Geneva Motor Show 2010 VW Polo GTi

Volkswagen World Premiere of the Polo GTi What an easy recipe to follow: recreate the model that single-handedly changed the image of Volkswagen in the early eighties. Except that not all the evolutions were that great (notably the MK3 Golf GTi) as the Golf got bigger, heavier and stodgier as a consequence. So shift down […]

Geneva Motor Show - Polo GTi front 3/4 showing new bumper spolier

Volkswagen World Premiere of the Polo GTi

What an easy recipe to follow: recreate the model that single-handedly changed the image of Volkswagen in the early eighties. Except that not all the evolutions were that great (notably the MK3 Golf GTi) as the Golf got bigger, heavier and stodgier as a consequence. So shift down a model to the Polo and you have a chance of recapturing that nimbleness and verve that made the GTi such an icon. We’ll have to wait till the car is on the road to judge the success of this latest iteration, but here are some images to appreciate the potential. The seats inside are clothed in familiar looking GTi check/tartan with red piping and stitching extending to floor mats and gear lever gaiter. You get smallish paddle shifters on the steering wheel to operate the 7 speed DSG gearbox. Supercharger for low rev grunt, superceeded by a turbocharger for the higher revs, means the power surge is available throughout the range. Outside, twin exhaust pipes, red piping on the honeycomb grill, red calipers, and some familiar looking rims complete the package.


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Geneva Motor Show Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo displays its new Giulietta at Geneva Show Like the Honda CR-Z, we were itching to see this car in the flesh too. Once we’d waited for the flesh ( actually leggy models precariously robed in black ) to close the doors and move around to the other side we got a clear view […]

Geneva Motor Show - Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo displays its new Giulietta at Geneva Show

Like the Honda CR-Z, we were itching to see this car in the flesh too. Once we’d waited for the flesh ( actually leggy models precariously robed in black ) to close the doors and move around to the other side we got a clear view of this new Giulietta’s flank. Frankly, the show’s downlighter spots weren’t flattering the cars, especially the red ones on grey flooring. The white Quadrifoglio Verde ( Green Cloverleaf) however, worked better as it was picking up light from the metallic turntable it rotated on. Hard midday sun is a difficult circumstance to photograph cars in, and the stand’s designer effectively reproduced these conditions. They could learn a lesson or two from the Peugeot stand, where the soft overhead light panel would flatter even the ugliest of cars. Note to Manufacturers: get a car photographer as lighting consultant when designing your show stands! Back on subject – The 235 HP Giulietta 1750 TBi Quadrifoglio Verde (Cloverleaf) pictured here did win us over, and if this is the replacement for the 147, then bring it on fast, as although a 4 door hatch, with concealed rear door catches,it is well proportioned, elegant and horny with the optional 18 inch alloys. Alfa have deftly contrived a family face based on it’s heritage without looking corny or retro. This all started with the absolutely gorgeous 8C Competizione, and significantly, came off with the Mito (tricky with a tall narrow shell), and is maturing here in the Giulietta. Inside there’s less to be excited about, but it all looks neat and functional, although everyday use is the only proper test of an interior’s worth.


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Geneva Motor Show Bentley Continental Supersports

Bentley unleash a whole range of FlexFuel Continentals What’s FlexFuel? It’s the ability to run multiple fuels without complication: just fill up with petrol or bio-ethanol or a mix of the two and the engine will automatically adjust to suit. Bentley have converted the whole Continental range to suit the harsher qualities of bio-ethanol. To […]

Geneva Motor Show - Bentley Continental Supersports with FlexFuel

Bentley unleash a whole range of FlexFuel Continentals

What’s FlexFuel? It’s the ability to run multiple fuels without complication: just fill up with petrol or bio-ethanol or a mix of the two and the engine will automatically adjust to suit. Bentley have converted the whole Continental range to suit the harsher qualities of bio-ethanol. To announce this they fielded a pale primrosy yellow convertible called the Supersports. Slightly more tasteful than the purple Bentley further down the stand, we do prefer our yellow cars to be boldy yellow rather than wishy-washy….Judge for yourself !


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Geneva Motor Show Honda CR-Z Hybrid Coupe

CR-Z Hybrid Coupe at the Geneva Auto Show One of the cars we were eager to see in the flesh at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show was the Honda CR-Z. Would it look as sleek and purposeful as the Honda released press pics. Verdict: yes it’s refreshingly small and light looking. Many new cars have […]

Geneva Motor Show - Honda CR-Z Hybrid Coupe front view


CR-Z Hybrid Coupe at the Geneva Auto Show

One of the cars we were eager to see in the flesh at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show was the Honda CR-Z. Would it look as sleek and purposeful as the Honda released press pics. Verdict: yes it’s refreshingly small and light looking. Many new cars have tended to bulk up their look, but this Honda flows, tilted from the back window forwards, with grill box low and lights pointing downwards arrow-like. The stance is that of a crouched animal, head down to minimise wind drag. The shape is uncontroversial and easily digested and should appeal immediately. We were drawn to a red CR-Z complete with purchaser spec-cable carbon front chin and door sill addons, and 10 spoke alloys – much more inviting than the standard spec cars. Inside there’s a “carbon” look dash that wouldn’t look out of place on a Klingon starship, especially with the instruments lit up. It’s the sort of car you just want to get in and drive; it’s got enthusiasts DNA written all over it. Just a quick reminder though: it’s a hybrid, but that’s not what’s on your mind when you see it unlike Honda’s old 4 door Civic Hybrid. But you’ll like the claimed 54mpg and low CO2.


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Geneva Motor Show 2010 Koenigsegg Agera supercar

Koenigsegg took the opportunity of the 2010 Geneva Motor Show to launch their new Agera supercar Koenigsegg’s CC’s have a fantastic record in trumping other manufacturers’ when it comes to performance. So the world better take note when they launch a new model. Agera is it’s name, and Christian Koenigsegg is gonna make damn sure […]

Geneva Motor Show 2010 - New Koenigsegg Agera supercar front


Koenigsegg took the opportunity of the 2010 Geneva Motor Show to launch their new Agera supercar

Koenigsegg’s CC’s have a fantastic record in trumping other manufacturers’ when it comes to performance. So the world better take note when they launch a new model. Agera is it’s name, and Christian Koenigsegg is gonna make damn sure it stays at the top. To that end, there are a whole host of incremental upgrades, and a fresh look for the now, 15 year old design it’s based on. How about 910 bhp to start with? Thumping torque? Byzantine braking? All that, with the almost unique ability to detach the roof panel; so no need to make that agonizing decision to go for soft or hard top. Inside, the model gains new instrument lighting, multi functional screen, and strangely cuddly-IKEA-like dashboard materials and colours. Outside it gains the now mandatory daytime LED running lights, new rear LED tail-lights, reprofiled exhaust outlet, additional front venting ducts, “gills” just aft of the front wheels. In sum an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary design or what mainstream manufacturers would call a mid-cycle makeover rather than a ground-up redesign. There were quite a few more outlandishly styled cars at the Geneva show, but the Agera keeps Koenigsegg’s neat, but assertive house stance: more Arnold Schwartzenegger in a sharp suit, than Claude Van Damme in beachwear!


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Geneva Motor Show 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera

Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera – pay more, get less. Less weight that is, because Superleggera in italian means Superlight. You get less glass because side, rear window, engine cover are all made of high quality polycarbonate. Less, because just about every interior panel and trim is carbon fibre or featherweight alcantara. To counterbalance all these […]

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera at Geneva Show 2010

Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera – pay more, get less. Less weight that is, because Superleggera in italian means Superlight. You get less glass because side, rear window, engine cover are all made of high quality polycarbonate. Less, because just about every interior panel and trim is carbon fibre or featherweight alcantara. To counterbalance all these negatives, we should mention you get more power from the V10, not a huge amount more; power is up to 570 as the model number suggests, but because of the 70kg weight loss that translates into faster nimbler handling and acceleration. Good enough for a claimed 3.4 seconds 0-62 mph (100kmh). Visually there are quite a few detail changes, with more aggressive front air scoops, rear diffuser and fixed rear wing. Notice the front air intakes are black on the side of the lower wings. There’s a distinctly new arrow shaped look being developed here; an evolution of the Gallardo’s front profile, which will no doubt appear on future variations of the car.


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Geneva Motor Show 2010 Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder

Porsche 918 stars at the Geneva Motor Show Very much making a statement about Porsche’s hybrid intentions, the GT3R Hybrid and Cayenne hybrid turned out to be sideshows with the 918 Hybrid Spyder thrusting through between the other two cars on the main display area. Cast aside any doubts about compromising performance with these dual […]

Porsche 918 Hybrid prototype


Porsche 918 stars at the Geneva Motor Show

Very much making a statement about Porsche’s hybrid intentions, the GT3R Hybrid and Cayenne hybrid turned out to be sideshows with the 918 Hybrid Spyder thrusting through between the other two cars on the main display area. Cast aside any doubts about compromising performance with these dual power cars; the 918’s cooled lithium-ion battery pack is there to supplement the mid-mounted 500bhp V8, provide power boost on demand, and pure electric drive to pull into your drive quietly at night! Porsche claim a 7:30 laptime around the Nordschleiffe, beating even their Carrera GT times…

Let’s hope this Concept, referred to also as Prototype, makes into production speedily, as this has to be the most exciting new shape to come out of Stuttgart for sometime. Let’s also remind Porsche that the fantastic detailing of the Boxster concept got watered down somewhat in the production version. The 918 needs to keep a lot of those artful, but no doubt purposeful touches. What it doesn’t need is the lash-up tent that the recent Boxster Spyder got as a roof.


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Lotus Elise gets a fresh face this spring

Spring is (nearly) in the air, so it must be time for some fresh new faces in the automotive world. This being 2010, Lotus bring you the 2011 Elise, with refreshed nose and rump. Neatly evolving from the previous iteration, you’ll spot the re-profiled mouth and repositioned gills, but maybe not notice the other subtle […]

Lotus Elise gets a fresh face for 2010


Spring is (nearly) in the air, so it must be time for some fresh new faces in the automotive world. This being 2010, Lotus bring you the 2011 Elise, with refreshed nose and rump. Neatly evolving from the previous iteration, you’ll spot the re-profiled mouth and repositioned gills, but maybe not notice the other subtle detail changes.

New look Lotus Elise

Most of the air in-and-outlets have lost their black slats, and the engine cover humped up to accommodate the taller new engine. Front LED indicators move into the main light clusters. Overall a less fussy, smoother, rounder design. Under the skin a ton of minor changes, but a new 1.6 litre engine mated to an equally new close ratio gearbox, stands in for the previous entry level 1.8 litre lump. Losing 200 cc hasn’t affected performance but significantly improves fuel economy and emissions.


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