THE venue: Geneva. The event: The 2016 Geneva International Motor Show. The story: This is the venue or shall we say the event, where it all happens, where the 2017 (and late 2016) models break cover for every major manufacturer in the world (or at least a good portion of them).
It’s the chance for a multitude of brands to reveal not just concepts, but new production models, and special versions of their wide range of vehicles. So we’ve bundled what we think are some of the exciting launches and releases together in one mega-story, starting with the incredible 300 horsepower Abarth 124 Rally. We’ve included a gallery of the other launches for your viewing pleasure.
300HP Abarth 124 Rally
The new Abarth 124 Rally is a combination of pure technology and performance born from the experience of the Abarth Racing Team to bring back the Scorpion to the most glorious and demanding rally tracks, from the sticky sunburnt tarmac to the more slippery ice surfaces.
Forty years after its last official race, the 1976 Monte Carlo Rally, the Abarth 124 Rally is back with the same mission: to test road cars’ technical solutions under extreme conditions and to guarantee all Abarth customers excellent performance and maximum reliability.
Under the bonnet, it fits the 1800 “bialbero” turbocharged direct injection engine. Thanks to the different selectable mappings, it provides power of up to 300HP at 6500rpm and an optimum torque curve, a key element to allow the driver steering and acceleration balance while over-steering.
Performance is breath-taking; acceleration is scorching and marked with full, riveting sound. The project was developed to ensure reliability and performance, even in the extreme conditions typical of rallies: ice, dirt, dust, water, heat.
The transmission was also designed to enhance performance: the engine is coupled with a slick 6-speed sequential gearbox with shift paddles, and traction is assured by the mechanical limited slip differential.
Everything about this car has been engineered for racing, a fixed composite hard top instead of the soft top, changes to weight distribution, improved grip and performance, and full homologation to FIA R-GT category standards.
Even the project code, SE139, has a great deal of history that goes back directly to Karl Abarth. The SE stands for “Sports” and “Esperimental”, a direct link to the Abarth values of craftsmanship and technical upgrades. While the number 139 celebrates that, in its 67-year history, Abarth has managed to develop an average of two racing projects per year.
Subaru XV Concept Car
The XV design concept embodies Subaru’s next-generation “DYNAMIC X SOLID” design philosophy in a compact crossover model, previewing the direction of the next-generation Subaru XV.
It features distinctive character lines on the compact hatch body shape and – in keeping with the essential functionality of Subaru design – offers excellent aerodynamic performance, teamed with the ample road clearance and luggage space required of a crossover vehicle, achieving the optimum blend of function and style.
Matte-black cladding emphasizes the crossover character. It runs from the front bumper over the wheel arches and side sills to the rear bumper.
Orange highlights on the front grille, front and rear bumpers, alloy wheels, and roof rails, accent the exterior.
Alfa Romeo reveals Guilia
Alfa Romeo debuted the sexy looking new Guilia, available in three trim levels (Giulia, Super and Quadrifoglio) and six new engine/gearbox combinations, including 150 and 180 HP 2.2-litre diesel with 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, the 200 HP 2.0-litre petrol engine with 8-speed transmission, and 510 HP 2.9-litre V6 BiTurbo petrol engine with 6-speed transmission.
To obtain the best weight-to-power ratio, the Alfa Romeo sedan uses ultralight materials, such as carbon fibre, aluminium, aluminium composite and plastic. Unique technical solutions implemented on the Giulia Quadrifoglio include Torque Vectoring technology, which affords outstanding stability control, and the Active Aero Splitter that provides active high-speed downforce management.
Advanced safety solutions common to the entire range such as the Integrated Brake System (IBS) which considerably reduces braking distance, ensuring responsive brake pedal response and no vibration with ABS. Exclusive safety features include Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with AEB and pedestrian detection, which actively applies the brake in the event of the driver not doing so.
Audi Q2 breaks cover
Audi has revealed the all-new Audi Q2 at the Geneva International Motor Show. The compact SUV is an urban-type vehicle for everyday driving and recreation, uniting a progressive design with a high level of functionality. Connectivity, infotainment and assistance systems are on level of full-size class.
The Q2 has a rugged look, driven by sharp edge design, and the technology of a full size class car. It features the latest highly connected gadgets including a Wi-Fi hotspot, MMI navigation and full smart phone integration.
Customers will also find a buck load of functional features, and a massive range of customisation options.
The Civic hatch returns
Honda revealed the prototype of its all new Civic hatch (now in its tenth generation), shows a sporty and dynamic new Civic design that reinvents conventional compact styling.
The new Civic Hatch will be wider, lower and longer than the current generation. New larger and wider wheels and tyres give a feeling of an assured stance, while the long wheelbase, short overhangs and sleek cabin area further add to the dynamic feel of the exterior.
At the front of the car, a short overhang with large air intakes presents a sharp and aggressive interpretation of Honda’s family face. LED headlights and daytime running lights flow from beneath the boldly sculpted bonnet into accentuated wheel arches.