There was an undeniable feeling of excitement in the air, as the world’s latest and greatest automobiles made their recent premier at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show. Manufacturers, designers, investors, and enthusiasts alike filtered in from nearby Cointrin Airport, eagerly making their way to the showroom floor to catch a glimpse of the latest and greatest automotive masterpiece. And this year, Geneva delivered in spades.
Virtually any manner of vehicle could be found; a gleaming collage of modern wonderment spread across the floor, as autonomous hybrid luxury vehicles sat comfortably beside insane supercars and futuristic prototypes. Rugged off-road-ready trucks gave way to full-blown multi-million dollar race cars, as a sprinkling of retro builds from decades past were undoubtedly showcased to infuse a dash of nostalgia for those long-time show goers. In short, this arena had it all. As it is every year, new models and prototypes of vehicles that will be geared toward the hoi polloi were a central focus of the show. While this is a crucial element in the event, the ingenious insanity contained within the aftermarket manufacturer booths is an undeniable attraction for enthusiasts and the media alike. So here’s a rundown on a few key aftermarket cars that stood out this year, because sometimes ordinary just won’t do.
1. Mansory: Lamborghini Torofeo Huracan
What could possibly make one of the world’s most extreme performance cars even more outlandish? Throw a slew of carbon fiber exterior pieces, some grandiose engine upgrades, ornate one-off wheels, and interior upgrades from famed German modification specialists Mansory into the mix, and this black beauty is now even more exciting to behold.
According to Mansory, all of these mods make the Huracan an entirely different animal, and Mansory has a name for this reincarnation: the Torofeo. Since “toro” is Spanish for the eternally charging creature that graces the Lambo badge, it seems only proper that the name reflects the famed powerhouse that designed the car in the first place. A sizable 838 horsepower has successfully been coaxed out of the burly engine courtesy of a single turbo conversion, along with an upgraded fuel delivery system, smarter computers, and one fervently free-flowing exhaust system. Now all it needs is a complementary set of earplugs.
2. Brabus: Mercedes 850 S63 Coupe
With all of the luxurious amenities of a private jet, and styling to match, Brabus’s twin-turbo powered VIP machine is flashy and classy all at once. Behind the glitz and glamour of the car’s Shadow Gold wheels and paint-matched interior bits, lies a stroked 5.9 liter engine that supposedly cranks out over 850 horses to all four wheels. But modifying the stock 5.5 liter engine isn’t the only impressive feat found on this car; take the clear-coated carbon front spoilers, the equally impressive rear diffuser, flush trunk lid spoiler, and precision cut exhaust ports.
To make sure the car was truly Autobahn ready, Brabus decided that all of these items were to be carefully crafted in a wind tunnel in the hopes of attaining a single goal: to make this car the world’s fastest and most powerful all-wheel drive coupe. According to a recent press release via Autoblog, Brabus has succeeded in reaching its goal by sending the leather-filled Benz from zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds and on toward a top speed of 217 miles per hour. This top speed was only limited by the fact that the special tires supplied by Continental, Pirelli, and Yokohama were unable to safely sustain higher speeds during testing. It sounds like Brabus needs to design a set of rubbers for this car.
3. Techart: Porsche Carrera GTS
While not a lot is known about the details surrounding the go fast goods on the Techart Carrera GTS, there is no denying the styling modifications found on this increasingly popular Porsche. With completely redesigned front and rear spoilers, various rear wing options, lightweight mirror upgrades, and a myriad of small trim pieces, the Techart boys have really gone for flawless and functional on this one. Power upgrades appear to be modest, with a powerful exhaust system being the cornerstone of that aspect of the build. But power aside, what really sets the Techart Carrera apart from its stock counterpart is its ride adjustment capabilities. Porsches are phenomenal handling cars already, and the Carrera GTS is no exception to the rule. But throw some stiffer springs and an automatic front axle lift system in the mix, and this European dream machine is suddenly transformed into something that can be driven to the track for a thorough thrashing, and then safely back home again once the smoke clears.
4. MTM: Audi S8 Talladega S
If the color of this car doesn’t attract attention, maybe some seriously sound numbers will. According to a report made by online performance publication GTspirit, the MTM S8 Talladega S has over 791 horsepower, which dwarfs the stock V8’s output by 200 ponies! Both the sedan’s gearbox and turbochargers saw modifications, and a custom stainless exhaust system now keeps the car’s back pressure to a minimum. To top it all off, the speed limiters have been removed as well, making a top speed of 350 kilometers (217 miles) per hour a very obtainable goal in the right conditions.
But when it is time to be civilized around town, and blowing doors off of parallel parked cars becomes a thing of the past, passersby can take the time to admire the Talladega’s fixed rear wing, those uncomplicated 21-inch Bimoto wheels, the aggressive looking fins in the front air intakes, and the lowered ride height courtesy of MTM’s tricked out suspension set up. While the car may be named after NASCAR’s speediest track, the Talladega S appears to be an ideal car for any occasion, right turns included.
5. Rinspeed: BMW i3 Budii
Start with an all-electric BMW i3 hatchback. Throw in a multi-functional robotic arm, a team of high-res interior cameras, along with a manual wind-up watch just for fun, and you have the adorable Rinspeed Budii. Swiss-based think tank Rinspeed has been breaking the mold and blurring the lines between fantasy and reality for decades now, and this latest brainchild from founder Frank M. Rinderknecht is nothing more than mind-boggling.
There is more to this car than just the removable plexiglass work surfaces that sit beside custom painted folding privacy blinds. A completely “cognitive autopilot” feature offers a telescoping laser scanner accompanied by a high-res camera that continuously maps the car’s surroundings in order to insure safe passage for its occupants. Thankfully, there is a manual override option as well in case of trouble, and the car even comes with wireless cell phone charging and continuous ride height adjustment for a guaranteed smooth ride. Paging Mr. George Jetson, your car is ready.
6. AC Schnitzer: BMW X6
There is good news for all those soccer moms out there who are tired of driving a threadbare BMW X6. The famed BMW modifying masterminds at AC Schnitzer have released a 525 horsepower X6, and it looks hungry. Engine and exhaust upgrades are an important factor when climbing to high horsepower numbers, and this car certainly sports those augmentations. In order to keep the kiddies safe in the back seat, lowering springs have been added to the suspension layout to help keep all four wheels safely planted as the SUV now rides 30 millimeters lower in the front and 20 millimeters lower at the rear. Angular aerodynamics have always been AC Schnitzer’s bread and butter, and the X6 gets a healthy slathering of both courtesy of a redesigned front bumper, an upgraded rear diffuser, properly placed vents in the hood, and some carbon clad mirrors. To finish off the grocery-getter in true fashion, AC Schnitzer offers a wide range of custom wheels for the car, all above 20 inches in diameter. Trips to the supermarket have never seemed more appealing.
7. Hamann: Lamborghini Aventador
Few things catch the eye quicker than an Aventador. Especially when its already aggressive fascia has been rebuilt to even further extremes, and it sports a sinister Stealth Grey and Poison Green color scheme. German-based tuning shop Hamann didn’t stop there, though. Various powertrain modifications propel the already mind-blowingly quick car into the upper 700 horsepower range according to Autoblog.com, apparently just to show the world that the already potent V12 wasn’t angry enough. Interior upgrades mirror that of the external ones, with a healthy dose of Poison Green highlighting key cabin accents and the slick steering wheel. Slap some 20-by-9- and 21-by-13-inch forged Hamann signature wheels on the Aventador, and the car’s stance really began to attract attention as people filed by the booth in Geneva.
8. Kahn Design: Huntsman 6×6
For some diehard camping fanatics, four wheels just isn’t going to cut it when the terrain gets tough. In order to keep the world’s most hardcore explorers satisfied, British-based modification specialist Kahn Design has come up with the perfect solution to this common quandary. By adding an extra axle and 430 LS-powered American bred horses to drive all 6 wheels, this all-terrain-ready tank of a truck is more than ready to tackle the elements.
With it’s locking differentials, upgraded brakes and suspension, and panoramic roof that stretches to the very back of the truck, this hearty off-road offering is both rugged and refined. Fully customized options will be made available later this year as the truck goes into production; as for all those important diplomats and mob bosses out there, armored versions will be available for the right price.
9. RUF: Porsche Turbo Florio
Try as one might, it is impossible to purchase a Turbo Targa from a Porsche dealership. Simply put, it just isn’t something they offer in a stock configuration. German-based tuning shop RUF Automobile saw this issue as an opportune way to capitalize upon an obvious gap in the Porsche line-up, and the 621 horsepower car pictured fills the void without question. Outside of being outlandishly quick, this car is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT gearbox that the drivers can choose when placing their orders for a custom Targa Porsche. The car also features some fully functional aesthetic add-ons, like that fixed duckbill rear spoiler, slick looking B-pillar roll bar, a carbon fiber rear diffuser, and those enlarged ducting vents for an increased cooling charge. Models are available in a classic rear-wheel drive layout, or a more modern all-wheel drive arrangement for peace of mind.
10. Pininfarina: Ferrari Sergio
The Italian design house Pininfarina has been collaborating with Ferrari for over 60 years now. And to celebrate this extended mutual partnership, the ever creative design and engineering firm has decided to make six extremely limited versions of a car based on the Ferrari 458 Spider. These six cars symbolize each decade that the two companies conspired on a project together, and while the car’s aesthetics may be deemed unfavorable by some, the overall ingenuity that will inevitably be going into this car cannot be questioned.
First debuting at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show without a windscreen or a roof, the Sergio has long since been a much contested topic of discussion in the aftermarket European realm. While both companies continue to remain tight-lipped about a sticker price on this limited edition vehicle, there are rumors that it will run upwards of 2.5 million Euros a pop. Originally engineered to commemorate the life of the company’s founder, Sergio Pininfarina, this Ferrari-sourced 4.5 liter V8-propelled spaceship is sure to give any elite petrolhead a winning smile when the throttle is fully engaged.
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