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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