2019 Geneva Motor Show: Eclectic Highlights

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceEclectic Mix
Of all events on the annual worldwide auto show calendar, the Geneva Motor Show has a reputation for being the venue where automakers are most likely to showcase exotic sports cars, high-performance machines and low-volume, limited-edition models. But the Geneva show also hosts a broad selection of other vehicle categories such as EVs, concept cars, luxury cars and SUVs. While we have listed this year’s ultra-performance cars separately, let’s take a look at the other highlights at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Don’t worry — there’s still plenty of high performance here as well.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceAlfa Romeo Tonale
Named after a mountain pass in the Italian Alps, the Tonale concept premiered in Geneva as the first plug-in hybrid and the first premium compact SUV for Alfa Romeo. More compact than the current Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the exterior design of the Tonale concept exhibits a familial resemblance to Stelvio, with a modern look that still manages to reflect brand heritage. The 21-inch Tonale “phone dial” wheel design uses lightweight architectural construction to create a wheel that reflects those on the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale in the 1960s.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceAlfa Romeo Tonale
The Alfa Romeo Scudetto grille gets flanked by “3 plus 3” lighting — a tribute to the light design of earlier Alfa Romeo SZ and Brera models. The Tonale concept promises a dynamic driving experience similar to current Alfa Romeo models. Alfa says the plug-in hybrid powertrain includes an electric motor connected with the rear axle, allowing technology to maximize the driving experience. Inside, the Tonale concept features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. The driver-oriented interior combines materials such as leather, Alcantara and aluminum with translucent backlit panels.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept
Last year in Geneva Aston Martin announced the return of the Lagonda marque as a new brand of luxury zero-emission vehicles, and this year Lagonda provided a closer look at the brand’s vision via the All-Terrain Concept. An evolution of the Lagonda Vision Concept shown last year, the All-Terrain Concept adds a more distinct grille and somewhat traditionally-shaped swept-back headlights, deeply-sculpted doors and a sleek roofline that flows smoothly from the windshield. At the rear, a unique clamshell hatch extends the length of the vehicle with lighting set into the clamshell and reflected downward.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept
The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept is a fully-electric SUV with batteries stored in the floor, which stiffens the chassis and allowed the designers to add large rear-hinged doors and easy access for passengers. The elegant interior offers room for four occupants with large bucket seats. The front seats swivel toward the rear for group interaction during autonomous driving. Gauges and other important vehicle information display in the center of the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept’s steering wheel, which gives the interior a very clean look. A floating center console provides additional information as well as a method of interface. Overall, the interior has a look and feel more like a living room than a vehicle.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceAudi Q4 e-tron
Audi debuted the Q4 e-tron concept in Geneva — an all-electric compact SUV that will be the fifth series production electric vehicle from Audi when it rolls out at the end of 2020. A year ago in Geneva Audi debuted e-tron, the brand’s first series production electric vehicle now on sale; first are deliveries scheduled for the end of March 2019. The e-tron Sportback will be presented later this year, followed by the Q2L e-tron for the Chinese market and production versions both the high-performance Audi GT e-tron and Q4 e-tron in the second half of 2020.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceAudi Q4 e-tron
Two electric motors power the front and rear axles of Q4 e-tron, with a total system output of 302 horsepower. The rear motor produces 201 horsepower and the front motor produces 101 horsepower, allowing Q4 e-tron to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 6.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 112 mph. The 82 kWh battery is positioned in the underbody between the axles and can be charged to 80 percent capacity in a little more than 30 minutes. There is no mechanical link between the axles, but an electronic control system distributes torque to both axles for quattro all-wheel drive. Torque is generally delivered with a rear-wheel bias, but the system can apply more torque to the front axle as need.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Bentayga Speed
Making its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the Bentley Bentayga Speed is the most powerful and performance-oriented Bentayga offered, motivated by a 6.0-liter W12 engine that produces 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. Combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, Bentayga Speed will accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 190 mph. The Bentayga Speed possesses four on-road drive modes: Comfort, Bentley, Sport and Custom. Sport mode has been recalibrated to enhance engine response, transmission performance, suspension calibration and Bentley Dynamic Ride settings.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Bentayga Speed
Bentayga Speed can be identified by a dark-tint matrix grille, dark-tint bumper grilles, dark-tint headlights, body-color side skirts, a body-color front splitter, a liftgate spoiler and Speed badges on the lower edge of the front doors. New 22-inch 10-spoke wheels are offered in three colors: silver, dark-tint or black. Inside, Bentayga Speed adds accents around the door, door grab handle, outer seat cushions, seatback bolsters and lower console. The seats include contrasting stitching, Alcantara and embroidered “Speed” at the top of the seatbacks.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner
Inspired by Bentley’s motorsports history and created to celebrated Bentley’s centenary, the Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The Number 9 Edition is identified by a white 9 graphic on the grille and No. 9 badges — a reference to the car driven by Sir Henry Ralph Stanley “Tim” Birkin in the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hour race. Birkin commissioned a series of 4 1/2 Litre Bentleys with the addition of a supercharger (developed with an independent engineer) which increased output from 110 horsepower to 175. The dominating green “Blower Bentley” cars have become the symbol of Bentley pre-war racing.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner
Mulliner will handcraft only 100 Bentley Continental GT Number 9 Editions and owners will have the choice of two exterior colors : Viridian Green or Beluga Black with 22-inch Mulliner Driving Specification wheels in three color choices, Black Line specification and a carbon body kit. Inside, Number 9 Edition offers the choice of Cumbrian Green or Beluga heritage hides with an increased gloss level for the seats, door panels and other areas. The center console features engine spin, also known as turned aluminum, which was popular in racing and aviation in the 1930s. An exclusive British Jaeger clock is inspired by 1930s dials, and each Number 9 Edition features a wood insert from the seat of Birkin’s 1930 Le Man race car and 18-kt gold-plated organ stops to open and close the air vents.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner
Also limited to only 100 examples, the Bentley Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner is a tribute to Bentley founder W.O. Bentley — who started the company with the goal to “build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class” — and another special edition to celebrate Bentley’s golden anniversary. The Mulsanne W.O. Edition is inspired by the Bentley 8 Litre — a large, luxurious town carriage that was W.O. Bentley’s last model — considered by many to be his finest. Bentley guaranteed the 8 Litre to be capable of at least 100 mph with any body the customer chose.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner
Every Mulsanne W.O. Edition contains a piece of the actual crankshaft of W.O. Bentley’s own Bentley 8 Litre, displayed between the two rear seats in the veneer tray that folds down to expose the drinks cabinet. The crankshaft in W.O. Bentley’s car had to be replaced 20 years ago, and it was cut into 100 pieces for display in the W.O. Edition by Mulliner. The veneer tray surrounding it was designed by Mulliner in the Art Deco style and takes five days to create by hand, employing more than 400 pieces of veneer including Tay, Birch, Eucalyptus and Dark Stain Burr Walnut for contrast and depth.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW 7 Series
BMW’s new 7 Series made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show with exterior updates, new technology and four engine choices, including a new 6-cylinder plug-in hybrid. The new exterior design is dominated by a larger kidney grille surrounded by a single-piece frame that is 40 percent larger than previously. The Active Kidney Grille includes adjustable vanes that only open when more cooling air is needed, flanked by slim headlight units with standard Adaptive Full LED lights and available BMW Laserlight. The redesigned hood adds sculpted contour lines and overall the front of the car is two inches taller than the previous model. The front bumper is redesigned, the rear bumper is new, and the three-dimensional taillights are slimmer and connected by a thin light strip.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW 7 Series
At the top of the model line, the BMW the M760i xDrive is powered by a 6.6-liter twin turbocharged V12 engine producing 600 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. The revised twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine for the 750i xDrive produces 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder for the 740i and 740i xDrive generates 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The new plug-in hybrid 745e xDrive combines a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine with an electric motor for total system output in Sport mode of 389 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBugatti La Voiture Noire
Bugatti created a handcrafted, one-off hyper sports car, La Voiture Noire, and unveiled it to attending media on opening day of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show press preview. Produced for a Bugatti enthusiast, La Voiture Noire is a stunning, sleek grand touring coupe with sculpted bodywork in black carbon fiber — a modern sports car that pays tribute to the legendary Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic developed by Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean. Only four Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic coupes were ever produced and Jean Bugatti called his La Voiture Noire, which translates to the black car. Bugatti’s car disappeared before World War II and remains a mystery today.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBugatti La Voiture Noire
Under the hood of the Bugatti La Voiture Noire is the same 8.0-liter W16 engine with quad turbochargers producing 1500 horsepower and 1180 lb-ft of torque that powers the Bugatti Chiron Sport. “For Bugatti, ‘La Voiture Noire’ is more than just a reminiscence of the Atlantic,” said Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann. “We are paying tribute to a long tradition, to France and to the creative work of Jean Bugatti. At the same time, we are transferring extraordinary technology, aesthetics and extreme luxury to a new age.” According to Bugatti, a car collector purchased La Voiture Noire for 11 million Euros, approximately 12.4 million dollars, making it the world’s most expensive new car.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda e Prototype
The Honda e Prototype debuted in Switzerland, previewing the production version that has evolved from the 2017 Urban EV Concept. Clearly in the running for the cutest car at the 2019 Geneva show, the Honda e Prototype stays true to the look of the Urban EV Concept with a clean exterior design, long wheelbase with short overhangs, minimalist interior and advanced technology. The concave black panels front and rear are key design elements, along with flush door handles, compact cameras replacing the rearview mirrors, and charging port located in the center of the hood, with LED lights to inform the driver about charging status.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda e Prototype
An all-electric vehicle, the Honda e Prototype offers a wide stance and delivers power to the rear wheels for sporty performance. Honda e Prototype offers a range of 124 miles and fast charge capability to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Inside, the e Prototype offers a contemporary, minimalist feel with fabric and materials often found in homes. The car has a walk-through flat floor both front and rear, improving the sense of spaciousness. The dual-screen horizontal display with sophisticated interface has been designed for optimal usability. Images from the rearview cameras are displayed at both ends of the dashboard.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceImagine by Kia Concept
Kia introduced an all-electric concept car, dubbed Image by Kia, at the Geneva show, described as the company’s first look at a 4-passenger car designed from inception to be electric. The Kia eNiro electric crossover is based on an existing architecture adapted to electric, but the Image by Kia features a low-mounted, induction-charged battery pack and a compact electric drivetrain.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceImagine by Kia Concept
“Automotive design is about capturing the heart and making it beat that bit faster for that bit longer. We believe that there’s absolutely no reason why that should change simply because the car is electric,” said Gregory Guillaume, vice president of design for Kia Motors Europe. Image by Kia features a new interpretation of Kia’s tiger nose grille with an illuminated tiger mask that surrounds the LED headlight units and includes a floating horizontal element. The front turn signals high on the edge of the hood feature glowing elements that float in clear acrylic, and the windshield and roof are created from a single piece of glass.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda CX-30
Mazda adds another crossover to its lineup with the CX-30 that debuted in Geneva — an all-new crossover that fits between the existing CX-3 and CX-5 models. Following Mazda’s KODO design language, the front end of the CX-30 looks very similar to CX-3 and CX-5 with flowing lines from the grille toward the rear-wheel arches. The shoulder line in the rear fenders is lower than CX-3 for a more open feeling, and the both the roof and the fenders taper in at the rear for an elegant finish.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda CX-30
The CX-30 is designed to be right-sized for many buyers, featuring comfortable seating for four adults and offering Mazda’s signature driving dynamics in a fun-to-drive package. Inside, the CX-30 focuses on creating a premium vibe with a cockpit feel for the driver and an open area for the front passenger. The CX-30 will be sold in global markets; sales in Europe start in summer 2019.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz Concept EQV
In Geneva Mercedes-Benz debuted the Concept EQV, a new addition to the all-electric EQ lineup and the first battery electric people mover in the premium segment. The design follows the EQ design theme in a traditional van format, and Concept EQV offers a broad range of configurations and potential uses, as well as seating for up to eight occupants.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz Concept EQV
Concept EQV is powered b ya compact electric drivetrain powering the front wheels via an electric motor that produces 201 horsepower and a transmission with fixed gear ratios. The 100 kWh battery lithium-ion battery provides a range of 249 miles; EQV will achieve a top speed of 99 mph. Mercedes-Benz plans the world premiere of a series production EQV at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz GLC
Mercedes-Benz also hosted the world premiere of the redesigned 2020 GLC compact premium SUV in Geneva. The new look for GLC is sportier overall with a much more detailed grille that includes two horizontal elements and diamond lattice. The standard LED headlights are smaller and reshaped with torch-shaped daytime running lights. At the rear, the GLC receives a new bumper, exhaust tips and a chrome skidplate. Redesigned LED taillights have the Mercedes-Benz signature with backlit edge lights.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz GLC
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC is equipped with a new 2.0-liter engine producing 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The latest generation MBUX infotainment system offers standard touchscreen multimedia display, standard intelligent voice control and optional augmented video for navigation. Driver assistance systems include active distance assist DISTRONIC and active steering assist.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan IMQ Concept
Nissan unveiled the IMQ concept vehicle in Geneva to showcase advanced technology and design for future crossover models. IMQ is powered by the next generation e-Power electric motor drive system that delivers a total of 250 kW (355 horsepower) and 516 lb-ft of torque through a new multimotor all-wheel-drive system. IMQ is also equipped with an advanced prototype version of the Nissan ProPILOT driver assistance system with enhanced autonomous driving capability.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan IMQ Concept
The IMQ concept aims to blend the exterior and interior as one, with the shape of the greenhouse designed to appear as a single continuous surface. The Nissan V-Motion grille is more subtle than current production models and blends vertically into the hood and horizontally into the front fenders. The IMQ doors are hinged at the outer edges for a wide opening to the futuristic interior that features four seats that rise from the lamella-covered floor. Nissan’s gliding wing instrument panel is completely black when powered down, and a secondary screen above the center console controls the Virtual Personal Assistant that can control vehicle functions based on driver input.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePolestar 2
After many years as Volvo’s performance arm, Polestar became a standalone electrified performance brand with the debut of the high-performance Polestar 1 coupe last year. This year in Geneva, Polestar debuted the all-electric Polestar 2 — a volume model aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3. Designed as a 5-door fastback, the Polestar 2 is built on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture platform that integrates the battery pack into the floor for improved chassis rigidity and reductions in noise, vibration and harshness. Polestar 2 will be equipped with two electric motors driving all four wheels. Total output will be a healthy 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. Polestar expects the new model to reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. With a 78 kWh battery pack, the new Polestar 2 will travel up to 310 miles between charges.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePolestar 2
Polestar 2 will certainly stand out from the crowd with its frameless side mirrors, unique LED headlights, proximity lighting and illuminated Polestar logo. At the rear are LED taillights that stretch the width of the vehicle. Large wheels combined with lower dark cladding give the new Polestar 2 a bold look. For those looking for something extra, the Polestar 2 will be available with a Performance Pack that adds Ohlins dampers, Brembo brakes, unique 20-inch forged wheels, and performance tires. The Performance Pack also adds signature gold seatbelts, gold brake calipers and gold valve caps for a stunning visual. Polestar is just as much about technology as it is about electrified vehicles, and Polestar 2 will be the first car to ever embed Google’s Android operating system as the platform for its infotainment system.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru VIZIV Adrenaline Concept
Subaru debuted the VIZIV Adrenaline Concept in Geneva — a bold new design for a compact crossover that builds on the Subaru design philosophy of “Dynamic x Solid” with a much more aggressive execution. The vivid blue paint contrasts with the black body protection and silver roof to create a dynamic and strong feeling, with a clear link to Subaru’s rally racing heritage.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru VIZIV Adrenaline Concept
Current Subaru models have protective cladding on the fenders, but VIZIV Adrenaline body protect extends from bumper to bumper, with nearly the entire front fenders covered. The VIZIV Adrenaline features a unique windshield shape, and the silver and black roof reinforces the body structure and ties in with silver skidplates front and rear. Accents of orange also highlight the wheel center caps and skidplates. Black wheels and aggressive all-terrain tires are locked together with white accents.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolkswagen ID. Buggy
One of the most fun vehicles introduced in Geneva was the Volkswagen ID. Buggy, the latest addition to Volkswagen’s series of electric concept vehicles. Both retro and modern, the ID.BUGGY concept takes inspiration from classic California dune buggies of the 1960s with a raised hood, tail and fat fenders surrounding big 18-inch wheels shod with all-terrain tires. In true beach-buggy fashion, the concept has no doors and no roof. The ID.BUGGY’s open interior offers plenty of room but seating for two. All materials are waterproof, and seats feature head restraints and belt guides integrated into the seatbacks.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolkswagen ID. Buggy
Built on VW’s new MEB modular electric drive platform, the ID. BUGGY features a rear-mounted 201-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels. With a 62-kWh lithium-ion battery integrated into the floor, the ID. BUGGY has an estimated range of 155 miles on a single charge. This layout mimics the 1960s Beetle-based dune buggies with their engines mounted in back, but an additional electric motor could be added to the front axle for 4-wheel-drive capability. The torquey electric motor provides plenty of power for off-road driving, and on pavement the ID. BUGGY will sprint to 62 mph in a bit over 7 seconds. Top speed is limited to 99 mph. While the design is firmly rooted in the past, the ID. BUGGY concept possesses modern elements as well, including a solid-aluminum underbody guard, a reinforced windshield frame and targa bar.

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