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Geneva Motorshow 2012

The Geneva Motor Show has become one of the most important in the world for its unique concepts and luxury debuts and this year’s show didn’t disappoint. Motoring Life picks some of the highlights from the 2012 show including the good, the bad and the just plain ugly!

The good
The Mercedes-Benz A Class

The new baby Benz is stunning and replaces the abysmally boxy shapes of its predecessor with curves. So remarkable is the departure for Mercedes that you can’t help feeling it deserved a brand new name. Aiming to take on the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series, first impressions bode very well.

Kia Cee’d
Kia revealed the latest version of the Cee’d. Inside the new Kia is vastly improved and is on a par with rivals. Styling wise first signs are encouraging and we look forward to driving it later in the year.

Nissan Invitation

This concept from Nissan is a preview of a forthcoming car in the Nissan range that will sit between the Micra and the Juke. Nissan describe the Invitations as ‘fun and frugal’, and with emission at just under 100g/km the frugal is certain but for now we’ll reserve judgment on the fun!

 Volvo V40
The all-new stylish, five-door Volvo V40 was the star of the Volvo stand. This is the first model to be produced according to Volvo’s new Designed around You’ people focused strategy and is due in Ireland later this year.  As expected, this Volvo comes equipped with a host of innovative safety features including City Safety, a collision avoidance system that can prevent a rear-end collision at up to 50km/h, and the world’s first pedestrian airbag, which deploys from the rear edge of the bonnet.

Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander is built on the company’s new global platform and while it has similar dimensions to the current model the compact SUV reveals a new style for the company.  Overall the new model sports improved quality and practicality

Peugeot’s 208
Peugeot revealed two 208 concepts, the sporty GTi and XY.  While billed as concepts these certainly looked like production ready models. Far more stylish than the model it replaces the new 208, available in three and five doors, promises to be more efficient and lighter.

Skoda Citigo

The Volkswagen group revealed three versions of their small cars the VW Up-based Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo celebrating their debut in five-door versions. All three boast small dimensions – 3.56 metres long and 1.64 metres wide but yet manage to achieve amazing interior space.

BMW 6 Series Grand Coupe
BMW unveiled their mouthwatering 6 Series Grand Coupe. This is the first four-door saloon coupe from BMW and is in response to Mercedes’s CLS and Porsche’s Panamera.

Ford B-Max

With its twin sliding rear doors the B-Max is one of the most practical cars in this segment.  It is only the size of the Opel Meriva but the doors enhance the space and accessibility and the addition of foldable rear seatbacks expands the car’s cargo capacity to an impressive 1,265 litres from 460 litres.

 

The bad (aka the ridiculously expensive)
Lamborghini’s Aventador J
Ferrari and Lamborghini tried desperately to outdo each other and true to form did so in fine style.  Lamborghini’s Aventador J, a one-off topless design already sold to a buyer for €2.4m. With all the luxury of a Land Rover Defender this supercar has no windshield or roof helmets no air-conditioning and no radio all absent as part of a radical plan to reduce weight. Although Lamborghini says the J is a one-off, it is likely that it hints at the styling for a production convertible version of the V12 Aventador

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

Not to be outdone Ferrari revealed their fastest ever road car the F12 Berlinetta, a replacement for the 599, and one which ushers in a new generation V12. Developing 730 bhp it sprints the car from a 0 to 100kph  in 3.1 seconds. Footballers form an orderly queue it is only a mere €300,000 plus

Bugatti  Grand Vitesse

The Bugatti  Grand Vitesse is according to Bugatti the most powerful roadster.  With 1200 horsepower and a top speed of 410km/h, the Grand Vitesse can go from 0 to 300km/h in less than 15 seconds. A steal at 1.2 million.

The just plain ugly
Bentley SUV – the EXP 9 F

There has long been a gap in the SUV market above the most expensive Range Rovers and Porsche Cayennes that Bentley have their sights on filling.  Aesthetically challenging  Bentley’s 4×4 sits somewhere between both rivals in terms of size, dynamics and ride comfort, and is set to out-perform both. Inside are silk and wool floor mats and handcrafted trim in wood and leather.  And if all of this opulence and bling is not enough there is a luxury picnic hamper set including silverware and pewter champagne flutes when you open the two-piece tailgate!

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