The 83rd Geneva Motor Show is one of Europe's most prestigious auto events
Bentley Flying Spur: The new-generation Flying Spur is a handsome beast, a drastic improvement on its predecessor. Set apart visually and psychologically from the Continental GT Coupe, the Flying Spur is going for all-out luxury, with a sophisticated in-car internet set-up and the traditional lashings of leather and wood
Mclaren P1: Just 375 McLaren P1s will be made, at £866k each. Hybrid powered, carbon built, the P1 goes head to head with a new offering from Ferrari. It has the kind of deeply-sculpted, vented and curvaceous aero bodywork needed to keep this kind of car on the straight and level at such colossal speeds. But we can't help but feel that the P1 - like the Lamborghini Veneno and the LaFerrari - loses in elegance what it gains in performance
Morgan Plus 2: The prize for most tasteful show stand goes to boutique British car-builder Morgan. Dove-grey bodywork, tan leather, timeless lines and the welcome addition of a bespoke Morgan bicycle mounted on the rear... motoring doesn't get more evocative than this
Lamborghini Veneno: Lamborghini will make precisely three Venenos - all pre-sold to customers who presumably consider the McLaren and Ferrari to be rather common. Charitably described as 'striking', the Veneno appears to have fallen out of a billionaire's packet of top trumps: £3m each, outlandish performance and even more extraordinary in appearance
Ferrari LaFerrari: The name isn't exactly user friendly, but Ferrari managed to pull off a good, old-fashioned exclusive with their world reveal at Geneva, generating huge media interest. Like the McLaren, the LaFerrari is hybrid powered and strictly limited (to 499). Intended as a successor to the legendary Enzo, the LaFerrari will help maintain the stiff rivalry between supercar-makers
Rolls-Royce Wraith: A self-conscious step back from the vulgar power squabbles of the supercar makers, the Wraith is still the most powerful and sporty Rolls-Royce ever built. To our eyes it looks the part, although the Deco-esque sweep of that long fastback body isn't to everyone's taste. No one buys a Rolls to make a subtle statement, though, and the Wraith is cinematic in its styling. From £215,000
Spyker B6 Venator: Few companies can pull off lurid combinations of signature design and fancy materials without descending into outright kitsch. Spkyer have always been more adept than most at balancing rich tastes with fine design, and the new B6 carries on that tradition
Alfa Romeo 4C: The 4C has been long-awaited - a cute mid-engined two-seater drafted to be the saviour of the troubled Italian marque. Designed to compete with the likes of Porsche's Cayman S, the production-ready 4C inexplicably ditched its elegant headlights in favour of some awkward plastic units that don't help the car's looks. Still an exciting prospect, nevertheless
Aston Martin Rapide S: Aston has updated their elegant Rapide, re-working the grille and upping the power output of this fabulous four-door
1 / 37
To the casual observer, the 83rd International Geneva Motor Show was all about the showdown between supercar makers, a high noon face-off played out with vast engines, yards of rippling carbon fibre and every technological trick in the book. With international debuts from McLaren, Ferrari and Lamborghini, each vying to outdo the other in terms of sheer outlandish techno-brilliance, the rest of the industry had to take something of a back seat.
As a result, outright innovation was thin on the ground, especially galling at a time of sluggish sales, lost jobs, factory closures and general industry gloom. The job of a motor show is to banish the vicissitudes of everyday life and project a shiny, happy image of progress, brilliance and buoyant optimism. To that end, most manufacturers succeeded, even if excitement was a little thin on the ground.
The luxury sector is still buoyant, and Geneva is a traditional showcase for the more esoteric manufacturers and tuning houses, hell-bent on upping the power output and visual appearance of the major car-makers with exotic limited editions - Startech, Techart, Carlsson, Mansory, AC Schnitzer, Kahn and Hamann were all there demonstrating varying degrees of tastelessness. There was also a raft of boutique sports car and SUV builders on show, all clamouring for a small but lucrative market driven by money from China and the Middle East.
The vaguely patrician attitude that Europe is still the design centre of the world is starting to topple. Geneva saw the world debut of Qoros Auto, an entirely new Chinese brand set to take on the European mass market, with no care whatsoever for the absence of heritage or brand longevity.
So high end or low: take your pick. The ultra cheap car isn't going to go away and burgeoning markets like India, China and South Africa take millions more budget vehicles than they do luxury steeds, even if the latter garner all the attention. We can only hope that the same levels of ingenuity and expertise are applied to making world cars for the masses.
Electric propulsion is slowly seeping into the mainstream, even if sales still aren't where they should be. The focus has shifted to tricks and gadgets, such as in-car internet, which appeared to finally come of age. Bentley's app-enabled Flying Spur, which allows owners to control satnav, temperature and other rear seat amenities from their smartphones, was countered by Ferrari's newly Siri-integrated FF model, complete with integral iPad minis. Ford, Peugeot and Vauxhall all offered internet on the move and better integration for smartphones, Siri and - in the case of Volvo - with Spotify.
Click through the gallery to see our selection of cars and concepts from the 2013 show.