More Than High Performance
One of the largest shows on the worldwide auto show circuit, the annual Geneva Motor Show is recognized as the high-performance venue — the one that premieres the most sports cars, exotic supercars and low-volume high-performance machines. Geneva also hosts a broad selection of luxury automobiles, spanning the spectrum from ultra-luxury sedans to extreme off-road luxury, as well as the latest entry-luxury models. Let’s look at the luxury models on display at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
On display in Geneva was the new eighth-generation Audi A6, with a new design, technical innovations and mild hybrid engines. Following the new A8 and A7 Sportback models, the 2019 A6 adopts Audi’s new design direction with taut surfaces, more prominent edges and distinct body lines. The newest version of the hexagonal grille is flanked by new headlights offered in three different versions, with the top-line HD Matrix LED headlights with five horizontal lines that form the daytime running lights. At the rear a chrome strip connects the taillights, and available lights feature a single horizontal line and 9 vertical lines for the taillights, with the space between used for the brake lights.
The interior of the A6 features a sleek instrument panel with a horizontal design, as well as a center console and MMI display directed toward the driver. A mild hybrid system includes a belt alternator starter and a lithium-ion battery that recovers up to 12 kW of energy during deceleration. The new suspension is designed to be sportier than the previous model but with a comfortable ride on the highway, and dynamic all-wheel steering contributes to direct steering response and stability. A wide range of driver assistance systems are offered and —depending on the options — the central driver assistance controller processes data from up to five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner.
Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
Bentley displayed the Bentayga Hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the Bentley by Starck Power Dock, a home-charging concept that doubles as a piece of art, created in collaboration with designer Philippe Starck. Bentley’s first hybrid-electric vehicle, the Bentayga Hybrid is a plug-in version combining a new turbocharged V6 gasoline engine with an advanced electric motor that works as both a motor and a generator as part of the hybrid system. According to Bentley, the electric-only driving range is more than 31 miles, and the battery can be recharged in 7.5 hours with a standard home outlet or 2.5 hours with a high-capacity outlet.
Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
The Bentayga Hybrid can be identified by copper-colored badges on the lower front doors and the tailgate; a copper finish for the wheel centers and Bentley badges; and “Hybrid” on the door sill plates. The driver selects from three modes: EV Drive, Hybrid and Hold. The Driver’s Information Panel displays E Motion information regarding performance, consumption and energy source, while the infotainment screen displays energy flow for each of the E Modes. The Bentley by Starck Power Dock is designed to store charging cables at home; the surround is produced from pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced resin. The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is not yet available to order, but orders will be taken in the second half of 2018 in select markets.
BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe
BMW revealed the Concept M8 Gran Coupe in Geneva, a look at the further evolution of the 8 Series and the M brand. “The BMW 8 Series will take over as the new flagship model of the BMW line-up and, as such, combines unsurpassed sportiness and elegance,” said Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design Adrian van Hooydonk. “The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe offers a look ahead to the most exotic and alluring variant of the new BMW 8 Series,” he noted. The new 8 Series Coupe will arrive later this year, with the 8 Series Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe joining the lineup in 2019.
BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe
Building on the design of the BMW Concept 8 Series, the broad kidney grilles are flanked by headlights that are slightly higher and contain a new interpretation of the BMW four-headlight front end with influence from the M8 GTE race cars, including yellow lighting elements. More than just a 4-door sports car, the entire theme of the car is the intersection of luxury and performance, with a long hood, flowing roofline and short decklid that place the emphasis on performance.
BMW showcased the new second-generation 2019 X4 Sport Activity Coupe at the Geneva Motor Show, with a new, more aggressive front end with larger kidney grilles and pulled-back headlights that follow the new look of its sibling, the redesigned X3. The X4 continues to separate itself from the X3 with a sloping fastback roofline and offers a sportier drive than its predecessor with a lower center of gravity and revised suspension. The new X4 is 3 inches longer with a 2.1-inch longer wheelbase and a 1.4-inch increase in width for a more aggressive stance.
The 2019 BMW X4 offers standard Navigation Professional with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, iDrive Touch Controller, and real-time traffic and parking information. Standard safety equipment includes Active Guard with Frontal Collison Warning, Automatic City Collision Mitigation and Braking including Daytime Pedestrian Detection, and Speed Limit Information. BMW X4 now features 3-Zone climate control; standard xLine design with Sport Seats and 19-inch wheels; and available Panoramic moonroof. The all-new 2019 BMW X4 will be available for the U.S. market in July 2018, with X4 xDrive 30i pricing starting at $50,450 and the M40i starting at $60,450 plus $995 destination and handling.
Looking nearly identical to the I-PACE Concept that debuted in 2016, the all-electric 2019 Jaguar I-PACE debuted in Geneva and the details are impressive, thanks to an estimated driving range of 240 miles on a full charge from the 90kWh lithium-ion battery. The all-wheel-drive I-PACE is powered by two electric motors — one driving each axle — for a total output of 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque, which makes the I-PACE capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, according to Jaguar. Owners will be able to charge the battery from zero to 80 percent capacity in about 40 minutes using publicly-available 100kW rapid charging facilities or achieve the same 80 percent charge at home using a 230V/32A AC wall box in just over 10 hours.
Built on a unique aluminum-intensive EV architecture that uses advanced riveting and bonding technology, the I-PACE features a light, stiff body structure with a 50:50 weight distribution. The battery is positioned as low as possible between the axles for a low center of gravity. The suspension includes double wishbones at the front and an Integral Link rear suspension with standard Active Air Suspension for good ride quality and agile handling. With a long 117.7-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 184.3 inches, the I-PACE has a similar footprint to the Jaguar F-PACE but offers the interior space of a larger vehicle, thanks to the EV architecture.
Land Rover Range Rover SV Coupe
Land Rover debuted a full-size luxury SUV Coupe at the Geneva Motor Show: the limited-edition 2-door Range Rover SV Coupe. No more than 999 of the Range Rover SV Coupe will be built, and customers will be offered extensive personalization options, with extremely high standards for materials and craftsmanship. The Range Rover SV Coupe is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine producing 557 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, making it the fastest full-size Range Rover ever produced. According to Land Rover, the Range Rover SV Coupe will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat with a top speed of 165 mph.
Land Rover Range Rover SV Coupe
The Range Rover SV Coupe presents a powerful stance on the road but also exhibits elegant touches such as power-close doors with frameless glass. Carefully chosen exterior color combinations include a new Contour Graphic available in four 2-tone combinations with unique side vent and grille designs. Liquesence, an all-new optional paint finish for Land Rover, offers a liquid metal finish for the first time. Other paint finishes include tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlair and satin matte. The Range Rover SV Coupe is also the first Range Rover offered with a 23-inch wheel option. The enhanced luxury and exquisite craftsmanship continues inside with semi-aniline leather front seats featuring a gradated diamond quilt design unique to the SV Coupe. Owners may choose from four contrasting color combinations for the front and rear seats or a range of single-tone options. Three wood veneers are offered, including the new Nautica veneer, which combines walnut and sycamore. Range Rover SV Coupe sales are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, starting at $295,000 in the U.S.
Lexus debuted the all-new UX in Geneva, the first ever compact luxury crossover from Lexus. The first Lexus vehicle to use the brand’s Global Architecture – Compact platform, the UX benefits from a rigid structure and low center of gravity to deliver both agile handling and ride comfort. The exterior design is similar to the larger NX and RX models, but more aggressive, with a large spindle grille that dominates the front view and flared fenders. The grille features a new block-shaped mesh pattern with individual elements that change shape as they expand out from the central Lexus emblem. At the rear, the full-width taillights include 120 LEDs and taper toward the center.
The UX will be offered in two versions for the U.S. market: UX 200 and UX 250h. The UX 200 is powered by a new 168-horsepower 2.0-liter engine combined with a new direct-shift continuously variable transmission. The UX 250h is powered by the same 2.0-liter engine combined with a new fourth-generation hybrid drive system with total system output expected to be 176 horsepower. E-Four All-Wheel Drive adds an additional electric motor at the rear axle to give the 250h AWD capability. Inside, UX offers the choice of two different grain patterns and four different colors. Both UX 200 and UX 250h will be offered as F SPORT versions with sport-tuned suspension and available Adaptive Variable Suspension. The UX 200 and UX 250h will start production this fall and go on sale in the U.S. in December, with pricing announced closer to the on-sale date.
The top-selling Mercedes-Benz model, the C-Class receives updated styling, more power and additional Intelligent Drive features shared with the E-Class. The current generation C-Class, now in its fourth generation, is updated with new front and rear bumper designs; new design LED headlight and taillights now standard; a diamond radiator grille with AMG-Line; and lower rear bumper and exhaust trim that vary depending on equipment level. An LED Intelligent Light System with High Performance headlamps and ULTRA WIDE high beam is optionally available.
The redesigned C-Class instrument cluster features a classic two-tube layout with a 5.5-inch color display between the tubes. An optional fully digital instrument display offers three display versions: Classic, Sport and Progressive. A new multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel includes Touch Control Buttons that respond to swiping motions. The new C-Class is available with the Intelligent Drive driver-assistance systems offered in the E-Class, such as Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC; Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as functions of Active Steering Assist; and standard Active Brake Assist. A new turbocharged 2.0-liter produces 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque — an increase of 14 horsepower over the previous model — and is combined with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. The new C-Class will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2018.
Following the world debut of the redesigned G-Class in Detroit in January, the high-performance Mercedes-AMG G63 debuted in Geneva. The extensively updated Mercedes-AMG G63 sports a powerful drive system, AMG-developed suspension, AMG-specific transmission modes and a new interior with a widescreen cockpit. At the heart of the G63 is the handbuilt AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine producing 577 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, combined with the fast-shifting AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission. The G63 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 137 mph or 149 mph with the AMG Driver’s Package. AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive features rear-biased torque distribution with a front / rear split of 40 to 60 percent and includes three differential locks.
Thanks to the new AMG-developed suspension with adaptive adjustable suspension, the new G63 not only has improved off-road capability but on the road it is more dynamic and comfortable than the previous model. AMG speed-sensitive steering offers more direct steering with Comfort and Sport modes, while AMG Dynamic Select offers the choice of five on-road and three off-road driving modes. Inside, a new AMG Performance steering wheel is standard with galvanized shift paddles and integrated touch buttons to control the functions of the instrument cluster and multi-media system.
The most exclusive model in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is further refined for the 2019 model year with a new grille, optional 2-tone paint and new interior color combinations. The new grille features fine, vertical struts first seen on the Vison Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept that debuted at Pebble Beach in August 2016. A classic Mercedes-Maybach look, the 2-tone paint is now offered in nine color combinations. A new option for dark colors is double clear coat with sanding between the two layers; the second coat gets applied by hand.
A choice of three new 20-inch multispoke wheel combinations completes the exterior updates. Two new color options are offered for the interior: Armagnac Brown / Black and Savanna Beige / Black. The black Maybach Exclusive Nappa leather upholstery appointments can also be ordered with a choice of copper, gold or platinum contrast stitching. A new trim option is also available in designo Magnolia flowing lines. The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is offered in S560 4MATIC and S650 versions. The S560 4MATIC is powered by a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 producing 463 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, while the S650 features a 6.0-liter biturbo V112 producing 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque.
Rolls-Royce debuted a new variant in Geneva for the Rolls-Royce Dawn drophead coupe: the Dawn Aero Cowling, which transforms the Dawn into a roadster-style 2-seater. The Aero Cowling covers the rear seat area, extending forward from the front edge of the tonneau cover with two cowls that rise behind each front seat. The cover is made of carbon fiber and aluminum, so it is very light and strong. Each cowl contains a lockable, leather-lined storage compartment with lids covered in leather that matches the Dawn’s interior.
The Rolls-Royce Dawn on display in Geneva showcasing the Dawn Aero Cowling was finished in Cassiopeia Silver and features beautiful 21-inch part-polished alloy wheels. The interior is finished in Casden Tan leather, with Selby Grey piping and stitching and black contrast elements. The Aero Cowling also is covered with Casden Tan leather, with the central section between the cowls is exposed carbon fiber that is book-matched, meaning alternating surfaces mirror each other, in a contemporary chevron graphic. The dashboard and center console feature an intricate dark technical fiber veneer and the floor mats are woven leather.
Volvo debuted its latest wagon at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, following the debut of the larger V90 wagon last year. More substantial than the outgoing V60, the new model offers a more spacious interior, higher levels of luxury and the latest technology designed to enhance the driving experience as well as increase safety levels. Two powertrains will be available for the V60 in the U.S., matching those found in the XC60. The T5 will get a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 250 horsepower, while the T6 gets a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine generating an impressive 316 horsepower. The T6 will also come with Volvo’s all-wheel-drive system.
As expected with any new vehicle emanating from Volvo, the V60 will come well equipped with the latest safety features. This includes City Safety, which uses autobraking and sensor systems to avoid potential collisions, as well as detect and recognize pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. City Safety will also be the first on the market to engage autobraking to lessen the impact of oncoming collisions. Volvo’s semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system also is improved for the V60. The system can assist the driver with acceleration, braking and steering on well-marked roads at speeds up to 80 mph. Included with this are Run-off Road Mitigation and Oncoming Lane Mitigation.