Car chronicles: the best new cars and concepts from Geneva Motor Show 2016

The 87th Geneva Motor from Aston Martin
The 87th Geneva Motor Show saw a number of exciting big name releases. Here we chart the show’s top concept and production cars... Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spider: The show car, based on the 8C Competizione Spider, kicks off the Touring Superleggera’s 90th anniversary celebrations
(Image credit: Alfa Romeo)

This year’s Geneva Motor Show was awash with interesting metal, major new launches and a new-found technological confidence. Big names made big announcements, newcomers matured and at the upper echelons of the industry there were some significant debuts. Aston Martin and McLaren were both striding forward. The McLaren Automotive pavilion at Palexpo was the perfect stage to reveal an ambitious future blueprint, including a £1bn expansion plan to produce fifteen new models and derivatives over six years, and to boost annual sales from 1600 to 5000 cars, half of which will be propelled by sustainable hybrid technology. It certainly had the show talking.

The story of McLaren Automotive is a compelling one. Its racing heritage may date back to the 1960s, yet the road car making arm in its contemporary form is only six years old. It’s hard not to fall for the marque’s premise – the creation of niche road friendly racing cars employing some of the most advanced technology on the planet from its F1 arm. What’s more, this isn’t some giant global corporation, but a privately owned small firm operating from the slick Foster-designed factory in Surrey.

Aston Martin showed the much-anticipated DB11, a car that follows the DB9 path and promises to be the most customised Aston built where even the roof colour is up for personalisation. The marque also used the occasion to reveal its new partnership with Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille for the creation of a collection of exclusive watches featuring the famed brand wings. Power and performance was also the theme at the Jaguar stand, where the firm debuted the 200mph F-Type SVR.

Elsewhere, Bugatti took the wraps off its most exclusive and powerful car, the Chiron, a €2.4m, 1500bhp GT that replaces the Veyron. Here too, form follows performance, as director of design Achim Anscheidt says, ‘it allows us to explain and orchestrate everything in an authentic way.’

There were a few alluring carbon-free proposals worth mentioning, led by the Pininfarina H2 Speed, the world’s first high-performance hydrogen car. GTZero by Italdesign is an all-electric shooting-brake study – the sleek, low profile explores the classic sports car vernacular for the sustainable era. And the DS E-Tense is a 400bhp electric GT concept debuting a supercar for the ambitious Citroën luxury sub-brand.

Lastly, Rolls-Royce showed the Wraith and Ghost as Black Badge editions. These small batch cars are aimed squarely at the new younger Rolls customer. Company chief Torsten Müller-Ötvös is calling the cars ‘the alter ego of Rolls-Royce; darker, more assertive more confident and powerful, and more demanding’.

Click through above to discover Wallpaper’s pick of the show’s top concept and production cars...

A lightweight and tough carbon monocroque fast car

(Image credit: Apollo)

Apollo Arrow: The hypercar is all about power and performance, and only 100 cars are planned. The design, we are told, is shark-inspired and the body based on a lightweight and tough carbon monocroque. The Arrow is a fast car powered by a modified Audi-sourced 4.0-litre V8, with two turbochargers mounted on top. It is capable of developing some 1000bhp, will sprint from 0-62 in under 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 220mph. Closely based on the Gumpert Apollo, the Arrow is the first product from Apollo Automobil – the Chinese owned marque that helped revive the bankrupt Gumpert

The latest car from Arash Farboud supercar

(Image credit: Arash)

Arash AF10: The latest car from Arash Farboud, the UK-based supercar maker, is an evolution of the 2009 AF10, now with a hybrid drive system promising some 2080bhp. The AF10 has what the firm calls five ‘warp drive units’ - four electric motors and the V8 - each with its own gearbox. Orders open, from £1.2m for the hybrid and £350,000 for V8

Aston Martin Aston Martin car

(Image credit: Aston Martin)

Aston Martin DB11: Replacing the DB9 is the DB11, and almost all of what you see here is new. The graphics are harmonious, and surfaces are kept pure - no line feels forced for an overall relaxed sensory experience. Design director Marek Reichman says they started with a blank piece of paper whilst respecting DB’s rich heritage. ‘It has a great lineage and we expressed the spirit of these cars. The DB11 though has its own proportions that are modern and relevant and will remain beautiful for the next 25 years. Aston Martin cars transcend fashion and have to remain timeless in their proportions.’

The DB11 is the most customisable Aston Martin

(Image credit: Aston Martin)

Aston Martin DB11:  The DB11 is the most customisable Aston Martin; even the roof colour can be specified. The bonnet is a single-piece aluminium clamshell, which can absorb impacts for improved pedestrian safety, and aesthetically it helps reduce the number of shut lines on the body. The grille now stretches the width of the front framed by the marque’s new LEDs, and clever aero features include the ‘curlicue’ on the wing that releases high-pressure air from the wheel-arch and directs it down the side of the car. 

This powerful and efficient DB has a new 600bhp twin-turbo V12, and a revised stiffer body structure. It is also Aston’s most connected car benefiting from the technology joint venture with Mercedes-Benz. 

‘The DBs are grand touring cars,’ offers Reichman, ‘sports cars that are developed and designed to be driven for longer distances offering more comfort, more relaxation but still being able to enjoy the sporting nature of our cars.’ Orders open, from £154,900

The dynamic design and colourful trim from Aston martin

(Image credit: Audi)

Audi Q2: The production Q2 is the fourth and smallest member of the marque’s crossover family. The dynamic design and colourful trim options are based on the Crosslane Coupé concept first revealed in Paris four years ago. On sale July 2016, from £22,000

A powerful Bugatti production car

(Image credit: Bugatti)

Bugatti Chiron: Replacing the Veyron is this GT, the most exclusive – only 500 will be made - and powerful Bugatti production car ever built. The 8.0-litre W16 powerplant boasts four new and larger turbochargers delivering some 1500bhp and 1600Nm, and promising top speeds of 420km/h.

Bugatti Chiron powerful car

(Image credit: Bugatti)

Bugatti Chiron: Achim Anscheidt, director of design Bugatti, explains that everything we see follows closely the marque’s principal of form follows performance. The C-shape, he notes, ‘may look like a styling element, and you can be very romantic and see a resemblance to the Bugatti signature line or even to Louis Chiron’s signature but no.’ He explains: ‘It is a performance element of how to get more air in and out of the engine compartment. Performance for our cars mainly means getting rid of the heat from the front brakes or the rear engine compartment.’

Citroën DS E-Tense with Stunning design and technology

(Image credit: Citroën)

Citroën DS E-Tense: The latest concept to join the more up-market Citroën sub-brand DS is a high-performance 400bhp electric GT coupé, the first supercar in the brand. Jewellery and intricate watches informed the exterior design with its abundance of LEDs. Inspired by the evocative 1955 DS, the indicators are integrated into the roof. A digital rear view tech in the cabin replaced a physical rear windscreen. It took some 800 hours to design and build the interior with a sculpted steel dashboard and what Citroen is calling ‘watchstrap’ seat design. This is fast car, capable of 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 155mph, as well as promising a range of 193 miles

The Ferrari GTC4Lusso, a powerful and sporty car

(Image credit: Ferrari)

Ferrari GTC4Lusso: The FF has been given a facelift and a new name – the ‘4’ referencing the number of seats inside the latest Ferrari. The marque cites the 330 GTC, 330 GT and 250 Berlinetta Lusso as styling inspiration here. Of particular interest are the four round tail-lights, and the front grille and air vents certainly draw on the mid 60s 330 GTC. Alongside the roof-mounted rear spoiler and new diffuser, they also help with the overall aerodynamic performance of the car - this powerful shooting-brake packs some 680bhp. Orders open, from £226,000

Italdesign GTZero the classic sports car

(Image credit: Italdesign)

Italdesign GTZero: The all-electric concept’s sleek and low profile explores the classic sports car shape in the sustainable era. It takes inspiration from Italdesign’s heritage, the body is made of composite light materials a modular monocoque carbon and aluminium frame with integrated batteries forms the skeleton. The clever architecture has allowed for a spacious cabin and two luggage compartments at the front and rear. Inside is minimalist in design - there are no buttons, bar the parking brake, with the controls delegated to the touch screen

Jaguar F-Type SVR fastest car

(Image credit: Jaguar)

Jaguar F-Type SVR: The 200mph F-Type is the first Jaguar from the marque’s Special Vehicle Operations department dedicated to creating unique limited high-performance variations. Tweaks are performance focused here, with an uprated suspension, titanium exhaust and ceramic brakes, and the 567bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 is 25bhp more powerful than the R. Orders open, from £110,000 coupé or £115,485 convertible

The Lamborghini Centenario exemplifies the innovative design

(Image credit: Lamborghini)

Lamborghini Centenario: This exclusive hypercar is based on the Aventador and celebrates the centenary of its founder Ferruccio Lamborghini. Even by Lamborghini standards this is a hugely flamboyant design, with a bespoke carbon body encasing a 760bhp V12. Orders open, from £1.6m

Maserati Levante white colored sporty car

(Image credit: Maserati)

Maserati Levante: Making its world debut is the production car SUV with an unmistakable Italian flair expected from this extrovert marque. The larger Maserati grille dominates the face framed by slim headlights, and the rear has a roof spoiler, sporty bumper and steep windscreen. The cabin can be specified with silk made with Zegna wool mill and the marque’s latest 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system features for the first time on the Levante. On sale summer 2016, from £54,000

McLaren Automotive 570GT

(Image credit: McLaren)

McLaren Automotive 570GT: McLaren unveiled the latest 570 GT at Geneva, positioned as the most practical of its cars for its luggage space and more comfortable suspension. ‘Now that we have the three lines (Sport, Super and Ultimate), it is time to establish the brand, work on credibility for people to see that we are making believable, exciting cars,’ design director Frank Stephenson confirmed at Geneva. ‘We started quietly but if you saw what’s coming you’d see we’re really moving on. Now we have the license to push further.’

McLaren Automotive 570GT sports car

(Image credit: McLaren)

McLaren Automotive 570GT: This car is meant for long distance, relaxed driving so it has been given a more comfortable suspension. The frame is a stiff, light carbon structure and the roof and rear are completely new. The GT has a pure relationship with design - a philosophy Frank Stephenson confirms remains central to the marque. ‘Everything we do has to be functional,’ says the design director, ‘although initially I thought the position was a joke,’ he adds, ‘how can you put something on top of the hot engine? The 570S is like Swiss cheese - it has holes everywhere to let the engine heat out. This car has the same engine so what we did was to suck the heat out from underneath the car, and through the lamps,’ he says smiling, ‘this has never been done before.’

Morgan EV3 the electric 3 Wheeler sports car

(Image credit: Morgan)

Morgan EV3: The electric 3 Wheeler sports car is now offered in a new electric version. This 500kg sports car keeps its weight low thanks to a small 20kWh battery pack which still manages 150 miles on a single charge and promises the raw driving experience at the heart of the marque. Production starts winter 2016

The Pininfarina H2 Speed car

(Image credit: Pininfarina)

Pininfarina H2 Speed: Pininfarina says its latest conceptual study is ‘halfway between a competition prototype and a production supercar’. This is world’s first high-performance hydrogen car, which took two years to develop alongside GreenGT who specialise in sustainable engines. Top speed is said to be some 186mph and 0-62mph can be achieved in 3.4 seconds. Inspired by racing cars, the design focuses primarily on aerodynamic efficiency. The H2 also promises a very unique sound – the compressor technology offers a silent drive with what the marque is calling a ‘futuristic whistle’

Rinspeed AG wild hybrid autonomous vehicle

(Image credit: Rinspeed)

Rinspeed Σtos: Making its European debut at Geneva, Σtos is wild hybrid autonomous vehicle featuring its very own drone. The Swiss think tank and mobility lab based its concept around the BMW i8 carbon fibre and aluminium skeleton. Here eight high-definition exterior cameras monitor all external activity and automatically communicate with the city around, buildings and other vehicles. There is also a drone sidekick that docks with car and is designed to carry out daily errands

Rolls-Royce Black Badge

(Image credit: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce Black Badge: It reputably took four years to create the alloys with their unique and light carbon-fibre material that boasts some 22 layers of the material. Finally hand-polished paint creates a much deeper, and intense body colour than the main production cars.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge

(Image credit: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce Black Badge: The new Black Badge edition is aimed squarely at a younger Rolls-Royce customer and is offered only on the Wraith and Ghost, models that are more likely to be driven by their owners, rather than a chauffeur.

The Black Badge editions come in strictly limited numbers. The treatment is very much a customisation option with a black veil seeping through the grille and metaphorically engulfing the car. The colour scheme is inverted on the badge with silver letters on a black background, and the Spirit of Ecstasy changes from chrome to what the marque is referencing ‘high-gloss dark vamp’.

Toyota C-HR the compact crossover fusing coupé and SUV styling car

(Image credit: Toyota)

Toyota C-HR: The C-HR is the production version of the compact crossover fusing coupé and SUV styling, now offered with an efficient hybrid drivetrain. It stays close to the original concept and is built on the same platform as the Prius benefiting from much of the original hybrid’s technological know-how powered by the marque’s latest 1.8-litre hybrid system that promises to emit an industry-leading sub 90g/km of C02. On sale summer 2016 


For more information, visit the Geneva Motor Show website