Get Excited For Geneva 2016: Grand Tourers

Feature

Just at home on the commuter route as they are on California's Highway 1.

Originally, this article was going to be purely about the supercars being unveiled at Geneva 2016. However, as this is Geneva we're talking about, a lot of 200 mph+ motors are being revealed next week, to the point where it's not fair on you to scroll through a mountain of text to read. As a result, to cut down on article length, we're siphoning out the really quick stuff - so no Bugatti Chiron or Pagani Huayra BC. That being said, we've still got a tasty selection of vehicles to go through, with perhaps the most anticipated being the Aston Martin DB11.

Aston Martin hasn't officially stated the DB11 will be unveiled at Geneva, but it's blatantly obvious that it will be. The leaked photos, the months or media speculation and the not-so-subtle teaser videos all pretty much confirm this 2+2 grand tourer will be present at the show. Even though it's the worst kept secret of this year's Geneva Motor Show, there's still a lot we don't know about the DB11: how much power does its new twin-turbocharged V12 have? What's the interior like? Will it lean more to the comfy cruiser end of the spectrum or not? And how much Mercedes switchgear are we going to spot on the center console? We have so many questions to ask, and we can't wait to have them all answered next week.

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The Aston Martin DB11 may be the most anticipated GT reveal, but its not the only British-built GT scheduled for a Geneva unveiling. Jaguar also has its latest front-engined monster to reveal, in the form of the 200 mph+ F-Type SVR. It's the latest Jaguar Land Rover product to be tweaked by the firm's SVO skunkworks division, and it's certainly pulled out all the stops with this F-Type. How does 567 hp from a 5.0-liter supercharged V8, 0-60 mph in under four seconds and track-honed aerodynamics sound to you? With an asking price of $126,000, it's also great value - only a handful of cars cheaper than the Jag (namely the Dodge Viper) are quicker in a straight line, and they're even less likely to surpass the F-Type SVR as a legitimate grand tourer.

If you're more inclined to the mid-engined persuasion, though, then another British brand has you covered there as well. Just before this piece was ready to go live, McLaren announced its 570GT model - essentially, a more user-friendly version of the 570S. That's not to say the 570GT has had its wings clipped in this softer conversion - there's still a 562-hp 3.8-liter V8 and a 204mph top speed, after all. But it is designed to be less grating to use on a daily basis - practicality is improved, thanks to a 220-liter luggage bay behind the rear seats, the suspension's more comfort-orientated and even the tires have been designed to reduce road roar noise. Hopefully the 570GT is still as terrific to drive as the 570S on which it's based.

If that's still a bit too hardcore for you, then even further down the comfort scale is the Bentley Flying Spur V8 S. Designed to plug the gap between the regular V8 version and the flagship W12 model, the V8 S is also positioned as the most sporty Flying Spur model on sale today (though calling it such is a bit ambitious, considering it's a 2.4-tonne luxury sedan). That being said, having 521 hp on tap should endow the Flying Spur V8 S with a decent lick of speed, and the 40:60 power split between the front and rear axles hopefully limits the amount of understeer such a heavy car will inevitably suffer from when it's being driven hard. As a comfort-oriented cruiser with sporting ambitions, though, the Flying Spur V8 S fits the brief rather nicely.

The USP of being a four-seater GT isn't unique to the Bentley at this year's Geneva Motor Show, however. Ferrari's also been dealt that hand as well, via its clunkily-named FF facelift that is the GTC4Lusso. Though it's not quite as practical as the Bentley (all Flying Spurs can carry five people, versus the four seats in the Ferrari), the GTC4 more than makes up for it elsewhere. It's comfortably the most powerful GT car being revealed at Geneva (68 bhp from a 6.3-liter V12, no less), and the new rear-wheel steer system should make what was already a sharp-steering car even more precise and responsive. At $300,000+, it's damn expensive, but it'll be worth every cent if you're after the most athletic and driver-focused grand tourer on the market.

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