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The Geneva motor show, now in its 87th year, remains the jewel in the crown of automotive design, style and European flair.

The big show is renowned for big reveals by big names, and the 2017 event was no exception.

With Alborz Fallah, Anthony Crawford, Matt Campbell and David Zalstein on the ground, the CarAdvice team got a good look at all the glittering winners on the show floor.

Back at home, stilled by long hours and plenty of coffee, the rest of the crew have been able to digest the stream of images and press releases to pass some desk-based judgement.

So read on to see what CarAdvice consider to be the best production reveal, the most impressive concept and perhaps the car that fell a little short of the mark…


 Alborz Fallah, in Geneva

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Best production car: Porsche 911 GT3

For bringing the 4.0-litre engine to a non-RS car, and being available in a manual. Baby 911 R anyone? Basically a bargain in the Porsche world.

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Best concept car: Aston Martin Valkyrie

Because it looks like it belongs on a race track, but they tell me it can be driven to the pub. Bring on 2019.

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Biggest miss: The entire Volkswagen stand

For bringing well-engineered, spacious and practical boredom to the masses. Come on folks, let’s make something exciting.


Anthony Crawford, in Geneva

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Best production car: Alpine A110

Difficult, because this year there are just so many worthy contenders; Porsche 911 GT3 (new 4.0L engine) and Lamborghini Performante are right up there, but first prize goes to the all-new Alpine.

This looks to be a seriously capable little sports car with plenty of advanced race tech, like the totally flat aluminium underbody, adjustable race seat and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. I seriously can’t wait to drive this thing on a twisty road and then on track.

Mercedes-Benz auf dem Internationalen Automobil-Salon Genf 2017: Weltpremiere des Mercedes-AMG GT Concept. Mercedes-Benz at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show: Worl Premiere of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept.

Best concept car: AMG GT, Renault Zoe e-Sport

It’s a toss-up between the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept and the Renault Zoe E-Sport. Both look brilliant, and both use advanced drivetrains – V8 hybrid and all-electric, and both represent the future of motoring.

If I had to choose, the Benz probably wins for me, because it will go on sale next at the end of the year in Europe.

Biggest miss: Not even one.

This was a standout Geneva Motor Show this year and for me, there just isn’t a big miss.


Matt Campbell, in Geneva

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Best production car: Volvo XC60

The Scandinavian brand is on a roll – its design and styling has come on in leaps and bounds, and there’s no mistaking this new mid-sizer as anything but a Volvo, inside and out. And the new Volvo XC60 is more than just a shrunken version of the larger XC90 – there are subtleties to its styling that make it look a little more aggressive, a touch more youthful, and downright gorgeous in my opinion.

Volvo had its best sales year ever for the XC60 in 2016, but we can’t see that record lasting long once the new model goes into production in a couple of months. It’s going to move the brand into a new consideration set amongst its German and Japanese peers.

Notable mention: Volkswagen Arteon. Dat grille tho!

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Best concept car: Peugeot Instinct

Hnnnnngggg… We all love a good station wagon, but this ‘shooting brake’ concept model (hey, it has four doors so it’s a wagon if you ask me!) is gloriously pretty, beautifully proportioned and sharply styled.

It’s a long way from anything close to production-ready, but if this is what PSA is thinking for a 2022 Peugeot 508/Opel Insignia/Holden Commodore wagon, where do I sign?

2017 Nissan Qashqai

Biggest miss: Nissan Qashqai

Might be a little harsh, here, but the updated Qashqai – while remaining decent to look at – isn’t a big enough change for my liking.

The new LED DRLs on some of the show cars looked sharper, and the front end is notably more aggressive, but not in a good way. But it was the interior that lacked imagination for me: the same old media system with the same old average screen resolution just doesn’t cut it in a world where screens are quickly becoming as important as dynamics and drivetrains.

Notable mention: Honda Civic Type R. Its styling may well have been inspired by a trip to Hectic Bodykitz or Rice Customz. Yuck.


David Zalstein, in Geneva

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Best production car: Chevrolet Camaro Track

I know I said the Lamborghini Huracan Perfomante in our Podcast special from the floor of the show, but after getting a proper chance to wander around, mine is in fact, the Chevrolet Camaro Track.

Technically a concept car equipped with track-focussed components from Chevrolet’s 1LE package, it is intended to be a road-legal track-day weapon, and I love it. Plus it’s green.

2017_renault_zoe_e-sport_concept_01

Best concept car: Renault Zoe e-Sport

Far and away. Combining a tubular steel chassis, carbon-fibre body panels, AP Racing brakes, and four-way adjustable Ohlins dampers, with two electric motors, this 1400kg, four-wheel-drive track-slanted EV claims 340kW of power and 640Nm of torque and 0-100km/h 3.2 seconds.

Now that’s a hot-looking EV I could pedal.

2018_honda_civic_type-r_01

Biggest miss: Honda Civic Type R

Aside from the 991.2 911 GT3 display car being PDK, my biggest miss from the show would have to be the Honda Civic Type R *shudders*. With so much time to get this thing right, Honda hasn’t. Aesthetically anyway – hopefully it’s a cracker on the road (and track).

But visually, it looks as though Honda’s design team played that game where each person adds three words to a story and then you read it back in its entirety at the end. Rarely does it seem cohesive. Like those stories though, hopefully the new Civic Type R can still prove entertaining.


James Ward, in Melbourne

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Best production car: Volvo XC60

Family cars are getting a whole lot more exciting. The medium-sized XC60 SUV has everything we like about the larger XC90, but in a more compact package, and it really works. From the now familiar Thor’s Hammer headlights at the front to the vertical LED lamps at the rear, the new XC60 has the modern style footprint we’ve seen from other recent launches by the Swedish manufacturer, and yet is still a Volvo. The old XC60 was a car I have personally ‘nearly’ bought twice, perhaps third time’s the charm? Can’t wait to see this locally.

Special mention to the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo. Just wow. A 911 Turbo wagon – sign me up! Now just to find half-a-million dollars…

amg-6-1

Best concept car: Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

I think I like the concept of the AMG GT four-door more than I like the execution. Don’t get me wrong, that aggressive nose and swooping rear haunch is pure exotic coupe-hatch-sedan, but those Auto Salon wheels and that stupid exhaust outlet aren’t really working for me. To see Mercedes-AMG embrace a hybrid future though, is where the real excitement is. Twin-turbo V8 and an electric power booster? Bring it on!

subaru-xv

Biggest miss: Subaru XV

Come on Subaru, this is the upteenth time you have shown us a cool concept (Geneva last year) only to roll out a conservative production version. We all want funky Subarus, especially a platform like the XV, which is primed for letting the hair down a bit… but this new release, as sensible and capable it might be, is a total yawn-fest in the style department.


Mike Costello, in Melbourne

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Best production car: Volvo XC60

I’m with fellow senior editor Matt, the new Volvo XC60 is a stunner. The design language trickled down from the 90 Series cars is more cohesive, the engines seem better suited, and the cabin is suitably, sparsely Swedish.

Between this and the wonderful new Audi Q5, medium luxury SUV buyers have never had it better. Now it’s just a matter of the company nailing the new S60 and V60 spun off the same platform, and suddenly the revolution will be up and about in earnest.

Notable mention: Reborn Alpine A110, just because.

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Best concept car: Tata Racemo

Damn, this is hard. This was a particularly good Geneva show — one I’m sad not to have attended.

The Toyota i-TRIL pod, Peugeot Instinct wagon, Renault Zoe e-Sport mega hatch, Mercedes-AMG four-door, Hyundai FE Fuel Cell vehicle, and Volkswagen Sedric autonomous van thing all have claims.

But how cool is the rear-drive Tata Racemo track coupe, from Jaguar Land Rover’s Indian parent?

A mid-mounted 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 140kW of power at 6500rpm, and 210Nm of torque at 2500rpm. Check. Butterfly doors? Check. Double wishbone suspension at all four corners? Check. Boy-racer cbin? Check.

Talk about one from left-field…

2017_toyota_yaris_hot-hatch_01

Biggest miss: Toyota Yaris GRMN

Not because of the car, which is awesome. A 155kW 1.8-litre supercharged (!) four-cylinder petrol, with a six-speed manual sending power to the front wheels by way of a Torsen limited slip differential, in a Yaris? Woah…

What sucks is the fact that Toyota is only committed to making a few hundred units for now, focused on Japan, Germany and France. Australia is one of the world’s largest hot hatch markets, and a key Toyota market too, so why are we being denied?

Incidentally, when is that engine going into the 86 coupe? Kthanksbye.


Mike Stevens, in Melbourne

2017_porsche_panamera_sport-turismo_02

Best production car: Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

I knew when it was still a concept that this would be a fine-looking thing, and to Porsche’s credit, the final production car’s styling is barely changed.

As a wagon nut, I just can’t say no to a pretty example, and this is one. Porsche buyers, forget the Cayenne. If you need a family hauler and just have to order from Stuttgart, this is the one.

renault-zoe-e-sport-front

Best concept car: Renault Zoe e-Sport

I’ve always been so annoyed we don’t get the great-looking and super-green little Zoe in Australia. There’s no bloody justice. And now, now they go and create this muscly little thing.

Somebody’s got to be having a laugh at my expense, because my-oh-my, I want this. Make it real, make it right-hand drive, and get it in my driveway.

McLaren 720S Super Series

Biggest miss: McLaren 720S

Yes, that’s right. But, to be fair, it’s almost a beauty. The rear is nice, the profile is nice, but those headlights and their frames just look terrible. Cheap. Straight off a small-time custom supercar factory’s showfloor.

Almost there, McLaren. Almost there.  But far enough away to my biggest miss. (Hey, it was a pretty good show.)


Paul Maric, in Melbourne

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Best production car: Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, Kia Stinger

I love two things — wagons and big-HP rear-wheel drive sedans. Porsche and Kia have revealed two of the coolest examples of each.

The Sport Turismo takes the foul design of the previous-generation Panamera and makes it look good. Forget the hybrid and the diesel, the twin-turbocharged V8 is the only one worth getting if you’re serious about performance wagons.

Kia Stinger…it calls the inner bogan out of me. It brings back memories of Commodores and Falcons with smoke billowing out of the rear tyres and sideways action. If Kia nails the formula and makes a proper rear-wheel driven sedan, it could be a real hit in Oz…and I can’t wait to drive it!

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Best concept car: Hyundai FE Fuel Cell vehicle

We know Hyundai is in the process of building an SUV-sized fuel cell vehicle and this concept is the clearest sign yet of its design direction.

Last month I had the chance to briefly tour Hyundai/Kia’s Namyang proving ground and it was an absolute hive of activity.

I get the feeling Hyundai will throw everything at this car to make it the most drivable fuel cell car on the market today.

aston-martin-valkyrie

Biggest miss: Aston Martin Valkyrie

New name, same ugly design. We all get that hypercars need to be streamlined and aerodynamic, but the Jetson’s style bubble shape went out of fashion in the mid-’90s with the Suzuki Cappuccino.

Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be fast and exciting and all that sort of stuff, but I’d take any of the other hypercars over it.


James Wong, in Melbourne

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Best production car: Alpine A110

Revives an iconic nameplate and looks just as beautiful as the concept – probably because they barely changed anything.

If the quoted performance figures are anything to go by, it’ll give the Alfa Romeo 4C and Porsche 718 Cayman a serious run for their money. I’ll have one in blue please!

amg-5-1

Best concept car: Mercedes-AMG GT concept

Once the looks grow on you, the GT concept points to a future where we can still have petrol-fed V8s, but with an electrical twist.

If the production version can match the performance claims of the concept it’ll have the straight-line pace of a Tesla while also having that classic V8 soundtrack. #Yaaasss

panamera_sport-turismo_feature-tile

Biggest miss: Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

It’s a bit meh. After coming so far with the design of the sedan, the wagon looks like half a step back – the roofline is too high and the rear is a little too fat – plus the luggage-hauling capabilities aren’t that much better in terms of boot volume.

That’s not going to stop people from buying it, though.


Derek Fung, in New York City

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Best production car: Kia Stinger

This is a bit of a cheat as it was revealed at the Detroit show, but Kia deserves kudos for developing a mainstream rear-wheel drive car. Holden what? Ford who?

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Best concept car: Renault Zoe e-Sport

If Renault ever makes an RS version of the Zoe and it looks like this, they should sell bucket loads. I’m thinking big buckets, of course.

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Biggest miss: Hyundai FE Fuel Cell Concept

With advances in battery technology, and the inherent difficulties and inefficiencies in extracting and distributing hydrogen, I can’t help but wonder why automakers keep on plugging away at the idea, except that, maybe, their hedging their bets. Plus this concept verges too far into the ugly end of town.


MORE: All Geneva motor show news coverage


Podcast

Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss the Geneva Motor Show below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.




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