A Taste Of Geneva
The Auto Show season is in full swing and one of the most important shows is already making waves. The 2013 Geneva Motor Show has been quite busy thus far — not just with show stoppers, but with show announcements. Please allow me the privilege of giving an overview.
A Santa Fe for the Rio Grand
GENEVA: Hyundai rolls out the 2013 Grand Santa Fe at The Geneva Motor Show. In the traditions of long-wheelbase SUV’s, Hyundai has stretched the already successful Santa Fe has become Grand indeed, now being taller, wider and longer by 8.8 in. due to a wheelbase lengthened by 3.9 in. It now also yields a best-in-class 21.4 cu.-ft. cargo capacity. The larger model also offers either a six- or seven-seat configuration, giving passengers space and comfort on even the longest journeys. A reshaped front fascia leads the way and the longer car rides on 18 or 19 inch wheels. Power comes from a 2,2-litre ‘R’ VGT diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO at Hyundai Motor Europe said that this model upholds the tradition of offering premium quality automobiles without the premium prices. If Hyundai’s track record is any indication, we agree.
NSX is not M.I.A. in Geneva
The exciting new Civic Estate could be powered by the 1.6-litre diesel engine, the 2.2-litre diesel or 1.4 and 1.8-litre gasoline engines to be offered. Honda will also send the blood pressure rising with a new 1.6-litre diesel version of its CR-V at the Geneva show that will be only be available with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. The Estate is expected early in 2014 and will out-haul its rival, the Ford Focus Hatchback, by a whopping 1 cubic foot. While not as exciting or interesting as the 2014 Civic Estate, Honda revealed another version of the NSX Concept. This one has a fully finished interior swathed in leather, carbon fiber and big ol’ infotainment screen.
While not a production model, the A3 Sportback E-Tron plug-in hybrid five-door gets around thanks to parallel hybrid drivetrain comprised of a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor integrated into the vehicle’s six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The four-cylinder produces 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the shock motor contributes 100 horsepower and 242 lb-ft of twist. All told, the design allows the E-Tron to serve up its full power from just 1,750 rpm. Audi also introduced gasoline versions of the A3.
The RS 6 Avant debuted with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter TFSI V8, tuned to churn out 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the all-wheel-drive wagon can scoot to 60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. This RS 6 Avant looks like a brawler and is an extreme hauler, fitted with 21-inch wheels, sport exhaust, carbon fiber ceramic brakes, dynamic ride control, adaptive air suspension and Quattro all-wheel drive, Mercedes E63 AMG Wagon…look out!
Mercedes and Motown
R&B Star, Usher Raymond took the stage with Mercedes Chairman, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, to help present the A45 AMG. The C63 AMG Edition 507 was revealed making the class-leading C63 more powerful. Finally, the arrival of the CLA is finally upon us. A niche-market compact 4 door based on the A Class. Anybody remember the 190 2.3? Hmmmmmm.
Kia is still kickin’
Beefed up with a menacing look, the 2013 Kia Provo Concept gave a glimpse at things to come in the Hot Hatch department of Kia’s future. Equipped with a hybrid drive train ; a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower that spins the front wheels and a 44 hp electric motor that can add extra thrust to the back rollers when necessary for simulated all-wheel drive There is also a “creep mode” that allows stealthy electric only travel around town. The interior is awash in carbon fiber. Black on black is the best description. Citroen, Volkswagen and Mini can rest well; Kia has no production plans for the tough looking little hatchback. Kia also made news with the Pro’Ceed GT, a hot hatch that shares the Provo Concept’s engine and is slated to fight Vauxhalls and Fiats. The Pro C’eed will come in two and four door variants, as will the C’eed from here on out.
Hyundai Passes on Gas
Hyundai has successfully built the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for assembly line production (beating BMW, Mercedes and Honda to the punch). The 2013 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson, here in the U.S.) gets a mild facelift, which it showed off at Geneva. The innovative system takes fuel cell-contained hydrogen and converts it to electricity, which then powers an electric motor and then drives the wheels. Supplementary power is supplied by a lithium-ion battery pack. The result: 134 horsepower, 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds a top speed of 100 mph and plenty of water vapor out the back end. A mildly reworked diesel is offered in Europe, but a new 2.0-litre petrol unit is standard fare. Hyundai says the European-spec petrol GDI unit is more powerful and offers better economy than the model it replaces. Hyundai’s Flex Steer system offers three presets to configure steering feedback and will be available. The cabin features improved trim and materials with a new 7-inch TFT infotainment screen.
Wolfgang Piech, Chairman of The Volkswagen Group presented the all-new 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur to the crowd and said: “…it is lighter, stiffer, faster and uses less fuel than the previous model.” That makes sense with its twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 powertrain, producing 616 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque shooting this 5,451-pound, all-wheel-drive sedan to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds. Of course, the interior is where every Bentley owner wants to be and it does not disappoint with over 600 new parts and a total redesign. With multimedia controllable through your smart phone and its own Wi-Fi hotspot, the cabin help ensure that Piech’s words are true:”… The best luxury sedan in the world”
Wraith’s Wrath on Bentley
The Rolls-Royce vs. Bentley battle is officially on. The new Wraith sports coupe made the Geneva Motor Show the original battleground.
The new car is a landmark for Rolls, too – along with massive speed the British luxury carmaker is claiming it’s the most sporting vehicle ever to wear the Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot. I hate to keep using 90’s car references, but this car is to Rolls what the LSC Mark VII was supposed to be for Lincoln.
There’s so much more to cover. Geneva is neutral ground politically and ground zero from an automotive standpoint at The 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
[Photos, Courtesy of Gérard Chardonnens and NewsPress]