2020 Geneva Motor Show Archive

  • 2021 Geneva Motor Show cancelled, event up for sale

    Covid-19‘s impact on the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been far reaching, leaving the event with its future in doubt. Following the cancellation of this year’s event due to the pandemic, its organisers have announced that the 2021 edition has also been cancelled. The decision has also been made to sell the event off to Palexpo SA, which provides the venue for the event.

    In a statement, the committee and the foundation board overseeing the Salon International De L’Automobile said that the decision to not organise an event in 2021 came after results of a survey revealed that “a majority of GIMS exhibitors stated that they would probably not participate in a 2021 edition in and that they would prefer to have a GIMS in 2022.”

    With time still needed to recover from the effects of the pandemic, the organisers felt it was far from certain that the current health situation would permit the organisation of an event that would draw more than 600,000 visitors.

    The organisers said that the cancellation of this year’s show resulted in losses of around 11 million Swiss francs (RM49.5 million), and the foundation had approached the canton of Geneva for financial support to cover those losses.

    A loan of 16.8 million Swiss francs (RM75.5 million) was approved, but under the condition that the show had to be held in 2021, and with the first repayment of the loan to be made in June 2021. Given the decision to not run the event next year, the organisers have not accepted the loan.

    The organisers said that the objective of the sale is to find a solution that will ensure the continuity of the show, which was first held in 1905 and is a major fixture in the global motor show calendar. It added that GIMS is the largest public event held annually in Switzerland, and its economic impact on the canton of Geneva is estimated at some 200 million Swiss francs (RM899 million) per year.

  • Toyota delays B-segment SUV reveal to later this year

    Right now, the Geneva Motor Show would have been in full swing, and even though it has now been cancelled, carmakers have still been busy carrying out their plans, unveiling several production and concept cars over the past few days. The sole exception is Toyota, which has decided to postpone the reveal of its new B-segment SUV, according to Automotive News Europe.

    The car was due to make its premiere by now, but a source close to the company said the reveal will now only happen “in the coming weeks or months.” The delay will likely be a blessing for Toyota, as it has already said that the car isn’t actually going on sale for another 12 months.

    Its Geneva activities had already been reduced this year, its media briefing event – which involves senior executives – having moved from the eve of the show to January. Toyota also held what was effectively a private motor show in Amsterdam, showcasing the new Mirai hydrogen-powered sedan, the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid and the fully-electric Lexus UX 300e.

    The new small SUV would have been the star of Toyota’s Geneva stand and marked its entry into a booming segment – something the more upmarket, sophisticated and expensive C-HR probably didn’t adequately serve. Figures from market researcher JATO Dynamics showed that 1.9 million of these vehicles were sold in Europe last year, an increase of 20% over 2018 numbers.

    Smaller and cheaper than the already petite C-HR, the car should get the same B-segment version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) as the European-market Yaris. They will be built at the Valenciennes plant in France and are expected to make up around 30% of Toyota’s European sales volume by 2025.

    At launch, the car is expected to be powered by its hatch sibling’s parallel hybrid setup, consisting of a 91 hp/120 Nm 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder engine and a 79 hp/141 Nm permanent magnet synchronous electric motor. It will also be offered with all-wheel drive, rare in the segment.

    Toyota expects plenty of orders for the new SUV. “We expect this to be a very successful car. Some cars you look at the styling and it just looks right. This is such a car,” said a Toyota source at the Amsterdam event.

  • Hyundai Prophecy – smooth electric concept unveiled

    Hyundai is being pretty bold with its electric concepts these past few years. Last year it introduced its stunningly simple and angular 45 (which is apparently headed for production) at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and now it has taken this minimalist approach even further with the Prophecy.

    Looking more like an onyx stone than an actual car, the Prophecy represents the next evolution of the carmaker’s Sensuous Sportiness design language, leaning on the concept of “Optimistic Futurism” that aims to forge an emotional connection between humans and cars. Sounds like quite a bit of designer mumbo jumbo, but the car looks rather stunning in these photos.

    The incredibly smooth exterior consists of just a single arching line stretching from the front to the rear of the car, while the curved roofline stretches all the way towards the rear, giving the Prophecy a look that’s similar to the original Audi TT, or a Porsche 911. Hyundai says that the boat tail design created by the rear fenders appears to propel the car forward even when standing still.

    Clearly, the streamlined design also aids aerodynamics – an important part of making electric vehicles travel further on a single charge. Aiding the Prophecy further in this regard are turbine-shaped wheels (which are claimed to channel air down the side of the body like water over a stone) and an integrated rear spoiler that generates downforce, improving high-speed stability. There’s also a broad air intake to cool the battery.

    This spoiler is made out of transparent acrylic, which can also be found in the headlights and the exterior cameras. About the only ostentatious part of the car is a large opening at the rear to fit the pixel lighting, which consists of a pair of large vertical bars. The pixels also adorn the headlights and spoiler, and Hyundai says they will be a signature design element of its EVs moving forward.

    The long wheelbase and short overhangs not only give the Prophecy its elegant proportions, it also offers up more space inside. The suicide doors open up to four individual seats with tartan-like trim, a large band of displays surrounding the cabin, a slim centre console and not much else. The use of autonomous driving technology means that the steering wheel can be dispensed in favour of joysticks, improving forward visibility.

    Another aspect of the Prophecy’s interior is the filtering of air. Inlets low down in the sills draw air in from the outside, after which it is cleaned and piped through the wood-based felt carpet. This cleaner air is then circulated back out into the atmosphere.

  • Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 revealed – 245 PS, 370 Nm

    As sure as there is a Volkswagen Golf in the world, a GTI version always follows, and the latest Mk8 is finally here. Evolutionary in its approach, the recipe hasn’t changed significantly since Volkswagen rebooted the franchise with the Mk5, but if it ain’t broke…

    On the outside, this means that the GTI isn’t radically different from the standard Golf, the basic design having been lifted from that car’s R-Line package. This includes a larger full-width lower air intake framed by a concentric black line, giving the GTI an uncharacteristically aggressive front fascia in concert with the wide, low-set headlights and grille. It also gets deeper side skirts and a rear diffuser-like bumper insert.

    Applied on top of all this are the GTI-specific touches. A thin red accent strip spans across the grille and the standard LED headlights, reaching all the way into the latter’s “tails”. For the first time on the Mk8, the grille also has an illuminated strip that joins the daytime running lights to form a single horizontal graphic, while the honeycomb air inlet mesh can be optioned with five LED fog lights on either side, forming two X shapes.

    The red strip continues into the front fender appliqué with the redesigned GTI badging that also appears on the grille. As standard, the car comes with unique “Richmond” 17-inch alloy wheels, with 18- and 19-inch rollers available as options. Finishing off the look are the larger tailgate spoiler, the new centrally-mounted GTI badge and a pair of real round tailpipes.

    Subtle additions can also be found on the inside, with the meaty flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel getting a red accent on the bottom spoke and GTI badging. The sports seats continue with a tartan pattern on the inserts – now in a new “Scalepaper” design – and feature a bold red stripe around the headrest. Models with a manual transmission retain the golfball-style dimpled gearknob, also in a new design.

    The standard kit list in Europe includes the range-topping 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit instrument display with unique graphics, a 10-inch touchscreen for the navigation system, a 30-colour ambient lighting system, stainless steel pedals, keyless entry, autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist and car-to-x (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication.

    Under the bonnet, the GTI continues to be powered by an EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine, now making 245 PS and 370 Nm of torque – increases of 15 PS and 20 Nm from the regular Mk7.5 GTI and on par with the Performance Pack version of that same car. A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, and buyers can also specify a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission with unique tuning.

    The chassis is also par for the course, with MacPherson struts at the front, multilink suspension at the rear, an XDS electronic differential lock and a sports suspension setup with a 15 mm drop in ride height compared to the standard Golf. New for the Mk8 is the Vehicle Dynamics Manager, a driving dynamics control system that coordinates the operation of the XDS system and the optional DCC adaptive dampers.

  • Polestar Precept concept: electric sedan with new look

    So, not an SUV, then. Empathically, the Polestar Precept isn’t a high-riding crossover that’s so in vogue these days, but a good old-fashioned sedan. And a stunning one at that.

    After years of pilfering Volvo’s concept back catalogue (the 1 is essentially the production version of 2013’s Concept Coupé, while the 2 references the 40.2 from 2016), the electrified sister entity has finally defined its design language as a nascent individual brand. And while the Precept still carries remnants of Gothenburg in its DNA, it repurposes those cues into a look that’s all its own.

    The Thor’s Hammer LED headlights remain, but they have been separated into upper and lower branches, framing a minimalist front fascia. The traditional grille has been replaced by a SmartZone, a strip that carries the car’s twin radar sensors and high definition camera for its driver assistance systems. Polestar is making these sensors a highlight of the Precept’s styling, with a prominent LIDAR pod also sitting atop the glass roof.

    Staying at the front of the car, an integrated wing above the SmartZone – similar to the one on the Ferrari 488 Pista – accelerates airflow over the bonnet. This allows the air to attach to the surface earlier, improving aerodynamic efficiency and thus, range (this car is electric, after all).

    The Precept is a very long car, and its wheelbase alone measures a considerable 3.1 metres long. Not only does this provide space for a large battery to sit within the floor, it also gives the car a low and sleek look, helped by the coupé-like roofline and tall window line.

    The pronounced front and rear haunches emphasise the Precept’s strong stance, while a deep bodyside cut in the doors exposes a grey underside, lined by slim skirting that forms the front splitter and rear diffuser. At the back, the full-width inverted U-shaped tail lights form the trailing edge of the short rear deck, and feature aerodynamic vents within its corners.

    Futuristic touches abound, including the mirror-replacing side-view cameras, suicide doors, frameless windows that betray the lack of B-pillars, and a missing rear windscreen (rearward visibility is instead afforded by a rear-view camera). This allows the glass roof to stretch behind the rear passengers, as well as a larger opening and higher hinge mounts for the tailgate – yes, the Precept is a five-door – to improve boot access.

    The rather Scandinavian aesthetic continues inside, where a slim horizontal dashboard holds the 12.5-inch instrument display and the massive 15-inch portrait-format touchscreen, the latter running the brand’s Android-based infotainment system. Eye-tracking technology adjusts the content on various screens based on the driver’s gaze, while proximity sensors provide gesture control for the centre screen.

    The Precept features four large individual seats, and both the front and rear occupants get a floating armrest with a rotary knob – seemingly used to control music playback – at the end. The brand’s signature gold accents can still be found on the seat belts (and the brake callipers), while its logo is set in Swedish crystal behind the rear seats – repurposing the material found in Volvo’s gearknobs.

    Polestar is big on sustainability, and to that end the car interior panels and seat backs are made from Bcomp’s flax-based composites, offering up to a 50% reduction in weight and an 80% reduction in plastic waste compared to traditional materials.

    Elsewhere, the seat surfaces are 3D-knitted using plastic from recycled PET bottles, while the bolsters and headrests are made from recycled cork vinyl and the carpets from reclaimed fishing nets. The company says that it is moving beyond the traditional leather, wood and chrome to define a new kind of premium luxury.

    This being a flight-of-fancy show car, no technical details have been revealed, apart from the fact that this is a fully-electric vehicle. What do you think – do you like the direction Polestar is headed with the Precept? Sound off in the comments after the jump.

  • Aston Martin DBX customised by Q – menacing look

    The highly-awaited Aston Martin DBX has yet to enter production – it’s slated to do so in May – and already Gaydon is drumming up interest for its first ever SUV. Its latest effort involves its personalisation arm, Q by Aston Martin, which has worked its magic on the car.

    Despite the insane range of colour and customisation options that buyers can choose from, the resulting car is pretty subdued in its appearance, the outfit preferring to focus its attention on the details. The curvaceous body is painted in Satin Xenon Grey matte paint, accented with gloss black 22-inch alloy wheels and carbon fibre on the lower body trim, door mirrors, bonnet and fender vent fins and even the winged badge.

    Meanwhile, the sombre atmosphere of the brogued Obsidian Black leather interior is lifted by contrasting stitching and diamond-patterned decorative trim machined out of solid aluminium. The most eye-catching part of the entire car is the unique trim found on the floating centre console and the doors.

    Machined from a solid block containing 280 hand-laid layers of carbon fibre, the pieces were then put through a 12-hour curing process and 90 hours of five-axis milling to get to their final forms. Carbon fibre can also be found on the boot floor in a gorgeous herringbone pattern.

    Customers can opt for a more affordable (the term being relative here) version of this menacing look by opting for the ‘Q by Aston Martin – Collection’, which consists of the paint, the carbon fibre lower exterior trim and black anodised tread and sill plaques. The package is available to order now.

    “Of course, the example shown today is just one sphere of inspiration that can be explored, but with DBX providing the ultimate canvas to bring a vision to life, I fully expect to see a wide and broad variety of creations over the coming months,” said Aston Martin executive vice president and chief executive officer Marek Reichman.

  • W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift for Geneva debut

    Mercedes-Benz has revealed its exhibit for next month’s Geneva Motor Show, confirming that the long-awaited W213 E-Class facelift will finally make its debut at the exhibition, along with several other vehicles.

    Preliminary details of the executive sedan, along with photos of test prototypes, were revealed last month, and they show the car with a significantly revised exterior design. The front end is almost completely new, with trapezoidal headlights (with arrow-shaped daytime running lights) and a slimmer grille bringing it closer in look to Stuttgart’s newer models. Only the bonnet appears to remain unchanged.

    Another wholesale revamp can be expected at the rear, the wider two-piece tail lights again referencing Mercedes’ latest design language. Inside, the E-Class will benefit from a new steering wheel that retains its touchpads, as well as larger 10.25-inch displays as standard (12.3-inch items optional). The facelift also sees the integration of the latest Mercedes-Benz User Interface (MBUX), including its advanced voice control.

    Other new technologies include the new Distronic adaptive cruise control that adjusts its speed based on navigation information, as well as Active Tailback Assist that provides Level 3 semi-autonomous driving at speeds of up to 60 km/h. There’s also a new rescue lane function for the Active Steering Assist, a cross-traffic function for Active Brake Assist and a door opening warning.

    In terms of powertrains, the E-Class will receive a new M254 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing up to 268 PS, available with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The company has also confirmed no less than seven plug-in hybrid models, including 4Matic all-wheel drive and wagon models.

    Aside from the cooking variants, the AMG E 63 will also be making its world premiere, along with two Affalterbach-fettled SUV models and a revamped Marco Polo camper van with MBUX and a Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control (MBAC) interface module.

    GALLERY: W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift prototypes

  • Audi e-tron S to debut at Geneva – three electric motors with 435 PS, 808 Nm, torque vectoring rear axle

    The all-electric Audi e-tron SUV may be the pinnacle of Ingolstadt’s electrification efforts, but the company isn’t hanging around for long. Say hello to the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback, the brand’s first S-branded EVs, which promise to bring along a smorgasbord of new technologies – as Audi revealed during the international media’s first drive of the prototypes.

    Whereas the standard e-tron is available with twin electric motors producing 360 PS and 561 Nm of torque, the S adds a second motor on the rear axle, making it the first three-motor EV in production. This provides real torque vectoring across the two rear wheels, a greater rearward bias and more dynamic handling.

    Some changes were made to the configuration of the motors, with the larger unit at the rear of the regular 55 model now being placed at the front of the car, albeit in a modified form and producing 124 kW (169 PS) instead of the usual 140 kW (190 PS). The 55’s smaller front motor has been switched to the rear of the car, and there are now two of them, producing a combined 196 kW (266 PS).

    All in all, Audi claims that the e-tron S churns out 320 kW (435 PS) and 808 Nm of torque, while an overboost function in S mode brings that up to 370 kW (503 PS) and a whopping 973 Nm for eight seconds, thanks to an uprated cooling system. So equipped, it is capable of getting from zero to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds before hitting its electronically limited top speed of 210 km/h.

    All motors get their own power electronics supplying their own three-phase power, and are each connected to the wheels via a single-speed planetary gear set. They are juiced by the same 397 V lithium-ion battery with a 95 kWh gross capacity (net figure 86.5 kWh) as the standard car. No range figure has been released, but Audi says the battery is capable of pushing out up to 430 kW temporarily, supporting the car’s performance.

    The car runs mostly in rear-wheel drive only, with the front motor only being engaged when more power is required, or when grip levels are low. The real magic sauce, however, is the fully variable torque distribution at the rear, capable of shuffling torque from one wheel to the other within milliseconds. This means it can generate a yaw moment to support the steering, and reduce the steering angle to make a turn, Audi says.

    The e-tron S comes as standard with air suspension with adaptive damping, which can adjust the ride height by 76 mm, dropping the car by up to 26 mm at high speeds. Its settings, like those of the powertrain, can be manipulated through the Audi drive select system with comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, individual, allroad and offroad modes. The car can also recuperate up to 270 kW of kinetic energy when braking from 100 km/h.

    Elsewhere, the e-tron S features five-link axles at the front and rear with larger anti-roll bars and optimised harmonisation of the elastokinematics and dampers. The brake discs measure up to 400 mm in front that are clamped by six-piston callipers (optionally available in orange), and buyers can also specify Audi’s progressive steering system that increases the steering ratio the more the driver turns the wheel.

    Just like other S models, the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback look fairly similar to their standard iterations, sharing the large triangular front air intakes and rear diffuser of the S Line variants. However, these cars benefit from wheel arches that are 23 mm wider than stock; despite this, their optimised aerodynamics mean that the Sportback model still has a low drag coefficient of 0.26, while the regular body style’s is 0.28.

    The interior is also mostly unchanged, with Audi continuing to offer either sports seats or the optional super sport seats with increased bolstering. The S badges on the steering wheel and door sills, as well as the S embossings on the seats and gearlever, are the only hints of the car’s sporting potential.

    Charging is performed using a portable charger that can be used with either a single-phase 230-volt socket or a triple-phase 400-volt outlet, as well as a charging system connect wallbox. The car can also accept up to 11 kW of AC charging, or 150 kW of DC charging through the European Ionity fast charging network – the latter can bring the battery’s charge from 5% to 80% in just half an hour.

  • 2021 Hyundai i20 officially revealed – 1.0T mild hybrid

    Having undoubtedly seen its photos get leaked on the Internet, Hyundai has finally given the new third-generation i20 an official reveal. The images are the same and there’s still no look at the interior of the car, but the company has at least released a deluge of information to tide us over.

    As you have already seen, the B-segment hatchback will be much more striking to look at compared to the outgoing model. That’s in part due to the rejigged proportions – the car now a whopping 24 mm lower, 30 mm wider and five millimetres longer – but mostly because it sports Hyundai’s latest “Sensuous Sportiness” design language, first seen on the latest Sonata.

    The most obvious design cue is the massive grille, which is integrated with the sweptback headlights – with arrow-shaped LED daytime running lights – to form a single graphic. The low-set nose and the steeply-rising beltline gives the car a wedge-like side profile, accented by the sweeping chrome window trim and blacked-out D-pillars for that “floating roof” look. Speaking of which, the roof can also be specified in black.

    Moving to the rear, the front lighting signature is mirrored in the Z-shaped tail lights, joined together by a lit chrome strip to emphasise the car’s width. A diffuser-like rear bumper insert and an intricate 17-inch two-tone alloy wheel option complete the look.

    Again, there are no images of the interior, but Hyundai says the new i20 has a more airy feel inside, with horizontal blades that cover the dashboard to give it a wider appearance. It also claims that the doors embrace the dash in an “elegant, sensual way,” while LED ambient lighting is also available – as are grey and yellow-green trim options.

    Meanwhile, the stretched wheelbase offers increased space for rear passengers, and boot space has been increased by 25 litres to 351. In terms of technology, the i20 is available with twin 10.25-inch “visually combined” displays for infotainment and instrumentation, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad, rear USB ports and an eight-speaker Bose sound system.

    Hyundai is also adding its BlueLink connectivity services to the i20, including real-time traffic, fuel price, weather and parking information, cloud-based voice control and the ability to monitor and control the car via the BlueLink smartphone app.

    Safety-wise, the car is available with navigation-based adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane centring assist, blind spot monitoring with engine braking and autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection. Also offered is a front departure alert, rear cross traffic alert, a parking assistant and parking sensors with an automatic braking function.

    Under the bonnet, the i20 is available with a 1.0 litre turbocharged and direct-injected three-cylinder petrol engines with 100 PS, and as a 48-volt mild hybrid with either 100 PS or 120 PS. Transmission options are a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a six-speed manual gearbox, and the mild hybrid gets an “intelligent” version of the latter that decouples the engine at a cruise, saving fuel. There’s also an 84 PS 1.2 litre naturally-aspirated four-pot with a five-speed manual, and all models come with engine stop/start.

  • 2021 Kia Sorento tech, engines detailed – 1.6T hybrid

    A couple of days on from the unveiling of the new Kia Sorento, more information has been released regarding the underpinnings of the car. The fourth-generation three-row SUV will ride on a new platform, enabling the car to have a more stylish design and improved ride and handling.

    Break out the measuring tape and you’ll realise that while the new Sorento is 10 mm longer than before, its wheelbase has actually grown by 35 mm to 2,815 mm, with 30 mm going into the more rearward placement of the A-pillars. This, together the shorter overhangs, is said to provide the car with a more premium look.

    Kia also says the interior provides more space than many other midsize SUVs, while better packaging has led to class-leading boot space. For the first time, the Sorento will also be available in six-seater form (seven-seater as standard) with two individual second-row pews.

    Safety has also been improved thanks to a redesigned body with multiple structures, despite now weighing 80 kg less. There’s also a new multi-collision brake system that automatically applies the brakes after the airbags have been deployed, reducing the severity of secondary collisions. The car will also come with up to eight airbags, including a centre airbag between the front seats.

    Also coming to the Sorento is the remote Surround View Monitor which, as the name suggests, allows users to monitor their car’s surroundings via a smartphone, just like a BMW. Do note that the availability of these features will vary depending on the market.

    The revised Smartstream engine lineup will also be market-specific, with Korean and European buyers getting the option of a new 2.2 litre turbodiesel that produces 202 PS and 440 Nm of torque. It is paired with a new eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission that is claimed to have a 58% higher torque rating compared to the previous seven-speed unit thanks to optimised clutch cooling.

    Efficiency has also been increased by up to three percent compared to the outgoing eight-speed torque converter automatic. All-in-all, Kia claims a fuel consumption figure of 14.3 km per litre for the Korean market. The latter will also be offered the new 2.5 litre turbocharged T-GDi petrol engine destined for North America; fitted with direct and indirect fuel injection, it makes 281 PS and 421 Nm and is paired to the same DCT.

    Kia has also confirmed a hybrid that combines a 180 PS/265 Nm 1.6 litre T-GDi mill with a 44.2 kW (60 PS) electric motor and a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion battery under the floor of the car – without intruding into luggage or passenger space – with total outputs of 230 PS and 350 Nm. Fuel consumption is rated at 15.3 km per litre.

    More details will be announced later on, including additional petrol engine options and a new plug-in hybrid. As previously reported, the Sorento will make its world premiere on March 3 at the Geneva Motor Show.


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Last Updated 11 Aug 2022