European carmakers talked a lot about the green revolution, but most of the new cars at the Geneva Auto Show are variations on the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) theme.
Sure, there were three new all-electric vehicles – the Peugeot 208e, Kia Soul and Volvo’s Polestar. The Honda electric vehicle is close to being road-ready. And manufacturers were taking the need for electrification seriously with many hybrid versions of conventional machines. Volkswagen’s Audi is showing plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) versions of its A6 and A8 sedans, the A7 coupe, and Q5 SUV. BMW unveiled PHEV versions of the 3 Series 330 and various 7-Series sedans, and the X5 SUV.
My selection of the Top 10 most important new vehicles starts with the second generation version of the little Peugeot 208 hatchback, not least because it is cheap and will probably be a huge seller and therefore impact many motorist’s lives. The new 208 is handsome and also comes with an all-electric version, with a claimed range of 211 miles. About 150 miles in real life I’d suggest.
The Mazda CX-30 is a compact SUV, which sits under the CX-5 and above the CX-3 in the range. The CX-30 will find buyers looking for an SUV that is a little bit different to look at and offers a step up quality.
The Ferrari F8 Tributo looks fabulous, and won’t contribute in any way to the industry’s need to make affordable, fuel-efficient cars. The F8 Tributo replaces the 488 GTB, has a 3.9 liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing over 700 hp and can breach 200 mph.
The Honda EV prototype is the latest version of the Urban electric vehicle. It is still billed as a concept car but should be ready for public consumption by the end of the year. Let’s hope that it retains its cute looks. Honda announced at the show that all of its vehicles sold in Europe will have an element of electrification by 2025.
The new Ginetta supercar is called the Akula and is powered by a 6.0 liter, 600 hp V8. Ginetta is a British company and this is its first new car since the G40R in 2010.
Volkswagen devoted a huge amount of its presentation time to a concept car, the electric I.D. Buggy. This is an update of its Beetle based beach buggy of the 1960s and 1970s. VW offered to license the basic chassis components to companies who might want to bring this concept to market.
Aston Martin unveiled the mid-engined Vanquish Vision Concept, which if given the go-ahead, would compete with the McLaren 720S and the Ferrari F8 Tributo.
The 5th generation Renault Clio is also likely to be a massive seller. It doesn’t pursue any new ideas; just tries to make a better version of the old one.
The Mercedes CLA is available with a 1.5-liter diesel engine, a couple 1.3-litre gasoline motors or a 220 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline version.
The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace was not launched at the show, but won the European Car of the Year award, announced in Geneva.
This year the Geneva Show was avoided by Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Hyundai, Volvo, PSA’s Opel, Infiniti, Mini and Tesla . It opens to the public March 7 through 17 at the Palexpo center.