With its predominant focus on design, the Geneva auto show is where European automakers come to strut their stuff. This year's show promises to play host to a stellar lineup of new models and concept cars. Here are just a few of the models that we expect to see at the show.
After its comeback last year, the baby of Fiat's lineup is also due for a crop job in Geneva. The 500 Convertible will likely come with the same 1.2 and 1.4-liter engine choices as the Nuova coupe (pictured), as well as the Microsoft-designed Blue and Me system, which includes digital audio and Bluetooth cell phone integration.
Maserati blew away last year's Geneva auto show with the introduction of the traffic-stopping Gran Turismo. This year, the Italian automaker is going one better. The Gran Turismo S gets a more powerful V-8 engine than the base GT, giving it a top speed of 183 mph and the bragging rights as the fastest ever production car from Maserati. The Gran Turismo S also gets a race-inspired dual-clutch transmission which lets the car change gears in 100 miliseconds.
Following the debut of the updated A4 sedan at last year's Frankfurt show, Geneva will see the wraps come off the wagon version of Ingolstadt's popular model. The new A4 Avant will be available with either a turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a V-6 when it arrives in the United States later this year.
It may be more a case of wishful thinking than actual insider knowledge, but many in the auto world are expecting to see Ferrari's legendary Dino nameplate make a comeback in Geneva. If it arrives, the new Dino may well take the place of the F430 as the entry level model in Ferrari's lineup, following in the footsteps of the 246 Dino GT and the 308 Dino GT4 (pictured).
From the preshow photos, Mistu's latest racer looks more like a production model than prototype. The hot hatchback looks like a chopped down version of Lancer Evolution X, with which shares Mitsubishi's intercooled and turbocharged inline four cylinder engine mated to a new dual-clutch transmission.
The Geneva auto show has a reputation of being the most design-focused event on the automotive calendar, so it is no surprise that Pininfarina chose it as the launch pad for its new concept car. The iconic design house has created an air of secrecy around its four-door Sintesi concept, which apparently makes use of "technologies that shape the car around its occupants". We'll tell you more when we get to see it in the flesh.
Now pay attention, 007. Looking like something straight out a Bond movie, the Rinspeed sQuba, is one of the most bizarre cars expected to make an appearance at this year's Geneva auto show. Based on a Lotus Elise, the truly amphibious sQuba uses an electric motor to drive the wheels on land, plus two other motors to drive propellers underwater, where it can operate to depths of 10 meters. It has a built-in scuba system so the drivers can breathe while immersed.
Apparently, a number of existing Koenigsegg owners weren't entirely satisfied with their stock supercars, so they requested that the Swedish manufacturer build limited editions of the CCX and CCXR, which will be unveiled in Geneva. The two new models--priced at $1.9 million and $2.2 million respectively--will feature a 5-liter twin-supercharged engine and will differentiate themselves from the run-of-the-mill CCX series cars with slightly lowered chassis, adjustable rear spoilers, and different wheels. These subtle differences will be difficult to spot at the cars' respective top speeds of 245 mph and 250 mph.
Following in the tire tracks of the M3 coupe and sedan, the hard-top convertible of BMW's road rocket will take a bow in Geneva. The car's steel retractable roof and related mechanism will add 450 pounds to the weight of the fixed-roof model, but that shouldn't slow it down too much. Like its siblings, the M3 cabriolet is motivated by a 4-liter V-8, good for 420 horsepower, and it has a dual-clutch transmission for superslick shifting.
With its turbocharged six-cylinder engine, Volvo baby 'ute packs a real punch. In typical Volvo style, the XC60 offers a whole host of safety technology, including a system called City Safety, which automatically applies the brakes if it senses an imminent impact at low speeds.