2018 Geneva Motor Show: High Performance

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHigh Performance
Well known in the auto world as the premier European venue for automakers to premiere their latest exotic creations, the annual Geneva Motor Show never disappoints. Spanning the gamut from extreme sports cars to one-off concepts to full-on track stars, there was plenty of eye candy on display during pre-show press days at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Take a quick look at highlights of the high-performance models that graced displays at this year’s show.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro
Aston Martin introduced the Valkyrie extreme hypercar last year. With a radical design and a massive 1100 horsepower, the Valkyrie can be described as being the closest thing to a street-legal Formula One race car. So how do you make a vehicle like this even more extreme? Turn it into a full-on track-only race car, which is exactly what Aston Martin has done with the introduction of the Valkyrie AMR Pro. When Chief Technical Officer of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Adrian Newey pulled the wraps off the car in Geneva, it looked right at home sitting next to the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 race car.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro
Not all technical details have been released about the AMR Pro, but with a combination of improved aerodynamics and lighter-weight construction, the Valkyrie weighs less than 2,200 pounds and can generate more than that in downforce. The technical team achieved this feat via wider bodywork, larger front and rear wings and the removal of extraneous items such as the infotainment system and heater. The AMR PRO’s 6.5-liter V12 engine generates more than 1100 horsepower, which is more than 1 horsepower per kilogram of mass. That means the car can reach 225 mph and can achieve more than 3 Gs in corners. A mere 25 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pros will be built, with deliveries expected to commence in 2020. All cars have already been sold.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBugatti Chiron Sport
The new Bugatti Chiron is already one of the most extreme sports cars available, but in Geneva the company revealed an even higher-performance Chiron — the Chiron Sport. The Sport gets the same powerplant as the “regular” Chiron: an 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 Sport features a dynamic handling package that provides a stiffer suspension and torque vectoring while reducing weight by around 40 pounds. In an effort to reduce weight to every last ounce, the Chiron Sport has carbon fiber windshield wipers — the first time carbon fiber has been used on wipers for a production car.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBugatti Chiron Sport
Acceleration figures haven’t changed — the Chiron Sport still sprints to 62 mph in less than 2.5 seconds and 124 mph in around 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 261 mph. The primary advantage of the Sport is improved handling and much greater agility. According to Bugatti, the Chiron Sport was able to complete a lap of the Nardo handling circuit 5 seconds faster than the standard Chiron. Chiron Sport also gets new wheels and a new four-pipe exhaust deflector. The price for the Chiron Sport in America is set at $3.26 million. Deliveries are expected to start at the end of 2018.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDavid Brown Speedback Silverstone Edition
David Brown Automotive is a modern-day coachbuilder, which simply means that DBA’s unique vehicles get created on preexisting chassis and powertrains. The latest creation from the British company is the Speedback Silverstone Edition, named for the famed British racing circuit. Built on an all-aluminum chassis from the Jaguar XKR, the Speedback is easily one of the most beautiful vehicles on display in Geneva.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDavid Brown Speedback Silverstone Edition
Don’t be deceived by the Speedback’s classic 1960s look — under the skin this sports car is thoroughly modern. Power comes from a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine producing 601 horsepower and 565 lb-ft of torque — enough to reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds with a top speed limited to 155 mph. Inside are stylish heated sport seats trimmed in antique tan leather. Contrasting yet complementing the leather are open-pore, scorched Ebony Macassar wood veneers. David Brown Automotive plans to build 10 Speedback Silverstone Editions. Prices start at £620,000.00 (US$862,000).

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceFerrari 488 Pista
The legendary Italian carmaker has taken it’s already-powerful 488 GTB and turned it into a race-ready machine. The new 488 Pista — which means “track” in Italian — features several enhancements to help it excel on the racing circuit. The Pista gets aero improvements that include an S-Duct at the front, new diffusers and a new rear spoiler, resulting in a 20 percent boost in efficiency versus the 488 GTB. In addition to better aerodynamics, the Pista features a lithium battery and new carbon fiber wheels. These tweaks contribute to an overall weight savings of almost 200 pounds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceFerrari 488 Pista
The Pista receives further enhancement via the most powerful V8 engine ever from Ferrari. The standard 660 horsepower in the 488 GTB gets pumped to almost 710 horsepower thanks to the Pista’s 3.9-liter turbocharged V8. Power transfers to the rear wheels via an F1 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. As expected, performance figures are impressive: 62 mph arrives in 2.85 seconds and 124 mph is eclipsed in 7.6 seconds, with a top speed of more than 210 mph. The interior of this fast Ferrari feels more race car than street sweeper thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber and Alcantara for a purposeful and sporting feel.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHennessey Venom F5
A few years ago, Hennessey introduced its first new vehicle called the Venom GT. This extreme sports car had a massive 7.0-liter V8 and boasted a top speed of more than 270 mph. With a bar set that high, it can be difficult to create a proper successor, but Hennessey has done just that with the debut of the Venom F5. According to the company, the F5 is designed to “be the absolute fastest road car on earth.” The F5 features a new chassis and a carbon fiber body shaped to have the least possible drag. With active aero components, the F5’s coefficient of drag is a mere 0.33 — a slippery car indeed. Although aerodynamics are important, so is weight savings. The lightweight chassis and carbon fiber body help the F5 tip the scales at 2,950 lbs.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHennessey Venom F5
Ultimately, the powerplant is most important when creating the fastest car in the world. The F5 will be powered by a newly developed 8.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that sends a whopping 1600 horsepower through the 7-speed single-clutch gearbox to the rear wheels. Here are some outrageous stats: The F5 is expected to reach 186 mph (300 km/h) in less than 10 seconds. Hennessey also claims this new hypercar will sprint to 249 mph (400 km/h) and back to a standstill in under 30 seconds. Top speed is expected to exceed 300 mph. Only 24 Venom F5s will be built, half of which will be sold in America. The price is currently set at $1.6 million.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceKoenigsegg Regera d’Elegance
One of the fastest and most powerful cars at the Geneva show — a very high bar — is the Koenigsegg Regera. Introduced a few years ago at this show, the Regera is the new flagship of this Swedish car company. Showcased at this year’s show was the Regera d’Elegance — a special version that further stands out from the crowd finished in Swedish Blue with blue-tint carbon fiber and Ocean Green striping. The interior is equally stunning, trimmed in the same blue and green colors. Completing the look are Koenigsegg-exclusive Tresex carbon fiber wheels fitted with Michelin PilotSport 4S Tires.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceKoenigsegg Regera d’Elegance
The Regera would stand out — or pull away — from any crowd in any color. Power comes from a twin-turbo V8 engine teamed with an electric powertrain to produce a total of 1500 horsepower and 1,475 lb-ft of torque. The unique powertrain features a direct-drive system, meaning there is no traditional gearbox; instead, the power and torque of the electric motor compensate for the lack of a low gear. The result is mind-bending acceleration. Regera will reach 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and — even more impressive — almost 250 mph in less than 20 seconds. Only 80 Regeras will be produced, and all have been sold.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder
At last year’s Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini took the wraps off it’s hottest version yet of the new Huracan — the Huracan Performante. This year the house of the bull returns with the same car, but sans roof. As the name suggests, the Performante takes the already high-performance Huracan Spyder and brings it to a whole new level, accomplished through a combination of weight reduction, active aerodynamics, an enhanced suspension system and — of course — more power.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder
The Huracan Performante Spyder is powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine producing 640 horsepower — a bump of 38 horses over the standard Huracan, which translates into more wind in your hair. The Performante sprints to 62 mph in 3.1 seconds, 124 mph in 9.3 seconds and eventually reaches a top speed of over 200 mph. Like the Performante Coupe, the open-top Spyder uses Lamborghini’s permanent 4WD system as well as a recalibrated stability control system and dynamic steering, all designed to further improve performance. The lightweight soft-top can be opened in 17 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. The Huracan Performante Spyder arrives this summer with prices starting at $308,859.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMcLaren Senna / Senna GTR
Named for late Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna, the Senna is the newest exotic from McLaren, designed to be the ultimate performance car for both street and track. The Senna uses the company’s most powerful internal combustion engine it has ever put into a road car, which is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that produces a mind-boggling 789 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Weighing in at a mere 2,641 pounds, the Senna is the lightest road car from McLaren since the legendary F1. The light weight and enormous power make for some impressive stats. The new McLaren Senna can reach 62 mph in 2.8 seconds, 124 mph in 6.8 seconds and can complete a quarter mile in only 9.9 seconds. Top speed is listed at 211 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMcLaren Senna / Senna GTR
In addition to debuting the all-new Senna, McLaren took the wraps off another hypercar — the Senna GTR Concept. Designed exclusively for track use, the Senna GTR takes the extreme Senna to a whole new level. The twin-turbo V8’s output gets an increase to at least 813 horsepower, and the car is fitted with a race-style transmission. A revised suspension and Pirelli slick tires at all four corners mean better handling on track. The Senna GTR will also generate upwards of 2,200 pounds of downforce. Only 75 of these track-only Sennas will be built, each priced around $1.4 million.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG GT 4-Door
As the high-performance tuning group associated with Mercedes Benz, AMG is best known for producing more muscular versions of existing Mercedes-Benz vehicles — AMG versions can be found on model lines ranging from the C-Class to the highly capable G-Class. AMG has produced two standalone sports cars, the SLS AMG and the current AMG GT, but the brand has never produced a 4-door sports car — until now. The all-new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe made its debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, offering impressive performance and gobs of power in a sleek 4-door configuration. Joining the ranks of vehicles such as the Porsche Panamera and Audi A7, the newest AMG GT is a fastback design. This not only provides a sleek silhouette but also adds to versatility with considerable cargo space.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG GT 4-Door
There will be three different variants of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, ranging from the 429-horsepower GT 53 to the top-level AMG GT 63S, which boasts a hand-built biturbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that generates 630 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. The GT 63 S jumps to 60 mph in about 3 seconds and achieves a top speed of 195 mph. All variants of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe come with AMG’s Speedshift 9-speed automatic transmission and AMG 4MATIC high-performance all-wheel-drive system. The AMG GT 63 and 63 S also get rear-wheel steering for improved handling. Look for the AMG GT 63 and AMG GT 63 S to arrive in showrooms early in 2019. The AMG GT 53 will arrive a few months later. Pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePAL-V Liberty Flying Car
Could it be that the flying car is finally here? We thought it had arrived several years ago when the Terrafugia Transition premiered at the New York Auto Show, but that folding-wing vehicle is still working on certification. PAL-V says its first deliveries should begin in Europe in 2019, so this may indeed be the first production flying car. The stylish PAL-V Liberty seats two and can drive on the road at speeds up to 100 mph. On the road the Liberty is quite efficient, able to travel more than 800 miles between fill-ups.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePAL-V Liberty Flying Car
The Liberty looks like a helicopter, but it’s actually a gyroplane. Quite compact as a car, once the Liberty has converted for flying, the vehicle is raised up, the rotors are spread, the tail is put in place and the rear propeller unfurls. The rotors are not powered — the rear propeller moves the vehicle and airflow spins the rotors, causing lift. The Liberty only needs about 900 feet for takeoff, and once in the air it can cruise at about 100 mph with a range of just over 310 miles. The Liberty Pioneer Edition will be the first model sold with an expected price of $599,000. A $25,000 deposit puts a buyer’s name on the list and into the history books as one of the first owners of the first production flying car.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePolestar 1
Polestar has been building special high-performance versions of Volvo models since 2013, and now Volvo is taking the brand to the next level. Not only is the Polestar 1 an all-new model debuting at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, it also represents the launch of Polestar as a standalone electric performance brand. Polestar 1 is a 2-door GT car with seating for four, built on Volvo’s new Scalable Platform Architecture. Although the car possesses clear styling cues associated with the Volvo brand — most notably the “Thor’s Hammer” headlights — the Polestar 1 is unique to the new brand.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePolestar 1
As a showcase of what to expect from Polestar, the Polestar 1 features a plug-in hybrid powertrain that produces 600 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder engine that sends power to the front wheels while two electric motors drive the rear wheels. With a total of 34 kWh produced by three battery stacks, the Polestar 1 can travel up to 93 miles on electric power alone. The Polestar 1 is expected to be available to consumers in the middle of 2019. Later in 2019 the Polestar 2 will go into production. Polestar 2 will be a midsize fully-electric sedan and is expected to go head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3. A pure-electric larger SUV-style model will arrive shortly thereafter as the Polestar 3.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche 911 GT3 RS
Porsche chose this year’s Geneva Motor Show to introduce the latest iteration of its legendary 911 — the GT3 RS. The latest race-bred, high-performance 911, the 911 GT3 RS joins the 911 GT3 and the 911 GT2 RS which were both new for the 2018 model year. Based on the 911 GT3, the design of the wide body 2019 911 GT3 RS was determined by aerodynamics and lightweight construction. Like the 911 GT3, the front and rear fascias are made of lightweight polyurethane, while the hood and front fenders are carbon fiber and the roof is magnesium. The hood has air ducts like the 2018 911 GT2 RS for improved brake cooling without increasing drag.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche 911 GT3 RS
The GT3 RS is powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder engine producing 520 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine ever offered for a street-legal 911. That’s enough power to push the new 911 GT3 RS to 60 mph in 3 seconds flat, with a top track speed of 193 mph. Inside, the 911 GT3 RS is fitted with racing-style seats with a high level of lateral support and carbon-fiber reinforced backrests. To save weight, rear seats are omitted, sound insulation is reduced, and lightweight door panels are fitted with door opening loops replacing the door handles. The 911 GT3 RS is priced at $187,500 and is expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms this fall.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche Mission E Cross Turismo
A few years ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche provided a first peek into the company’s plans for electrification with the debut of the Mission E electric sports car. Planned to be the first all-electric 4-seat sports car from the German automaker, the Mission E would have legendary Porsche performance with new levels of efficiency and innovation. While work continues on this new sport sedan, Porsche took the wraps off the next step in its move toward electrification with the debut of the Mission E Cross Turismo. This new concept was designed to offer crossover versatility with Porsche performance and high efficiency.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Porsche says the Mission E Cross Turismo would deliver 600 horsepower and offer up a range of around 310 miles. It would also be expected that a recharge of 15 minutes would produce as much as 250 miles of additional range. Acceleration would also be strong, jumping to 62 mph in around 3.5 seconds. All-wheel drive, Porsche torque vectoring, adaptive air suspension and Dynamic Chassis Control all help to insure Porsche levels of performance and agility. There are styling cues visible up front from the iconic 911, while the rear is reminiscent of the Panamera Sport Turismo. For now this is simply a concept, but don’t be surprised to see a more production-ready vehicle based on Mission E soon.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRimac C2
Granted there are numerous hybrid sports cars on the market, but the new Rimac C2 goes one step further by showing what’s possible with a pure electric powertrain. The second model from the Croatia-based car company, the C2 is stunning both in appearance and capability. The C2 features an electric motor at each wheel, all of which are controlled via the Rimac All-Wheel Torque Vectoring system. Each motor can be used to operate ABS, stability control and an adaptable all-wheel-drive system. Powering the Rimac C2 is a 120-kWh battery back that can provide a range of around 400 miles, or as the press materials point out, two laps of the famed Nurburgring at full power.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRimac C2
Full power is a lot in the C2 — the four motors combine to produce a mind-boggling 1914 horsepower and almost 1,700 lb-ft of torque. With power at all four wheels, acceleration to 60 mph is accomplished in a mind-blowing 1.85 seconds, reaching 100mph in only 4.3 seconds. Even more impressive: – in a bit under 12 seconds the C2 will be at 186 mph, having passed the ¼ mile in a mere 9.1 seconds. While the stats are beyond exotic, the C2 carries its passenger like a true GT car with high-quality materials in the spacious cabin as well as a usable trunk. Rimac expects to build 150 of these EV rockets.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota GR Supra Racing Concept
Driving enthusiasts can start celebrating — the legendary Toyota Supra is finally returning after a 16-year hiatus. That was the message behind the debut of the GR Supra Racing Concept at this year’s Geneva show. Although the production street Supra was not shown in Switzerland, the racing concept gives clear indicators to the overall shape and styling of the upcoming model. As with the previous generations, Supra will be a front-engine rear-wheel-drive configuration.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota GR Supra Racing Concept
This racing concept hides the true look of the new Supra, since it is outfitted with a large rear wing as well as wide fenders, a front splitter, a rear diffuser and side skirts. As a proper race car, the concept’s chassis features lowered front and rear suspension as well as BBS racing wheels and Michelin racing tires, in addition to Brembo racing brakes and a racing exhaust. Although there has been no official (or unofficial) word on when more news will be released regarding the new Supra, enthusiasts will be able to (virtually) drive the Supra Racing Concept in the Gran Turismo Sport video game when it is released in April.

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