For car enthusiasts, it doesn’t get much better than the Geneva Motor Show. To see a single machine from Pagani, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Ferrari or Lamborghini is always a treat, but to see them all together at one venue is mind blowing. This year we had a ringside seat (read patch of carpet) for all the amazing automotive premieres during press preview days in Geneva, so we present the high-performance highlights, including some unique offerings from brands most folks have never even heard of.
Auto enthusiasts will remember the odd-looking but very fast Gumpert Apollo that still claims one of the fastest times for a production car around the famed Nurburgring track in Germany. In 2015, Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH was rebranded as Apollo Automobil GmbH, and at this year’s Geneva Motor Show Apollo showed off its all-new Arrow supercar. Boasting a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing an amazing 1000 horsepower, the Arrow will reportedly reach 62 mph in less than three seconds and boasts a top speed of 220 mph. Although the Arrow is still a prototype, Apollo fully expects the new supercar will exceed the impressive feats performed by the original Gumpert Apollo.
Arash AF8 Cassini
Most won’t have heard of Arash — we hadn’t — but the UK-based car company has been around since 1999. The brand doesn’t have a large lineup of vehicles, but at this year’s Geneva show Arash showcased this sleek 2-seat sports car — the all-new AF8 Cassini. Arash claims a top speed of around 200 mph and the ability to sprint to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, made possible by lightweight construction and a 7.0-liter V8 engine putting out 560 horsepower.
Aston Martin DB11
The latest Aston Martin to join the DB lineup made its worldwide debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The DB11 is built on a new lighter, stronger, and more space efficient bonded aluminum structure, and its 600-horsepower twin-turbocharged V12 engine makes it the most powerful DB in Aston’s history. Aston Martin CEO Dr. Andy Palmer said, “We aspire to make the most beautiful cars in the world. DB11 is the absolute embodiment of what an Aston Martin should be, and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that DB11 combines both exceptional design with the latest technology throughout.”
The long-anticipated successor to the mighty Veyron finally arrived at this year’s Geneva Motor Show — and it didn’t disappoint. The all-new Chiron looks sleeker than its predecessor and carries a number of classic Bugatti styling cues, including the legendary horseshoe grille. Powering the Chiron is a newly-developed 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine producing 1500 horsepower and insane 1180 lb-ft of torque, available as low as 2000 rpm. This much power means some staggering stats: 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. The Chiron’s speed is limited to 236 mph for normal driving — a special key is required to unlock the maximum speed “limited for road use” of 261 mph. Only 500 Chirons will be built, with prices starting just north of $2.6 million.
Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
The original Corvette Grand Sports were purpose-built racing prototypes that looked like production models — only five were ever built. There have been a few other Grand Sport Corvettes through the years, and in Geneva this year Chevrolet debuted the C7 Grand Sport. This special Vette features Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, Brembo brakes, a 7-speed manual transmission, electronic limited-slip differential and unique springs. An optional Z07 package adds ceramic brakes and Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, making this Corvette the ultimate track toy. A coupe and convertible version of the Grand Sport arrive in showrooms this summer.
If the GTC4Lusso looks familiar, it’s because this vehicle used to be known as the Ferrari FF. Redesigned and renamed, the GTC4Lusso is still the family-sized Ferrari with room for four passengers sporting a hatchback design and good cargo space. The GTC4Lusso also features a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and introduces a rear-wheel steering system. Impressive performance is expected and delivered via a 6.3-liter V12 engine producing 680 horsepower and 514 lb-ft of torque.
Jaguar F-Type SVR
The Jaguar F-TYPE already offers impressive performance in one of the best-looking cars on the road, but for some drivers there’s always room for more power. For those folks engineers at Jaguar created the all-new Jaguar F-TYPE SVR. Developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, the F-TYPE SVR is lighter and more powerful than the F-TYPE R yet still amenable to everyday use. The supercharged V8 engine has been bumped up to 575 horsepower. Combining that power with some vehicle weight savings allows the SVR to reach 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 200 mph. The F-TYPE SVR will be available as a coupe or convertible when deliveries begin this summer.
Kahn Design always brings some interesting vehicles to the Geneva show, and this year is no exception. Providing a range of vehicle enhancements to high-end production cars, Kahn introduced the all-new Vengeance. Built on the Aston Martin DB9 platform, Kahn gave the Vengeance a more menacing look with a wide-spaced grille and a widened stance. Lightweight wheels give the Vengeance a somewhat retro style — the rear wheels have a greater number of spokes than the fronts to emphasize the power at the rear wheels. Output remains the same as the DB9: 510 horsepower from a 6.0-liter V12 engine.
Koenigsegg Agera RS
The Swedish car company Koenigsegg has developed a reputation for building extreme sports cars, and the new Agera RS certainly falls into that category. The RS outperforms the Agera R with advanced lightweight sound insulation, an all-new front splitter optimized for the track, front winglets, side skirts, an advanced dynamic underbody flap system and a dynamically active rear spoiler. The Koenigsegg’s twin-turbo aluminum 5.0-liter V8 engine puts out a massive 1160 horsepower, with a top speed well in excess of 200 mph. Only 25 will be built, and they won’t be cheap.
In proper tribute and in celebration of 100 years since Lamborghini founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s birth, the company is introducing this special limited-edition Centenario. The Centenario is built around a carbon-fiber monocoque, covered in a gloss carbon fiber while the lower parts — including the front splitter, side skirts, wheel arches and rear diffuser — are in matte carbon fiber. While this Centenario would stand out in any crowd of exotic supercars, it is more than just a pretty (or mean-looking) face. Centenario boasts a 770-horsepower V12 engine — the most powerful engine Lamborghini has ever produced. A limited number of just 20 coupes and 20 roadsters will be produced — and to those who want one, we’re sorry to report that all have been presold.
Mansory 4XX Siracusa
One of the many design/custom companies with vehicles on display in Geneva, Mansory introduced the all-new 4XX Siracusa. Based on the already incredible Ferrari 488 GTB, the 4XX makes extensive use of carbon fiber, and the new air intakes and front spoiler improve downforce for better handling. Forged light-alloy wheels decrease unsprung weight and are fitted with high-performance tires. The 3.9-liter V8 engine has been optimized to produce 790 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a launch to 62 mph in less than three seconds and a top speed exceeding 200 mph.
No one will argue the fact that McLarens are extreme sports cars; however, in Geneva this year the UK company showcased the 570GT, which McLaren describes as being practical enough for everyday use. Without making any performance sacrifices – the twin-turbo V8 still puts out 562 horsepower and sprints to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds – the 570GT’s changes have made this supercar more comfortable and quieter for use on longer journeys. A side-opening rear glass hatch provides additional space for luggage, and the suspension has been tuned for a more comfortable ride. Additionally, specially-developed Pirelli P Zero tires reduce road noise.
McLaren P1 MSO
As if McLarens weren’t special enough, in Geneva McLaren Special Operations (MSO) presented a carbon-fiber tribute to the outgoing P1. This special P1 features a full hand-laid carbon fiber body with a special Lio Blue tinted lacquer. The MSO upgrade also includes a gloss black finish on the wheels, an extensive interior restyling with carbon black Alcantara and contrasting blue stitching, and a 24-carat-gold exhaust heat shield, paying homage to the McLaren F1 that had the same feature.
McLaren 675LT MSO
The P1 wasn’t the only special McLaren on display in Geneva — the 675LT Spider also received special treatment from McLaren Special Operations. Only 500 examples of the 675LT Spider will be produced, and this one-off MSO version on display in Geneva stands out in Ceramic Gray with even more carbon fiber trim than the standard model. The retractable hardtop and tonneau are treated to satin carbon fiber, while the front wings include carbon fiber louvers. Even the front bumper end plates, side skirts, side intakes and rear bumper are finished in visual carbon. Inside, black Alcantara-trimmed racing seats feature contrasting Xenon Yellow stitching. The gold detailing is also visible through the exposed engine bay, with a 24-carat-gold heat shield around the titanium exhaust system.
Opel GT Concept
The European arm of General Motors brought this new GT Concept to Geneva. While reminiscent of the original Opel GT design from the 1970s, this concept is clearly looking more to the future than the past. “We created the GT Concept to capture the bold, emotional spirit of the Opel brand. It is dramatic, sculptural and full of innovations,” explained Mark Adams, vice president of design at Opel. With a long hood and short overhangs, the GT Concept has no mirrors or door handles to interfere with its pure sports car-like lines. Still just a concept, the Opel GT could represent a possible direction for the GM brand.
Pagani Huayra BC
Even though it may have one of the hardest names in the business to pronounce, the Huayra (say WHY-ra) is certainly easy to look at. As the latest supercar from Pagani, the Huayra shown in Geneva introduces a special edition to honor Pagani’s first customer, Benny Caiola. The BC is an even more extreme version of the Huayra, which says a lot. Its twin-turbocharged V12 engine gets bumped to 789 horsepower, and the car sheds almost 300 pounds. A new gearbox weighs less and drops shift times to a mere 75 milliseconds. Only 20 of these special editions will be produced, and all are reportedly spoken for already.
Porsche 718 Boxster
This German automaker has a rich history of sports cars — in 1950s and 60s the company raced the legendary 718 lightweight mid-engine sports car. In the spirit of that original, Porsche introduces the 718 Boxster. This updated roadster with the new naming designation is available as 718 Boxster or 718 Boxster S. A newly-developed 2.0-liter turbocharged engine produces 300 horsepower in the 718 Boxster, and the S upgrades to a 2.5-liter turbo producing 350 horsepower. The new models feature new chassis tuning and stronger brakes, which should make for great fun on the road or track.
Porsche 911 R
Unfortunately, manual transmissions seem to be disappearing from the market; many high-end sports cars don’t even offer a manual anymore. But for the sports car purist comes the Porsche 911 R. A limited number will be built — 991 to be exact — and all will feature the 4.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine from the GT3 RS, producing 500 horsepower. And 911 R is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission. Thanks to considerable weight savings (the rear seat is removed and the roof is constructed from magnesium) the 911 R is the lightest version of the 911. Completing the package are Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, ultra-high-performance tires and 20-inch lightweight aluminum wheels.
Rimac Concept One
Most people won’t be familiar with this Croatian car company, but they are worthy of notice. Rimac brought the Concept One electric supercar to this year’s Geneva show, and the car is quite impressive. The sleek sports car boasts a unique power system that features a separate electric powertrain with an independent inverter, motor and gearbox for each wheel of the car. This provides control over what each wheel is doing, as well as turning out some impressive performance stats. Total output is 1088 horsepower resulting in a sprint to 62 mph in just 2.6 seconds. Rimac claims a top speed of 220 mph with a range of more than 200 miles.
Spyker C8 Preliator
Spyker has a reputation for building some of the most stylish, unique sports cars on the road, although the company has had ongoing financial issues so we were surprised to see an all-new model showcased in Geneva this year. The C8 Preliator continues the aircraft theme of previous Spkyers, but in a longer GT wheelbase that provides a comfortable, roomy interior. Power comes from a mid-mounted V8 engine producing 525 horsepower; a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission are available. Thanks to a lightweight chassis, the C8 reaches 60 mph in less than four seconds and claims a top speed in excess of 200 mph. Spyker plans a limited run of 50 C8 Preliators.