BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: It’s no secret that the 90th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show that was supposed to begin on March 3 was cancelled at the last minute due to global coronavirus scare.
Had the show continued visitors would have witnessed close to 90 world or European premieres from almost 50 exhibitors.
Obviously, Palexpo convention centre which was to attract over 700,000 visitors left a lot of people disappointed.
Meanwhile, several automakers have opted for plan B, that is to have live-stream press conferences. (see list below)
Here’s a snapshot of the key announcements that were planned for Geneva 2020:
2021 Audi A3 Sportback prototype
Prior to Geneva, prototypes of the 2021 A3 and S3 had been spotted undergoing tests and some international journalists were also offered to drive the pre-production S3 in Portugal.
From the teasers, the prototypes highlight the updated design its wider and fuller single-frame grille, new corner vent clusters, and of course Audi’s latest headlight design. The quattro all-wheel drive system has been updated along with the steering, and some revisions have been made to the 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine.
Meanwhile, the new A3 is more of an extensive update of the current model. Audi has hinted that it will endow it with new technologies, including new systems for the Quattro all-wheel drive, suspension damping and speed-sensitive steering.
Britain-based Aston Martin’s losses have deepened to more than £100m in 2019, but the group has plans to brave losses and move on with its planned new model introductions including the DBX SUV. For Geneva Aston Martin had an updated Vantage ready and key among the upgrades is the new Roadster body style. The car is powered by AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo 503hp/685Nm V8 engine mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.
With the Bentley Bacalar, the premium luxury British brand Bentley’s designers have been inspired by Bacalar Lagoon in Mexico and the thought of the second two-seat Bentley since 1930. The modern Bacalar is inspired by the EXP 100 GT concept and is an open top creation from the craftspeople at Mulliner division.
Los Angeles-based Czinger had planned to use Geneva show to debut the 21C hypercar. The car is said to pack as much as 1,233 hp generated by a pair of electric motors at the front axle and a 2.88-litre twin-turbocharged V8 at the rear.
Hyundai had planned to highlight concept that many felt hinted at the brand’s new styling direction. While there isn’t much that is known about the Prophecy concept vehicle yet, aside from the few teaser photos prior to the show, the EV concept’s design sports a retro design that the Korean brand describes as an evolution of its Sensuous Sportiness design language first introduced with 2018’s Le Fil Rouge concept. While, the Le Fil Rouge previewed the design of the current Sonata saloon car, at this point it remains speculative as to what design cues from the Prophecy will be applied to future models.
“‘Prophecy’ does not follow trends. It accentuates timeless beauty that will stand the test of time. Its iconic design stands to expand Hyundai’s design spectrum toward even broader horizons,” said SangYup Lee, Head of Hyundai Global Design Centre
Observers feel that this idea is one of many future electric cars that will be co-developed on a platform designed by EV startup Canoo and Hyundai.
The compact i20 is an important model for Europe and Asia and hence there’s global interest in this model. Trickle feed from Hyundai suggests that the all-new i20 will have two digital screens, new colour combinations and bold, full-width horizontal blades across the front interior of the vehicle.
The cockpit highlights horizontal blades stretching left-to-right across a high, prominent dashboard, which contain the air vents. The sculpted doors are said to be inspired by shapes found in nature.
Mercedes-Benz’s popular mid-size saloon, the E-Class, is due for a mid-cycle update. Besides revised styling, more significance has been placed on the tech updates made to the car. Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system gets a large touchscreen that can be operated much like a smartphone or tablet.
The new E-Class will offer several hybrid options, including both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. The mild-hybrid model will offer 268hp from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. A bigger 3.0-litre six-cylinder 362hp is also on the cards.
Revived Spanish brand Hispano-Suiza which is going all-electric had planned to showcase a new performance variant of its 1,000-plus-hp Carmen electric grand tourer. The Boulogne was developed by Hispano-Suiza’s Tailormade personalization department. It takes its inspiration from the brand’s racing heritage from the 1920s.
Boutique hypercar Pagani is a regular at Geneva and this year Horacio Pagani had big plans to present the brand’s latest supercar — the Huayra Imola. With a price of $5.4mn a pop, Pagani say it’s the most powerful version of the Huayra, and production is limited to five units.
Volvo’s electric brand Polestar Precept is a large fastback saloon being presented to take-on Tesla Model S. As a vision of the Swedish brand’s future direction and a clear expression of intent, Polestar Precept exhibits the execution of new, more sustainable interior materials, the continued development of the digital user interface and the essence of Polestar design.
Geneva is also important for Volkswagen and this year the German brand had its full arsenal of Golfs for aficionados. Among the key introductions was the debut of the 2021 Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf GTE hybrid.
The GTI and the R get 245 PS2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four cylinder engines, while the GTE plug-in hybrid uses a 150PS 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor (85 kW), a 6-speed DSG transmission and a new lithium-ion battery pack. Combined power output is 245 PS and maximum torque of 400 Nm.
Croatia-based Rimac made headlines at Geneva in 2018 when it presented the Rimac C_Two as the successor to the Concept One electric supercar.
For this year’s edition, Rimac was ready with the upgraded pre-production C_Two. “Everything” about the C_Two has changed for production, CEO Mate Rimac said in a video release.
Till now, the company has only shown camouflaged prototypes with non-production headlights and taillights, and post cancellation of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, it says it will delay the debut of the car by 1-2 weeks.
- Porsche will live-stream the unveiling of its new 911 flagship at NewsTV.Porsche.com/en/ on March 3 at 10:10 a.m. CET (4:10 a.m. EST)
- BMW said it would use live-streaming to present the BMW Concept i4.
- Mercedes, likewise, will livestream a revamped Mercedes E-Class.
- Aston Martin plans to livestream a news conference on March 4.
- Ferrari does not plan to arrange alternative events.
- Fiat Chrysler said it had no Plan B, but that it was considering ways to show off a new electric Fiat 500.
- French brand DS, part of PSA Group, said it was seeking a venue near Paris to showcase a new concept car and was rescheduling interviews with executives by telephone.
- Audi said it would seek to use digital channels to launch its Audi A3 sportback and Audi E-Tron S.
- Rimac said it was delaying the reveal of the Rimac C_Two by a week or two.
- McLaren will livestream what it calls “the next chapter in the McLaren LT story” on March 3 at 9:30 a.m. CET (3:30 a.m. EST)
- Volkswagen will hold a digital press conference on March 3 at 9:10 a.m. CET (3:10 a.m.EST)