March 9, 2016

Exotics Rule Geneva Motor Show

Exotics Rule Geneva Motor Show

If you love exotic cars, the annual Geneva Motor Show is for you.  Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Corvette, Aston Martin, and Mercedes-Benz all released new models.  No less cool were a new Volvo wagon, Subaru concept, and Bentley limo.  Check the highlights:

Opel GT Concept

Meet GM-Europe's vision of a pure sports car for the next decade.  A direct descendant of the '60s Opel GT, it is all about form and color -- highlighted by red front tires.  The chic interior features a windshield that flows into the roof, square steering wheel, and more red.  It moves via a 145 horsepower 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo engine -- good for 0-62 mph in under 8 seconds on to a 134 mph top speed.

Bugatti Chiron

A decade ago, the Bugatti Veyron was the cruise missile that defined supercars with its combination of supreme luxury and jet speed.  Its successor, the Chiron, will travel over 260 mph with a turbocharged W16 engine rated 1,500 horsepower.  Carbon silicon carbide disc brakes deploy parachutes.  The downforce-inducing body is made from carbon fiber; custom tires are made by Michelin.  Expect to pay $2.6 million.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabrio

Launching this summer is a drop top version of the sexy C-Class Coupe.  Billed as an open-air car for 365 days per year, able to drop top up to 31 mph, it features Mercedes' AIRSCARF neck heating and AIRCAP draft reduction system.  It will be available with AIRMATIC air suspension and 9-speed automatic transmission.  Choose between 241 horsepower turbo-four and 362 horsepower V6 engines.  Expect the latest infotainment and crash avoidance tech.

Lamborghini Centenario

Built to celebrate Ferruccio Lamborghini's 100th birthday, the Centenario will cost $1.9 million each with just 20 coupes and 20 roadsters to appear.  The bad news:  Every one is already sold.  Too bad, because you would have enjoyed the 770 horsepower V12 engine that takes the supercar 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds and 217 mph.  There's carbon fiber bodywork, rear-wheel steering, and permanent all-wheel-drive too.

Maserati Levante

The Italian automaker's first crossover shares architecture with the Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans.  Thrust comes from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 delivering 350 or 430 horsepower -- depending on model.  A 3.0-liter V6 turbo-diesel will be available.  All come with all-wheel-drive and 8-speed transmissions.  Levante S rompse from 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds on to a 164 mph top speed.  U.S. sales being in September; prices TBA.

Volvo V90

Nobody does wagons better than Volvo.  Unlike the basic haulers of yesteryear, the V90 is smoothly styled and elegantly appoionted with swaths of leather, wood, and flatscreens -- Apple CarPlay compatible.  An available T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid delivers 400 horsepower and over 20 miles all-electric range.  Safety is enhanced with a run-off mitigation system.  Sales commence in 2017.

Aston Martin DB11

The car of James Bond clicks off a new generation with a bonded-aluminum body that features a floating roof and AeroBlade "virtual spoiler" to direct air around and through the body to control downforce at its 200 mph top speed.  A 600 horsepower 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 with cylinder deactivation propels the car from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds.  Three drive modes with adaptive dampers suit all drivers.  Prices will start over $210,000.

Corvette Grand Sport

The Corvette for track junkies combines the Z06' chassis and cooling systems with a 460 horsepower non-supercharged V8.  Get it with a 7-speed manual or 8-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmission.  A carbon-fiber aero package, Magnetic Ride Control, and electronic limited-slip differential further enhance performance.  Fly your Grand Sport colors with hash-mark fender graphics and exclusive Watkins Glen Gray Metallic or Tension Blue.  Sales begin later this year.

Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine

Bentley's answer to the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is fit for a queen.  In fact, QEII has her own Bentley custom limo.  But, the Mulsanne-based Grand Limousine, built by Mulliner, features rear conference seating and electrochromic smart glass that turns the cabin divider from clear to opaque.  Choose any customer luxury you want for a price that's sure to equal a queen's ransom.

Subaru XV Concept

Subaru is preparing to move Impreza production to Lafayette, Indiana later this year.  And, here's a preview fo the 2018 Impreza-based XV Crosstrak that's proven incredibly popular for its affordable price and rugged off-road "mini-Outback" looks.  Expect more of the same, but refined with chiseled bodylines and smoother flanks.

Storm Forward!

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