Like all of our Editors' Choice posts, this list represents the purely emotional side of what we do – some of these cars are hugely significant, sure, but the point here is to highlight the stuff that really caught our eyes and captured our hearts the most. To that end, we're doing a different take on the usual Top Five format. Rather than synopsize each debut, we're including personal thoughts from individual editors, showing exactly why we chose what we did.
Of course, we want to hear your opinions, too, so after reading the list, sound off in the Comments and tell us about your favorite Geneva debuts. But first, scroll down to read our picks for what was hot at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
5th Place –
MAZDA HAZUMI CONCEPT
BRANDON TURKUS: The Hazumi is a great blend of Mazda's recent styling cues with the Mazda2's compact package, and as concepts go, is one of the more reasonable vehicles on display.
CHRIS PAUKERT: It's hard to make subcompact hatchbacks look muscular and athletic – cartoonish and bubbly is much easier. Yet the Mazda Hazumi looks just that – sculpted, taut and aggressive, without being too self conscious about it. It also looks very producible, and given the Hiroshima company's recent strong record of pairing great design with even better drive dynamics and fuel economy, we're very excited to drive the next Mazda2.
STEVEN EWING: Just looking at the Hazumi makes me smile. It's got this tiny-tough attitude, and I'm excited to see how this translates into a road-going production car. Heck, if this thing is half as fun to drive as the current Mazda2, the Japanese automaker looks to have a serious winner on its hands.
4th Place –
2015 LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN LP 610-4
CHRIS PAUKERT: Lamborghini's Gallardo replacement is predictably spectacular, a well-organized riot of angles, cutlines and planes with a set of four Flux Capacitor headlamps for eyes. Sant'Agata Bolognese's reputation as a factory for teenage bedroom poster cars is safe.
MICHAEL ZAK: The term gets thrown around a lot, but I think we have a definitive real-life Batmobile here.
NOAH JOSEPH: The Gallardo was the top seller in Lamborghini's history, but was woefully outdated by the time it was replaced. The Huracán opens the next chapter.
3rd Place –
2015 AUDI TT
SEYTH MIERSMA: To me, the original Audi TT will always be the best looking. And that brilliant first design has set the table for a model line that is amongst the most fashion forward amongst non-exotic cars in the world. This third-generation model is a subtle but very well done revision on the theme, and one that I'm plenty excited to drive.
SEBASTIAN BLANCO: I'm comforted by the results of our TT design poll that shows the elegant redesign is the best looking of the three versions of Audi's small sports car. While the rounder first- and second-gens had their appeal, the strong lines of this new version strike me as a car I could get behind. And I usually favor practicality over looks, so that's saying something. The highly efficient 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder that comes with standard stop-start and manages 56 mpg (Euro-cycle, but still) make the good-looking package all the more appealing.
CHRIS PAUKERT: I admit I wasn't particularly blown away looking at Audi's third-generation fashion icon in photos – even those our man Drew had taken from the show floor before I made it over to the Audi stand. But seeing it in person, it's a lot better-resolved than those pictures first suggested. The front end treatment is far more angular than before, yet its rounded details have been faithfully preserved, right down to the way the front fenders gently overlap the hood and the rears don't. It might not be a radical departure from the second-generation TT, but the design is successfully fresh and modern, and the minimalist interior looks and feels really special.
2nd Place –
2015 JEEP RENEGADE
JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I'm highly intrigued by what I see in the new Jeep Renegade. While the Cherokee is pretty polarizing in design, the Renegade manages to look like a Jeep while not falling into the trap of mimicking the XJ of old. Add in a platform from Fiat that's should be tuned for fun, and there's plenty of promise that I truly hope is realized.
BRANDON TURKUS: Hands down, this was the most important American debut at Geneva, and considering Jeep's plans to sell it around the world, one of the more important unveilings overall. It's had quite a positive reception, as well, so provided it isn't absolute crap to drive (we don't think it will be), Jeep has a big winner on its hands.
STEVEN EWING: I kind of wish they had called the thing "Jeepster," but nonetheless, the Renegade looks to be a fantastic, hugely customizable, immensely fun product to round out the bargain end of the Jeep range. And it even comes in a super-cute Trailhawk trim! Well done.
1st Place –
VOLVO CONCEPT ESTATE
SHARON CARTY: Although the brown doesn't photograph well, this car is one of the stars of the show. It's sleek, modern, and stylish. Loved the taillights.
JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: This Volvo is beautiful, with just the right hints of Swedish past while looking at the future. I really hope Volvo puts something similar into production.
SEYTH MIERSMA: Surrounded by some of the most fantastic-looking cars on the planet, Volvo managed to nearly upstage them all with a wagon. Check and mate. Seriously, you don't have to be a crazy car guy ("diesel, manual, wagon" tattooed on your chest) to appreciate that at least conceptually, Volvo is in the middle of a new golden era of automotive design right now. Fingers crossed that much of this lusciousness makes it into coming production cars.
CHRIS PAUKERT: Allow me to reiterate what I said in our show reveal post: "This car is exceptionally well surfaced, with a fantastic stance and the sort of clean lines that are singularly appropriate of a Scandinavian design." The interior is one of the best I've seen a concept in some time, as well, and enough of it seems plausible to keep me interested. Brilliant.
CHRIS BRUCE: It's like Volvo tapped into the id of automotive journalists. It's a brown shooting brake that could be made into a wagon. What's not to love?
As we've done with our past Editors' Choice lists, each staffer had 25 points to distribute amongst five cars, with no one car receiving more than 10 points. After everything was tallied, here's how the Top Five fell:
- Volvo Concept Estate – 54 points
- Jeep Renegade – 45 points
- Audi TT – 25 points
- Lamborghini Huracán – 18 points
- Mazda Hazumi Concept – 16 points
Holy moly, were there a lot of runners-up. That's the thing about Geneva – with so many cool cars making their debut, it's hard to limit our picks to just five. Here's a list of what else we liked.
- Ferrari California T – 11 points
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe – 10 points
- Citroën C4 Cactus – 10 points
- Volkswagen Golf GTE – 10 points
- Audi RS4 Avant Nogaro Selection – 10 points
- Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake – 9 points
- Alfa Romeo 4C Spider – 9 points
- Renault Twingo – 9 points
- Honda Civic Type R Concept – 9 points
- Koenigsegg Agera One:1 – 8 points
- Porsche 919 RSR – 8 points
- Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 – 8 points
- Maserati Alfieri Concept – 7 points
- Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept – 6 points
- McLaren 650S – 4 points
- Morgan Plus 4 – 3 points
- Toyota Aygo – 3 points
- Italdesign Guigiaro Clipper MPV Concept – 3 points
- Hyundai Intrado Concept – 3 points
- Subaru Viziv 2 Concept – 2 points