Big names, bold claims, wild production and concept cars.
This year’s Geneva show was a veritable nirvana for fans of horsepower and performance. Here’s MOTOR’s pick of the best of show.
Audi R8 e-tron
While the second-gen all-V10 R8 range stretched Audi’s sportscar ambitions to new heights, the all-electric e-tron version is a revolutionary game changer.
Unlike rivals from Tesla and BMW’s i8, the flagship e-tron model brings dedicated electrification to a familiar and established series production hero car. It’s as mainstream as hi-po EVs come.
And the numbers stack up favorably for Audi’s sole rear-driver, too: 340kW, 920Nm, 0-100km/h in 3.9sec and a range of 450 kilometres.
Aston Martin Vulcan
Boasting over 600kW from its 7.0-litre V12 and circuit-only focus, the Vulcan joins Ferrari’s FXX K, McLaren P1 GTR and the like in the super-elite club reserved for the world’s most well-heeled petrolheads.
Absolutely bespoke in spec and construction, it’s the new heroic poster boy that overshadowed another pair of exotic stunners at the Geneva show in the Vantage GT3 and the wild DBX cross-over SUV concept.
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
While Brit luxury carmaker Bentley kept the technical spec of its Geneva showstopper close to its chest, the EXP 10 Speed 6 packed enough wallop as a design concept to steal global media headlines.
The two-seater, two-door coupe looks to be Bentley’s more performance-oriented pitch at the hyper-luxury market while tipping its hat to the marque’s racing heritage of the 1920s and 1930s.
Indeed, the ‘Speed 6’ nomenclature suggests six-cylinder power, potentially boosted with forced induction and electrification if the wild concept gets a production green light.
Ferrari 488 GTB
While the Prancing Horse’s latest mid-engine V8-powered sportscar was revealed weeks ahead of its public Geneva debut, the arrive of the 488 GTB is milestone in Maranello’s road car linage.
By adopting turbocharging for the 3.9-litre bent eight, the 488 marks the swan song for Ferrari’s great naturally-aspirated road car heritage.
However, the seachange isn’t without its benefits-as-justification: a whopping 492kW and 760Nm translates to a significant hike in go-faster credentials and prowess over the outgoing 458.
The feisty berlinetta is also burgeoning with cutting-edged, allegedly F1-derived tech set to push the performance envelope of the ‘everyman’ Ferrari sportscar as hard as possible.
Glickenhaus SCG 003
This pair of road-going Stradale and race-spec Competizione customer cars is the upshot when a billionaire petrolhead thinks Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren are doing it wrong.
While the SCG 003 certainly packs a long list of heroic specifications, the minor revolution is its modular engine cradle design that allows a variety of plug-and-play engine opinions – from a twin-turbo V6 ‘race’ to turbocharged V12 ‘street’ unit – in a single vehicle.
Priced from $AU3.2million, it’s a hyper-exclusive car by a billionaire for billionaires.
Honda Civic Type R
Among the army of Geneva giants, the humble Japanese hot hatch might seem like an odd Geneva motor show highlight.
But Honda self-proclaiming honours of offering the quickest front-driver money can buy is a return to form for a marque that, in recent times, seemed lost in a sea called Mediocrity.
While turbocharging shuns the Big H’s naturally aspirated Type R traditions, the red-hot Civic arrived – finally – with a refreshingly bullish set of performance claims and a record-breaking Nurburgring Nordschleife video clip aimed at belting the hot hatch beehive.
Americanized NSX or not, its great to see a Japanese carmaker get its mojo back.
If performance isn’t all about all-dominating number crunching, someone forgot to tell Swedish concern Koenigsegg.
With the combination of its 820kW and 1280Nm 5.0-litre twin-turbo V8 plus around 500kW and 900Nm from a trio of electric motors, the Regera produces a combined claim of over 1100kW and 2000Nm.
The big acceleration boast is that the Regera can hit 400km/h from a standstill in under 20 seconds.
Unlike the emerging raft of new-school track-only specials, the Regera is road going, lays on the luxury appointments, and approaches the hyper-hybrid powertrain format with focus on electric rather than petrol-fed motivation.
Lamborghini Aventador SV
As predictable as a SuperVeloce treatment is to a Raging Bull flagship breed, the most hard-core series production car in the Sant’Agata stable is still mana from supercar Heaven.
The Aventador LP750-4 SV foregoes trendy hybrid tech for tradition large-capacity petrol-fed pleasure: 552kW and 690Nm from 6.5 litres of bent twelve-cylinder fury.
Acceleration is a ridiculous 2.8sec for the 0-100km/h sprint.
While slightly more attainable than many of Geneva’s superstar attractions, the rawest Lambo wearing rego plates will list for a frosty $AU882,650.
McLaren P1 GTR
Creating a pure race-spec version of what is arguably the mostly ferocious road car money can buy, the P1, is McLaren’s latest stake at world motoring domination.
With an outrageous 735kW-odd from its petrol-electric-hybrid powertrain equipped with a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, the P1 GTR could well deliver on its maker’s bold “best driver’s car in the world” claim.
The P1 GTR also stole the limelight from McLaren’s other exotic debut, the 675 LT ‘Longtail’ race-infused road car.
Porsche GT3 RS
While the halls of the Geneva motor show were packed with pricier, more-powerful and more outlandish exotica, the hardest-core RS version of Porsche’s hallowed head-kicking GT3 remains the purist touchstone for driving enjoyment.
The latest version might pack just 368kW and 480Nm from its naturally aspirated flat-six, and its PDK-only format might rub traditionalists the wrong way, but no other car on Earth translates relatively modest spec into such a ferocious and satisfying road or track experience.
The rawest and most transcendental driver’s 911 yet? You bet.
Porsche Cayman GT4
Finally, Stuttgart waves its ultra-focused ‘GT’ wand over its brilliant ‘affordable’ Cayman sports car range.
While purists maintain (wrongly) that the Cayman isn’t a ‘real’ Porsche, the GT4 offers, for the first time, the marque’s finest motorsport-massaged experience in a sub-$200K package.
Finally, it seems, Porsche has delivered to the Cayman the sorts of robust output its wonderfully resolved chassis has always promised it could take in strides.
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