The 90th Geneva International Motor Show gets underway next month, kicking off with the media days on 3 and 4 March 2020. We’ll be braving the wheeled flight bags and sacrificing our shoe leather to bring you all the big reveals and the latest concepts. In the meantime, here are some of the cars we’re expecting to see in Switzerland.
Although it was unveiled to the press in November, the Ferrari Roma will make its public debut at the Geneva show. The ‘2+’ coupe boasts a 3.9-litre V8 twin-turbocharged engine producing 620hp, which is enough for it to hit 62mph in just 3.4 seconds, plus a top speed just shy of 200mph. The seats in the back are fine for children – if your children happen to be a pair of tufted capuchins. In truth, they’re designed to fold down to create more space, allowing you to enjoy the ‘carefree lifestyle of 1950s and 60s Rome’. Sounds idyllic.
Aston Martin Vantage Roadster
If the Ferrari Roma has a little too much roof, the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster might be the V8 toy you’re looking for. It weighs just 60kg more than the coupe, which means it’ll hit 62mph in 3.8 seconds – 0.2 seconds slower than the ‘standard’ Vantage. Crucially, the Z-fold roof can be lowered in 6.7 seconds or raised in 6.8 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. The Vantage Roadster costs £126,950, with deliveries beginning in the spring.
Porsche 911 Turbo
At the time of writing, there are images of the new Porsche 911 Turbo S circulating on social media. Whether or not this means Porsche will release official photos and details of the car ahead of Geneva remains to be seen. In the meantime, we know that the Turbo and Turbo S will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat-six engine, with the S developing in the region of 620hp. Cabriolet versions of the pair will arrive at a later date.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, an electric version of the Fiat 500 is likely to be very popular. Predictably, the 500e will look similar to the standard 500, which will continue to be offered alongside the EV. We know that it will feature a completely new cabin, but little is known about the architecture. It will need to match the range of the Mini Electric and Honda e, so we’d expect something in the region of 150 miles.
Not to be confused with the plasticine character created by Aardman Animations, the Renault Morphoz is described as a ‘modular vehicle’ that previews a new family of electric vehicles. Renault says it ‘adapts to the personal needs, desires and uses of each user’. A new electric car is required to replace the ageing Renault Zoe.
As Audi’s most popular model in Europe, there’s a lot of pressure on the new A3. It shares a platform with the recently launched eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf, with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions likely to be offered in the UK. The lightly camouflaged prototypes suggest Audi has taken an evolutionary approach to the styling, but you can expect an improved cabin, more tech and future S3 and RS3 models.
Has the new Seat Leon upstaged its German cousin? We reckon it looks sharper than the Volkswagen Golf, with a design that’s more cohesive, if a tad derivative. The three-door Leon has been consigned to the history books, but it’s Seat’s first fully connected vehicle, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on board, and vehicle data monitoring via an app. Plug-in and mild hybrid versions will be available, while a performance version will be launched under the Cupra banner.
The Enyaq is the first all-electric Skoda – and the first of 10 electrified vehicles to be launched by the Czech brand. Aside from the fact that the Enyaq is an SUV – and that its name is derived from the Irish name ‘Enya’ – we don’t know a great deal about the Enyaq. The platform sharing Volkswagen ID.3 offers a range of between 242 and 342 miles, so we’d expect something similar here.
Alpine will unveil two limited edition versions of the A110 sports car, along with the SportsX styling exercise. Taking its inspiration from the Alpine A110 Monte Carlo Rally car of 1973, the SportsX features a 80mm wider body and ground clearance raised by 60mm. Unfortunately, we’re not expecting the limited editions to be based on this ‘coupe SUV’.
Toyota Yaris GR and small SUV
The new Toyota GR Yaris is a custom-built hot hatch that will be built in low numbers to help deliver WRC competition success. Not to be confused with a special edition, the GR Yaris is the real deal. It has been created by Toyota Gazoo Racing and WRC team Tommi Makinen Racing, with first deliveries expected in the second half of 2020. Toyota will also unveil a new small hybrid SUV, while giving European debuts to the new RAV4 plug-in hybrid, Yaris and Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car.
Czinger will build just 80 units of its ‘groundbreaking’ 21C hypercar, with road and track variants being readied for Geneva. Both are powered by a 2.88-litre flat crank V8 with a pair of turbos. It develops 1,250hp at 10,500rpm to deliver some eyebrow-raising performance figures. In ‘standard’ guise, the 21C will hit 62mph in 1.9 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 432km/h (268mph). We’re itching to see the 3D-printed hypercar up close.
Dacia electric city car
Dacia is entering the EV market with an electric show car. Little is known about the Dacia EV, aside from the fact that the company is promising to deliver ‘the most accessible 100 percent electric city car on the market’. This could mean a sub-£25,000 EV with a range of up to 150 miles – a kind of budget alternative to the Honda e and Mini Electric. This could be an interesting one, so we’ll be on the Dacia stand at 8am for the first glimpse of the budget EV.
Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS
Porsche will give European debuts to the new 2020 GTS versions of the 718 Cayman and Boxster. The big news is the return of the flat-six engine, which is combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. The 4.0-litre unit produces an impressive 400hp and 310lb ft of torque, with performance figures that are only marginally slower than the GT4. Prices start from £64,000 for the 718 Cayman, or £66,000 for the 718 Boxster. Orders can be placed now.
Honda Civic Type R
Honda has given the Civic Type R a mid-life refresh, and introduced a pair of special variants. While the regular Type R receives a mild makeover, the Limited Edition is the most extreme version to date. Just 100 of these track-focused Type Rs will be available, with upgrades including BBS alloy wheels, Michelin Cup 2 tyres and modified dampers. Meanwhile, the Sport Line is a more mellow affair, with Honda removing the rear wing and adding soft-sidewall Michelin tyres and more sound deadening.
The fourth-generation Kia Sorento sits on a new platform and, for the first time, will be offered with a hybrid powertrain. Kia has paired a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a 44.2kW electric motor and a 1.49kWh battery pack. A plug-in hybrid version will follow later. Alternatively, UK buyers can opt for a 2.2-litre diesel engine producing 202hp. All UK variants will be seven-seaters.
Lexus UX 300e
The first all-electric Lexus will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The UX 300e features a 54.3kWh battery beneath the cabin floor to deliver a WLTP range of 186 miles. Recharging to 80 percent is available in 50 minutes when using a DC charger, or a full charge will take seven hours using a domestic socket. Lexus says the UX 300e will go on sale in the UK in January 2021, with prices announced nearer the time.
BAC Mono One
BAC is using the Geneva Motor Show to say goodbye to the Mono. Just three examples of the Mono One will be available worldwide, before production stops to make way for a new car in 2021. The three editions are made up out of BAC’s corporate colours of white, black and red, with each one featuring a Bjork-robot-inspired logo on the wing and headrest. Which is something we never thought we’d write.
Bentley Mulliner Bacalar
The Bentley Mulliner Bacalar ‘will only be enjoyed by a very few’. This is Bentley-speak for expensive and limited edition. The company says the Mulliner Bacalar represents ‘the future of coachbuilding’, so we’re intrigued to see what it is. It’s likely to borrow heavily from the EXP 100 GT concept of last year – with all units snapped up before the car is unveiled next month.
From the atmospheric teaser image, the Hyundai Prophecy looks remarkably like a Porsche 911. The reality is likely to be very different, but Hyundai has certainly got our attention. The press release uses many words but gives little away – you can tell it’s motor show season – but the electric concept is said to define the direction of future Hyundai designs. Still want that Magentis?
Volkswagen Golf GTD
Volkswagen says the Golf GTD boasts ‘the most powerful and, thanks to twin dosing, cleanest turbo diesel injection (TDI) engine ever to be installed in a Golf’. The 2.0-litre diesel is likely to produce around 200hp, while mild hybrid tech should boost the fuel economy. The engine starts via a pulsing button in the completely digitised cockpit.
Hispano Suiza Carmen
Inspired by the Dubonnet Xenia of 1938, the Hispano Suiza Carmen features a fully electric 1,019hp (750kW) powertrain and a bespoke carbon-fibre monocoque chassis. It weighs just 1,690kg, which helps it to hit 62mph in under three seconds and to reach a top speed limited to 155mph. It costs €1.5m (£1.25m) plus taxes, and only 19 will be built from late 2019 until 2021.
Designed and built in the UK, the Apex AP-0 is an “‘xpertly crafted EV sports car’. It weighs just 1,200kg, with Apex claiming it offers ‘rapid acceleration, superior agility, outstanding handling and exceptional cornering ability’. The British manufacturer also claims that the AP-0 features tech that makes it more aware of the world around it…
Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift has been caught testing and, judging by its appearance, it’s ready for Geneva. The styling will fall into line with the rest of the range, while the E-Class will also get the latest MBUX infotainment software. You can also expect new mild and plug-in hybrid powertrains, plus an improved cabin and enhanced driver assistance systems. There are no official images, so here’s the outgoing E-Class looking like it’s on the front cover of a power ballad CD.
BMW 330e Touring
A new BMW 330e Touring plug-in hybrid will join the 3 Series range in the summer, with both the saloon and estate offered with a choice of all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. Like the 330e saloon, the Touring estate pairs a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver a claimed 176mpg, with CO2 emissions of just 39g/km. It also offers up to 34 miles of electric range.
Volkswagen Golf GTI
The pre-show teaser image for the Volkswagen Golf GTI is… illuminating. It features both the red stripe on the radiator grille and an optional LED crossbar integrated in the daytime running lights. It’s also the first Golf GTI to feature a completely digitised dashboard, which seems a world away from the original Mk1. Volkswagen says the power delivery of the GTI engine will ‘exceed expectations’. No pressure.
Skoda Octavia vRS iV
Like before, the new Skoda Octavia vRS will be available as a practical hatchback and an even more practical estate. The big change is the plug-in hybrid powertrain, which develops a total system output of 245hp. Skoda hasn’t supplied any efficiency figures, but we’d expect you to be able to achieve a short commute on electric power. For now, the company is promising ‘superior fuel economy and low CO2 emissions’.
Automobili Pininfarina Battista
Automobili Pininfarina is marking the 90th anniversary of the famous design house with a special unveiling in Geneva. The company says the Battista development mules have ‘achieved 80 percent of their performance capability without issue’, with the first deliveries expected later this year. Pininfarina is calling the 1,900hp Battista ‘the world’s first fully electric luxury hypercar’.
Renault Twingo ZE
Renault will present a 100 percent electrified stand during press days, with eight cars on display. One of these will be the new all-electric Renault Twingo. But before you get too excited, it’s not coming to the UK. The Twingo was developed from the ground up with electrification in mind and is expected to offer around 70 miles of range.
The facelifted Hyundai i30 will feature a redesigned bumper, new LED headlights and V-shaped daytime running lights. That much is clear from the teaser image, but further changes include new rear bumper, rear lights and alloy wheel designs. Hyundai will also unveil an N Line version of the i30 estate. This is fine, but we’d really like to see a full-fat i30 N wagon…
Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Convertible
Bentley says it’s ‘raising the bar for luxury open-top Grand Touring’ with the launch of the Continental GT Mulliner Convertible. The car boasts ‘Diamond-in-Diamond’ interior quilting which adorns all four seats, the door casings, rear quarters and the tonneau cover. It takes almost 400,000 stitches, with each diamond containing exactly 712 individual stitches. Further treats include 22-inch polished wheels with self-levelling badges, mood lighting, illuminated tread plates and LED welcome lights. As for the price, if you have to ask…
Shanghai-based Aiways will unveil an all-electric crossover concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Not much is known about the U6ion, but it’s based on the same platform as the U5 electric car. Chief designer Dongfei Luo said: “The U6ion sketches present a crossover coupe with a harmonious and exciting body shape, aimed at attracting young car users looking for a zero-emission SUV that offers style, practicality and electric performance.”
The new Hyundai i20 is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor. It’s also four percent lighter than the outgoing model, which, when combined with new mild hybrid technology, should make the 2020 i20 more efficient. Available connectivity equipment includes a 10.25-inch digital cluster, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and wireless charging.
The European version of the Aiways U5 electric SUV will make its debut in Geneva. More details will be revealed at the show, but the company says the U5 “will offer a unique means of owning a new electric vehicle that will provide users with an original customer experience”. Aiways is offering 10-minute test drives at the show.
A Citroen SM will be on display on the DS Automobiles stand – 50 years to the day since it first appeared. We understand DS will also unveil a ‘sophisticated and technically advanced’ new car, but we can’t look beyond the SM. That’s the danger of taking a heritage car to a motor show – it tends to hug the limelight. Come back in March for our round-up of the best reveals and the coolest concepts at the Geneva Motor Show.
Polestar is growing up, and distancing itself from parent company Volvo, with the sleek Precept concept. It’s designed as an indication of where the fledgling electric marque will go in the near future. If that means a new model the same size and with similar styling to this, perhaps Porsche and Tesla should be worried. We reckon the Precept, with its recycled fishing net carpets and reclaimed plastic bottle seats, could be the coolest concept of Geneva 2020.