We’ve covered a couple of the upcoming debuts at the nearing New York Auto show in April, but before that event rolls around, the eyes of the auto industry will be resting on Geneva, Switzerland when the Geneva Auto Show kicks off next month.
The last big auto show in Chicago was somewhat short on performance and fun, but heavy on utility and practical vehicles — so many are hoping that Geneva will hold some exciting prospects. It’s off to a decent start; McLaren’s 650S will be making its initial introduction there, and Volkswagen will be parading an all-new hybrid Golf GTI-type model. Here are seven vehicles that will be making their first public appearances at Geneva in the next couple weeks.
1. Audi TT
When Audi revealed the allroad shooting brake, whispers were indicating that it represented a sort of hatchback-off-road version of the TT. Judging by the sketch released by Audi earlier this week, we can see that those rumors don’t appear to be too far off; the TT appears the showoff with squared headlights and grille setup from the shooting brake, but retains the TT’s signature rounded roofline and center-oriented profile. No power train details have yet emerged.
2. Ferrari California T
Ferrari (FIATY.PK) has already revealed pictures and specifications for its California T, and needless to say, its a big improvement on the outgoing model. Power is bumped from 483 to 560, and torque is up 49 percent. From the exterior, not a whole lot has been changed. Ferrari has definitely tweaked the cosmetics a bit; smoothing the front out and laying the stacked exhaust pipes flat. But all in all, it’s clearly California — nothing extraneous or unexpected was wrought upon the outside of the car.
3. Infiniti Eau Rouge
Infiniti (NSANY.PK) has technically already introduced the Eau Rouge, a hotted-up version of its Q50 sedan. The concept was particularly striking because Infiniti isn’t generally known for brash designs; however, the earlier model from the Detroit Motor Show was missing a crucial element: its engine. The model in Geneva will be packing a power plant, rumored to fall at 500-600 horsepower, and give a much more concrete idea of what to expect from Infiniti’s super sedan.
4. Land Rover Evoque Autobiography
The Land Rover (NYSE:TTM) Evoque has been the fastest selling model for the brand ever, and it’s no stranger to the U.S. The Autobiography edition is, however, and offers a new grille, exterior lighting, 20-inch alloy rim, and an even more luxurious cabin; the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Dynamic (whew!) will also add some power, up to 285 horses over the more standard 240. This model will also see some suspension tweaks, remapped adaptive dampers, and a recalibrated nine-speed automatic transmission.
5. McLaren 650S
McLaren Automotive recently released some photos of the new 650S in the wake of an Internet leak, but the car will be making its first official appearance in Geneva. It looks to be a perfect mashup of McLaren’s existing MP4-12C and P1, which is good — in theory — since it’s meant to fall between the two. Pricing is expected to fall at around $320,000, which sides more with the 12C than the $1.15 million P1; horsepower is naturally about 650 (641, technically.)
6. Rinspeed Autonomous Tesla Model S
Swiss after-market firm Rinspeed has a knack for unusual, out-there designs, and its take on the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) doesn’t disappoint. It’s a highly conceptual design that features swiveling seats that can face forward when need be, or turn around to view the giant TV in the back while the car drives itself. Chances are it won’t be seeing road action anytime soon — if ever — but it’s creative, off-beat projects like this that help move innovation forward.
7. VW Golf GTE
Volkswagen’s GTI is one of the best drivers’ cars for the money, except for the nagging detail that its not so great with fuel economy. Volkswagen has taken notice, and will be presenting the GTE at Geneva, which promises all the fun of the GTI but with less pain at the pump. The GTE uses a 1.4 liter turbo four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and an electric motor with an 101 more horsepower that combine to give it a peak output of 201 horsies and a worthy 258 pound-feet of torque. It can nail 81 miles per hour on electric power alone and top out at 135.