Eight years in a row now, Geneva has never failed to surprise us! Probably the smallest show on the calendar, arguably one of the most important. Of course there were the Stars of the show as well as the inevitable ‘Dogs’. In the eyes of this reporter the Stars were the Opel GT and Mazda RX-Vision Concepts.
The so called German Premium brands seem to be in a battle of selling as much ‘Design’ per square millimeter as they can; The new Audi Q2 being one of the victims (I counted no less than seven(!) individual lines around the wheelarches). The brands still striving for Premium-ship joining in the game enthusiastically, as DS shows with their E-Tense Show car. Is this the way Premium should go?
The efforts of most Japanese manufacturers starts to worry me: Will either Honda, Subaru (2 very sympathetic brands in my opinion) and Mitsubishi ever be able to present a decent car in the near future….I’m starting to doubt it. For several years now, they have been producing concepts and production cars that are angular, blocky and very unrefined. The Koreans, in the meantime, must be laughing all the way to the bank. Even Nissans concepts looked like they were briefly out of sight for Paris, and they went at it alone.
Pininfarina showed of their first Concept under Mahindra. Next to their Sigma F1 concept from 1969 they showed a hydrogen driven La Mans racer. Safety is a topic of the past, today’s topic is Eco. Liked the ’69 car a lot better, but we hope for better things to come: Pininfarina still has a lot of credit with this writer.
Ford celebrated its return to Le Mans, 50 years after their walkover on Ferrari, they’re at it again!
A specific colour that struck me was a greyish-greenish-blue that I saw at several brands. Skoda taking great efforts to enhance the effects in the paint with very sculptured flanks on their Vision S Concept. Others to join in were Subaru, Honda, Volvo, Citroën. Audi showed a very nice shade of blue that appeared flat from some distance, but showed an effect from nearby.
Graphics are always around to attract some extra attention. Lot’s of Fluo colours this year! Black velvet on a FIAT (Kung Fu) Panda, humorous graphics on Morgan’s EV3, extremely nice gradient on Citroën’s HYPHEN Concept (inside ‘n’ out) and the next gen electronic graphics on VW’s E-Buddy Concept that was shown earlier on CES in Vegas.
Of course this writer cannot finish without mentioning the novelties from Alfa Romeo. They showed the humbler versions of the new Giulia. Since Frankfurt I’ve had the time to let the car grow on me and it has. It may not have the same character as some Alfa’s of the past, but with some larger wheels fitted I can see some presence (the cars on show featured 18” wheels, missed opportunity Renault managed to show all Scenics on their stand with 20”!). Touring Superleggera showed their Disco Volante for the third time in a row, this time as a Spider. Side and front three-quarter view look good, the rear leaves a lot to be desired.
As always the Heritage-card was played by a few manufacturers. Always a lovely sight and sometimes it’s almost believable. Like in case of the Porsche 718 and Alfa Romeo Disco Volante. Less so with the FIAT 124 Spider (to sell a rebadged Mazda) and Honda F1 car.