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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The Best looking everyday cars

Vauxhall InsigniaThere are a lot of cars on the roads today, most are just shapeless blobs that fade away into the background but occasionally there are cars that like to stand out from the crowd, not million pound super cars, not one off special editions just your everyday family saloon. Here are just some of the cars that stand out against the dull grey background and ooze style, design and creativity.

Citroen C6Citroen C6: Now when all cars are commissioned we see countless design drawings and fantasy sketches that make any car look cool and stylish, but rarely does the final production model look anything like the concept car let alone these initial design drawings. The Citroen C6 is the exception, this big executive saloon has so many interesting features I could write this whole article on just this car. Everything from its concave rear window to its sweeping lines stand out from the sea of German black and grey boxes. Unfortunately the public didn’t agree and the C6 was a flop but every now and again you’ll see a C6 on the roads and think that is just a special design that we rarely see these days.

Ford MondeoFord Mondeo: It’s weird that the Mondeo isn’t the only car on the road these days, one of the best cars to drive in its class, affordable and good looking are just some of the reasons the Mondeo should lead the way for car design, and whilst popular it isn’t the world dominating car it was from the late 90’s to early 2000’s. But weirdly it is the best looking it has ever been, its sloping rear screen makes the Mondeo look sleek whilst its front end is quietly aggressive and purposeful. Top Gear did a news piece on the show by briefly revealing an image of the Mondeo and asking the audience what they thought it was. The audience thought it was an Aston Martin, and that’s as higher praise as I can think offer to describe your everyday family saloon.

Renault Laguna CoupeRenault Laguna Coupe: The Renault Laguna had always been a bit of a slush box prior to 2007 it was a fairly mundane cheap saloon but nothing more. It felt like Renault had cared more about their safety ratings than how the car looked and drove, but that all changed in 2007 when Renault unveiled the amazing Laguna Coupe. Suddenly Renault were the centre of attention again with this amazing sweeping coupe that most Italians would be jealous of. But again it seems the public couldn’t recognise good design and the Renault Laguna again flopped with Renault pulling the plug entirely in 2015 with the Lagunas replacement the also great looking Renault Talisman not even being sold in the UK.

Vauxhall Insignia 2Vauxhall Insignia: Vauxhall’s previous attempts at a good-looking saloon only went as far as the Vectra, ie not well. But since the introduction of the Insignia replacement in 2008 the company has been going from strength to strength improving on the design with every iteration. The current version of the Insignia also manages the difficult task of looking good in both saloon and estate form. The Insignias best achievement is to fade into the background. It doesn’t try to hard like you could say about the Citroen C6 previously mentioned, you could just pass by it in the multi storey car park, but when you do look it grabs your attention and holds your attention till it goes out of sight.

Volvo S90Volvo S90: Much like Renault on this list Volvo were better known for their safety rather than their stylish design, but in the S90’s case it manages both. Volvo has been on a roll as of late, the XC90 looks fantastic, the XC60 and XC40 the same. The S90 is just the next in line of great looking Volvo cars. Volvo are on the ups with the S90 and are taking direct aim at the German elite from Mercedes Audi and BMW. Its smart front end makes a change from the rather boring styling of previous Volvos, and its striking rear end is dramatically different from Volvos of the past making the S90 one to look out for on the roads.

What do you think are the best looking everyday cars on the roads today, let us know in the comments.

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How long do we have until the electric revolution is complete?

Tesla Model SElectric cars have become more and more common over the past decade, with most major manufacturers either having completely electric cars in their line up or hybrid options added to existing cars but how long does the conventional engine have left. Volvo announced their amazing move to a fully electrified line up by 2025 and Tesla are about to release the Model 3, the first truly affordable Tesla. Conventional internal combustion engines are going to become a rarer and rarer site on the roads.

Stratford MF 2017 50The internal combustion engine took over from the horse as the easiest way to travel by road, that was over 100 years ago and lead to the rise in fossil fuels and growing carbon emissions that are slowly killing our planet. The move to the ICE triggered a ticking time bomb that unless we change will kill not only our entire planet but all life on it.

Elon MuskThere are only a few names that will go down in motoring history as game changers, Carl Benz, Henry Ford, Carroll Shelby and now Elon Musk, Musk is one of the first to show the world that the electric car is a viable option. Slowly but surely the world is becoming more confident and the motor industry is providing more and more options, and whilst range is still and issue with time comes change and improvement. It’s highly likely that Tesla will become the next biggest manufacturer or at least the most important.

Jaguar E-Type Barn FindWhen will we never see a ICE car again is the bigger question and an awful long way off because even though there are massive improvements happening every day in the electric car world but there are a large number of car enthusiasts that will cling to their ICE cars till their dying breath, as is their right. Until the rust cancer claims all of the classic cars we will see ICE cars for a long time.

Volvo conceptBut how long will ICE cars be manufactured for? Well Volvo are the first manufacturer to announce a fully electrified future, many manufacturers are likely to wait to see how successful Volvos attempt is before they announce their own electrified futures. I would be surprised if most manufacturers aren’t fully electric by 2050, especially with driverless cars on their way it is highly unlikely a company will succeed with out electrification. It will become ‘old fashioned’ to use a ICE engine in the future, like having a current car using drum brakes or coming without power steering

Legislation is probably one of the only ways to speed electrification along as manufacturers are unlikely to want to invest in electric in a big way until the technology is either cheaper, more efficient or becomes massively successful.

What do you think of the electric future, sound off in the comments

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The Problems with Driverless cars

DRIVERLESS CAR 1

Driverless cars are coming there is no way to get around it they are. However there are a number of problems with them that have to be solved first and of course it’s the legality of them. First of all if a driverless car gets into an accident who is at fault you can’t blame the driver because he/she doesn’t exist anymore. You can’t claim on insurance if there is no clear standing of who was at fault. We will just get a series of court cases with people saying: “I don’t know what happened… the car did it” THAT’S NOT HELPFUL.

DRIVERLESS CAR 2

Another problem with the Driverless car is the sheer amount of technology in them. I feel sorry for the mechanic who has to service them. Plus due to the amount of technology it seems understandable that service intervals should be more common rather than a yearly MOT. Many different companies are working on the technology from Google to Apple to Ford everybody’s at it, so how can we be sure the technology from different companies interacts in the same way causing a predictable outcome, you can’t. Each company has a different way of doing things and other vehicles don’t understand that vehicles way of thinking.

My final point is if the car does not need a driver, does this mean that the occupant doesn’t need a driving licence. Could you simply send the car to pick up your kids from school while you carry on at home or work? Can you send the car to pick up your shopping and have a shop assistant simply place it in the car for you? All these things need to be sorted along with many more before the Driverless car can really take over.

DRIVERLESS CARS 3

However Volvo already have a system in place that means you can simply get out of the car and it will go an hunt for a parking space while you carry on with your day. One flaw in that Volvo once I return from whatever I was doing I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE MY CAR IS. Meaning I have to go hunting for 1 Volvo in a see of streets and car parks. Also say you live in a busy city like London your Volvo could have parked miles away from where you are meaning you not only have to find your car you have to trek all the way to it.

Driverless cars are a deeply flawed medium for the moment I don’t doubt they will come to our roads soon but I think the petrol head has some time to savour the pleasure of speeding down a deserted B road before the computer driven cyborg car takes all the fun out of it.

5 Companies who turned it around

A lot of car companies are boring dull or just plain crap but some of these companies in recent years have turned it around to create actually really good cars. No Hyundai you are not on the list you were crap and you still are crap.

5. Kia

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Kia was always the crappy little Korean car company that made crap boxes like the Rio. However in recent years Kia have turned it around with great little cars like the new Cee’d and with possibilities of seeing the Stinger GT4 Kia shows great signs of making great cars.

4. Citroen

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Cheap cars for the masses this was the aim behind most of Citroens cars in the past that’s how we ended up with the Saxo and no 17 year olds from Essex putting big wheels and chopping the suspension does not make it a good car. But in recent years with their new DS range Citroen has turned it around making some really cool and interesting cars.

3. Volvo

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Volvo aren’t who you’d expect to make great cars, they make safe boxes for you the kids and the dog. But recently with a couple of really nice concepts shown at motor shows they have the opportunity to make some really great cars.

2. Ferrari

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You might expect that all Ferraris are amazing but you’d be wrong, the F430 looked like it had been hit with a frying pan, and the Enzo was a great drive but it was not a looker and don’t get me started on the California. But recently with cars like the 458, the F12 and the LaFerrari (Still a Stupid name) they are finally making pretty cars that are awesome to drive.

1. Skoda

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Skoda were not a good car company they made horrible cars that fell apart and broke down all the time, but since the new Fabia they turned it around, with cars like the Roomster and the Octavia they finally got a great new premium style rather than being Volkswagen’s shitty cousin.