Car Industry

2018 Geneva Motor Show: What did we see, what did we love?

The 2018 Geneva Motor Show treated us to a ridiculous number of unveilings, including 1,000-plus horsepower hypercars, mind-bending concepts, the next wave of consumer electric vehicles and more than one flying car concept.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 6: A view of the Geneva Motor Show, on March 6, 2012 in Geneva in Switzerland. (Photo by A163/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
A163/Getty Images

The Geneva Motor Show is a big deal. It's the first major European show on the calendar each year, so we always expect to see a healthy turnout of new and interesting production cars and concepts. That said, 2018 is shaping up to be a banner year, even by Geneva standards.

We've got plenty of boots on the ground in Switzerland to cover all of the hot Geneva news, and we'll be updating this page regularly.

Aston Martin

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The folks at Aston Martin surprised us all and debuted the Valkyrie AMR Pro, an ultra-hot, track-only version of the already monkeyballs-crazytown-bananapants Valkyrie hypercar. The AMR Pro has a power-to-weight ratio of better than 1:1, is limited to just 25 cars, and the example on the show floor is a retina-searing yellow green color. We love everything about it except that all 25 have been sold.

Finally, Aston Martin is spinning off its Lagonda nameplate into a separate, zero-emissions brand starting with the super-swoopy Lagonda Vision Concept. Production of "the world's first zero-emission luxury brand" is supposed to kick off in 2021 and will surely get ol' Uncle Elon's knickers in a twist when it hits the market.


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The big news from Ingolstadt comes in the form of the company's new A6 midsize sedan. The A6 is being built on a new platform, offering weight savings and improved handling over the outgoing model. Word around the schoolyard is that Audi may have some some production electrified E-Tron models on hand for selective drives off-site, and it even snuck one into its booth.

Audi Also teamed up with aircraft manufacturer Airbus to show off a quasi-plausible flying car concept involving a small electric city car and a giant quadcopter drone that can latch onto it and pick it up. The full-scale models that Audi had in its booth were epic and this represents the first kind of flying car future we can really get behind.


Bentley is debuting expanded powertrain choices for its hottest seller, the Bentayga, at Geneva this year. We're expecting to see the hybrid electric variant that packs a 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor that join forces to produce 462 horsepower. The new Bentayga V8 will also be on display.


The big star at BMW's booth is the new Concept M8 Gran Coupe. It's aggressive looking; in fact it looks like someone kicked sand in an M6 Gran Coupe's face at the beach so it went home and started eating Wheaties laced with steroids. The Bavarians are light on details when it comes to performance, though they emphasize that there will be a lot of it.


Never a company that felt comfortable being in second place, Ferrari is bringing its 'roided-up 488 Pista to Geneva with all of its scoops and vents and carbon fiber. The Pista packs Ferrari's most powerful V8 to date, with 710 horsepower on tap. It will also be the most technologically advanced special production Ferrari model ever, putting even the delightful 458 Speciale to shame.


Hyundai is really sharpening its knives on the design front, with its sights set on the Europeans and Mazda with its new Le Fil Rouge concept. The sleek coupe will point the way forward for upcoming Hyundai designs and we're glad for that. This thing is handsome.

Beyond Le Fil Rouge, Hyundai has a lot going on at Geneva this year with the debut of its all-new Santa Fe crossover, which packs a surprisingly aggressive design with some new powertrain options, including a diesel and a hybrid. The Hyundai Nexo fuel cell vehicle (that we drove to CES earlier this year) makes its European debut here as well.

We've also seen the battery-electric version of Hyundai's new Kona crossover. The electric Kona will supposedly do 300 miles on a single charge, but we don't know how that figure was calculated. We do know, however depressingly, that we won't be getting the EV version in the US.


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Jaguar has given the production version of the fully electric I-Pace crossover that debuted in concept form at the LA Auto Show in 2016. We've got high expectations for Jag's first EV, but after a short autocross on a wet, cold parking lot, things are looking really good, especially since it will be packing more than 400 horsepower and should be able to go about 220 miles between recharges. The best news is pricing. In the US, it will start at $69,500, which will undercut the Tesla Model X by around $10,000


The new Ceed benefits from a platform change and more pleasing sheet metal.


Kia gave its European-designed and manufactured Ceed (née Cee'd, with an apostrophe for some reason) a world debut at Geneva. The Ceed is huge for the company and makes up a sizeable chunk of its sales outside the US. It now gets upgraded in-cabin tech, more powertrain options including a new diesel and some pretty decent looks, for a Euro-econo-car.


The fine folks at Sant'Agata have been so kind as to give the Huracán Spyder their ludicrously good Performante treatment and the results are fairly stunning. The Performante loses 77 pounds over its standard Spyder sibling, but has the same 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 (putting out 640 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque) as its roofed relative. All the other trick active aero bits are here, too, so now people can see your face doing that "Total Recall" thing as you whip the Performante Spyder around corners with the roof down.

Also of note is that Lamborghini has committed to only building an electric car if it meets very specific criteria: "A full electric Lamborghini must be able to do a speed greater than 300 kph (186 mph) and be able to make three laps, full-speed, at the Nordschleife. If you have a technology that is able to do this, it is welcome at Lamborghini," said Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's director of research and development.

Land Rover

We're getting a new three-door flagship SUV from Land Rover in the form of the Range Rover Coupe SV and, apart from a top-down interior shot, this will be the first time we've seen the new SUV. Land Rover has said that it will have a limited production run and that it will be the spendiest thing in its lineup at just shy of $300,000. If you just spat out your coffee reading that number, you're probably not alone. That said, the money is clearly going toward the interior, which has new fancier, more comfortable seats and enough rare and exotic wood to make the whole cast of "Ferngully" gnash their teeth and weep. Outside, all the body panels except the hood and the lower tailgate are new, and the badges are handmade, 'natch.


Less frightening than the concept, the production UX still challenges our sensibilities.


Lexus has rolled out its new crossover, the UX. The Lexus UX is based on a concept we saw at Paris in 2016 and shares Toyota's TNGA platform, on which everything from the Prius to the new Avalon is built. As we expected, Lexus is offering a direct-injected gasoline engine and a hybrid variant, both of which go on sale in the US in December of this year.


Mazda decided to show off the refreshed version of its Mazda6 Tourer station wagon. It's beautiful, we want it, but it's not coming to America. We should also mention that it can be had with either gasoline or diesel engines and manual transmissions. We've got a lot of feelings about this, as you can probably tell.


The folks from Woking will bring McLaren's new technological terror, the Senna, to Geneva this year, despite the fact that the entire 500-vehicle production run has been sold. Also, just in case the Senna wasn't fast enough or exclusive enough or even expensive enough, McLaren is also offering the Senna MSO Carbon and just in case that still wasn't wasn't enough to whet the appetites of the masses, the Macca folks trotted out the Senna GTR

The GTR is for the race track only and produces around 2,200 pounds of downforce, thanks to its zany aero bits. The turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 gets reworked too for an additional 25 horsepower, not that it needed it. Oh, and if your oligarch friends decide that they want one, McLaren is making just 75 of them.


Mercedes is pulling out all the stops this year by debuting a whole bunch of new models, most of which are awesome.

The AMG GT Coupe (which has four doors, despite the coupe designation) is a slightly more grown-up take on the CLS AMG models of years past. It can be had with a bevy of engines from the new turbo straight-six to the lovely twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that lives in the new G-Class, among other things.

We're also excited to feast our peepers on the first AMG version of the hot new G-Class that debuted in Detroit in January. The new G63 will have AMG's now-ubiquitous twin-turbo V8 that will, in this trim, produce 577 horsepower and be bolted to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The bread-and-butter C-Class is getting a facelift, and the C43 version gets a mild 23-horsepower bump along with a bigger COMAND screen. No MBUX for you, C-Class! We're also looking forward to a new Maybach S-Class that once again looks more like its own sub-brand and not just an S650 with extra badges.

Lastly, we get to see the production version of the new A-Class, which we'll be getting -- as a sedan, no cool hatch for us -- for the first time ever in the US of A. It's set to slot in below the CLA-Class which means a (hopefully) sub-$30,000 price tag for us millennial Americans.


In the US we often find ourselves wondering who exactly buys Mitsubishis, but it turns out that Europeans are buying the hell out of them, expecially the Outlander PHEV. Mitsubishi is updating that model for 2019 with an Atkinson cycle engine for more efficiency, a bigger battery for more EV range, and a generally nicer interior. It's not a total game-changer or groundbreaking in any way, but don't mess with success, right?


Polestar gave the public its first look at the gorgeous, closer-to-production Polestar 1 coupe which will bring the heat to even the coldest Swedish winters, thanks to a combined gasoline and electric output of 600 horsepower. It's as pretty in person as we'd hoped since we saw the photos.


Porsche is ready to show off its newly refreshed 911 GT3 RS which, frankly, looks a lot like the previous version. But it's underneath where all the magic has been conjured. The new car somehow manages to have even less rubber in the suspension, which will no doubt make for a seriously precise-handling car plus its got a naturally aspirated flat-six putting out in excess of 500 horsepower. There is literally nothing to not like about it. 

Porsche also decided to throw caution to the wind and debut a super-sexy, lifted, off-roady version of its Mission E electric vehicle called the Cross Turismo. In terms of form factor, think of a better-looking Panamera mixed with a Volvo V90 Cross Country and a splash of Audi Allroad for flavor. Fast wagons forever!

And lastly, throwing all German restraint to the wind, Porsche exec Detlev Von Platen has told Roadshow that it will make (and sell) a flying sports car as part of its Strategy 2025 plan. Sounds crazy, right? Yeah, it totally baked our noodles, too, but then we had a couple drinks at the hotel bar and a GT3 RS with all the powers of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang started sounding pretty good.


The Croatian wizards behind the world's gnarliest electric hypercar (and Richard Hammond's personal nemesis) have gone and done it again with the Rimac C Two. With almost 2000 electric horsepower on tap and some mad-decent looks, you'd expect it to just be vaporware, but you'd be wrong. This thing is legit and it both terrifies and titillates us. We'll probably just have Henry Catchpole drive it, he'll drive anything.


The name is changing, but not much else. 

Mercedes-Benz USA

The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is getting renamed the Smart EQ ForTwo, which makes sense, because in the near future all of the Smart cars sold in the US will be electric. This change also ties it to parent company Mercedes-Benz's EQ sub-brand for electric cars.


Subaru brought out its latest concept, the Viziv Tourer, which to us looks like either the new WRX wagon that people have been clamoring for since the old one went away, or the world's most aggressive Outback. Either way, it's a handsome car and we're into it. Subaru has told us that the production version of this concept will pack a whole heap of driver-assistance technologies and will debut in 2020.


Well, we definitely didn't get the almost-ready-for-production Supra of our dreams, but a racing prototype version called the GR Racing Concept is a decent consolation prize. This beauty is pretty close aesthetically to the FT-1 concept we saw awhile ago, which is a good thing. Being a racing concept, it's got all kinds of aero trickery and lightweight materials inside and out. It's damned cool, but Toyota needs to quit playing with our emotions and make with the Supra already!


Volkswagen will be bringing its version of a Tesla Model S competitor in the form of the I.D. Vizzion concept. This sedan is relatively low-powered, with an emphasis on range rather than neck-snapping performance. It is also interesting because of its lack of driver inputs, meaning this could be where we get VW's vision of autonomy as well.


Geneva marked the public debut of the Swedish brand's new V60 wagon. Slotting in just beneath the gorgeous V90 wagon, the V60 loses little of its big brother's looks in its transition to the middle of the market, and will be offered with a borderline silly T8 plug-in hybrid drivetrain that offers 386 horsepower and one metric boatload of torque. We saw this baby in Sweden recently and it's aces.

The oddities

Italdesign will be debuting the Roadster version of its BMW i8-based Zerouno supercar.


Geneva is also known for its oddball cars, and this year is looking like no exception. We saw the Zerouno roadster from Italdesign and a four-door EV from Giugiaro. Rinspeed showed off its Snap concept, which we covered at CES in January.

Goodyear is also providing a strong showing in the oddball category this year with its Oxygene concept tires. Tires? Oddball? Yeah, so this concept is filled with living moss that draws carbon dioxide and moisture in and expels oxygen. It also generates its own electricity to run sensors and LEDs by hacking photosynthesis. Weird, right? Goodyear estimates that if all the tires in Paris were replaced with Oxygenes, it would pull around 4,500 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and put out around a ton of oxygen.

The Pal V Liberty flying car autogyro thing surprised the heck out of us by being a real thing. It's weird but kind of cool though its $600,000 price tag could buy you your own private military's worth of old Cessnas and Miatas. It'll do 60 miles per hour on the road and max out at a little over 110 mph in the sky. It's still waiting on FAA certification so it might be awhile before we see one packed full of Silicon Valley brogrammers, but that's fine.