Geneva Motor Show 2012
The new ones from Mercedes, Audi& Co.
At the Geneva show (8. To 18. March) the focus is traditionally on the automotive birds of paradise. This year, however, two very ordinary compact cars might steal the show from them, of all things: The new Mercedes A-Class and the new Audi A3 are among the highlights of the spring show. But there is also news in other segments. An overview of the series vehicles.
While Audi continues to develop the A3 in a more evolutionary way and gives the noble Golf offshoot a new infotainment system and more fuel-efficient engines with a more refined look, a small revolution is on the horizon at competitor Mercedes. The A-Class ditches the van-like high-roof concept of its predecessor and aims to finally attract younger customers with sportier lines and corresponding driving behavior.
And even below the premium level, upgrades are made in Geneva. Hyundai's second-generation i30 takes aim at the Golf in terms of quality and ambience even more than before; sister brand Kia has the same in mind with its technically largely identical Ceed. Wolfsburg remains calm and reflects on its stronger diversity of variants: The Golf GTI Cabrio, the fast top version of the fabric roof model, celebrates its trade show premiere. Also in the small classes VW puts after. Presents the recently introduced city runabout Up now also as a five-door model. The two additional portals provide better access to the rear compartment. Shall attract second car buyers with families in addition to singles. A class higher, the Peugeot 208 succeeds the 207; with shrunken dimensions, the small car aims to offer significantly more space than its predecessor – and also consume noticeably less. Toyota is pursuing the same goal with the hybrid version of the Yaris, which is said to get by on just under three and a half liters of gasoline thanks to electric motor support.
BMW shows its new sub-brand "M Performance
While the middle class is poorly represented in terms of novelties, there is more going on in the upper league. Jaguar is once again launching a station wagon, the XF Sportback, which will also be offered in an all-wheel-drive version. BMW presents the vehicles of its new sub-brand "M Performance" for the first time: The powerful variants of the 5 Series, X5 and X6 are equipped with the world's first tri-turbo diesel engine (280 kW/381 hp) and are to be positioned between the standard models of the Munich-based company and the uncompromisingly sporty M vehicles. For the time being, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé, a four-door sedan with particularly dynamic lines and family-friendly space that competes against the Mercedes CLS and Audi A7, will have to do without the new engine technology.
Those with children, however, are likely to continue to choose a van or SUV. More cheaply than with the Dacia Lodgy the place for child and cone is not to be had thereby. The small van based on the Logan low-budget car is expected to cost just under 10.000 euros – as much as a tight subcompact car costs for other brands. Not quite so favorably the new Ford B-Max might become. The Cologne microvan based on the Fiesta does without the B-pillar and relies on economical three-cylinder engines. A new addition to the family has also arrived from Italy in the form of the Fiat L0, a van-like variant of the Fiat 500.
Compact SUVs come with all-wheel drive just like their big brothers
Those who like off-road looks will find the Opel Mokka an alternative to the staid van. The Corsa-based mini-SUV costs a little more, but even offers all-wheel drive if desired. Up a class is the Peugeot 2008, the French company's first compact SUV, which, like its Citroen Aircross brother, is closely related to the Mitsubishi ASX, but focuses on more luxury features and powertrains. Honda has the new generation CR-V in the bag as a near-production study, which is now a bit edgier and always has all-wheel drive on board. The new Mitsubishi Outlander, which will also have a plug-in hybrid drive in the future, is starting out in a similar league.
Sports car fans should not miss out in Geneva either. Porsche presents the new generation of the Boxster, which has become more adult and of course more powerful. Despite up to 232 kW/315 hp, however, the roadster is a flyweight in terms of performance compared with the Lamborghini Aventador Spyder, which was on show for the first time. The open Italian comes probably on 515 kW/700 HP.