Geneva 2016: It's Not All Hypercars, You Know!
Want a headline from the Salon l'Automobile de Geneve? Bugatti. That's it.
True, the biggest debut was reserved for Volkswagen Group's most exclusive nameplate. Deservedly so, considering that the predecessor was a combination of quantum physics and absolute performance. The Veyron is gone, now replaced by the Chiron. It maintains the bonkers look of the older car, but adds the numbers to new heights. The 8.0 liter W16 has four turbochargers and 1,500 horsepower. There is a seven-speed dual clutch transmission that was designed to handle that kind of power. Top speed is projected at 261 MPH. If you lucky to have one, you will need to pony up around $2.4-2.6 Million US Dollars.
It may be everyone's big story from Switzerland. It is not mine. I tend to come down to Earth somehow. Therefore, here's my picks from Geneva…
ASTON MARTIN DB11: It has been too long since we got a new Aston. Was it worth the wait? Consider how the DB11 is all-new from the tires up. Traditional design elements remain, but the sleek 2+2 offers some new twists that will entertain non-Aston owners. The rear end is something that will case debate, but consider how far Aston has gone since breaking off from Ford. The Coke-bottle rear end line is nothing ever seen in an Aston – pronounced and muscular. Power is also all-new, with a 5.2 liter twin-turbocharged V12 that offers 600 horsepower of bespoke muscle. The flip side is the loss of a manual gearbox, favoring a ZF eight-speed automatic unit instead. Aside from that, the cabin has also sketched away from Aston tradition by infusing more modern elements, such as TFT instrumentation and larger infotainment screens. The point of the DB11 is the idea that Aston is still in the game for grand touring machinery. It would be one Aston I would love to experience.
MASERATI LEVANTE: We get it – SUVs are the cash cows of the industry. Bentley has one now, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Cadillac…they all have them. Why not Maserati? It they have to have one, it better be a Maserati throughout! It is! The Ghibli spawned the Levante, with an emphasis on driving dynamics. The new SUV will be powered by a duet of twin-turbocharged V6s – the same lineup as in the Ghibli – with the added bonus of all-wheel drive. Drive modes are selectable based on traction needs – including a winter mode – making it a capable machine cloaked underneath fine Italian clothing. In fact, consider this a Ghibli with a higher roof, more interior space and loads of style. Nothing wrong with that! But..um…what took you so long? It better be worth the wait…
ALFA ROMEO GIULIA: We know all about the Quadrifoglio. It was to entice us until they introduced the rest of the lineup. The news from Geneva is that there will be “normal” versions of the Alfa sedan that will sell in volumes necessary to compete with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Jaguar, Cadillac, etc. Alongside the 503 horsepower super sedan will be two trim levels – Giulia and Super. Powering these will be a duet of 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines. One will be just 197 horsepower, while the other is tuned to 276 horsepower. For our market, we'll get the more powerful version. There will be a manual version, along with an automatic. There will also be rear- and all-wheel drive versions, too. This is all superb and such, but when is it coming? All of it!
FIAT TIPO: No, there are no plans on sending these compacts to Fiat Studios in the USA. But, they should. The trio of sedan, hatchback and wagon are on par with the compact class in the states. Aside from the 500L and 500X, it wouldn't hurt to have a nice looking compact to sell here. The Tipo is more than just a potential addition to Fiat studios in North America. They also put Fiat back in the thick of the competition for Ford Focus, Opel Astra, Renault Megane and Volkswagen Golf customers. Although, price-wise, they would see more Seat Leon, Kia C'eed and Hyundai i30 shoppers. The point of the Tipo is…consider what we have and consider this solution.
Of course, the exclusion of a whole bunch of supercars and exotics make you wonder where my head is at with Geneva. At the end of the month, there is the New York International Auto Show. There are a few vehicles introduced in Geneva that should appear at the Jacob Javits Center. In one case, the Opel Mokka X is said to become the 2017 Buick Encore.
There is more from Geneva coming soon. I wonder what Tyler Lipa found interesting from Palexpo…