The annual Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), not to be confused with our dearly departed JIMS, has been held 87 different times. That’s a staggering number of years and in that time, this event has been bestowed an importance that is unmatched. In a nutshell, Geneva is where world beaters are unveiled and this year’s spectacle didn’t disappoint. It’s currently in full swing and we rummaged through a large number of debutants to identify only five that will for the next 7 years, either find a home at your residence or grudgingly, decorate your neighbour’s driveway.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Because the word car has effectively been replaced with the SUV acronym, the latest Italian brand to succumb to the overwhelming pressure of building a hulk on stilettos after Maserati with its Levante is none other than Alfa Romeo. The Stelvio which is named after an impressive but daunting ribbon of mountain pass road that rapidly snakes down the Alps of Northern Italy, Alfa Romeo hopes to finally turn its unique DNA of lustful shapes into something sellable and promises thrills, luxury and space instead of the temperamental ownership experience of the past. Expect the usual mix of petrol and diesel engines and a Quadrifoglio Verde (QV) derivative when it finally goes on sale.
Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door
Mercedes has brought the new E-Class cabrio and other models into town but you have got to get a load of this new four-door Mercedes-AMG GT. It’s also a strange coincidence that Mercedes-AMG created this car during a period where they tied up with Aston Martin which also happens to build the equally bizarre Aston Martin Rapide; a likewise four-door super car. To the sports coupé anorak, it may look like the best candidate for oddball of the year but consider how appealing it will be to unwavering fans of the AMG GT who have a family and an unquenchable love for the sluggish sport of Golf. The joy on their faces for finally being able to fit in the monstrosity that is a set of clubs with great ease will be epic. With this concept they have certainly found the ultimate motorized companion to bridge all of these loves while retaining the head-banging performance of an AMG GT.
Ferrari 812 Superfast
Simple, well defined words and bright colours are said to be the most attractive to the human eye and we can bet that your eyes are glued firmly onto this red car and its Superfast nameplate that leaves very little to the imagination. Not yet regarding its thrilling performance potential. It looks like 588kW worth of supercar, doesn’t it? Well this is the actual power figure that will be under your right foot and is said to tear away to 100km/h in a staggering 2,9 seconds, a few splinters shy off the LaFerrari halo model. Powered by a 6,5-litre V12, Ferrari says it’s the fastest front-engine car it has built, ever! Its front engine configuration also points to a Grand Tourer (GT) class of car which are designed largely to reel in long distances in comfort, style and a where this 812 is concerned, a heart-stopping 340km/h top speed tags along.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
Porsche’s Panamera needs no introduction here in South Africa as it has been part of the local motoring landscape for a good number of years now. First thought of as a peculiar thing, it has gone viral and is now one of Porsche’s best-sellers. Expect the same range of current Pana engines which should also include the new hybrid motor with 404kW. AMG’s four-door GT and Aston Martin’s Rapide are evidence that this German company was way ahead of its time when it launched the Panamera – a nameplate currently in its third generation – and with this new car, Porsche has once again shifted the goal posts to bring even more space, more interesting looks and perhaps the household pet along for the journey. To sweeten the deal further, local pricing has been finalised.
Range Rover Velar
We could have given this spot to the face-lifted Golf GTI or the all-new 3-cylinder Ford Fiesta ST, but the graceful looking Velar is a more deserving recipient. It fits in-between the Destinyconnect-esque, Evoque and the rip-roaring Range Rover Sport. With its swoopy coupe-like silhouette, it’s aimed at the swaggering lot who like their steeds flashy and unashamedly evocative and as usual, the company promises it will be good on a multitude of surfaces including beaten tracks. However, with a lightweight skeleton, we reckon it’ll enthral more on smooth tarmac of the curvy type. It will share most of its mechanical bits like engine and transmission with other JLR products and it stands out above the rest of Rangers not only via its rakish roof, but also thanks to a stunning and evolved corporate look of the current harem. It’ll also debut a new way of doing things inside the cabin through a buttonless dashboard.