The tone was set by the Koenigsegg Agera RS Naraya parked outside the hotel, with a deep blue carbon fibre body and 18 carat gold accents. In Geneva, it takes a lot to stand out. At the 2018 motor show, cozied up under one hall, Mate Rimac is within earshot of Horacio Pagani and Alois Ruf. Brabus, Mansory, Alpina and Abt are peacocking under the lights. Not much of a consumer expo, this, not a Corolla in sight. It’s all poster material in Geneva, the stuff of dreams. Or nightmares — there’s the Lamborghini Urus...
The 2018 Geneva motor show provided plenty of sights for enthusiasts’ eyes especially moneyed ones.
This is wheels’ pick of the best:
What a way to embarrass the establishment… The ugly, vulgar, over designed super SUVs had no answer to the Range Rover SV Coupe. Making its debut in Geneva, this Dh1.2 million hand-made special is merely a Range Rover with two fewer doors, and it looks all the better for it. With a 560-horsepower V8, the car is also the fastest ever full-size Range Rover going on to a top speed of 266kph. Thanks to 700Nm from the 5.0-litre supercharged V8, the SV Coupe sprints from zero to 100kph in five seconds, despite enough wood and leather onboard to bedeck an embassy. Immediately it’s become the most beautiful SUV Range Rover make, but only 999 will be made, although there will be more coming out of the company’s bespoke Special Vehicle Operations in the future. Customers who shell out the Dh1.2 million (starting…) will get to choose from 100 colours, quilted leather, precious metal badging, ad 23in wheels that even at that size (the biggest on a Range Rover yet) don’t come across as flamboyant. It’s a class act, and easily one of the Geneva stars.
Even with dozens of models in its portfolio, BMW is still growing. The X6 isn’t enough, so there is a full-size seven-seater X7 coming, and when the 7 Series isn’t enough, there is the 8 Series revival to look forward to. Last year we already saw a concept of the BMW 8 Series, true to history, a two-door 2+2. Essentially, a 7 Series coupé. Now before it’s even out BMW is already stretching its niche into a line-up, with the M8 Gran Coupe concept unveiled in Geneva. Use your imagination, it’s a sporty, low 7 Series technically speaking, with a pretty snazzy new design on top. V8s, surely; hybrids, likely — the 8 Series range will start rolling out in production guise during the course of 2019.
Actually, these days Croatian company RImac is busy duking it out with giants such as Bosch and Denso in the supply game, vying for contracts to produce and deliver electric mobility solutions. When they aren’t doing the boring stuff, it’s good to know Rimac still has an outlandish sense of performance, which is why at the Geneva motor show the Croatians unveiled a zero-emissions electric supercar developing over 1,900 horsepower with claims of zero to 100kph in under two seconds… Top speed of the new C_Two is 415kph, and the best part is that Rimac will actually build it.
Denmark isn’t really the epicenter of performance and yet Zenvo continues to poke out every once in a while with a lot of anomalies.You see Danes dress in black clothes and live in white apartments and ride bicycles, simple people. But now they also make the Zenvo TSR-S, with an in-house developed 5.8-litre twin-supercharged V8 engine producing 1,177 horsepower at 8,500rpm. With that kind of grunt the TSR-S is good enough for zero to 100kph in 2.8 seconds. That should get you off your bike.
Let’s face it this has nothing to do with the specs, and everything to do with the price tag - the new Bugatti Chiron Sport unveiled in Geneva, is the most expensive Bugatti and so that’s why people want it. As an aside, and for your additional million dollars over a puny stock Chiron (the Sport costs $3.2 million) you get no extra power but then again 1,500bhp is quite adequate. What you do get is a big number on the grille signifying cylinder count, and windscreen wipers made out of carbon fibre that are 77 per cent light than regular wipers. Bargain.
Yes, it might look like an ‘Irish Green’ Porsche 911, but this is actually a hand-made Ruf SCR, with the tiny Pfaffenhausen marque recognised in Germany as an official manufacturer on its own. The SCR comes with a RUF developed and produced carbon fibre monocoque chassis and a naturally aspirated flat-six engine making over 500 horsepower at 8,100rpm. All this goes through a six-speed manual gearbox to the rear-wheels alone, and as you can imagine the Dh2.9 million price tag makes the Ruf SCR a treat for only the most well-heeled drivers out there.
The trouble with the McLaren Senna, other than it’s hideous, is that Woking is making so few of them when they could’ve absolutely coined it. The Brits are limiting production to 500 examples, but knowing full well they can sell more, McLaren is now also doing 75 track-only Senna GTRs each priced at $1.4 million. With more power (about 820bhp from the 4.0-litre V8) and more downforce (1,000kg at speed), this is quite literally a racing machine and you might as well just go buy a seat in an LMP2 car at Le Mans dodging LMP1s all night long.
British boutique sportscar marque Morgan keeps plodding along at its leisurely pace (waiting lists for cars stretch into years), and in Geneva the brand decided to celebrate 50 years of the V8-engined Plus 8, with a V8-engined Plus 8… Not much has changed in the past decades at Morgan, and the hand-built cars still use aluminium and ash wood chassis and bodies. The charming new Plus 8 50th Anniversary resultantly comes in weighing at just 1,100kg, powered by a BMW V8 and the last to feature a naturally aspirated powerplant from Munich. Naturally just 50 Plus 8 50th Anniversary models will be built, and customers can choose between an open-cockpit Speedster style blue car, or a green one with a soft-top. Each of the 50 buyers also receives a Christopher Ward C1 Morgan Plus 8 Chronometer wristwatch, which is worth about Dh11,500.
There’s surprisingly little electrification on this list, but Chinese company Techrules more than makes up for the lack of earth friendly performance with the RenRS supercar, powered by 1,287bhp worth of batteries. That is good enough a top speed of 330kph and zero to 100kph in three seconds dead, despite the not so lightweight kerb figure of 1,854kg.
You don’t expect to see a 1984 Jaguar XJ6 making its global premiere at the 2018 Geneva motor show, but that’s exactly what the Brits did, unveiling a show-stopping custom made specially for Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain who showed up in Geneva to see the completed car for the first time. The car took more than 3,500 hours to make, finished in purple paint over a red interior treated with Sycamore wood veneer. Sitting mean on custom 18in wire wheels shod with Pirelli P Zero tyres, the car runs its original straight-six engine, although the 4.2-litre motor now breathes through three carburettors. Dubbed the Jaguar XJ ‘Greatest Hits’, this definitely lived up to the name in Geneva.
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