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