Geneva Motor Show Highlights
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
It is a couple of years since I took in the Geneva Motor Show and despite the difficulty in finding affordable accommodation in the affluent city, I'm glad I made the effort.
Easyjet do have daily return flights from Liverpool, negating the need to stay over. I paid just £50 for the suitably low frills experience.
The show is open from 9th to 19th March and is held at the Palexpo Centre which adjoins the airport. Adult ticket prices are from around £13 and food and drink are reasonably priced.
So here's a taste of what is on offer if you fancy an exciting day trip.
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Alfa has joined the growing ranks of manufacturers desperate for a piece of the SUV pie. The new Stelvio is far more stylish than many of its competitors, though the quality of some of the interior fittings disappoint. Should drive with a certain Italian brio. Review coming soon.
The rather startling Valkyrie hypercar takes centre stage. Designed in partnership with Red Bull Racing, it is claimed to have a top speed of close to 250mph. Just 150 will be made and apparently are all sold. Shame...
Dominating the Audi stand is the new Q8 Concept. It is really rather large, but will provide luxury travel for just 4 lucky occupants. Looks to be more or less production ready so expect to see it on the road in the next year or so. You won't miss it!
As understated as ever, a new Bentayga debuts with Mulliner additions. Rather vulgar, but will suit those who feel the need to display their wealth. There is also an electric concept car on sale, perhaps a little more in tune with the times.
The new 5-Series Tourer makes its public debut. It's a handsome beast and will surely suit most buyers far better than an SUV. MINI is a no show, which is a surprise.
A new premium offering from the French manufacturer in the form of the DS 7. A high tech SUV, we can expect to get behind the wheel early in 2018. I will reserve judgement until then, as some early DS products have been somewhat lacklustre.
The most powerful production Ferrari takes pride of place on the stand. So how fast is the new 812? The clue is in the name - 'Superfast'. For the record it will sprint to 62mph in under three seconds and easily top 200mph. Predictably it drew a crowd.
A new Fiesta is always a headline grabber as we do tend to be rather fond of the city slicker. For good reason too as it tends to out drive most of its rivals. The new model carries the family resemblance and will come with the latest frugal engines and expected tech. The hot ST version will no doubt set the pulses racing.
The Civic Type R takes pole position here, finally shown in production ready form. Will also be on the BTCC grid with popular drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden behind the wheel.
Supposedly a concept, but the word is Jaguar's first electric car is not far away from production. No details yet on price, but the good people at Tesla might just have some serious competition. I-PACE attracted plenty of attention even from show weary journalists and the Jaguar top brass looked suitably pleased.
Not content with showing I-PACE, the good people at JLR also had the new Range Rover Velar on display for the first time. Designed to fill the gap between the Evoque and Sport models (who knew there was one) it looks good in the flesh with a delightfully luxurious interior. Will sell like hot cakes...
The new CX-5. Another quality Mazda offering with evolutionary looks over the original. Will do battle in an overcrowded marketplace - has the Japanese manufacturer done enough to woo buyers? I'll find out in June at the UK launch.
Having been lucky enough to drive some of McLaren's current offerings, I could not complain about lack of performance. A new 720S is on display, replacing the already hard charging 650S. Thrilling (and slightly scary) performance will be the order of the day. Best of British.
SEAT is rolling out lots of new products at the moment and this time it is the turn of the new Ibiza. Five-door only and likely to be affordably priced, it will offer a little Spanish flair in the declining hatchback market.
The current Swift is one of my favourite small cars. I have high hopes for the new model and we journalists get behind the wheel later this month. Despite modest dimensions, the interior offers plenty of space for four adults. Frugal engines and a high level of equipment should see sales sour.
If you like the Tiguan SUV but need more space, you can now get an Allspace. Seven seats will be on offer. Mixing coupe looks with saloon car space is the new Arteon. Replacing the Passat CC, it will find some buyers who value looks and comfort over practicality and usability.
The whole Volvo stand is made over to the all-new XC60. The current model is excellent, the new one is better still. Looks great, has a wonderfully comfortable interior and will come with all the Swedish manufacturer's latest safety technology. It's a model I'm looking forward to driving later this year.
Geneva Motor Show Highlights, 9th March 2017, 11:10 AM