The cancellation of this year’s Geneva Motor Show following the coronavirus outbreak has given rise to a new phenomenon – the ‘virtual’ motor show. Rather than unveiling their latest models on a stand full of journalists, manufacturers streamed their own ‘digital’ press conferences to show off their new products. From this flurry of launches, Petrolhead brings you ten of the big reveals…
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
Alfa Romeo’s Giulia saloon was a long-awaited return to form for the Italian brand, so the prospect of a lighter, more powerful version is mouth-watering indeed. The Giulia GTA gets a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that produces 533bhp, an increase of 30bhp over the Giulia Quadrifoglio, while a 100kg weight reduction has trimmed the GTA’s total mass to 1520kg. A stripped out GTAm version, with a roll cage replacing the rear seats and more extreme aerodynamics, is also available.
Dacia Spring Electric Concept
The Spring Electric Concept previews what Dacia claims will be “Europe’s most affordable all-electric vehicle.” The production version will have a range of over 124 miles when it is launched in the first half of 2021. Not only will it be Dacia’s first electric car, it will also be the first city car in the Dacia range.
VW Golf GTI
For hot hatch fans, the eighth generation Golf GTI was the big news from VW’s press conference. The new model is powered by a 242bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Design highlights include an illuminated radiator grille and fog lights integrated into the honeycomb air intake. Also joining the Golf line-up are the hybrid GTE (with an identical power output to the GTI) and the diesel-powered GTD.
Traditionally, a new Golf GTI would be one of VW’s most important model launches. But given current market trends, arguably the company’s biggest announcement was that it will be launching its first electric SUV later this year. Called the ID.4, it is based on the same MEB platform as the electric ID.3 hatchback, and has a claimed range of up to 310 miles.
Extra power probably isn’t something the McLaren 720S needed, but that’s what this new ‘Longtail’ version gets. Its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 now produces 755bhp and 590lb ft of torque, propelling the 765LT from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and 0-124mph in 7.2 seconds. It should make quite a noise, too, thanks to a quad-exit titanium exhaust system that contributes to an overall weight saving of 80kg. Despite these impressive numbers, McLaren’s chief test driver Kenny Brack claims the 765LT is “not all about performance,” with linear and predictable dynamics helping to create a “natural and seamless” feel to the way it drives.
Porsche 911 Turbo S
The Porsche 911 Turbo S is known for its blend of performance and usability, and the latest 992 generation looks set to continue that trend. Available as a Coupe and Cabriolet, it has a 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat six generating 641bhp. With an eight speed PDK gearbox and all-wheel drive, the Turbo S should have no problem making the most of that power, as demonstrated by its 0-62mph time of 2.7 seconds.
Koenigsegg claims to have created the world’s first “Mega-GT” with its latest creation, the Gemera. It’s a genuine four-seater with – wait for it – 1700bhp and 2581lb ft of torque. Generating those enormous figures is a hybrid powertrain comprising a 2.0-litre twin-turbo three-cylinder engine and three electric motors. Yet the Gemera is also practical, with a range of 621 miles (including 31 miles on electric power alone) and space for four full-size carry-on suitcases. Not only that, the Gemera’s environmental credentials can match those of a full EV – when running on the right renewable fuel, it’s capable of being CO2 neutral.
Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut
According to company founder Christian von Koenigsegg, the Jesko Absolut is “the fastest Koenigsegg we will ever endeavour to make.” The marque currently holds the official record for the fastest production car of all time with the Agera RS, which achieved an average speed of 277.9mph. Koenigsegg has not revealed exactly how fast he thinks the Jesko Absolut could go, only saying the car has the potential to reach “unheard-of speed in record-setting pace.”
Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) first electric car is the third generation Fiat 500. Sold exclusively with electric propulsion, the new 500 has a range of 199 miles. Using an 85kW fast charger, the batteries can be replenished to 80% capacity in 35 minutes. The Fiat 500 is also the first car from FCA to feature the group’s new connected infotainment system, which Fiat brand President Olivier Francois says is “iPhone fast.”
AIWAYS will be the first Chinese brand to bring an electric vehicle to Europe when sales of its U5 SUV start in August. However, the company’s operating model is perhaps just as interesting as the car itself. They plan to adopt an online, direct-to-consumer approach for sales, and will establish a network of partners to take care of test drives, servicing and other customer-facing activities.