Geneva 2015: What to expect?

The time of year has come around for all petrol heads. Much like Christmas for a child, the 85th edition of the Geneva Motor show is ten days of motoring goodness. Here are a number of the hotly anticipated cars expected to make an appearance at the show on 5th -15th March.

Abarth:

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Abarth 659 Biposto and a number of updates to the 500 range and new kits and accessories.

Alfa Romeo:

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The Alfa 4C gets the wind in your hair treatment with a Spider version. With its new look, both models get a new voice box in the shape of an Akrapovic exhaust system.

Aston Martin:

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Vulcan is Aston Martin’s new track weapon. Fitted with a hearty 7.0Litre V12 pushing over 800bhp to the rear wheels and limited to 24 examples.  Expect these beasts to be sold out before even catching a glimpse of them in the metal.

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Another racer for Aston, the Vantage GT3 Special Edition, is a road and track car limited to 100 examples, heavily inspired by the marque’s success in Motorsport. The GT3 has clearly been on a diet, losing 100kg over the V12 Vantage S thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre in and around the car.

Audi:

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The supercar which promised to take on the Italians at their own game is back with an update. The R8 gets updated looks, loses some weight (50kg) over its predecessor capable of hitting 62mph in 3.2sec and topping out at 205mph. The V10 engine comes in two guises, standard packing 533bhp and the V10 Plus with 602bhp.

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Making its official appearance to the public is the RS3 Sportback, to be hitting the roads by Summer 2015. Deemed the most powerful five cylinder engine ever produced by Audi RS with 362bhp and 465Nm to play with, it is a good thing it is fitted with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system.

BMW:

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BMW have updated a few of its models including the 1-Series and the 6-series but what everyone wants to see is the M4 MotoGP safety car.

Bugatti:

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Veyron La Finale is the very last one to roll off the factory line. Already sold to a lucky chap in the Middle East  this vast array of numbers wasn’t something people were used to when it was first introduced back in 2004. But now, let’s see the successor.

Ferrari:

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Turbocharging has made a comeback to the ‘Cavellino.’ The 488GTB can be said to be the successor to the F40, the last turbocharged mid-engined Ferrari and a replacement to the fantastic 458 Italia. 661bhp and 760Nm are created by the 3.9Litre Turbo V8 able to hit 125mph in 8.3 seconds.

Ford:

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The much-anticipated Focus RS is the 30th incarnation to wear the RS badge. Fitted with all-wheel drive and torque vectoring will help the driver push the 316bhp to its limits. Ken Block, driver of the legendary Gymkhana series was a consultant during the development of the RS.

All-New Ford GT

50 years after Ford’s GT40 took all three spots on the podium at the 1966 24Hours of Le Mans, Ford have revealed the new GT powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5Litre EcoBoost V6 said to give the car the one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car.

Honda:

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Honda are back in F1 with an engine partnership with McLaren F1 and an icon has been reinvented. The NSX is making its rounds 25 years after the original was first premiered. A twin-turbocharged V6 which is a nod back to the original is fitted with a nine-speed DCT box.

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The Civic Type R is getting its debut fitted with a 2.0Litre VTEC Turbo engine allowing drivers to hit a top speed over 160mph. To help drivers deal with the level of speed, the Type R has been fitted with 350mm drilled Brembo brakes up front.

Koenigsegg:

The Swedish company has managed to keep it all very hush-hush in terms of leaks of new cars. A teased sketch of the rear of potentially the Agera RS and supposedly Koenigsegg is bringing another hypercar to Geneva hopefully to take on the three hybrid hypercars from the likes of Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari.

Lamborghini:

Again very little has been given away by Lamborghini, spy shots of what looked like an Aventador SV have  been seen across the internet but all details are being kept close to heart before the official reveal however their teaser video promises to reveal the most ‘reactive’ Lamborghini yet.

Land Rover:

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The stunning Land Rover Evoque gets some cosmetic surgery up front (not that it was ugly in the first place) and gains Jaguar-Land Rover’s new Ingenium engines promising up to 68mpg and under 110g/km of CO2.

Lotus:

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£70,000 worth of Lotus will be officially unveiled at Geneva, 16% more powerful, 22kg lighter and 400bhp gives you the new Lotus Evora 400.

McLaren:

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The Longtail is back. The Mclaren 675LT focusses on less weight and more power.It will shoot to 62mph in 2.9secs. McLaren will make five ‘Hero’ specification Longtails  which consist of never offered colours Silica White, Delta Red, Napier Green and Chicane Grey. The McLaren Orange completes the set.

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Some individuals don’t in the saying that enough is enough. A few of those people clearly work at McLaren as they have taken the insanely quick P1 and upped the power to make the P1GTR. 986bhp, 50kg lighter, wider and lower than the standard P1 and some serious spoilers creating 10% more downforce are all the ingredients to make this GTR.

Mercedes:

Three noteworthy models are being launched by Mercedes. We have reworks of two classics and a GT3 racer.

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Maybach is back as a sub-brand and the first model is the remake of the classic S600 Pullman, 50 years on. At a length of 6.5 metres expect to have a driver to wait with the car as prices start around €500,000 for the unarmored version. I doubt it will be a slouch if it needs to get out of any hairy situations as it is fitted with a V12 biturbo with 830Nm available from as low as 1900RPM.

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If off-roading is more your thing, the G-wagen is the one for you. Elements of the 6×6 have been fitted to the G to create the G500 4×4 squared.  New powerful engines, wider track and higher ground clearance (450mm) promises to tackle nearly any environment you throw at it.

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The GT3 race series is about to get a little more interesting, Mercedes are to launch the AMG GT3 race car. Even though the road car is fitted with a 4.4 biturbo V8, the GT3 will use a fettled example of the naturally aspirated 6.2 V8 from the SLS AMG GT.

Porsche:

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A manual hardcore Cayman is coming. The Cayman GT4 is built with components from the 911 GT3, perfect for racing and with an engine derived from the 911 Carrera S, it is good for 380bhp helping position it as a benchmark.

The second model is a secret but quoted ‘is another exceptional Porsche that sets new standards on the racetrack.’ Could it be the 911 GT3 RS?

Vauxhall:

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A hot hatch that is set to attack Ford’s Fiesta ST sales. The Vauxhall Corsa VXR   is fitted with a 1.6Litre turbo charged petrol engine pumping out 202bhp and up to 280Nm of torque to the front wheels. The VXR averages 245Nm from revs as low as 1,900rpm, which is a significant change from the outgoing car.

The best of 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood is the closest you are going to get to motoring heaven. Music has Glastonbury, Football has the World Cup and cars have Goodwood.

The Journey

The journey to Goodwood was all about car spotting, for the first hour or so not much turned up but once we got within a few miles of Goodwood, some utter beauties were seen flying past. We were even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Chris Evan’s Laferrari, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato and the FAB1 Rolls Royce.

The Laferrari as most of you already know, is the newest car to come out of Maranello sometimes referred to as the F70. Only 499 examples of this model have been built and we were lucky to catch a glimpse of three throughout the festival. The Aston Martin DB4 Zagato Sanction II is an even rarer breed with only four built and it was just parked up in a hotel car park with no security.

LaFerrari, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato and Rolls Royce
LaFerrari, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato and Rolls Royce

 

The Manufacturer’s stands

This is a petrol head’s dream. Manufacturers let you get up close and personal with their new cars and even show off some concepts. Nearly every manufacturer tried to outdo the other with lavish stands showcasing their best metal. On some occasions the simple stands were the ones that did it best like TWISTED and Ariel. There aren’t as many people around the cars which give you a better opportunity to examine the car and get some great shots. Out of all the stands I visited, I personally loved the McLaren stand. It could be that I have a soft spot for the British marque but they made the stand open more like a marquee with some historical machines as well as the P1 and new 650S GT3 race car.

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The Hill

Goodwood Hill isn’t a ver long course, a mere 1.16 mile track. Shouldn’t be too hard for professional racing drivers, right?  The track rises by over 300ft from the start to finish and drivers have to deal with tree-lined corners and changes in light and grip. A few drivers got caught out at Molecomb which saw a few exotics crashing through straw bales. This year Sebastien Loeb, in his Pikes Peak winning car tried his best to beat the record  of 41.6 seconds set by Nick Heidfeld but only managed a 44.6 second run on Saturday. John Surtees and Kimi Raikkonen put on a show for the spectators on the last day cruising up the hill in their F1 cars.

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The F1 Paddock

This where all the cars which have been lusted over on television for years sat all together. A mix of old and new. Formula 1, Le Mans to Pikes Peak. They were all there. At 11am on Sunday, the people were lucky to be in the paddock were treated to some great sounds when most of the cars were all started and revved hard for a minute. Unfortunately the Mazda 767B wasn’t started after blowing its engine at Le Mans.

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The Super-car Paddock

This paddock was filled with a number of great super cars, namely the LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, Mclaren P1 and Koenigsegg Agera One:1 along with many others. There were also some crazy cars in the paddock too including the Aston Martin concept DC100 as well as the Ferrari F12 TRS. Jay-kay’s kermit green LaFerrari was also parked up.

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Cartier Style-et-luxe concourse d’Eleganze 

The Style-et-Luxe pavilion was where pretty cars in seven different classes were to be judged by a number of honourable guests. The beautiful Maserati A6GCS which the Alfieri concept took design cues from, won ‘best in show’ and you can see why. it is absolutely marvellous.

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Maserati Centenary 

Celebrating Maserati’s Centenary, Goodwood house set up a little area in the courtyard solely for the Maserati brand. Some of the top-selling cars were on show including the good-looking Maserati Alfieri concept. let’s hope that they put that stunning machine into production and we can wait for it start winning Concourse d’eleganze shows in years to come like its older siblings.

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I didn’t manage to find time to head up to the Rally stage or go on any of the experiences that the manufacturers were offering, but that just gives me more of a reason to head there again next year. Take a look at the additional gallery below

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PREVIEW: Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014

June 26th to June 29th are the dates to save in your calendar. Forget everything else for those few days as nothing even comes close. It is the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This year’s theme is based around ‘Addicted to Winning – The unbeatable Champions of Motor Sport’. 2014 also marks the centenary of the brand with the trident badge aka Maserati with some of their most successful racing cars being showcased along with some new concepts. alfieri Mercedes-Benz are the featured manufacturer this year with Lord March will celebrate the Silver Arrows on his now famous sculpture outside Lord March’s house. The manufacturer will be celebrating 120 years of achievement in Motorsports along with their 100 year anniversary since gaining a 1-2-3 finish in the 1914 French Grand Prix.

What to expect?

Sebastien Loeb is looking to be the quickest up the hill in the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes peak car trying to beat Nick Heidfeld’s 1999 record time of 41.6 seconds in the McLaren MP4-13 race car.

Michelin Super car Paddock

Four hyper-cars that have been the talk of the motoring world since they were announced are going to be together.  The McLaren P1, Koenigsegg Agera one:1, Porsche 918 Spyder and the Ferrari LaFerrari will all be at the festival. The beauty of it is, they will all be running up the hill, definitely not to be missed.

The amount of cars on display will be unbelievable, forget any car show you have ever been to, this will top it. Elemental RP1, a new British brand to compete with the likes of BAC, Ariel and Caterham will be revealed at the festival for the first time. elemental Cartier Style et Lux 

Celebrating its 20th appearance at the Festival, The Cartier Concourse D’Elegance will be showcasing beautiful engineering spread over seven different classes.

Class 1-  junior pre-war sportscars from long-lost brands

Class 2- dedicated to the Mercedes 500K

Class 3- Maserati

Class 4- ‘Mad Men’ aspirational 1950s American two-seaters

Class 5- Mid-engined masterpieces such as the Ford GT40 and McLarenM12GT

Class 6- ‘Pony Cars’ inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang

Class 7- front-engined supercars of the 1990s

Judges include the likes of Rowan Atkinson famous for playing Mr Bean and being a true petrol head and Sir Jonathan Ive Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple.

The Hill

The main attraction at the Festival of Speed is the 1.16 mile hill climb running through the southern part of the Goodwood estate Three manufacturers from this year’s Le Mans will be attacking the hill, one of Audi’s winning R18 e-tron, Mark Webber in his Porsche 919 Hybrid and the Toyota TS040 which led for 13 hours this year. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 car FoS 2013

Skoda Rally Stage

The Rally stage is another one not to be missed, with rally legends of Group B. Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk get back into their Mini Cooper S’, 50 years after winning the Monte Carlo Rally stages. Rauno Aaltonen Mini Cooper S FoS 2013   GAS arena

The GAS arena also known as the Goodwood Action Sports arena will host some awesome Dirt jumping BMX with freestyle Motocross with riders hailing from America, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic and the UK.

Racing Heroes 

Damn Hill, 1996 World Champion is among the many F1 title winners who will be present throughout the weekend with some taking old winning cars up the hill. Felipe Massa will be taking Damon Hill’s Williams winning FW18 car, Kimi Raikonnen, Lewis Hamilton, John Surtees and Emerson Fitipaldi are just a few of the names to look out for.

This is only a little snippet of what can be seen at the Festival of Speed so get there early and remember to pack enough batteries for your cameras. Tickets are still available from the website here with prices starting at £27.

Hint

Give yourself enough time to walk around the car park, as you will find many exotics just sitting around.