What better place than the land of luxury goods makers and investment bankers to unveil your brand-new supercar? Some of the world's most exclusive manufacturers used the first day of the Geneva auto show to wow the crowds with their new wares.
Hermes and Bugatti probably see a lot of crossover in their customer bases, so it seems almost fitting that they should team up on a joint venture. The "Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermes" (the Fbg stands for the Rue du Faubourg in Paris where the fashion designer is based) garnishes the "standard" Veyron with a bespoke paint job, some Hermes-branded wheels, door handles inspired by the design of Hermes travel bags, and a selection of onboard Hermes luggage.
Beneath all the Hermes finery, there is some pretty fine engineering hardware in the shape of a 1,001-horsepower, 16-cylinder engine. On this car, the carbon-fiber panel between the engine and the passenger compartment is covered in leather. The Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermes is available at the end of this year for 1.55 million Euros ($2.36M).
The mid-engined Spyker C8 Aileron builds on the success--and the platform--of its C8 Spyder predecessor. In keeping with the car's name, Spyker has gone to a lot of effort to imbue the Aileron with aviation-inspired design cues from its turbine-shaped air-inlet scoops to its "Aeroblade" wheels with carbon-ceramic brakes. Like the Spyder, the Aileron is powered by an Audi V-8 engine, giving it 420 horsepower.
The interior of the Aileron is covered in six high-quality leather hides provided by a Dutch tannery, and the model is available with dials made by the German watchmaker Chronoswiss. All Airleons come fitted with a Pioneer infotainment system, including GPS navigation, iPod connectivity, and Bluetooth hands-free calling.
The soft-top version of Alfa Romeo's gorgeous 8C also debuted at Geneva. The Spider gets the same 4.7-liter 440-horsepower engine as the coupe (and the Maserati Gran Turismo S) and adds an electro-hydraulic-controlled textile roof. Only 500 models of the convertible will be produced.
The Phantom coupe is the third new model from Rolls Royce since it became part BMW in 2008, and is powered by the same 6.75-liter V-12 found in the limo. To give it an uninterrupted A-pillar, the coupe features front-hinged coach doors, which can be closed using buttons on the inside sill.
Like those on the Phantom sedan, the coupe's doors are equipped with Rolls Royce-branded umbrellas so that "Sir" does not get his Prada suit wet on the way into the yacht club. Other tech highlights include a Lexicon LOGIC7TM sound system with 15 metal-matrix speakers, a navigation system, and even an available iPod adapter.
There are few carmakers that are less associated with eco-friendly products than Lamborghini. However, the Gallardo LP560-4 shows that the iconic Italian muscle-car manufacturer is thinking green. The face-lifted baby Lambo weighs 44 pounds less than the previous Gallardo and produces 18 percent fewer emissions. Its 560-horsepower 5.2-liter V-10 is more powerful than that in the current Gallardo and is enough to catapult the LP560-4 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds.
The Gran Turismo S also gets a race-inspired dual-clutch transmission that lets the car change gears in 100 milliseconds. According to Maserati, the lightning-quick shifts are only available when the car is in Manual Sport mode, when the throttle is at 80 percent or more, and with the engine running at more than 5,500rpm. Don't try this at home.
A year after the debut of the Gran Turismo at last year's Geneva auto show, the Italian automaker ups the ante with the Gran Turismo S. The curvaceous coupe comes with a 440-horsepower V-8 engine, giving it a top speed of 183 mph and making it the fastest production Maserati ever.