Geneva Motorshow is one of the big five motorshows worldwide with Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and Detroit, where brand usually present their big news, concept-cars and prototypes. And this year was no exception for Geneva. Just a few blocks away from the airport, in the Palexpo Arena, this 84th edition of the Geneva Motorshow which will be opened from 6th to 16th of March, where the public will have the opportunity to discover the vast majority of the actual automotive production. There is even a little surprise planned with a special exhibition dedicated to the world’s most popular and difficult endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I used to go to Geneva Motorshow since I was a kid, so it was with great pleasure that we could go to the event this year with media credentials in order to cover for you most of the important press conferences. Photos and Text:  Thomas Z. ©

Part 1 : Press Conferences

We kicked off our morning with the Lamborghini press conference, Stephan Winkelmann presenting the long awaited replacement for the Gallardo, which was called the LP610-4 Huracan. Offered, like its predecessor with a V10 and a four-wheel drive transmission, the baby Lamborghini will sadly not be available with a manual gearbox anymore, but the Sant’Agata manufacturer does not exclude a potential two wheel drive version for more thrill driving experiences. The Huracan is moreover the first Lamborghini to be equipped with a dual-clutch gearbox, in order to keep up with its rivals, mainly Ferrari and Porsche who have chosen this solution a few years earlier. In terms of design, the Huracan looks really like a baby Aventador, which is a bit sad, but I am sure that it will find its aficionados customers amongst footballers and rappers.

Lamborghini Huracan Stephan Winkelmann

The 5.2 liters naturally aspirated V10, still in Longitudinale Posteriore (longitudinal rear) position now has 610 horsepower and 560 Nm of torque, allowing the Huracan some impressive performance. 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in 3.2 seconds while the claimed top speed is 325 km/h, thanks to weight, which has been contained to 1422 kilograms. The bull’s brand has made some singular efforts as well to decrease the fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emission of its entry-level berlinetta, with a Start and Stop, a new injection that combines direct and indirect.

Lamborghini Huracan Lamborghini Huracan

Porsche, who were making their big return to the 24 hours of Le Mans, after many years of absence. Their new car, called the 919 Hybrid was a hybrid petrol LMP1 which task will be to beat their friendly enemies Audi and steal their recent success. The brand from Stuttgart was not only going to enter cars in the highest prototype category but as well in the GT3, presenting their most modern version of the RSR. And to do things even better, president Martin Müller had asked during the conference to be joined by a few people of its official team, ex-Formula One driver Mark Webber, and legendary Grey’s Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey, who is as well a great car enthusiast and has had already a few experience on the Sarthe’s track by the past.

Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans Mark Webber, Martin Muller, Patrick Dempsey and Porsche Team

Next conference is another one from the Volkswagen Automotive Group, Bugatti. The Molsheim brand is still trying to sell its last remaining Veyron chassis throughout a limited series of cars, the Légendes. Based on the Veyron Vitesse, the 1200 horsepower convertible version and current top speed world record holder for an open top car, there are six Légendes editions, and three of each. This edition is dedicated to Rembrandt Bugatti, one of Ettore’s younger brother and very famous sculptor. The car incorporates several elements as a tribute to him, such as the legendary Royale elephant between the two passengers. A very singular element I found was the special brown – almost chocolate – carbon fiber from the two tone colored body. The Rembrandt Légende is not the only car showcased by the french brand, with another standard Vitesse finished in two tone purple carbon fiber and white paint.

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We get down towards Hall 4, for the Maserati press conference. What’s it gonna be this year ? The final version of the Kubang maybe, Maserati’s first SUV. Or a little surprise, maybe. On our way, we encounter Fab Design’s hideous version of Lamborghini’s flagship bull, a Verde Ithaca Aventador with one of its prime horrible tuning kit. How can you destroy so badly a car ? Then, Nissan is presenting its new hardcore track-focused GT-R, the Nismo. With less weight, more power and better aerodynamics, the japanese firm claims it can do the Nordschleife under 7 minutes. Some amazing figures given the fact that so far the under 7 minutes Nürburgring lap times were only accessible to owners of McLaren P1s, Porsche 918s and so on. And with a price tag under 200’000 € this might seem like the bargain of the century but you have to remind yourself that the GT-R is nothing else than a big computer. Not a smiling distributor.

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Just before hopping into Maserati’s stand, we just have the time to take a glimpse at one of my personal favorite come-backs. The Mustang is back in Europe, and Ford has brought a Coupé and a Convertible of their Model Year 2015, the first ever pony to be fitted with independent rear suspensions… and a four cylinder. Yes. You read that well. A four stroke engine. In a Mustang. Does that seem outrageous to you ? Well it does to me, too. Climate change and global warming coming through, old Europe wasn’t going to let Ford enter their market with an aging six cylinder engine, so Ford chose to build an “Ecoboost” engine. I don’t like that name. It’s a bit like telling someone that he is fat-runner. You don’t see that. Still, the good news is, the original and only true pony engine to my opinion, the big block V8 will remain available, but prepare to pay high level of taxes if you opt for this engine.

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Finally we are here with Maserati. And boy oh boy was the conference good. No Kubang marketing bullshit for this year. Just the finest from Italy. The concept-car behind the GranTurismo replacement. The Alfieri. And I’m a huge fan. Although there are no informations of what engine will be under the bonnet yet, and we do hope so that the Bolognese brand will put back a naturally aspirated V8, we can only express our gratitude and wonder upon that new design. More elegant and refined than the Granturismo, which has not aged so well, the Alfieri feels like a breathe of fresh air on a cold winter morning. Amazing ! When Ferrari’s designs are getting tortured and scrambled everywhere Maserati has found the way to keep its natural class whilst still sharpening the lines of its Grand Tourers. All the details seem perfect. From the characteristic front grille to the beautiful rims, I really look forward to seeing one of those on the road and hope it won’t inherit one the Quattroporte or Ghibli’s turbocharged engine.

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Time for us to get back for our last planned press conference. Audi. And the show was impressive, with Dr. Ulrich himself presenting the R18 Le Mans and the RS5 DTM with which Audi hopes to dominate one year again both these championships. The Le Mans Series this year will surely be challenging for the Volkswagen Automotive Group as both Porsche and Audi are competing in the same category, LMP1. Both cars though have different engines. Audi’s still running diesel, and the Porsche can only be fed by petrol. And looking at the time differences on all the tracks between petrol and diesel, I have to admit I don’t see how Porsche will be able to keep up, but given the brand’s history with Le Mans and racing, I still have some confidence that they will find a way…

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Part 2: Cars from the motorshow

One of the new exhibitors of this 85th editiion is Zenvo. The manufacturer of the ST1, from Denmark has brought one of his cars. With its 1104 horsepower, 1430 Nm of torque delivered by a huge 6.8 litre twin turbocharged V8 combined with a 7 speed automatic gearbox, the Zenvo team claims it can achieve a 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds and limits its top speed to 375 km/h.  Sadly for them, TopGear had just reviewed their car two weeks before the beginning of the motorshow and a lot happened. First clutch and breaks failed to work correctly, and then one of the cooling fans stopped resulting in the car getting on fire. So let’s say the brand had quite a reputation already to fill in for their first exhibition, and a lot of questions to answer.

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One of my personal favorites of the motorshow is the Pagani Zonda Revolucion. I always loved the Zonda and seeing it back besides a Huayra only makes it prettier and makes me regret so many things. First things first, even with all these extra aerodynamics element it still feels lighter and nimbler than the Huayra. Then, of course there’s the engine. No turbocharging crap here, just the real deal. The 7 litre naturally aspirated V12 developping no less than 850 horsepower ! Finally, just looking at the choice of colours, blue and black carbon fiber gives it the perfect finishing touch, especially compared to the bright yellow Huayra, which just feels like a big toy for fat american. The Revolucion is the extreme racing car you want to have and the contrast with its successor has never been so high, and has never made me want the real return of the Zonda so badly. 15 Revolucion will ever be made, with a price tag of over 2 million $, and as it is even illegal on most tracks worldwide due to its high noise level, said to be over 110 dB, there are very little chance we’ll ever see one.

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Ferrari has revealed its new California. Called the California T, it should probably more be considered as a facelift and technological upgrade than a real new car. The T stands for Turbo, and although the legendary Maranello brand made all its marketing effort to recall us the great times of turbocharged Ferraris, the 288 GTO and the F40, I could not believe them. I was really disappointed, because I hoped they would stay out of this downsizing, turbocharging fashion. Turns out I was wrong and I do not understand their move. Has fuel consumption been suddenly a priority of hyper sports cars customers ? I don’t think so. And I really think that they should have fought with other sports car manufacturers maybe to obtain a special status from the European Union about their car’s fuel consumption and emissions in order to preserve the history of their naturally aspirated engine. Moreover, the design itself is thinner and more elegant certainly, but the loss of the vertical exhausts made it lose some of its appeal in my opinion.

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Chevrolet has launched finally a Z06 version of the beautiful Corvette C7 Sting Ray, and it looks mad on paper. 650 horsepower of pure madness and a new aerodymic kit to improve even more the already great performance level of this new generation’s Corvette. And of course, there is a Le Mans series version showcased here as well to compete against their best enemies, Aston Martin. It promises epic battles ! The road version in the meantime can be fitted with an automatic or manual gearbox and a special Z07 package which includes carbon ceramic brakes and other improvement tweaks. As well, there are multiple parts that can be changed as well to carbon fiber like the engine hood, roof, instead of the traditionnal fiberglass used since the first Corvette generation.

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On the japanese market our main focus is the new Honda Civic Type R. Equipped with the famous V-Tec engine I never really liked that car, no matter which generation. Honda is looking towards winning back the record for a front wheel drive car at the Nürburgring Nordschleife from Renault, who has been holding it for several years thanks to their very fast Megane RS. With 306 horsepower from that 2 litre engine and over 400 Nm of torque there is little doubt that the Tyoe R will achieve its claimed 7:50 minutes lap time on the legendary german track. The reasons why I never liked the Type R Civics are mainly the V-Tec which makes this car feel very weak at low rpms and the design which I always found too extrem. Even the standard Civic indeed have had odd designs since a few years, and strange interior ergonomy.

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I don’t know what you guys think about the new Formula Ones, but I don’t like them. Their design is very messed up, with aerodynamic appendixes everywhere, the engines seem to have been downsized to ridiculous twin-turbocharged six cylinder just for good environmental consciousness and I really don’t think that Formula One is anymore about what it has always been about: Men and machine. Today it’s all about electronics, computer telling engineers when to tell the pilots to stop, what parameters to change, and that’s it. There is no more risk. Everything, every strategy is tested, verified and pilots who do not respect these get fired. I remember the times when Michael Schumacher attempted four pit stops in a Grand Prix and still managed to be on the podium. Good times… And today the future is electronic formula ones. And surprisingly, I am not opposed to this idea.


You see, Formula One has always been about one thing. Racing. So as long as these e-F1s stay in their own championship and do not mix up with other engine types, I have to admit it is a very good opportunity for brands and pilots to showcase what they are capable with electrons. I am deeply persuaded that racing championships should have appeared several years ago not only for electric cars, but for all sorts of additional new ways humanity has found around cars: hydrogen, diesel, rotary engines, and so on. When Mazda introduced a Wankel (rotary) engine at Le Mans in 1991 and won, the year after, rotary engines were banned from any FIA championships. But when Audi won its first Le Mans 24 Hours with a diesel engine nobody complained and that’s the issue. There should be different championships depending on the type of engine or petrol with some measures in order to keep innovation in each racing categories. Results of the FIAs decisions have encountered the end of rotary engines in racing and almost every brand now looking to develop diesel LMP1 racing cars for Le Mans Series. How sad…

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McLaren’s new car this year was the MP4-12C’s replacement. Called the 650S, this car is though very close to the original berlinetta, the real new element being the P1 inspired front face. And I could not help wondering how could we possibly spot the differences between a P1 and a 650 ? On the inside, nothing new, except the british manufacturer has been heavily insisting that the traction control can be switched off much more easily than before, where it would feel as painful as a half day at the hospital just to get the rear tail drifting. Porsche has brought in their tailor made Porsche Individual department a very nice 991 Carrera 4S with a very interesting uni grey color and Sports front and rear diffuser.

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Lexus, the high luxury brand from Toyota was presenting this year the RCF GT3. Designed as a concept car to enter the famous GT3 series in 2015 the RCF GT3 features the standard RCF look but has a modified version of its V8 developing now 540 demoniac horsepower all spitting their flames on their side exhausts. With a dry weight of 1250 kilograms, no doubt the japanese team will give some additional competition to the bug names of the series, like Porsche, Aston Martin or Lamborghini.


The Alfa Romeo 4C has been revealed since a few years now, and I have still yet a lot of problems to accommodate myself to the carbon fiber front optics the Milanese brand has chosen for its car. But now, the Spider, presented this year at the Motorshow, seems to have solved this problem with more traditional glass front lamps. Otherwise the 4C Spider is the same car than the coupé, it has the same engine and only gets some additional weight to compensate for the structural loss of the roof. My only complain with this Alfa Romeo is that it should be more presented as a “Targa” actually as the roof has to be removed and added manually. The other big attraction of the stand is the magnificent 1923 Alfa Romeo RL Targa Florio who has made all its way from the Museo Storico of the brand in Arese, which is still undergoing some construction works until its reopening, scheduled in 2015 normally.

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We arrive in front of Mansory, the fame swiss-iranian tuner. For this 84th edition of the Geneva Motorshow, and after having tuned the standard Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron which was called the Linea Vincero d’Oro, the tuner has got his hands this time on yet another Molsheim’s car. Still, as usual, specs haven’t changed and remains very impressive, with 1001 horsepower and 407 km/h top speed, as Mansory has focused on the looks with a brand new two tone bicolor combination with mat white and grey carbon fiber combined with a similar white leather and carbon fiber interior. There are still some new elements on the body, with a new front diffuser and air intakes, whilst the traditional horseshoe center air intake remains at its right place and is only obstructed by a “V”. On the rear there are as well some additional holes under the lamps, probably to improve the massive 8.4 litre W16’s cooling and a new rear diffuser. With a price tag of 2.2 millions Euros and only two to be built, this is one hell of a mess.

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Now onto Aston Martin. I’ve always loved Aston Martin but I have to admit each of their cars now seems outdated. The V8 Vantage is almost 10 years old, the DB9 / DBS / Virage is a marketing nonsense as we never know how it is called, the Vanquish is just a carbon fiber bodied DB9, and the Rapide S doesn’t really look like an Aston Martin anymore with this new front grille. Trying to maintain sales level whilst the replacement of the DB9 or the V8 Vantage is prepared is a real challenge and the Gaydon manufacturer has chosen to produce yet another limited series of its entry level sports car, the V8 Vantage N430. Coming only in bicolor configuration, the N430 is a pumped, 436 horsepower version of what we previously knew as the Vantage S. Available both in Coupé or Roadster, it is just another disguise for us to wait, but at least the different color combinations available for this car adds some more cachet to an already gorgeous looking car.

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The other big news that Aston Martin has decided to showcase this year is their Q department. Similar to the Ad Personam for Lamborghini or Ferrari’s Tailor Made department, the Q service will help customers to build their perfect Aston Martin in every detail. From unique colors both exterior and interior to engraved patterns in carbon fiber, leather, or veneer, the Q department will make every man’s dream come true. On the stand, a bespoke Vanquish and V12 Vantage S were perfect witnesses of what was possible within this service which names recalls another man who would customise gadgets and cars for the United Kingdom’s most famous spy, James Bond.


Now let’s talk a little bit of the worst cars of this 84th edition of the Geneva International Motorshow. If you don’t want to lose your sight, you should maybe skip this part because it hurt me to see those cars, and even more to write about them. Where to start ? Not very surprisingly the ugliest car can be found in the different tuners of the exhibition. I don’t know why but the vast majority of them has this perfect capability of destroying the work of other people. Designers and engineers who have spent nights without sleeping to create the machines we know. And now because of customers who want more extreme cars, more exuberant, more extravagant, a whole lot of tuners have appeared and specialized in hardcore-ing your sports car. Of course the intention is not bad. Most of them only answer a customer demand, and only grant wishes. But still, looking at those cars, I really think sometimes they should really learn to say no, because I really don’t understand how they can be satisfied of their own work.

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So this year the most horrible cars of the motorshow were upon my opinion: The Nimrod 458 Italia “Katyusha”, the Nimrod Aventador “AvantiRosso”, and the Hamann M6. Let’s start with Nimrod, a hungarian tuner which is showcasing his work for the first time here at Geneva Motorshow. What can I say ? Is there really something to say ? Both cars look absolutely ridiculous, but the Oscar of the worst car goes to the 458. I mean, look at it. Just look at it. Everything is wrong about this car. The colors, the front air intakes, the rear spoiler, the bar code on the sort of rear shark wing… What the f*** ? I can’t even barely recognize the 458 underneath. And all these additional parts look like they were made of cardboard. It’s the same story with their AvantiRosso, based on the Lamborghini Aventador. Why do owners go to such length destroying their own cars for this ? For individualisation ? Go to one of the bespoke or tailor made departments please.

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Part 3: The Le Mans Exhibition

This year the big news is a very special exhibition organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which is the official entity organizing the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Rolex on the history of this legendary race, with some of the cars that made the history and the myth around this race. The first car being showcased is a reproduction of the very first 24 Hours of Le Mans edition winner, back in 1923, a Chenard & Walcker.

Part 4: Complete Gallery