2018 Geneva Auto Show

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Ferrari, McLaren Lead New Supercar Parade At Geneva Show

GENEVA, Switzerland – As European car buyers and politicians obsessed about diesels and battery cars, the industry put on a brave front unveiling some amazing new supercars at the annual Geneva Car Show, and a bizarre Aston Martin Lagonda.

Leading the assembled throng away from the mundane and luring them into the world of fantasy was the Ferrari 488 Pista with a 710-hp V8 engine. This successor to the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale will blast from 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds and on to 211 mph if you have access to a race track.

The McLaren Senna has a 789 hp twin-turbo V-8, with a top speed of 211 mph also. They cost $1 million each and all production has already been sold. The $2.4 million Zerouno makes even Ferraris and McLarens look restrained. Other head-turners include the Lamborghini Huracan Performance Spyder, Bugatti Chiron Sport and the Zenvo TSR-S.

Range Rover is planning a coupe version of its big flagship with the Coupe SV. This will be Land Rover’s most expensive model to date when it goes on sale later this year. The three-door model will cost more than Land Rover’s current most expensive model, the Range Rover SVAutobiography supercharged V8, which starts at $249,000. It is expected to use the same 5.0-liter V-8 engine.

“It will be the most expensive Range Rover ever,” a company spokesman confirmed, without giving a price.

Production will be limited to 999 and will be modified by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations in Warwickshire, England.

Porsche also unveiled an SUV version of its Mission E battery-only sedan, the E Cross Turismo concept. This will be powered by the same 600 hp motor as the sedan and will accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in less than 3.5 seconds and offer a claimed range of over 300 miles. The 800 volt system will take 15 minutes to add 250 miles of range, Porsche claims.

Aston Martin revived the grand old Lagonda name with a weird, massive, futuristic concept designed to be electric powered and autonomous too. If that’s not enough, the vehicle has a rear roof which is movable, which will allow actresses to emerge standing from the rear at big awards ceremonies with their dignity intact.

“We believe people associate luxury in their cars with a certain traditional and even old-fashioned approach because, to date, that is all that’s been available to them,’ said Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer.

“Lagonda exists to challenge that thinking and prove that being modern and luxurious are not mutually exclusive concepts,” Palmer said.

For an industry currently obsessed with electric cars, there weren’t many new ones on view ready for sale. The Jaguar I-Pace though stole a march on the opposition, its first electric car and rival to the Tesla Model X. The I-Pace was designed from the outset as an electric vehicle and seats 5. The all-wheel drive performance from twin Jaguar-designed motors with a combined 400 hp blasts the SUV from rest to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. A 90 kWh lithium-ion battery delivers up to a claimed 298 mile range. Rapid charging takes the battery from 0-80% in 85-minutes, with 30-minutes charge giving about 80 miles range, Jaguar claims.

Expect to pay at least $100,000 for an I-Pace when it goes on sale in the U.S. later this year.

While exotic tastes were being sated at the expensive end of the car show, the regular market was overwhelmed with new SUVs, now as ubiquitous across Europe as in the U.S.

Leading the SUV march was the new compact Volvo XC40 and the big Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the compact Lexus UX and the latest generation Hyundai Santa Fe. There are still sedans being launched, led by the Audi A6, Peugeot 508, Kia Ceed and Mazda6 Tourer and sedan. Volkswagen is introducing a convertible version of its small T-Roc SUV. VW unveiled its fantasy I.D. Vizzion concept, which it calls its automobile of the future which will drive autonomously and electrically.

Autonomy, or self-driving, is the current fad, but don’t expect to be able to buy anything remotely like that for the foreseeable future.

Ferrari 488 Pista Jaguar F Pace McLaren Senna
Mission E Cross Turismo
Porsche Mission E Aston Martin Lagonda Lagonda interior