The Geneva Motor Show is always a prime place for getting the first glimpse of something special, and this year we got more than we bargained for! The place was simply packed with sensational new models from some of the world’s most prestigious makers, prompting the question: recession, what recession?
Of course, the global recession is hardly going to affect the man who buys a Lamborghini Aventador J – for many the outright star of the show and reviewed here elsewhere – and that’s also true for the intended buyers of the following quite stunning machines. The Aventador J, and the new Bentley SUV, are covered in some detail in articles on this site, so let’s have a look at some of the other show-stopping cars unveiled in Geneva.
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta – Stunning Italian Style
The long-awaited appearance of the F12 Berlinetta was well worth the wait. This is a proper Ferrari, a gloriously stylish and beautifully designed car intended to replace the 599. That car was loved and loathed in equal measures, but this one is a definite hit. There are hints of retro inspiration in the long, sleek bonnet, with those glorious curves reminding some of the Daytona, while the whole package hangs together in a manner that some latter-day Ferrari’s have struggled to get to terms with.
The most powerful Ferrari ever – 730bhp from a wondrous 6.3 liter V12 – is also said to be the fastest of all around the Fiorano test track. 211mph (340km/h) is as much as anyone will ever need, and there is talk of an Enzo replacement powered by an up rated version of this engine. Now that we would like to see! Despite a hefty price tag of £250,000 (almost $400,000) the Maranello concern has bulging order books for this beautiful new model. Rightly so, we say!
Bugatti Veyron Vitesse – The World’s Fastest Open Car
The Bugatti Veyron is a jaw-dropping sight in standard form, but with the launch of the Vitesse – an open version of the sensational hypercar – we now have no doubt as to the identity of the fastest drophead in the world. The Vitesse uses the 1200bhp, 7.9 liter 16 Cylinder engine found in other versions of the car, and can take you to 255mph (410km/h). That’s what we call having the wind in your hair!
Like all Bugatti’s you will have to be very, very wealthy to own one of these. At a proposed price of £1.5 million ($2.35 million) you have to also be willing to pay much more than we can believe a car is worth. How many Aventadors could you get for that price? Still, exclusivity costs money, and there is little more exclusive than the Veyron Vitesse.
Rolls Royce Phantom Series II – The World’s Best Car?
We don’t know if Rolls Royce still claims to make the world’s best car, but it certainly did at one time. The thing about this new model – the revised Phantom II – is that its looks certainly divide opinion. On the one hand it’s a big brute of a car, a revised take on the one we already know, but on the other it’s a supremely refined and stylish luxury limousine that does the job it is designed to do in style.
The Phantom II is a good car, and comes with a more efficient power train thanks to a new gearbox, but is it a great one? That depends what you are looking for. It’s a Rolls Royce and it comes with all the quality aspects you would expect from this great name, but at £255,000 (around $400,000) it should.
Pagani Huayra Carbon Edition – Sensational in Grey!
There is the sensational, and the quite ludicrously sensational, and it may be safe to say that anything coming out of the Pagani factory fits the latter description. Especially this, the amazing Pagani Huayra Carbon Edition, with its carbon fibre bodywork and superbly sexy styling. I think the Huayra a much better looking car than the Zonda, and in this form it is quite brilliant.
The 230mph projectile is one of the fastest cars in the world, and in this variant is among the most exclusive. It is difficult to pin the company down to a price, but the basic (basic is not a word we would usually use for a Pagani) Huayra costs you just £850,000 ($1,150,000) – a snip, compared to the Veyron!
Modified McLaren MP4-12C
Modified McLarens? Are we sure? We are quite sure, for one of the surprises of the Geneva show was the appearance of at least four McLaren MP4-12C’s that had been given the tuner-makeover treatment, some more successfully than others! You might ask why anyone would want to change such a good looking car, but then there are some people for whom the original is not enough.
The version from Mansory, who tend to treat cars with carbon-fibre and have done the whole roof in it here, includes a tweaked engine will give it almost 220mph, and it is by far the most successful. Fab Design and Gemballa, the latter famous for altering Porsches, have just made the car ugly, and the final version – from German tuners Hamann – uglier still with a curious roof ‘pod’ that may or may not have a function. To restore calm among the dissenters – me among them – the picture here is of a standard, very pretty MP4-12C.
That’s about it for our round up of Geneva hits and misses; why not let us know your favourite cars from the 2012 show?