When it comes to automotive excitement, no auto show tops the annual Geneva International Motor Show. Held in the backyard of the European automakers, it is not only a place where Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo show off their latest offerings, but the supercar manufacturers come to play with some big-time announcements as well.
On top of that, the show draws boutique automakers like Pagani, Ruf, Bugatti, and a score of brands you've barely heard of to grab some attention–and perhaps some sales–for their limited-run supercars, hypercars, and tuner cars.
Motor Authority was at the show in full force to take in the sights, and here is what we found to be appealing, arresting, interesting, and just plain cool.
Mercedes-AMG GT concept, 2017 Geneva auto showEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-AMG GT Sedan Concept. Mercedes has plenty of sedans breathed on by AMG, but none that have been developed by the company's performance arm from the get-go. That may be about to change. Like the AMG GT coupe and roadster, the AMG GT Sedan Concept would be a purpose-built performance car. Also notable is the EQ Power+ label, which indicates a performance hybrid system lies under the sleek hood. In this case it pairs the familiar twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 with a rear-mounted electric motor for a total output of 805 horsepower. Mercedes says this system allows the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. A production version of the AMG GT Sedan is due before the end of the decade.
2018 McLaren 720SEnlarge Photo
2018 McLaren 720S. Everything about the McLaren 720S is better than 650S it replaces: the looks, the power, the performance, even the 8.0-inch touchscreen. McLaren's second-generation Super Series model trades a 641-horsepower twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 for a 710-horse 4.0-liter V-8 also with a pair of turbos huffing air down its gullet. The engine and transmission sit five inches lower in the chassis to lower the car's center of gravity and improve handling. The looks aren't just sleek, they're functional, too. The A-pillars direct air into ducting that cools the engine 15 percent more efficiently than the 650S, and the rear spoiler provides 30 percent more downforce and acts as an air brake. The 2018 McLaren 720S goes on sale this May with a starting price around $280,000. OK, maybe the price isn't an improvement.
2018 Land rover Range Rover VelarEnlarge Photo
2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar. When your lineup is only SUVs, it can be hard to parse the market to find room for new models. Land Rover has done just that with the new Velar. A compact crossover based on the Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar fits between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport in the brand's lineup. Stylish looks, a high-quality interior with a new two-screen infotainment system, and the somewhat affordable starting price of $50,895 will make the Velar appeal to a new type of buyer. Three engines will be offered, a 247-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, a 180-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder, and a 380-hp supercharged V-6. A Terrain Response selector and an available locking rear differential will add some off-road capability. Watch for the Velar to hit dealers this summer.
2018 Volvo XC60, 2017 Geneva auto showEnlarge Photo
2018 Volvo XC60. Volvo has struck a chord with the design language first seen on the XC90, and now it is applying that theme to the compact XC60. The XC60 gets more than that from its bigger brother, though. The platform is a scaled down version of the XC90's Scalable Product Architecture and the powertrains are likely to come from the XC90 as well. That should mean a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with about 250 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter making about 400 horses. Inside, the XC60 features the tablet-like Sensus infotainment system and 4-zone automatic climate control. New safety features include a City Safety collision avoidance system that can not only brake for an impending crash, but also steer out of the way, and Volvo's Pilot Assist, which accelerates, decelerates, and steers automatically in areas with clear lane markings at speeds up to 80 mph. Look for the 2018 Volvo XC60 in dealers later this year.