renault, Alpine plans to return to market with the all-new A110. This mid-engine 2-seat sports car champions the qualities that had been hallmarks of past Alpines — compact, lightweight and agile. With an aluminum-intensive platform and body that is bonded, riveted and welded, the A110 is extremely light with a very rigid structure. Power comes from a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine putting out almost 250 horsepower, tied to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Sales will begin in Europe later this year; however, there are no plans to bring the A110 to America.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAston Martin Vanquish S Volante
The Vanquish is the grand touring flagship of the Aston Martin line, and the Volante S is the ultimate open-top version. With a beautifully sculpted body trimmed in carbon fiber and new quad exhaust outlets, the Volante S looks fast even when standing still. The hidden potential under the hood complements the looks — a 6.0-liter V12 engine putting out almost 600 horsepower. The convertible’s Touchtronic III ZF 8-speed automatic transmission has been tuned for faster shifts, and the suspension, dampers, spring rates and anti-roll bars have been set up to give the Vanquish S Volante added performance and handling while retaining the smooth ride expected of a grand touring car.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAudi RS 3 Sportback
Following the introduction of the RS 3 sedan in Paris last fall, Audi chose Geneva as the venue to showcase the high-performance 5-door. “The Audi RS 3 Sportback offers our customers an attractive introduction to the RS world,” said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH. And the RS world is a fun place to inhabit — this compact model boasts a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine pumping out 400 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. With traction courtesy of Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system, the RS 3 Sportback can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 174 mph. With a wide track, sport suspension and large brakes, the RS 3 should hold its own against sports cars with much higher starting prices.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAudi RS 5 Coupe
The RS models in the Audi lineup represent the highest levels of performance, and this certainly holds true for the all-new RS 5 Coupe. “The new Audi RS 5 Coupe is the gran turismo among the RS models from Audi Sport. The high-performance Coupé combines elegant aesthetics with high everyday usability,” said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH, when describing the new model. Multiple air inlets and a Singleframe grille provide cooling to the all-new 2.9-liter biturbo V6 engine. The RS 5 is rated at 450 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque — enough to push this sleek coupe to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than 4 seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Continental Supersports
The Supersports resides at the top of the Bentley Continental lineup as the British marque’s ultimate example of 2-door luxury and performance. Available as a 4-seat coupe or convertible, the Continental Supersports boasts a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine that generates an immense 700 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque. Teamed with a fast-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission and full-time all-wheel drive, the new Continental can reach 60 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds. Top speed is listed as 209 mph. The Supersports sets itself apart from the “common” Continental with unique front and rear bumper designs incorporating a carbon-fiber splitter and diffuser, as well as new side sill extensions and hood vents also finished in carbon fiber. The convertible features a multi-layer top with high levels of acoustic insulation to retain the luxurious, refined atmosphere of a coupe. Inside, seats and door panels feature a new diamond-quilted design, and checkered carbon-fiber fascia panels are a new addition to the existing list of 10 veneers and technical finishes available.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBugatti Chiron
Bugatti introduced the Chiron at last year’s Geneva show, but it is still worth calling out here. Powering the Chiron is a newly-developed 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine producing 1500 horsepower and an insane 1180 lb-ft of torque, available as low as 2000 rpm. The Chiron uses a new 2-stage turbocharging system that starts with two turbos engaged for quicker acceleration, and at 3700 rpm the other two turbos kick in. Performances numbers are staggering: The Chiron reaches 62 mph in less than 2.5 seconds, 124 mph in around 6.5 seconds and — most amazing of all — 186 mph in less than 13.6 seconds. Good for more than just straight-line speed, this super sports car can achieve 1.5 g in lateral acceleration, and with new high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes the Chiron can reach a full stop from 62 mph in a little more than 100 feet. Only 500 Chirons will be built, and half of them have already been spoken for — impressive sales figures for a car priced in the $2.5 million range.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceFerrari 812 Superfast
Throughout its storied history, Ferrari has affixed the Superfast moniker to a select number of vehicles, and this new Ferrari certainly deserves the designation. Billed as the most powerful and fastest Ferrari in the marque’s history, the 812 Superfast boasts a new 6.5-liter V12 engine that produces a mind-boggling 789 horsepower at 8500 rpm. With a quick-shifting dual-clutch gearbox, the front-engine 812 Superfast reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) in a mere 2.9 seconds. With enough road (or track) ahead, this latest Ferrari will top out somewhere north of 211 mph. The silhouette of the 812 Superfast evokes a sleek fastback; Ferrari says it’s reminiscent of the 1969 365 GTB4. At the rear are four round taillights — along with four exhaust outlets — that contribute to the 812’s wide stance. When it arrives, the 812 Superfast will roll from the factory in a special new color — Rosso Settanta — to honor the company’s 70th anniversary.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceGemballa Avalanche
If you think this Gemballa Avalanche looks like a previous-generation Porsche 911 Turbo, you would be correct. The Porsche 991 Turbo is the basis for the third-generation Avalanche from German car customizer and tuner Gemballa. From the wide fenders to the large rear spoiler and 21-inch forged wheels, the Avalanche certainly turns heads — especially painted in deep purple metallic. Much of the body is carbon fiber, which makes for a stiff, lightweight shell. Of course, Gemballa made some adjustments to the original 3.8-liter Porsche motor — output increases to 820 horsepower with more than 700 lb-ft of torque.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda Civic Type R
After Honda’s relentless teasing via the Type R concept over the last year, we finally got to see the final product at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The Civic Type R looks much like the concept with aggressive front-end styling, a hood scoop and a large rear spoiler — Honda even kept the three-outlet exhaust system. With chassis and suspension upgrades designed to make it track-ready, the Type R sports a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 306 horsepower. “The fastest, most powerful Honda ever sold in America, the Type R caps off the incredible success story of our 10th generation Civic lineup,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president & general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Conrad also noted that Honda is “. . . happy to inform [their] U.S. enthusiasts that the long wait for the forbidden fruit of Honda Type R performance is nearly over!”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceKoenigsegg Regera
Regera is the new flagship of the Koenigsegg line, and in Geneva this year the company showcased the first delivery-ready example. Not quite British Racing Green, this first Regera features a green-tinted clearcoat that allows the carbon fiber weave to show through. Designed to provide a more luxurious experience than the typical extreme offerings from Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg, the Regera features memory-foam power seats, a 9-inch display screen, Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay and ambient lighting. No matter how this car is appointed, the Agera is all about performance: a twin-turbo V8 engine teams with two electric motors via a unique direct-drive system. With more than 700 horsepower from the electric motors alone, combined output exceeds 1500 horsepower and 1475 lb-ft of torque. Weighing only 3,500 pounds, the Regera will reach 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and — even more impressive — almost 250 mph in less than 20 seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLamborghini Huracan Performante
Granted, there are no models in the Lamborghini stable that aren’t incredibly sleek and fast, but periodically the Italian automaker introduces a special variant designed for even more extreme performance. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, that model would be the Huracan Performante. “The Huracan Performante is the convergence of technological developments to produce a car delivering perfect performance,” says Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali. Utilizing forged carbon fiber to reduce weight by almost 90 pounds versus the standard Huracan, the Performante uses active aerodynamics to improve performance on the road and the track. The Huracan’s 5.2-liter V10 puts out 640 horsepower. These changes have delivered the desired effect — Lamborghini recently reported that the Performante completed a lap of the legendary Nurburgring in 6:52.01, making it one of the fastest production cars ever.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMcLaren 720S
For the first time since McLaren returned to the sports car market six years ago, the brand is introducing a second generation for one of its models. The latest entry in the Super Series is the all-new 720S, which is lighter, stiffer and more powerful than the outgoing 650S it replaces. McLaren’s stated goal for the 720S was to combine the refinement of the 570GT with the extreme performance of the 675LT. The result is a wider range of abilities, providing excellent performance on both road and track. At the heart of the 720S beats a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, placed — of course — behind the cabin. As the name indicates, power is rated at 720 PS (710 horsepower). Performance stats are quite impressive: 62 mph arrives in 2.9 seconds, 124 mph in 7.8 seconds and at 21.4 seconds the speedometer will be eclipsing 186 mph. Maximum velocity is approximately 212 mph, and the 720S can blow through a quarter mile in a mere 10.3 seconds. The new 720S will start arriving in showrooms this summer with a starting price of $284,475.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG GT Concept
It’s not as if Mercedes doesn’t already offer sedans with extreme performance, but the AMG GT sedan concept provides a look at a possible 4-door with coupelike styling and performance along the lines of the AMG GT coupe. “With the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, we are giving a preview of our third completely independently developed sports car and are extending the attractive AMG GT family to include a four-door variant,” said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. A fastback design with a comfortable interior and space for cargo, the GT Concept derives power from an AMG 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine combined with an electric motor to provide exceptional efficiency and performance.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePagani Huayra Roadster
The Pagani Huayra is one of the most extreme and unique vehicles on the road, and the roadster promises to be even more exclusive. The Huayra is fitted with an extremely light hardtop of carbon and glass that is very easy to install is the primary top, but there is no place for storing it in the car. A fabric and carbon cover stored in the car can be used in case of emergency. Lighter and stiffer than the coupe, the roadster exhibits the same incredible performance, thanks to its Mercedes-AMG V12 engine tuned to produce 764 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. Only 100 Huayra Roadsters will be built, with a base price of 2,280,000 euros (US$2,402,276).

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche 911 GT3
The latest version of the 911 GT3 made its world debut in Geneva sporting more power, more speed and higher precision. As Porsche puts it, they’ve “created a new ruler of the racetrack,” but this one can be driven on the road to the track as well. The new GT3 is powered by a 4.0-liter engine producing 500 horsepower — practically the same engine used in the 911 GT3 Cup Car. Driving enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that the GT3 can be equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox, as well as Porsche’s quick-shifting PDK transmission. Acceleration to 62 mph (100 km/h) takes a mere 3.4 seconds with the PDK, and top speed is just a tick under 200 mph. The GT3 will certainly get noticed on road or track with its large rear wing and large air intakes up front. Look for the 911 GT3 to be available this summer.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche Panamera Sport Turismo
The newest addition to Porsche’s sports car lineup, the Panamera Sport Turismo extends the roof of the Panamera 4-door sports car to create a wagonlike profile that increases cargo volume, makes rear-seat access easier and allows three passengers to sit back there. The Panamera Sport Turismo will be offered in four versions for the U.S. market: Panamera 4, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo. The same four engine choices found in the standard Panamera will be available on the Sport Turismo, including the 550-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. Pricing for the Sport Turismo will start at $96,200 when it arrives in the U.S. at the end of 2017.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRUF CTR
It may look like a Porsche 911, but it’s not — this is the latest version of the RUF CTR. The small German sports car manufacturer has been modifying Porsches since the early 1980s, but this is the first time the company has built its own chassis that underpins a body designed to commemorate 30 years since the first CTR, nicknamed Yellow Bird. “The concept for the 2017 CTR is one that I have had in my head for a very long time,” said Alois Ruf, president and owner of RUF Automobile GmbH. “We have been waiting
for the right point in our history to build our own car and the 30th anniversary of the CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ is that moment.” The new CTR features a 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat six pushing out 700 horsepower, good enough for a top speed of 223 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceTechrules Ren
The Geneva Motor Show also hosts introductions from car companies unknown to most people — Techrules, for example. The Chinese automotive research and development company debuted what it calls its final production version of its first hybrid supercar. The unique design features seating for three with the driver in the middle (like the McLaren F1) and was created by world-renowned automotive designers Fabrizio and Giorgetto Giugiaro. Utilizing the company’s unique Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle system, the Ren features two motors in front and four at the rear for a total of 1287 horsepower. Techrules claims the Ren has a range of 727 miles from 80 liters of diesel fuel, and that it can sprint to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVanda Dendrobium
Another unusual debut in Geneva belongs to a company out of Singapore called Vanda Electrics. The Dendrobium is Vanda’s first car — named for the orchid it mimics when the doors and roof are open. Longtime Formula One team Williams F1 is a technical partner in this venture, which lends a certain level of credibility to the project, although unfortunately there isn’t a lot of detail about the mechanics of this supercar beyond the fact that it is all electric. Vanda also claims a goal of reaching 62 mph in 2.7 seconds and topping 200 mph (it’s unclear if he car has achieved these milestones). Depending on feedback from consumers at the Geneva Motor Show, production could start for the 2020 model year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceZenvo TS1 GT
One of the few car companies that can call the Geneva Motor Show its hometown event, Zenvo introduced the TS1 GT to celebrate the brand’s 10th anniversary. This exotic has power and performance that easily compete with some of the biggest names in the industry. Motivation for this menacing-looking sports car comes from a twin-supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine producing a stunning 1163 horsepower, teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. To harness that power, the TS1 has massive carbon-ceramic ventilated brakes. Zenvo claims the TS1 can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) with a top speed of 233 mph. This isn’t a bare-bones supercar — passengers will enjoy the power-adjustable carbon sports seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a touchscreen display and high-end audio system. Pricing has not been released, but we expect it would be in the million-dollar range.

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