geneva motor show

The best cars we would have seen at the Geneva Motor Show

Although we haven't enjoyed our annual alpine dose of motoring this year, brands have still wowed with their latest releases and reveals

If you hadn’t heard, there’s a global pandemic going on. It’s serious stuff; with the best and brightest watchmakers watching Baselworld fall, James Bond having to die another day — and now petrolheads finding themselves stopped in their turbocharged tracks. That’s right, the Geneva Motor Show has slammed on its brakes, and garaged every car and concept that was bound for the Alps.

But that hasn’t stopped brands from releasing news of their new marvellous motors. From Bentley to BMW, the great, good and gear-shifting car companies of the world have launched scores of new cars regardless. So, although we’re not lucky enough to be seeing them in the aluminium, steel and carbon-fibre flesh this year, these are the ten best cars we would have seen at the Geneva Motor Show 2020.

The BMW i4 Concept is a potential Tesla-killer

BMW i4 Concept

What’s that sound? Could it be the absence of a burbling German engine? The whine of a 530 horsepower electric powertrain? Or perhaps it’s Elon Musk, shaking in his boots? Whatever it is, it’s coming from the BMW i4 Concept — a new electric executive car that can hit 62mph in just 4 seconds, before tearing on to a top speed of 124mph. This is the future of BMW, and it looks painfully good.

It’ll be going head-to-head with Tesla’s Model 3 when it launches next year, and looks infinitely cooler. There’s even little electric blue accents around the angular bodywork so you never forget that it’s powered by an eco-friendly engine. And the strangest feature? It has a ‘soundtrack’ that plays when you’re driving, so the electric experience isn’t silent and soulless. Even odder is that BMW recruited Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer to create these sounds. Maybe that’s what we could hear…

The Pininfarina Battista ‘Anniversario’ is worthy of celebration

Pininfarina Battista ‘Anniversario’

Get your birthday candles and a nice bottle of Cavallotto Barolo at the ready — Pininfarina is celebrating its 90th anniversary! And the Italian coachbuilder has come a long way since founder Battista Farina set up shop in 1930s Turin. Geneva would have seen the brand unveil an ‘Anniversario’ edition of its Battista supercar; allegedly the most powerful road-legal Italian car ever made. Now that’s celebrating in style.

There will only be five built, and a £2.9 million price tag makes this a birthday present out of reach for most of us. But, if your pockets are deep enough, this 217mph racer would be a sound, speedy investment. And here’s the most exciting part; in the sub-two second 0-100kph sprint, it will be faster than a current Formula 1 car. Did somebody say ‘insanity’?

The Czinger 21C may not be pretty, but it is very, very fast

Czinger 21C

There’s something off about its face, isn’t there? This Aston Martin Valkryie rival from new US company Czinger (who signed off on that name?) is undeniably exciting — it’s powered by an in-house-developed twin-turbo 2.88-litre flat-crank V8 — but we’re just not mad on how it looks. But hey-ho, you can’t win them all — and this new hypercar more than makes up for its aesthetic misgivings with what’s under that fugly bonnet.

V8 engine aside, the Czinger 21C is also packing two electric motors that power the front wheels — giving it a total blistering output of 1233 horsepower and a true 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. But that can’t be right? Wouldn’t that mean a ludicrously low 0-60mph time? You’re absolutely right; 1.9 seconds, to be exact. So who cares if this super-powered space racer doesn’t score very highly in the looks department? After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the be-horsepower and the be-hell-for-leather hybrid hypercar owner.

The Rimac C_Two looks like Aston Martin and Ferrari came crashing together

Rimac C_Two

Another hypercar brand you’ve never heard of — but this time it’s a car with looks to make us swoon. Have you ever seen such a handsome speedster? The badly-named Rimac C_Two (who puts an underscore in a car’s name?) makes up for its clunky moniker with a design that’s part-Aston Martin, part-Ferrari and all sleek, suave handsome goodness. Just look at it. We don’t even care how fast it goes…

Although we should. With 1,288 horsepower, this all-electric hypercar somehow — unfathomably — tops the Czinger 21C’s 0-60mph time, clocking in at a face-meltingly fast 1.85 seconds. It has two gearboxes, ridiculously intuitive traction control and a claimed top speed of 258mph. It’s also got a $2 million price tag, but let’s not dwell on that. We can always dream.

The Koenigsegg Gemera is a family car. Seriously.

Koenigsegg Gemer

The rest of the cars on this list are wholly impractical, with more focus on top speeds and speed records than crumple zones and booster seats. But not the Koenigsegg Gemera — this is a family car. Oh, you think we’re joking? Well we take your skepticism and raise you four seats, luggage space, wireless phone charging and — oh, yes — cup holders. Introducing the sexiest daily driver you’ve ever seen.

The CEO of the Swedish brand, one Christian von Koenigsegg, even planned to acknowledge how ground-breaking the Gemera was at its Geneva launch. “It’s a completely new category of car,” he was scheduled to say, “where extreme megacar meets spacious interior and ultimate environmental consciousness.” It’s also another supercar on this list that can race from 0-60mph in under two seconds — handy if you’re a little late for the school run.

The Morgan Plus Four is not a Morgan Plus 4

Morgan Plus Four

The Morgan Plus Four isn’t new, we hear you cry! Oh, yes it is, we shout back! You’re thinking of the Morgan Plus 4 — totally different to the new Plus Four. And, while this new model from the Malvern-based manufacturer may look similar to its numerically-named predecessor, Morgan tell us that it shares just 3% of components with the old model.

It’s a bold claim for a car that looks virtually identical. But Morgan has recently shifted from using wooden skeletons to boned aluminium CX platforms in its production vehicles, and this car also uses shorter front and rear double wishbones, modified wings and slightly smaller wheels and tyres. It’s got six manual gears, a 2.0-litre turbo four engine and can race a 0-60mph sprint in just 4.8 seconds. But you’re not buying it for the numbers — you’re buying it for that retro, never-gets-old classic style.

The Aston Martin V12 Speedster is on the right side of unhinged. Just.

Aston Martin V12 Speedster

It hardly looks real, does it? Aston Martin has gone off the rails beautifully of late. First, there was the Valkyrie — the limited production hybrid hypercar. Then came the Valhalla — Bond’s new dihedral-doored, limited edition wheels. And now this! The V12 hasn’t so much torn up the Aston Martin rule book as ignored it altogether; speeding past at a top speed of 186mph.

It’s a nippy pace courtesy of a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 — no wholesome electric powertrains here. Instead, you’ve got a 3D-printed rubber cabin, a rousing, characterful exhaust and a price tag of £795,000 — which isn’t reasonable by any means, but isn’t quite as outrageous as it could have been. Although there isn’t a windscreen, and we’d probably want one for that sort of money…

The Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne sees a vintage brand reborn

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne

If you’ve never heard of Hispano Suiza, you’re missing out. Not only is the Spanish carmaker’s name incredibly fun to say, but its back catalogue of pre-World War II luxury cars is second-to-none. The good news for vintage car enthusiasts is that it’s back — and with an all-electric motor that features subtle styling nods to its heritage.

The Boulogne packs an enviable 1180ft⋅lbf of torque — the same as a Bugatti Chiron — and is thought to offer a range of more than 250 miles. That may not sound like a lot, but for a car that can whizz from 0-60mph in under two seconds, it’s practically a miracle. It’s crafted from carbon fibre and features copper-coloured trim elements — but comes in at an eye-watering £1.43 million. We’d rather have two of the Astons above…

The Polestar Precept EV Concept is electrifying

Polestar Precept EV Concept

Our heads were first turned by Polestar last year, when it debuted a car that could rival Tesla on all fronts. It was well-made, good-looking and backed up by years of proven eco-development. Thankfully, the sub-brand of Volvo has delivered on its follow-up; a striking electric concept due to take the stage at Geneva. Introducing the Polestar Precept.

And never has an eco-friendlier car been made. The interior panels and seat-backs are crafted from flax-based composites, which account for an 80 percent reduction in plastic waste. The seats themselves have been 3D-knitted from recycled plastic bottles — and the headrests created using cork. Even the carpets are made from reclaimed fishing nets. When it goes into production, it’ll also be the first car to go to market with Google’s Android Automotive OS installed — making it just as smart as it is sustainable.

Looking for more Aston Martins? There are plenty on our definitive list of Bond cars…

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