The 80th Geneva Motor Show opened its doors to the press today and we were treated to dozens of interesting cars being shown for the first time. Besides the always entertaining and fantastic concept cars, there were several significant production car debuts in Geneva. We have assembled a gallery featuring the best from the first day of press conferences.While the focus of the show is obviously the ever-growing green movement, hybrid and electric vehicle debuts were only part of the excitement. While most of the following list will eventually be sold in the U.S., there are a few entries that are still a question mark. Perhaps we could persuade some of the automakers if we try hard enough.
The Mini Countryman will be the third model in the Mini range when it reaches showrooms in 2011. It will also be the brand's first crossover, with an optional ALL4 all-wheel drive system giving good traction in any conditions. The Countryman is the largest vehicle in Mini's lineup too, with enough space inside for four adults plus their gear. Engines will most likely include the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder units available in the current Mini range.
The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg is an all-new design that has dropped some of its expensive and heavy off-roading equipment in favor of better on-road performance and improved fuel economy. For serious off-roaders, the new Touareg can still be ordered with an optional Terrain Tech Pack. VW has sold 500,000 of the previous-generation Touareg SUVs to date, so the updated styling and mechanical changes should help it stay just as popular.
Just like the new Volkswagen Touareg, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne is all-new, with more modern styling and new mechanicals. There will be a new Hybrid model coming to the 2011 Cayenne line as well, a first for the legendary German sportscar maker. The hybrid should give buyers 23-percent better fuel economy according to Porsche. Part of that gain will come from "sailing," which is when the drivetrain is disengaged from the engine, reducing drivetrain losses.
The Nissan Juke is an all-new crossover that will join the larger Murano and Rogue in the Nissan lineup. Nissan is hoping the oddly styled Juke will be a hit when it reaches North America for 2011. For Europe, the Juke is available with a 1.5-liter diesel that probably won't make it to this market, as well as a pair of 1.6-liter gasoline engines (that likely will). The compact CUV will be made in both front- and all-wheel drive configurations.
The Lexus CT 200h is the company's new entry-level luxury hybrid hatchback. Similar to the well-known Toyota Prius it is powered by both a gas engine and an electric motor that come online as needed. Toyota's proprietary Hybrid Synergy Drive technology makes the decisions on which power source is needed given the driving conditions. According to Lexus, the CT 200h can run in EV mode for up to 1.2 miles at speeds up to 28 miles per hour.
The Mazda5 is one of those vehicles that seems to do just about everything right, but doesn't get a lot of attention. For 2011, the Japanese automaker has added a bold new design to the exterior that should change that. Mazda's new “Nagare” design theme has now been applied to nearly every model in the lineup, with the new 5 getting the same smiling front end as the 2010 Mazda3. The Mazda5 microvan goes a step further however, with a trio of dramatic, wave-like character lines running down the side. The 2011 Mazda5 will also receive an upgraded interior and will offer the bigger 2.5-liter engine found in the Mazda3.
One of the hottest cars at the 2010 Geneva Motor show is undoubtedly the 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo 570-4 Superleggera. The new "superlight" edition of the Italian sportscar is 70 kilograms lighter than the standard model, or 154 pounds. It is propelled by a direct-injected 5.2-liter V10 that develops 570 horsepower. Lamborghini claims it can do 0-62 mile per hour in just 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 202 mph.
Although Audi hasn't said that it will be bringing the new RS5 to America, we couldn't resist telling you about it. The RS5 is the highest performance version of the company's shapely A5 coupe, with a 450-horsepower 4.2-liter V8, Audi's legendary Quattro all-wheel-drive system, a revised suspension and a 77,000 Euro price tag. The company has had a policy of selling only one RS model at a time in the U.S. And with the RS4 model being phased out, we might just have a chance of getting it over here.
The 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S revives the “S” badge that hasn't been used on a Turbo 911 since the last generation car. It starts as a regular 911 Turbo and adds just about every performance option you could get from Porsche. It also boosts horsepower to 530, giving this version enough oomph to push it from 0-62 in just 3.3 seconds and to give it a top speed of 196 mph.
The Audi A1 is the company's smallest offering and the least likely to be sold in the United States. Similar in size to a Mini Cooper, it would be quite a bit smaller than the current smallest Audi, the A3. Available in Europe with a range of turbocharged engines it should be good for up to 44 miles per gallon in the U.S. Ratings. Audi is even showing an concept hybrid version of the A1 as part of the new e-tron family of green vehicles.
Not since 2007 has Ford offered a wagon version of their compact Focus model in America. When the Focus received an update in 2008, Ford decided that Americans didn't want the utilitarian wagon so it was dropped from the lineup. In Geneva this week, the company showed their 2012 Ford Focus Wagon, based on the same platform as the recently shown sedan and hatchback. Handsome and versatile, the wagon may return to the U.S. Focus range if there is enough demand.
The four-wheel-drive ASX will show up in America later this year as the Outlander Sport, powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder borrowed from the Lancer. That combination should return about 30 miles per gallon. The ASX also signals a new focus for Mitsubishi, taking the automaker away from its conventional SUVs to being "a manufacturer of non-mainstream environmentally friendly passenger cars & crossovers, retaining a presence in the 'authentic off-roader' sector."
The all-new 2011 Kia Sportage debuts with the marketing tag, "Longer, lower, wider, more spacious." The five-seat crossover will be available in front- or all-wheel-drive forms, with your choice of a manual or automatic transmission. Global engine choices include two gas and two diesel engines, but Americans will probably only see the 163-horsepower gasoline four-cylinder. It is a handsome makeover and should make the Sportage a worthy contender in the compact SUV class.
As Volvo gets a new owner, changing hands from Ford to Chinese automaker Geely this year, the success of this new 2011 S60 sedan is crucial to the company's ongoing existence. Previewed in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show, the production version of the new Volvo S60 made its debut in Geneva. As a carmaker known for safety, the new S60 debuts the company's new Collision Warning system that will, if necessary, fully engage the brakes. The S60 that was shown in Geneva is the T6 model, powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six with 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. Other engine options will be offered worldwide.
Volkswagen doesn't sell the Polo model in the United States...yet. The German automaker has said there is a possibility that it will in the future. For now, we can only discuss the merits of this terrific subcompact, shown in Geneva in sporty GTI form for the first time. The Polo GTI is powered by a 178-horsepower turbocharged and supercharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. VW will begin producing the Polo in North America soon, so we might just get this little hatch in the U.S. yet.
The Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid is a concept that could see production in two-to-three years. Unlike the Toyota Prius which can run on its gas engine or its electric motor independently, the Evora 414E runs on batteries (for up to 35 miles) before a 47-hp three-cylinder engine turns on to recharge those batteries. There are actually two electric motors in the 414E, producing 408 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. One cool feature that will aid pedestrian safety is the new Lotus HALOsonic Internal and External Electronic Sound Synthesis system to help the nearly silent Evora sound like a "real" car.
Just a concept for now, the Audi A8 Hybrid is powered by a 211-horsepower 2.0-liter gasoline engine boosted by a 45-hp electric motor. It offers acceleration comparable to a regular sedan, yet the gas mileage is much better at 38 miles per gallon.
You know that hybrid technology has really caught on when even a legendary sportscar maker like Ferrari is using it. The Ferrari 599 HY-KERS is not a typical hybrid, though. The HY-KERS is a pretty normal Ferrari 599, but it also incorporates a version of Ferrari's Kinetic Energy Recovery System – a.k.a. regenerative braking – developed in last year's Formula One program.
Built on the all-new 2011 BMW 5 Series, the ActiveHybrid model uses a turbocharged six-cylinder engine along with a 53-horsepower electric motor working through an eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW claims that the system returns 10-percent better fuel economy, plus an extra helping of instant boost during acceleration.
Tata Motors bills its Nano as the cheapest car in the world. Although not for sale in the United States just yet, a version of the Nano will go on sale in Europe later this year. At the Geneva Motor Show the company showed an electric version of that Nano. The Tata Nano Electric Vehicle (EV) will be built on the existing Nano platform, will seat four adults, and promises a range of 160 kilometers (99 miles) and acceleration of 0-60 kilometers per hour in under 10 seconds.
The Porsche 918 Spyder Concept is about the size of the German automaker's Boxster, but it looks more like an updated version of their late Carrera GT supercar. Underneath that sexy bodywork resides a 500-horsepower V8 plus two axle-mounted electric motors adding an additional 218 horsepower. With all of that power it's not surprising that the 0 to 60 time is claimed to be just 3.2 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz seems to be one of the few automakers that still understands the value of theater at auto shows. While unveiling their F800 Style concept, the German automaker had dancers dropping from the ceiling, lights blaring, and Formula 1 drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher gracing the crowd with their presence. The F800 Style concept is said to preview the shape of the company's next CLS, and is a plug-in hybrid with a gasoline V6 engine working with an electric motor to produce over 400 horsepower.
Honda may be best known for their reliable and amiable cars and trucks, but they also produce everything from ATVs to outboard engines, motorcycles to generators, from personal robots to private jets. That's why it wasn't too surprising to see the Japanese industrial giant unveil its odd 3R-C Concept. With two wheels up front and one in the back, the 3R-C is combines motorcycle and car in a uniquely Honda way.