This was supposed to be a preview to the Geneva Motor Show. But the Geneva Motor Show has now been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Which is a great shame, but in the circumstances entirely reasonable.
But even though the Geneva Motor Show is cancelled, that doesn’t mean we can’t reveal the cars you didn’t see.
Hypercars - electric and V8
The Chinese manufacturer, Aiways, was going to reveal the world’s first methanol-electric hypercar, designed and built with assistance from the engineer responsible for the Gumpert Apollo. The Nathalie develops 793bhp giving it a 0–60mph time of 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 190mph. And zero emissions.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles based Czinger (the C is silent) was also introducing a brand new hypercar made from a combination of aluminium, carbon fibre and 3D printed parts. It might sound a bit flimsy but the lightweight construction means it weighs just over 1,200kg. Add in a 2.8-litre, turbocharged V8 and a couple of electric motors and you have a car that produces 1,233bhp and redlines at 11,000rpm. That all adds up to a 0-62 time of 1.9 seconds and a top speed of 268mph.
The special edition BAC Mono was also going to be there. It features a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine sending 305bhp to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox gives these special editions a 0–60mph time of 2.7 seconds and a top speed of 170mph. Although the clue is in the name so if you’re planning on carrying passengers a single-seater costing more than £150k probably isn’t the most practical choice.
Slightly more realistic but still very expensive, also due for an airing was the new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner edition which we’re sure is finished to perfection, and the latest Porsche 911 Turbo reported to produce an impressive 650bhp from its 3.8-litre flat six engine.
As we said, not the sort of thing you’re likely to find parked in the local supermarket on a weekend afternoon.
On the other hand, if you want something a little more realistic that still offers thrills and performance without requiring the billionaire’s bank balance there are a couple of options well worth considering for your next car to lease.
Honda Civic Type R
Honda was due to show the updated Civic Type R. While it isn’t a new car as such, the changes Honda has made should make a big difference. The current Type R and Type R GT have had a few styling tweaks with an updated front end that’s a little bit tidier, and the interior sees a new gear knob and Alcantara trimmed steering wheel. Nothing to really excite the senses, but underneath it’s a slightly different story.
The engine is unchanged so you still get the same 316bhp from a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit bolted to a six-speed manual gearbox. What is new is the crisper steering response, stiffer suspension components to improve stability, and an updated adaptive damper system to keep the car flat and level under heavy braking and cornering.
The brakes have been uprated too, with new callipers and two-piece ‘floating’ discs that not only improve braking performance but also weigh less than the old brakes. Honda has also introduced a new data-logging smartphone app called LogR so you can track performance, speed and oil and water temperatures, as well as recording lap times and giving scores for acceleration and braking.
In a slight departure Honda is also introducing two extra versions of the Civic Type R. There’s a trimmed down, track day version that sacrifices things like air conditioning, infotainment system, and sound deadening from the roof lining, rear hatch, front bumper and from behind the dashboard. The result is a 47kg weight saving and a car that will sprint to 60mph in under six seconds, although only 100 will be built with just 20 of those staying in the UK.
Honda has also acknowledged that the styling of the Type R can be a bit...well... ostentatious and in a nod to those of a more subtle persuasion there’s a new sport line version that loses the flashier elements of the body styling and softens the suspension for a more comfortable ride. We suspect that the toned down version may well be the one to go for unless you happen to be 12 years old.
New VW Golf GTI
When it comes to hot hatches there is only one that is universally admired and that’s the original GTI, the VW Golf GTI.
And we’re big fans of the hot hatch Golf here at Gateway2Lease.
This is the eighth generation of the Golf GTI and VW has revealed a new front end with an open front bumper featuring GTI wings and a honeycomb grille, a new look rear bumper and alloy wheels, and a rear diffuser to show off the twin tailpipes. The interior boasts a new digital cockpit, a new multifunction sports leather steering wheel with touch control, and 32-colour background lighting including a GTI-specific mode. In a fit of nostalgia VW has also retained the red stripe insignia in the grille and chequered seats that hark back to the original.
The Mark 8 Golf GTI features the same 2.0-litre petrol engine as the last model turbocharged to 245 PS. There were rumours the new GTI would be a hybrid, but that’s not the case. The Golf GTE plug-in hybrid generates the same power as the GTI but can travel some 37 miles in zero emission mode.
Aston Martin Vantage Roadster
The fabulous Aston Martin Vantage gets the Roadster treatment for Geneva, so you get to fully hear the twin-turbo V8 soundtrack as you blast along. Even if that won’t be in Geneva now.
The hood housing means there’s a 60kg weight gain but then with the hood down the Vantage’s silhouette looks even more appealing.
Talking of which if you spot the sun the roof lowers in 6.7seconds, claimed to be the fastest time of "any fully-automatic automotive convertible roof".
Of course there were plenty of other cars that were due to be shown at Geneva and most of them are perfectly sensible, suitably economical and practical, and very reasonably priced. But be honest, wouldn’t you rather lease something that puts a great big grin on your face every time you drive it?
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