All the news from the 2018 Geneva Motor Show… for a preview of all the important cars, be sure to check out our Geneva 2018 preview.

New car reveals, news and insider gossip will be coming soon…

Range Rover SV Coupe

Range Rover SV Coupe: “This isn’t a vehicle for the shy”

Range Rover SV CoupeRevealed in a high-impact presentation at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the Range Rover SV Coupe is the fastest and most exclusive full-size Range Rover ever. Just 999 will be made, each priced from £240,000.

The SV Coupe is the latest project from Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division: creators of the Range Rover Sport SVR, SVAutobiography and Discovery SVX concept. It’s a three-door, four-seat SUV with sleek styling and a 565hp supercharged V8.

There’s also a huge range of bespoke options, from 23-inch alloy wheels – the largest ever offered on a Range Rover – to more than 100 paint colours.

Range Rover SV Coupe: design

Range Rover SV Coupe

The SV Coupe is fractionally lower than the more familiar five-door, but overall dimensions are almost identical. Seen in the metal, though, it looks sportier and more compact – yet still recognisably a Range Rover.

Its most distinctive feature is a sleek, tapering glasshouse, with gloss-black pillars to give the impression of a ‘floating’ roof. The trad-RR vertical side vents have moved from the doors to the trailing edge of the front wings to visually lengthen the car. Plus, there’s the option of two-tone paint for the ‘Contour Graphic’, which wraps around the body-sides between the waistline and the sills, and also covers the tailgate.

Those 23-inch rims are actually Land Rover’s ‘recommended option’. The standard wheels are 22s, with 21s available for those mad enough to take their quarter-mill luxury SUV off-road.

The SV Coupe’s interior provides “accommodation comparable to private jets and yachts,” says Land Rover. It’s certainly plush, with lashings of diamond-quilted leather and wood veneer, plus tactile, ‘frosted aluminium’ finish for many of the controls. The two individual rear seats provide slightly less headroom than those in a regular Range Rover, but this is no ‘kids only’ 2+2: even tall adults should find sufficient space.

Range Rover SV Coupe

Infotainment comes via a 10-inch touchscreen and 23-speaker Meridian hi-fi. The colour head-up display (projected onto the windscreen) can be customised to offer sat nav directions or off-road driving info.

At the press conference, designer Gerry McGovern was visibly proud of the car. “This isn’t a vehicle for the shy,” he opined. “It’s a lady’s or gentleman’s chariot: imposing without too much fussiness.” Referencing the original three-door Range Rover, he said: “We respect the past, but we’re not going to be harnessed by it”.

Range Rover SV Coupe: performance

Range Rover SV Coupe

Technically, the most powerful Range Rover ever is the 575hp Sport SVR. It hits 62mph in 4.5 seconds and 176mph flat-out.

The 565hp SV Coupe falls slightly short: 5.3 seconds and 165mph. Still, with 516lb ft of torque on tap, nobody is likely to complain about a lack of oomph.

Drive goes (naturally) to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddles for manual shifts. A low-range transfer ’box, locking rear differential and Land Rover’s six-mode Terrain Response 2 system guarantee impressive off-road ability.

On adjustable air suspension, the SV Coupe rides 8mm lower than a standard Range Rover. A “more driver-focused edge” is promised. Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director, said: “This is a meticulously honed vehicle that’s designed for SV clients who love driving.”

The maximum towing weight for the SV Coupe is 900mm, with a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.

Range Rover SV Coupe: bespoke options

Range Rover SV Coupe

Each SVO project so far has each pushed boundaries in one specific area. The Range Rover Sport SVR had hitherto-unseen levels of performance, the Range Rover SVAutobiography raised the game in terms of luxury and the Discovery SVX concept is – potentially – Land Rover’s most capable off-roader yet.

With the SV Coupe, Land Rover aims to stretch the limits of personalisation. Indeed, the number of bespoke options makes it unlikely any of the 999 cars will be exactly the same.

For starters, there’s an almost unlimited palette of paint colours available, including new ‘Liquesence’ silver with aluminium flake, plus different shades for the Contour Graphic.

Inside, buyers can also choose contrasting colours. Land Rover suggests light-coloured leather in the front and a darker shade for the rear. “That’s the opposite of what we’d generally do with a chauffeur-driven car: the Range Rover built for the Queen, for example,” explains McGovern (pictured below). “But the SV Coupe is a driver’s car.”

Range Rover SV Coupe

The choice of (beautifully finished) wood veneers ranges from sporty Natural Black Ash to Nautica: a striped, sycamore and walnut blend that recalls the deck of a Riva speedboat.

Beyond this, you’re into the realms of individual personalisation. “We can offer engraved door handles, monogrammed kick-plates, rose-gold badges, family crests stitched into the headrests – anything the client wants, basically,” explains one Land Rover spokesman.

Fortunately, designers are available to guide each SV Coupe customer through ‘bespoking’ his or her car. The whole process takes two to three hours, aided by a computer programme that allows you to visualise the finished article. Want to see if lime green paint works with hot pink alloys? The answer is just a few clicks away…

Range Rover SV Coupe: first verdict

Range Rover SV Coupe

With the entry-level Range Rover costing £76,795 and the RR Sport SVR edging just under £100,000, the SV Coupe looks eye-wateringly expensive. You could buy a Rolls-Royce Ghost for less (although the forthcoming Rolls Cullinan SUV will probably be more).

Does the price tag matter? Probably not. This is a bespoke, luxury product, and aimed at people more worried about exclusivity than money. Finding 999 such ‘clients’ worldwide shouldn’t prove too difficult, especially when the car looks this good. Indeed, one LR insider tells me several pre-order SV Coupes have already exceeded £300k after options.

We’ve turned our noses up at SUV coupes in the past, but there’s something beguiling about this ultimate Range Rover. It’s a special machine, no doubt, and a surefire future classic. The lucky few will take delivery in autumn 2018. 

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Hakan Samuelsson

Volvo CEO is the first World Car Person of the Year

Hakan SamuelssonThe Volvo XC40 was named European Car of the Year at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show – but that wasn’t the only trophy awarded to the firm at the Swiss extravaganza. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson was also honoured with the inaugural World Car Person of the Year prize, from the World Car Awards organisation.

Samuelsson has led Volvo since 2012 and overseen a remarkable turnaround for the company, from a quirky Swedish brand building middle-market cars for Europe, into a genuinely world-class global luxury brand.

Volvo has grown quickly under his stewardship, with the support of brand owner Geely. More importantly, it has rediscovered its mojo and honed its brand identity, enabling it to compete with other premium brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

World Car Person of the Year 2018 presentation

Modest and understated in that typically Swedish way, Samuelsson accept the prize with humble gratitude. “I see this award as acknowledgement of the efforts made by the entire Volvo Cars organisation in recent years,” he said.

The gong joins other leadership prizes awarded to him recently: German business publisher Springer gave him the 2017 Golden Steering Wheel award and Roadshow by CNET named him the 2018 Disrupter of the Year.

2017 was Volvo Cars’ fourth year of record growth, with a 27.7 percent increase in operating profit and global sales of over 570,000 cars.

Hakan Samuelsson

But what’s his secret? “Volvo is a no-nonsense company,” he told us at Geneva. “We don’t waste much time.” There are no excessive layers of beaurocracy. “Like many Swedish firms, our organisation is flat and agile.”

And while Volvo is growing, it isn’t becoming too large. In unwieldy organisations, “people hinder one another. You don’t have that when you are a small company.”

Volvo also has a high proportion of female employees – around 30 percent of managers are women, far higher than the industry average. “We have bought in a lot of people over the past few years, and we remain an organisation strong on diversity.” 

Ford Ka+ Active

Opinion: I don’t get the trend for jacked-up city cars

Ford Ka+ Active

A walk around the floor of the Geneva Motor Show proves that SUVs are as popular as ever. The hottest new reveals include Jaguar’s electric I-Pace, the Lexus UX and Honda’s CRV. And, with SUVs being such a success story, it’s no surprise to see smaller niches developing within the segment (see BMW’s new X4 and Land Rover’s Range Rover SV Coupe).

Over on Ford’s stand there’s a facelifted Edge, while hidden away upstairs is the beefed-up Ka+ Active. And it’s the latter that I’m struggling to get my head around.

Now, I understand the popularity of SUVs. Nine times out of 10 I’d prefer an old-fashioned hatchback or saloon myself, but Volvo’s recent XC40, for example, is one of the best cars I’ve driven recently. European Car of the Year judges agreed with me, handing it the overall prize at the eve of the show.

But is anyone convinced by this boom of beefed-up city cars? Vauxhall’s given its Viva the Rocks treatment (following on from the Adam Rocks), while Kia’s launched the Picanto X-Line. The idea, from what I can gather, is that they’ll appeal to the crossover demographic without demanding inflated PCP payments or running costs.

Mechanically, the Ka+ Active is pretty much the same as the regular Ka+. There’s a new petrol and diesel engine line-up announced at Geneva, while power goes to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. There’s no option of a four-wheel-drive powertrain – just like there isn’t with the Viva or Picanto – and that’s what makes it utterly pointless, in my opinion. Yes, people buy front-wheel-drive Nissan Jukes as a status symbol, but you’d be deluded to buy a Ka+ Active as a status symbol.

It’s also the difference between the Ka+ Active and the likes of the Fiat Panda 4×4 and Suzuki Ignis (and even the Swift 4×4). If you live in a rural area or rely on your car in less-than-ideal conditions, a compact city car or supermini with an element of off-roadability makes a lot of sense. But adding body cladding and a marginally higher ride height isn’t going to make one iota of difference.

Frankly, it all smacks of the Ford Fusion all over again. Based on the Mk5 Fiesta, the Fusion arrived in 2002. It featured an increased ride height and was marketed at young, aspirational lifestyle people who enjoyed mountain biking and windsurfing at the weekend. In reality it was bought by elderly people who found it easy to get in and out of than a Fiesta. It was axed in 2012

And, if we’re looking back at similar ideas over the years, it’d be rude not to get all nostalgic over the Rover Streetwise. This Rover 25-based wannabe crossover featured bold, plastic bumpers that required regular applications of linseed alloy to prevent fading. Some said it was ahead of its time, I say it was just one of MG Rover’s many bad ideas.

Obviously, there must be a market for these cars. Brands like Vauxhall and Ford don’t launch a new model if there isn’t a confirmed audience for it. But I have to wonder if the buying public are really convinced by some extra body cladding and a few millimetres more ground clearance.

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Geneva Motor Show 2018

Geneva 2018: the best new SUVs and trucks

Geneva Motor Show 2018Once upon a time, crazy concepts and ludicrous supercars were the big news at international motor shows. Today, they’ve been all but trounced by the all-conquering SUV, which comes in many shapes and sizes. Here, we select 20 of the best, concentrating on production models, rather than any that might not see the light of day.

Bentley Bentayga PHEV

Geneva Motor Show 2018

One day, we’re going to run out of ‘firsts’. Until then, the press offices will continue to take great pleasure from announcing their world-first this or that. To wit: the Bentley Bentayga PHEV is the world’s first luxury hybrid, although somebody might want to mention this to Lexus. Whatever, it’s most certainly the first hybrid built in Crewe.

The Bentayga with a conscience combines a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine and an electric motor to deliver CO2 emissions of just 75g/km. In pure EV mode, it offers an electric range of 31 miles, while in true Bentley style, the wall charger has been designed by Philippe Stark. Bentley says the Bentayga PHEV is the first step towards full electrification.

Jaguar I-Pace

Geneva Motor Show 2018

“Landmark car” and “game-changer” are just two of the things we’ve heard said about the Jaguar I-Pace in Geneva. You can understand the gushing praise: here is a car that looks good, slots neatly into a growing segment, offers a realistic range, and is priced to take on Tesla. How can it fail?

The headlines make for compelling reading: a 90kWh battery delivering up to 298 miles range, two electric motors developing 400hp, 50:50 weight distribution, 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, and five-seat SUV practicality. It’s available to order now, priced from £63,495.

Range Rover SV Coupe

Geneva Motor Show 2018

The SV Coupe is the latest car to emerge from Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division and is one of the most talked about cars at this year’s show. Land Rover likens the plush interior to something you might find in a private jet or yacht, which goes some way to justifying the eye-watering £240,000 price tag.

Exclusivity is guaranteed, as Land Rover will build just 999, telling us that several pre-order SV Coupes have already exceeded £300,000 after options. These options include 23-inch alloy wheels – the largest ever fitted to a production Range Rover – along with 100 paint colours, different shades of leathers, a choice of wood veneers and – wait for it – your family crest stitched into the headrests.

Lexus UX

Geneva Motor Show 2018

In an acknowledgment that most of these cars will spend their entire time on the road rather than off it, Lexus is calling its first compact crossover an “Urban Explorer”. The UX is the first Lexus to be built on the new GA-C platform, with the company promising the lowest centre of gravity in its class and a hatchback-like driving experience.

Sounds promising. Chika Kako, chief engineer of the UX goes a little further, claiming that he wanted to deliver car that could change the lives of the mid-30s millennials being targeted by Lexus. The UX 250h will feature a self-charging hybrid system, but we’re still waiting for UK-specific details.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Geneva Motor Show 2018

Another real-word SUV, the Hyundai Santa Fe has become a familiar sight across the world since its launch at the turn of the millennium. This new model has a more confident, almost aggressive stance, with Hyundai promising “best-in-class safety features” and exceptional interior space.

If you’re somebody who’s forever forgetting where you left the children, this is the SUV for you. The Rear Occupant Alert monitors the rear seats to detect passengers and alert the driver there are people in the rear seat when leaving the car. Are you reading, David Cameron?

Cupra Ateca

Geneva Motor Show 2018

It looks like a Seat Ateca, but the Spanish company would like you to refer to it as the Cupra Ateca. Unveiled last month, the sporty SUV is the first of a number of Cupra models, all destined for a life without any Seat branding. Seven new cars are planned within the next three years, starting with this: the 300hp Ateca SUV.

Putting cynicism to one side, the 2.0-litre turbocharged Cupra Ateca promises to be quite a formidable performance SUV. It’ll hit 62mph in just 5.4 seconds, before going to reach a top speed of 152mph.

Honda CR-V

Geneva Motor Show 2018

We reckon this is the best looking Honda CR-V ever built, but the big news lies under the bonnet. Honda has ditched diesel from the range, with buyers offered the choice of either a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid.

It’s the first time a CR-V hybrid has been available in Europe, but the first deliveries aren’t expected until early 2019. In the meantime, 1.5-litre versions are scheduled for autumn 2018, with a seven-seat option available.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio NRING

Geneva Motor Show 2018

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio NRING pays tribute to the record-setting lap of the Nürburging by offering a host of tasty upgrades. Performance is unchanged, but the special edition adds carbon-ceramic brakes, Sparco race seats and a Mopar automatic transmission knob, plus other cosmetic and in-car entertainment goodies.

Just 108 will be built, one for each year of Alfa history, with each car finished in Circuito Grey. An obligatory numbered badge is fitted to the carbon fibre dashboard insert.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Geneva Motor Show 2018

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been Europe’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle for the past three years and is the world’s best-selling plug-in SUV. Which means the launch of a new 2019 model is going to be of interest to a lot of people.

A 2.4-litre petrol engine replaces the old 2.0-litre unit, with the 2019 model promising a 15 percent increase in battery capacity and a 10 percent increase in output. There’s also a revised four-wheel-drive system and a host of cosmetic upgrades. It makes the original Outlander PHEV look decidedly dated.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Geneva Motor Show 2018

We’ve deliberately excluded crossovers from this gallery, choosing to focus on full-fat SUVs and pick-ups. But we’re prepared to make an exception for the Hyundai Kona Electric, because we think it could be one of the unsung heroes of the show.

It sits 15mm higher than the regular Kona and will be offered in two variants: one offering a range of 186 miles, the other managing 292 miles. Hyundai hasn’t confirmed prices, but if it comes in around the £25,000 mark, there are likely to be many customers forming a queue at dealers.

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Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace quick review: first taste of 400hp electric SUV

Jaguar I-PaceThis is not a normal, full-blooded drive of a new car. If you think you’ve seen a review of the Jaguar I-Pace elsewhere (before June 2018), well, the writers are being economical with the truth.

The truth is that Jaguar whisked a bunch of journalists from the Geneva Motor Show to a small driving-school test track at the end of the airport runway nearby. This would be a 10-minute ‘experience’, rather than a proper first drive.

What can I tell you from 10 minutes? Quite a lot, as it happens. Firstly, the I-Pace looks great in the metal, on the road and out in the open air. Falling between the Jaguar E-Pace and F-Pace SUVs in terms of size, it’s much swoopier than either.

This recent trend of the SUV morphed into a coupe has been promulgated by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, who have managed to turn out whole families of shockingly ugly designs that offer nothing over the vehicles from which they were derived.

A special, premium SUV 

Jaguar I-Pace

The I-Pace is a bit special, though, and you’ll surely be happy if you’ve already put your money down. The interior lives up to the promise, too. It feels properly premium with no sign of lightweight features there to compensate for the
weight of all those batteries.

It also drives very well – at least up to 50mph. There’s 400hp, which translates into acceleration that can shame a supercharged Jaguar F-Type.

On the wet track the grip was prodigious – I stuck the chassis into its Dynamic setting and simply floored it wherever possible. The i-Pace hunkered down, the four-wheel drive did its thing and the steering simply seemed connected to my
brain.

First impressions are good

Jaguar I-Pace

The seats feel comfortable and very supportive, but while rear space looks pretty good, those seats are incredibly flat and rather close to the floor.

How far will it really travel on a full battery, when it’s cold and wet? I suspect not the 300 miles quoted, although there are some clever features that, for example, allow you to warm up the battery (and the interior) while the car is still plugged in, making a major difference to the range.

The jury is necessarily still out. A full appraisal is needed and we’d be even happier to know how those first customers get on over the first 12 months.

Still, there seem to be many who are excited enough to put there cash down right now, and we can hardly blame them.

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Cupra e-Racer

How the Cupra e-Racer could influence the road car of the future

Cupra e-Racer

Electric cars can be fun. It’s a message drummed into us time and again by manufacturers pushing their new technology. But is fun simply about quick 0-62mph times? Not necessarily, according to Seat’s sporty offshoot, Cupra. The freshly divorced brand has revealed a 680hp electric racing car at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, but claims there’s more to it than a 3.2-second 0-62mph time and an incredible 8.2-second 0-124mph time.

Speaking to Motoring Research, R&D boss Matthias Rabe explained that he had big ambitions for the Leon-based rear-wheel-drive e-Racer.

“To be honest, when we said OK, let’s [make] the TCR car electric, I saw some first proposals… they were front-wheel drive and with much lower power. And then I asked, OK, what’s the performance figure? And they showed me something of acceleration in the region of 6.7 seconds or seven seconds and I said ‘no’.

“If we want to go electric, we have to be better than today. In general, with electric, you don’t have the sound experience and therefore I think it is more boring in general, and therefore the car has to be more exciting. So we created a rear-wheel-drive car and we increased the power.”

We asked Dr Rabe to give us three features of the e-Racer that could be used on production Cupra models in the near future. This is what he said.

Torque vectoring

Torque vectoring is fairly commonplace in petrol performance cars of today. In simple terms, it shifts torque between wheels, sending it to the wheel with the most traction to aid grip when setting off and cornering.

But Rabe explains that you can take torque vectoring to the next level with electric cars. Unlike internal combustion-engined vehicles, torque vectoring can also be used during braking. Because of the electric brake modes, you can shift the amount of braking from one side of the car to the other, helping to keep it stable under heavy deceleration.

Added carbon

This is a feature already available on the Cupra Ateca: a carbon fibre exterior pack. It’s optional, “because carbon is very expensive,” explains Rabe. We already know that Cupra will take a similar route to AMG and BMW M Sport, offering sporty option packs for Seat-branded cars, but buyers of Cupra models will also be able to customise their vehicles to their own taste.

The Leon Cupra R features carbon fibre detailing in the form of a front splitter and rear-view mirror casings. Which brings us on to…

Cameras instead of rear-view mirrors

When you think of it, modern road cars are relying on rather old-fashioned technology in the form of three mirrors stuck to the car to inform the driver what’s going on behind them. Cameras are obviously fairly commonplace to aid reversing and tight manoeuvring, and we frequently see them replacing mirrors on concept cars. So why haven’t they made it to road cars yet?

“I love the idea,” Rabe said, “[but] I think we could integrate it from the design even better than on the e-Racer.  I have some ideas for that, but the point is why not in the future? It’s a cost thing, but then that’s the nice thing with racing. With racing it’s easy to test it. To bring it into a serial car right now the costs are very high, and it’s complicated in terms of electrical integration. But in the future, maybe.”

Although the answer is mainly down to cost, Rabe says that it is also partly because of legislation. However, “normally legislation just follows technology.”

Cupra e-Racer

He continues to point out a number of advantages to using cameras rather than mirrors.

“One advantage is, I think, you reduce the drag because you don’t have the mirrors. Another advantage is, especially with the rear camera, you can focus more on the speed. For example, if you go on the motorway, you can make it very close. If you are in the city, or you’re parking, you can make it very wide and also reduce the dead angle. With a mirror, there’s always a dead angle from the mirror itself or if you turn back you have the C-pillar and as a camera you can overcome this.”

The Cupra e-Racer will be showcased at special events throughout 2018, with a competition for purely electric touring cars planned for 2019. Promising to be “much more active, incredibly dynamic, intense and exciting,” could this be the trigger that gets us enthused about the everyday electric vehicles of the future?

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Goodyear Oxygene

This living tyre could be the answer to all our pollution problems

Goodyear Oxygene

Goodyear has revealed a concept tyre that can create its own electricity using living moss grown within the sidewall.

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the Goodyear Oxygene features a smart tread design that absorbs water from the road surface as well as CO2 from the atmosphere before releasing oxygen as a result of photosynthesis.

It also harvests energy created during photosynthesis to power a host of embedded electronics, including onboard sensors and even an LED light strip that changes colour to warn other road users of upcoming manoeuvres, such as lane changes or braking.

The tyre manufacturer estimates that if every vehicle in Paris used these tyres, nearly 3,000 tonnes of oxygen would be generated and more than 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide would be absorbed.

Goodyear Oxygene

Speaking to Motoring Research, Goodyear’s director of consumer technology, Percy LeMair, hinted that elements of the concept tyre could make it to production in the near-future.

“We’ve got our prototype intelligent tyre on the stand today,” he said. “Five or six years ago, that was a crazy concept. Now it’s reality.”

The prototype intelligent tyre uses sensors to monitor information such as wear, temperature and pressure. As well as reporting issues to drivers and fleet managers via a mobile app, it can provide an estimate of how long the tyre will last. It can also communicate with other vehicles – warning them of potholes, for example, or even greasy roads.

Like the intelligent tyre, the Oxygene concept uses Li-Fi internet to allow the tyre to connect to the ‘internet of things’. The tyre doesn’t rely on air, while the materials used to make it can be recycled easily.

Another prototype on the Goodyear stand at Geneva is a tyre intended to increase electric vehicle range by up to 30 percent.

“Designing tyres for electric vehicles can be a challenge,” said LeMair. “They have to cope with high levels of torque, which can increase the wear of a standard tyre dramatically.

“They also need low rolling resistance to increase range, while tyre noise is more of an issue than it is in a standard car.”

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World Car Awards

It’s an all-SUV final for World Car Awards – again

World Car AwardsThe final three in the running for the prestigious 2018 World Car of the Year Award have been revealed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show – and for the second year running, it’s an all-SUV final.

The Mazda CX-5, Range Rover Velar and Volvo XC60 have all made the shortlist, following the earlier announcement of the top 10 longlist. The winner will be revealed at the New York Auto Show later this month.

Jaguar Land Rover will be hoping to repeat the success of last year’s award-winning Jaguar F-Pace, which also won the World Car Design award – something the Velar is also shortlisted for in 2018.

But it faces stiff competition from the Volvo XC60, which is also a design top three contender. Meanwhile, Mazda will be banking on a follow-up of the 2016 competition, where the Mazda MX-5 emerged as victor.

Journalist jurors from around the world vote through several rounds to determine the World Car Awards winners. To be eligible, cars must be sold in numerous regions and countries across the planet, rather than in just one or two countries – making it the world’s only genuinely global awards initiative. 

The three finalists in the other awards categories were also revealed at Geneva. In alphabetical order for each, they are…

World Car Design 2018 finalists

  • Lexus LC 500
  • Range Rover Velar
  • Volvo XC60

World Luxury Car 2018 finalists

  • Audi A8
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • Porsche Panamera

World Green Car 2018 finalists

  • BMW 530e iPerformance
  • Chevrolet Pacifica Hybrid
  • Nissan Leaf

World Performance Car 2018 finalists

  • BMW M5
  • Honda Civic Type R
  • Lexus LC 500

World Urban Car 2018 finalists

  • Ford Fiesta
  • Suzuki Swift
  • Volkswagen Polo

Overall World Car of the Year 2018 finalists

  • Mazda CX-5
  • Range Rover Velar
  • Volvo XC60
Geneva Motor Show 2018

Revealed: Geneva’s most exciting new supercars

There is no shortage of high-performance hypercars and sports cars at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Here, we round-up our favourites, from Aston Martin to Zenvo.

Aston Martin Vantage

Geneva Motor Show 2018

Revealed late last year, the Geneva show is our first real chance to get up close and personal with the latest Vantage. All-new inside and out, it certainly looks distinctive, with a gaping front grille and range of eye-searing colours to top things off. It effectively dispenses with the idea of all Astons looking the same.

Beneath the bodywork lurks a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, sourced from Mercedes-AMG and packing a useful 510hp and 505lb ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard at present, but a manual version is on the cards. Orders have already been taken, with deliveries of the £120,900 coupe due in the next few months.

BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe

BMW has teased us with the idea of an M8 for some time, with the previous Concept 8 Series shown last year and also the M8 GTE race car. Now we have the finished M8 concept, but in four-door ‘Gran Coupe’ guise here at Geneva. However, more waiting is involved, as BMW claims we won’t see the production-ready article until next year.

For now, we can check out with the aggressive front-end treatment the M8 receives, including the distinctive yellow LED headlights borrowed from the GTE race car. The classic BMW kidney grille is there, along with gaping air intakes and a jutting splitter. A ducktail spoiler at the rear is particularly neat, as are the hidden door handles.

Ford Mustang Bullitt 

We might be stretching the definition of ‘supercar’ here, but a Ford Mustang with 464hp and a link to an iconic driving film seems fairly super to us. Initially announced at the Detroit Auto Show in January, Ford has used Geneva to confirm the Mustang Bullitt will be coming to the UK in right-hand drive.

The uprated 5.0-litre V8 engine features a new air induction system, bigger throttle bodies and an ECU shared with the Shelby GT350. Shadow Black paint is an option, but it would seem wrong to pick anything other than Highland Green to go with the Torq Thrust-style alloy wheels. Be sure to keep an eye out for sinister Dodge Chargers if you buy one.

Morgan Aero GT 

The end of Morgan Aero production is sad, but the Malvern company is ensuring the model goes out with a bang. Just eight examples of the race-inspired Aero GT will be built, all tailored to individual customer specifications by Morgan’s Special Projects team.

All will use the same 367hp BMW V8 fitted to a manual gearbox, with the Aero GT making a sprightly run from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds. Adjustable suspension is standard, and the Aero GT features trick parts like a carbon fibre roof and aerodynamic appendages developed from the 2009 GT3 race car. You’ll need £120,000 plus taxes to secure this incredibly rare creation.

Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe

Geneva Motor Show 2018

The engineers at Mercedes-AMG have seemingly been worrying about how to make their supercars more family-friendly. The answer was quite simple: turn the AMG GT coupe into a four-door, letting the kids come along for the ride.

Set to be offered in both GT and GT S flavours, the former has 585hp, with the latter boasting a peak output of 639hp. Both use the same 4.0-litre biturbo V8 engine as seen in the AMG GT coupe, with permanent all-wheel drive to keep things under control. Zero to 62mph in under 3.5 seconds means true supercar performance: certainly enough to terrify your four passengers.

Zenvo Automotive TSR-S 

Danish company Zenvo might not be the biggest supercar manufacturer, but its TSR supercar certainly pushes boundaries. The latest version features an in-house V8 engine with twin superchargers, producing an amazing 1,177hp. The technology is pure race car, with a seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox driving the rear wheels.

The biggest news in Geneva is the addition of a patent-pending centripetal rear wing, which uses clever dampers to rotate as the car corners. This allows the wing to use centripetal force to pull the car into a turn. It also means it can act as a giant air brake, helping the huge carbon ceramic discs slow the car even faster.

Ferrari 488 Pista

A hardcore version of the already-rabid Ferrari 488 is always going to be big news, and even though the 488 Pista was announced a few weeks ago it is still attracting attention in Geneva. Said to be inspired directly by Ferrari’s success in the World Endurance Championship, the Pista is promised to be even more special than the 360 Challenge Stradale or 458 Speciale.

The Ferrari 488 Challenge race car provides the uprated turbochargers for the V8 engine, taking peak power to 720hp. This coincides with a kerb weight reduced by some 90kg, along with bodywork that includes lessons learned from Formula 1 and a spoiler inspired by a dolphin’s tail. No, really. We don’t think Flipper could hit 0-62mph 2.85 seconds, or peak at 211mph, though.

MAT Stratos 

You may not have heard of MAT (Manifattura Automobili Torino), but you’ll certainly recognise the distinctive wedge-shape of the Stratos. A modern reincarnation of the Lancia classic from the 1970s, the MAT Stratos first appeared as a concept over seven years ago. Now it’s set for limited production – just 25 units – but requires you first sacrifice a Ferrari F430 Scuderia.

The 4.3-litre flat-plane V8 in the F430 Scuderia was already potent to begin with, but extra tweaks mean the power output increases to 540hp. Splash more cash and the potential for 600hp is on the cards. MAT claims to have twelve buyers already lined up to pay the £445,000 asking price, which comes in addition to finding your own spare Ferrari to butcher. What price nostalgia, eh?

Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept 

We suspected Toyota would finally unveil the finished Supra concept at Geneva, so this racing version is most of the way there. The basic Supra ideas of a front engine and rear-wheel drive remain, and if you squint hard enough you can definitely see the family resemblance beneath the wings and splitters. We do already know it’ll share a platform with the forthcoming BMW Z4.

While we’ll have to wait until 2019 to drive it in real life, players of Gran Turismo Sport will get the chance to drive the GR Supra concept in an update coming to the game next month. Just imagine it finished in a red and green Castrol livery for full effect.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS 

Death, taxes and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS that will sell out before mere mortals even have chance to think about buying one. These things are all constants in life, and Zuffenhausen hasn’t disappointed. As a final hurrah for the 991-generation 911, there’s more power and even crazier bodywork, along with revisions to the PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Sorry purists, there is still no manual ’box option.

However, 520hp from the 4.0-litre flat-six engine should be some consolation, along with alloy wheels which save 100g compared to the previous version. Tiny tweaks we know, but ones that drive Porsche fans crazy. The changes result in a 0-62mph time that drops to 3.2 seconds, although the barn-door-sized wing pegs the top speed to 193mph. Priced from £141,000, there might still be time to befriend your local Porsche dealer.

Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder

What better way to hear the V10 wail in your Huracan Performante than by chopping the roof off and creating a Spyder? It might seem something of a juxtaposition to create a topless version of your track-focused supercar, but Lamborghini knows what its customers want. Realistically, they want to cruise around looking cool, safe in the knowledge they can brag about the performance of their ultimate Huracan.

The 5.2-litre 631hp engine still sends power to all four wheels, but the weight of the folding soft-top and additional strengthening means the Spyder weighs some 125kg more than the Performante coupe. Zero to 62mph in 3.1 seconds it still impressive, though, as is the blustery 201mph top speed. Expect to pay £238,000 – a premium of 10% over the fixed-roof version.

Bugatti Chiron Sport 

Geneva Motor Show 2018

If we’ve had one complaint about the Bugatti Chiron it’s that, despite the 1,479hp output, we just wish it was slightly better on-track. Actually, that’s a lie. We’re not sure anyone has ever complained about the handling of the Chiron, but Bugatti has seen fit to fix it regardless.

Stiffer suspension dampers, weightier steering and the addition of a special handling mode mark the biggest changes. There is also a 18kg weight reduction, although this is a drop in the ocean given the considerable bulk of the Chiron. You do get lighter carbon fibre windscreen wipers, however, which go some way to justifying the £2.4million price tag.

McLaren Senna 

Naming a car after one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers ever is an incredibly bold move. Yet McLaren feels suitably convinced that the Senna more than lives up the name. We already saw the car at an event last year, but this will be the first time the general public can gape in awe at the £750,000 hypercar and see if it looks any less shocking in real life. Although they can’t buy one, as it’s already sold out.

Carbon fibre bodywork creates the potential for the Senna to generate 800kg of downforce, said to enable incredible cornering speeds. At the heart of the Senna is an 800hp version of McLaren’s twin-turbocharged V8 engine, capable of delivering 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and 0-186mph in just 17.5 seconds. When even the paint options have been chosen to save weight, you know McLaren isn’t messing around.

McLaren Senna GTR 

With the regular Senna sold out, and rivals like Aston Martin creating the Valkyrie AMR Pro, clearly what McLaren needed was to create a hardcore track-focused version of the Senna. Before customers even get the chance to try the normal car, 75 buyers will have the chance to spend £1million on a Senna GTR.

Horsepower is increased to 825hp, but the big news comes with the boost in downforce to a faintly ridiculous maximum of 1,000kg. Pirelli slick tyres are standard, along with the prize for what is probably the biggest rear diffuser fitted to any car. So, if you were unable to grab a regular Senna, the GTR will let you feel superior to those who only bought a ‘regular’ roadgoing version.

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro 

Claiming that your new track-only hypercar is as fast as a contemporary Formula 1 racer certainly sets expectations high. Yet that’s exactly what Aston Martin claims for this enhanced version of the Valkyrie. F1 design supremo Andrew Newey has let his imagination run wild, freed from the limits of having to make something road-legal.

The 6.5-litre V12 now produces 1,100hp, while the AMR Pro is capable of producing more downforce than its actual weight. Just like an F1 car, in fact. Even set for maximum downforce, there is still a top speed of 225mph, but the biggest story is the ability to generate 3G of lateral acceleration. Owners will need to be physically fit to get the most out of their cars, with just 25 examples set to be built. Naturally, they’re all sold.

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Geneva Motor Show 2018

The 10 coolest cars at the Geneva Motor Show 2018

Geneva Motor Show 2018The 88th Geneva International Motor Show is underway, packed with the usual array of supercars, hypercars, crazy concepts and folk tripping over trailing flight bags. We’ve elbowed our way to the front of each stand to bring you all the important cars from Geneva 2018.

Aston Martin Lagonda Vision Concept

Geneva Motor Show 2018

In an era of pre-launch teasers and pre-show reveals, the Aston Martin Lagonda Vision Concept is a genuine surprise. It previews an all-electric future for the Lagonda sub-brand, with production scheduled to start in 2021. By 2023, two Lagonda models will be rolling out of the new plant in St Athan, Wales. The all-wheel drive Lagonda will travel 400 miles between charges and be ready to recharge wirelessly.

Ferrari 488 Pista

Geneva Motor Show 2018

With 720hp on tap, the Ferrari 488 Pista is the most powerful production V8 Fezza ever produced. It has been built with the track in mind, hence the name: Pista is Italian for ‘track’. It weighs an impressive 90kg less than the 488 GTB and will hit 62mph in just 2.85 seconds. It looks great, not that you can get anywhere near it here in Geneva.

Ford Mustang Bullitt

Geneva Motor Show 2018

Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January, this is the first time the Ford Mustang Bullitt has been seen in Europe. It salutes the 1968 movie car with its Highland Green metallic paint, along with a series of mechanical and cosmetic upgrades befitting its role of flagship ’Stang. The tuned 5.0-litre V8 engine packs 475hp and 420lb ft of torque and tops out at 163mph. We expect a smaller number of Mustang Bullitts to arrive in the UK later this year.

Jaguar I-Pace

Geneva Motor Show 2018

Car of the show? The I-Pace is certainly a landmark, not just for Jaguar, but for the electric vehicle segment. It takes the fight to Tesla in a way that Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have failed to do and is remarkably close to the concept of 2016. It’s similar in length to the XE, but offers SUV-like levels of interior space and a range of up to 298 miles. Prices start from £63,495 and first deliveries are expected before the end of the year.

MAT Stratos

Geneva Motor Show 2018

Every time we visit a European motor show, we come away disappointed by the Lancia stand. After all, there’s only so many times you can peddle yet another Ypsilon special edition. This might not be a Lancia – it’s actually a Ferrari F430 underneath – but it pays homage to the legendary Stratos of the 1970s. Three versions will be built, including a rally-inspired model – and Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT) has promised to produce 25 examples. You’ll need €500,000 (£490,000) plus an F430 for the privilege.

Range Rover SV Coupe

Geneva Motor Show 2018

What’s the betting the Range Rover SV Coupe will be sold out by the end of the Geneva show? We were fortunate enough to attend the pre-launch reveal in Paris and, putting cynicism to one side, we find the idea of the SV Coupe utterly beguiling, even at the £240,000 price tag. The three-door, four-seat SUV is powered by a 565hp supercharged V8 engine and can be equipped with 23-inch rims – the largest ever offered on a Range Rover. Only 999 will be built.

PAL-V Liberty

Geneva Motor Show 2018

Is it a car or is it a plane? Actually, it’s both, as the PAL-V Liberty is the world’s first commercial flying car. In drive mode, the two-seater car is powered by a 100hp engine, has a top speed just shy of 100mph and can hit 62mph in nine seconds. In flight mode, the Liberty develops 200hp and can climb to an altitude of 3,500m. Total flying time is 4.3 hours or 500km (310 miles). The first model to market will be the €499,000 (plus taxes) Pioneer Edition, of which 90 will be sold worldwide. After that, PAL-V will start deliveries of the cheaper Sport Edition.

Polestar 1

Geneva Motor Show 2018

Arguably the most attractive car on show in Geneva, the Polestar 1 is a bittersweet pill to swallow. On the one hand, we can marvel at its svelte and minimalist exterior and 600hp hybrid powertrain. On the other hand, Polestar won’t be producing a right-hand-drive version of this Volvo S90-based four-seat GT car. But at least it is coming to the UK.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Geneva Motor Show 2018

With 520hp on tap, the GT3 RS is the most powerful naturally-aspirated Porsche 911 ever built and is likely to be the last hurrah for the 991 before the 992 arrives in September. The 4.0-litre flat-six engine is mated to a seven-speed PDK double-clutch transmission, delivering 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. Order your £141,346 GT3 RS now, collect in June, then sell for an inflated figure. Probably.

Volvo V60

Geneva Motor Show 2018

If there was a prize for the best looking estate car at the Geneva Motor Show, the new Volvo V60 would be in the running. It’s like the V90, but in a more compact and well-proportioned package, sharing its platform with the XC60 and three 90-series cars. Prices will start at £31,810 when the first V90s are delivered in the third quarter of 2018.

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