For a relatively small, unassuming city, Geneva is quickly becoming the place for outlandish, ridiculously specced supercars to make their debuts.
Last year’s motor show featured such insane pieces of machinery as the Bugatti Chiron and Koenigsegg Regera, and this year’s instalment was also flush with cars looking like spaceships.
As is the case with motor shows these days, many brands opted to reveal their wares before the doors opened in an attempt to get a bigger slice of the media spotlight, there were still some cracking reveals.
Porsche unveiled its hardcore, track-focused 911 GT3, which is already available to order in Australia now for $327,100 plus on-road costs.
Deliveries are expected to arrive late this year.
Sure to please traditionalists, the 4.0-litre, flat-six engine is naturally aspirated and has 368kW and 458Nm on tap.
That’s 5kW more than the outgoing GT3 RS, although torque is slightly down (-2Nm).
Porsche’s excellent PDK auto transmission is standard, with the seven-speed box sending the GT3 to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds and maxing out at 317km/h.
McLaren revealed the second-generation Super Series with the 720S, which is armed with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 offering 537kW ad 770Nm.
That’s good enough to send it to 100km/h in just 2.9 seconds and 200mk/h in 7.8 seconds.
Once you’re at the 200km/h mark, McLaren says you can brake to standstill over 117m in just 4.6 seconds.
Also arriving was the LamborghiniHuracan Performante, fresh from its record-breaking lap of the Nurburgring.
One of the more interesting reveals was the four-door Mercedes-AMGGT Concept, which offers a glimpse of a future Porsche Panamera/ BMW 6 Series/Audi A7 rival.
The production version will sport a hybrid powertrain pairing a V8 petrol engine with an electric motor to produce up to a whopping 600kW. It will have a 0-100km/h time of under 3.0 seconds and is planned to hit Australia in 2019.
The boutique car makers were also out in force. Pagani may have released details of its Huayra roadster last month but it was still arguably the sexiest car at the show.
The Roadster came six years after the coupe version debuted and, unlike most roadsters, it is lighter than the coupe and has more power; its V12 develops 562kW compared to 537kW, and a whopping 1000Nm of torque.
Singaporean company Vanda Electrics revealed an electric hypercar named the Dendrobium (catchy!) which will allegedly hit 200mph (322km/h) and go from 0-60mph (0-96km/h) in 2.7 seconds.
What’s interesting is it features the input of Williams’ Formula One engineers and tech experts.
Speaking of F1, the Aston Martin/Red Bull hypercar collaboration received a new name at Geneva. Previously called the AM-RB 001 (probably still better than Dendrobium), the car will now be known as the Valkyrie, maintaining Aston’s decades-old V naming convention.
A little less extravagant — but far more obtainable for the vast majority of the population — is the HondaCivic Type R.
It looks like a more aggressive version of the Civic and has a none-too-subtle rear wing.
The 235kW/400Nm hot hatch is due in Australia later this year and if Honda can get the pricing right it could offer astonishing performance per dollar value in the realm of the Ford Focus RS.
Elsewhere, Volkswagen unveiled its CC-replacing luxury flagship, the Arteon. VW says the Arteon’s long wheelbase results in excellent interior space and a 563-litre boot, while there are six turbo petrol and diesel engine options available overseas.
We’ll have to see what makes it Down Under but we don’t have to wait too long: the Arteon is expected here around September.
SUVs outsold passenger cars in WA last year and a few key models broke cover in Geneva.
One of the original small SUVs, the SubaruXV, was revealed in new-generation form ahead of an Australian arrival mid-year.
It doesn’t appear drastically different from the current model, but WestWHEELS will be travelling to Japan to drive the new XV next month, so we’ll soon know if there are more significant changes under the skin.
Also arriving in Australia this year is the new, second-generation VolvoXC60. The medium-sizer borrows from its bigger XC90 sibling design-wise.
Volvo dealers should be licking their lips at the thought of a new XC60, with the current version still the company’s biggest-seller in Australia despite being nine years old.
And what’s a motor show without some cool concepts?
Peugeot had the sexy Instinct shooting brake which is not only great looking but also autonomous.
Taking the driverless concept to the extreme was the VolkswagenSedric. A level five autonomous car — meaning there is no need for a driver — the Sedric is a “lounge on wheels” with a windscreen that’s also a giant OLED screen (David Warner’s placing an order as we speak) which can display augmented reality and be used for communication and entertainment.