The Geneva motor show was spectacular this year, full of unexpected highlights, interesting concepts, and exotic boutique supercars. Here are our top 10.
RUF CTR 2017
Aston Martin Rapide AMR
Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept
Lamborghini Huracan Performante
After a long hiatus, and what felt like an even longer series of teasers and hints, Alpine is back. And what a spectacular car this new A110 is. It takes the best cues from its 1960s French ancestor, but avoids looking retro. It weighs barely 1,000 kg and packs a 250-horsepower mid-mounted engine. It won’t win any drag races, but it should be ridiculous fun to drive. If it comes to North America, the Porsche Cayman had better look out.
Italdesign is part of Volkswagen Group now, and the design house is still finding its place within the company. This flying drone was its second concept at the Geneva, developed in collaboration with Airbus. The rotors can fix themselves to a detachable drone that can land on the car, picking it up – and leaving the wheels behind – and whisking you over rush-hour traffic. Sounds good to us!
The original 1987 CTR “Yellowbird” from RUF – a German Porsche-tuner-turned-automaker – came out of nowhere and became a legend for going faster than any Ferrari or Lamborghini in its day. The new CTR is built from scratch by RUF. Underneath is a custom carbon-fibre chassis, double-wishbone suspension, and a twin-turbo flat-six with 700 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual. The Yellowbird lives!
It’s only been five years since the rebirth of McLaren’s first car, the 12C. But already here’s the third generation of their mid-range supercar, replacing the 650S in the lineup. We’d seen photos of camouflaged prototypes and a few blurry leaked photos, but they didn’t come close to doing this car justice. In person, it’s spectacular, with interesting aerodynamic details everywhere you look. The engine is new, too: a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with 710 hp. The price? $312,500 in Canada.
Techrules is a Chinese company, but this prototype was engineered and built in Italy. A turbine charges the batteries, which power as many as six electric motors. The company claims 1,200 hp and zero-to-100 km/h in 2.5 seconds. It was running at Monza and is in the early testing phases, an engineer on the project told me.
Everyone knew Audi would unveil a new RS3 Sportback, but nobody was talking about a new RS5. Audi’s flagship high-performance coupe is back with 444 horsepower from a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6. Audi claims the car is lighter than before, at 1,655 kg. All-wheel drive is standard. Let’s see if it can best the C 63 AMG and BMW M4 this time.
We didn’t see AMR coming, but it makes sense. This new sub-brand will be responsible for building Aston’s sportiest, fastest cars. Think along the lines of AMG or BMW M. Every Aston model will get an AMR variant, including the brilliant new DB11. In Geneva they showed a more-rapid Rapide, and it made us wonder: why didn’t Aston do this sooner? The tweaked 6.0-litre V12 now makes 592 hp.
Everywhere you look on this car there are just spectacular details: the quilted wood door panels; the burgundy leather; the jewel-like instruments; the “6” inside the front grille. It’s just a concept for now, but Bentley says this all-electric car could drive from London to Paris on a single charge in production trim.
The controversy surrounding the Huracan Performante’s record-breaking Nurburgring lap time only increased curiosity about this spectacular new supercar. When the cover was pulled off, the crowd was in awe. The fact it came anywhere close to the Porsche 918 Spyder’s time – a car that costs three or four times as much – is deeply impressive. With 650 horsepower and Formula One-style aerodynamic trickery, it should be incredible. Long live the naturally-aspirated V10!
Volvo’s XC60 surprised us because it looks better in person that it does in photos. The new mid-range SUV is all-new, and borrows much from its bigger XC90 sibling, including the engine options. There’ll be a twin-charged four-cylinder (T6) or hybrid (T8). The interior looks beautiful. Safety is a top priority for Volvo, as usual, with the Swedish firm introducing a system that automatically tries to steer away from head-on collisions.