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Geneva motor show 2018: preview of the key cars

Lee Stern
14 Feb 2018

Take a look at all the exciting new metal set to feature at the 2018 Geneva motor show in March


As is the case every year, the Swiss city of Geneva will play host to arguably Europe’s most important motor show of the year. Without a manufacturing industry of its own, Geneva lacks the inherent nationalism associated with Paris or Frankfurt and is therefore a more inclusive show for all, providing the perfect platform to show off all the latest new cars right across the motoring spectrum. Despite the continued creep towards electrification, manufacturers are just now waking up to their application in performance cars leading to one of the most exciting Geneva motor shows in the recent past. 

The doors of the Palexpo exhibition centre open to the press on 6 March, and to the general public on 8 March, before closing on 18 March. As usual, evo will be reporting live from the show, covering all the headline reveals and hearing from industry heads about their plans for the future.

The highlights at Geneva this year from a performance car perspective include a revealing near-production concept of the Toyota Supra, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 and the first car to be launched by SEAT’s Cupra as a standalone brand – the Ateca Cupra SUV.  In the build up to the show, manufacturers have already begun teasing their respective models and concepts that are due to debut and escalate as we get closer to the show, so keep coming back to this page for the latest news and developments on all things Geneva motor show 2018.

Geneva motor show A to Z of manufacturers  


Audi’s fifth-generation A6 will make its debut in both saloon and estate forms, slotting into its familiar place in the the Audi line-up below the flagship A8. Indeed, it’s the A8 that is the influence for the A6’s design, inside and out. As the new model rolls out hotter variants will follow in the shape of the the S6 and RS6.  The former has already been spotted undergoing performance testing at the Nürburgring ahead of a late 2018 release.


To broaden the Bentayga SUV’s appeal Bentley is expected introduce a plug-in hybrid model to follow the recently announced V8 version. The Bentayga will share hybrid hardware with its VW Group stablemate, the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. 


Munich's worst kept secret, the new BMW M8, is inching closer to its reveal in full so expect some sort of update from BMW at the Geneva motor show. Due to share the same drivetrain as BMW's latest M5, the new M8 will be based on the all-new BMW 8-series coupe, which is only the marques second since the original launched in 1989. Unlike the original, we wouldn't be surprised to see the M8 spread into Cabriolet and even four-door Gran Coupe form.

BMW will also be bolstering its SUV line-up with the new X4, in essence a shrunken-down X6. We’ve already had a chance to drive it ahead of its public debut. Suffice to say it provided no shocks, falling short of the Porsche Macan.

David Brown Automotive

David Brown will reveal a new flagship model based on the Aston Martin DB5-aping Speedback GT. Dubbed the David Brown Speedback Silverstone Edition, it will pay homage to the firm’s headquarters in Silverstone, and through a series of teasers David Brown Automotive has confirmed it will have more than 600bhp.


A hardcore track special and one of the most anticipated cars of 2018, Ferrari’s 488 Pista will be a year-defining supercar. Ferrari has liberated an additional 49bhp and 9lb ft of torque from the 488 GTB’s 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 and has also shed 90kg of weight with extensive use of carbonfibre. The resulting performance figures are staggering: 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds; 0-124mph in 7.6 seconds.


Italdesign is returning to the show with a convertible variant of the Zerouno coupe, which received a warm reception in Geneva last year. It borrows the running gear from an Audi R8 V10 Plus, which is integrated into the carbonfibre and aluminium chassis. The bespoke supercar is also clad in carbonfibre body panels with an aggressive aero package. It’s rumoured to have a price tag north of £1million.


Unfortunately Jaguar won’t be launching a new sports or supercar at Geneva, but a model of great importance to the brand, the all-new, all-electric I-Pace will be taking centre stage. Having already appeared in concept form, the I-Pace is familiar to many people, but Geneva will mark the 395bhp SUV’s first public outing.


We’ve already seen the Ceed shorn of disguise in pictures, but Geneva will be its first public outing. As a driving proposition the signs are good for the new Ceed. It sits on a more rigid platform, benefits from independent rear suspension and has been set up to capture some of the handling and dynamic qualities of the Kia Stinger, according to the Korean manufacturer. As the model evolves it could spawn a GT variant, as topped the outgoing Ceed line-up.


evo was first acquainted with the ‘new’, reimagined Lancia Stratos back in 2010. Not only did it look the part, but it drove brilliantly too thanks to Ferrari F430 underpinnings – we branded it a five-star car. The plan to produce a limited run of cars never came to fruition after Pininfarina, who’d been enlisted to build the bodies, pulled out of the project on Ferrari’s orders. Now the model is set to make a return with MAT (Manifattura Automobili Torino) assuming the production role in place of Pininfarina.


McLaren’s new Ultimate Series car, bearing the name of legendary Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, will be shown in full to the public for the first time in Geneva. A quick glance at the Senna confirms that it is built for crushing lap times, and its vital statistics reaffirm this: 789bhp, 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 211mph.


Aimed squarely at the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door production car will debut a year after the concept version was revealed. The super saloon will employ a hybridised EQ Power+ powertrain, with a power figure near 800bhp mooted.

Mercedes has already revealed the all-new A-class hatch, complete with new engines, chassis and infotainment system, this too will headline Mercedes' stand at the show. 

You’ll also find a facelifted C-class that’s undergone a tech-based refresh but with very few visual updates to show, and Mercedes has revised its flagship saloon, the Mercedes-Maybach S650, in a similar fashion, adding new exterior and interior options to the luxury limousine.


The British marque will be showing two milestone cars at Geneva. The first is a final iteration of the Morgan Aero 8, the racing-inspired Aero GT, which will round off 17 years in production for the model. Secondly, an anniversary edition of the Plus celebrates five decades’ worth of the roadster’s existence.


Porsche’s stand, as usual, will be surrounded by those trying to catch a glimpse of the latest Porsche 911 GT3 RS, which looks particularly mean in Lizard Green. Sitting over its rear-axle, below the tall rear wing, you’ll find Porsche’s last naturally aspirated engine in existence boasting 513bhp, 346lb ft of torque and a 9000rpm red line.


The Croatian manufacturer is set to unveil the Concept Two having already teased the all-electric hypercar. Its predecessor the Concept One, offered up 1073bhp, so you can expect the Concept Two to have even more power as it places the Bugatti Chiron in its sights.


SEAT’s strategy to launch Cupra as a stand-alone brand will be confirmed by its first model, the Ateca Cupra at Geneva. 300bhp from a 2-litre turbocharged engine will make this the first non-premium, performance SUV sold in Europe – if you ignore the limited production, Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution homologation special.  


We've been hopeful that the new Toyota Supra's reveal would happen at the Swiss show alas Toyota has revealed there is yet one more concept to go. Regardless of the bad news, we already know much about the exciting new model, including its adoption of Gazoo Racing nonmenclature. We spoke to Shigeki Tomoyama, President of Gazoo Racing about the long-awaited sports car earlier in the year. ‘The last Supra had a straight-six engine, was twin-turbocharged and rear-wheel drive and the new car must continue this philosophy’ he said.  


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