Get Excited for Geneva 2016: Concept Cars


Fingers crossed these beauties make it into production unscathed.

Motor shows may be dominated by the big production car reveals, but they're not always the guaranteed show stars. On the contrary, one-off concepts often manage to steal the limelight from the road-legal headline flouted by other manufacturers - there's no denying, for example, that the Bentley Speed 6 design study from last year's Geneva Motor Show was a key highlight. Likewise, had the surprise not been spoiled in advance, the Opel GT sports car concept could very well have ended up being one of Geneva 2016's most widely-reported reveals.


Despite being announced all the way back in January, the Opel GT is still a car we're eager to get a closer look at during this year's Geneva Motor Show. For starters, it looks the business, and we especially love the nods to the original Opel GT in some of the styling cues (namely the twin exhaust pipes and bulging front fenders). The spec sheet makes us yearn for a production-ready Opel GT - a sub-1,000-kg curb weight, a short-throw six-speed manual gearbox and 144 turbocharged ponies from a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine are nigh-on perfect for an entry-level sports car. Opel may officially be saying the GT is just a flight of fancy, but we reckon the reaction it's had will tip the Opel board in the favor of driving enthusiasts.

Further down the pecking order, but still intriguing enough to raise an eyebrow or two, is the new Honda Civic hatchback concept. Though it's not a preview of an all-new Civic, it does give us a brief teaser of the first five-door Honda Civic to reach US shores in over 10 years. And oh my does it look rather dashing - yes, the sole preview image we have doesn't reveal too much, but the large exhaust ports and huge vents in the rear bumper all suggest the Civic hatchback concept will have a look that's far more sporty and aggressive than the smart-yet-sedate styling featured on the current Civic sedan. Having access to the hatch also means that we'll eventually have access to the mother of Honda hot hatches, the upcoming fifth-gen Civic Type R.


Such a sporty fate likely won't be in store for the production car that the Subaru XV Concept paves the way for. As its name suggests, this will preview the replacement for the current XV crossover, which is heavily based on the Impreza. It's likely this will carry on with the new XV, which isn't especially a bad thing - after all, the Impreza is pretty-good-if-not-exactly-great in its hatchback and sedan guises, and the XV's been a fairly big hit for Subaru in the States. Yes, the Subaru XV isn't the most exciting concept coming to Geneva, but it should be a strong seller, which will concurrently mean Subaru should have enough cash to spend on developing lots of lovely WRX and STi models - along with a more powerful BRZ range.

A similar story can also be said for the Volkswagen T-Cross Concept. Though it's officially being billed as a design study, it's safe to presume this T-Cross will preview a new crossover. What's more, we're also pretty confident the Volkswagen T-Cross in its production-ready guise will share a lot with the Audi Q2 that's also making its world debut at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Like the Subaru XV mentioned earlier, the T-Cross won't be the immediate go-to car for Geneva 2016. But the fact the road car it'll spawn is bound to be a huge sales hit means the Volkswagen Group will have more money to spend on making the really exciting cars (or put aside money to pay off fines that could end up costing VW a staggering $61 billion).


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