Only at an extravaganza as spectacular as the Geneva Motor Show could these five sportscars be relegated to "also ran" status.
While supercars like the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Lamborghini Veneno may have stolen all the headlines at the Geneva show this year, there were other exciting sportscars on display, too. And if not for those million-dollar, 900-horsepower exotics, they would have gotten the attention they deserve. Here we’ve assembled our five favorite European sportscars to debut in Geneva this year. They’re each eminently desirable and will run circles around just about anything... short of those hybrid hypercars, that is.
The top spot on our list goes to the new Porsche 911 GT3. Not because it’s so groundbreaking – although its traditional form does incorporate a number of advancements – but because it’s one of the most capable performance machines ever to grace road or track. With a 3.8-liter flat-six revving up to 9,000 rpm and churning out 475 horsepower, the new 911 GT3 is an absolute rocket, hitting 60 in 3.3 seconds and topping out at 195 mph. But where previous GT3s were decidedly mechanical, this one's got all kinds of electronic features, like a dual-clutch transmission and an advanced four-wheel steering system.
Next up we have a potential new rival for the 911: the Spyker B6 Venator. Part of the Dutch sportscar manufacturer’s resurgence, the B6 envisions a Porsche rival with a 375-horsepower V6 mated to a six-speed automatic and mounted in the middle of a shapely form. Although technically deemed a concept car, Spyker is intent on building the Venator – and bringing it to the vital US market to join the C8 Aileron and its Spyder counterpart. With Spyker’s typically exquisite trimmings, the B6 is an intricate jewel next to Porsche's decidedly stark designs. We only hope it can help put Spyker back on the map.
One of the most hotly anticipated new arrivals in Geneva this year is the Alfa Romeo 4C. Taking the place of the gorgeous 8C Competizione in Alfa's product line but at a more accessible level, the 4C is a junior Ferrari if we’ve ever seen one. Power comes from a modest 1.75-liter turbo four, mounted smack in the middle of a lightweight form. But with 240 horsepower channeled to the rear wheels through a dual-clutch transmission, the 4C delivers an optimal power to weight ratio that promises to make it one heck of a ride. Best of all, it’s destined to relaunch Alfa in America.
The 4C doesn’t get all the attention from Italian car fans on this list, though. Alfa’s big brother Maserati came to the show with a revised version of its top-of-the-line GranTurismo MC Stradale to stand alongside the new Quattroporte. Derived from the Trofeo racing version, the updated GranTurismo MC packs a 4.7-liter V8 with 460 horsepower driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission, along with a stiffened suspension and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes packed into 20-inch wheels. Best of all, it's based on one of the most beautiful GTs on the market, only in a more hardcore form.
We end with the latest reveal from Wiesmann, that exquisite purveyor of German retro GTs. Only this time, Wiesmann has ditched the luxury features and stripped its MF4 down to its bare bones for track use. Called the Clubsport, this MF4 GT uses the BMW M3’s 4.0-liter V8 and its 414 horsepower to reach 62 in 4.4 seconds. With no luxury features to speak of, the Clubsport instead includes racing buckets, an integrated roll cage and an onboard fire extinguisher – all you’ll need for a day at the track. Unfortunately only 25 will be made... and last we checked, Wiesmann didn’t market in the US.