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2011 Geneva Motor Show

Audi A3 Sedan: Audi gave its small-car staple the boot when it unveiled a new sedan variant at Geneva in 2011.

Brilliant creations and a new-found confidence dominate the Geneva motor show

1 Mar 2011


HARDLY a breath has been taken from the world’s major motor manufacturers since showing off their latest creations at the Detroit auto show just seven weeks ago, as evidenced by last night’s opening of the 81st Geneva motor show.

This event is so significant on the 2011 calendar that various car-makers have teased with their Geneva world premieres since last year, such as Kia with its crucial new Picanto – one of many new compact cars that should be coming Down Under inside 12 months – and, at the other end of the scale, Ferrari with its mould-breaking new FF grand tourer.

Cars from across the entire market spectrum and concepts either close to production or literally out of this world are all represented in Geneva this week, with a heavy emphasis on environmental friendliness as well as power and passion illustrating a new-found optimism in the industry that was missing during the GFC.

GoAuto has covered the procession of new metal – and the prospects of each model for Australia – as manufacturers showed their cards in recent weeks, and now, over the past 24 hours, a number of long-anticipated new models, and some surprising concepts, have hit the spotlight.

Among them are Alfa Romeo’s 4C supercar, Lamborghini’s long-awaited Murcielago-replacing Aventador LP700-4, the near-production version of Toyota’s FT-86 rear-drive sportscar, and more details of Subaru’s take on the same vehicle.

It’s only about five degrees Celsius in Geneva this morning, but in the Palexpo halls – across 80,000 square metres, upon which 260 exhibitors are spruiking 700 brands spanning 31 countries – the temperature is still rising.

Show of strength

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKISThis year’s Swiss expo proved that the global financial crisis of the previous three years had started to fade with a massive array of fresh production and concepts.

 center imageOn the side of reality was the new-generation Kia Picanto sub-B car and Rio light car, the Ford Fiesta-based B-Max, VW Golf Cabrio, Saab 9-5 Estate, Opel Zafira III, and the Holden-penned Chevrolet Cruze Hatch, while people with plenty of cash will soon be able to splash out on a Ferrari FF 4WD coupe, Alfa’s striking 4C, the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, and Porsche Panamera Hybrid.

Of the increasingly more popular near-production ‘concepts’ were the rear-drive Toyota sports car called the FT-86 – the new Celica replacement, Mitsubishi’s Concept Global Small light car that will form the basis of the next Colt, the A3 Sedan Concept, the thinly-veiled Mk3 version of the popular Audi small car – and the first with a three-box style.

Flights of fancy included the Skoda Vision D (a precursor to the next-gen Octavia small car), VW Kombi-like Bulli, Smart ForTwo ForSpeed EV electric vehicle, Nissan’s promising ESFLOW EV coupe, BMW 6 Series Coupe, and Mini’s Rocketman, a proper reinterpretation of the famous BMC original from BMW that may yet make production (some day!).

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