Monthly Archives: April 2012

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 13

120306-Geneva-Audi A3-Mattijs van Tuijl-01

Finally

A highlight with a personal touch. Tuesday morning half past eight. Cameras, action, smoke. The new Audi A3 rolls on stage. After a short ceremony the doors are open to the public. People climb inside, wait in line to get a glimpse of the interior and feel the switches. Click clack, finally the car is real. After five years of intense work this baby is ready to hit the streets, ready to be enjoyed.

-Matt.

120306-Geneva-Audi A3-Mattijs van Tuijl-02

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 12

120306-Geneva-Volvo

Finesse

A reaction often heard during press days is a long sigh followed by a "not so exciting this year". 2012 seems going to be the year of the B-segment. Exciting? Not necessarily. Important and interesting?  Definitely. Within one year a whole new pack of models will hit the market. The competition is on! BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A Class, Audi A3 and later this year the VW Golf. 

Let's not forget the the Volvo, a swedish underdog. A first step into the new V40. A car that surprises in the detail. A lot of finesse in color and material. I take a look in the rear view mirror and wonder what is missing. It is the frameless glass that impresses. Lots of advanced touches throughout the interior. Definitely not a b-movie this scandinavian chinese.

-Matt.

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 11

120306-Geneva-Toyota

Folded

Visions from Asia, the most daring stuff come from the east. The Toyota stand looks clean and seems completely dedicated to carbon. Emissions that is. How low can you go? If we have to believe the FT-Bh concept, seventy or forty nine is not the end. Reduced to the max and showing it off, without turning into an anorexia design. Origami wheels, folded tacos and manta ray surfacing as thin as paper combined with meshes. This car is full of unexpected corners and odd details. I like the ceramic, brittle feel of the thing.

-Matt.

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 10

120306-Geneva-Hyundai-I ioniq

Fluid

Finally this is a Geneva's first among the scarcely spread concepts in the Pal Expo. The Hyundai on the turning table is hard to boil down. Is it big, high, compact, too massive, sleek, shooting brake or coupe? Nevertheless, the I-ioniq is a fluidly modeled sculpture without transitions between glass and metal panels. With this approach it is possible to pull the trick with the shooting brake center section and coupe greenhouse, hence the tent like roof. Muscled bone lines and crisp edges. I like the carved out quarter panel at the front and the family of details. 

-Matt.

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 9

120306-Geneva-Audi-01

Blisters

A wider perspective at the Audi stand. Next to the world premiere of the new Audi A3 we find some models labeled with the RS badge or just quattro. Both the RS4 and the Audi A1 quattro look mean and brisk with plenty of nicely modeled blisters. Dig.

-Matt.

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 7

  120306-Geneva-Cisitalia

Backwards

What is the direction in Geneva? Well there are a lot of anniversaries to be celebrated this year. Looking back is fine, but going forward backwards might be risky on the long run. A revamped Cisitalia over here, a kind of Bertone Stratos over there. Interesting once and sometimes an itch in the eye.

-Matt.

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 6

120306-Geneva-Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

Brilliant

Weeks before the show the first images dripped into the media and I thought "wow, what a strong design theme". It is remarkable how, over the last couple of years, Ferrari has managed to renew its product portfolio and design language. After the rather baroque Scaletti and California the Italia and FF are pretty crisp and fresh. I like the silhouette and proportions of the FF, not so much its size. The 456 Italia with its light stance and strong shoulder theme  combines aerodynamics with aesthetics.

The F12 is the third member with this new attitude of the prancing horse. Interesting to see how the edginess of the front softens towards the rear. The most brilliant feature though is the air channel between the bonnet and the flanks. A functional aerodynamic feature that determines the theme of the F12 and underlines the capsule like cabin. An overall idea molded into metal and truly inspired on racing heritage/experience. Forward looking Italian "flare", thumbs up!

-Matt.

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 5

120306-Geneva-Alfa Romeo

Broke

If there is one car show where the Italians should play a home game it can only be Ginevra. So what's new at Alfa Romeo? Well, actually, nothing. The only moving models stand next to the cars. Italian flair, yes, hence the illegal smoking area behind the scene, but little looking forward to be find on the red carpet. The only attempt where the fantastic history of the brand is reinterpreted we find at Touring. The Disco Volante looks big, broke and lacks finesse. Pininfarina's 2uettottanta two years ago had a far more innovative and positive look into the future and was, in my eyes, the true new Disco in a Daft Punk way.

-Matt.

GENEVA REVIEW – PART 4

120306-Geneva-Lexus

Brave

One of the most intriguing concepts in Geneva is red, once again and rotates at the Lexus stand. At first glance the LF-LC has many irritating design elements that are an absolute no-go in my dictionary. The strange thing is, the longer I see the car the more it fascinates me. The intersecting volumes are clearly based on a dynamic logic below the surface. Smooth transitions interrupted by sharp cuts. I wonder if it could be the result of my Asia trips last year; there is still a lot to learn from the East. A different cup of tea with a brave flavor. Lemon ginger, yes please!

-Matt.