The weird, the wild and the wonderful from the world of car design have all been on display at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. From uber-modern concepts and hybrid engines to revamps of traditional classics, motor enthusiasts from around the world have been wowed by the displays from the world’s finest manufacturers.
Prospective buyers in Geneva this year needed deep pockets to get their hands on the latest designs, not to mention a little help from the likes of moneysupermarket car insurance to get their dream car on the road!
Motor show Geneva
Here’s a run down of some of our personal favourites from the show.
Volkswagen Bulli Concept
German manufacturer Volkswagen has breathed new life into a 62-year-old design with its revamp of the VW Bulli. Though yet to go into production, the prototypes of the new Bulli Concept impressed sufficiently in Geneva to put the issue beyond doubt and this deceptively spacious, all-electric motorhome-meets-MPV will most likely be on the road by 2012.
Powered by an electric motor that can cover a 186-mile range, this ‘Microbus’ carries six people at speeds of up to 87 mph, doing 0 to 60 in 11.5 seconds. Fans of VW’s classic retro vans and motorhomes will love the superbly stylish interiors of the Bulli, not to mention the expected £15,000 price tag.
Infiniti Etherea Concept
Toru Saito, the leader of Infinit’s Global Business Unit, said of his company’s latest model: “Etherea is about a new type of luxury for younger buyers.”
If younger drivers have got the financial clout to purchase this beautiful new coupe-sedan crossover, they are doing rather well for themselves! This luxury hatchback concept car is Infiniti’s smallest yet, at 4.4 metres long, but it features a full-length panoramic roof, curved C-pillars and a unique, petrol-electric drivetrain.
Infiniti VP Jim Wright said: “Ultimately, people buy cars for the way they look and if I could have the show car on sale today, I’d be very happy.”
One of the headline launches of the Geneva Motor Show 2011 was the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. The manufacturer’s CEO Stephan Winkelmanncalled the car “a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology” and it’s staggering 700hp V12 engine give it the highest power-to-weight ratio of any car in its class. The design language is similar to its predecessors, the Reventon and the Sesto Elemento, but it packs more power in both its technology and its design, with the sweeping strokes that emphasise the front wheel arches intended to reflect a tensed muscle. Lamborghini’s trademark scissor doors complete this stunning new hypercar, which will be available in 13 exterior colours.
BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept
The brand new two-seat roadster prototype from BMW is all about technology. The car is being used by BMW to test out new ideas in the realms of comfort, safety and infotainment, with feedback from drivers to be used to pave the way for the company’s future endeavours.
For the first time, drivers will be able to view information in a 3D heads-up display that appears directly in the line of sight, with satellite navigation displays and traffic information superimposed onto it when desired.
As for the car itself, it is packed with exciting features. The doors fold away, giving drivers the option to have them up or down, while the bodywork is ‘layered’ in its appearance and features an asymmetrical design. Should this future car make it into production, it could feature the BMW’s naturally aspirated inline-six engine, though the company is tight-lipped on that issue for now.
Saab PhoeniX Concept
Saab has launched the PhoeniX Concept with a promise that its ‘aeromotional’ design will influence a future batch of models. It has a teardrop-shaped profile and butterfly doors, with a glass canopy inspired that looks like something you’d be more likely to find on a fighter jet than a car.
It boasts an infotainment centre based on Google’s Android systemp, with internet access via an eight inch touchscreen, while under the attractively minimalistic hood is a 200bhp, 1.6-litre hybrid driveline.
Expect to see many of the concept’s features on the next Saab 9-3, for which the PhoeniX is something of a preview.