March 15, 2014 9:24 AM |
Posted By: Secret Supercar Owner
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by 4 members
I spent a few hours wandering around the Geneva Auto Show recently with one of my Petrolhead friends. In the interest of full disclosure, this year I was a guest of McLaren so I might have a slight bias on my views of the different stands and new car launches. So to start, the best espresso is still served at the Ferrari stand. Others are closing the gap, but Ferrari espresso is still the best. A bit more perplexing was Ferrari making the new California the focus of their stand. Personally I am as excited about the new Cali as I was for the last Mondial launch. The new 458 Speciale, pushed off to one side, was far more interesting. The F12 on the other side of the Ferrari stand also looked brilliant and much more compact and nimble than the 599 GTB it replaced. The LaFerrari was noticeably absent which just added fuel to the rumors that the LaFa program is having its challenges.
After the Ferrari stand, we drifted over towards Aston Martin. From 50 yards away it was near impossible to tell if they had 8 examples of the same model or slightly different models on the stand. Aston needs to do a much better job of differentiation. They all also looked exactly like the ones on the Aston stand last year, and in 2012, 2011, 2010…. After Aston is was off to a quick look around Jaguar. Both the F Type Coupe and Convertible looked great. I have to admit to preferring the lines of the coupe over the open top version, especially in “R” trim. However if I was to add one to the garage, it would definitely be the convertible. Personally the F Type is the most exciting and best looking new Jaguar since the XJR-15.
From Jaguar we headed north via the Alfa stand. The 4C is still lustful and it is good to see they fixed the headlights with the new 4C Spider. Like the F Type though, the lines work much better as a coupe. Now if they could figure out how to drop a twin turbo V6 in the back, I would be lining up to put a deposit down. When I found out that Porsche didn’t bring the 918, we decided to skip that stand and head off to more exotic territory.
The Koenigsegg stand was a very pleasant surprise. Not only was it quite busy, but Christian von Koenigsegg was present and engaging with a wide range of visitors. His passion for his creations is quite visible and the new Koenigsegg One:1 is a fascinating engineering accomplishment. It is good to see Koenigsegg continuing to push the boundaries of speed and power.
Across the aisle from Koenigsegg sat the Pagani stand, another quite crowded place. The star of the stand was the striking new Zonda Revoluticion. From a distance, it looks to be astreet legal Zonda R with more power and more carbonfibre. At this point I have lost track of the number of Zonda final editions. In terms of Italian career resurrections, the Zonda now tops even Berlusconi.
The final stand stop was at McLaren. The first thing that struck me on the McLaren stand was the large number of senior McLaren employees, starting with the CEO of McLaren Automotive, that were both present and fully accessible. As an example, if you had questions about the new 650S or P1 design, Frank Stephenson was on hand to answer them. The P1 and new 650S in both Coupe and Spider trim were on hand. I am reserving full judgment on the 650S until I have driven one. However initial impression on the lines is positive. It has more “supercar” presence and impact than the 12C and the front does nicely incorporate some of the P1 styling DNA. The rear is much closer to the 12C in terms of design and if anything I would have preferred a bit more”P1” DNA incorporated. Only thing missing on the McLaren stand was a F1.
The Geneva Auto Show is always worth a visit and the 2014 edition certainly didn’t disappoint. Most of the major manufacturers put on great displays and the passion of the smaller manufacturers is clearly evident and infectious. Overall an enjoyable day and time well spent.
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