Time to bring out the big guns in neutral Switzerland.
We’re less than a month away from the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and we now have a clear preview for some of the big reveals. New information came to light in the past two weeks that allowed us to put together this Geneva pre-show preview guide. One of the best things about Geneva are the sheer number of ultra-exclusive reveals from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Having both Pagani and Koenigsegg on hand ain’t too shabby either. But there’ll also be plenty of more mainstream reveals as well as interesting concepts. Let’s dig in.
McLaren has already announced it’ll show its fastest-lapping production car to date, the Senna. The 660 hp street-legal track car will be shown to the public for the first time, and we also would not be in the least bit surprised to see the spider variant of the 720S, which was revealed last year at this time. McLaren already promised us a “surprise,” so the open top could very well be it. Perhaps something more?
Audi is expected to unveil its fifth-generation A6 sedan and Avant wagon. More than likely, and this isn’t really anything new, the Avant will be an overseas model only with no plans to bring it stateside. We’ll hopefully be able to confirm this on the spot. Expect the new A6 to bear the brand’s latest exterior styling language, courtesy of current design chief Marc Lichte. His previous work includes the also new A8 and several concepts. The A6’s interior will also resemble that of its larger sibling. Sources claim the high-powered S6 and RS6 variants will arrive at a later date.
Bentley may have just revealed its all-new Continental GT at Frankfurt last September, but it know it can’t show up to Geneva empty handed. That’s why the Bentayga plug-in hybrid is scheduled for an unveiling. Exterior and interior styling is not expected to change much, if at all, save for possibly some unique badging. The Bentley SUV will share its hybrid hardware with its VW Group corporate cousin, the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid.
BMW’s big Geneva reveals are no-brainers at this point. The M8 concept and all-new X4 crossover will be seen for the first time in the flesh. While the X4 was just revealed in full on line, the M8 has only been seen in BMW-released spy shots. Like the 8 Series concept, the M8 concept won’t differ all that much from the upcoming production version. We do expect, however, this new concept’s design to be closer to the real deal given the project is entering its final development stages. It’s also possible, though still unconfirmed, the production-spec Z4 will also make its first appearance.
Ferrari always brings something big to Geneva and this year will be no different. The hardcore, track-focused Ferrari 488, which may or may not be badged as a new GTO, will be this year’s offering and we’re in for a treat. As just previewed with Ferrari’s teaser video, the 488 GTO (or maybe Speciale?) will be a 700-hp mid-engined monster that could very well dethrone the LaFerrari as the fastest street-legal Ferrari of all time. It’s amazing what can be done with a twin-turbo V8 these days. Along with the power increase and plenty of racing tech, expect a new set of Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, 20-inch carbon fiber wheels, and an overall 20 percent increase in aero efficiency over the “standard” 488 GTB.
Geneva is big for Jaguar for this reason: the all-new I-Pace. This is not just any crossover, but the UK automaker’s first-ever all-electric vehicle. Although we’ve already seen it in concept form, the production-spec I-Pace isn’t expected to look all that different, and that’s a good thing because we liked what we saw. Along with a reported 395 hp on tap, the I-Pace will very much carry on Jaguar’s legacy of exhilarating performance. We can hardly wait.
Although Hyundai just revealed its new Nissan Juke rival, the Kona, at Los Angeles late last year, the automaker is bringing an all-electric version to Geneva. According to the automaker, it’ll offer nearly twice the driving range of the Nissan Leaf. And no, this is not a concept but an actual production model. The all-new 2019 Santa Fe crossover will also be making its debut appearance.
Italdesign, part of the Volkswagen Group, will bring the roadster variant of last year’s Audi R8 V10 Plus-based Zerouno coupe. Powered by the familiar 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10, last year’s Zerouno was an absolute stunner and we expect the roofless version to be equally thrilling. The new roadster is also expected to be built in very limited numbers, given just five coupes were built at a price of $1.6 million a pop.
Lexus continues its lineup expansion featuring that love it or hate it styling language with its first subcompact SUV, the UX. Revealed in concept form at Paris almost two years ago, the UX will directly face off against the new Jaguar E-Pace and other luxury small crossovers. It’s amazing how fast this particular segment has exploded and Lexus has no intention of missing out.
Last year at Geneva, Mercedes showed its Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid fighter, the AMG-GT four-door concept. It was absolutely stunning, though we personally could have done without all of that chrome covering its massive wheels. Exactly a year later, the production version will be unveiled and Mercedes-AMG has already begun teasing it with spy shots. The super sedan, or four-door coupe if you prefer, is expected to have an output of around 800 hp thanks to its hybridized powertrain. Porsche should be concerned. Mercedes will also be bringing its all-new A-Class hatchback, C-Class refresh, Maybach S-Class, and AMG G63 SUV, all of which have been revealed online.
Porsche will take full advantage of Geneva with the reveals of two extreme models, the new 718 Cayman GT4 and refreshed 911 GT3 RS. Both are powered by a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six, though with different outputs. We've heard the GT4 will produce around 450 hp while the GT3 RS will increase output from the current 500 hp to 520 hp. We've already seen a leaked image of it while the 718 Cayman GT4 was just caught camo-free in some recent spy shots, indicating both debuts are imminent online.
Will Rimac have Richard Hammond on hand to introduce its new all-electric hypercar?. Probably not, but in any case, the Croatian automaker will pull the sheets of what we expect to be called the Concept Two, the successor to the limited-run Concept One. Rimac has been mum on details so far other than it'll be an EV and fully autonomous, but if the Concept One produced 1,073 hp, the Concept Two will offer even more power in an effort to outscore the likes of the Bugatti Chiron. That’s a drag race we can’t wait to see happen.
Only a few days ago Toyota kicked off its promo campaign for its reborn Supra with a single teaser image showing the car’s rear glass and a massive spoiler. Is this the production-spec Supra we’ve been longing after for nearly five years, or a more advanced stage concept? A Gazoo Racing track version? All we can confirm is this: like the last Supra, the new one will have a turbocharged straight-six engine and rear-wheel-drive.