As ever for PetrolBlog I thought I would just stick to covering some of the more obscure stuff at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show as you will have probably seen the other stuff from more mainstream outlets.
So kind of tucked away at the side was a small hall displaying electric ‘cars’. As you will have seen many of the mainstream manufactures were going for the whole electric car thing this year. Kudos to Nissan because everywhere you looked was a bloody LEAF.
I will warn you now though, I think many of those dodgy electric cars from 80s/90s dystopian films may have had an influence on the designs on display in this hall.
Have you ever wanted to go for a drive in your very own Jacuzzi? No I’m not talking about one of those things you get on the back of an Essex Hen Night Limo, this is a proper mental electric ‘car’. It’s called the Cybergo and I think it pretty much sums up what would happen if a Golf Kart mated with a Jacuzzi. Interesting mass transport solution possibly.
As you can see the enthusiasm on the man’s face said it all. This is the unfortunately named Weez. It’s a bit of plastic ABS with 4x in-wheel electric motors and it’s from…Tunisia. The guys did actually have some pretty cool video of the prototype being hooned around. I think while this might not be a viable everyday transport option it did seem like quite a cool option for the leisure industry. Maybe. Well, it’s better than a scooter. Probably.
This is the Mooville. It reminds me a bit of the Modec commercial vehicle only it’s smaller and with a stupid name. Mooville? Come on.
Does every car look better in Gulf racing colours? Well when it come to the Th!nk the answer is a resounding no. On a serious note if any of these guys want to be taken seriously then why have such ridiculous names and presentation? Seems nuts to me. Having said that though I did decide to have a go in one of the more ‘sensible’ options and one that’s built right here in the UK.
Yes you guessed it – the TATA Vista EV. This car starts life in India as a shell, it’s then shipped over to Coventry where a load of guys at Warwick University stick batteries and motors into it. It’s then hooned around at the Gaydon test track (remember they own Jaaaaag) and they also fit some trinkets to it in the form of alloys, a bodykit and a leather interior.
My drive was brief, the electric car test set up at Geneva was both tiny and crap. Also to add to the ridiculous comedy effect the smoking area was in the same place as all the ‘zero emissions’ test vehicles, so I had to choke my way through to get to the cars.
The Vista EV was not bad though, aside from the tracking on the test car was miles out. Apparently at the moment there are 25 vehicles in the UK and all of them are being loaned out at a cost of £150 per month. Be intrigued to have a ‘proper’ go in one as it seems like it might be an electric car that A) Exists B) Is not astronomically expensive (given potential depreciation) and C) Relatively practical.
It’s never going to set the world on fire (the Nano does that literally…) but view it as a white good for serving a purpose and it seems it may have potential. And don’t even bother moaning to me about how electric cars are not good for the environment blah blah blah. I couldn’t care less about that, I have three petrol glugging cars and this is PETROLblog I’m writing on right?
Anyhow back into the main halls and the bonkers Rinspeed did not disappoint with their Bamboo concept. Kind of reminds me of the old Citroen Mehari, but this time it’s come back and it appears to be on crack. Don’t deny it –you want one.
Also appearing with something slightly bonkers was Morgan with their new three wheeled creation. I appreciated it, but failed to really like it. Many years ago as a lad Morgan refused me entry onto their stand. A guy in a tweed jacket got up from behind a seated area on the stand took one look at me, stuck his nose up and and disappeared. As such I think since that moment I have really, really hated them. Manufacturers take note, young motoring enthusiasts grow up. Sometimes they become journalists or even potential buyers so might not want to treat them like s**t eh? It sticks.
The Suzuki Swift Sport was of course PetrolBlog car of the year so I figured why not let a mainstream motor into this post. The Suzuki Swift S concept looked dam good in ‘Renaultsport’ Yellow with Recaro (also looks very much like the ones found in Renaultsport products…) bucket seats. It looks like this is very much a concept that’s pretty much good to go. I reckon the production version will just have a smaller rear wing, wheels and a less aggressive face. So very looking forward to having a go in this.
Now I know I said I would try and stick away from the ‘mainstream’ for this but I have already failed so I thought I might just mention the Lamborghini Avendator. It looks awesome but there was one thing that when you are as anal as me you just can’t help but notice.
See that? Yeah that’s what’s known as ‘birds**t’ welding. It was just there staring at me from the engine bay. Bit of a let-down for a show car but maybe I’m just being too picky and this is a pre-production car etc but still, it bugged me. To be honest that may be more a problem with me than the car.
This classic Fiat looked awesome among the ridiculous re-badged Lancia-Chryslers. That is all, moving on…
As is tradition there were many of the ‘tuning’ companies fully prepared to aesthetically rape the latest premium motors. This year in the firing line was the Mercedes SLS. Oh dear.
Not only that but they managed the (what I previously thought was impossible) feat of making a BMW X6 actually look worse. Is there really anyone that buys this crap? I’m beginning to think since the demise of Mr Gemballa that all these hideous creations are just simply drug mules. Top tip: for sheer quantity of product I would go for the Toyota Land Cruiser ‘Invader’.
Creating a lot of attention was the Bertone Jaguar. I really did not see what all the fuss was about. Maybe if this concept had popped up seven or so years ago it would have got me excited. Don’t get me wrong – I liked it but was still left with an overall feeling of Meh. I think the Ian Callum creations (especially in concept form i.e. CX-F) are actually considerably more exciting and well, better.
This was some sort of crazy military vehicle type creation. It’s got a 7.0 V8 with 600hp and can top out at 170mph. apparently. If you squint and spray lemon juice in your eye it looks a bit like what a Stratos SUV would look like. That’s my reckoning anyway. Oh and it’s called Thor.
Hall 7 is mostly just the trade hall, at first glance it’s just men with moustaches and tyre balancing machines. Take a long stroll up to the back though and there are a few interesting gems to be seen.
This is a pimped up Nissan Juke. Sadly I quite like the paint scheme. Ignore the silly wheels and exhaust and I like it. Is this wrong? Ah well, it looks better than a pimped up Ford Kuga.
Sitting just round the corner was a tarted up CR-Z. Again, ignore the over-sized rear wing and I reckon this looks pretty tidy slammed on those wheels.
But this is the very definition of slammed. Just check out the stance on this VW Kubelwagen, (the only car name I feel must be said loud with a bad German accent KUBVELVAGEN). It was probably the only matte finish at Geneva that I though suited the car. I can’t say I felt the same way about the 300C wagon next to it.
This Alfa Giulietta looked pretty cool though with a sort of grey matte finish, black rims and green tyres. If someone described this car to me I would think it sounds awful, but in the metal it has a nice simple Euro-look to it.
Seeing as the focus on the main stands was for the ‘tuning’ companies to have a go at the new Gull Wing Mercedes I find it fitting to finish my round up with this. Hiding at the back of Hall 7 was a classic 300SL that had been tuned properly. Over 900hp and the ¼ mile in 8.1s. Now that is one sexy drag queen.