We pick the best and most interesting prestige & performance cars from the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and ponder the future of the automobile.
Last year’s Geneva show saw a noticeable move towards electrification by manufacturers.
2019 saw a quantum leap forward, with the Audi and Peugeot stands being completely “electrified” and hybrids and EVs literally as far as the eye could see.
Could it be that the internal combustion engine is closer to extinction than we thought?
How long before every car at the Geneva Motor Show is electrified?
That was the question we put to manufacturers, journalists, pundits and industry insiders including Christian Koenigsegg and a number of people who didn’t wish to be identified.
Only one of those asked thought that the transition would take longer than 10 years. Representatives at Lamborghini weren’t forthcoming and Ferrari stuck to the official party line – which is that 60% of the cars they manufacture will have hybrid powertrains by 2022.
There was a palpable sense at this years show that things are changing – and changing fast. New niche EV manufacturers were abundant, and there was a sizeable contingent of Chinese automakers.
The good news is that brands such as Pininfarina, Audi and Lagonda look set to ensure the future of personal transport looks great and stirs the senses even after we lose the familiar sounds, smells and possibly sensations of over 130 years of motoring heritage.
The best – Magnitude’s Top 10 cars of the show
1. Bugatti Voiture Noire
To say that the Voiture Noire divided opinion would be the understatement of the show. At £12.5 million + taxes, many saw it as a shameless profit-making exercise although we’re sure the owner who commissioned it will disagree. Inspired by the Type 57 SC Atlantic and based on Chiron underpinnings, it enraged some journalists but we rather like it.
2. Aston Martin RB003
The “baby” Valkyrie, priced from around £1 million. Looks pretty nippy.
3. Aston Martin Lagonda All Terrain Concept
Aston Martin’s all-electric Lagonda concept is due to go into production in 2022. Stunning.
4. Pininfarina Battista
Pininfarina has been teasing us with the Battista for so long you could be forgiven for having lost interest, but their all-electric 1900 bhp hypercar looks a lot better than the already handsome Rimac it is based on.
5. Koenigsegg Jesko
Evolution rather than revolution for Koenigsegg. The Jesko is their GT offering with 1600 bhp and theoretically capable of 300+ mph. As usual for the Swedish manufacturer, it is brimming with innovation including a 9-speed multi-clutch gearbox that only weights 90KG.
The stars of Geneva – by Google searches
6. Aston Martin Vanquish Vision
Looks similar to the RB003 but comes with a bonded aluminium chassis and mid-mounted twin-turbo V6. Set to rival Ferrari ‘s V8 supercars and price point thought to be around £200,000.
7. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ roadster
Matt bronze doesn’t sound promising, but the rather conventional-by-comparison SVJ roadster looked great and drew big crowds.
8. Ferrari F8 Tributo
Ferrari had already lit the fuse on the F8 before the show but the throng of people trying to get a closer look told you all you needed to know. A butt-lift for the Ferrari 488 Pista seems to have got the deposits rolling in.
9. Audi Q4 e-tron concept
The electric concept looked just about ready to roll out of the showroom. Audi seem to be closer than most to the near-future of mobility.
10. Ginetta Akula
With prices starting from £283,000 + VAT and looks that could be best described as “interesting” it’s unlikely you will see many of these on the road, but Ginetta know a thing or two about building race cars, so we look forward with bated breath for the first road test results.