Geneva Motor Show 2018: Here's Our Swiss Digest
Once again the Geneva Motor Show has been and gone, leaving us to peruse the latest automotive offerings and work out what is likely to be hot, or not.
It's easy to get carried away with the exciting stuff like the carbon fibre McLaren Senna - 211mph and around £1.6million - or the even more hardcore than before Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Equally it's impossible to ignore the Pal-V Liberty that is being billed as the World's first commercial flying car - we kid you not, although we can think of more practical ways to spend £440k.
But enough about the stuff 99% of us are unlikely to even see let alone drive. Tucked away amongst the glitz and the razzmatazz of all the performance cars and high-end concepts are some genuinely good cars that are likely to end up parked on quite a few driveways in the not too distant future.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Despite the fact that the new Kona compact SUV has only been on sale for about five minutes Hyundai have been quick to take it into the EV market. When it goes on sale in the UK later this year you'll be able to choose from two battery options; a 39.2kWh version with a range of 186 miles and a longer range 64kWh battery offering 292 miles. To speed up charging the electric Kona also houses a built-in 7.2kW charger. You can also expect to see plenty of technology on the inside with wireless charging, upgraded sound system, and a suite of driver aids. Full prices and specifications are yet to be announced but Hyundai have hinted that the electric Kona will be significantly cheaper than its closest rivals.
If you're looking for a practical hatchback but want something with a bit more style the new A-Class could be just the thing. The new models have been completely updated with a new front end, a new interior that mimics the S-Class, and a range of improved engine options. The emphasis in the new A-Class is on the luxury end of the market for people who want the everyday usability of a Golf, but don't want a Golf. The order books opened during the Geneva show with the entry-level A180d SE starting from £25,800.
Don't be fooled by the enormous body kit. Look beneath the huge wing and flared arches of this Gazoo Racing concept and you'll find the new Toyota Supra. If you remember the 1980s and 1990s then this car could feature quite highly on your wish list. This may be a concept but the production version is already under way and should be available in 2019. The rumour is that it will be powered by a six-cylinder engine offering around 330bhp, feature an eight-speed gearbox with all the power heading to the rear wheels. Built on the same platform as the forthcoming BMW Z4 and combining the knowledge and experience of both manufacturers the new Supra promises to be a truly fantastic machine.
If you want an SUV but are concerned that the X3 might be a bit too boxy for your taste then you might want to consider the new second generation X4 instead. It's essentially an X3 with a few more curves and to be honest it does look rather swish, which is strange for a car that basically takes the front of an X3 and the back of an X2 and squishes them together. It shouldn't work, but it does. The interior is typically BMW - well laid out and built around the driver - with the instruments and cockpit details lifted straight of the 5 Series. The range will consist of three diesels and one petrol engine although initially only the 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre diesels will be available. A mid-range diesel and the range topping M40i will follow later in the year. Prices for the new X4 will start at around £43k.
Believe it or not but the new Peugeot 508 is intended to take on executive saloons from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. This fastback version technically isn't a saloon but it looks great, promises GT-like performance, and has a fabulous looking high-end interior so we'll forgive the technicality. Expected to go on sale towards the end of 2018 the new 508 will be available with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, and a 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre diesel. There is also a plug-in hybrid due to follow in 2019. The cornerstone of the new 508 is quality - not something usually associated with French cars - and Peugeot have been particularly thorough to ensure the build is good enough to compare with its rivals. Prices are yet to be announced but you should expect to hear more in the summer.
Following on from the excellent XC60 SUV Volvo have revealed the latest version of the V60 estate. In terms of looks it's a smaller version of the V90 but it does have sharper lines and a few design tweaks. The days of drab and boxy Volvo estates are long gone and the new model is a remarkably handsome choice. The interior shares much with the latest XC60 and XC90 with a clean and clutter-free cabin. The same Sensus infotainment system, chunky gear lever, and knurled switches give an air of refinement and should make the new V60 as pleasant a place to be as its larger siblings. It goes without saying it will also be one of the safest cars on the market. The V60 is available to order now with prices starting from just under £32k, although don't expect to take delivery before September 2018.
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