Every year, Europe’s automakers head to the Geneva International Motor Show to roll out their latest and greatest creations. Though not the largest auto expo of the year, Geneva is by far the most opulent. There are always plenty of head-turning supercars, glamorous luxury roadsters and lots of sleek concept cars to lust after.
In late February, however, the Swiss government canceled the Geneva exhibition (which was supposed to begin on March 5) and other large-scale events because of the coronavirus. Even so, many carmakers decided the show must go on. Some took to the internet this week, livestreaming their new vehicles in press conferences, while others debuted slick videos to promote new releases.
Of the vehicles that debuted, performance rides took center stage once again, including battery-powered (and assisted) supercars such as the Automobili Pininfarina Battista Anniversario and Koenigsegg Gemera. That’s not to say that internal combustion is finished in luxury cars. The McLaren 765LT and Bentley Mulliner Bacalar are proof that gas power is still burning rubber.
Here are some of the fastest, most fashionable and futuristic cars that were meant to debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show.
Czinger 21C Hybrid
Kevin Czinger caused quite a stir when he unveiled the 720-horsepower, 1,400-pound Divergent Blade in 2015. It wasn’t the ultra-sleek hypercar that was so revolutionary, but rather the way it was built—using 3D-printed aluminum and carbon-fiber parts that snap together like a puzzle.
Today, the CEO and Founder of Czinger Vehicle Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Divergent, is still using 3D printing to create the company’s first automobile: The 21C. According to a company spokesperson, the process is called computational manufacturing. Computers design the parts, engineers optimize the design and then they are 3D printed to order.
The hybrid powertrain was designed in-house and features a twin-turbocharged 2.88-liter V8 engine and three electric motors for a total of 1,233 horsepower. According to Czinger the top speed is 268 mph, it will go from 0 to 62 mph in 1.9 seconds and clear a quarter mile in 8.1 seconds. Production of the Czinger 21C will be limited to 80 cars, each with a starting price of $1.7 million.
Automobili Pininfarina Battista Anniversario
A limited edition of the Battista, Pininfarina’s forthcoming battery-powered hypercar, the Pininfarina Battista Anniversario was designed to commemorate the company’s 90th birthday. Expected to hit the road in late 2020, the $2.9 million Anniversario will have a very limited production run—only five cars will be built.
To set it apart from the standard Battista, the Anniversario comes in three colors (Sestriere white, Antonelliano grey and Pininfarina’s signature Iconica blue) and it sports a unique rear wing and a revised carbon-fiber front splitter, side blades and rear diffuser.
The Anniversario does share a powertrain with the Battista, though, which means that it will have a maximum of 1,900 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque generated by four electric motors fed by a 120-kWh battery pack. That’s enough power to propel the Anniversario from 0 to 60 mph in less than two seconds.
For the well-heeled supercar enthusiast who’s not quite ready to abandon a gas engine, there is the McLaren 765LT. The car’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 delivers 754 horsepower and McLaren claims it will sprint a from 0 to 124 mph in 7.2 seconds, a second faster than the 720S. The top speed, however, is down from the 720s’s 211 mph to a leisurely 205 mph due to gearing changes.
The 765LT is lighter, too, with thinner glass and noise insulation—and no sound system or air conditioning on the standard model. A revised front splitter, bumper, side skirts and a longer active wing element at the rear contribute to increased downforce. The number of buyers with the skills and nerve to explore the outer limits of the 765LT’s performance will certainly be finite. Which is good, since McLaren is limiting production of the 765LT to 765 units with a sticker price predicted to be around $375,000.
The new Koenigsegg Gemera hypercar, also known as a Mega-GT, is designed to transport four “large” adults (and their luggage) in style—and with Millennium Falcon speed.
The Gemera retains all the qualities that put Koenigsegg on the map: Extensive use of carbon fiber, dihedral doors (a variation on scissor doors), four-wheel steering and a combined 1,700 horsepower, thanks to a hybrid powertrain. It also has eight cupholders—heated and cooled—front and rear infotainment displays, onboard WiFi and more. As for that gutsy hybrid powertrain, it’s comprised of a 600-horsepower twin-turbo 2.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine and a trio of the electric motors. Konigsegg claims the Gemera can hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds.
Some seven years after founder Henrik Fisker resigned from his namesake startup that produced the star-crossed Karma hybrid before plunging into bankruptcy, his car company is ready to re-enter the market with a trio of new electric vehicles. First up is the Fisker Ocean, an electric SUV with a claimed range of up to 300 miles and 2.9-second 0-to-60 mph runs. Unveiled at CES earlier this year, the Ocean carries a base price of $37,499, and Fisker is partnering with the Electrify America network of charging stations for a yet-to-be-specified complimentary charging program.
While Fisker maintains the Ocean is a fully realized vehicle that should begin production in late 2021 (with deliveries starting in 2022), let the driver beware—no specific production plans have been announced.
The Rimac C_Two electric supercar is simply stunning. And though two years have passed since the concept debuted, Mate Rimac, the company’s founder and CEO, is sticking to his initial estimate of 1,900 horsepower from four electric motors and a top speed of 258 mph.
And despite rumors that all 150 of the nearly $2 million EV hypercars were sold out before a single model rolled off the assembly line, Rimac assures us there are still plenty of open spots in the order book for interested buyers.
Volkswagen Golf GTI
After virtually inventing the “hot hatch” category more than 40 years ago, Volkswagen still has the intrinsic ability to put a smile on the face of a driver each time he or she climbs behind the wheel. Offering a near-perfect blend of practicality and thrift in a genuinely fun to drive package, the Golf GTI’s appeal crosses all socio-economic demographics.
Understandably, the new eighth-generation Golf GTI—which is expected to hit showrooms in late 2021—doesn’t veer far from the path that made it a favorite in the first place. The creases in the bodywork are a bit sharper, and the LED headlamps squint a bit more aggressively. A unique rear bumper with a diffuser, a roof spoiler and a pair of exhaust tips on each side of the car highlight the rear. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 245 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque in the European specs, but the U.S. version may offer more powerful performance when it finally appears.
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
Based on the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan, the Giulia GTA adheres to the same remove-weight-add-power philosophy as its namesake, the 1965 Giulia Sprint GTA. That suffix, by the way, stands for “Gran Turismo Alleggerita” (and alleggerita means “lightened” in Italian).
Specifically, the 2021 Giulia GTA is 220 pounds lighter than the Guila Quadrifoglio thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber, aluminum and plastic composites, and the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 has been recalibrated to make 540 horsepower, an increase over the Guilia Quadrifoglio’s already prodigious 505 horsepower. Alfa is claiming a 0 to 62 mph time of just 3.6 seconds.
Those looking for an even sharper edge can select the GTAm. (The “m” stands for modified, as if the GTA’s build isn’t exciting enough.) This model is a two passenger version fitted with racing seats, six-point seat belts and a roll bar while remaining entirely street legal.
Production is limited to just 500 units, split equally between the GTA and the GTAm. While Alfa has announced that most of those vehicles will be allocated to Europe, expect availability in the U.S. eventually.
Officially revealed late last year at a private event in Italy’s capital city (the vehicle’s namesake), the Ferrari Roma lost none of its allure in the ensuing months leading up to what would’ve been its public debut in Geneva. The Roma is a magnificent return to the era when Ferrari was the undisputed champion of simplicity, when “form meets function” meant perfectly blending high style with blinding performance. The true GT offers a dual-cockpit design and raft of modern instrumentation including an 8.4-inch touchscreen.
The Roma relies on a twin-turbo 3.9-liter V8 mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for motivation, and its 611 horsepower is stout enough to propel it to 62 mph in claimed 3.4 seconds and a top speed of nearly 200 mph.
Aston Martin V12 Speedster
Conceived just over a year ago by the British automaker’s cheekily-named customization team, “Q by Aston Martin,” the Aston Martin V12 Speedster is basically the company’s V12 Vantage but in different clothing. The Speedster features bodywork made almost entirely of carbon fiber over a bonded aluminum architecture.
According to Aston Martin, the car’s look is inspired by both its heritage— mainly the 1959 Le Mans winning DBR1 and the CC100 Speedster Concept from 2013, among others—as well as the legendary F/A-18 Hornet supersonic fighter jet. Power for this rear-wheel drive land missile comes from Aston’s twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12; rated at 700 horsepower. Aston says it can launch the Speedster to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
As is the trend with automobiles that travel in this rarefied space, production will be limited to 88 examples. Priced at about $990,000, Aston is currently taking orders with deliveries scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
Bentley Mulliner Bacalar
When your business model is based on appealing to the ultra-wealthy, continued success is dependent on smart reinvention. Bentley has proven particularly adept at this strategy, the latest of which is the Bentley Bacalar. Loosely based on the Bentley EXP 100 GT, the Bacalar is essentially a two-door, two-seat sports car with a 650-horsepower version of the British marque’s venerated 6.0-liter W12 engine. Bentley is claiming a top speed of more than 200 mph for the topless wonder, but it will take a special breed of driver to test that claim.
As you might expect of such a hand-built coach, the Bacalar will be produced in extremely low numbers, and all 12 planned vehicles have already been spoken for. The price for this kind of luxury is around $1.9 million, for which Bentley will entertain requests for bespoke accessories. And for that price, a matching set of luggage comes with the purchase.
BMW i4 Concept
BMW has been alluding to the arrival of the i4 for some time. The concept features a traditional sedan profile with fast backlight and a touch of blue cosmetic elements that reference the color-coding of its i3 and i8 predecessors.
The i4’s projected range is estimated at 270 miles, and the 80kWh battery pack supplies enough juice to the single 530-horsepower electric motor to produce a claimed 0 to 60 mph run of 4 seconds. Recharging to 80 percent capacity with the onboard 150-kW fast-charger should take about 35 minutes.
Positioned to take the EV fight to Tesla and Audi’s upcoming e-tron GT, as well as the bumper crop of upcoming EVs emerging from all corners, the i4 concept can’t make the transition to production soon enough. Look for it to go on sale in 2021.
Polestar Precept Concept
While insiders maintain that the next vehicle to come from Volvo-owned Polestar will be a mid-sized SUV dubbed the Polestar 3, the brand’s Polestar Precept concept makes a convincing argument to the contrary. The Precept’s design is finished to an uncharacteristically high standard, inside and out, following the rakish sport-sedan ethos displayed by the Tesla Model S, Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT.
Polestar has been quiet about the Precepts technical details, only sharing that its 122-inch wheelbase—approximately six-inches longer than the wheelbase of a Tesla Model S—provides plenty of room for large battery pack and passengers.
In addition to utilizing numerous cameras, screens and an Android-powered HMI (Human Machine Interface), the interior features a minimalistic design with extensive use of sustainable materials including seat surfaces 3D-knitted from recycled plastic bottles, panels and seatbacks made with flax-based composites and carpets made from reclaimed fishing nets.
Hyundai Prophecy Concept
Hyundai has been very active in the hybrid and EV segments, but most of its efforts have broken little ground stylistically. The Prophecy concept aims to change that. Influenced by the uncluttered motif previewed late last year by its 45 EV concept, the Prophecy expands on that design theme with soft shapes connecting the front and rear sections. It looks both new and familiar at once, incorporating subtle hints of vehicles as disparate as the GM EV1, the Mercedes-Benz CLA, Telsa and Audi TT, among others.
And the styling emphasizes aerodynamic efficiency, a key element of EV design. In a throwback to dream cars of the mid-twentieth century, a pair of joysticks replace the steering wheel, one in the dashboard and another in the door trim, positioned, Hyundai claims so drivers can control the vehicle in comfort. Improbable as some features may be, you can bet hints of the exterior design will soon start working their way into Hyundai’s production vehicles as the concept becomes a reality.