PetrolBlog’s Geneva Unconventional: Part Three

Time for part three of PetrolBlog’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the Geneva Motor Show 2012.

This update features the best wheels at the show, a gloriously green concept from Suzuki, some bags, some helmets and a lovely surprise from Lancia.

Apologies in advance, this update contains no Ferrari, Lamborghini or Aston Martin images. Sorry.

21. Best wheels at the show: VW up!

I’m sure the alloy wheels on the Lamborghini Aventador J were wonderful. I’m also sure that some people may have found the wheels on the Mansory stand to be things of beauty. But I only had eyes for one wheel and they could be found on one the smallest and cheapest cars at the show.

Sit back and admire the beautiful simplicity of the Volkswagen up! wheels. One day, all wheels will look this good.

Volkswagen VW up! Classic alloy wheels

Volkswagen VW up! Classic alloy wheels at Geneva Motor Show 2012

22. Best concept at Geneva Motor Show: Suzuki G70

The Suzuki Regina was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2011, but for the Geneva show it emerged with a new name – the G70. Believe me when I say this, any photos of the G70 you may have seen really don’t do it justice. This is just a fantastic little car that raises a smile from just about every angle of its cute little body.

Everywhere you look, there’s a neat touch and interesting feature. To my eyes, it’s reminiscent of something Citroën may have built in the 1970s and yet it’s so obviously a Suzuki, especially from the back.

I enjoyed a conversation with Suzuki’s Silvan Meier who was naturally as enthusiastic about the car as me. I asked the obvious question as to whether the G70 is likely to make it into production. Meier was non-committal, but did suggest that parts of the G70 would migrate on to future Suzuki models. In fact, the designer was in Geneva and claimed the same thing that very morning. Good news.

I just love the slightly covered rear arches, small cameras in the place of door mirrors and the way the side windows swoop towards the back in a fish-like manner. I also love the front lights, the bright and airy interior and I also like the floating centre console There’s a lot to like about this little car.

Front of Suzuki G70 concept at Geneva Motor Show 2012

Rear of Suzuki G70 concept at Geneva Motor Show 2012

Rear arch of Suzuki G70 concept at Geneva Motor Show 2012

Front light of Suzuki G70 concept at Geneva Motor Show 2012

Interior of Suzuki G70 concept at Geneva Motor Show 2012

23. Team most likely under the influence of drugs. Allegedly: Rinspeed

Rinspeed isn’t known for conformity. In fact, you could argue that the Swiss company is a little bonkers. Each time I walked past the stand there was something different going on. Lots of shouting, dancing, yelling and clay model making. No really, there was.

They also showed off this six-wheeled Smart. I didn’t ask.

Rinspeed Smart at Geneva Motor Show 2012

24. Biggest health and safety issue: Wheeled travel bags

The problem with having a motor show so close to an airport is that many visitors bring their luggage with them. Not really a problem with standard hand luggage or rucksacks, but unfortunately some people choose to bring their wheeled travel bags into the show. Seriously, these things are such a hazard at an event like this, I’m surprised the Swiss haven’t outlawed them yet.

You’re minding your own business heading between the SsangYong and Tata stand when you fail to notice the wheeled terror being trailed behind the German journalist. The next thing you know, you’re falling head first into the arms of the pretty girl stood beside the Tata Manza. It does little for your street cred. Not that I had any in the first place.

Wheeled travel bags at the Geneva Motor Show

25. The ‘don’t mention the 205 GTi’ award: Peugeot 208 GTi

In 2011 I tested three Peugeots and was suitably impressed with all of them. The RCZ and 508 in particular were highly impressive, if a little soft around the edges.

I’m therefore confident that the 208 GTi could be the confirmation we need that Peugeot has finally returned to form. The concept on show at Geneva looked rather neat and free of fuss. I especially liked the chequered flag inspired grille and the coloured section below it. Apparently this will either be available in the colours of the French flag (the Tricolour) or the Union Flag of Great Britain. Personally I’d order the French option and ask them to colour the front fog lights yellow at the same time.

You may also notice that there’s a badge on the rear quarter panel, a nod to a certain iconic legend from the 1980s.

But we don’t mention that car, do we?

Peugeot 208 GTi concept at Geneva Motor Show 2012

Front of Peugeot 208 GTi concept at Geneva Motor Show 2012

26. The most photographed view of the day

What was the most photographed view of the day? An Italian supercar perhaps? Or maybe one of the blonde models?

I’d wager that it was the view from the top of the escalators between the two main halls.

View from escalator at the Geneva Motor Show 2012

27. Best impression of Dougal from The Magic Roundabout: Valmet Automotive Dawn

This is the Valmet Automotive Dawn. It’s an electric car and a glimpse into the future.

All I see though is a new age Dougal from The Magic Roundabout. With a hotplate on his tongue. But perhaps I’m just showing my age.

Valmet Automotive Dawn EV at Geneva 2012

28. Car of the day: Citroën C6

Goodness, is that the time? It’s at least two days since I’ve posted a photo of the sublime, the stunning and the glorious Citroën C6. Still, at least I’m two days closer to owning one.

White and black Citroën C6 at Geneva 2012

29. The ‘coolest helmet’ award: Pininfarina

Just how cool do these crash helmets look? If you ride a Vespa, your name is Giovani and you have a pillion passenger called Francesca, these are the perfect helmets for riding the Italian coast. If your name’s Gary and you drive a Peugeot 306 cabriolet in Stockport, you may want to think again.

Pininfarina helmets at Geneva Motor Show 2012

30. The ‘it’s always a good idea to look next door’ award: Lancia Delta Integrale

There are two main halls at Geneva and most of the action takes place here. It’s a frantic atmosphere, with everyone looking for scoops, interviews and the big unveilings. But next door is an altogether different proposition. It’s where the tyre fitters, car cleaning companies, garage accessories and model shops are situated.

It’s a far more relaxed atmosphere. In fact, it’s so laid back, I caught at least half a dozen people yawning. One model shop exhibitor was even grumbling that he had only seen two people all day. Oh dear.

But it’s worth venturing next door, if only for the likes of this Lancia Delta Integrale. I’ll admit that I prefer my Integrales in standard spec, but this was a whole lot better than anything Lancia were showing next door.

Modified Lancia Delta Integrale at Geneva 2012

I’m threatening to do a part four, so watch this space. In the meantime, you can catch up with the previous episodes here:

Part One

Part Two

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Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.


  1. March 12, 2012
    Peter Counsell

    The front of that Suzuki seems to suggest Hillman Imp or some old NSU to me. But then it is late and I am tired.

    • March 12, 2012

      Oh good call on the NSU.

      Or maybe I’m just tired too!

  2. March 12, 2012

    Re the danger posed by German journalists and their wheeled luggage: I hope you had a better excuse than that ready for Mrs Petrolblog. Deary, deary me.

    Still, I’m happy to see another C6 picture. It lolls as good now as it did when the Lignage concept was unveiled whenever it was. Just after Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow?

    • March 12, 2012

      Ha! I’m saying nothing Richard!

      Rest assured there will be plenty of more C6 images coming soon…

  3. March 12, 2012

    I can see the NSU in that Suzuki concept, too. Maybe if they started building production cars that interested, they’d sell a few. At least here, where their model range is very, very dull, and the company does nearly no marketing. They build good little cars; it’s just too bad no one buys them.

    • March 12, 2012

      I’m a big fan of Suzuki. The Swift Sport is supremely capable as is the basic 1.2 model. Am almost intrigued by the Kizashi, which I’ll be testing soon.

      The Jimny and Vitara are also great survivors.

      The company doesn’t have a huge marketing budget here either. Shame, as if the brand was stronger, they’d probably compete with usual suspects.

      • March 13, 2012

        They absolutely would compete. Their cars are tough, too. I do a lot of used vehicle research and reviews, and from what I can tell, Suzukis don’t break all that much. They have lots of off-roader cred, too, so it’s a mystery why the Vitara isn’t a bigger seller, especially in North America. We’re crazy for utes here.

        • March 13, 2012

          Suzuki and reliability seem to go hand in hand. I have a huge amount of respect for the brand.

  4. March 13, 2012
    Darren Leslie

    I’ve realised that a great many of my posts are quite negative, something I’ll try to stop. Saying that, there’s not much to be negative about this time round.

    The VW up!s wheels are lovely. Simple design and they look a sensible size.

    The front of the Suzuki reminded me more of the Connaught concept of a few years ago, and the back is definately, as you say, Citroen inspired. Barking interior too!

    Didn’t Peugeot say that the GTi badge was dead?

    Nice find on the helmets and Integrale. Shows it’s really worth moving on from where all the crowds are.

    And finally, “The next thing you know, you’re falling head first into the arms of the pretty girl stood beside the Tata Manza”. And your problem with this is……..

    • March 13, 2012

      Good call on the Connaught. I hadn’t noticed that, but now you say it…

      How long before the up! wheels start appearing on MK1 and MK2 Golfs etc?

  5. March 13, 2012
    Simon Hingston

    Soooo. Those VW wheels are lovely but need some Phantom style self righting centres. The Suzuki is a 21st century Citroen DS concept on acid and Dougal is a robot vacuum cleaner!

    • March 13, 2012

      Ha! I should get you to write the Geneva updates. More concise and brilliantly observed.

      • March 13, 2012
        Simon Hingston

        Very kind 🙂 If you can fix the now broken arm too that would be lovely. Grrr

  6. March 13, 2012
    The Enthusiast

    Great job. Much more entertaining than other coverage.

    • March 13, 2012

      Thank you. Appreciate that.

      Probably won’t be allowed in next year though! 😉

  7. March 13, 2012
    Antony Ingram (@antonyingram)

    VW has a knack for cool wheels. The wheel trims on the more basic spec Beetles also look cool, a great update of the original chromed hubcaps.

    Also, I completely forgot about Hall 7 (with the Integrale) last year. It’s a huge hall, but I usually get to day two of the show and my legs stop working, so I don’t think I’d have survived it this year.

    • March 13, 2012

      Ha! I limped around Hall 7 at the end of the day. By then, the blisters were becoming too painful and the bag was becoming too heavy. Worth it for the Integrale though!

  8. March 13, 2012

    I agree about the VW wheels. Actually your shot of the ‘White’ VW up shows a lot of nice design to my eye. Nice post.

    • March 13, 2012

      Thanks! I still maintain that they were the best wheels at the show. Love them!

  9. March 15, 2012

    I very neary wrote a rant about those bloody wheeled luggage cases. SEAT only make things worse by giving them away every year. The worst thing with them is escalators. They slide the handle back in, and put the bag next to themselves on the stairs. When they get to the top rather than carry the bag A WHOLE TWO FEET out of the way they stand at the top of the escalator faffing around getting the handle back out, thus blocking a stream of people coming up behind them. A big shower of b**tards is what I would call them.

    • March 15, 2012

      God, yes. I’d clean forgotten about the top of the escalator issue! What’s all that about. MOVE AWAY FROM THE TOP OF THE ESCALATOR!

      Also, you’ve now explained why I saw so many SEAT bags. Still, beats a button from Ford!

  10. March 15, 2012

    Reblogged this on NARROW LANES.


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