It was a sad day for motor enthusiasts and experts alike when news hit that the 2020 Geneva Motor Show would be cancelled. Event organisers had initially insisted that the historic show would go ahead, but due to concerns over Covid-19 and the rapid spread of the coronavirus throughout Europe, a Swiss ban on all events with over 1,000 people was quickly implemented.
But all was not lost. Much to the delight of those looking forward to the latest automotive releases (which are often revealed at the show) many manufacturers confirmed that they would still go ahead with planned announcements. Albeit in a very different format away from the cosmopolitan Swiss city.
The iconic luxury British sports car brand didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to announce that they are, well… still an iconic luxury British sports car brand.
The car manufacturer released a video which started with a statement from Lawrence Stroll. Stroll became an investor in Aston Martin Lagonda back in January and is set to become the future Executive Chairman of the brand. His role is to implement strategy and he announced his plan to further develop and promote the mid-engine Aston range, while also bringing the brand back to its racing roots. He explained how these two aims go hand in hand as Aston Martin plans to share F1 technology with the new range of mid-engine supercars.
Stroll commented, “The foundation of the strategy is returning Aston Martin to a works F1 team on the grid for 2021, operating under its own brand, enabling it to reach cumulative audiences of two billion people a year, and to engage and entertain our customers at 22 locations.”
We were then shown a prototype of the new DBX, which Stroll describes as the “greatest new SUV in the market”. CEO of Aston Martin, Andy Palmer, added that it was on track from a production standpoint and those first deliveries will be made to customers in the summer. He also expressed that they are seeing the highest ever order rate in their history, thanks to this model.
Next, we moved on to the new roadster Vantage. To celebrate 70 years of the Vantage there is a new, yet more traditional grille, although buyers can still opt for the old hunter, racer-inspired vantage grille too. The fabric hood allows this model to be the fastest-operating convertible in today’s market as it can be raised in 6.8 seconds and lowered in 6.7, up to a speed of 31mph. And all this can be yours from £126,950.
A bargain in comparison to the V12 speedster. Hidden under a sheet, Aston Martin finally unveiled the incredibly exclusive new two-seater with a cool start price of £765,000. Built on a mixture of DBS Superleggera and Vantage underpinnings, this is a V12 engine in a speedster – essentially the biggest engine on the smallest wheelbase which will make for a very interesting power/weight dynamic.
In terms of design, it’s certainly striking with no roof or windscreen (get your silk scarves and driving goggles at the ready) and it is constructed almost entirely from carbon fibre. Produced in conjunction with Boeing and taking a lot of inspiration from its F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, there are some amazingly unique features such as helmet pods in the rear.
Adding to the excitement and exclusivity, Andy Palmer revealed that only 88 models would be made with a plan to start seeing them on our roads from the beginning of 2021.
Dacia is promising some big things with its new concept, the Spring Electric. Not only will a production version be ready in 2021 but it will be the most affordable electric vehicle sold in Europe. In reality, we’ve only been told that the price will be “fair”, but as of yet, we’re not sure what that actually means.
So, what do we know? Well, it has five doors and is 3730mm long. Design-wise its pretty rugged and takes inspiration from Renaults City K-ZE electric crossover designed for its Chinese market. Given that Renault is Dacia’s parent company we’re not all that surprised.
Dacia suggested it will have a range of more than 125 miles – low in comparison to other EV’s but its main purpose is a to be stylish city car and as of yet we’re not sure if it will go on sale in the UK market. Dacia is certainly focusing more on making it available for use within car-share service companies which are more popular in Europe.
Think of the Quadrifoglio with even more power and that’s what Alfa Romeo is offering up for its 110th birthday with the new Giulia GTA and GTAm model.
GTA stands for Gran Turismo Alleggerita – a lightened Grand Tourer in English, as the Italian luxury carmaker has used carbon fibre for the front bumper, front wheel arch extensions and rear wheel arch inserts, resulting in a weight loss of 100kg! An updated version of the 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 will produce 533 horsepower (398 kilowatts), rather than the existing 505 hp (377 kW).
Only 500 will be built and in return for a yet undisclosed price, Alfa Romeo is offering an extraordinary customer package to go alongside this beast of a new model. A brand ambassador will work with each customer through the entire process right up until delivery of the vehicle to ensure everything goes smoothly. The cars will then also come with a Bell helmet in a GTA livery, as well as a full Alpinestars racing outfit including the suit, gloves and shoes. Owners of the new GTA will get to use the kit at an Alfa Romeo Driving Academy course.
The GTAm model is essentially the same car but comes without the rear seats and with an added roll cage and race harnesses. “Is that really road-legal?!” we hear you ask. The answer – Hell Yes!
There is no denying how popular the Fiat 500 city car has proven and so we were excited to see Fiat reveal its new electric version, the 500e, this week in Geneva. While the cancellation of the motor show changed plans, images were leaked online showing a very similar model to the 500, with a retractable fabric roof. Shortly afterwards Fiat unveiled the official 500e – the third-generation 500 which will only be available in electric guise.
The car sits on a totally new, purpose-built electric car platform and is now 6cm wider and 6cm longer. It has an impressive range of 199miles on the WLTP cycle and it is the world’s first electric 4-seater convertible. Inside, changes include a rotary gear selector and a much larger 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen display system.