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...