The annual Geneva Motor Show is the traditional first sign of Spring in the European automotive industry, and this year it was a clutch of new B-segment SUVs which were forecast to grab the headlines.
Peugeot’s small crossover, the 2008, is expected to rapidly become the European market-leader, outstripping the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman.
The new Peugeot 2008 Crossover, at 4.16m long and 1.74m wide, is around 20cm longer and 5cm wider than the 208 on which it’s based. With a new low kerbweight or 1045kg, it boasts emissions as low as 98g/km.
It will be available to order from dealers in June, with first deliveries to follow in the summer.
Renault also lifted the wraps from its new Captur, while Ford revealed details of its EcoSport.
The French crossover — based on the latest Clio platform — is fitted with a rear benchseat which can slide 160mm to allow increases to either rear legroom or bootspace.
Three engine choices will be available: 1.2-litre TCe petrol is available with either 89 or 118bhp, plus an 88bhp diesel which emits 95g/km of CO2.
The Ford compact SUV, meanwhile, which shares its underpinning with the Fiesta, will sit just below the recently introduced new Kuga. The EcoSport range will be topped by a 123bhp EcoBoost petrol engine.
Elsewhere, a range of mainstream models made first appearances. VW displayed its the new GTI and estate versions of its MkVII Golf, plus the rugged version of its five-door city car, the Cross Up.
Audi unveiled a list of newcomers, including the rapid RS Q3 and RS6, plus the revolutionary A3 g-tron, which uses the Ingolstadt company’s e-gas system.
The g-tron’s powertrain comprises two gas tanks and a regular internal combustion engine. The tanks can store e-gas produced by Audi, or regular Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
The tanks — stored under the floor — can each hold 7kg of gas, stored at up to 200bar. According to Audi, the A3 g-tron has a fuel consumption on gas of 3.5kg/100km, giving a gas-only range of 400km (242 miles).
Mercedes, which admitted it intends to replace its SLS supercar with a Porsche 911 rival, also revealed it is considering building a smaller car than the current A-Class in an effort to build volume.
Kia showed its Rio-based ‘urban racer’ concept, the Provo, plus full production models of the pro_cee’d GT and cee’d’ GT, Fiat revealed its mid-engine 4C sportscar.
And while Dacia expanded its budget range with the unveiling of the sub-£8000 Logan estate, perhaps surprisingly it was the number of mega-buck, super-performance cars which made their debuts.
While Lamborghini marked its 50th anniversary with the €3.12 million, 221mph Veneno, the star of the show was undoubtedly Ferrari’s response to the McLaren P1.
While the P1 images had been leaked ahead of Geneva, the look, and name, of Ferrari’s successor to the £1 million Enzo was kept secret: when the covers were lifted, Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo, revealed the car as LaFerrari.
Ferrari’s first hybrid, only 499 models of LaFerrari will be built. With a 6.3-litre V12 and two electric motors, the car delivers 0-186mph in 15.5secs.
The hybrid system which makes full use of the Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 KERS know-how.
The HY-KERS system is designed so that in future applications a car can be driven using exclusively electric power for a few kilometres and, during development testing, a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved just 220g/km of C02 emissions on the combined cycle.