Geneva Motor Show gives glimpse of shape of things to come
- Credit: Volvo
It's showtime in Geneva with the cream of the new motoring crop vying for attention. Motoring editor Andy Russell picks out some of his star cars and eye-catching updates.
Volvo Cars revealed the long-awaited new XC60 premium sport utility vehicle – the best-selling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe – with styling inspired by the XC90.
Autonomous driving is the news here, with the latest update to Volvo's City Safety system so the car can now steer its way out of trouble if it feels braking isn't enough to avoid a collision when changing lanes for both oncoming vehicles and those in the blind spot behind. Volvo's advanced semi-autonomous driver-assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads an option.
The 407hp T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid tops the powertrain range along with 190hp and 235hp D4 and D5 2.0-litre turbo diesels and 254hp T5 turbo petrol.
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Citroen's upmarket DS Automobiles division is expanding with its first sport utlity vehicle in the form of the shapely DS 7 Crossback which arrives next January. Despite its bold, concept-like styling, this is a full production model and features innovative technology that takes the first step towards autonomous driving.
The chic, contemporary interior offers four Inspirations interior ambiences – Bastille, Rivoli, Opera and Performance Line – reflected in craftsmanship, materials and finishes.
The brand's new flagship will be powered by 130, 180 and 225hp turbo petrol engines and 130 and 180hp turbo diesels but the highlight is the 300hp E-Tense plug-in petrol with four-wheel drive – capable of 37 miles on a charge – the result of mating a 200hp petrol engine and two 109hp electric motors.
FORD FIESTA ST
The hot new star in the overhaul of Britain's best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta, is the next-generation ST powered by an all-new three-cylinder, 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine. Delivering 200PS and 290Nm of torque it can reach 62mph from rest in 6.7 seconds.
The first three-cylinder Ford Performance model, it's also the first Fiesta ST to feature selectable drive modes – enabling engine, steering and stability controls to be configured to normal, sport and track settings. They will also adjust and amplify the naturally sporty sound of the new engine that also features Ford's industry-first cylinder deactivation system for a three-cylinder engine, for further reduced CO2 emissions of an anticipated 114g/km.
Available in early 2018 in three and five-door body styles, it will also offer more interior trim and personalisation options.
HONDA CIVIC TYPE R
The all-new Civic Type R, being launched in summer, shares the same fundamentals as the new 10th-generation Civic hatchback but has been engineered from the ground up with the aim of delivering the most rewarding drive in the hot-hatch segment.
The 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo engine now produces 320PS while a new Comfort setting alongside agile Sport and track-focused +R modes, each altering the adaptive dampers, steering force, gear shift feeling and throttle response of the car
The new Type R, to be built at Swindon, is 38% stiffer while the standard hatchback's front suspension has been tweaked to minimise torque steer and maximise sporty handling. The new independent rear multi-link system of the standard car is improved with unique high rigidity suspension arms.
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS
Mitsubishi's new rival for the likes of the Nissan Qashqai heads to Geneva sporting chiselled styling and a range of economical engines as it vies for a slice of the lucrative crossover pie.
Due to go sale in the UK early next year, it will target style-conscious drivers with its sharp, wedgy coupé looks and muscular SUV stance, as well as its advanced levels of connectivity – with smartphone link media system, touchpad controller and head-up display – and intelligent, electronic all-wheel control technology.
Power will come from a new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine, with CVT transmission and eight-speed sport manual over-ride, and the 2.2-litre diesel with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.
RANGE ROVER VELAR
A new Range Rover is a huge deal. The manufacturer's range is expanding from three to four, with the Velar filling the gap between the Evoque and the Sport. On sale from summer, it is priced £44,830 to £85,450.
On the outside it looks a lot like the rest of the range, but inside it's a revolution. The dashboard design features two large touchscreens that remove the need for all but a few switches, while the brand worked with luxury upholsterers to offer unique materials to consumers.
Power comes from 180 and 240PS, four-cylinder Ingenium 2.0-litre and 300PS 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesels and 250 and, later, 300PS 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol and a 380PS 3.0-litre supercharged petrol units. All are mated to eight-speed automatic transmission. Adaptive damping is standard on all models while V6 models get air suspension as standard. The Velar has a 632-litre boot and exceptional space for all occupants,
The new Renault Captur, Europe's best-selling urban crossover last year, gets a bolder, more assertive look – bringing its styling closer to its bigger sibling, the Kadjar. It also features a more luxurious and refined interior and new range-topping Signature S Nav version.
It's also more connected with the range-topping R-Link media system now compatible with Android Auto giving easy and direct access to smartphone applications – telephone functions, navigation, music and messages.
Blind spot warning and hands-free parking are available on higher-spec models. The new Captur in on sale in summer.
Subaru's all-new XV crossover, getting its first redesign since launched in 2012, will be built on the completely revamped Subaru Global Platform, significantly enhancing refinement, safety, ride comfort and agility.
A newly-developed 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive are standard on all models while off-road ability is further enhanced by X-Mode technology which improves drivability and traction in extremely slippery conditions.
EyeSight, the innovative and highly-acclaimed driver assist technology for automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and keeping you in the lane, is standard while other new safety features are now also available.
Volkswagen's sleek, new, five-door Arteon fastback, which replaces the popular CC, combines the look of a sports car with the space of a saloon, blending style with function. The Arteon features some standout design touches, such as a contoured clamshell-style bonnet, flared wheel arches, horizontally positioned LED tail lamps and twin tailpipes.
Described as an 'avant-garde business-class gran turismo', it is powered by six turbocharged engines. Base cars are due to be powered by a newly-developed 1.5-litre turbo engine, joined in the range by a 2.0-litre petrol producing either 187bhp or 276bhp.
At 131mm longer than the CC and 51mm longer than the Passat, Volkswagen claims the Arteon will offer class-leading rear legroom.