The 2014 Geneva show revealed very little that was new (or, at least, that hadn’t already been leaked out onto the internet!), but there was plenty of machinery worth taking a look at.
In terms of trends, it’s hard to pick a particular one. Geneva’s show tends to reflect the European market, which differs in key areas to ours ie relatively little dual-cab 4×4 ute activity. A flurry of increased fuel-saving technology for petrol engines continues unabated, which has the knock-on affect of making diesel-powered vehicles less attractive form an economic viewpoint.
Key releases included the Mazda Hazumi Concept,which will morph into the very popular Mazda2 later this year. It’s an important car for Mazda in Australia, as the current model, while seven years old, still sells at the rate of more than 1000 a month. The B-segment hatchback concept is certainly more overt and sporty than the existing car, something that chief designer Ryo Yanagisawa acknowledged.
Other cars to debut in Switzerland’s capital included Mercedes-Benz’s new C-Class, Jeep’s baby-sized Renegade (based on a Fiat platform), Ford’s redone Focus and Audi’s third-generation TT sportscar.
One of DriverSeat’s favourite cars of the show, though, was the clever Citroen C4 Cactus. The small SUV-sized wagon is simple, stylish and clever, and would suit Australian buyers to a tee if it were priced competitively.
See below for pics and captions direct from the show!
Mazda Hazumi Concept
Take away the wing mirrors, the centre-mount exhaust pipes and the showy wheels, and you’re looking at the new Mazda2. Mazda isn’t a very big brand in Europe, so the Hazumi Concept is as much about staking a claim in the biggest game in town as it is about updating a successful model. Expect to see the production version around October.
Ford Vignale wagon
It’s a good looking thing, isn’t it? While Australia will get the all-new Mondeo sedan and wagon next year, the Vignale will take pride of place as Ford Europe’s largest, most upmarket vehicle. The nose treatment will be mirrored on the upcoming Falcon update, too.
Ferrari California T
A few (!) people gathered to witness the reveal of Ferrari’s first turbocharged car since the F40 of 1987. Now equipped with a twin-turbo V8, the convertible California has also been updated in the bodywork department. While it’ll continue to be the ‘cheapest’ Ferrari on sale in Australia, don’t expect much change from a quarter of a million dollars.
If the Fezza is a little cheap for your tastes, perhaps Sir would fancy the latest in Swiss technology? The handmade Koenigsegg One:1 features 1000kW (or 1mW) of power, more than 1000Nm of torque, carbon everything and phenomenal (some might even say ‘unusable’) performance. It’ll be more than a million bucks per unit, and only six are destined to be made.
One of the stranger beasts in the VW fleet. It’s an AWD, 3.5-litre twin-turbo, alloy luxury sedan that competes almost head to head with VW stablemates Audi in the luxury sedan segment. Born of a desire to make the ‘ultimate’ VW, this is the second iteration of the Phaeton; the first sold only in tiny numbers. If it ever came to Australia (and it won’t), it would probably cost $125,000…
Subaru Viziv 2 Concept
To be honest, it looks as if the Viziv was designed by a Subaru employee’s young child… it’s cartoonish, overstyled and just plain odd. From the afterburner-esque light bezels front and rear to the overly fussy door arrangement, the hybrid powertrain – petrol engine for the front wheels, electric motor for the rear – is about the only thing to recommend this one.
Hey – it’s hard work pounding the halls!
Porsche 919 Hybrid
This is Mark Webber’s new company car. It’ll compete at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
We may see this beast Down Under after the Commodore bows out in 2016; Ford has already committed to bringing out the Mustang, so the General may have to react in kind.
This is the new baby Lambo that will replace the long-serving Gallardo. It lacks the swing-wing doors of its big brother, but the V10-powered Huracan (a famed fighting bull) is still pretty out there.
Subaru WRX STi
We’ll be driving this car in Australia in the next few weeks; stay tuned to mynrma.com.au/motoring to see what we think!
Land Rover Discovery 4
Nothing much to report here, other than the Disco is 25 years old, and we expect to see a new version at the New York Motor Show in a month and a half!
Citroen C4 Cactus
Citroen Australia says this car is set for Australia, but it’s still working on pricing. Here’s our tip; lose a few bucks on the first few to get them out into the general populace, because we reckon the Cactus will sell by the baguette-load once people get a look at them. Simple, rugged, modern and set to be ultra-economical to boot, the Cactus harks back to an era for Citroen where style and practicality set them apart from the pack.
Jury is out on this one. Based on the Europe-only Fiat 500X, the new baby Jeep is soft on the outside and soft and cuddly on the inside, too. Jeeps are not, however, meant to be soft and cuddly. The cars were surrounded all day, though, so perhaps they’ll be a success, but we wonder if these little Jeeps have been tested on the Rubicon Trail?
Maserati Alfieri Concept
A return to form for Maserati. This two-door concept is meant to preview the next GranTourismo, which has been in production for nearly seven years now. This was one of the true stars of the show, and getting a photo of it sans people draped all over it was almost impossible!
If there’s anything we may have missed, let us know below!
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