GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (04.02.2018) – In early March, Todd Ramsey of Ramsey Consulting Group, Inc. traveled to Geneva, Switzerland for Europe’s premier automotive event to kick off the new year; the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. While on site, Todd provided the 12 Volt News updates and on-site reports of the show activity and many, many photos of the vehicles on display. This is a summary of the show and its highlights.
A major portion of the first two days of the show before it opens to the public are for the benefit of the international automotive press and VIP clientele. As such, the show had an incredible 109 European or World Premieres of new vehicle models from a host of automotive manufacturers. While many of these are über exclusive low-production vehicles, there were some notable debuts that we’ll soon see in the US.
• Jaguar I-PACE EV400 – This is a fully-electric 5-seat SUV/crossover vehicle from Jaguar that will hit the empty sweet spot between pricing of the Tesla Model X and Model 3. Starting at a US MSRP of $69,500, it has excellent styling, generous interior creature comforts, plenty of power, fast charging and a 240 mile range. It’s already been outfitted for autonomous vehicle testing in Phoenix, AZ by Waymo, which will begin testing later in 2018. Of note, all three trim levels (S, SE and HSE) have a standard Touch Pro Duo, Interactive Driver Display (10” and 5.5” touch screens) and Meridian Sound System which is begging for an aftermarket upgrade. The HSE model has a 15 speaker, 825 watt upmixer version.
• Porsche 911 GT3 RS – The 2019 911 GT3 RS is touted as the most powerful, naturally aspirated production Porsche with a four-liter 520hp engine. It has a 0-60 acceleration of 3 seconds, reaching a top speed 193mph. It’s costly at a US starting price of $187,500 and knowing that, this is an ideal candidate for custom radar/laser detector installations at 12 volt specialist retailers.
• Audi A6 Sedan – The new 2019 all-wheel drive Audi A6 sedan will likely have a mild-hybrid powertrain with a 3.0 liter, 340hp V6. The new A6 features the newest MMI infotainment system with optional 12.3” driver information cluster to complement a 10.1” infotainment touchscreen and 8.6” touchscreen for HVAC when equipped. Features such as all-wheel steering, Android smartphone-based remote starting and garage self-parking were available on the European models shown, so it’ll be exciting to see if those and other features make it to the US or not. For instance, lacking the factory smartphone RS feature could mean a great opportunity for US 12 volt retailers to provide what the Audi dealer can’t.
• Polestar 1 – Launched as a subsidiary of Volvo Cars, Polestar will begin China-based production of the electric performance hybrid Polestar 1 with just 500 units annually starting in mid-2019. It has a triple battery set-up, three electric motors and a supporting 2-liter, 4-cylinder turbo and supercharged combustion engine to deliver 600hp. The body is carbon fiber and steel. It has Öhlins suspension and Akebono six-piston front brakes. Polestar 2 and 3 are in development. It’s not known what the sound system is, but surely it’s an aftermarket upgrade candidate.
Electric Vehicles as a Category
There were many, many fully-electric vehicles on display in Geneva. The types of vehicles extended to just about all vehicle categories from luxury, high-performance, transportation-based and off-road. There is definitely critical mass behind electric vehicles from a global perspective so it’s not surprising that more and more iterations of these are making their way to the general public. Of particular note in terms of technology, style or creative inspiration were:
• Electric Taxi and Rideshare – Besides the Jaguar I-PACE EV400 that’ll eventually be used in Waymo’s robot taxi fleet, there were a couple other fully-electric vehicles shown for that purpose. First was the driverless Navya AUTONOM CAB and second was the W Motors ICONIQ Seven VIP van. The Seven VIP uses a traditional driver, but features an AI personal assistant to address needs of the rear-seated VIP passengers. The AUTONOM CAB has a range of LIDAR, RADAR and cameras to ensure the driverless design is safe. Navya showed video of the cab on the streets of old town Vegas during its testing phase.
• Kyburz eRod SSV/UTV – This is a fully-electric off-road UTV/SSV with a range of about 80 miles. Seeing it in person, it’s very well executed. The only question is where does one plug in to recharge in the desert or back country?
• Microlino MICRO – This BMW Isetta-inspired vehicle is a small transportation solution for densely populated urban areas. It has a variable range between 70-130 miles depending on power mode and a max speed of 55mph. Pricing is around 12,000 Euros (about $14,750 USD).
• Hyundai Kite 4×4 Open Concept – This was a collaboration between Hyundai and the Italian design school IED Turin. It’s fully electric and designed completely by IED Turin students. This means the next generation of European designers has exposure to the design elements commonly found in automotive concepts, but the electrified powertrain approach as well.
• Volkswagen Concept ID BUZZ – A whimsical reimagined 269hp electric VW micro-bus reminiscent of the classic pre-1967 air cooled VW vans. This fully-electric concept has a modular interior configuration allowing passengers to adjust the space to compliment the chosen experience. There’s even a front trunk. The concept features a preview of potential autonomous technology, but it’s still just a concept. A production model people can really drive is slated to come to the US in 2022. It’s said to have 300 miles of range and recharge to 80% in 30 minutes (@ 150kW charge).
Geneva is the show for jaw-dropping super car displays. All the big names are there, plus other models and brands you may not know.
• RIMAC C_Two – A fully-electric, AWD supercar from Croatia with a 120kWh battery and four electric motors delivering 1408kW (1914hp). Claimed range is 400 miles and a 0-60mph time of 2 seconds with an estimated top speed of 230mph. It has a host of standard ADAS (driver safety) functions including eight on-board cameras, two LIDAR systems, six radar emitters and 12 ultrasonic sensors, all of which are said to yield a level 4 autonomous capability (level 5 is the highest). It’s quite stunning in to see person and roomy enough for an American body type. Price is estimated at $1M+ USD.
• W Motors Fenyr SuperSport – The Dubai-based company developed this 800hp monster with Porsche tuner RUF GmbH using a 3.8 flat-six Boxer, twin-turbo engine and 7-speed PDK transmission. 0-60 time is 2.7 seconds and top speed is said to be 245mph. It has generous carbon fiber body elements, suicide doors and a price tag of over $1M USD. It’s unclear whether or not it’s available for import into the US should you be interested in one. The styling is awesome in person, though.
• Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder – Given the cost of some of the others in the $1M range, this drop-top version of the high-performance AWD Huracan model seems cheap by comparison starting at $308,859. The 5.2 naturally aspirated V10 engine thumps out 631hp with a new chassis. The 0-60mph time is 3.1 seconds and a 202mph top speed. It’s got all the performance features of its coupe sibling with the addition of a power-operated fabric roof that takes 17 seconds to drop. Headrest-mounted deflectors block severe wind rush with the top down and there’s an option to lower the rear window should you wish to leave the top up.
• Koneigsegg Regera d’Elegance – This is an engineering marvel with its doors, hood and engine cover open to display the intense powerplant and suspension underneath. Besides the stunning Swedish Blue and Ocean Green exterior and interior colors, the business end of this supercar sports a 1500hp hybrid powertrain using the company’s Direct Drive system. This system combines a twin-turbo V8 engine of 1,100hp with a Formula 1 grade battery pack producing 670hp featuring the world’s first 800-volt automotive electrical architecture to channel the battery power to the powertrain. At $1.9M USD, these 80 limited-edition bespoke Regeras are all sold out in case you wanted one for yourself.
• Zenvo TSR-S – From Denmark comes the 1177hp, twin-supercharged 5.8 liter V8 TSR-S supercar with a seven speed paddle-shift gearbox giving a 0-60mph time in 2.8 seconds. Among its many striking design elements is a unique active ‘centripetal’ rear wing that rotates relative to the car’s longitudinal axis. When the steering wheel turns, the wing dips in that same direction making the increased downforce enhance cornering grip. The handmade TSR-S will be available to only one customer per country each year. That means in 2019, only one US and one Canadian buyer would even possibly have the pleasure. As it is, the company only produces a total of five vehicles per year spread across their three models, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever see one in person outside of the show.
“If you truly love cars, whether or not you ever attend the Geneva Motor show for business, this should be on your car show bucket list. It’s got European models we’ll never see in the US or Canada. It’s got technology and styling throughout all the automotive exhibitor booths. It’s in a destination known for high-net worth clientele so you will not be disappointed with what you see there” explained Ramsey. This year he worked with a client during the show, but has attended in the past purely as a spectator.
The Geneva show comprises seven halls and runs for a total of 13 days. It’s a marathon of a show and packed nearly every day. The biggest day was nearly 75,000 visitors and the average was 50,000+. With the 2018 US New York Auto Show currently in the news, it’s an interesting look back at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show to see how ultra high-end and new technologies displayed indicate what consumers are exposed to on either side of the pond.
Visit www.gims.swiss/en for more.