"So what’s the best thing you’ve seen?” 9.30 a.m “Anything caught your eye?” 10.00 a.m “What’s your car of the show?” 10.15 a.m. It’s the first press day of the show and I haven’t even been here an hour yet! I’ve hardly looked at a car and every few minutes I bump into yet another old friend, who yet again asks me the same question. I’d like to scream, “how the hell do I know, I haven’t seen anything yet”
This is the Geneva, Salon de l’Auto 2010 and it’s the same procedure as every year and I seem to spend more time meeting and eating than looking at cars.
First stop, the car everyone is talking about, the Porsche 918. I’m disappointed, there’s some nice bits on it, but I can’t help feeling it’s a missed opportunity. I also spot some very large rear lights with a new Cayenne attached! I find the Porsche shop at the back of the stand much more interesting.
The new Jaguar XJ again, this time in White, those rear lights, that glazed ‘C’ post and high shoulder line, I’m still not convinced.
Same goes for the Alfa Romeo Guilietta, the Mini Countryman and the Aston Martin Cygnet and I just stare in open-mouthed disbelief when I see the Hispano Suiza, this is an embarrassment to the profession of car design.
High points? The BMW 5 series, only detailing on the front end letting it down. Aston Martin Rapide, just stunning. The Dacia Duster (yes, you read correctly) a well-done, honest, cheap car and the Bentley Shooting brake from Touring, why didn’t anyone think of this before?
The first press morning has gone quickly and I’m feeling a bit peckish, so the hunt begins to find the best stand for lunch. I start with an aperitif at Mercedes, not much food here? just suits and cars. Next stop Volvo to meet a friend and catch up on hot gossip in the Designers world, my dreams of Swedish cuisine are shattered when I’m asked, “So, anything worth seeing mate?” I leave, stomach grumbling. Finally I find lunch in the form of the traditional Paella at SEAT, washed down with a couple of glasses of white wine, I’m refreshed and ready to attack the show floor.
In the afternoon I wander leisurely around upstairs checking out the latest offerings from the Italian Design Houses. Bertone, very white, very tall doors, even taller girl, very showcar. Ital design, Small car with SUV interior space blah, blah, Hybrid, blah, blah, premium, Yawn! Yawn! Yawn! Pininfarina, nice proportions, nice sections, nice Alfa. I check out exotic Zonda, Saab’s new owner Spyker and Lotus before arriving at Lamborghini. Brightly coloured cars contrast starkly against the monolithic stand and leather clad girls pose for the crowds delight. Upstairs for the best espresso on the block (sorry for the pun) Audi is just next-door and I suppose I should really check out the A1 on its debut. The car looks great, a little big around the rear maybe? but a quality product with a fine interior, hopefully the Mini has some true competition at last. Make mine an S1 in retro rally colours.
After a hectic first press day it was time to chill out at Designers Night.Now, I’m not normally a big fan of these events because you usually end up with a bunch of nerds or creeping students trying to get a job, well I do anyway.
Held at the La Sip club in downtown Geneva, the evening was quite enjoyable with free buffet and drinks. I ganged up with a group of modelling friends who frightened any nerdy intruders and students away, usually by drunken abuse or saying that “you don’t want to talk to him, he designed the Hispano Suiza” Thank you Interior Motives Magazine for a great night.
Finally left at around 1.30 a.m. to drive back to our Hotel, but the evening became even greater when someone shouted “F40”. There sitting in a Ferrari dealership was indeed an F40.
We slammed on the brakes, flicked the hazard lights on and reversed our Audi Q5 up onto the curb. We bundling out, cameras ready. Like kids we pressed our noses to the glass dreaming. We peeled ourselves away, cameras started clicking, Flashes were flashing, photos were taken from every possible angle. What a vision it must have been for the passengers in the cars and taxi’s that passed. Wondering why a white Q5 was bumped up the curb in front of a Ferrari dealership at 2.00 a.m in the morning and why four men were staggering around taking photos?
We arrive late on the second day, tired but satisfied from the action from the night before. After a leisurely stroll around the show to catch any cars I missed the day before, I finally bump into the Car Freax team in front of the Bertone stand. After formal introductions and a little conversation the inevitable happens
“Sooo Steve, what’s the Car of the show for you?”
I Love the Geneva show, but it’s time to leave.