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2013 Geneva Motor Show: The Wrap-up Photo:
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Peter Anderson | Mar, 12 2013 | 1 Comment

Geneva 2013 was a vintage year, with several huge releases battling for the attention of the press and showgoers. Italian makers ignored the political chaos at home and threw down the gauntlet with three massive releases.

Ferrari could steal a show with a commemorative teaspoon, but of course the big event was all about LaFerrari. Just 499 will be built - with almost 800 of them already spoken for. (Rock Scissors Paper, anyone? - Ed.)

The new car looks and sounds incredible, and has real presence. It's a finer and more purposeful-looking car than the Enzo ever was, in this correspondent's opinion. It just looks right.

Knowing what was coming, Lamborghini also launched its own wacky new supercar, the Veneno.

Like the super-limited edition Reventon before it, the dramatic-looking €3m ($3.8m) machine briefly held the world's attention on the Monday night as the VW Group held its own mini-show.

Alfa Romeo's 4C, which we first saw two years ago in Geneva, finally rolled out in production form and looked as stunning as it always has.

The specification has been bedded in, too: 179kW and 350Nm of torque, with maximum twist hitting at 1600rpm and staying there for most of the rev range. A flyweight 850kg gives the the tiny car a power-to-weight ratio of the powerhouse BMW M5.

What other unveilings held our short attention spans?


The British

McLaren rolled out its P1 hypercar to rapturous applause, despite its swoopy lines already being familiar. As with the Alfa, it was time for McLaren to share details of its heart: a hybrid 3.8 litre turbo V8 system, producing a combined 673kW.

It'll be even more scarce than LaFerrari, pegged at just 375 units and a price tag in the UK of £866,000 ($1.3m).

The Rolls-Royce Wraith nameplate has been resurrected and it, too, was an enormously popular launch. The imposing coupe was launched with a melodramatic - but beautiful - video presentation depicting a young woman chasing the driver of a moodily-lit Wraith.

The new Roller is fitted with a 6.6 litre twin turbo V12 good for 465kW and will quietly whisk its passengers to 100km/h in less than five seconds.

Aston came to the show with the new Rapide S while Mini unveiled yet another JCW variant, the Paceman.

Bentley's long-awaited new Flying Spur also debuted, but was never going to be a match for the Wraith.


The Germans

The Mercedes-Benz press conference kicked off by telling us we wouldn't need coffee because the new CLA and A 45 AMG would keep us awake.

They weren't wrong, either, with a bunch of male acrobats dancing perilously close to the A45s as they streaked out from behind curtains.

The four-cylinder turbos sounded very impressive, even in the tight confines of the stand, but the Mercedes team made sure we heard one at full noise in the video presentation.

R&B star Usher was on hand to ignore the autocue banter with MB Chairman Dieter Zetsche and shake his head in disbelief at how good he found the car.

The baby CLS, the CLA, was also on show. A sleek sedan not much bigger than an A-Class, the CLA will surely bring new customers to the marque with the CLS priced a long way past affordable.

BMW's sole offering of interest was the new 3 Series GT, which was again old news by the time the press conference kicked off. BMW is perhaps keeping its powder dry for Frankfurt.

Audi showed the new S3 Sportback, a rival for Merc's A 45 AMG while VW had a stand full of Golf GTI and GTD from the new Mark VII range.

Perhaps headling the entire German act however was Porsche's new 911 GT3.


The Koreans

Amazingly, Kia almost stole the entire show with its Provo concept, and it was certainly the star as far as cars for the rest of humanity went. In 2012 it would probably have been the show star.

The Provo took a bow early in the day, with concept rolling out in front of the world's press looking substantially better than it did in the pre-show photos.

Almost every high-profile designer had something to say about the distinctive little three door, and most of it was lavish praise. It has managed to make the very cool Track'ster look tame by comparison.

The car is powered by the new Hyundai-Kia 1.6 litre turbo four. In the case of the Provo, the engine and six-speed gearbox turn the front wheels while two electric engines take care of the rears.

Also in attendance was the new Pro_cee'd GT. Set to start European sales in June, the new hot hatch will also hit Australia sometime in the coming year.

Tthe 1.6 litre turbo powered car is said to reach 100km/h in 7.7 seconds. This clearly leaves room for a higher performance model if things go well in the critical and sales stakes.

Hyundai kept a low-profile, instead concentrating on hyping its WRC entry.


The French

Citroen's dubstep-laden launch was loud and brash, but there wasn't very much to show for it apart from the coming 2008 crossover, which we've already seen.

Citroen had a huge stand littered with many different versions of the new baby urban crossover, including a staggeringly bright orange example.

The carmaker also had its new Technospace concept on show, previewing the next-generation Picasso people mover.

Also on the stand was a brace of 208 GTIs, expected to rekindle the French marque's relationship with genuine hot hatch ability. The less sporty 208s have won praise for their slightly more lively chassis, so the GTI could be a cracker.

Renault, too, showed its new small crossover, the Captur. Aimed at the Nissan Juke-sized part of the SUV market, it's built on Clio underpinnings and carries Renault's new styling themes into the high-riding SUV sector.


The Japanese

The Infiniti launch was a low-key affair, with lots of old ground covered and the European debut of the 2.2l diesel Q50 sedan. Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner was on hand, but there was little to see.

Toyota also had a relatively quiet show with the FT-86 Open Concept being thoroughly overshadowed by the Italians and British.

The stand also hosted the curious iRoad, a cross between a Piaggio MP3 scooter and the late, great BMW C1.

Honda showed off its new Civic Tourer wagon concept in Geneva also, pointing to the coming production model - and perhaps also offering a glimpse of the tough new Civic Type R.

There you have it, the biggest and our favourite moments at this year's Geneva Motor Show.

The break between gigs will be a short one, with the New York Auto Show set to open on March 29. Among the Big Apple's unveilings will be the new Jeep Cherokee and, we suspect, Ford's new Ranger-based SUV.

Watch for the 2013 World Car of the Year winners to also be announced in New York.

Watch for TMR's full coverage of the big event.

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