Geneva Motor Show 2018

So its Geneva Motor Show time again, the greatest week of the year for petrol heads. A time when the great and the good from around the world travel to Switzerland to show off what they’ve been working on and what will possibly be seen on the roads in the future. As with every year there seems to be so many notable cars on show that to go through all of them would mean you wouldn’t have finished by next years Geneva Motor Show. So I’ve chosen 5 cars that I think are the highlights of this years show to give you a glimpse of what is going on in the world of motoring.

Polestar 1Polestar 1

The Polestar 1 is the first car from the company that was formally the tuner of some of the greatest Volvos the world had ever seen (I know its not a long list). The Volvo DNA is still unmistakably present in the Polestar 1, and sticking a Volvo badge on would be completely understandable. But that’s not what Volvo want for Polestar, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath (who is also Volvo’s Design director) said “Polestar will become Volvo’s technological spearhead that, after the 1 hits the market, will make only all-electric performance cars.” the Polestar 1 is currently a hybrid with a 2.0 litre turbo engine and twin electric motors on the rear axle producing just under 600BHP, not bad for a first outing.

Toyota Supra CompetitionToyota Supra

Toyota is determined to keep the final production version of the Supra under wraps for as long as possible, what’s on show at Geneva is the racing version. It may have a giant rear wing, frighteningly wide arches and large rear diffuser but the racing supra does give us a glance at what the future may hold for our long craved 90’s icon. Autocar are reporting the new Supra will have a 3.0 litre turbocharged straight 6 up front making 330BHP and a sub 4 second 0-60 time. All of that’s very good but isn’t as much as I was expecting, the Nissan Skyline was always the Supra’s biggest rival in Japan and nowadays the Nissan GTR has by far out grown those number making it a super car killer not just a sporty coupe/midlife crisis mobile.

VW ID VizzionVW ID Vizzion

And now for something completely different, the VW brand has been going through some significant struggles since diesel gate and has been trying to change the subject in many different ways for a long time, one of those ways was the reveal of the VW ID concepts, a series of concepts designed to show the VW range when both autonomous driving and electric cars have really taken off. The ID Vizzion is the next in line and VW say it will go on sale in 2021 as the first VW without a steering wheel or pedals, relying solely on autonomous tech to keep it on the straight and narrow. The ID Vizzion is designed to be the replacement for the phaeton and joins the other ID cars, the Buzz, Crozz and imaginatively named Hatchback.

Porsche Mission E Cross TurismoPorsche Mission E Cross Turismo

One of the big surprises at the show this year was the reveal of the Cross Turismo, a car designed to reach production in 2021. The Cross Turismo is based on the same tech Porsche have used on the also still in development Mission E high performance saloon based off of the Panamera. The Mission E cars are Porsches examples of electric cars and will supposedly be Porsches future once the electric revolution really takes off. The Cross Turismo is a rather odd looking SUV, rather than being based on Porsches previous 4×4 off roaders the Macan and Cayenne the Cross Turismo appears to have been based on the Panamera again leading to a rather lifted saloon look rather than a full on off roader similar to that of the Volvo cross country estate cars.

Aston Martin LagondaAston Martin Lagonda

Yet another electric car was shown off as seems to be the trend at this years show, this time it was the Aston Martin Lagonda. The fully electric concept is Astons attempt to yet again reanimate the corpse of uber luxury brand Lagonda. The Lagonda name is set to be used on two new cars by 2021, one an electric saloon seen here, the other an SUV. The Lagonda Saloon is set to be the most radical car Aston has ever made, just as the original Lagonda was back in the mid 70’s. The new Lagonda won’t even have a bonnet to open, thanks to the electric motors it’s simply unnecessary. The Lagonda is still planning on being a conventional car however rather than an autonomous car like the VW Vizzion.

What’s your favourite car from this years Geneva Motor Show, let us know in the comments.

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Alfa Romeo makes a welcome return to Formula One

Sauber 2017 1Alfa Romeo are set to make their return to top level motorsport next year in a partnership with the Sauber Formula One team. The last time the Alfa name was associated with Formula One was way back in 1988, but Alfas history in the sport stretches way back to before WWII. Alfa Romeos new partnership with the Sauber F1 team means the Swiss team will be renamed Alfa Romeo Sauber.

alfa-romeo-giulia-quadrifoglioAfter Saubers 2017 season you could be mistaken for thinking Alfa Romeo was already part of the team with their reliability issues. The new partnership will see the team using Ferrari engines, with technology being passed between the two companies to not only improve performance on the track but to introduce Formula One technology into Alfas road cars. Sergio Marchionne CEO of FCA said: “The Alfa Romeo engineers and technicians, who have already demonstrated their capabilities with the newly-launched models, Giulia and Stelvio, will have the opportunity to make that experience available to the Sauber F1 team. At the same time, Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history”.

Sauber 2017While its unlikely this new partnership will mean that Alfa Romeo Sauber will be competing with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari at the top of the championship standings, the added influx of funds and technology may mean that the team could up their standings against the likes of Haas, Toro Rosso and Force India.

Aston Martin ValkyrieAlfas sudden interest in returning to Formula One is not alone though, 2017 saw Aston Martin try to make its mark on the championship with Red Bull with both technology and ideas combining to form the Aston Martin Valkyrie. In the 2018 Formula One championship Red Bull will compete as Aston Martin Red Bull racing.

What do you think of Alfas return to motorsport let us know in the comments.

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The London Motor Show

London Motor Show 2017 78

I attended the London Motor Show this week end and whilst its not exactly first on the list of priority motor shows (it may not have even made the list) that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. Whilst it doesn’t have unveiling of new concepts or stunning live show its small size makes it a lot less tiring to get around. As time has gone on the London Motor Show has shrunk a lot in size and admittedly in quality. This years event took place at Battersea park and the small venue certainly hurt the event, a few years ago I attended the show at the Excel centre, a much larger arena and it also had a live show going on at the same time. This years show was less than half the size of that event and I feel the London Motor Shows days may be numbered.

London Motor Show 2017 61

The cars though didn’t disappoint, a strong showing from Aston Martin led the show with the Vantage, Rapide, Vanquish, DB11 and the new concept the Valkyrie all in attendance. Aston was one of the few major manufacturers to make the trip but Porsche also attended, with a Cayenne, Panamera, 718 Boxter and 911 Turbo S. the star of the show however and the car that drew the most eyes was from the little company called David Brown Automotive, with their newly unveiled Mini Remastered. The little car was swarmed with people through out the event with a neighbouring Rolls Royce Ghost and Lamborghini Aventador being left in the corner to sit and sulk.

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The show also saw the new Alpine A110 on show, another popular choice among the attendees the stunning white example drew eyes all over. The Abarth 124 Spyder looked great in an impressive shade of blue. Outside the building the Chelsea Cars showroom put out a selection of gorgeous classic to look at including a Mercedes 190SL convertible, and Aston Martin DB6 and a Jaguar XK140.

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Whilst I doubt this event will be the last, I do suspect it may be one of the last, the show struggles to gain the attention of the major manufacturers and is barely scraping the number of attendees it needs to succeed. The show is basically forgotten internationally, being overtaken by the likes of Detroit and Tokyo auto shows even the Paris Motor show.

What did you think of the London Motor Show, Sound off in the comments

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The Geneva Motorshow 2017

So the Geneva Motor show is in full swing and the great and the good of the motor industry are out in force at the Swiss event. If I were to go through everything at the show I would be here for three days straight so I thought I would just bring you the highlights of the greatest show on the motoring calendar.

McLaren 720S

McLaren 720S

McLaren are releasing cars thick and fast right now and they have been working hard on the new replacement for the 650S. So here we have the long rumoured 720S. Boasting a new 4.0 litre twin turbocharged V8 engine (upped from the 3.8 in the 650S) the 720S has 710BHP and 770Nm of torque. McLaren tasked themselves with doubling the aerodynamic efficiency of the 650S for the new 720S. Which has led to the distinctive look of the new car with its hidden headlights and aerodynamic streaks down the side, certainly an impressive machine to behold. Prices start from £208,000 and its on sale now.

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Finally they did it, the Panamera estate has been in development for what seems like years now. There were spy shots and camo cars but finally Porsche revealed the Sport Turismo. The extra boot accessory gives the Sport Turismo 20 litres more boot space over the original and also means the Panamera has room for an extra seat in the back, now making it a five seater, prices start at £84,000 and go all the way up to £138,000 through all models from the S to the big bad Turbo model.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

Its seems like just last week the new Type R was rolling into showrooms but Honda already have a new version ready for the new shape Civic, and while I’m not a Civic fan I can still safely say that the new Type R Civic is hideous. Looks aside though the new Type R has 316BHP, ten more than the previous model but still 30 less than the out going Ford Focus RS. Honda still plan on going back to the Nurburgring to try and break records again.

Bentley EXP12 Speed 6

Bentley EXP12 Speed 6

One of the more beautiful cars on the show floor is the new Bentley EXP12 Speed 6. Whilst only being a concept of things to come from the company, the EXP12 is still paving the way forward in being a fully electric Roadster, an area even Tesla seem to have left well alone. The EXP12 isn’t expected to make production any time soon but after a good response from press and the public Bentley may be forced to change their mind on the subject.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie

We at long last have a new name for the AM RB001 hyper car from Aston Martin and Red Bull, the new car called the Valkyrie will have over 900BHP from a naturally aspirated 6.5 litre V12. The Valkyrie uses an F1 style ERS system to harvest Kinetic Energy from braking. Only 150 road models will ever be made, along with 25 track only versions costing in the region of £2-3 million with deliveries expected to take place in early 2019.

What are your favourites from Geneva 2017, Sound off in the comments.

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The Geneva Motorshow

Apologies for the lateness of this post this is due to the Geneva Motor show last week and I didn’t want to miss anything so I will give you an extra long post now.

Geneva 1

First of all I want to talk about Aston Martin, lately I’ve felt that Aston has been trundling along just fine, the trouble is a lot of their cars are the same they all have the same 6.0 litre V12 although giving slightly different power each time, and their cars look roughly similar to the DB9. Vantage, mini DB9, Vanquish, expensive DB9, One 77, expensive DB9 and of course the DBS is a DB9 sport and with their new car shown of at Geneve we finally have a track day DB9, its called the Vulcan and isn’t road legal. Think of it in the same light as the Ferrari FXX or the Pagani Zonda R.

Geneva 3

Secondly we have the new Koenigsegg Regera a car with monstrous power (1782BHP to be exact) from a hybrid V8 with three electric motors attached. I think we have come to the point when I have to say is that really necessary almost 1800BHP and it only goes 0-62 in 3.2 seconds and up to 250MPH in 20 seconds, the Veyron has already done that and shocked the world when it did, it doesn’t need doing again. Also apparently according to Andreas Petre, Koenigsegg’s director of sales in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Oceana, it wouldn’t be difficult to drive on the road: “It has very sophisticated ESP, traction control, active chassis and aerodynamics. It’s like a very fast Tesla with a beautiful sound.” I doubt that very much so.

Geneva 4

McLaren showed off an update to the 650S already, they call it the 675LT(LT referring to F1 long tail of the past) and its supposed to be a harder faster version of the 650S. It’s said to go 0-62 in 2.9 seconds (see Koenigsegg you’ve already been beaten) with a devil enticing 666BHP from a twin turbo V8. The 675LT is also lighter than the 650S, with a dry weight of 1280KG it weighs 100KG less. Only 500 are set to be sold worldwide for a easily affordable £259,500. (Right where’s my checkbook)

Geneva 2

Porsche showed off the old 911 GT3, sorry the new GT3 (so hard to tell the difference these days) with a 4.0 litre 6 cylinder engine it produces 493BHP. After that its essentially the same old story, fast version of fast car that goes fast blah blah blah.

Geneva 5

Anyway Bentley have brought a nice new Aston Martin shaped car to Geneva in the EXP 10 Speed 6 and I have to say I really don’t like the front end of this car, it looks like that hideous Japanese Mitsuoka Arochi that nobody cared about. The Speed 6 is to go one sale within the next 3 years alongside the Continental GT for £120,000. Bentley says it will be a hybrid, however it is more likely to use the same 4.0 litre V8 used in other Bentleys.

Geneva 6

In other news Morgan revealed another car from their past in the Aero 8, they say its all new however it looks suspiciously like the old Aero 8 right down to the cross eyes. It also uses the same engine a BMW sourced V8 that other Morgan’s used. So it looks as if they have brought a car back from the past, who would’ve expected that from Morgan.

Photos courtesy of Autocar

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Lagonda may return to the UK

Aston lagonda

The Aston Martin Lagonda may return to the UK if recent rumours are true. Astons boss Andy Palmer confirmed that the current Lagonda had only been planned for the Middle east market, but such interest for the car round the world has encouraged Aston to consider bring the Lagonda world wide. The new Lagonda called the Taraf (meaning success in Arabic) has been shown in Oman for final testing in September, it uses the 5.9 litre V12 engine from the Rapide S to power it to an estimated top speed of 175 MPH not bad for a super luxery saloon. All exterior panels are made of carbon fibre not surprising since its about a mile long and is suspected to way upwards of 2 tonnes.

lagonda

The last time we saw the Lagonda in the UK was way back in 1976 and the car was revolutionary with its wedge shaped design and digital dial which always broke. There are few cars that look as incredible today as they did when they were first unveiled but the original Lagonda manages it greatly. The new Lagonda was only meant for the richest of the rich which is why it was only going to be sold in the Middle east.

The Return of the Shooting Brake

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It’s been around twenty years since we’ve seen a successful shooting break. The idea of a good-looking two door car is every mans dream and the fact you can fit a family along with there luggage in these cars is very helpful. The last successful shooting brake was the Reliant Scimitar, “Princess Anne had one of those you know”.

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But recently we’ve seen a rise in rumours of a new breed of shooting brake, the Ferrari FF started everything off personally I am a massive fan of the FF. A V12 Ferrari that you can take the kids in is awesome, many people don’t like the FF because its not a ‘real Ferrari’ these people are idiots if car companies are going to be successful they need to evolve.

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After the FF was released Aston Martin showed off a shooting brake of the new Rapide sadly it was just a rendering and won’t be put into production this is a problem with most of the shooting brakes, a lot of shooting brakes are merely custom cars such as the Rinspeed 911 (technically a pickup) this was the case with the recent Jaguar F-type shooting brake merely a rendering from a custom car builder.

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I think in the next ten years we will see more and more shooting brakes as every one of the shooting brakes I’ve mentioned have received massive interest from car fans and potential buyers, which could encourage manufacturers to finally bring back the shooting brake.

 

Big Birthday for English Legend

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A true English legend of the motor industry is having a big birthday this year, no I don’t mean James May turning 50. I mean Aston Martin turning 100. Astons are known around the world for being leaders in the British super car industry creating world-beaters both in looks and in style. You drive a top end Aston you have style. Driving a DBS, 177 or a Vanquish you are driving a piece of England.

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Off course you have the classics of the DB4, 5, and 6 but it doesn’t matter what you drive I can assure you, you’ll feel like James Bond and that’s all thanks to the DB5. The New Vanquish is arguably their prettiest car ever and will continue to bring them to the forefront of the supercar industry. There is a reason Aston Martin is known as the British Ferrari.

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Aston Martin is one of the few companies to sell a car for over £1 million. The One-77 is the ultimate in prestige and luxury, and it goes like the clappers. Thanks to its 7.3 litre V12 pushing out 750BHP and forcing the car to a top speed of 220MPH. its truly a gorgeous car but with a price tag like that I wouldn’t expect to see one on your neighbors  drive way any time soon, that and they’ve completely sold out.